I love being a public relations consultant for the past few decades, and have enjoyed representing New England's largest and longest-running Renaissance Faire for the past five. Running your own PR firm can be fascinating, and we are required to keep all the “balls in the air” at all times. Just like a good juggler at the Faire, I’ve uncovered eight life lessons gleaned from observing master performers, including my favorite: the “grand finale” is a simple compilation of many smaller achievements.
Whether you are striking out pitching a story or creating a clever idea, or just need extra motivation for a personal goal, here are tips to keep our mind and energy focused on steps needed to achieve our goals.
1. Timing is everything. E ... ⇢ read more
For companies like Pepsi and United, these past few weeks have not been “friendly” after long hours trying to battle crises within their respective organizations.
Every time a crisis hits major corporations, such as these, public relations professionals are left scratching their heads wondering who is in charge and why the PR people “didn’t have a seat at the table?”…from the beginning.
PR professionals are oftentimes called in after the crisis hits versus having a seat at the table during the initial planning and strategizing phases.
It’s clear that in the case of Pepsi, the advertising firm created what they thought was a home run ad for the soft drink maker: Model Kendall Jenner handing a police officer a Pepsi during a protest rally. However, my guess is that no one ran the ad by their Communications Director or possibly their outside public relations counsel because if they did, I wou ... ⇢ read more
Whether you tweet, Facebook post, Instagram, Snapchat or shoot Vine videos for yourself or a client, every social media moment matters. Just as the goal of any actor is to be able to tell a story through a character, your brand needs warmth and personification to really resonate and engage.
Not all brands are wild and wacky, but there are plenty of examples of conservative brands who exploded on social in 2015 once they found their “voice”. Check out the Twitter feeds of @oldspice, @tacobell, @MyCascade, @lushcosmetics, @jetblue, @PopChips, @Intel and the SM conference favorite, @Oreo (check out #OreoHorrorStories). It’ ... ⇢ read more
By Deborah Trivitt, APR
I’m not a fan of the recent fad to make a list of the “best,” “worst,” “most,” “least” of anything. I’m pretty sure the people making the lists are arbitrarily picking from their favorites or least favorites to make the list. I doubt any real research goes into the making of any of them.
Recently PRSA Tactics columnist Tim O’Brien, APR, invited me to participate in making the list 4 Myths About Being an Independent Practitioner
As I prepare to begin year 18 as an Independent Practitioner, I can assure you his list is “well-researched, and insightful.” ... ⇢ read more
[caption id="attachment_1063" align="alignnone" width="300"] Five hours and counting until Super Bowl XLIX. Can you tell who we were cheering for?[/caption]
by Kristin Helvey, APR, president/owner, Helvey Communications
This year, my husband and I took our first Super Bowl trip. The football hype began upon landing. Airport workers wore jerseys, balloons lined hallways and murals covered the baggage claim. This was, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. For four days, we were enveloped by building-sized endorsements, crazed fans jumping around in the background shots of athlete interviews (if you saw someone that looked like me, I probably just h ... ⇢ read more
By Felicia Knight, President, The Knight Canney Group
When PRConsultants Group, a national consortium of public relations and communications professionals launched the first annual Snark Free Day last year, the response from some quarters was predictable—even funny. Turns out, some people are just too damned cool to lose the snark, if only for 24 hours. It’s like asking Gordon Gekko to nuzzle a kitten.
The point of Snark Free Day is make people take a moment to think about the effect their words or deeds have on other people. The abundance of snark is especially evident in cyber-space, where ... ⇢ read more
By Stacia Kirby, president of Kirby Communications
When a big convention rolls into town, many of the locals brace themselves for a takeover as their downtown becomes crowded, hotels and restaurants full. Combine that with a lack of understanding as to who is exactly coming to town, and you have a classic case of a PR challenge.
Back in 2003, Gen Con “The Best Four Days in Gaming!” moved its annual convention to Indianapolis from Milwaukee. It is fair to say that the residents of Indianapolis were a bit dubious as to what Gen Con would be like when it took place. Gen Con is not your average convention/trade show. It is the largest annual consumer fantasy, electronic, sci-fi and adventure game convention in North America. Each year over 180,000 gaming enthusiasts converge to share their enthusiasm for all things gaming; whether its tournaments, celebrity appearances, exhibit hall booths, workshops, ... ⇢ read more
By Melanie McCraney, Founder of McCraney Communications
Snark Free Day, a day devoted to kindness, civility and verbal restraint sounds like a good idea - easy and even fun. A day devoted to eliminating rude, harsh or sinister sarcasm. Do you have what it takes? Who’s not up for that? Piece of cake, count me in!
On October 22nd, folks are being asked to put their snarky ways aside and just be nice. It’s Snark Free Day, and coast-to-coast, people are taking the pledge to go ... ⇢ read more
By Melissa Libby, President, Melissa Libby & Associates
Back in PR school the professors beat it into our heads: Never, ever, no matter what, should a client respond with “no comment.” And so we dutifully advised our clients accordingly and worked hard to craft carefully worded messages to right a wrong or soften a situation. Every question got a response. Every grievance was taken seriously and equally. Every hater was loved.
Maybe it’s because the Internet has made complaining so much easier. Or maybe, as I suspect, it’s given people the anonymity to lash out in ways they never would in person. But whatever the case, online complaining has reached an all time high and I’ve started advising my clients to ignore ... ⇢ read more
By Kim McKeeman
CEO, McKeeman PR
I was working on our PR agency’s business plan and had to take a step back and really, honestly look at why a client works with our company. Forget the 30,000-foot vision for a minute, and get down to reality.
It sounds easy. We do this for our clients all the time. We help them define what makes them unique, compelling -- what makes a customer turn right into their parking lot instead of left into their competitor’s lot. Sure, it sounds easy.
Instead, I looked at it from the other side. Why don’t our clients work with other agencies? We know what they’ve told us. “They’re too big.” “They staff our business with inexperienced people.” “They’re not ... ⇢ read more
by Amy Kossoff Smith
Write Ideas, Inc.
Couldn't resist a quick piece on the logistics and marketing angles of Super Bowl 2013. With brothers coaching opposing teams (wow!); the Ravens in the game (I'm D.C./Baltimore-based); Beyonce singing live after the Inauguration Star Spangled Banner question (btw - who really cares as long as it sounds good?!); and a 34-minute blackout, the night was clearly memorable. As PR professionals, we're always writing the Plan B, the "what if," the contingency plans so events go off without a hitch. A blackout at the Super Bowl was just...well, I'm just blanking out on how to evaluate this "mishap." The wildly retweeted, "If you liked it you should've put a backup generator on it," says it all.
Speaking of touchdowns in the Twitter world that night, thanks to PRConsultants Group member Felicia Knight of ⇢ read more