As I see my agency’s 25th anniversary quickly approaching, I started to write a post about the 25 things I’ve learned over that extremely interesting, exciting, frustrating, and amazing time. But given attention spans these days (mine and yours), I decided to keep it to five.
You be you
For years I worried about what my competitors were doing. I noticed their client rosters, great placements, awards received, new employees attracted, and compared all these with mine. This made me cranky. So now I take that energy and direct it to noticing all the fabulous work my outstanding team does for... ⇢ read more
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... ⇢ read more
My firm does a lot of work with nonprofit clients. We work with small businesses quite a bit, too. I’ve found I get the most enjoyment from projects I can sink my heart into, and apparently my heart is a sucker for good causes and local development. I love this work and the kinds of people I come into contact with while conducting it. With that said, there’s a common phrase I’ve become used to hearing that I could learn to live without: “We don’t have a budget.”
Don’t get me wrong—small budgets aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, they often serve... ⇢ read more
I found that being in public relations really isn't at all about the first word. It really revolves around the second. "Relations" is the key.
The July 4th holiday is right around the corner, and some PR pros think of it as a wasted opportunity to pitch stories to the media as, unless some kid takes off his pinkie with an M-80 (which will happen), not much local happens. Having been on the other side for 17 years, I can't disagree more. No one likes working on the holiday. Whether you are waiting tables, selling retail or sitting in the newsroom, everyone... ⇢ read more
With all the many channels in which people communicate, nonprofit organizations need to find ways to outreach to both current and potential audiences. Social media is segmented, based on each platform’s users, so nonprofits need a strategy to outreach, share and “rally the troops” to effectively break through the myriad of messaging out there. Three such groups, ambassadors, avengers and advocates, can be an instrumental part of organization’s comprehensive communication plan.
Ambassadors are folks who are tied into your community. They tend to be influencers who are willing and able to help spread the word about your organization at events and... ⇢ read more
As a child, my mom diligently worked with me to read books every week. From stories of emperors with no clothes to giants in the sky, one of my favorites was the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” To this day, I am not sure why that story resonated with me, although I am sure it had something to do with the fact my mom always made funny voices for the pigs and the wolf. The moral of the story rings true, especially in Oklahoma; better to work hard and be prepared than to be ill-prepared.
During the spring months, we... ⇢ read more
According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of journalists visit online newsroom sections of organizations’ websites at least once a week.
What are they looking to find in the online newsroom? More than news releases. The online newsroom should serve as an organization’s online filing cabinet with news releases, company information and digital assets readily available, including:
visual assets like photographs (including key leaders’ headshots in print-quality resolutions) and video;
succinct information about products and services;
biographies of key executives;
media contacts, including cell phone numbers;
Smart PR professionals are now thinking about online newsrooms as... ⇢ read more
By Amy Kossoff Smith, President Write Ideas, Inc., and Editor/Founder of PRCG Powerlines
The 14th Annual PRConsultants Group is a wrap, and it was the 3rd time this international group of PR pro’s had “boots on the ground” in the Lone Star State (Texas). This year’s theme, “Passport to Creativity,” inspired the 50 members attending to consider new, innovative ways to add color and relevance to PR campaigns around the world.
Here are some of my favorite highlights:
Keynote speaker C.C. Chapman, author and marketer, presented “Finding Inspiration & Staying Relevant in Today’s Marketplace.” He had tons of tips, and some of... ⇢ read more
We're always on the hunt for PR genius to serve clients. I found ‘ducky’ inspiration during a recent trip to South Africa. The entire country is breathtaking. So is its Cape Winelands region, located about a half hour northeast of Cape Town.
Near Stellenbosch, we visited the Vergenoegd Wine Estate, one of more than 500 ‘temples to the grape’ that dot the area.
In 1696, Dutch settler Pieter de Vos bought a fertile piece of land near the town. After looking it over, he declared his property vergenoegd: “I’m satisfied with this place. It’s good enough. It’s far enough.”
Pronouncing the word is a challenge. Understanding de Vos’ passion... ⇢ read more
Yesterday a colleague shared this TED talk about one truly clueless email strategy:
After mopping up tears of laughter, we naturally asked: Who oversaw that cluster mess?
Last week, I received a note from Microsoft 365's admin team. They had changed category algorithms for Outlook users, and did we like it? Um, no. Now, every shade of politically-charged and lewd spam appears in my In box, tempting me to resort to James Veitch's tactics. Every time I hit unsubscribe, those emails return like an annoying in-law.
According to The Radicati Group, 49.7 percent of the 200+ billion email messages we receive every day are spam. That's nearly 100 billion e-spams a day.
After we filter out those who will... ⇢ read more
Barb Harris and Sharon Kreher, teamworks communication management, www.teamworkspr.com
I read a fair amount of Facebook group and media blog chatter about the love/hate relationship media folks have with PR people. At best, they begrudgingly acknowledge that sometimes PR people can occasionally be helpful. But as most public forums are inclined, complaints about PR folks tend to dominate these conversations. As a PR professional, it’s difficult to reply to or refute these attitudes, as that can fly in the face of our goal of fostering good working relationships with members of the media for the benefit of our clients.
Instead, let me... ⇢ read more