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
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 to improve the work. Small budgets force us to be more creative and to think outside the box. They encourage new partnerships that leverage smart resource sharing opportunities. They demand efficiencies that may not have otherwise been considered.
Good work can and does happen on a small budget. We hear about these successes frequently and have likely boasted about them a n ... ⇢ 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 despises the fact they're not at the pool grilling hotdogs.
So, because of the "second word" holidays become a great time for us PR folks to work harder.
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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 experience a litany of weather. High winds, thunderstorms and of course tornadoes, all of which can all be devastating to property and life-threatening to those unprepared. Are your clients prepared for Mother Nature's onslaught? Use these five tips to build the foundation of any great crisis communications plan:
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:
- Have a backpack with several printed copies of your crisis communications plan, contact numbers for essential employees and external media conta ... ⇢ read more
Smart PR professionals are now thinking about online newsrooms as a full section of a website, rather than just a single newsroom page.
- news releases;
- 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;
- financial statements.
Five tips to take your client’s online newsroom to the next level:
1) Filters: ... ⇢ 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:
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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.
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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 never follow email rules, how many email marketing teams run their protocols ... ⇢ 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 tell you about a recent media experience and you can draw your own conclusions. My firm works to place stories about the good work ... ⇢ read more
By Solveig Raftery, The Firm Public Relations & Marketing
It's a turning point many companies and organizations eventually reach: After establishing a promising product or service, you decide to hire a PR agency to promote your valuable efforts. You conduct due diligence, research PR companies, and find one that offers the services you seek and that understands your vision and goals. You sign a contract.
Hiring a PR agency is a significant investment, and of course you want to ensure this investment is effective. Fortunately, when an organization and a PR firm collaborate well, they can reap very satisfying results.
Listed below are simple tips to help maximize this relationship.
The first step toward a successful PR campaign is preparation. This involves an in-depth planning process, including compiling a strategic schedule for PR efforts such as media ... ⇢ read more
- Conduct Thorough Planning