By Paul Larrabee, APR
During a recent account post-mortem, the client revealed that my repeated urgings to deliver affirmative messages took a while for him to understand – and embrace.
Prior to working with Corning Place Communications – his images of the public relations pro were spin meisters based on the fictional portrayals advanced by Frank Underwood via House of Cards or for some of the more seasoned readers episodes of the West Wing or screenings of Wag the Dog.
Likely a frustration many PRCs have witnessed – and fought to overcome.
While affirmative messaging is one of our fundamentals (the others being layered distribution and sustained commitment – and perhaps a blog for another time) some of our successful clients, and defeated opponents initially think we are unwilling to throw a punch. Guess again. We’ll hit you with the force of a sledge hammer – but you’ll be on the ground shaking loose the c ... ⇢ read more
The other day, I was listening to Jim Croce’s “Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues.” It has never been one of my favorites, but for some reason the line, “Now I got them steadily-depressing, low down, mind-messing, working-at-the-car-wash blues,” resonated with me.
I was struck with how fortunate I am that this sentiment has never applied to me. I’ve been kicking around in the PR trenches for more than three decades, and I cannot recall a single day that resembled those sudsy blues. (Are there days that I’m seriously stressing out? Sure. But depressing and mind-messing? Nope.)
I started doing a mental invento ... ⇢ read more
Early on Sunday morning, June 12, I woke to the news that 20 people had been killed in a shooting at a downtown Orlando nightclub four miles from my house. “Wow,” I thought, “that’s going to be a huge news story.” I had no idea.
At a press conference two hours later, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer delivered the news that not 20, but 50 people were confirmed dead and 53 were injured. The worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The collective gasp from reporters was audible.
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As I hope you are aware, Friday, June 3 was National Donut Day. It’s a day to eat donuts, but National Donut Day was originally established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of June.
Almost every single day of the year is set aside to officially commemorate a food or food product, but most of them don’t have the history behind them that National Donut Day does. Gingersnap Cookie Day, Raspberry Cake Day, Lasagna Day, Fresh Spinach Day – they just haven’t picked up the national traction that donut day has, helped no doubt by people like us who do public relation ... ⇢ read more
By Melissa Libby, Melissa Libby & Associates
When was last time you attended a cocktail party, wedding or other social event where a fight broke out? I mean a name-calling, yelling, party-shattering fight? Where most people at the party joined in to encourage the fight and throw a few barbs themselves, while a few quietly stood back and watched? Hardly what I would call “social.” And yet, this happens on social media every day. I’d love to see a movement to put the “social” back in “social media” and encourage people to remember what they learned in kindergarten about being nice. Or at least just being quiet when there’s nothing nice to say.
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I recently read an article on AdWeek.com titled, “How Social Media Could Have Changed the O.J. Simpson Trial.” Inspired by the recent FX mini-series, “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” the author, Josh Rosenberg, points to the trial’s role in the rise of the 24-hour news cycle, reality television and participatory journalism. Rosenberg also raises the specter of what the trial experience would have been like for both the viewer and the people in that co ... ⇢ read more
My wife, a human resources executive, recently attended a half-day professional development program and was so stunned by the behavior of the other participants that she was nearly (not quite totally) speechless when I asked her about how it went.
“The program content was fine,” she said. “But I couldn’t believe the other ‘so-called professionals’ – they were anything but… Instead of using the time to learn, network and develop relationships with other HR professionals, virtually all of the other participants at my table had, and kept, their faces and their attention buried in their smart phones the entire time.”
Prior to and during program breaks, every person at her table was focused on whatever was happening online via their phone – not at all on the other people right in front of them. “It struck me as highly unprofessional.”
As public relations professionals, there are times where we need to be connected to our offices, our collea ... ⇢ read more
There have been a few events/circumstances that occurred recently, which have prompted me to consider starting a new movement. Who's with me?
“What is it?” you are asking? Well, I would like to propose a new direction/focus to the practice of Public Relations and call it…Common Sense Communications. I think it might better explain what we do and how we personally approach the discipline as it relates to our clients and life in general.
A client called recently with a potential crisis at its facility, which was brought to their attention by a customer. Without providing all the important information to us, they called to ask, “What should we do about it?” Now, I have an amazing team and we all had the same question all at once for that client. Any guesses? You're probably right. Our immediate response was, "Is it true?" They told us they needed to get back to us to see if it was true. We waited and waited with multiple e-mails coming through without any straight answer ... ⇢ read more
By Amy Kossoff Smith, President Write Ideas, Inc., and Editor/Founder of PRCG Powerlines
When you put a group of premier public relations experts in a room for three days, you never know what magic will happen. And this year's conference was no exception. Our theme, "Turn it Up," had multiple applications, including a colorful conversation of best/first concerts, and action-packed sessions on branding, social media, PR strategy, and lots more. The theme, how do we work together to "Turn it Up" for our clients, our individual firms, and most importantly, the incredible collective experience of PRConsultants Group, ... ⇢ 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
I have a story I tell college students when I am trying to illustrate the point of how far technology has come, just over the course of my own career, in helping public relations practitioners do their jobs.
I share with them that when I first started working in public relations in the mid-1990s, I would often stand in front of a fax machine for hours at a time, sending news releases to media outlets around the state.
At this point in the story, their eyes glaze over because most of them have never seen a fax machine.
Then, I tell them how our practices changed when we got email and started communicating with reporters that way. This often generates a raised eyebrow, because they can’t imagine a time when people didn’t have email.
Finally, I talk about social media and how it has changed not only the way that public relations professionals communicate with journalists, but also in the way that online communications opened the doors to enable us to take our messages dire ... ⇢ read more