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
Best Practices for Millennials by Millennials
Solveig Raftery, The Firm Public Relations & Marketing, www.thefirmpr.com
The journey to understand the millennial generation is as vast and arduous as the opinions about them. However, Millennials are now the largest living generation in the U.S. and represent the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t worked with a Millennial, it’s only a matter of time before you do.
According to Pew Research Center, Millennials are defined as those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. As an agency owner,... ⇢ 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
The drumbeat over the growing spate of “fake news” stories reached a crescendo last week when the 2017 AP Stylebook felt compelled to address proper journalistic style when referring to “the modern phenomenon of deliberate falsehoods or fiction masked as news circulating on the internet.” Ironically, “fake news” is far from new. The Onion and National Inquirer were peddling this cheap brand of journalism long before Al Gore ever invented the internet.
What is new is the impact “fake news” is having on the Fourth Estate; where trust in traditional news media is at an all-time low. A September 2016 Gallup... ⇢ 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... ⇢ 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
It’s time to vote! Perhaps you ran to the polls this morning to help the candidate you love become our next president. Or, maybe your vote just celebrates your right to do so and the end of a very long ad season. Either way, there’s no denying the Trump/Clinton race has been particularly intense. Dominated by unprecedented levels of mudslinging and scandals—the effect may last longer than Election Day.
A sky-high level of controversy is characteristic of this year's election. But, it begs a question about whether Trump and Clinton are that much more controversy worthy than candidates in the past. Could this level of... ⇢ 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... ⇢ read more
By Jennifer Evans, Principal of The CKP Group in Houston, Texas.
My spouse and I work in different environments. He leads a technical team in the oil and gas industry. I spend my time at The CKP Group building robust communications efforts for clients. Still, we frequently “talk shop” and share best practices. There are two things we both detest: rudderless meetings and ineffective or missing measurement.
Meetings that matter
Meetings should be meaningful and strategic. Most meeting appointments originate from either an information gap or a problem that needs to be solved. Face time is key to relationship management whether it comes... ⇢ 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... ⇢ read more