Posts Tagged ‘communicate’


Everyone’s a Journalist: Beyond the Beat

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

This post first appeared on PRSA’s ComPRehension blog 11.10.10 and is cross-posted with permission.

This year’s PRSA 2010 International Conference was my 11th in the past 12 years. As the date approached, I found myself wondering if it was going to be worth it. Would I really learn something new?  Now that the Conference is over, I can report a resounding, “Yes!”

One of the sessions I attended was led by my BurrellesLuce colleague, Johna Burke (@gojohnab). She offered so many great tidbits of social media/media relations-related information that it would be impossible to include them all in this blog post. However, there’s one point that stood out the most to me.

Burke began by discussing the changing media landscape. For example, according to the Pew Research Center, some 44 percent of online news users get news at least a few times a week through e-mails, automatic updates or posts from social networking sites. You must decide where social media fits into the strategy, and how to take advantage of it.

She advises:

  • Participate in the dialogue, but don’t broadcast.
  • Messages need to work in tandem and support other messages. In other words, consistency is key.
  • Communicate to the whole organization, not just the media. Who are your other audiences? Who are our stakeholders?
  • Be where your audiences hang out online. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the “big three.”

So what about pitching via social media? Burke prefaced these best practices with her PR101 golden rule: everything is on the record!  She says, at the bare minimum, know what sort of journalist they are — print, online or “MOJO” (mobile journalist). You should also:

  • Know what they are writing about.
  • Think about how to build a relationship with them. Comment first, pitch later.
  • Find a way to provide information without giving away the scoop.
  • Tell them why they should care.
  • Do NOT send multiple requests to one reporter/blogger on multiple platforms. (You don’t want to stalk them!)

Obviously, not all of the tips are necessarily “new,” but there were new applications of old principles, and some were simply solid media relations refreshers.

Tressa Robbins, vice president, Media Contacts, BurrellesLuce, is a regular contributor to BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, a member of the St. Louis PRSA Chapter and a PRSSA mentor.  She recently served as a panelist for PRSSA’s National Conference and speaks at the local and regional level. Connect with Tressa on LinkedIn and follow Tressa on Twitter @tressalynne.

For more coverage on the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress, visit PRSA Intelligence, follow #prsa_ic and the Conference blog.

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Social Media Gets UnSocial

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

unsocial

The evolution of social media’s impact on the way we communicate is so vast and is changing so rapidly that experts can’t write their text books fast enough. New developments in social media technologies seem to be positioning themselves in a manner that allows users to find each other online through friends, interests, location, and connecting them offline with tools such as Facebook’s location application, FourSquare and, the communication professional’s favorite, the TweetUp. Thankfully, the world of technology has realized that users seek interaction beyond the computer screen and are finding new niches in the marketplace to make that happen.

According to this TechCrunch article, UnSocial, the newest app for iPhone and Droid, is “geared towards professionals who want to connect with other professionals in similar or related fields, who happen to be nearby.” But don’t let the name fool you, the whole point of UnSocial is to help users bloom into social butterflies within their industry. Using your LinkedIn login/password, the application will ask you to input words that describe your professional background, as well as characteristics of people you are looking to connect with. The app searches for people who match your criteria within close proximity of your location. If you find someone you want to connect with, you can then message, email, or even call that person.

The application is geared toward professionals, but even more specifically toward users attending conferences. The program will help users to more easily indentify the people they most want to network with. I wonder if we will see this app at next year’s PRSA?

How do you see this or similar technology helping media relations and public relations professionals build their offline networks? Do you think that the communications industry will be quick to adopt this type of application at industry events? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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Sales + Everyone = Success

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Valerie Simon

How do you get everyone – from your maintenance team to your CEO – participating in the sales process? During a special Twitter chat last Wednesday evening, Heather Whaling and Justin Goldsborough, co-moderators of Twitter’s #PR20Chat, and Beth Harte and Anna Barcelos, leaders of #imcchat asked this question to more than 100 participants. 

Here are a few takeaways every business should consider.Teamwork

Top down and bottom up, goals must be aligned.

AdamSuffolkU:  First step, make sure goals are aligned and input is asked/received from all-bottom on up

SuperDu:  It starts w/ CEO creating top-line strategic plan. ALL divisional plans & emp. objectives feed into that one plan

 jeffespo:  It should be the trickle up effect. Everyone knows the brand and wants to sell it and make more money.

Create a customer-centric team environment

BethHarte: If all employees understand the customer is #1, they will all work to make sure they work hard from top to bottom

LoisMarketing:  Communicate successes and celebrate at all levels. Make all staff aware of “wins,” new clients. Sincere appreciation. 

Transform employees into evangelists

kimbrater:  It’s more than the sales process, everyone has to internalize +evangelize the brand in order to sell it.

CASUDI:  everyone has to be in love with, believe in the product ~ everyone will have the desire to sell

IABCDetroit: Engage employees thru educational, relevant communications so they’re empowered to relay company message, align w/ company goals

Everyone can have an impact on sales

BethHarte: Sales starts the minute someone walks through the front door. Better hope the receptionist isn’t cranky/mean

rpulvino:  Everyone in the company is involved in sales in some way. Employees are the most important spokespeople for an organization.

And my respond: ValerieSimon: Education. When you take pride in, and understand your organizations strengths, you’re compelled to share the story!

Beyond 140 characters, I’d also emphasize that a strong and positive corporate culture is an investment that will not only pay off in increased productivity but sales. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a part of the sales team. Here are some ways organization can provides the training and follow-through to make the most of this extended sales force:

  • Make certain that ALL employees are educated on your products or services and the benefits of these services to your clients and customers.
  • Keep employees updated with a daily report of news for and about your organization, the competitors and the marketplace.
  • Create a simple process whereby all employees can easily submit referrals through to the sales team to close.
  • Share success stories. Recognize and reward those who are referring business, as well as the teamwork with sales that helped to win the new business.

Do you consider yourself a part of your organization’s sales efforts? What does your company do to harness the sales power of all your employees? Please share your thought with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Using Social Media in a Fast Paced World Requires That You Slowdown and Plan

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

by Tom Kowalski*

I recently attended the Social Convergence and The Enterprise conference held at The Graduate Center of CUNY.  I listened to more than a half dozen speakers discuss the importance of social media in their organizations.  There was one underlying message that everyone seemed to get across:  companies who try and jump on the bandwagon of social media without a concrete plan will ultimately BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas: Using Social Media in a Fast paced World Requires That You Slow Down and Plan, Tom Kowalskiend up failing with this initiative. 

There’s been a 230 percent increase in social media since 2007.  The growth is staggering. Yet, the question remains – how are companies engaging in social media successfully?  Brian Renny, CMO, Harvard Business School says we need to understand the sociology of engaging social media to connect with our audience; otherwise we’ll fall short of success.  Just because a company tweets or has a Facebook fan page, doesn’t mean the organization is successful.  It’s all how the organization is using the social media tools available to them and how they’re leveraging them to connect with the community. 

Conversations, good and bad, are happening everywhere.  As we all know, a successful public relations campaign is always well thought out and planned.  So why should this be any different with the way we handle social media?  Matt Peters, creative director, Pandemic Labs, says building a solid social media platform is essential to the organization’s success of future initiatives. Although social media has certainly changed the way we do our jobs, the core concept is still the same.  We still must identify how we communicate with our audience.

Some of the most successful PR campaigns and crisis communication resolutions in recent times were well-thought out plans that connected with the audience via social media.  As my colleague Denise Giacin points out in a recent post on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, Jet Blue is a great example of a company using social media to manage PR communications and engagement.  When the Valentine’s Day brand disaster occurred in 2007, the company quickly turned to YouTube to connect with their customers.  Founder and former CEO, David Neeleman, went on the Internet first apologizing to the employees of Jet Blue and then to their customers for going against everything the company stands for.  He ensured something like this will never happen again.  The quick response and admittance of fault allowed the public to forgive the airline and move on. 

Jenny Dervin, director of corporate communications stated that the company built the brand on goodwill through daily engagement and cashed in on that when the disaster occurred.  Dervin said it’s important that you’re proactive with social media on daily basis and people will be more forgiving, should a crisis occur.  Another important point Dervin made is that social media allowed the company to directly speak with their audience, rather than using traditional media channels as a middle man.  People perceive the company as being more genuine and sincere when the message is direct.

So before you send that tweet, or create a fan page, have a concrete method that parallels the goals of your business and/or your campaign or crisis and do your research. Once you have the appropriate channels in place remain sincere and proactive when connect with constituents.  Otherwise, if you jump in too soon without thinking, the chances of your success with social media or handling crisis communication will diminish.

***

*Bio: As a Senior Account Manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than 7 years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

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2010 Bulldog Media Relations Summit: Aedhmar Hynes, Text 100, Interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Transcripts -

JOHNA BURKE:  Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the Bulldog Media Relations Summit, and we’re here with Aedhmar.

Aedhmar, please introduce yourself.

AEDHMAR HYNES:  Hi, I’m Aedhmar Hynes and I’m the CEO of Text 100.

BURKE:  Aedhmar, you were just on the panel talking about the future of public relations, and I loved how you incorporated and said, you know, we really have to step away as PR practitioners from those tactics that give us that feel good that we’ve done a good thing and align our goals with the business objectives.  How do you counsel your team on how to be a bold–be a good consultant and align their PR objectives with the business objectives?  What you’re trying to serve?

HYNES:  Well, I think to a large extent, much of what we’re doing and have always done is really move a story based on the position of a brand or based on the positioning of a corporation.  And for me, I’ve always felt that it’s critically important to understand the context of what you’re doing in relationship to the overall corporation.  So really understanding what influences the success of that brand, which is much broader than simply the success of its product or the success of its people.  And looking at the context of that and making sure that as a communications professional you understand the influence of government, you understand the influence of Wall Street or finance.  Really, all of those things at a global level, even the understanding of cultures across multiple markets is critically important.

And a depth of appreciation and understanding of that as a context setter for what you’re trying to communicate, I think, is critically important.  And in knowing and understanding the context within which you’re working, I think, gives you the opportunity to be much more effective not only in communications, but in being able to counsel your executives in their own effectiveness in communicating their brand.

BURKE:  Great.  Thank you so much.  I think those are amazing insights that we all need to keep abreast of and take our ego out of the equation.  Where can people find you in social media?

HYNES:  Well, I’m pretty easy because I’ve got a very complicated name. And the spelling of my name is A-E-D-H-M-A-R.  And so if you use that as your search, then actually all of the places that I am in the social media pop up straight away.

BURKE:  Great.  Thank you so much.

HYNES:  You’re welcome.

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