Posts Tagged ‘white papers’


Brand Journalism – An Oxymoron or Clever Communications Tactic?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

BurrellesLuce recently wrote a newsletter on 5 Tips for Incorporating Brand Journalism Into Your Communications Strategy. But what exactly IS brand journalism and how does it affect PR, media relations, and marketing as we know them?

While the term “brand journalism” aka “content journalism” has been getting significant air play lately, the concept has been around for awhile.

One of the earliest references came from Larry Light, McDonald’s CMO, at the 2004 AdWatch conference where he proclaimed that mass marketing no longer worked and no single approach told the whole story.

“Brand Journalism is a chronicle of the varied things that happen in our brand world, throughout our day, throughout the years. Our brand means different things to different people. It does not have one brand position. It is positioned differently in the minds of kids, teens, young adults, parents and seniors. It is positioned differently at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, weekday, weekend, with kids or on a business trip.

“Brand Journalism allows us to be a witness to the multi-faceted aspects of a brand story. No one communication alone tells the whole brand story. Each communication provides a different insight into our brand. It all adds up to a McDonald’s journalistic brand chronicle,” he declared.

Brand journalism, it seems, is not just a replacement for earned media or advertising or even direct marketing. Rather it ties all these things together. It involves telling stories — that do not read like a press release or marketing and advertising copy — and that make readers want to know more about your organization. Note that if you’re going to give it a try, brand journalism needs to be part of your overall communications strategy.

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Required Reading for PR Professionals

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Required Reading for PR ProfessionalsAs interns head into the office for the first time this fall, eager to make a good impression and begin a successful career, wouldn’t it be nice to be given a reading list…a list of books that hold the secrets and lessons to give you that extra advantage? I decided to ask a few leaders in the PR industry, “Is there a book you’d consider ‘required reading’? Something you wish every new hire read prior to their first day on the job?” Here are their responses:

Beyond How-to and PR 2.0
“I think better than any how-to or PR 2.0 book are business bios that inspire,(e.g., Howard Schulz, J. Dyson), books re: creativity, and Mad Men,” says Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO and creative director Crenshaw Communications. Personally, I love reading the biographies of successful business leaders; in fact, Howard Schulz’s “Pour Your Heart Into It” has a special place on my bookshelf.

Good for All Levels
Stephanie Smirnov, president, Devries PR suggests “Making News in the Digital Era” by David Henderson.

Global Clientele and Mega Trends
Alex Aizenberg , group manager, Weber Shandwick: “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” and “The World Is Flat” both by Tom Friedman.

Must Reads
Richard Laermer, founder and CEO, RLM Public Relations: “Elements of Style” by E.B. White and “On Writing Well” by Wiliam Zinsser.

Start Your Career Right
Christine Barney, CEO Rbb Public Relations: “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” by Robert Sutton.

The World Around You
As Stefan Pollack, president of The Pollack PR Marketing Group points out, “With today’s explosion of information, to me, required reading is to read everything one can get their hands on.  Books, eBooks, white papers, blogs, etc..Today’s entry level pro needs to up their level of intellectual curiosity and their life experiences. They need to know more about everything and as important link it to their pursuit for a career in PR.” Pollack’s recommendation: “the Book of Life, the life that is around you both near and far. By upping one’s intellectual curiosity, new hires, run the greater chance of understanding the contextual relevance of what they read when applying it to what they do. ”

As for my suggestions? Attempting to choose a single book to offer up as required reading is certainly not easy. My friends at BurrellesLuce and I frequently pass around books and a few of my favorite books, among those that have circulated, include:

But I think that if I could mandate a single book as required reading for new hires, I’d just stick to an old favorite: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. While Carnegie may have written the book in 1936, the simple lessons are timeless and perhaps more important today than ever before.

What book would you suggest a new employee reads before coming on board at your organization?

Media Relations 2.0: What Journalists Really Want from PR

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Last week, I attended a webinar by Sally Falkow, APR, and Rebecca Lieb, on how Internet technology and social networking affects news media and as a result, the public relations and media relations practitioner.

For those of you who attended last year’s PRSA International conference and heard Arianna Huffington open the keynote address with, “The Newspress release is dead…” or those who read Tom Forenski’s rant a few years ago, “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!,” may be surprised to learn the press release, like traditional media, is NOT dead.  Falkow told us the news has changed, but journalists still want information.  The way that journalists work is evolving so we need to provide this information in different ways.

Lieb quoted some statistics on how journalists work today:

  • 91 percent of journalists search Google to do their job (“expert” is a common search term)
  • 89 percent use blogs
  • 64 percent are using social networks

In addition, Lieb went on to say that over 75 percent of reporters view blogs as helpful in providing story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue. And, almost half of reporters say they are “lurkers” on social networking sites.

So, what do journalists really want and need from PR?  

  • They want the news in easy-to-identify, digestible sections.
  • They are looking for images, quotes, video, backgrounders, fact sheets.
  • Tag the information so it’s easily found. 
  • Give them the full embed code for multimedia.
  • Put your news in a feed.
  • Make it available on social sites.
  • Aggregate your news/social content in one place.

She says, “Deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information. By using news tags, a newspaper or news site could pull together larger numbers of news stories and the PR industry would be helping news publishers to gather the facts and present them in a near-publishable format.”

Bottom line: if you aren’t telling your story, then someone’s telling it for you. If the media can’t find the information they need from you, they will find it elsewhere – and you may not like what they find!  

The media in general is expected to provide more than just a print story, or just a video clip – it’s also on the web. What is your organization doing to feed the media’s hunger for content? 

Want more tips and best practices for working with the media and giving journalists what they want and need? Visit the BurrellesLuce Resource Center which provides FREE white papers, tip sheets, and more. And be sure to sign-up for this month’s newsletter, “When Press Releases Go Bad” or view an archive of last month’s newsletter, “Staying Ahead of the Media Relations Curve.

Your PR Business Is My Business

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

by Emily Mouyeos*

Recently, I went to a Meet the Media event sponsored by the Publicity Club of New York and ran into one of my clients. They seemed surprised that I would be at the same event. When asked why I was there I answered simply, “Your business is my business.” I have no doubt that professional businessmen and women understand that it is important to know your client or customer’s business inside and out. However, to what extent will you go to be the expert – to make their business your business? I have listed below key points that have helped me hone my expertise in a way that not only impresses clients, but helps them succeed as well. That is why they are paying the big bucks, no?

1. Know before the pros
In the world of communications, we all want to know first. In the “dark ages” before the Internet and social media (I’m being semi-serious) there was some leeway as to how long it took us to find information. These days, once a newYour PR Business Is My Business product hits the market, there’s almost no excuse for not knowing about it or staying on top of that coverage – especially as it relates to your client. You know you are in a good place when stumped people say, “I don’t know but I know who does,” and then your phone rings! Knowledge is power and money!

The only possible reason I can give for not being in the know is that we are inundated with so much information that we can’t keep up. But then again, we are communications specialists and should know how to be a gatekeeper even for our own information. If you are experiencing information overload and need a refresher on how to cope both Mind Tools and Spot This Now offer some great tips.

2. Be an educator
Don’t assume that your clients know every trick of the trade. We all end up in our positions through different avenues so there may be something you know that your client will find helpful. If you have spent your time studying new trends or tools then you will be well prepared to keep your clients ahead of the game. I am proud to work for a company who strives to not only fully understand the needs and challenges of the profession we serve, but is also an educator in the field. The BurrellesLuce Resource Center helps PR and marketing professionals stay ahead of the media relations curve by providing free white papers, tips sheets, on-demand webinar, and more. A one-time registration gives you access to the full library of free tools.

3. Have Fun
One of my closest PR pals told me that the best thing about the job is becoming an expert on every aspect of the client’s business. Depending on the day or the client, one could be learning about the most prominent sea life in a particular country or learning athletic training routines for an emerging sports brand. And remember, learning is fun!The business may not always be that exciting, but, nonetheless, it’ll impress your client if you are able to learn new things and share these insights.

Besides reading traditional media and attending conferences, how do you become an expert? How do you stay an expert in your client’s business? Can you share an experience you’ve had where your expertise has helped you retain an existing client or helped gain a new one?

***

*Bio: Emily Mouyeos joined the BurrellesLuce account management team with a background in nonprofit communication and development. Her background and current experience with BurrellesLuce allows her to effectively address client needs and consolidate feedback for senior management. To Emily, nothing feels better than helping others achieve their goal, whether it’s professionally or personally.  By focusing on client management through the Fresh Ideas blog, she hopes to evaluate new client management trends, as well as provide insight to the pros and cons of current practices. She looks forward to connecting with the readers of Fresh Ideas for new perspectives and dialogue on issues that affect overall success. LinkedIn: Emily Mouyeos Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Comparison: What’s Missing from Your Web Content?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Flickr Image: Laura Burlton

Flickr Image: Laura Burlton

by Stephen Lawrence*
In previous postings, I’ve discussed the disparity between newspapers and their web equivalents.  We’ve learned that one-to-one equivalency rarely occurs and that loss of valuable content accompanies such instances when the digital doesn’t equal the print.  This posting covers some of those examples where printed photos don’t make it to the web.

First, I must note, that while we are supplying the URLs to the online articles, we are unable to reproduce the original printed pages for comparison and posting to Fresh Ideas due to copyright restrictions. (For a more in-depth discussion on copyright, check out this BurrellesLuce white paper.)

If you manage public relations for authors, restaurants or fashion clients I promise you’ll find these examples very interesting:

Book Reviews
One of my guilty pleasures, back in the days when I was a reader (that’s a “fancy” term for someone on our production team who searches for articles relevant to a clients reading instructions), was perusing the book review sections of various newspaper as I read them for our clients.  Shots of the book’s cover running alongside the printed article were always handy in capturing my attention and helped make finding the relevant material all the easier. 

When conducting some quality assurance recently, I was reminded of this and found a few examples where the print and online editions of book review images don’t match up: (more…)