Archive for ‘News Coverage’:


Hack-A-Comm: “Fast Hacks” Providing Essential Tips for PR and Communication Industry Leaders

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Photo Courtesy of PRSA

By: Pam Golden, President, GLA Communications*

The title was intriguing and two of the three presenters are Counselor’s Academy members, so of course I had to attend. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this session, however, I walked away with three really great ideas to take back to my team.

Sean Williams Photo Courtesy of PRSA

Relevant for internal comms teams and agencies alike, Sean Williams, Vice President with True Digital

Communications shared his hack for creating a communications plan that can be used with various company stakeholders.  He calls it AMMO: Audiences/ Messages/ Methods/Objectives.

Audience: The people you need to reach; who needs to hear, be heard, who do we have to help?
Messages: What do we have to say, show or demonstrate to attain our objectives?
Methods: How do we need to deliver those messages? What are the tactics?
Objectives: The actions you want people to take, what do you need your audience to think, feel do?

So basic, but so smart.

Elizabeth Edwards, President, Volume PR and a CAPRSA member, infuses behavioral science insights into communications strategies, messages and tactics. Elizabeth’s hack was to using psychology to get results.

She offered up how to get more from people using reasoning and validation to get positive responses.

As she explained, the word “because” helps answer the why question and gives people the reason for a yes response. Elizabeth shared how the law of reciprocity can be used to our benefit. After all, we tend to want to help those who have helped us.  And, they will be more likely to want to work with people who like and respect us.

Another great tip was to leverage rejection. If we ask for more –

John Deveney and Elizabeth Edwards Photo Courtesy of PRSA

whether it be more projects or higher fees, then when the answer is no, we have the flexibility to reduce the ask.

John Deveney, President of Deveney, an engagement agency and also a CAPRSA member, presented on how to identify, vet and get the most out of online influencers. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the influencer program must ladder up to the business goals. We need to evaluate goals, resources and needs and determine:

  • Why do you want the influencer?
  • What do you want them to say?
  • Who is their audience?
  • How do you want them to talk about your brand?
  • Where are these online conversations taking place?

Tips from John:

How to find influencers?

  • Use award programs, tap into influencer networks, form your own network, conduct internet searches and leverage database software.
  • Use several of these to identify the right influencers for your program.

How to vet influencers?

  • Look for ones who have industry standing and strong relationships.
  • Look at their engagement rate not the number of likes.
  • Does the personality fit your brand and look at the quality of results and the content.

How to get the most out of influencers?

  • Allow them to deliver the message in their own voice and give them time to get results.
  • Discuss metrics – do you need to drive sales? If so, build a way to track sales from the influencer impact.
  • Play by the rules – have them agree to the FTC guidelines

Big shout out to Johna Burke and BurrellesLuce for sponsoring this session.

*Pam Golden is president of GLA Communications which she founded in 1986.  Her expertise has helped fuel many successful communications campaigns including the launch of home satellite TV, DVD and HDTV. Pam provides high-level strategic and tactical counsel to GLA’s clients, bringing the benefit of more than 30 years of experience in creating and executing effective campaigns that deliver results. Pam is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the executive committee for its Counselors Academy sector, where she is also chair of the programming committee. In April 2017, Pam was named as a finalist in the Leading Women Entrepreneurs “Brand Builders” category, which celebrates communications professionals who excel in brand innovation.

Using Measurement and Evaluation to Take Business to Next Level

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

By: Pam Golden, President, GLA Communications*

Photo courtesy of PRSA

If you ask most PR professionals, measurement and evaluation is an area we struggle with whether you work for an agency or in-house. Johna Burke, Chief Marketing Officer for BurrellesLuce, one of the industry’s most respected experts on measurement, presented “Use Measurement and Evaluation to Take Business to the Next Level,” at the 2017 PRSA International Conference. No matter how many presentations and webinars I attend on this topic, there is always so much more to learn and Johna shared concepts I hadn’t considered.

Of course, intellectually we know we should tie our communications objectives to an organization’s business goals, but do we always? With PR fighting for share of wallet and marketing budget, it is more important than ever to have clear and measurable objectives. Johna calls them SMARTER objectives:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
  • Ethical
  • Revolutionizing

Together, these seven objectives can ensure that our programs and campaigns tie back to the business as well as demonstrate value, which is an overarching goal for all of us.

So, just how do you demonstrate value?  Johna shared four areas for us to consider:

  • Increase revenue, profit, growth, value, retention, ROI or ROA, efficiency, visibility
  • Reduce costs, time/effort, complaints, risk, turnover, conflict, paperwork
  • Improve productivity, processes, service, information, morale, reputation, skills, loyalty, quality
  • Create strategy, systems, processes, business, products, services, brand

According to Johna, we must make sure data and information are relevant for the audience; therefore  it is critical to understand where you are and where your audience is in the ecosystem. PR professionals need to think like analysts, which means we should be looking beyond the numbers and putting them into context and perspective for our audiences. That includes challenging what the numbers mean to show correlation to outputs and outcomes because without qualitative information the data is meaningless.

Johna pointed to the Integrated Evaluation Framework from AMEC – the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication as a great tool that was developed to help standardize evaluation and provide tools based on best practices. It is set up in seven sections designed to obtain qualitative information, not just quantitative data:

Objectives, inputs, activities, outputs, out-takes, outcomes, and impact

This interactive framework can be accessed here.

And, of course, none of this is really achievable without critical thinking, which is an essential skill, and Johna’s acronym – RED – says it all:

  • Recognize Assumptions
  • Evaluate Arguments
  • Draw conclusions

None of this is complicated, but it requires consistent commitment from everyone on our teams to ensure success.

*Pam Golden is president of GLA Communications which she founded in 1986.  Her expertise has helped fuel many successful communications campaigns including the launch of home satellite TV, DVD and HDTV. Pam provides high-level strategic and tactical counsel to GLA’s clients, bringing the benefit of more than 30 years of experience in creating and executing effective campaigns that deliver results. Pam is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the executive committee for its Counselors Academy sector, where she is also chair of the programming committee. In April 2017, Pam was named as a finalist in the Leading Women Entrepreneurs “Brand Builders” category, which celebrates communications professionals who excel in brand innovation.

Copyright: Understanding Fair Use

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

While this AMEC North America Measurement Week webinar was the first of the series, it will be my final recap post. I saved the best for last!

International AMEC board member, and License League COO Dan Schaible led this #AMECMM webinar to help us understand the complexities that surround copyright in the digital world we live in today. Copyright Fair Use

Dan began with referencing a portion of United State Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Congress shall have the power… “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”. This is what sets up what copyright is, however in that statement is an inherent conflict, Dan commented.

We are all pretty familiar with the concept of Title 17, Subsection 106 of the United States code. This is the part that grants the owner of the copyrighted work the exclusive rights to do and authorize reproductions, copies, derivatives, etc.  However, it’s Subsection 107 that tends to create confusion—the limitations on exclusive rights—fair use. There are four specific factors, that work together, which must be considered to determine fair use.

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

I can relate if you’re thinking, “I’m not a lawyer, how am I supposed to be expected to interpret this?” Legal-ese makes my head spin, but the way Dan explains it, with the examples he uses, helps it all to make a little more sense so I highly recommend you check out this short (under 30 minutes) webinar replay.

He focuses on the two points that we, as PR professionals, are most likely to be affected by. In addition, he references two specific copyright-specific court rulings on recent media monitoring cases. (Side note: BurrellesLuce has a copyright compliant article program and agreements with most major publishers as well as individual titles.)

  • Purpose and character of use. Dan says the real defining question is: is the content used in a different manner or for a different purpose from that which was originally copyrighted? He read a portion of a 1990 legal article, written by two judges, dealing with whether the use is “transformative” (which is a valid defense). There is a lot of gray area here and it’s no wonder there’s so much confusion surrounding fair use! Dan claims that fair use is part of the law but some claim it’s only lawful in that it offers a defense to the end user should the use be challenged by the copyright holder.
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market or value. This is a little easier to understand. Dan says the defining question here is: what is the effect of the use on the copyright owner’s ability to exploit the value of their original work.  In other words, is how you’re using it taking potential money out of the owner’s pocket?

Dan cautions that fair use is based on market conditions—as the market changes, so may the judicial rulings.

Webinar moderator, Johna Burke, who’s also AMEC North American Co-Chair and BurrellesLuce CMO, wrapped up with questions to Dan from the participants. He finished-up with some straight-talk about why you need to know these things, the most compelling of which was “so you don’t get sued” (but he had a lot other great answers as well).

I’ve enjoyed learning more about measurement (and copyright) the past couple weeks and hope you have too! As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and/or experience with others here in the comments section.

PR Can Speak ROI With Marketing: Be Bold!

Friday, September 30th, 2016

AMEC measurement week here in the U.S. may be in our rearview mirror, but the webinar series recaps continue. AMEC North American Co-chair Jeni Lee Chapman was joined by Aron Galonsky, Managing Director of Hotspex US, to talk about bridging the communications gap between PR/communications and marketing—specifically when it comes to ROI (return on investment).

Jeni kicked-off the webinar by sharing some results from a 2015 AMEC study (which included AMEC members from top public relations agencies, measurement firms and corporate communications).

  • 74% of the companies experienced stronger revenue in 2015 vs. 2014
  • 86% agree that PR consultancies recognize the importance of measurement of analytics (up from 72% in 2014)
  • Metrics and tracking systems are in the top 3 priorities according to the Arthur Page Society (comprised of Fortune 500 CCOs)

Photo Credit: Arthur W. Page Society

Any good measurement program begins with conversations—both with management and your marketing counterparts. Jeni and Aron agree that alignment is critical. When this is not the case, it can be difficult to prove that your PR work has increased awareness and engagement—especially when marketing is taking the credit for it (because you are not measuring). Perhaps you don’t have the data you need, or don’t have the budget, or have trouble convincing management of the need (when they just want to see volume of clips).

Five questions to ask when having those conversations, Jeni and Aron recommend:

  • What audiences are PR/communications targeting as compared to marketing?
  • How are we ensuring quality data is being used—not quantitative data that may or may not have value (such as AVEs, impressions, etc.)
  • What are the options for ROI analysis–do you have access to the data you really need?
  • Have we double-checked that we have the right input and outcome variables (tied back to the business objectives)?
  • What is the analysis plan (how do they plan to look at it)?

Setting objectives and creating your alignment model (with the AMEC integrated evaluation framework) in the right context is crucial.  So is having this plan in writing and confirming all interested parties are in agreement.

Aron discussed some of the different ROI modeling from those that are not very complex to those that are highly complex. What you choose all depends on the results of those conversations you’ve had and your subsequent objectives. “If you are not part of the equation, you are not part of the solution, he stated, after explaining key driver analysis, correlation analysis, lift modeling, market mix modeling and more.  Jeni remarked, “what gets measured, gets funded—this is what gives you a seat at the table.”

Throughout the webinar, Jeni and Aron shared some examples and case studies that really made these scenarios easier to understand. If you missed the live webinar, it’s available on demand.

One of their compelling closing comments was, “Experimenting is valid and necessary. Just doing what everyone else is doing is not enough. Be bold!”

Please feel free to share your experience(s), thoughts and/or advice here in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!

How to Use the New AMEC Measurement Framework—A Practical Session

Monday, September 26th, 2016

For this  webinar, guest experts Richard Bagnall and Giles Peddy joined us from across the pond while AMEC North American Co-chair (and BurrellesLuce CMO) Johna Burke moderated. Richard took pole position with the fascinating story aboframeworkut how the sad state of PR measurement back in the 1990’s spurred the formation of the AMEC organization, which eventually led to the creation of the Barcelona Principles in 2010 and more recently, the Integrated Evaluation Framework.

The Integrated Evaluation Framework better reflects today’s public relations environment, where we’re working across Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media.  The PESO model was developed and championed by Gini Dietrich, a well-known industry thought leader and author of Spin Sucks.

http://spinsucks.com/communication/pr-pros-must-embrace-the-peso-model/

http://spinsucks.com/communication/pr-pros-must-embrace-the-peso-model/

Richard described how we now “must measure across all these different channels if we’re going to give a credible measurement of the work that we’re doing.” He cautioned that we must be careful to not “just count what’s easy to count but we measure what really matters” to the business. (To hear this in that splendid British accent, you’ll need to listen to the playback!)

The Integrated Evaluation Framework helps us to stop measuring in silos and brings it all together. Giles then talked about the context to the framework stating that communication professionals must show the effect that their work had on the business objective—not just output metrics (aka vanity metrics).  He explained how a diverse global group was put together and worked for an entire year to create what is now a free, non-proprietary, step-by-step process—essentially “how to operationalize the Barcelona Principles”.

Interactive Evaluation Framework

When you land on the website, you’ll find a tile-based, simple to use, clickable worksheet that can be completed right on the site itself (and then download the finished product). Giles walked us through many of the steps which include descriptions and inline help text—way too much information to incorporate into a blog post, so I encourage you to listen to the playback of this presentation and go explore the site. To be honest, for me, this whole concept seemed very complicated and a bit overwhelming—that is, until I attended this webinar!

Giles went on to share how the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive. Lewis PR and many other major agencies and consultancies have already adopted the model, along with the UK government. It’s also being shared with and by other PR and communications trade organizations (such as the US-based Institute for Public Relations) as the key model to use.

Richard chimed in, “In the end, this framework helps you run your campaign effectively and measure it in a way that allows you to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve, understand what success would look like, agree on the targets, plan to run your campaign effectively and measure it appropriately.” However, he explained, that isn’t the end. You need to then take that information and the “flow of the process and tell your measurement story around it. You need to then bring it to life about how you did your work, what it meant for the business, how it helped and, importantly, what you’ve learned—what perhaps didn’t work as well as you had expected and what you’re going to be doing differently.”

Johna summed it up with “this is such a great resource for everyone, whether you have an existing successful measurement program and team or you’re just starting out, to really create and to utilize a program that’s been implemented on your behalf” and is such a great resource.

Are you using the Integrated Evaluation Framework? Please share your thoughts and/or advice with our readers here in the comments section.