Posts Tagged ‘agencies’

Creating, Marketing, and Measuring Online Video for Your PR Campaigns – Tips from PRSA-NY

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Alfred Cox*

Recently I wrote a post, here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas, outlining key tips for integrating online video into your PR campaign from a recent PRSA-NY panel. For this post, I thought I would re-cap some of what I thought were the most compelling best practices for creating, marketing, and measuring online video content – as discussed at the event.

The event featured presentations from Joe D’Amico, PopTent; Jake Finkelstein, Method Savvy; Jonah Minton, Ustream; Mark Rotblat, TubeMogul; Eric Wright, DS Simon; Jim Sulley, newscast US; and Larry Thomas, Latergy.

It was followed by a roundtable Q&A moderated by Jason Winocour, social and digital media practice leader at Hunter Public Relations.

How to Create Online Video Content
Nearly 89 percent of journalist report that they regularly include online video content in their stories. But how can marketing and communications professionals create compelling video content?

Jim Sulley, president of Newscast U.S., had these best practices to offer:

  • Understand who you are trying to reach. Who are your target demographics?
  • Get the attention of the people watching. You only have 10 seconds to hook their interest.
  • Shoot to script, don’t script to shoot. In other words, take the time to plan your videos and write a script.
  • Create biscuits, little surprises along the way, and don’t give away the ending upfront.
  • Be truthful. And remember, production values count.
  • Entertain or DIE.
  • Too much text is annoying for online video.

When creating video content, you will also want to get your online community, stakeholders, and agencies involved, as this with provide you with feedback and help you market your initiatives. (more…)

PRSSA National Conference: Speed Networking & PR Student Questions

Friday, October 21st, 2011

PRSSA_NC_250_160The speed networking session at PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) National Conference was chock-full of driven, ambitious PR students who will soon be looking to become the next generation of communications professionals. I thought I’d share my experience, and solicit feedback, with the @BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

How to Craft a Proper Résumé
The predominant question of the day was about the length of their résumés. I responded that if a student is active in PRSSA, works for a student-run firm, and is actively interning, then the résumé could justifiably go beyond one page. However, from what I gather, most large PR agencies, as well as communications professors, advise all students to restrict their résumés to one page without exception – going so far as saying students/candidates will not make the grade and/or the résumé would not get reviewed! 

Subsequently, I advised that they stick to the one-pager, but to note there are samples available, and to be sure to have a portfolio of their work ready to take on an interview. However, I still believe that outside of class and the top tier agencies it is okay to go to a second page if the experience warrants doing so.

Timing Your Job Search
Another question I heard frequently was how soon to begin the job search, to which I snarkily responded, “You haven’t begun yet?” 

Seriously, I advised that they should already be thinking about where they want to go (geographically), whether they want to work for an agency, a corporation or a non-profit, and to begin researching and networking accordingly. For example, in St. Louis (where I’m a PRSA member), there is PRSA, IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) and CSPRC (Community Service Public Relations Council).

Depending on where the student has decided their path will be, they should be networking with the appropriate organization by attending mixers and/or luncheons and getting involved. Or, if they’re not staying in the same geographic market, find those people on Twitter and begin connecting and building relationships.  And, if they are already seniors—especially those that graduate in December—if they haven’t already started this process, then they are behind the eight ball!

There were lots more questions, but these seemed to be the most prevalent. What advice would you give for new and existing PR professionals on the job hunt? Or what questions do you have if you’re looking to start or continue your career in communications?

Can We Talk? Social Media’s Impact on Human Relations

Monday, March 28th, 2011
Rich Gallitelli*
Up in the Air

I was watching the movie Up in the Air the other day and a scene, or rather, the idea within the scene has stayed with me. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, George Clooney plays an executive who travels the country dutifully firing people for corporations. Anna Kendrick plays an ambitious young executive eager to climb the corporate ladder ten rungs at a time. Clooney’s character takes Kendrick’s character along on his firing trips to mentor her. The reason for this? Anna Kendrick’s character helped create a program in which you fire someone via video conference. No face-to-face meeting, no real human interaction, just a video screen and a script to follow.

According to Nielsen Media, in the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone — land line, mobile, voicemail and all. Even on cell phones, the amount of money adults spend on voice usage has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.  It’s apparent, as we moved closer to being more interconnected, we are becoming more and more disengaged from one another. Let’s examine some of the other aspects of social media that have affected the way people interact, keeping in mind we are on the precipice of firing workers via video conference becoming a routine part of HR and business. 

How many phone calls do you make during your work day? How many do you receive? How about outside of work?  Now compare this number to the emails you receive, and then the number of your texts, tweets, Facebook updates, etc. Walk around your office; how many people do you see on the phone? I bet you understand my point. John McTigue, an executive VP and co-owner of Kuno Creative, an inbound marketing agency based in Avon, Ohio, discusses three issues agencies face when offering social media as a service. He sums up his post by saying that marketing has changed so much that it is essential that marketing companies adopt a social media engagement strategy. Furthermore, marketing agencies are now being asked to be their client’s social media presence. How many business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions now take place without company representatives in the same room?  

Social media is about relationship growth that does not need to take place with face-to-face meetings. It can expand your circle of friends, acquaintances, and advisors without geographic limits and has the propensity to give you access to a host of interesting thinkers to learn from.  The same can be said for businesses engaging their clients and contacts through social media and digital technology. However, more often than not, it seems we limit our social media message to those who only agree with us, that’s when we’re not just pushing messages out rather than creating two-way dialogues. Thus, to me, it appears we stunt our limitless opportunities to expand our knowledge base and evoke real change. 

So here is my social media call to action: Please stop the tweets that you just had pizza.  Please stop updating your Facebook with pet pictures.  Stop texting movie quotes to each other and do something with this forum. I want to see this really accomplish more within our neighborhoods and with hyperlocal initiatives.  If we truly believe the power of social media’s influence on what is going on in the Middle East, why don’t we try empowering our friends to begin helping those less fortunate and make a real difference. Organize a charitable event for someone we do not know.  Those are the tweets that I want to see! 

I am not going to discredit it; but, as of right now, social media is not going to save the world.  Are most of your friends tweeting about Egypt these days? I didn’t think so.  In my BurrellesLuce previous blog, I discussed the affects social media has had on the Middle East, specifically the uprisings in Egypt. I’m not going to ignore or debate the social impact social media may have had on that revolution, but again, I will say great movements require great leaders and a galvanizing leader has yet to take up the mantle. Social media cannot supply the great leader.  It hasn’t proved to be anything more than a mechanism.   

During the onset of World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would secretly meet British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard a battleship somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Do you think the agreements to supply the Allies with weapons from 1939 through 1941 would have manifested through text messages or status updates?  Do you think the invasion of Normandy would have been better planned if it was tweeted between allied generals?  Or if video conferencing was used to remove an ineffective world leader from office? Of course not!  All great things are accomplished through face-to-face meetings; whether it’s birth of a nation, the emancipation of it, or its liberation, history has shown that we humans demonstrate our best qualities when things are worse and we come together to right a wrong, no matter how popular or unpopular the issue.

What has happened? Is it the technology or is it us? At this point the answer to this question is trying to delineate Dr. Frankenstein from his monster. What do you think? Can we talk, face-to-face and in person? You can send me an invite from Facebook, but be prepared to meet me somewhere, in person, and not via a video screen or message board.


*Bio: Richard Gallitelli brought a wealth of sales and customer-service experience when he came to BurrellesLuce in 2007. His outstanding performance as a sales associate and personalized shopper for Neiman Marcus (he also has worked for Nordstrom) earned him a nomination by Boston magazine as “Best of Boston” sales associate for high-end retail fashion stores. Rich’s talents also won him praise and a profile in the book, “What Customers Like About You: Adding Emotional Value for Service Excellence and Competitive Advantage,” written by best-selling business author Dr. David Freemantle. Rich majored in English Literature at William Paterson University, and is a published poet and short-story writer. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce

Custom Data and the Quest for Online Privacy

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Jets - Lauren and Cole Simon

Valerie Simon

Tomorrow, David Ring, EVP, business development, Universal Music Group; Gerard M. Stegmaier, attorney, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Howard Hogan, partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, will be holding a discussion at South by SouthWest. The question on everyone’s mind: Is the coexistence of data customization and privacy possible?

Custom data, created thanks to the availability of personal information online, creates opportunity for marketers and has the potential to offer users a better experience. Gathering data about users and even their online behaviors – as noted in this post from my BurrellesLuce colleague, Crystal deGoede,– results in increased knowledge about our customers and the potential to serve them better. But re-targeting also has the potential to be “creepy.” Increasing consumer privacy concerns are pushing legislators and the FTC to introduce new legislation that will offer web users more control of their personal data and empower the FTC to enforce voluntary privacy standards developed with Internet companies.

The fear of invasion of privacy is not new. Back in 2009, a White House Memoranda noted:

Potential benefits of web measurement and customization technologies are clear. With the help of such technologies, agencies will be able to allow users to customize their settings, avoid filling out duplicative information, and navigate websites more quickly and in a way that serves their interests and needs. These technologies will also allow agencies to see what is useful to the public and respond accordingly. Services to customers and users can be significantly improved as a result.

At the same time, OMB is acutely aware of, and sensitive to, the unique privacy questions raised by government uses of such technologies. Any such uses must not compromise or invade personal privacy. It is important to provide clear, firm, and unambiguous protection against any uses that would compromise or invade personal privacy.” (White House Memoranda: Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, June 2010.)

While the government certainly must have a unique sensitivity to privacy concerns, data customization practices in the corporate world are also subject to scrutiny.  

It is clear that transparency, and easy to understand disclosures regarding how personal data is being used online and in social media are essential. In fact, Facebook continues to sit in the spotlight because of privacy concerns and user-control issues. While Facebook’s privacy policy seems to be a step in the right direction, “until Facebook tells its 600 million members what it tells its major advertisers and marketing partners – on how to configure its system to generate data and other desired ad responses – it is failing to protect user privacy,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “We intend to push the FTC and Congress to force Facebook to come clean about its data privacy practices.”

With clear and simple language, I believe that a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship between marketers and users can exist. As a consumer, relevant messages and targeted advertising can be helpful and are certainly more welcome than advertisements for products and services that have no relevance to me and may even be offensive. My frequent postings about my children and the Jets, no doubt resulted in the advertisements for children’s Jets gear that populate my Facebook page, but as you can see from the accompanying picture, it was certainly of interest to me!

But what about other data that is being collected by deceptive methods? “Researchers at Carnegie-Mellon published a study concluding that many websites thwart users’ privacy settings by providing erroneous information to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer,” explains this Media Post article. is the latest company “allegedly circumventing the privacy settings of Internet Explorer users.”

What do you think? Is the coexistence of data customization and privacy possible? If the FTC is able to pass legislation to protect users privacy, how might this impact your public relations and marketing efforts?

Are PR Budgets Back?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Valerie Simon

Money_EyesAt the New York City #HAPPO Hour last week, professionals representing many top public relations agencies were on the lookout for talent. Representatives from firms such as Burson Marstellar, Peppercom, MS&L, Devries PR, and Ruder Finn worked the room, looking to meet potential hires. In fact, the number of professionals in the room, who were wearing badges identifying themselves as an actively hiring employer or mentor, nearly matched the number of job seekers and students.

“In 2009 and 2010, it seemed as though many of the clients we pitched were not ready to make a decision,” commented one NYC agency pro. “Recently, however, it seems like clients are starting to move forward. Whether they pick our agency, or another, they are making a decision.” And as firms gear up to take on new business, finding employees quickly becomes a top priority.

In a recent PRNewser post, Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher noted an increase in the number of RFPs and account wins floating around. “There’s been a bit of a lift from the economy,” Kotcher said. But he said the “lift” was the normal course of business for this time period as “clients are lining up their comms partners for the coming year. You’re also seeing PR taking on much more importance than it has in the past.”

Kotcher noted three key areas of growth for the PR industry:

  • social media, digital media, and word of mouth
  •  research, measurement, and analytics
  • continued need for corporate and crisis work (particularly in regards to B-to-B, electronics, and established tech companies

Harris Diamond, CEO of IPG’s Constituency Management Group, which houses its PR firms, including GolinHarris, Weber Shandwick, and DeVries Public Relation, also had a positive message to share with PRNewser readers, “We’re just seeing a tremendous focus with companies more and more seeing the wisdom of looking for programs the reach their constituent groups,” he shared, explaining that across all PR businesses, practices, and geographies, business has experienced and continues to experience growth. Diamond pointed out opportunities available for the industry in areas traditionally reserved for advertising specifically, “Mega events,” like the Super Bowl.

As I chatted amongst the attendees at the New York #HAPPO event, I was inspired to hear so many opportunities, but was struck by the sense of urgency. The last few years have resulted in lean staffs, struggling to provide excellence with very limited resources. Businesses have rightfully been cautious in making the investments necessary to embrace growth and opportunity. Headlines such as “Is PR dead?” questioned the very existence of our industry.

I believe the industry is emerging from these tough economic times stronger, and more necessary than ever before. Budgets are returning, but with a heightened sensitivity to the importance of efficiency and a deep understanding of the precious fragility of growth.

Growth will not be without its challenges. Is your organization preparing to hire or add additional resources for your PR efforts? How has the economic downturn impacted the way your organization is allocating resources?