Posts Tagged ‘Colleen Flood’


PR Team Building at PRSA-NY’s Scavenger Hunt

Monday, June 16th, 2014
L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi and Josephine Lau of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Colleen Flood and Alfred Cox of BurrellesLuce

L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi and Josephine Lau of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP; Colleen Flood and Alfred Cox of BurrellesLuce

by Athina Koutsoumadi*
On Thursday evening June 5th, 12 teams from PR firms participated in the PRSA-NY Annual Summer Social: Amazing Race 2014, sponsored by Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP. Our team, “The Analytics,” consisted of Anchin’s Josephine Lau and Athina Koutsoumadi, as well as BurrellesLuce‘s Alfred Cox and Colleen Flood. The race started at Stitch Bar & Lounge, located on West 37th Street. Our team was very eager to conquer the world but we were more in line with “Pinky and The Brain” as we managed to finish in third place…from the bottom!

 

All in good fun, we enjoyed running around the streets of Manhattan, starting from Midtown West, Times Square, circling a few blocks around, taking pictures of strangers, borrowing magazines (GQ w/ Channing Tatum – seriously) for a “celebrity” picture, getting yelled at by a school teacher while attempting to take a picture of a student holding a camcorder, handing over my iPhone to strangers to take a picture followed by a threatening line “If you run with my phone, we’ll catch you!”

 

Lau, Cox, Koutsoumadi, and Flood posing with Channing Tatum

Lau, Cox, Koutsoumadi, and Flood posing with Channing Tatum

We made it to the East Side while pretending to be Superman around the globe in the Daily News building, only to scare the life out of a lady who helped us with a group picture. It’s amazing to see how New Yorkers bond when they see you running, sweat dripping down your forehead, holding your hips as you feel they will dislocate and you ask them to take a picture. An elderly couple stepped up to the challenge of taking a group picture in the Fox News building, waiting patiently for the ticker to show “Fox News”… If only they had realized that our ticker was ticking as time was of the essence!

 

Koutsoumadi, Lau, Flood, and Cox in front of the Fox building

L to R: Athina Koutsoumadi, Josephine Lau, Colleen Flood, Alfred Cox

We took pride in not using public transportation, which gave us consolation as to our place in the race. Walking the streets allowed Josephine to find electronic stores to take pictures of tape recorders (who really uses those anymore?) and Colleen to use Google Maps for New York buildings. Ah!…. The joy of the iPhone app ScanQuest! As only one person on each team had to download the app and control the challenges and pictures, we faced a different type of challenge! Running and looking at challenges simultaneously, I held onto my phone “for dear life,” and also tried to control Alfred who loved leading the way, only for Colleen having to call him to find him! These unforgettable moments between the two firms have set the stage for next year’s team (only with a better name) and created a strong bond. We are going to be “The Incredible 4”, with the costumes to go with it. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! It doesn’t get any better than that!

*****

Athina Koutsoumadi Anchin bio

Inside the Minds of Journalists: Tips and Insights From the Media

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
film screenshot by unknown, in public domain via Wikimedia Commons

film screenshot by unknown, in public domain via Wikimedia Commons

In the modern era of newsrooms, journalists are trying to get out more stories, capture distracted audiences, and work within a number of financial constraints. In working with journalists, public relations practitioners in turn face more competition for coverage, an array of preferred approaches for working with journalists, and the challenge to provide more tailored pitches to reach a wider swath of audiences.

On April 1, PRSA New Jersey held a Meet the Media event on the future of journalism. Our VP of Agency Relations, Colleen Flood, attended the event, which featured a panel of five journalists who answered questions about their decisions, challenges, and relationships with public relations pros.

The panelists were Geoff Mulvihill of the Associated Press; Terrence Dopp of Bloomberg; Michelle LaRoche of The Wall Street Journal; Doug Doyle of WBGO radio; John Ensslin of The Record; and Walt Kane of News 12 New Jersey.

Moderator Ken Hunter, president and chief strategist at The PowerStation and membership chair of PRSA New Jersey, asked one of the most PR-centered questions toward the end of the event: When it comes to relationships with PR pros, what suggestions did the panelists have for PR pros to get to know journalists without being intrusive?

Mulvihill said simply to make sure your expert is truly an expert. Kane elaborated that is important that public relations practitioners know the topics on which he reports, and that the experts he interviews act like experts; what he doesn’t want to hear from people he interviews is “Go to my website” or “Read my book.”

Dopp wants PR pros to give him a strong reason why he should care about your expert, and reiterated Kane’s stance that the PR pro must know what he reports on. Ensslin said that it’s ideal to establish a relationship with the reporter before a breaking story, and Doyle added that the key is to be timely and know how your expert can connect with a story and why the news organization would run topic or expert.

When asked about what reporters feel is lacking on a corporate website, and how often the panelists would visit a corporate website, Kane remarked that media contact information is often difficult to find. Mulvihill added that many websites are also missing headquarters locations, and that information is not always up to date.

Hunter also asked whether it’s important to get a story first or to get it right. All panelists agreed that getting it right is vital. And while they all understand what it feels like to get incorrect information and have to issue a correction, Dopp noted that if the same source repeatedly provides incorrect information, trust is quickly lost, so it’s vital not only to the story, but to your relationship with journalists, to always double-check your facts.

The topic then turned to news cycle, when Hunter asked how a journalist knows a story has run its course. Ensslin looks at whether the story has legs – if every week there’s new information, they need to cover it. Doyle puts himself in the readers’ shoes, and when he selects stories he tries to think about what readers are thinking that day, though if there’s a breaking news story, that all goes out the window. These insights provided a few great takeaways – making sure any pitch is relevant and timely to the publication’s readers, and examining whether you or your expert can provide new information to give a story more legs.

What other methods have you found to be effective for working with journalists? How do you foster balanced relationships with journalists?

2012 Counselors Academy Conference – Beyond the Hype of Influence: Unleashing the Power of PR

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

“Going beyond the hype of social media and online influence means going beyond the numbers and popularity games. It means digging into the real meaning of influence and finding the true value of making connections with the right people,” explained Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO of Traackr, and Shonali Burke, VP, Digital, MSL Washington D.C., at the 2012 PRSA Counselors Academy.

There are many tools to measure influence, including Klout, Peer Index, Tweet Level, and Tweet Grader. The problem with tools that measure influence is that they cannot agree and that is because marketers are asking the wrong questions. Rather than try and use new tools based on old practices, marketing and PR professionals must understand that influence varies – both qualitative and quantitative – and depends on content.

With three percent of people creating 90 percent of the impact online, it is imperative that communicators understand influencers as they pertain to individual clients. Not all influencers will fit the bill. Therefore, marketers must identify the right people for the job. In other words, marketers must choose relevance over popularity.

  1. Influence is both an art and a science. Search, secure, rank, and track.
  2. Focus on the task at hand. “Cognitive blindness” causes many marketers to miss influencers.
  3. Commit. Discover, listen, and engage to understand what the conversation is about.

Once marketers have found the relevant influencers, then what? Assayag and Burke say that it is time to “manage influencers” and that PR professionals must approach the relationship as if “it is a marriage and not a date.” Part of managing the relationship involves understanding the different metrics that define success such as web traffic, brand mentions, sales, engagement metrics, and sentiment/tone, among others.

In the end, finding the right influencers is really about providing value (what can you do for them?), being relevant, and being genuine and then finding the right metrics that help drive value and not hype. In wrapping up, Burke talked about the Blue Key campaign and how it used the power of influencers. Check out my colleague, Andrea Corbo’s post, When a Hashtag Leads to Help: PR Tips from #BlueKey

How are you unleashing the power of your PR? What metrics drive the most relevancy for your clients?

***

*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

2012 Counselors Academy Conference: Mobilizing Your Firm for a Smartphone World

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

Linda W. Cohen, APR, founder and CEO, The Caliber Group, Inc., and Michael Barber, director of digital strategy, Cohn Marketing, recently presented on Mobilizing Your Firm for a Smartphone World at the 2012 Counselors Academy Conference.

It seems like everyone wants to learn how to integrate mobile in to their communications strategy, engage with consumers using smartphones, and strengthen their capabilities portfolio. Marketers are now putting the majority of their efforts into mobile and with good reason.

  • The average amount of data consumed by consumers is 46GB per day.
  • For smartphones, that is 65 minutes per day.
  • By 2013, over 50 percent of web traffic will be through mobile devices.
  • It is predicted that mobile email will overtake webmail by next month (June 2012).
  • Mobile search is up 400% on Google.
  • Fifty-eight percent of adults are likely to make a purchase on a smartphone.

Their roundtable offered some compelling statistics for the use of smartphones and mobile marketing, but it seems that many marketers struggle to get a handle on things as consumption shifts. Cohen and Barber discussed some of common mobile marketing “mistakes” and offered some potential remedies.

Mistake One – Combining Social Media with Mobile
Don’t try to be all things in the mobile space. Instead focus on your strategy, creative production, and service-based applications. From there, start and move outward. Choose partners to work on other services. Then extend current digital services across mobile. As for finding the right partner,

  • Know what you don’t know and seek partnerships accordingly.
  • You cannot teach marketing strategies to a mobile strategist. It is easier to teach mobile to marketing not vice versa.
  • Attend mobile conferences that are tech and brand focused.

Mistake Two – Thinking Your Agency is Going to Make Quick Money on Mobile
ROI comes from multiple places. Understand where mobile dollars come from.

Mistake Three – Not Using Tools Already Out There
Why recreate the wheel? HTML 5 allows developers to create one site that will work on multiple platforms. And there are a number of tools already out there designed to create and enhance mobile efforts.

  • Mobify.com – mobile web tools
  • Torsion Mobile – Mojaba
  • TheAppbuilder.com
  • Snaplab Media – QR Codes.
  • Mogreet – MMS Tool

And don’t forget to leverage old mobile phone tactics.

Mistake Four – Doing Mobile Just Because
This one is pretty self explanatory. Why waste time and effort if it doesn’t fit into your overall communications strategy and align with business goals and objectives?

Mistake 5 – Pricing and Selling Like an Agency
The key to selling mobile is to educate your clients.

Additional Tips
In addition to these common mistakes, Cohen and Barber also suggested that marketing professionals look out for developing trends in the mobile and smartphone space.

  1. Natural User Interface
  2. Speech Development (e.g., Siri)
  3. Connected Devices (e.g., the mobile cloud)
  4. Network Maturation (e.g., How much data can we process as adoption rises?)
  5. Socio-economic impact

How are you mobilizing your firm in a smartphone world? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

  

2012 Counselors Academy Conference – Your Secret Sauce Ain’t No Secret: The Power of Transparent Marketing to Transform Your Brand and Business in the Digital Age

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Colleen Flood*

Marcus SheridanIn a previous blog post, I recapped takeaways from the keynote session, Groovin’ to Your Own Beat: How to Build Your Business by Merging Your Personal and Professional Selves from the 2012 Counselors Academy.

Today, I would like to offer a roundup of a breakfast keynote given by Marcus Sheridan, president and founder of The Sales Lion.

“When it comes to marketing, all businesses say they want more sales but few are willing to start thinking, talking, and walking like their customers in order to make this happen,” says Sheridan. There is a fear of embracing social media and doing things outside of the comfort zone. Communications professionals are afraid that others are going to copy what they do and be successful. So they participate in ostrich marketing and bury their heads in the sand.

“They think everything they do is ‘secret sauce’ and this has got to change,” asserts Sheridan. Instead, marketers need to focus on what consumers really want, which is value, authenticity, and truth.

Developing Consumer-centric Content Marketing

  • Gather company employees together and ask, “What are the questions you get?” Companies rarely take the time to answer these questions – the why – and this aggravates consumers.
  • Make it priority to answer 50 of these questions and write two posts per week.
  • Embrace the idea about cost. Consumers always ask about price, so why turn away?

Search
Where do we all go when we are going to make a purchase?  Google! Another way to deepen your consumer-centric content marketing is to pay attention to how consumers are searching. What are the questions they ask Goggle? Marketers should get ahead of the problem and educate the consumer. If they don’t, consumers will research and find out the information one way or the other.

  • Rule: If your client or prospect asks the question, you need to answer it. 
  • Build links by writing good stuff.
  • Don’t be afraid to have an opinion.

The Ideal Blogger/Content Provider
No one wants to be left out of the party. Marketers need to make the shift and embrace the way their consumers think.

  • The face of content is a real person.
  • Everyone in the company embraces content marketing.
  • Listen to the questions and answer them.
  • Understand the consumers.
  • Write like you talk.
  • Focus on being great communicators. See yourself as the best teacher in your industry.
  • Be known as something and create an identity for your company.

And remember, you can’t be great at every platform. So, choose who you are and then be the best in the world.

How are you using transparent marketing to transform your brand and business in the digital age?

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*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce