Posts Tagged ‘plan’

Highlights from BurrellesLuce #PRWebinar – Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

HMA Public RelationsYesterday BurrellesLuce had the opportunity to host a webinar, “Tips for Planning & Evaluating Successful Events,” with Abbie S. Fink, vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations. (Download the on-demand webinar and slides on the BurrellesLuce website).

During the webcast Abbie offered some great tips to help PR professionals drive awareness, boost organizational profits, and pitch events to the c-suite and employees.

Here are some Twitter highlights from Abbie’s presentation:

  • Improve the outcome of events by using a PR plan. Your organization’s mission and goals can serve as the foundation for a strategic PR plan for your event.
  • Make sure events fit your plan. Have goals to measure the success and value!
  • Don’t short change your goal setting. Set the expectations in advanced, look at the calendar, and make adjustments.
  • Prioritize your goals and develop objectives. Then develop strategies, tactics and tasks based on needs.
  • Build relationships with spokespeople at every level. Remember to include internal communications/employees as part of your PR strategies. They are one of your best resources for planning a special event.
  • When you partner with the media remember this may limit how other outlets can cover the event. Target your audience.
  • To add value, implement promotions and activities to further enhance media relations efforts & establish partnerships.
  • If you mix the general public and the media at an event – let your spokespeople know.
  • It is easy to get lost in details. So, share responsibilities and know who does what and what time is needed.
  • Remember soft costs should be accounted for when determining the COST of events.
  • Think about trade and other ways to use and maximize your budget through sponsorships and in-kind donors.
  • Separate specific events from special ones. Know what would be standard or regularly occurring rather than a one-time or special milestone. (Think annual Gala vs. 25th Anniversary Celebration).
  • When looking for volunteers, look for people with particular qualities and who enjoy giving their time and energy. Then ensure there’s work for them, even if it is as simple as stuffing envelopes.
  • Remember – if it’s mandatory than it isn’t volunteering.
  • After implementation consider conducting an evaluation (e.g., survey or focus group) to determine the effectiveness of events.
  • Always say “Thank you.”

Want more tips for planning and evaluating successful events? Download a copy of Abbie’s Tip Sheet for Planning and Evaluating Successful Events! And be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post where Abbie shares additional insights on the Q&A not addressed in the webinar.

Crisis Proofing Your Agency: PRSA Counselors Academy

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

iStock_000011860969XSmallOn May 13, 2011, Jay Silverberg, senior vice president of Xenophon Strategies, lead a breakout session – Crisis Proofing Your Agency and Client Support – at the annual PRSA Counselors Academy.

As a journalist you have to be prepared to cover any story. After all, bad things happen!

Silverberg explained his experience of a major crisis situation firsthand. He was at Candlestick Park for the third game of the World Series when an earthquake hit.  He said a few media organizations had emergency plans and emergency generators, but many media organizations in the area were not prepared for the crisis and did not have an adequate plan in place. Media coverage that day in San Francisco ranged from the unexpected to atrocious.

PR and communications professionals, along with the businesses they represent, must also be prepared for times of crisis. This will not only help with business continuity – the ability for your business to continue operation in times of crisis – but also keep The Media on its toes!

So how can PR practitioners start crisis proofing their agencies?

  1. Brainstorm. Come up with several crisis scenarios relevant to your agency and its clients. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Some examples might include: IT emergencies; prolonged office closures because of fire, power outage, flooding, etc; senior staff or management unavailable because of prolonged illness, missing persons, death, etc.; client crisis, or some other internal issue that might affect the operation of business. 
  2. Responsibilities. Create a check list and prepare an internal guide for your employee handbook that outlines duties and responsibilities and what is expected of employees.
  3. Business Continuity: Set the expectation for your clients. How are you going to keep the office open and operations running smoothly to minimize impact and return to normal as quickly as possible?
  4. Process: Outline procedures. If it is an IT emergency what measures could you put in place before, during, and after the crisis? For example, employees may be required to have two backup email addresses. All employees may be required to have access to a VPN and Internet at home.

Examples of Additional Backup Procedures:

  • 24 -36 hour backup of emails in Outlook
  • Cell phone with a separate area code from where you do business normally
  • Access to landline in case of emergency, including emergency contacts
  • Private Facebook pages for companies
  • Know what backup systems your monitoring service has in place
  • Purchase additional domains
  • Scripts or changing voicemail
  • Coordinate conference calls

Of course you will want to set the expectation during the hiring process, as well as write down your plan and revise it as needed. The key is getting staff involved from start to finish so that they understand the process.

Got any other great tips for handling a crisis? Be sure to share your thoughts with me and the readers of 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

2010 PR News Media Relations Conference: Mark Phillips, USO, interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the PR News Media Relations Conference. I’m joined by Mark.

Mark, will you please introduce yourself?

MARK PHILLIPS: Hi, I’m Mark Phillips. I’m the vice president of communications for the USO.

BURKE: Mark, I know that you have a great campaign and a great effort of tying your business results to your PR efforts. Can you share some of the secrets of that?

PHILLIPS: Well, you know, anybody who works in this business knows that it is both an art and a science. The science is getting better, but there’s still a lot of art to it, as well. Some of the things that we try to do to capitalize on the science part are being very rigorous about clearly identifying what our goals are, our communication goals as well as our operational goals, making sure that there is a logical connection between the two, that one supports the other, and then making sure that we dedicate the resources to accurate research before we plan, good planning, execution, and then good follow-up research to determine whether or not we were successful both achieving our operational goals and our communication goals.

BURKE: That sounds like a great plan and a good practice for all of us to follow. Mark, where can people find you on Twitter?

PHILLIPS: Easiest way to find me on Twitter is @mark_phillips, P-H-I-L-L-I-P-S.

BURKE: Great, thanks so much.

PHILLIPS: My pleasure.

A Letter From a Press Release

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Dear PR Professional,

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. “I am not dead and I have an app to prove it.” Ok, maybe I don’t. But granted, I am more than 100 years old and am still holding up fairly well, if I must say so myself.

Our relationship has seen its ups and downs. You’ve shared me in many ways, including, but not limited to mail (long before it was called “snail mail”) and fax – I really burnt up some data lines in my time. Let us not forget email; you’ve emailed me so often and to so many erroneous contacts I sometimes get called “SPAM” or “junk” now – no respect for your elders. And this newfangled “tweeted.” (That’s right, I’m “hip” to it all.)

Now I spend most of my time in online press rooms as a reference link for reporters to “come and get me if they want me.”

A few tips I’ve heard over the years:

ARCHIVE: Even if you focus on social media ALWAYS have a place for traditional releases in your newsroom. This will allow journalists a resource for quotes if someone is not readily available. Your website should have an archive of news stories and I still prove to be a concise summary of events and/or activities important to your business.

IDENTIFY CORRECT RECIPIENTS: Never blindly email me. If you must do this, and I can’t think of a good reason why, at least make sure I’m relevant to the recipient. (I have a positive reputation to maintain after all.)

BE SENSITIVE TO MY SIZE: At least embed me in the email. People hate it when I’m “attached” and frankly just hanging out there is a little scary.

WRITE A GOOD SUBJECT LINE: If you MUST email me, even if the recipient is expecting me, please write a good subject line. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone unopened because nobody really knew what I was so they ignored me.

GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT: If someone says they don’t want a press release, but just the who, what, when, where and why, please give it to them. Also prepare that same information in my form or at a minimum a fact sheet for your archive. Remember once I’m on your website you can still maximize me for SEO purposes.

I still have some gas in the tank so don’t count me out just yet. I know some say our relationship is a bit dysfunctional at best. Sure, I’m traditional, you know – AP Style – but I still have a place in your plan and tactics if you use me wisely. And I really think we can make this work.

Press Release*


*Bio: Press Release is a 100+ year veteran of the PR and media relations industry, where it helps professionals connect and engage with relevant journalists and bloggers. In its spare time, Press Release enjoys finding innovative ways to stay curtain in the ever-changing media landscape and maximize its results. Web: BurrellesLuce Media Outreach; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce; Twitter: BurrellesLuce

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.