Posts Tagged ‘spokespeople’


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.

PRSA-NJ Panel Discussion: PR Strategy Tools for Effective Online News

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

Effective Online News

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the PRSA-NJ panel discussion on Tools of the Trade:  Effective Online News sponsored by BurrellesLuce.  The event was held at the beautiful Monmouth University campus and had a great turnout of emerging journalists and up-and-coming publicists. 

The panel had one consistent message across the board for students and professionals in attendance: 

  • Know who you are pitching.
  • Know your news hook.
  • Be relevant, specific and succinct.

Judith Feeney —  digital editor for NJ Press Media,  Asbury Park Press (app.com), Daily Record (dailyrecord.com), the Home News Tribune, and the Courier News — started the discussion by reminding us there are a vast number of new tools and a lot less time to get the job done.  She suggested that PR and media relations professionals need to become familiar with all of the tools out there.  Know who you are pitching and don’t blanket your pitch to multiple people.  Look at the type of material the publication and journalist produces and tailor your pitch accordingly.

Christopher Sheldon, the Long Branch editor of Patch.com, a hyperlocal publication, said to make sure to include the who, what, where, when and why in the first paragraph.  If it’s not local to his area, he cannot write about it.  His audience is looking for community news.

Christy Potter Kass, assistant editor of The Alternative Press, agreed with Chris and said her publication is also hyperlocal and stories must tie into the values and interests of local readers.  She emphasized not to confuse hyperlocal publications with national publications.  When asked the definition of “hyperlocal,” Christy said the more local the story the better.  News must be about something going on in town or have a connection to the community.

Joan Bosisio, group vice president of Stern & Associates said that (with all the recent layoffs) PR people have an opportunity to help journalists, who are working on stories, do their jobs.  Journalists are now doing more than one job and by presenting them with not only the story, but the materials to help them write the story (e.g., video, spokespeople and social media) you make their job easier.

Kristine Brown oversees PR for St. Barnabas Health, the state’s largest hospital system.  She gave us some real life examples of crisis communications and advised that essential PR skills have not changed with all the new online tools available.  Kristine said you still need to know your audience, know your story, cultivate relationships with the media (this has helped her in time of crisis) and move at the same pace the news is moving.

As for journalists and PR professionals alike, essential skills include: spelling, grammar, and attention to detail. The ability to take your own photos, as a journalist, will also help prospective media professionals stand out.

How are you using online tools to help you connect with journalists and the media? As a member of the media, what other ways can PR and communications professionals work with you to get their stories out? Please leave your comments below on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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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

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.

Crisis Communications: A Case Study in the Making

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

Flickr Image: kbaird; Original Image: Charlie Riedel / AP

Flickr Image: kbaird; Original Image: Charlie Riedel / AP

British Petroleum has been making front page news since April 22nd as approximately 800,000 gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico each day. BP was once an organization thought to be a “friendly brand in the oil business” – despite its previous disasters. But as the oil continues to spill into the summer months, and according to government officials into the fall, BP is being scrutinized now more than ever.

One might assume that companies that specialize in goods/services, particularly those that could potentially wreak havoc on the safety of the world’s inhabitants, would have a well prepared protocol for crisis situations. Furthermore, if the company had a predecessor that experienced a similar crisis (i.e., Exxon Valdez, 1989) they would sculpt this protocol by learning from the mistakes previously made. It’s highly doubtful that BP did not have a crisis communication procedure in place, but was and is it a good one?

According to Chris Lehane, Newsweek’s master of disaster, “One of the rules of thumb of crisis management is that you can never put the genie back in the bottle in terms of what the underlying issue is. People evaluate you in terms of how you handle things going forward. And obviously doing everything to be open, transparent, accessible is the type of thing that the public does look for from a corporate entity in this type of situation.”

 As the situation in the Gulf continues to unfold, BP has promised one solution after another with no success – in other words, they over promised and under delivered, a cardinal “no-no” in business or any crisis resolution. Lehane states, “If you tell people what you are going to do, and you suggest it’s going to be successful, you need to be successful. Because once you create those expectations and you don’t fulfill them, when you already have a significant credibility problem, it further degrades your credibility.”

BP’s inability to implement a successful solution to fix the spill isn’t the only thing affecting its credibility. BP came under fire during the U.S. Congressional hearings when executives from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton took turns blaming each other for the incident coined “the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.” And BP’s executives continue to make one public relations faux-pas after another: (more…)