Posts Tagged ‘The Media’

How to Speak C-Suite

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Ruth Mesfun*

If you mistook the clattering of keyboards for cicadas in heat and saw your Twitter feed explode with the hashtag #prndigital, yesterday, then you were probably with me at the PR News Digital PR Next Practices Summit at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The all-day event was a smorgasbord of useful topics and speakers flinging words such as SEO (search engine optimization), influencers, engagement, and fangate pages.

However, if you have ever spoken to your boss about using social media it probably went like this:

If your digital campaign does not translate to the C-Suite language (increased sales, decreased costs, or high ROI) then it wouldn’t matter if you grow their Twitter page to 100,000 followers. They will pull the plug. 

Here are eight steps I took from the panel on Prove the Value of Your Digital Efforts to the C-Suite featuring Margot Sinclair Savell, vice president of Measurement and Analytics at Weber Shandwick, Angela Jeffery, APR and member of IPR Commission and Nick Panayi, director of Global Brand and Digital Marketing at CSC.

1.      Define organizational goals. Make sure your goals are strictly C-suite speak. (e.g., Our goal is to increase sales by 30 percent.) That way they see that you are on the same level.

2.      Research stakeholders and prioritize. This should be done regardless if you are presenting a digital campaign or not; you should always know your audience.  

3.      Ask yourself: What do they care about? I want to add in a perfect line from Margot Sinclair Savell, “Don’t just measure communications; measure the impact on your bottom line.” 

4.      Set social media objectives that correlate with their goals. Now this is where you link your social media efforts to their C-suite objectives. (e.g., With the Twitter campaign, we are launching, our goal is to increase our followers by 50 percent and positive sentiment by 40 percent which in turn will increase our sales by 30 percent.)  

5.      Choose (the right) tools and establish benchmarks. Once your campaign has launched, use tools and benchmarks to monitor how your campaign is playing out in The Media. Remember to monitor both the social media goal and the main goal (C-suite objective).

6.      Analyze, Analyze, Analyze! Be sure to use both qualitative and quantitative metrics and have these also tie back to your communications and C-suite objectives.

7.      Present to management. Remember to add charts of correlation between the campaign and the C-suite objectives. Translate metrics into the language.  

8.      Continue to build on that foundation: monitor, analyze, and improve. Review and revamp your strategy and tactics, making sure to revise as departmental and C-suite objectives evolve. 

So, how are you proving your value of your digital efforts to the C-suite? Please share your thoughts with me, here, on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, as social media specialist, Ruth worked as a marketing assistant in a kitchen design firm and, later interned with Turner Public Relations. She holds a BA in Economics with a minor degree in International Relations from Rowan University. In addition to economics, education, and finance – Ruth is passionate about understanding the business implications of social media, including how it can be used to increase ROI, find and maintain a career, and create a business. Connect with her on Twitter: @RuthMesfun LinkedIn: Ruth Mesfun Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Value Driven Leadership – Translating Personal Values Into Brand Strategies: PRSA Counselors Academy

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

LeadershipJanet Tyler, APR, president, Airfoil Public Relations, recently led a breakout session at this year’s PRSA Counselors Academy. The discussion focused on “Value Driven Leadership” and how agency leaders can translate personal values into strategies for business growth.

Our values come from a number of different places, including family, culture, religion, technology, peers, education, and The Media. By the time we’re 15 most of us have formed solid beliefs, then values. These values are developed according to our beliefs. 

Values are important; if you don’t know your values or who you are you can’t be true to yourself. Our values give us authenticity, harmony, guidance, boundaries, and fulfillment. And they also provide an opportunity for influencers of organizational values and culture.

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion: (more…)

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

Top Five BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Posts for the Month of April 2011: Smart Goal Setting, Brand Simplicity, and More

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Smart Goal Setting for 2010 smart goal setting concept
This post proves that setting “SMART” goals is always timely. To ensure success and empower ourselves to achieve both our professional and personal goals, goals need to be specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and fit within a defined time frame.


When It Comes to Brands and Content, Simplicity Matters iStock_Communication_Small
The practice of using simple language to engage and connect with a target audience has always been an important part of solid communications. However, this is often easier said than done – especially for PR professionals working in specialty fields where communicating complex information is the norm. Few people have little patience for jargon and pretentious language. And this is equally true for journalists and bloggers who are often working under tight deadlines. This post reflects on several questions savvy PR professionals must ask themselves before pitching “Aunt Edna” and “Uncle Walt.”


BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Media Relations – Know the Facts from the Fiction

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

BurrellesLuce Newsletter - Media Relations: Know the Facts from the Fiction


April 2011

Media relations has always been a vital part of a successful communications strategy. What has changed, however, is the way communications professionals must interact with The Media — and, by extension, the bloggers, journalists, freelancers, and syndicated writers who generate coverage.

It is no longer enough to merely send out a mass press release — also known as the “spray and pray method” — and hope that someone working at a relevant media outlet or online site not only reads it, but then acts to convert the release into a story. No, in working with The Media, the expectation is that media relations professionals are educated and informed about proper targeting and evolving trends. This includes building one-on-one relationships with bloggers and journalists, regardless of their title, assigned beat, or outlet/website affiliation.

Click here to discover six myths and facts about media relations and how savvy PR practitioners can get a handle on them.