Tag Archives: PR Tips

The State of Video in the Social Media World

11 Mar

PRSA Video

Think about how Communicators and PR professionals used video ten years ago…Video News Releases…B-Roll provided to broadcasters, Satellite Media Tours…Those tactics were as effective as possible at the time in telling your brand’s or organization’s story but still hit-and-miss in nature and a demanded huge resources.

Now think about the changes in communications in the past ten years. Not only has new technology forced us to change, but also forced a major shift in how people (not targets!) want to see your story.

We’ve moved from audiences to communities, from broadcasting to engaging, and from telling to sharing.

Video is arguably the most powerful way to share, engage, and be a part of any community. How are you using it to tell your story?

PRSA Chicago is hosting a panel discussion on March 20 with 3 pros who will share their experience as well as tips and tactics to help you make videos the most effective tools on your workbench.

Our panelists include:

 Gregory Lipman, Senior Vice President, Digital Content Director, Edelman Digital

Ed Lamoureaux, Senior Vice President, WestGlen Communications

Clifton O’Neal, Senior Director of Communications, TransUnion

 

When: Tuesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 North Clark Street, Chicago

Event Registration: Member, $37.00/NonMember, $45.00/Student, $37.00


Sponsored by MSL Chicago

2012 PR Predictions

23 Jan

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I’m honored to be moderating a panel of Chicago’s top media, digital, and PR thought leaders making predictions for 2012. Be sure to join us February 21 at PRSA Chicago!

 

 

PRSA Chicago Third Annual “Predictions” Panel

What’s Ahead in 2012 for our industry? What can we learn from last year’s events, issues and PR moments? 2012 is an exciting year filled with new and unique PR and communications opportunities. What can we learn from our panel of diverse experts? Please join us on February 21st as industry leaders convene to talk about the year ahead for communicators around the world. Our leaders will dialogue and take your questions. Don’t miss this special, annual event!

 

Panelists include:

•       Bill Adee, Vice President/Digital Stuff, Chicago Tribune Media Group

•       Laura Chavoen, Senior VP and Director of Digital Strategy, MSL Chicago

•       Anna Rozenich, Director, Communications, SunCoke Energy

•       Jim Motzer with DePaul University

•       Moderated by Jack Monson, Vice President, Engage121 and Board Member, PRSA Chicago.

 

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“Act Like You Mean Business” Comes to PRSA Chicago Jan 17

9 Jan


The PRSA Chicago Board of Directors kicked off the new year last week with the announcement of a nationally-known and sought after speaker appearing at our January 17th luncheon.

Rob Biesenbach is a former PR counselor, actor, and author of Act Like You Mean Business. The book and Rob’s January 17 presentation teach business people what they can learn from actors, screenwriters, and playwrights, including:

  • Understand and connect with your audience.
  • Find, shape and tell compelling stories that move people.
  • Express your ideas more visually and with greater impact.
  • Tap into the power of emotion to really break through.

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Rob is getting some great attention from the media and the PR &  Marketing community:

“It should be required reading for every Fortune 500 CEO.” – Tim Schellhardt, SVP, Edelman Public Relations and former Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal

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If you’re looking to change up your typical pitch this year to something that will stand out, please join us for this event. RSVP today via PRSA Chicago.

Public Relations Agency Leaders Roundtable

6 Sep

 

PRSA Chicago

I’m looking forward to moderating a panel of the Public Relations industry’s top agency leaders. We will address current PR challenges and opportunities in a wide-ranging roundtable discussion. This leadership forum is one of the most popular Chicago Chapter events held each year and is back by popular demand!

Issues to be discussed and debated include social, political, economic, and cultural trends affecting the practice of PR in agencies and companies including:

• Predictions for 2012

• The Communications role within the marketplace and current economy

• Issues that are critical to all in the C-suite, especially in driving economic growth

• New insights, solutions, and strategies under the label of innovation that agencies provide clients

• How do forward-thinking agency leaders stay in front of clients’ needs?


Our panelists for the program are: 



Susan Howe, President – Chicago, Weber Shandwick


Bill Zucker, Midwest Director, Ketchum 


Rick Murray, President, Edelman
 Chicago

Maxine Winer, Senior Partner & GM, Fleishman-Hillard

 • Moderated by Jack Monson, Vice President, Engage121, Inc.

Register Now

5 Bizarre Ways PR Can Kill You Suddenly

4 Mar

 

(Thanks to guest blogger Thomas Scott for his insights on navigating the dangers of PR)
 

Can PR kill you suddenly? Death by PR
 
Probably not.
 
Can PR be hazardous to the health and well being of your company?
 
Absolutely. It can kill it in one fell swoop. Suddenly.
 

Public Relations practices are changing and the PR industry is in the middle of its most major culture shift in the past fifty years. We’re talking major paradigm shift here; the kind that happened when the iPod changed people’s music buying habits and Domino’s Pizza changed people’s pizza buying habits.

What’s the shift?

Journalists and bloggers, the individuals any successful PR campaign must target, have the lowest trust level of public relations companies, individuals and traditional PR content that they’ve ever had. We spent the entire last decade getting connected and wired to the internet and now we are suffering from overload. People want to have conversations where they trade tips and referrals and in order to have good conversations, you need interesting content.

Here are my 5 ways PR can suddenly kill your business – bizarre because they are counter-intuitive for those of us who have worked in the industry for lengthy amounts of time:

1. Write public relations and news releases in the traditional format. Trust me on this one – journalists have a keen awareness of ‘interesting’ and ‘not interesting.’ Those are the only two categories your content falls into. Period. Tell your story the way a journalist would tell it so it is really a story and not a release. Use traditional journalism methods to hook readers so they chose to know more. Forget to do this and your message will go right in the trash.
 
2. Write poorly thought of headlines. Headlines are called headlines because they serve a very important purpose: you are reading this blog post because I ‘gotcha’ with my headline. Admit it – it’s true! Take the time to write a catchy headline that people will flock to. Search Engine Optimization Experts understand this; it is at the root of the entire link baiting industry. Don’t know what that is? Google it – it applies more to PR than you realize!
 
3. Write content that is meaningless. As a journalist or blogger, I don’t care about your 59 cent taco. I care that your 59 cent taco kept the entire staff of a California farm employed in the down market or how a lowly 59 cent taco can decrease PMS levels in women suffering from a lack of iron (if that is true, please contact me). Be clear on what your story is and avoid stories that are not – well – stories. Journalists are professionally trained to seek out stories. No amount of calling on your part will convince them otherwise!
 
4. Call journalists to follow up. I know this is what real PR firms bill as a valuable service. I also know that as a journalist myself at a major market US daily, calling me to ‘follow up’ was a guaranteed way to get yourself and the company you represent blacklisted. Write better content and tell better, more compelling stories that people would want to talk about. Do that and you won’t have to call.
 
5. Forget about the longevity of a release. Creating content for a PR release is a lot more than sending to journalists. Current thinking among my unscientific group of 4 PR and social media friends is that if a content piece is really good, it is valuable. Keep your content and releases in your bank deposit vault – your company blog – so people can find it long afterwards and click on the link to your website. Every release you write should be on its own webpage, optimized with search engine tools and should have the ability for readers to both click through to your website and share on their social media networks. Forget that and all you’ll get is a whimper, not a bang.

Good luck! 

Thomas Scott

VP Marketing for Showhomes, a nationally franchised home staging company: http://www.showhomesfranchise.com

Thomas is recovering journalist and a new media and content specialist.

The Most Engaging Part of MatchPoint That You Haven’t Used…Yet

1 Mar

 
Using MatchPoint searches to uncover influencers who are writing stories similar to yours is just part of the power of the MatchPoint application.
  
Many MatchPoint users are finding time efficiencies and increased pitching success by using the ENGAGE button attached to each journalist, writer, or influencer.
  

Engaging in MatchPoint

The Engage Button in MatchPoint

The engage button will open an email pitch note from you to the selected writer. You may also include any previously saved campaign elements embedded into the body of this html email. These elements can include:

  • Links to videos
  • Photos
  • A Press Release
  • Attributable Quotes
  • Bulleted News Facts
  • Boilerplate

 
Journalists have raved about receiving these embedded elements as opposed to attachments which often get filtered, ignored, or deleted.
 
When sending your pitch note through MatchPoint instead of via traditional email, you can also track who has opened your pitch!

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Tackling PR Spam in the UK

3 Feb

Cheers to RealWire in the UK for putting together this fantastic video outlining the dangers of PR Spam: http://inconvenientprtruth.com/animation/.

My fellow developers and users of MatchPoint agree that the old way of sending out PR Spam via media directory is not only harmful to a PR practitioner’s reputation, but also is an ineffective way to pitch!

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Top Ten Consumer Electronics Writers

19 Jan

 
Here are the top ten of a long list of the most influential writers, reporters, and bloggers covering consumer electronics in December ’09 and (so far) January ’10:
 

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
 Peter Svensson
 Martyn Williams
 Cecilia Kang
 Andrew Berg
 Don Clark
 John Sutter
 Ryan Kim
 Sumner Lemon
 Mark Milian
 Ariel Schwartz
Associated Press
Network World
Washington Post
Wireless Week
Wall Street Journal
CNN
San Francisco Chronicle
MacWorld
Los Angeles Times
Fast Company

 

This index was compiled using MatchPoint based on several factors contributing to level of influence.

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Pitching Bloggers

20 Nov

I’ve been working on a research project for the past few weeks regarding the pitching of bloggers. I’m reaching out to thousands of bloggers on behalf of the MatchPoint application for PR pros to gauge their interest in receiving pitches, news, notes, and social media news releases from MatchPoint’s clients.

The team that developed MatchPoint decided (thankfully!) to make it an Opt-In service and ask bloggers’ permission to provide the bloggers’ email addresses to MatchPoint’s clients. Many bloggers have been rightfully outing PR people for spamming when they use old school databases that mass-blast PR Spam from their media lists.

 
Of those bloggers with whom I spoke:

•12% expressed not wanting to have their email address visible to PR people nor wanted to receive pitches via email

•52% said they would be open to emails from PR, BUT ONLY if the pitch was exactly on point, relevant to their blog, or from a PR person who has obviously read their blog posts

•36% said they would opt in to receive PR emails and in fact rarely get any PR pitches
 
I think that last point is most significant. There are many bloggers who have a huge appetite for your news content! It’s notable that this is not an obscure group of bloggers; all were in the top 100,000 blogs by traffic. Most likely, that last group of bloggers is not in most PR Spam databases.

So go get ‘em! Just be sure you know each blogger’s preferred method of receiving pitches whether it’s email, via their blog, DM, or carrier pigeon. Also make sure your content is relevant to what they typically write.

100 PR People Worth Following on Twitter

13 Oct

Two weeks ago I was surprised to find myself on Conversation Agent’s list of 100 PR People to Follow On Twitter.
Conv Agent

First of all, I appreciate the massive time Valeria Maltoni devoted to reading hundreds of website pages and blogs in order to make decisions.  

I am very pleased and honored to be a part of this collective. I won’t feign false humility or act like I’m too cool to be excited about this – I’m thrilled!

I’m excited about the new followers and friends with whom I have  conversed since  this list was published. I’m even more excited to find 99 others with the same or greater passion for our industry. Here’s a link to the full list. 

And here’s a convenient link Neville Hobson created so you can easily follow the Tweeps on the list: TweepML.

Follow

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