Bite sized, stackable articles

Ran across a post about a Business Insider article that was revealing, critical and insightful about the agency process to create a single tweet for a new client. It may surprise or enlighten you about the careful and often bureaucratic method an organization follows to produce the perfectly crafted tweet. More on the article here.

Hopefully your organized isn’t mired down in such bureaucracy and process that you overlook the most useful part of social media: SPEED!

 

 

12 Tips for PR Graduates

  1. Develop a humble  attitude. You are not entitled to a job; you must earn it.
  2. Be a continuous learner. Graduation doesn’t signal the end of learning to communicate. Practice your writing skills and learn to use new tools.
  3. Choose face-to-face communication. Eye contact is important! See this recent WSJ article.
  4. Volunteer. Help a colleague on a project or be on a committee. You will win friends and influence people.
  5. Read, Read, Read. The best way to stay on top of current events, trends, popular culture, politics, art, international affairs, the environment–and improve your writing–is is to develop a love of reading. Note: Now that you’ve graduated, you’re not stuck reading textbooks so it’s time to branch out.
  6. Write everyday. Whether it is to your boss, your mother, your best friend or your own journal. Develop the habit of writing every day. At least 500 words. Start a blog and give your opinion. No, I don’t mean Facebook posts.
  7. Make time to meditate. Take a break from technology each day. No cell phone, tablet, PC, TV, Internet, radio. Ponder your family, career, life goals and what you can do for others.
  8. Get a hobby. It’s best if it’s physical and you interact with people.
  9. Develop a solid work ethic. Be early to work. On occasion, stay late until the project is finished.
  10. Travel. This is a lifelong education.
  11. Be curious. Learn from people from other cultures. Develop an interest in new subjects.
  12. Be a good listener. Effective listening means asking good questions.

In the spirit of graduation, I offer up these tips to PR graduates. Congratulations on making it to this point and I wish you all the best.

Ferrero Roche: Preserving the Nutella Brand

A crisis was averted recently in the near demise of World Nutella Day. A recent LA Times article  highlighted the story of an American blogger living in Italy who has become the No. 1 fan by promoting World Nutella Day. According to the story, Sara Rosso, a self-admitted Nutella fan conjured up the idea in February 2007 to promote the love of Nutella products with a global appreciation day. With her World Nutella Day Facebook page of 40,000 likes and 7,000 Twitter followers, consumers overwhelmingly supported Rosso during the legal spat. It seems that Rosso inadvertently violated usage of the Nutella brand on her website and the legal team for parent company Ferrero Roche issued a cease and desist order that spurred outrage from Nutella lovers around the globe. Fortunately, in an act of pure common sense, company officials reached out to her directly with an acceptable solution (no word on the details, but Rosso claims there was no money involved) and ultimately thanked Rosso for her support and love of the product. If the company had acted in a more heavy-handed manner, public opinion could have quickly turned against it. Thankfully, we can all enjoy our chocolate hazel-nut spread in peace again. Do you think the quick resolution helped preserve the brand?

yummy

Run, Hide and Fight

In grade school,  teachers taught us to “Duck, Cover and Hold,” in response to the common earthquakes we experienced in California. For children in the midwest, assembling in hallways, basements and getting low to the ground and away from windows during tornados is essential. For today’s adult workers, I ran across a workplace tips newsletter that offering this sobering advice about a disturbing new trend: violence in the workplace. Unfortunately it’s becoming a common occurrence for U.S. businesses to experience a violent incident. When it does happen, employees must be prepared to immediately “Run, Hide or Fight.” An organization must also prepare for emergency communications and have a plan in place. For public relations professionals, it’s essential to have a plan in order to respond quickly and appropriately to employees and various external publics–particularly the news media. Many proactive organizations prepare for crisis situations with written plans and practice drills. Nowadays, crisis plans must include preparation and response to employee violence.

Run Hide and Fight

Richard Branson: Investing in PR Saves Millions in Advertising

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson is known around the world almost as much for his publicity stunts as his corporate (Virgin Airlines) pursuits, philanthropy and epic adventures. In a recent hour-long conversation in Australia, he described the need for all good companies to have a PR person: “The head of PR is perhaps one of the most important people in a company and a good chairman will have them by their side. They are critical for managing the brand and save millions in advertising; people talking about your company is much more important than anything.” Naturally, I agree.

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Freedom of the Press

Arguably the second most difficult position in the federal government is the position of  White House Press Secretary, or spokesperson, for the President of the United States. Currently Jay Carney holds this position and as a former journalist, he is particularly knowledgeable about freedom of the press. That’s why the recent revelation of the phone record seizures of the Associated Press news outlet in Washington D.C. should cause him  pause. Naturally, as an administration spokesperson, he has expressed a very cautious response to the controversy such as saying he “cannot comment on the ongoing investigation.” In light of the recent revelation that the IRS inappropriately singled out conservative groups for investigation, not to mention the congressional review of the tragedy of the  deaths of American diplomats in Benghazi, the White House, President Obama and many leaders in the current administration are under extra scrutiny from the American public. It’s a perfect storm that has leaders scrambling for cover and trying to find an effective response that is prompt, truthful and devoid of politics. Is it possible that our government leaders will be able to admit wrongdoing, take responsibility and then announce changes to prevent a reoccurrence? You be the judge.

Jay Carney

Viral Sensations

A horrifying tale made headlines this week after three women, held captive for decades, were abruptly freed in an escape aided by a neighbor. What we know about the event is that a concerned neighbor, hearing the cries of one young woman and suspecting domestic abuse, kicked in a door to free her. Her subsequent 9-1-1 call and rescue of her and her companions by police made national headlines. The story is still unfolding. The man, Charles Ramsey, is a colorful personality who seems to have a knack for creative sound bytes in news interviews. Even fast-food chain McDonald’s, prominently mentioned as the food of choice by the local hero, restrained itself in turning it into a publicity opportunity–likely out of respect for the families and their privacy. Internet sensations like these seem to pop up regularly and oftentimes a company must decide whether to jump on the publicity bandwagon or to pass up the opportunity in the interest of courtesy or human dignity. As we watch this play out in national media, let’s see who takes the high road.

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P.S. In a recent update, McDonald’s confirmed it will offer him free burgers for a year. (Sensitively handled very well by their PR team.)

New Roles for PR Professionals

Ask a PR professional to explain what he or she does for a living and you’re likely to get some very different responses. The reason is that PR professionals wear so many different hats that on any given day, they could be involved in very different activities. This recent article from PR Daily explains four new roles for PR Pros: Blogger Relations, SEO, Crisis Mgmt and Metrics. It also implies some interesting changes about where the perceived value of PR professionals exists. What do you think is the biggest value of having a PR professional on your staff?

mad hatter

Career Opportunities: Decline in Reporters Spurs on PR Professionals

A recent news article listed jobs that are on the decline such as Desktop Publisher, Reporter, Semiconductor Processor, Insurance Appraiser…and more. Instead of these four job functions, alternative careers include: Graphic Designer, PR Specialist, Database Administrator and Cost Estimator. For PR professionals, the outlook is good. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the PR field is expected to grow 23 percent between 2010 and 2020. Thanks to the Internet revolution and the growth of social media in particular, the need for communications professionals to be proactive in dealing with bad news or spreading good news is critical. A bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas is the typical entry path: public relations, communications, journalism, English or business.

PR Pro

Success in the Workplace

I came across a very interesting piece in Talent Magazine that included tips on how to be wildly successful in the workplace. Interestingly, it describes workers in terms of three categories: Takers, Matchers and Givers. These three personality traits describe the characteristics needed to succeed in the workplace. The three trends that shape our relationships and personal reputations are the following: project-based work, the knowledge or service economy and the rise of online social networks. All of these elements combine together for a more interconnected workplace and one in which we must put the team first. This may not be a surprise to most employees, but the achievement of long-term success can now be attributed towards our attitude of working on groups and how we act as either a Taker, Matcher or a Giver? How do you measure yourself in terms of servant leadership?

Servant leader