Believe it or not, the holiday season is squarely upon us. So as I started to think about blog topics, I realized that inspiration can be found just about anywhere. Take the Grinch, for example. We all know the famed and fabled story by Dr. Seuss of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Well, aside from the moral lessons we can learn from the story, I suggest there are five lessons in public relations we can learn from the Grinch himself.
Lesson 1: Get the “10,000 foot view”
I have always referred to this as the “situational analysis.” No matter the name, it is important to do your due diligence to gain a solid understanding of the situation at hand and the role public relations will play in helping your organization realize its goal. Whether that goal is to raise awareness, educate and inform, change a mindset, help diffuse a crisis,or steal Christmas, public relations is one element of an overall business strategy. Understanding that role, the goal and the various outside influences as part of the big picture will allow you to develop a public relations strategy that delivers results.
Lessons on storytelling from Steve Sabol
Strategic communications is, in effect, storytelling. It’s the business of conveying information and the art of persuasive communication. As a strategic communications professional, each day I am challenged to help a client move the proverbial needle with one of its target audiences – tapping into education, training, experience, insight and creativity to do so effectively. To help keep on top of my game, I am always on the lookout for inspiration and thought-starters.
This week, we lost Steve Sabol – filmmaker and co-founder of NFL Films. Sabol didn’t just film the game; he helped transform the way we view it and feel about it. He used slow-motion action, close-ups, behind-the-scenes footage, video montages, on-field microphones, orchestral music and iconic narrators to help tell a story – bringing the fierce emotion, competitiveness and drama of the game into view. (continue reading…)
Common misconceptions about PR – the practice and the professionals
I remember when I was studying Public Relations (PR) back in the day, or when I subsequently first started my career in PR. I’d be in some sort of social situation and the inevitable question would come up: “What do you do for a living?”
My response, I came to discover, was usually a conversation killer: “I’m in Public Relations.” …not because I’m a dull conversationalist, mind you, but because it seemed that nobody outside the industry actually knew what Public Relations, as a profession, really was. (continue reading…)
The impact of the web and social media on the delivery of “news”
More and more, I find myself watching television newscasts and thinking, “This is old news.” As a smartphone user and an admitted social media junkie, I follow a select group of prominent news media outlets via Twitter. I regularly check my Twitter feed each day – most often in the evening – so by the time I’m watching the 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. news (or the morning news programs the following day), the vast majority of the stories are “old news” to me – even many of the human interest pieces.
With the delivery of news in real time via the web and social media platforms to our tablets and smartphones, I wonder: are TV news broadcasts and newspapers becoming obsolete? Think about how revolutionary CNN was to the delivery of news back in 1980; it was the first and only channel dedicated to round-the-clock news coverage. Similarly, the web/social media and the widespread adoption of tablets and smartphones have revolutionized the way we receive news and gather information. (continue reading…)
Musings of a hot dog, scrapple, pork roll and sausage lover
Lean Finely Textured Beef. Pink Slime. No matter the name of this recently famous beef by-product, the mere mention of the stuff makes people’s stomachs turn. While I can’t say that there’s anything appetizing about pink slime, as a strategic communications professional – and as a Jersey girl who has enjoyed scrapple, pork roll, sausages and hot dogs throughout the course of my life – I can’t help but wonder whether pink slime just needed better PR.
Some of the major stories throughout the past year – whether about politics, business, sports, entertainment or otherwise – share a similar theme: all have been impacted significantly by the power of social media.
Communications and media as we know them are evolving at a rapid pace. The manner in which we communicate and what is considered “media” is ever-changing. I remember public relations in the era of blast fax distribution and the pre-World Wide Web era. I realize that I’m dating myself by making these statements, but the fact remains: those of us in public relations are ever-challenged to keep abreast of “new” media and to discover ways in which to use it to our – and our employers’/clients’ – best advantage.
Take social media, for example. Consumers are increasingly relying upon social media for their information – going to a company’s Facebook page, for example, before visiting a company’s website. And consumers demonstrate their brand preferences (and loyalty) by following and liking their brands of choice on Twitter and Facebook. In fact, a recent Nielsen report states that 53% of active online adult social networkers follow a brand, that social networking and blogging now account for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet and that Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website. Pretty compelling statistics…and pretty valid reasons why public relations professionals need to include social media as part of their overall communications tactics.
Naysayers may dismiss these statistics, but I recall a similar conversation about the World Wide Web nearly 20 years ago. Enough said.
But beyond B2C communications lies the evolution of “media.” Media is ever-increasingly an online vehicle as printed media – printed news media, most especially – fades away. Writers and editors rely on social media platforms to magnify their voice and reach in the hope that it will (1) increase their reach and (2) drive traffic back to their articles/website, thereby increasing their readership and the value of their advertising.
Even what we consider “media” sometimes comes into question: are bloggers considered media, for example? In my opinion, creating online content does not a member of the media make; however, those with the forum and the voice may not be afraid to use it. So we as public relations professionals must manage these relationships just as we must consider social media platforms as media relations tools – platforms for engaging with the media and platforms for communicating with our various publics.
Does your company need assistance navigating the evolving world of social media? Do you have the tools necessary to harness the power of social media in order to communicate your messaging in a cohesive and an articulate manner? Domus does! Put our expertise in public relations and social media to work for you. Visit www.domusinc.com today and be an active part of the conversation that’s taking place in the world of social media.
For more on this topic, see “Public Relations in a Social World” posted on COMPREHENSION – PRSA’s blog: http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=3557.
Amy Whilldin is an Account Director at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at email@example.com or 215-772-2805.