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5 Things

5 PR Catchphrases ‘Spinning’ Out of Control

PR-Dictionary

Much like niche cultures and mainstream industries, public relations has developed a glossary of its own. It’s not “‘In N’ Out” burger ordering off the menu’” cult-like verbiage, but flacks from all walks of life speak in the same universal code.

We understand each other when discussing work around a water cooler. We empathize with each other when commiserating about the cries of a client over an adult beverage. We share experiences as we exchange terminologies native to PR during a networking soiree.

And yet, there are a couple of phrases that we should really just stop repeating, at least in the way they’re used today. Here is this week’s 5 Things: The 5 PR catchphrases that are spinning out of control.

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5 Myths About ‘Viral’ Video Marketing

can-i-make-a-viral-video

Confession: I have been at this PR thing for a while. In that time, I have learned a few irrefutable truths:

  1. There will always be a client that thinks he or she knows more about the media than you.
  2. There will always be at least one agency that can — and will — do it cheaper, faster, and worse than you … and they will still get the business.
  3. There will always be a couple of PR pros on your team who believe the only way to get ahead is to place a knife in your back.

Recently, a new dogmatic fact has crept its way onto the scene, lifted its leg, and marked its territory with authority: Someone — client or fellow flack, it doesn’t matter — will always exclaim, “Oh, we can make that go viral. Easy.

Can we please take that animal out back and make it into glue? Like today?

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Biggest Stories of the Week

Does Size Matter? 5 Differences Between Big and Boutique PR Firms

PR highway

Public relations is full of many things, stereotypes being one of them.

However, when a nubile flack is fresh out of college (or even the newsroom making the switch these days), there is one thing to consider. This one quandary has PR hopefuls in the agency world so perplexed that they choose in-house because they aren’t sure which way to go.

Do I apply at a major PR firm or one of those boutique agencies? 

I never understood why this is such a conflicting decision because PR “happened” to me. (Long story. Tell ya’ later sometime.) Now that I have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, and put my name on it just in case, I get it. There are differences, many of which are subjective. Others are objective. Both types have their definite advantages and drawbacks, but both are rewarding.

Here is this week’s listicle of 5 Things: 5 differences between big and boutique PR firms.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

5 Generation Gaps in Need of Bridging in Public Relations

music gen gap

I was having a spirited conversation about the state of public relations with a journo buddy of mine last week when this question came up: “How in the hell can anyone build a bridge long enough for the widening generation gap in the media and PR?”

After he downed a few shots of a certain toxic adult beverage following that stress-induced question, it got me thinking about another 5 Things topic for all us flacks to enjoy and discuss. It should scurry up some conversation, so here’s to hoping.

Here are 5 Generation Gaps in Need of Bridging in PR. If you have tools to build this structure, we will set up the contractor site immediately.

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5 Things PR Can Learn from Transformers

t4 parachutes

Because sometimes PR people need a parachute to help slow them down.

ICYMI: Michael Bay blew another part of Hong Kong and Detroit into the Stone Age with the unveiling of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.’ It was mildly successful, earning $104 million to score the the largest opening weekend of the tetralogy.

This may be a surprise to some, but I found myself in one of those weekend theaters, grasping a large caffeinated beverage with cargo shorts full of cheap snacks from Walmart (Oh please! Like I was the only one). And while I was watching Optimus Prime get all ‘Urban Cowboy’ on a dinobot, the oddest 5 Things came to my flacky brain: 5 things PR pros can actually learn from Transformers.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

5 Things Wrong with the Press Release

PR ER

Once upon a time, there was a tool called the press release.

It was the largest hammer, longest nail, and strongest muscle all in one. Flacks were able to write commercial-esque documents in hopes of national pick-up. Clients were happy because of their approved (and finely crafted) 18-paragraph quotes. PR agencies were happy because they had a sure-fire journalism story written with fluidity.

Today? No one seems happy.

Releases don’t get that universal attention. Clients don’t get infomercial-length quotes. The Web certainly can’t stand such content, what with Google’s pet Panda traipsing all over free news wires like a scene from Godzilla. So, what happened? After the jump, we take a look…

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Biggest Stories of the Week

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