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Tips and Tools

What’s the Difference Between ‘Strategy’ and ‘Tactic?’

strategy-vs-tacticsTwo of the most common words in the flack’s vernacular (next to coffeeare strategy and tactic. 

According to Michael Porter, strategy leader and author of Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

The conundrum in this industry is that, although you have to think (strategy) before you do (tactic) anything, these two terms are often used interchangeably. It seems “being different” is understanding the difference in the first place.

This should help…

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Mediabistro Course

Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!

5 Reasons Why SEO Belongs in Your PR Toolbox

Toolbox

The aphorism “A good craftsman never blames his tools” holds true most of the time unless there is a PR professional that doesn’t understand which tools are actually in his or her toolbox.

As this industry evolves, we should always be on safari to find new and exotic contrivances to place at our clients’s disposal. They do count on us breaking out those utensils to give them hits, awareness, traffic — and to justify the occasional braggadocio.

Agencies are becoming more integrated every day, yet many PR types still lack the new plug-in SEO appliance. Honestly, there’s no excuse for that — and for this week’s #5Things, here are five reasons why SEO should be in every PR’s toolbox.

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Understanding 5 Types of Reporters (and How to Work with Them)

reporters

This edition of ‘5 Things,’ like many others, was inspired by a lunch we had recently with a few PR colleagues. It all started with a simple question and some half-assed Caesar salad concoction.

What is the difference between a journalist and a reporter? 

Much like a cop and a detective, a football player and linebacker, or even a career PR agency rat and an alcoholic, one is simply a more detailed iteration of the other.

The journalism category includes many jobs, and a reporter is someone who writes stories for a living but doesn’t necessarily how to master the other needs of the news industry (e.g., editing, production, publishing, anchoring). Now that we see the difference, here are 5 types of reporters and how to work with them.

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6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Automated Pitching

HODOR!!!!

We have a confession to make, readers: we get the pitching challenge because we’ve done it ourselves. We know that many firms emphasize quantity over quality despite all evidence to the contrary, and we understand that the pressure to score press often overwhelms basic logic — especially when employers hand out performance bonuses.

So yes: mass pitching is part of the game.

However, we would like to take a moment to warn those about to send pitches to all 324 contacts on a given “oh sh*t we’re f*cked” mailing list: please stop for a moment and reconsider.

Here, from our perspective, are six good reasons why.

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Should Small Businesses Handle Their Own PR?

small biz

In a guest post last week, Sarah Rose reminded us that freshly launched startups don’t necessarily need PR assistance…yet.

A New York Times story from earlier this week makes the same point for small businesses, claiming that most of them don’t need third-party PR at all.

Robert J. Moore’s five points read like a promo primer of sorts…

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INTERVIEW: David Meerman Scott Discusses the Art of Newsjacking

DMS header

Last week, we offered ’5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Newsjacking.‘ While many PR folks appreciated the knowledge, we heard from others who were new to the term itself. And so, I issued a tweet to one David Meerman Scott, the guy who coined the word in the first place.

To my delectation, he responded in about two minutes (I may have squealed a little).

In his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas Into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media CoverageScott touches upon this growing social media strategy with keen insight. He humored me with some great responses to a few questions about the growth of newsjacking, its benefits and drawbacks, and the magic of real-time decision making in the process.

Get your notebooks ready. His Q&A with yours truly is after the jump…

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12 Digital Tools to Optimize Your Travel

Travel Tech Paws and Relax Alfie the Pug Courtesy of Nick Morrish British AirwaysSummer is the busiest travel season, so it’s the best time to be equipped with tips to minimize hassles and maximize the experience. But these days sorting through the maze of travel technology can be  nearly as time consuming as circumnavigating the globe.

An Internet Week New York panel of travel industry insiders gave their top picks for websites and mobile apps that assist with flights, lodgings and language translation, and we’ve come across other sources since then. The list below takes business and leisure travelers every step of the way, from planning to booking and beyond.

In-Flight Entertainment

1. “Paws and Relax” Video Channel: British Airways just launched a new channel featuring dogs and cats to help passengers unwind onboard.  It’s available on YouTube for non-BA customers. (Photo above courtesy of Nick Morrish/British Airways)

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Just Launched a Startup? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Hire a PR Pro Just Yet

startUP

Today we bring you a guest post by Sarah Rose Attman, president of Sarah Rose Public Relations and former staff reporter for US Weekly.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

Congratulations! You just launched your startup. Welcome to the wonderful world of being your own boss, building something from the ground up, and fighting against the odds to “make it”. Every company has been where you are today, so embrace the chaos and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

There is so much to do! Designing your logo, raising a round of financing, hiring your founding team, and of course PR, right?

Well, maybe not.

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More Career Advice for Upcoming PR Professionals

PR block

As hot as PR may be right now (check out the growing gap between communicators and journalists), young professionals still face considerable challenges in navigating their way around the industry.

Last week we spoke to Courtney Lukitsch, principal and founder at Gotham Public Relations, to learn more about how she evaluates junior-level candidates. This week she shared more insights on what applicants need to know and the ways in which the industry will change in coming years.

PR is a rapidly changing business. What is your advice to those just coming on to the scene?

Do your research upfront. If you walk in cold and unprepared to an interview, a PR pro will smell it on you and disqualify you almost immediately.

It’s a confidence and intelligence game. Plus, at most firms, a candidate will be interviewed by different members no less than three times. This is true even at the junior level given team dynamics, but it’s even more crucial when interviewing for mid-level and higher jobs.

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5 Social Media Mistakes PR People Should Avoid

Justine-Sacco-Tweet

It wasn’t too long ago that Justin Sacco, former chief communications officer of IAC (parent company of Tinder, Vimeo and OkCupid), ruined a rather cushy gig thanks to one questionable attempt at humor on Twitter.

She apologized without much fanfare and then finally got a new job (much less cushy) this past June.

While her legacy will go down in the chronicles of PR as a case of “What not to do on social media,” it begs the question for the rest of us: “What should PR people not do on social media?” I have five ideas. Feel free to add to the conversation. Extra points for personal references.

And if someone knows Justine Sacco, tell her that she’s my inspiration. (#Tear)

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