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Tips and Tools

Tech Journo Tells PR to Maybe Back Off a Bit

shutterstock_112692424The always-excellent Digiday published a great piece today. Titled “Confessions of a Tech Reporter,” it might be better labeled “Tips for Tech PR.”

The primary issue is that many tech founders seem to think that they are “entitled to coverage,” so they make unrealistic demands of their PR teams (be they in-house or third party).

We get it — over at yer old AgencySpy, we get a whole hell of a lot of press releases announcing product launches and hiring moves from companies that don’t produce ads — they just make the software that helps you measure those ads. And they’re looking for clients. Here’s a particularly misguided quote from the post:

“Once a PR person said, ‘It sounds like you’re not after any new readers’ when I declined to cover her random client.”

Well, you obviously shouldn’t say that.

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5 PR Lessons to Learn from the World Series

2014WorldSeries

For baseball goobers like yours trulythis is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the Fall Classic, the MLB Finals, the World Series.

And while my Texas Rangers aren’t anywhere near the picture these days, this is a great series pitching the San Franciso Giants, a borderline dynasty of the ‘teens’, against the beleaguered franchise turned underdog sweetheart, Kansas City Royals. (Yes, those Royals.)

So why not? For this week’s #5Things: we have 5 PR lessons to learn from the World Series.

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Cision CEO Talks Acquisitions, Pricing and Automated Pitches

cision

Earlier this month, we learned that Cision had followed its merger with Vocus by moving to Chicago and acquiring UK-based PR software provider/competitor Gorkana.

Today we spoke to Cision CEO Peter Granat — who also helped explain the Vocus merger over the summer — for his take on what this means for Cision customers and other PR professionals in terms of benefits, fees and future product development.

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Sound Insights on Storytelling and Branding at Communications Week

Telling brand stories may seem simple, but far more goes on behind the scenes than many realize. Creating “aha” moments, integrating messages across platforms and navigating multiple agencies can often seem daunting. Just when you think all is clear, newer tools like Whisper and SoundCloud make both literal and figurative noise.

The complex art of storytelling was the topic at a Communications Week panel Thursday night in New York.

commsweek 4

L to R  – Moderator Patrick Coffee (Senior Editor, Mediabistro), Brendan Murphy (Senior Partner, Design, Lippincott), Tiffany Guarnaccia (Founder, Kite Hill PR), Shoshana Winter (Executive Planning Director, Digital Integration, mcgarrybowen), Pam Workman (CEO, Workman Group Communications), Tyler Gray (Editorial Director, Creative Newsroom, Edelman)Andrew Fingerman (Media Director, MRY)

The event was hosted by Workman Group, creative comms industry group ADC was the venue partner, and the entire undertaking was organized by Communications Week.

PRNewser’s very own editor Patrick Coffee moderated, and panelists represented a mix of PR, digital and brand marketing agencies:

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20 Tools Every PR Professional Needs to Know

pr swiss army knife

Ever come across the saying “A good craftsman never blames his (or her) tools?”

There is a very real reason for that aphorism: a tool is only as effective as the craftsman (or woman, as it were) who uses it. If you consider the average PR practitioner, you could probably name most of the tools in his/her proverbial toolbox. Most of them are bookmarked in a folder with about four to six items that include Vision…sorry, Cision/Vocus, a couple of necessary subscriptions to PR News, PR Week, and O’Dwyers, and the various and sundry blogs out there discussing what’s up in the industry.

However, in these days of online accessibility, one’s toolbox should be so full of useful tools that you can’t even close it. Don’t know what we mean?

Here’s a list of 20 necessary tools every PR professional should know and use. 

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5 Important Skills PR Interns Should Possess Before They Get the Gig

pr internInternships have never carried as much importance in PR as they do today.

In this new marketplace, PR agencies can afford to be more persnickety about the people they want to recruit and bring into the fold. They are asked to do so much more. They are expected to get less recognition. And it’s all in the hope that they’ll score a permanent fixture on the team.

You need to have “soft skills” when you walk in the door. That’s not to say you are a dunce looking for direction, but you have assets that are pliable and position you for success. Instead of just getting by on a pretty face and nice cologne, you need to bring a little something to the table.

It’s hard out there for an up-and-comer, so if you want to ensure you get a sniff that AAC or AC job, here is this week’s #5Things: 5 important skills PR interns should possess before they get the gig. 

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10 Lessons in Monetizing Content from Digital Publishers

Gear Patrol Sunglasses Beach TowelGenerating revenues from content is a tricky and even risky business, but it’s also essential for media companies’ long-term viability. While some digital publishers integrated the commerce side from the start, others have been busy catching up. Selected media brands shared their stories from the trenches at the Content to Commerce / C2C Summit in New York on Tuesday, hosted by Skimlinks, a content monetization platform.

Publishers large (Gawker Media) and small (Gear Patrol) dispensed advice ranging from the types of content that drives traffic to different format options and logistics. Interestingly, while Gawker has extended from content to commerce, Gear Patrol has evolved in the opposite direction. (Image above courtesy of Gear Patrol)

Below are 10 key takeaways.

1. Create commercial content that benefits readers:

Gawker’s priority is relevance to readers, and they use various methods to source optimal products, according to Erin Pettigrew, VP of business development. They utilized crowdsourcing and user-generated content when they asked readers for their picks of the best luggage carry-ons. Then they compiled the list and readers voted for the top five. They also feature tech deals on their sites like lifehacker.

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Are You Too Nervous To Be a Thought Leader?

nervous nellyYou’ll hear PR pros often say that it’s important for clients to be thought leaders. A lot of PRs even fancy themselves as thought leaders, quick to respond to journalists when they come knocking for comment on another how-to story about creating a solid pitch, targeting a certain market or launching a campaign. All of these things are important, and insightful comments are appreciated.

But ask a PR to use that thought leadership on big public relations topics that have news relevance and a good number of specialists will shrink away instantly, citing “clients” and “conflicts” and vague feelings about what’s “appropriate.” Here’s a chance to showcase your expertise in a way that actually connects to real-life scenarios that we’re all talking about in real time. But most of those chances are declined.

There is such a thing as being too cautious.

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The 5 Most Common Grammar Errors That Aren’t…Really

Grammar-Nazi-PeanutsIf you spend anytime in PR, you are going to come across the self-proclaimed “Grammar Nazi” who wears the dreaded red Sharpie around his/her neck like a nerdy Flavor Flav. I should know, I’m one of those dweebs (most of the time).

And despite the mind-numbing changes by the AP Stylebook that really don’t need to be made, it is always nice to stay up on the reasons behind the edits because knowledge really is power.

For that reason, this week’s #5Things is important because there are actually some edits that don’t need to be made, as much as you may want to do that.

It’s okay. Breathe easy and push the Sharpie away.

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One Man Wants to Show You How to ‘Get It Right’ with Wikipedia

wikipedia1Have you ever had a client ask you to “look into” or “take care of” their Wikipedia page? Most likely the answer is “yes.”

For PR professionals and the clients they serve, Wikipedia matters. It is the planet’s fifth-most visited domain, and 53% of American adults consult it on a regular basis.

Take a look at your client or brand’s page on Wikipedia now — is it up to date? Is all the information correct? Are all associated images optimized?

Wikipedia’s volunteer community has created an incredible resource, but it does contain some major blind spots.

So what’s a PRNewser to do? Editing a Wikipedia page can be difficult on one’s own—the rules for writing and editing are constantly changing, and they’re governed by a community that is resistant to outside assistance.

They have their reasons: we’re all aware of the fact that certain firms specialize in Wikipedia “sockpuppeting”, and while a coalition of the industry’s top names did come to an “agreement” with the site’s community this year, problems remain.

(For a refresher, we spoke to seven experts on the ramifications of the agreement earlier this Summer.)

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