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Posts Tagged ‘Council of PR Firms’

The Future of Content: Takeaways from the Council of PR Firms ‘Content Frenzy’ Event

CONTENT!!!

  • Content is the future of public relations—but do we really want to enter such a “shitty business?”
  • Content is the best way to reach the audiences our clients value most—but we can’t follow the media industry “over the cliff”
  • Our core competencies are in storytelling and earned media, and we should “think like editors”—but we have to demonstrate real-world value to our clients or we’re toast.

Confused yet?

The Council of PR Firms‘ 2013 “Content Frenzy” Critical Issues Forum was nothing if not contentious. During the event’s opening panel moderated by Ogilvy CEO Chris Graves, BuzzMachine founder/media critic Jeff Jarvis and WebbMedia Group CEO Amy Webb encouraged attendees to forget everything they thought they knew about “content” and stop trying to view PR as the new journalism, because:

His point? PR is all about “relationships”, not “creating more crappy content”, so we should stay away. And he didn’t let up.

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Council of PR Firms ‘Advertising or PR’ Mix-Up Hints at the Industry’s Future

See, even the Council of PR Firms confuses PR and advertising.

This week the Council got a bit of less-than-flattering attention thanks to an error in judgment that somehow managed to be both embarrassing and instructive for the entire PR industry. Edward Boches, a 30-year ad veteran and professor of advertising at Boston University, received an invitation to speak at the Council’s event on the most appropriate possible theme: change, or the PR industry’s need to develop a more diverse talent pool.

And then this happened: after the Council realized that he worked in advertising rather than PR, they “uninvited” him. While Boches didn’t quite pull a “Full Heisenberg”, he did let everyone know how he felt about the matter on both Twitter and his personal blog.

There was a lot of back and forth that we won’t cover in great detail here before the whole sordid saga reached a surprisingly constructive conclusion:

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Interview with New Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky

Andy Polansky, CEO Weber ShandwickLast week the Interpublic Group announced the promotion of PR firm Weber Shandwick‘s former president, Andy Polansky, to the position of CEO. Polanksy had served as president of Weber Shandwick since 2004; he replaced outgoing CEO Harris Diamond (who in turn became chairman and CEO of “ad agency network” McCann Worldgroup).

Polansky has worked for Shandwick and its predecessor firms in various capacities for approximately 30 years; he is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society who currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Public Relations, and he has also served as chairman of the Council of PR Firms for the past two years.

On Friday we had the opportunity to get Polanksy’s thoughts on a changing PR industry; we’ve reprinted our exchange below.

Could you briefly describe the changes you’ve seen affecting Weber Shandwick and the PR industry at large during your time with the firm?

I’ve been with Weber Shandwick and its predecessor firms for nearly 30 years, so of course the change has been quite dramatic! Over the past few years we’ve seen significant shifts in how people consume and share information. We’ve also seen a heightened focus on the changing context of go-to-market approaches, with public policy and reputation considerations now playing a larger role in how organizations shape strategies. Public relations firms increasingly play a lead role in the fast-changing environment. It’s an exciting time to be in this business.

There seems to be a consensus around social media and the data/analytics explosion exerting a great influence on the PR industry of the future. What is your take on this subject?

Social media’s rise has transformed our industry, as companies focus on new ways to engage with their customers.  Whether you’re a B2B company, dealing with a reputational issue or crisis or launching a new consumer product, social media is front and center – a nexus for everything we consider now for any type of communications program. There has been an explosion of data available to formulate insights, to inform strategy, and to create pathways to breakthrough creative thinking.

How do you see the relationship between PR, marketing and advertising changing?

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Coalition for PR Research Standards Has A Few Standards to Share

The Coalition for PR Research Standards — the group composed of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), Council of PR Firms, the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management — has released two papers that offer recommendations for metrics and ethics for the PR industry. Both papers are part of the Coalition’s ongoing work towards a set of industry standards, and both are open for comment on the IPR website.

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IPR and Partners To Devise New Measurement Standards

The Institute for Public Relations has teamed with the Council of PR Firms, the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management to create a series of standards and best practices for PR measurement and research.

According to the IPR, the coalition will each tap agencies, clients, and others to come up with a set of standards that will be used voluntarily to analyze traditional media efforts, social media work, and corporate communications efforts.

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Council of PR Firms Announces the 2012 Board

Speaking of the Council of PR Firms, they’ve announced the 2012 board of directors for the organization. Weber Shandwick president Andy Polansky will serve another year as the chairman of the Council. Also re-elected are Porter Novelli’s Gary Stockman as chair-elect, Airfoil’s Janet Tyler as treasurer, and Laura Tomasetti from 360 Public Relations as secretary.

A number of CEOs and principals will also be joining them as directors: Christine Barney, rbb Public Relations; Amy Binder, RF Binder; Dave Senay, Fleishman-Hillard; Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide; Sharon Linhart, Linhart Public Relations; Elise Mitchell, Mitchell Communications; Jennifer Prose, CJP Communications; Donna Imperato, Cohn & Wolfe; and Margery Kraus , APCO Worldwide.

Congrats to everyone!

Top Five Robert Gibbs Soundbites from This Morning’s Council of PR Firms Keynote

This morning, former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs gave a master class in how to deliver a keynote address.

Speaking at the Council of PR Firms’ Critical Issues Forum — the theme was “Social Revolution: Are You Mobilizing Communities or Just a Voice in the Crowd?” – he discussed social media, communications, politics, business, and the day-to-day of being in the Obama White House in a seamless 30-minute speech that made it one of the better keynotes we’ve ever heard. After the jump, we have a few one liners from the speech (the #CIF2011 hashtag has been following the conference all day) and a look at why the speech was so successful.

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Weber Shandwick/CPRF Chair Polansky Talks Digital, Measurement, and Firm Business

Among the current top priorities at the Council for Public Relations Firms (CPRF) is helping firms make a way through the world digital and social media, says Andy Polansky, president of Weber Shandwick and chairman of the organization.

Calling social media “a real growth driver for agencies,” Polansky said, “The budgets associated with public relations programs are seemingly getting larger. If you think about marketing spend from a historical perspective, there was a lot of money flowing to advertising and the various other disciplines. I think now there’s more of a jump-ball mentality; whoever brings the best ideas is going to win the day.” An October 27 event with guests Robert Gibbs, former Obama press secretary, and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore, will dig into these social media topics even further.

We had the chance to sit down with Polansky recently to discuss the industry issues that the Council is tackling, and business at his own firm. The Council’s members include more than 100 PR firms of all shapes and sizes. Talent and diversity was another important issue on CPRF list.

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Melissa Waggener Zorkin: Take a ‘Multi-Local’ Approach

The Council of PR Firms spoke with three CEOs – Burson-Marsteller’s Mark Penn, Hill & Knowlton’s Paul Taaffe, and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide’s Melissa Waggener Zorkin – to gather their thoughts about the global nature of the PR industry and how to be a part of it.

Waggener Zorkin discusses the need to be a part of the community you seek to enter, emphasizing that “what works in one part of the world isn’t necessarily the right approach for every region.”

Penn talked talent. “Clients appreciate proximity and your ability to be with them frequently,” he says, adding that staff members should have a global perspective.

Taaffe highlighted the need to educate new markets and take a “light touch.”

“These markets recoil if Americans come in and suggest they have superior skills,” he says.

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Guest Post: ‘Is Anybody Stressed Yet?’

Publicists are stressed. Even when PR is cited as a good career path, the caveat is the stress level.

The Council of PR Firms‘ director of communications Matt Shaw (is he double stressed?) has written a post about dealing with stress during the holiday season. Take a deep breath and click through for more.

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