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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Shaw’

What Is PR Becoming?

Party.It’s the question of the day/year/decade, and our friend Matt Shaw, director of communications at the Council of Public Relations Firms wrote a post addressing it earlier this week. You should read it yourself, but here are some highlights:

Do labels like “public relations,” “advertising,” and “interactive” make sense any longer? Will entirely new disciplines emerge to replace these designations?

In our 2013 Q2 member survey, more than 90% of public relations firms reported selling social media strategy, social media crisis, mobile strategy, community management, website development and digital video production and distribution. More than 80% told us they were offering online advertising creative and online media buying.

But PR will remain distinctive:

Integration and traditional disciplinary boundaries aren’t mutually exclusive. There’s no need to give up one in embracing the other. In fact, the key to our continued success in the near future may well be to embrace integration without taking it so far that we lose a sense of who and what we have traditionally been as a discipline.

The differences in today’s market:

During the 1990s, when I was working for a firm in Boston, we told stories primarily by getting journalists and others to write about our clients. Today, we tell stories with words and pictures, using video or infographics and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Matt goes on to list and link to specific examples of firms expanding their offerings to better serve clients. Read the rest or save it for the weekend.

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Smaller Specialty Firms Competing with the Biggest Names in PR

A recent story in Crain’s New York Business is of particular interest to us because it highlights a theoretical PR industry of the future in which specialization is the key to success.

As we all know, the recession led many big-name clients to take their PR operations in-house–and some of New York’s smaller, more ambitious firms responded by tailoring their services more specifically to businesses within certain fast-growing industries like health care, education and technology.

In short, while these blink-and-you’ll-miss-them firms aren’t yet established leaders of the PR pack, their portfolios filled with marquee clients, they are posting impressive revenue totals at time when many businesses have yet to loosen their recession-era belts.

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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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Looking at Social Media Costs: $400 for a Tweet Up, $15k a Month for Training

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Just when one thinks the hype cycle around social media marketing has potentially peaked, one realizes that it’s not even close. That brings us to today’s story in The Wall Street Journal on social media services and what different firms are charging.

Back of the House USA LLC, a provider of back-office support to solo entrepreneurs, pays between $5,000 and $15,000 a month for “‘technical guidance’ in using social media from consultants.”

Red Square Agency Inc. charges “around $200 an hour,” for social consulting services and and ThinkInk LLC charges “$10,000 to $20,000 a month for the integrated services.” Another company, 3 Green Angels, charges $400 to organize “Twitter parties — real-time discussions on specific topics.”

How do these prices compare to what full service agencies are charging, and what percentage of agency’s revenue is coming from social services? We spoke with the Council of PR Firm’s Matt Shaw, who said a lot of firms are not successful in differentiating social media revenue from media relations or other services, “as it’s part of their standard offerings. They don’t necessary call out social media as a separate area.” Shaw also pointed us to a recent survey by the Council in which 82% of respondents said online/digital will be the “most productive specialty areas this year.”

[image: Matt Hamm/Flickr]

Do Former Journalists Make Good PR Pros?

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PRWeek editor-in-chief Keith O’Brien left the publication for a position at Attention PR last month. More recently LA Times technology editor Chris Gaither announced his departure for a corporate comm. position at Google. Countless others have either made the move, or at least are considering it, given the state of the journalism job market and growth opportunities.

But the question remains: do these former journalists make good PR pros? “Former journalists make fantastic PR people,” said Matt Shaw, senior vice president and director of communications for the Council of Public Relations Firms. Shaw cited their background in story telling and explained, “Whether it’s new people to the work force or mid-career transfers, people just don’t write anymore.”

Laura Moss, a 25-year-old Account Executive for Stern + Associates, called the news business “a dead end,” and said,”In PR, there’s still a chance to take control of content and write and use your creativity and see it published, even if it’s under someone else’s name.” Despite these ringing endorsements of journalists entering the PR world, we’ve heard from several agency execs who say former journalists aren’t always the best fit. A few reasons they give:

1) Journalists may be good at story telling, but they sometimes lack in key agency functions such as client management and business development.

2) They don’t always feel comfortable making “the push.” Former journalists are – generally – used to getting their phone calls returned. Things are sometimes different on the “other side.”

Have you hired a former journalist for an agency or internal role? What has your experience been?

[image cred]

American Association of Advertising Agencies Rebrands, Looks to PR?

The American Association of Advertising Agencies is doing a little PR and branding work on itself. The association’s president and chief executive Nancy Hill, “announced the group would now go by the name 4A’s, since the “American” was too limited (advertisers do business internationally), as was “Advertising Agencies” (firms now offer public relations services as well),” reported The New York TimesStephanie Clifford today. Naturally, we wanted to get the take of The Council of PR Firms, a national association of more than 100 firms which is in some ways the PR equivalent of the 4A’s.

“Obviously today’s Times story caught our eye,” said Matt Shaw, Senior Vice President, Director of Communications for The Council. “The 4As deserves credit for acknowledging the massive changes taking place in its business; however, as it relates to doing strategic public relations, simply re-branding doesn’t mean an ad agency can do PR like Council members, and public relations firms in general.”

Shaw went on to state, “I wrote a piece in the Daily Dog two years ago on this subject, and my lead was, ‘It turns out that when advertising grows up it wants to be public relations.’ Perhaps this is another step toward fulfilling that prophecy.”