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Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Top 5 Ongoing PR Industry Debate Topics

Create-The-Debate

Let’s do this! (Image: The Parliment [U.K.])

There is a potpourri of things that make up this great industry: people from all walks of life; diverse experiences creating premiere skill sets; campaigns that make you proud to be a PR professional. You are probably thinking of some now to fill in those blanks.

Whatever they are, cherish those memories because they make public relations what it is today.

On the other hand, if you don’t have those memories, it is probably because you have been involved in any number of inner-agency or in-house-team spats about principles of public relations. Some have come, others have gone, but at least five of them show no sign of going anywhere.

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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 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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5 PR Myths That Still Need Debunking

PR

Public relations.

It’s an industry hiding more mysteries than whatever sauce transforms actors into superhumans on the red carpet. No one really seems to understand every nuance in PR–not even our fellow flacks. Of course, our parents just tell their friends at church group that “my kid gets people on TV”, but that’s another story.

Here’s the aggravating part: many of the most persistent myths in PR still get repeated by people within the industry. These are the folks who make meetings to have meetings, schedule lunches to “network,” and use phrases like “moving the needle” because, as a certain group of cranberries once said, “Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?”

Here, dear readers, are five of the myths we need to keep on debunking.

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How to Be Your Own Publicist: Creating Your Brand, Perfecting Your Message

Be-Your-Own-Publicist-ArticIn this day and age, we’re basically all our own publicists. Sharing our witty words on Twitter, our perfect pictures on Instagram and our professional achievements on LinkedIn. It’s almost become second nature to promote yourself via social media.

But there are myriad ways to get your name out there, both on and offline. We recently spoke with several branding experts who revealed five key ways to market yourself. The first thing to do is develop your brand and messaging:

Jeffrey Hayzlett, host of The C-Suite on Bloomberg, explains, “Every person is [his] own brand and you have your own promise to deliver. Do you want somebody else telling that story or do you want to tell it?” The author and speaker adds: “If you don’t represent yourself, someone else will do it for you. I would much rather control what’s said of me and how it’s said than having other people do it. And I’d like to react to that as well.”

[Beth Feldman, co-founder of BeyondPR Group] suggests reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, especially the part about the “10,000 hours” rule. The gist is if you can determine in your life where you’ve spent 10,000 hours doing something, then you will feel the most comfortable talking about it and becoming an expert. “The more experience you have, the more comfortable you will feel and the more people will take you seriously,” she says.

For more advice, including how to choose the right partners when cross-promoting, read: How to Be Your Own Publicist.

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How Did We Become ‘Spin Doctors’ Anyway?

what-is-public-relationsSo, there I was reading PR Week recently when I noticed its quote of the day: “PR professionals hate spin and what it stands for.” The fact that said PR professional shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition notwithstanding, the sentiment is right on!

Candidly, I have never been so smug with this craft to think I am beyond being called a “flack.”

It’s our nickname and it’s a term of endearment. Many journalists respectively celebrate their status as “hacks.” However, one term that is universally frowned upon in this establishment is “Spin Doctor.” 

Why? The term connotes ne’er-do-wells, people who suck at PR, and borderline used-car salesmen or, in the worst case scenario, lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the literal meaning of the term is even worse…

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5 PR Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

StrategeryStrategy: it’s the one thing we always try to sell our clients and, arguably, the thing we most often fail to deliver.

No worries, though; it’s understandable. We’ve all had clients call in a panic while we’re neck deep in creating a strategy that would make Alexander the Great scratch his head.

As longtime residents of Tactic Town, we’ve all heard this one:

“Do this, now! We are in a bind and need some help.”

Now it’s sweet that clients call with their hair on fire, imploring us to take the lead. But tactics don’t always pay the bills unless you have a desired goal.

So, here’s another listicle for every flack to enjoy: the 5 PR Strategy Mistakes to Avoid.

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The 5 Worst PR Stereotypes

what we do

Hell, we can’t even agree what we do.

Okay, raise your hand if during a Thanksgiving dinner, this has happened…

You grow weary, like near clutching the dusty bottle of formerly nice alcohol to what has to be paint thinner now, because you made the mistake of trying to explain what you do for a living. The questions are overbearing, nonsensical, and borderline WTF. Even your own mother can’t figure it out. So, you dig in fighting the good fight, and say the following words we have all said out of frustration:

“I get people on TV.”

Oooooooooooooooooooooooh! The room nods in agreement and you rush for the bathroom, if anything, just for some well-deserved “me time.” And that’s why these ridiculous stereotypes exist.

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Pope Francis Won’t Bless Noah but Did Have Some ‘Crowe’ for Dinner

Pope Francis is a positive mojo machine. In fact, we consider him the patron saint of PR. Because of his overwhelming humility to be tangible and his undeniable ability to be liked, everyone wants a piece of Il Papa’s garment and a little of that Jesus blessing on them.

Including Russell Crowe. No, really. He even tweeted the Pontiff:

Cagey. Effective. Almost begging. Did it work? Yes … and no.

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PR Is Dead! Long Live PR!

is-pr-dead

Depends on who you ask. Be prepared for a response. You’ve been warned.

Ever heard the oxymoronic exclamation, “The king is dead! Long live the king!”

Feels odd just writing it. The phrase comes from the 15th century when Charles VI (known as “Charles the Mad,” who died as king and his son took the reigns to a much maligned and ransacked France).

Le roi est mort, vive le roi!” 

“The king is dead” announces just that. “Long live the king!” refers to whomever is the shrew to take the throne — in this case, Charles VII. Family business and all. Whelp, this often misunderstood profession seems to suffer same fate every year. Some schmuck says, “PR is dead.” Followed by a hipster who says, “Uh … no, dude.”

That has happened already in 2014, so which person is correct?

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