Posts Tagged ‘PRSA’
First the good news: our business gets a lot of credit for employing more women than most (though we still lag in terms of female executives).
According to major organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, however, ethnic diversity remains a problem.
The Public Relations Consultancy Association—Europe’s largest industry trade group—just announced an audit to better measure the state of diversity in the business. The audit will apply to both agency and in-house teams, and its questions will concern “fair recruitment practices and diversity and equality policies.”
The PRCA launched a Diversity Network earlier this year after studies found that, while 14% of UK residents belong to a minority group, only 8% of PR/marketing/advertising industry employees can say the same—and a whopping 90% of PR professionals are white. The reason for this gap, according to another PRCA study, is that awareness of the industry among minority groups is low.
The United States faces a very similar challenge.
In the age of the smartphone, using traditional email press releases to reach your target audience can feel a bit like performing brain surgery with a pair of scissors. So how can PR make sure the right message hits the right people at the right time—content and all?
Earlier this year we interviewed PR veteran Jeff Corbin on theIRapp, an application that helps those in charge of investor relations stay in touch with the people who matter most. At this week’s PRSA International Conference in Philadelphia, Corbin unveiled a new version of his product called theCOMMSapp, which he designed to serve the needs of a wider swath of the PR/corporate communications discipline.
Before the event, we had a chance to talk to him about the new product and about the PR industry’s need to go mobile ASAP. In the simplest terms, Corbin says it’s all about taking the message to them rather than making them come to you. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
How does a PR rep handle the conflict inherent in representing The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, an organization created to increase coal exportation in the northwest US, with a history working for the EPA? The two organizations could not be more ideologically opposed to one another.
In this extremely off-the-record clip, Edelman VP Lauri Hennessey tells coal industry marketers how she navigates around the issue by using her EPA past to convince environmentally concerned audiences that more coal exports would not contribute to climate change. A couple of things are clear:
- These execs do not care for the EPA
- No one involved in the conversation realized that they were being recorded and transcribed by Mike Stark of the sustainability site FossilAgenda
The clip may be a hit piece, but it’s also a revealing look into the way spin works in one particular case.
Most of us rightly see Wikipedia as a flawed but unavoidable source of information; the fact that some of the site’s entries are less than 100% accurate doesn’t make it any less influential.
A recent study conducted by the PRSA, however, determined that errors on companies’ Wikipedia pages can significantly damage their reputations. Some key findings:
- 59% of those familiar with the pages of their own companies or their companies’ clients indicate that errors exist
- 28% of respondents believe that these errors could be “reputation-damaging”, while 38% who answered yes to that question believe that such mistakes have already taken their toll on the reputation of the company/client
In case you’ve abandoned your plans to earn a degree in the already dated field of social media management, the Public Relations Society of America has collaborated with leading business schools to create a more logical alternative: MBA-level strategic communications courses.
This week the organization announced that it will work with three universities to launch the program during the 2014-15 academic year:
- Syracuse University (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School of Management)
- Ohio State University (Fisher College of Business)
- The University of St. Thomas (Opus College of Business)
In an effort to expand upon last year’s successful pilot program*, students at these schools will be able to take full-semester courses covering topics like:
“I’m from Texas, and one of the reasons I like Texas is because there’s no one in control.” – Willie Nelson
Not true, Willie: Two crisis management/public affairs vets have joined forces to launch The Mach 1 Group, a new strategic comms firm based in Austin, Texas AKA “the world’s fastest-growing city”. According to its tagline, the firm’s specialty will be “breaking barriers in an era of supersonic communications.”
Founders Rae Bazzarre and Katherine McLane created Mach 1 after winning accolades as part of the LIVESTRONG Foundation‘s communications team. They plan to serve clients in the areas of “Health & Wellness, Philanthropy, Social Good and Education in the For-Profit & Non-Profit Sectors”. McLane, named PR professional of the year in 2013 by the PRSA, explains the firm’s philosophy:
“Defining noble organizations, causes and issues by their strengths is our business. We are putting 30 years of superior experience to work for great organizations throughout Texas and the U.S. and we’re proud to do it from Austin.”
“The MACH 1 Group looks forward to working with clients committed to advancing social good and making a positive impact on our ever-changing world.”
“A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.”—George Bernard Shaw
Milan/New York firm Negri Firman PR & Communication announced several new fashion and design clients this week in a further breach of the Italian/English language divide.
Socrates, Circuit and Spotlight: you may find these sites while searching online, but you won’t be granted access. Unless, that is, you work at General Motors, Intel, or SunTrust Banks; these are intranet sites for those companies’ employees.
Intranets, proprietary social media platforms, mobile apps and rewards programs were on PRSA Connect13’s conference “employee social communications” agenda in New York on Tuesday, where corporate presenters ranging from industry leaders to resurgent companies shared case studies.
The following connection tips and tools aren’t new, but these companies, as well as SAS and IBM, found interesting ways to adapt them for employees.
1. Intranet: Circuit is Intel’s go-to platform, created to help employees follow company news and post related comments. Intel’s corporate initiatives director Melissa McVicker told attendees that employees use their personal pages to enter countdowns to their sabbaticals (which they earn every seven years).
2. Customized social media platforms: SAS maintains The Hub, hosted by SocialCast. Here employees join personal and work groups and give props to peers with a “thanks” feature. They’re also encouraged to submit ideas — and top-rated concepts make their way to R&D. CEO Jim Goodnight posts content, as do many employees. The Hub also serves as a real-time engagement platform: according to SAS internal communications manager Becky Graebe, two employees met, fell for each other and literally got engaged there.
3. Mobile apps: Intel introduced GoMyBenMobile, an app where its engineers and manufacturing employees have easy access to benefits information and company news without needing laptops.
BP (that’s “Beyond Petroleum” to you, sir) is in trouble again this week for doing the very sort of thing we’d expect it to do: using its spokesperson to rewrite nearly half of its own Wikipedia page.
The purpose of the edits was to play down the corporation’s horrible environmental record. And the accusation came only a few weeks before yet another hearing in which BP’s lawyer will try to argue that his client shouldn’t have to pay millions in “fictitious or inflated claims” related to the pending class action oil spill lawsuit.
So: move along, nothing to see here…
Of course it’s not all in-house: today PR Week reminds us that firms have been criticized for doing this sort of thing for their clients before.
NEXT PAGE >>