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Posts Tagged ‘PRSA’

3 Experts Explain How Brands Can Avoid a Sochi Games #PRFail

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Lots of brands obviously want to promote during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. But they also want to avoid what happened to Coke and McDonald’s, which got a lot of bad press after gay-rights activists criticized their campaigns and hijacked the #CheerstoSochi hashtag in protest of Russia’s new anti-gay laws.

AT&T, on the other hand, just made news for becoming the first major company to actively speak out against those same laws and pressure other brands to do the same.

So how can brands create Olympics campaigns without running into the troubles encountered by Coke and McD’s? We talked to three PR and social media experts to get their opinions.

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On the Current State of Old-School Media Relations

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A couple of media relations tidbits appeared in the news this week: an Economist writer wishes they could involve a little more “old fashioned subtlety” while a certain PR professional argues that we should throw the telephone out altogether in favor of more casual email conversations.

It’s true, as Gini Dietrich wrote in the comments, that many recurring complaints are about journalists beating up on PR, which makes for an unfortunately easy target.

What, then, is the current state of media relations? Last week our friend Peter Himler penned a PRSA op-ed on the subject, and it’s well worth a read.

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Ben & Jerry’s Just Showed Us How to Use That Jelly

Still not sure what to make of Jelly, the new “ask and you might possibly receive” app from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone? We have to admit we didn’t really see how the app could be relevant to PR or marketing—based on what we read it just seemed like a mobile, crowdsourced version of Ask Jeeves.

This morning, however, we discovered that at least one brand has found a way to promote via Jelly (H/T to David Armano of Edelman and Lauren K. Gray of PRSA and Finn Partners):

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Nice sort-of-humblebrag, guys.

Now how else can we use Jelly to make ourselves look good?

Here’s Why Every MBA Program Should Teach Strategic Communications

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Obvious question of the day: how important is communications to the business world? The answer, as we all know, is “extremely”—but if you’d asked business executives ten years ago you would have gotten a very different response.

Corporate leaders now understand the value of public relations, but MBA programs are only beginning to catch up. The result, according to a white paper recently published by the Arthur W. Page Society, is a global community whose leaders are not properly trained in the art of corporate comms.

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The (Other) Real Top 14 PR Twits to Follow in 2014

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They’rrrrrrrrre Baaaaaaaaack!

ICYMI: PRNewser rang in the New Year with a list of the people we considered the Real Top 14 PR Twits to Follow in 2014.

It was, by all accounts, an “astonishing” list whose members’ follows “rocketed” toward the stratosphere (See what a PRNewser stamp of approval can do?). Anywho, that list was very difficult to finalize because we wanted to maintain the numerological alliteration—14 and 2014, for those scoring at home—so we had to get picky and put on the cap. Nothing personal if you were excluded; we’re just OCD like that.

Whelp, after reviewing our rules for what makes a “real PR twit” and realizing how many social media studs we couldn’t put on our initial list because numbers, we threw caution into the wind and decided to write a sequel. So, break out your Twitter feed and get ready to follow everyone on this “hotly anticipated” follow-up.

Here are the other 14 Twits for your review, flacks.

Enjoy…

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What Does the Media Do to Piss Off PR?

shutterstock_100439611-1 What, you can’t type a simple “No, thank you?”

The top item on our recent guest listicle “5 Things PR Does That Piss off the Media” was “send too many press releases.”

OK, but are we really the bad guys here? What about the things they do that piss us off?

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Meet PR’s Diversity Problem

shutterstock_107994005First 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.

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How Can PR Take Content Distribution Into the Mobile Age?

shutterstock_135797666In 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:

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Coal Rep’s Climate Change Spin Sparks PR Ethics Debate

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:


The clip may be a hit piece, but it’s also a revealing look into the way spin works in one particular case.

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Study: Marketers Think PR Should Handle Social Media

Marketers. Heh.

“No, I said ‘click send’…”

In case you weren’t aware, there’s a debate going on over who should handle a given brand’s social media presence. We think you might be pleased with the answer: it’s us!

Back in July, a study by staffing agency The Creative Group told us that ad/marketing executives everywhere plan to spend more on social media next year, though this was before Instagram and Pinterest announced new paid promos so the results are all but irrelevant now. We’re more interested in their follow-up survey on the structure of social media operations, in which the same ad/marketing execs said they think PR should handle social.

Here’s the infographic for percentages:

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