Despite years of being asked for more concrete performance metrics, of complaining that “they just don’t understand” what we do, and of being given opportunities at every turn to make a change, we somehow believe that public relations is absolved from having to play by the same rules.
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Great stories—about medical breakthroughs, heroic acts by children, emerging infectious diseases—are relegated to the trash bin, while “Grumpy Cat” is featured on national evening news. There are plenty of reasons this happens. Newsrooms are shrinking. Reporters are more harried since they are asked to write, blog, tweet, appear on video, among other duties. Brand priorities change and resources are limited. But most likely the problem lies in the execution of the pitch.
39% of PR pros told us their salary increases were modest (1%-3%) (Figure A). In addition 32% received no salary increase or said salary increases did not apply to them. As in 2015, most PR pros (87%) in 2016 said they were very or moderately satisfied with their occupation and, believe it or not, their pay packages (68%) (Figure C).
The best sports organizations in the world are continually obsessed with recruiting the right team members. Building a team that will have the right chemistry to win and then retaining those administrators, players and coaches after they have achieved some level of success are perhaps the twin holy grails of sport.
It’s a PR 101 conundrum: Charges are made against an important brand; the brand’s stature and the nature of the charges result in press coverage; the brand delays its response and a story is born. The brand then reaches out to the complainants and listens to their charges. Within a few days the brand investigates and concludes the charges are untrue. Some of the complainants agree with the brand’s assessment, while others say the investigation was faulty and demand increased transparency from the brand. The story results in many people thinking deeper about the brand and what it does. For some, the perception of the brand will change, if even just slightly.
This is a grossly simple way of looking at the story about conservative groups saying Facebook’s algorithm has been giving short shrift to stories with a conservative viewpoint. With 1 billion+ people using it each day, including 8 billion+ video views, Facebook arguably is the dominant social platform and a major component of brands’ social outreach.
Ebola deaths were mounting. In early September 2014, Liberia was logging more than 70 confirmed cases daily, and the toll was rising. With too few Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), a scarcity of ambulances, no way to reach remote areas quickly and healthcare workers falling ill, communication was the only means to forestall spreading the deadly disease.
Brand communicators beware: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has declared open season on social media influencers who fail to disclose that they are paid for endorsing a brand’s products and services. Not only that, disclosures must take a specific form; they also should be ubiquitous in some cases.
Late last year the FTC issued a long-awaited policy statement regarding native advertising and influencers, which was a follow-up to an earlier FAQ on the topic. Not even three months after it issued the later document, it “put industry on notice,” says Allison Fitzpatrick, partner at Davis & Gilbert in its marketing, promotions and PR practice groups, by slapping a penalty on high-end retailer Lord & Taylor ( PRN, March 21).
It’s a toss-up. Who was suffering more from delusional thinking last month: UK Prime Minister David Cameron or UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi? You’ll have to judge for yourself.
As PR pros, we know that a large part of our job is to consistently garner coverage for our brand in the media. Whether through traditional or digital mediums, television, radio, print, online or increasingly social engagement, the placements we secure are the measurement of our success. More often than not much of our work is done on a limited budget.
Many local or purely trade news stories have national hooks. Here is a 10-step method to gaining national exposure for your local story by taking it to Washington, D.C., and perhaps NY City.