With the emphasis on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, video and other forms of digital marketing, the basics of writing, editing and media training can get overlooked. In truth, as someone responsible for brand communications, your remit includes all this and more. Being asked to personify the brand you represent by speaking with groups or participating in a one-on-one interview with media, or preparing executives or spokespeople to do so, remain critical to communications. With this in mind, Melissa Baratta, SVP at Affect, a NY-based agency, shares tips for effective interviewing.
It’s the equivalent of spraining your ankle during warmups for the big game: Lots of people are expecting something great from you, and you fail to deliver. Sunday night’s Game of Thrones episode, “Battle of the Bastards,” was one of the year’s most highly anticipated, but when they went to log on to HBO Go or HBO Now, the GoT network’s streaming services, would-be viewers across the United States were greeted with error messages.
If you don’t have your head in the cloud yet, it’s time to start. You won’t need any advanced tech skills; in fact, you’ve probably already used cloud-based tools like Docusign, SurveyMonkey or Google Drive for basic administrative needs. Most other cloud tools are just as intuitive and user-friendly, and some can help you take PR performance to another level.
You have to hand it to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella. When he goes shopping, he comes heavy. Nadella plunked down $26 billion June 13 to acquire LinkedIn as a way to energize both companies. His hope, of course, is that the deal will be a win-win, with LinkedIn gaining cachet, scale and technology and Microsoft obtaining access to information about the mostly white-collar businesspeople who are LinkedIn’s stock and trade. Arriving at a stagnant Microsoft two years ago, Nadella has been pushing the brand to become friendlier to corporate customers. In this respect, LinkedIn and its 105 million monthly active users seems a good match. In all, LinkedIn claims 433 million members, or 433 million resumes, a juicy target for brand communicators.
In 2002, social networking came into play with the launch of Friendster, followed by LinkedIn in 2003. In 2006, Facebook opened up to the general public and Twitter launched. With each new social media milestone, the movement to cultivate relationships with influencers has grown. As we know, modern-day social influencers are prominent people, often bloggers, who have the reputation and power to sway others with their opinions. They represent opportunities to shape perceptions about your corporate and brand reputation, in addition to your products and solutions. The long-term goal is to convert them into brand advocates.
Perhaps you’ve sent a pitch to Ms. Senior Editor only to remember that it’s Mr. Senior Editor. Or you’ve invited a reporter to a press conference on Monday the 3rd and received a message back saying, “The 3rd is a Tuesday. What day is your event?” So you know great content doesn’t mean anything if a document is poorly written or contains typos. Focusing on a process for writing can set you up for success. A thorough process means you have time for planning, drafting, reviewing, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). Juggling multiple projects and deadlines can make it hard to set aside time for all of these steps, and the planning step often gets sacrificed. Still, taking a few minutes to plan your writing before you begin will make editing much easier.
As target audiences change, the tools for engaging them evolve, and machines enable us to do our jobs faster and more accurately. Our core function remains the same, however. PR pros still will be responsible for creating stories that educate, influence and connect people with our organizations and brands. To thrive in 2020, communications professionals will need to become more creative, have strong cognitive flexibility, collaborate, be emotionally intelligent and develop the grit necessary to constantly challenge the status quo. Here are ways to start building these important skills now.
When Volkswagen sputtered in September with dieselgate, we had little trouble finding PR pros to opine about how VW could use the crisis to remake the brand through trust and transparency ( PRN, 9/28/2015). Similarly, trust and transparency were in play during a crisis management competition at PR News’ Digital PR & Marketing Conference on June 8 in Miami Beach. Crisis pros Pia De Lima, VP, corporate communcations, Western Union, and Allison Steinberg, communications strategist, ACLU, formulated a fictitious crisis scenario (below) and judged several teams’ crisis plans. The teams had 30 minutes to concoct their plans in pursuit of a $1,000 prize that PressPage—a sponsor of the conference, along with Business Wire, Cision and LexisNexis—provided.
Nonprofits may have more in common with B2B and B2C brands than one might think. This installment in our series detailing consumer engagement with U.S. brands on social platforms finds patterns similar to those seen earlier when the focus was engagement with B2C and B2B brands on Facebook (PRN, May 30 and June 6). Examination of exclusive data provided to PR News by Shareablee shows the most engaged B2B, B2C and nonprofit brands seem to be emphasizing quality over quantity as the number of posts in Q1 2016 was down compared to Q1 2015. As a result, consumer actions, which is defined as the sum of likes, shares and comments, also fell.