When political agenda masquerades as alternative facts and the lines of a free press become blurred, it’s crucial for PR pros to decide the role they play in balancing loyalties to the media and our clients. It’s a complicated issue – despite working for brands and clients, most PR pros have deep ties to journalism; many have years of work experience and the college degrees to prove it. In these uncertain times, here are a few ideas to help you strengthen relationships with media and the brand execs or clients you represent.
With an ever-shrinking pool of full-time journalists to pitch to, it’s harder than ever to get your brand messages heard and covered by the media. As a result, some PR pros have turned away from traditional PR pitching and are taking a new approach: earning media with video content. In this video, Doug Simon, president and CEO of D S Simon Media, interviews Michael Smart, principal of MichaelSMARTPR, on using video to earn media.
When Microsoft rolled out Windows 10, it didn’t expect the deluge of social media conversations that followed. That may seem surprising for a company its size, but the response across the globe was massive. And it displayed the power of social media to force organizations to rethink their social marketing, sales and customer-care strategies.
In the age of social media, employee messages can be very slippery indeed: The harder you squeeze to keep them in your grasp, the more they slip between your fingers and out into the world. Such seems to be the case with President Trump’s orders to the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service and the Forest Service to cease all communications with news media and otherwise stop disseminating facts about the climate.
Whether you’re starting your first Facebook advertising campaign or are just looking to increase your effectiveness, taking your social presence to the next level through paid advertising can seem overwhelming. However, a quick checklist can help streamline the process to get your ads up and running faster while providing a focused roadmap for testing and measuring success.
Strong writing skills can propel a PR pro’s career, but the opposite is also true—weak writing skills can undermine your message and professional growth. Whether it’s a press release seen by thousands or an email seen by one, a PR pro’s goal is to make any piece of writing concise, impactful, polished and clear, said Sid Orlando, managing editor of curation and content at Kickstarter, at PR News’ Writing Workshop.
For many PR pros, media interviews can be the most and the least rewarding aspect of their job. Ultimately your message is in the hands of the journalist, and perhaps his/her editor. OK, but you control your spokesperson or the executive being interviewed, right? Not so fast….
“Flack” is an ugly word to those of us in the public relations discipline, and it seems that for a while—thanks to the principled work of those in modern PR—it had been riding an ebb tide out to sea. That tide may now be coming in again; The Washington Post, Politico and Wired, among others, used the term in reference to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, in effect the nation’s PR-pro-in-chief, in his first week on the job.
There will be no fake news here.
We’d like to say we and our data partner Shareablee timed the chart (below), which shows the top 30 most-engaged B2B brands on Twitter, to coincide with the start of the presidency of Donald Trump, a tremendous fan of Twitter. In fact, one of the first stories to emerge from the White House after President Trump’s inauguration was that the new president assumed Barack Obama’s @POTUS Twitter handle at 12:01pm ET on Inauguration Day.
Fundamentally our profession is about people—understanding how they feel and behave, what they want and where their concerns and interests lie, and adapting the organization accordingly. It’s almost counterintuitive that cold, unfeeling data can help us engage more authentically and effectively with humans. But evidence literally is all around us.