Top PR professionals know how to draft well worded material that lends an authoritative voice to their brand. When pressed for time, however, even the most talented communicators can be forced to sacrifice quality for quantity, using tired tropes where they might be better off expressing their brand’s voice in a simpler and more meaningful way. PR News shares its list of the 10 most overused terms in communications today.
If you or your brand has been wary of jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon, Instagram is rolling out its own take on social evanescence in the next few weeks that’s likely to be a much more brand friendly way to use disappearing content. Facebook’s photo-heavy app announced that it’s launching a new Snapchat-esque feature called “Stories.” The company hopes the move will encourage users to post more of their everyday moments to the platform, whereas only the best, most visually stunning parts of life made it onto Instagram in the past.
Snapchat usage statistics are tempting for even the most risk-averse brand communicator. But can a brand communicator measure her success on Snapchat? The lack of a good answer to that question may be keeping many brands away from the app. Leslie Douglas, senior social media manager for PwC, has faced this tough question head-on as she has led her intrepid company onto Snapchat.
The best client-agency relationships are those that thrive on building and executing programs that start with a firm foundation in positioning and messaging, and are designed from the top down with clear business objectives. And then: PR strategies that are clearly designed to achieve these objectives. And tactics also, of course (plenty of them, actually). But tactics that are only in the plan because they clearly tie into agreed-upon strategies.
The internet doesn’t forget. Or does it? Through the miracles of science (and some clever PR professionals), online reputations are no longer as cemented in history as perhaps once thought. Enter the advent of reverse SEO. Think of it as SEO but, well, in reverse. The concept has been around for about a decade, and elements have seeped into the lexicon of public relations professionals. Namely, reputation management has caught on. But while reverse SEO shares characteristics of reputation management, reverse SEO is more specific to search results that pop up for clients when specific keywords or phrases are used.
Chalk up the lack of media buzz around Instagram to the vagaries of our what-have-you-done-for-me-lately digital media world.
On August 5 Brazil is set to become the first South American country to host the Olympics. Some half million people are expected to join a city of 6 million inhabitants. While it has been well documented globally that Rio faces extreme challenges ( PRN, May 16), you’d not know it looking at the communications the Rio Olympics’ organizing committee is producing. The committee has a user-friendly, visually attractive website with stunning photos, press kits, news updates and social media links, among other PR tactics. Similar to many other sporting events, there is a festive and triumphant tone to the committee’s storytelling. While it’s understood that PR pros are expected to stress the positive aspects of stories, this must be balanced with at least some level of transparency. The committee’s lack of honest communications about the economic, social and health challenges facing Rio could become a negative story and perhaps reflect poorly on brands taking sponsorship roles at the games. At the least, the social and economic problems represent opportunities missed for brands on the CSR front.
Just as communicators are starting to ‘get’ millennials, there’s a follow-on cohort, Generation Z. While there’s debate about the age range of Gen Z, we’ll define it here as those born from 1995 to now, meaning anyone 21 or younger. As a communicator you can think of Gen Z-ers as the poor man’s millennials and treat them as you did their predecessors. This is a mistake. It’s better to see them as young evolutionaries. Of the characteristics that will influence how brands interact with this group, the most important may be Gen Z’s sway over family spending (more on this below). These toddlers, tweens and teens represent 28% of the population. In four years this is expected to be 40%. While the implications for communicators are clear, a paradigm shift makes Gen Z’s influence even greater. Unlike their predecessors, they have more sway over not just their piggy bank but family spending. It started with putting Gen Z in the driver’s seat for low-stakes purchases and has evolved into many Gen Z-ers making family decisions for tech devices, vacation and cars. In terms of back-to-school buying, a 2015 National Retail Federation survey found 10% of parents admit their children influence 100% of what they buy, up from 8% in 2014.
The tit-for-tat between social brands continues, with the battlefield moving to live streaming. For a time pundits enjoyed contrasting Facebook’s financials with those of Twitter. No more. Due to Facebook’s historic financial prowess, it’s no longer a fair fight. At least with live video, it’s still a contest. In July, CNBC International signed an agreement with Face- book to put its morning show Street Signs on Facebook Live for a trial following the Brexit vote. Meanwhile Twitter tapped Bloomberg Media, which will live stream several of its shows on the bird platform, including election monitor With All Due Respect. July 20 Twitter said it hooked the NBA to live stream a pair of new, weekly pre-game shows on the platform. This adds to Twitter’s sports stable: it signed the NFL ear- lier this year to live stream Thursday Night Football games. Twitter also live streamed Wimbledon in July. Facebook returned serve: it signed a bevy of people who made their reps on Vine and YouTube to create video for Facebook Live. That’s in addition to media companies like BuzzFeed and The NY Times, announced earlier (PRN, June 27). From July 25-July 28 Twitter carried live coverage from CBSN of the Democrats’ convention from Philadelphia.
Writing—and the rules associated with it—is, without a doubt, one of the most-argued-about tasks for any public relations professional. Between obeying basic grammar expectations, observing the rules of AP style and adapting it all for individual client preferences, writing press releases and other material can be a bit confusing. Some rules should always be followed. Here are a few that can (and often, should) be broken.