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September 3, 2014

5 Things I Learned at the 20/20 Social Media Summit

By admin, 9:15 am

This week’s blog post comes from Tyler Arnold, an Account Executive and Digital Strategist at Landis Communications, our PRGN affiliate agency in San Francisco.  Tyler shares some of the lessons he learned at a recent social media summit.

I had the opportunity to attend last month’s PR News 20/20 Social Media Summit in San Francisco and due to the sheer volume of similar events, I didn’t know quite what to expect. The hefty entrance fee left me pondering how valuable the conference would be, which claimed to “feature key influencers and operators in social media, sharing their knowledge and experience in a full day of eye-opening sessions.”

As soon as I arrived, however, I was sold. All of the speakers weren’t just leaders in various online marketing fields (social media, content development, distribution strategy) – they were operators and doers, as well. Presentations were typically 30 minutes long and contained tons of actionable data. The slides (made available online for attendees) featured insights and best practices from team leaders from such companies as Levi Strauss, Human Rights Campaign, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. Here are some of the most interesting takeaways I learned from the event:Social Media

1. Social media means sometimes breaking the rules. When the U.S. Coast Guard undertook its own social media initiative, they knew that strict protocols weren’t going to allow them to create an exciting online presence. Because of this, they took the time to educate internal social media leaders on basic best practices and gave them the freedom to be creative. The result was an engaged online following, which turned out to be a great recruiting tool for the service.

2. Ongoing training and support is the key to successful employee advocacy efforts. Tools like LinkedIn (and their Company Pages) can be a great way to activate employee advocates. However, without ongoing training and support, most employee advocacy initiatives tend to fall flat. Think about how you’re going to keep momentum moving for the next 6-12 months to yield effective results.

3. Respect your blog if you expect results. A blog isn’t just a place to repost press releases. Instead, use a blog to take advantage of opportunistic news stories. Break down silos in your organization to ensure your blog includes content from different departments. Also, make sure the content is showcased around your website so it generates enough traffic to be seen as a publicity tool by internal staff.

4. If you’re serious, there’s ROI from social media. While many leaders are quick to ponder the ROI of social media, few can articulate what they expect the “R” (the return) to be. It’s easy to understand the work that goes into online marketing efforts, but without identifying specific goals, online initiatives can be viewed as frivolous by top execs. Levi Strauss invested heavily in its blog to demonstrate the dynamic image of the brand. The result ended up being a 10x increase in tier 1 media inquiries!

5. Content audits will show you what kinds of material you do and don’t have. In order to create visual marketing elements and fill gaps in your editorial calendar, it can be valuable to have a content library that has all creative assets in one place that everyone on your team can access. A central content depository will allow you to “audit” your creative assets to see more of what you do and don’t have.

Overall, I was impressed with the caliber of speakers and knowledge share at the 20/20 Social Media Summit. Attendees were serious about their craft and were there to learn and exchange information. The Westin San Francisco was a great host venue, complete with ample food, coffee and sweets to sustain a day of learning. The event was worth the time and cost if you’re looking to significantly expand your content marketing knowledge.

Questions or comments about the Summit? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email me at tyler@landispr.com.

 

August 21, 2014

Why Global PR Firm Edelman Received Backlash for Recent Blog Post about Robin Williams’ Death

By Rachel Neppes, 11:16 am

Global PR giant, Edelman, has been in the hot seat lately due to a blog post that the firm’s Media Relations Strategy EVP, Lisa Kovitz, wrote just 24 hours after Robin Williams’ death. In it, she states that his suicide created a “PR opportunity” for groups advocating for better treatment of mental illness.

The post reads: His death yesterday created a carpe diem moment for mental health professionals and those people who have suffered with depression and want to make a point about the condition and the system that treats it.

It later goes on to read: At Edelman, we are in the business of helping our clients create or join public conversations. We know that appropriate organizations can elevate a public conversation to help those in need. We and our clients can learn from this situation. (more…)

August 13, 2014

Hitting a Home Run with the Media

By John Reynolds, 2:37 pm

Professional baseball player. Public relations professional. The two couldn’t be more different, right? baseball

With this being my last week as an intern with Buchanan Public Relations, I thought about writing my blog post on a clichéd topic like “5 Things I Learned as an Intern.” But, what fun is that? So, as I started to write this post, I reflected on what I learned this summer about the PR industry. As an avid sports fan, my thoughts went immediately to sports, and I realized that public relations professionals are a lot like baseball players. (more…)

August 7, 2014

Public Speaking? No Sweat!

By Megan Keohane, 10:32 am

Wedding season is in full swing. This Friday, one of my dearest friends will be walking down the aisle and I’ll be right next to her as her Maid of Honor. Aside from planning her shower and bachelorette party, I was tasked with preparing a speech for the reception. This is nothing unfamiliar to me – I’m an old pro at being a bridesmaid. And writing a speech? Piece of cake. I banged it out in ten minutes. But public speaking? That’s a little bit more intimidating. Buchanan Public Relations, Meg KeohaneHere are six tricks that I’ve learned to calm (or at least hide) nerves when speaking to an audience:

1. Be prepared!
Easily the most important tip. Even the most seasoned public speakers have some sort of plan. Start planning the speech, or at least an outline, well in advance. Certainly do not leave it for the last minute. Feeling rushed will only add to any anxiety over speaking. Allowing ample time to prepare allows the opportunity to fine tune all points in the speech, practice over and over again and time to “study” past presentations by highly regarded speakers.

2. Dress the part
You’re excused if you HAVE to dress a certain way as a member of the bridal party. Otherwise, make sure to clean up nicely. While looks aren’t everything, looking polished and put together should be a priority. But dress for the audience – if speaking to a bunch of artists, no need to go all out with a suit and tie. But if speaking to lawyers, then definitely go for that suit and tie. Skip the flashy jewelry, funky shirts and anything that may serve as a distraction. Not to mention, dressing nice can boost confidence!

3. No ifs, ands or buts (or ums, uhs or likes)
This should be a no brainer, but cut out the filler words. Saying “um” before every other sentence is the easiest way to lose the attention (and respect) of the audience. The easiest way to avoid it? Talk slower. More often than not, filler words are used when the brain needs to catch up with the mouth. Slow and steady wins the race.

4. It’s all in the eyes…
Another no brainer, but be sure to make eye contact with the audience. This ties into the first tip about being prepared. Having the speech written word for word makes it too easy to look down at the paper throughout the delivery. Studying the material repeatedly should mean that reading the speech verbatim isn’t necessary. If a crutch is needed, index cards or an outline can be useful.

5. … And the rest of the face
Smile! Also, a well-timed dose of humor never hurts. The audience probably likes to smile, too.

6. Relax!
Deep breath in… now let it out. Do that five times before picking up the microphone. Relaxing before speaking is easier said than done, but it’s best to walk in with a clear head. We’re our own worst critics, after all. If a word is skipped, it’s unlikely that anyone will notice. Giving a speech is almost never a life or death situation – life will resume as normal regardless of the outcome.

Now knock ‘em dead!

July 31, 2014

Make Your Good Nonprofit Board a Great One

By Nancy Page, 10:19 am

“To make the greatest impact on society requires first and foremost a great organization.”                      – Jim Collins

Consider this view of nonprofit Board members:

  • Necessary evil (for legal reasons)
  • Impediment to progress
  • Source of busy work for staff
  • Meddlesome micromanagers
  • Power mongers

As opposed to this one:

  • Stewards of public trust
  • Guardians of the mission
  • Ambassadors for the organization
  • Strategic partners with staff
  • Experienced civic leaders

If you’re on the Board of a nonprofit, I’m sure you’d rather be viewed the second way. So what can you do to make your Board great? What skills and behaviors can you bring to the Board table to ensure that your organization’s beneficiaries are being served by the best Directors possible? (more…)

July 24, 2014

A Change Will Do You Good

By Emily DiTomo, 4:26 pm

I wrote this blog post from the offices of Buchanan PR’s PRGN Chicago affiliate, LC Williams & Associates. In the span of a two-hour flight, my daily view went from the habitually willful “can-I-have-a-treat?” faces of our office pups, Lacey and Romeo, to sun-drenched sailboats docked along Lake Michigan.Buchanan Public Relations, Philadelphia Public Relations agency, Emily DiTomo

The inspiration – not to mention effect on my productivity – was enormous. This got me to thinking: how can a change of scenery benefit PR professionals? (more…)

July 15, 2014

Dog Days Dos and Don’ts

By Karen Ivory, 10:31 am

It’s the middle of summer and it’s my turn to write a blog post. I don’t feel like writing a blog post. In fact, I don’t feel like doing much of anything. Did I say it’s the middle of summer?Buchanan Public Relations

So – how to stay motivated and productive during the dog days of summer, when frankly we’d prefer to be at the beach or in the mountains rather than sitting at our desks?

(more…)

July 7, 2014

Beyond the Basics: Taking PR 101 to the Next Level

By Nicole Lasorda, 3:09 pm

Recently, I’ve  been lucky enough to attend some  amazing conferences in Philadelphia. These conferences have provided me the ability to do some great networking, as well as learn a lot about running businesses, using my talents and being a strong female leader. 

A common theme throughout all of the conferences, however, was that the skills workshops and forums tended to cater to  younger professionals, with a distinct lack of options in the advanced department. It got me thinking about what workshops I’d like to attend as an experienced PR practitioner. I also asked a few of my peers what they’d like to see in terms of professional development opportunities. (more…)

June 9, 2014

Fixing Data Breach PR

By admin, 11:58 am

This week’s blog post comes from David Fuscus, president and CEO of Xenophon Strategies.  Based in Washington, DC, Xenophon is a member of the Public Relations Global Network, of which Buchanan PR was a founding member.

Year of the Retailer Breach” was how Verizon recently described 2013 in its annual Data Breach Report, saying that it “was a year of transition… to large scale attacks on payment card systems.” The report documented 1,367 confirmed data breaches, the largest and most infamous of which was the massive amount of customer information stolen from Target during the busy Christmas shopping season.

(more…)

May 29, 2014

The Inside Scoop from Our Media Colleagues

By Jess Emery, 4:22 pm

Public relations professionals are rarely offered the opportunity to gain insider knowledge from members of the media with whom we work every day.
Last week, however, as a member of PRSA Philly and a co-chair of the Nancy Bacher Long PR Institute committee, I was given the chance to mingle with a few of Philadelphia’s finest media minds at the annual media panel hosted at NBC 10’s studios. Top Secret

Moderated by Lee Marshall, a top-notch communications consultant, the panel actively discussed pitching preferences, thoughts on social media and tips for PR professionals working to build long-term relationships. Here are some key takeaways from the region’s top media professionals:

(more…)

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