Monday, October 28, 2013

The major issues of the PR field today via the PRSSANC

This past weekend, I was given the amazing opportunity to attend the PRSSA National Conference. The entire event was extraordinarily beneficial and a huge learning experience for a young, future professional. The lessons learned and the speakers who discussed them will forever remain imbedded in my mind and I wish that I was able to share all of their insights with you. However, that is not possible, and I have instead decided to share two speaker's intuitive perspectives regarding the major issues young PR pros need to be concerned with today.

The session was entitled "Meet the Living Legends of PR" and the speakers were Mary Beth West of Mary Beth West Communications and Keith Burton of Brunswick Group. Here is what they concluded regarding the matter:

  • "Change will always be a part of your life, prepare for it"
    • Have a mindset of lifelong learning
    • Invest in yourself
  • "PR pros need to be business leaders"
    • Understand how the world works
  • "Measurement is at the heart of what we do"
    • Be sure to always provide return and validity
  • "Be aware of the role we play as mentors for older generations"
    • Teach them the best ways to utilize social media
  • "Remember that PR is more of a science than an art"
    • Our work is quantitative, reinforce that
  • "Be wary of the PR PR problem"
    • Advocate for the profession and reflect the highest values of what we do
  • "Do the basics incredibly well"
    • Write well, speak well, and manage projects well
    • Sweat the small stuff
  • "Go back to the things that have not changed and master them"
    • These include communication, relationships, and reputation

All of these points are incredibly important and essential for all of our future careers. Ultimately, this session, along with numerous other ones, was powerful and truly epitomized the extraordinariness that is public relations. I can confidently say that I left the conference with a sense of belonging and a true belief that "if you find something you love, you'll never work a day in your life.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tweeting the 2013 World Series

I am currently sitting in my living room watching Game One of the 2013 World Series and scrolling through my Twitter feed.  I am realizing the people I follow, whether they are at Fenway Park or not, are all tweeting to show support for their team and connect with other fans.

For example, one of the people that I follow tweeted using hashtags as a reaction to the game: 

As I continued to scroll through my feed, I stumbled upon this tweet (below) that was posted during the third inning of the game by MLB Public Relations:

After reading the tweet posted by @MLB_PR, I did some research.  According to IMG's 2013 Catalyst Fan Engagement Study, almost 70% of sports fans who follow teams and brands on social media are willing to take additional action, including purchasing, commenting or sharing brand and team content.

Two important takeaways form the REPUCOM survey where 2,100 avid sports fan ages 16-64 surveyed were:
  • On gameday, Twitter has the most frequent use and Instagram has shown the most growth in post-game use.
  • The most exciting and engaging content for sports team to publish is pre-game excitement, followed by historic photos/videos and then bloopers.
Sysomos has assembled a helpful infographic that I found on Mediabistro.  This infographic located below, shows all the Twitter information fans can use to enhance their World Series experience.  The main highlights are players personal accounts, important reporters and trending hashtags that are related to the game.  Just by following some of these accounts, you can get all the up-to-date live sports action on the World Series! 


Infographic Credit

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin: A symbol of Halloween or everyone's favorite flavor?

Fall is a time for leaves to change color, the temperature to dip lower, and most importantly in American culture, pumpkin flavored products to take over. Businesses and brands could hardly wait until the first official day of Fall to offer their highly anticipated flavor that has won a spot in so many Americans' heart. I remember being at Starbucks and hearing an angry customer exclaim that Dunkin Donuts had already launched their pumpkin flavored coffee and that Starbucks should be offering it as well. It is a rather new phenomenon, but it is taking the marketing world by storm.

According to USA Today, last year alone the number of pumpkin offerings rose 19% and products' sales brought in over 290 million dollars. It is impossible to avoid these pumpkin offerings, as they come in absolutely every form imaginable. From vodka to candy, if you want pumpkin, you can probably find pumpkin. Many establishments are not even waiting for the first day of Fall to offer their pumpkin products due to sheer demand from their customer base.

What does all of this mean and is it something that can be capitalized on during different times of the year? From a public relations standpoint, I would suggest milking it for all that it is worth and continuing to cleverly promote products via social media. Additionally, I think that PR campaigns should be utilized to find the next big flavor obsession out there and publicize it during times when pumpkin is out of season. Ultimately, this pumpkin craze is a monumental American obsession and can be used as a basis for research for the next big flavor phenomenon.

Here are the weirdest pumpkin flavored things I was able to find. Let me know if you end up trying any!

Pumpkin Pop-Tart
Pumpkin Burger 

Pumpkin Pringles 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Twitter and Facebook: Tips for New Blogs

Blogs and social media create online web traffic for your business and its reputation.  But, if no one is reading your organization's blog posts, what good are they?  This weeks PRSSA blog post will focus on how to promote an organization through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Here are some statistics I found about the importance of blogging in "10 Smart Reasons To Blog" by Susan Nixon:
  • Reason 1: Organizations that blog 15 or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don't blog.
  • Reason 9: Blogging gives your organization a dynamic personality and voice, which attracts more traffic than a static website.
  • Reason 10: Blogs attract repeat visitors who continue to come back to the website for fresh content.
Figure out what direction you want your organization's blog to go in.  Create the profiles on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms that fit your organization's niche.  Use content on the organization's blog to build a relevant, engaged audience; user experience is extremely important.

  • You may not have a larger follower base the first time you tweet out your blog post but Tweet it again!  On Twitter, it is more than acceptable to tweet your blog posts several times just as long as you space out the tweets and change up the headlines.
  • #Hashtag. Do a little searching and find the hashtags that are right for your topic. Hashtags help get your posts right in front of people
  • Be active on Twitter and use the retweet and respond feature to communicate with other organizations and followers.

  • After setting up a page with all of the important information, (link to your blog and contact information) be sure to use creative pictures, posts and statuses to make people want to click the blog's link.
  • Use phrases like "Click Here" and "Read more about"
  • Facebook is a great place to generate contests and give away prizes for people who like, comment, or share your posts.  Make it easy for your followers to download free content.
More Useful Tips:
  • Shorten the post's URL with websites like to shorten long URLs so they can fit into your 140 character limit 
  • Ask for feedback!  Continue to try out new blog promotion ideas and over time, you will figure out a strategy that works for you. Don’t be afraid to try new blog promotion techniques; keep track of what works and what doesn’t, and then do more of what’s working for your business.
For more Marketing Tips for New Blogs, check out this awesome Infographic I found on Media Bistro !