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Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

PR by Taylor Swift

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

In the wake of the explosive pop-culture response to Taylor Swift’s new album Reputation, the main point of discussion seems to be how different the genre of her new music is in comparison to her past endeavors. But, what about the actual content of her songs?

Although Taylor may not be the unassuming 15-year-old we once knew and loved, the themes of her songs are extremely familiar. Her references may have changed from high school classes to private islands, but the shear essence of what she sings about is closely matched to her younger years.

Many artists have tried to evolve their sound, but she is undeniably one of the most successful in the plight to change her musical style while maintaining and growing her fan base.

One of the foundations of successful public relations is to understand various stakeholders individually and communicate the same message to all of them in a way that is most meaningful and clear to each party. The messaging is unchanged, but the medium, language, and timing can drastically affect how the message is received.

Taylor has proven herself extremely capable of relaying the same themes, but in a way that draws in a new and different demographic of listeners.  Maybe we could all learn something from Taylor Swift, other than the execution of a perfect break-up.

Growing Pains

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Public relations employment has increased 9.2% from January 2014 to January 2015; that’s approximately 5,000 new workers in the field in the US. This growth correlates to the decreasing area of print — magazines and newspapers. Magazines saw a 5% decrease in employment from the year before, falling below 100,000 employees.

While public relations was once focused on getting the attention of editors, writers and broadcasters, PR has become multi-faceted encompassing a variety of responsibilities. Since the traditional media environment is changing so rapidly, public relations has been forced to do the same. This means public relations not only has to embrace digital channels, such as blogs, social media, webinars, etc. and strategize accordingly – but also become content creators. Public relations teams not only pitch the story, but often develop the content as newsrooms diminish in size.

Public relations isn’t the only field adapting to a changing print industry; other major changes in media and communications include growth in both advertising and graphic design. In 2013, advertising employment surpassed printing employment for the first time in history. Media, as we know it, is transforming in front of our eyes. Being part of the industry means adapting to and staying ahead of all of the changes and trends to ensure that you are not only providing the best services, but protecting your company and career. 

Ann Keeling says:

PR today requires that anyone who works in the field can do it all – strategize, write/develop content and be great at media relations. Long gone are specialist positions. Most client budgets just don’t allow for it. If you are currently on the media side and seek to move to the PR side, being prepared to for ‘baptism by fire’ is critical.

Smart is Necessary.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

“There’s nothing as practical as a good theory” – Jim Grunig

Last week the annual International Public Relations Research Conference explained that the most important role of today’s industry professionals is for them to continue their education – not only traditional continuing education but also daily education of the changing media landscape. Regardless if you are based in an agency managing a diverse client base, or working corporately for a specific brand or product, continuing education is instrumental to a successful practice. The business environment is constantly developing and public opinion with respect to your client can constantly change. When working in public relations, it is crucial to keep your pulse on all that may be happening in PR as well as all client businesses.

In order for external communication strategies to be successfully developed and implemented, PR teams need to be well educated on the company and the industries it is associated with, as well as, how the public feels about the business and its objectives. Robust research, industry expertise and public opinion are especially vital when managing controversial businesses and governmental initiatives.

Public relations is essentially responsible for establishing and cultivating consumer trust. Public relations as a function not only needs to provide the information the public demands, but work towards preparing messaging that solidifies transparency and reliance, working proactively rather than reactionary. To ensure a positive external image for your brand, additional time and energy needs to be spent continually researching the various elements of your clients’ businesses.

Ann Keeling says:

As an agency we partner with our clients. Even though we are not employees of client businesses, our job is to know as much as the client knows about their business, and in some cases even more. To add value and to be a vital part of the client team, part of our job is to bring matters and ideas to their attention that could help position their business positively and/or mitigate possible negative situations.

The No-Show Problem.

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Public relations professionals are master coordinators; responsible for orchestrating interviews, appearances, editorial commitments and so much more, to make external opportunities as seamless as can be for both clients and the other parties involved. Unfortunately, as any public relations professional knows, no matter how organized you may be, there is always room for something to go wrong – a rainstorm during an event, a bigger news story, an unexpected time conflict or a no-show.

Nothing is worse than wasting time, especially the time of others. While an apology and an attempt to reschedule is typically the standard strategy for no-shows, Brooklyn PR agency MCSquared is taking it a step further. The agency is suing actress Sharon Stone for “failing to meet her obligation to appear in Ecuador on a speaking tour about oil contamination in the Amazon.”

Stone was expected to meet the President and Vice President of Ecuador last April to raise awareness for contamination and environmental issues in the country. MCSquared reportedly paid $350,000 to coordinate Stone’s speaking tour. Stone’s absence further resulted in MCSquare to lose its multi-million dollar contract with Ecuador.

Granted, a no-show local newspaper reporter seems relatively insignificant in comparison to the indulgent star, but no-shows are really one of the worst parts of the job.

Ann Keeling says:

It’s bad enough when a celebrity or any sort of official who has agreed to appear at an event doesn’t show, but one that you’ve paid $350k to ? MCSquared is certainly doing the right thing by suing and setting a precedent in the process. Ms. Stone, no doubt, had something much more important to do …. or maybe she didn’t. I’m only speculating here, but odds are that the mice type in her contract said she’d be compensated whether she appeared or not….


Adding Politics to Public Relations

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Jay Carney, Former Press Secretary for President Obama, was hired by Amazon to become Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs, as reported in The New York Times. His role will oversee both public relations and public policy. Carney follows a slew of political elites who are bringing their political knowledge and communication expertise to retailers, technology companies and start-ups.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 6.13.40 PM

via The New York Times

A combined effort from tech companies trying to wield influence amongst the political elite, and politicians expressing privacy concerns, companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google have been no strangers to Washington D.C. But, with the ever-growing role both technology and government play in our day-to-day life; tech powerhouses aren’t the only ones who will be seeking the likes of Jay Carney and other political and communication specialists to act as “mega public relations gurus.”

For years the world has watched public relations evolve as one of the most crucial and most valued departments in a corporation. The future of public relations is healthy and promising, but with that comes rigorous demands for even more expertise. Industry professions are expected to master skills including, but not limited to: marketing, social media, writing, media relations, thought leadership, event management, design, communication strategy, business development, and lobbying is just the latest addition.

Ann Keeling says:

There’s definitely a role-reversal trend happening – it used to be you grew up in the agency or corporate world and graduated to government roles. Now companies need the strategic & analytical thinking that’s typically associated with public roles to help them navigate the complexities of the public and private sectors.