Blog Archives

New Public Relations Definition Needs More Show Less Tell

Thanks to the Public Relations Initiative and all the people who voted, I now have a definition of what I do so my mom and dad (or kids for that matter) can talk somewhat intelligently about my employment.  As you might have heard, it has been decided that Public Relations has just redefined itself as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”  Sounds great, less filling.  Now, please remind me how this changes anything?

The truth is, the PR industry has had identity crises for some time.  Having worked at several PR agencies for well over a decade, the one common denominator was that they all fell short of promoting their work – which is not to say, they didn’t do great work.  Although we might not have the same sexy visual appeal as advertising, PR is very much “a see it to believe it” industry.

I was recently reminded of this shortcoming when I began writing a collection of case studies for DiGennaro Communications.  I thought a good starting point for my research would be to look at case studies across all facets of the PR industry as a frame of reference.  Unsurprisingly, this task wasn’t very easy.  Case studies were outdated, lacked detail and in many cases (no pun intended) were difficult to find on agency websites.

This is the root of the problem.  It’s not about definitions and wordplay.  While you can play around with the definition of public relations all you want, we need to SHOW how our stories changed the way people live and do business – one client at a time.  Focus on the experience not the definition.  Besides, PR is beyond definition.

Social media channels are presenting us with more opportunities to strut our stuff more than ever.  There is an abundance of opportunity to SHOW not TELL.  There is a method to our madness that can only be explained through visual case studies, a deeper focus on numbers/metrics client vignettes and testimonials, and of course, word of mouth.

I Am Public Relations (And So Can You!)

I remember a time when I absolutely hated Twitter—the idea of sharing regular meaningless updates seemed excessive and unnecessary. But then I discovered the power Twitter had to share and spread news, and from then on I was hooked. Tools like these continue to affect the way we do our jobs and shift the focus of what we do.

In its annual “State of the Media Report,” cloud-based marketing and PR software company, Vocus, identified seven things that PR professionals need to know about the shifting media landscape. Check out the list below to stay on top of your game.

  1. Serve up more than just text. In an age when pictures and video can be recorded on your phone, take advantage of technology to spice up your pitches.
  2. Traditional pitching rules apply. Just because Twitter condenses your messages to 140 characters, doesn’t mean you always have to do so. Treat reporters with the respect they deserve.
  3. Buy an iPhone and/or iPad. With everyone creating content for iPhones and iPads, it’s important to know and use the technology.
  4. Don’t pitch using social media. 80 percent of reporters prefer to be contacted via email.
  5. Do get to know reporters via social media platforms. Following reporters on Twitter is a great way to interact with them when you’re not pitching. You can also support them by posting their content once it’s published.
  6. Make it easy. Keeping your pitches short and sweet is important, but make sure you aren’t leaving any major holes for reporters to fill in. The easier you make it, the more likely you are to see a story convert.
  7. Pitch TV newsrooms between 8 and 9 a.m. Since this is before the editorial staff’s morning meeting, you are more likely to get your idea in front of them if they have it on hand heading into their discussion.

Are you keeping up with the evolving media scene? Feel free to share additional tips in the comments section below!

Not Sure What To Expect In 2012? Don’t Worry—There’s A Resolution For That.

With every New Year comes a new set of resolutions. “My diet starts January 1.” “I’m going to ride my bike to work.” “No more checking my Blackberry at the dinner table.”

Although those of us in the PR world probably wouldn’t last a week resolving to do the latter, the DGC team has resolutions of its own that it intends to keep this year:

  • Get rid of the garbage. PR would be the perfect profession for a hoarder—we are terrified to throw away anything that might be remotely important. But, our projects change on a daily basis, so it’s crucial to keep a clean desk and orderly files.
  • Print less paper. Half the battle of keeping yourself organized is killing fewer trees. If you’re running into a client call and need an agenda, skip the printer and read it off your iPhone. This is the digital age, after all.
  • Add it to the list. The only thing better than the power of creating a to-do list is the satisfaction of getting to cross those items off once they’re finished.
  • Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. By now we all know not to underestimate the power of spell-check, but more importantly, if you’re sending a mail-merge, make sure you’re not a mass message to the same reporter who you grabbed drinks with last week.
  • Eliminate industry jargon. If you cringe every time your clients describe their work as “innovative,” then you shouldn’t use that word either. Cleanses are all the rage right now—why not try one for your vocabulary?

Unnecessary abbreviations and heightened green practices aside, the unanimous theme of 2012 seems to be a shift toward embracing the human element of the business.  That means more face-to-face interaction, picking up the phone instead of emailing and improving work efficiency to drive more meaningful results. Business is not just about making money—it’s about building relationships.

Do you have a New Year’s PR resolution? Let us know in the comments section below!

On The First Day Of Christmas My Agency Gave To Me…

By the time the DGCers discovered the Forever Lazy, it was too late to order and brand them in time for our office holiday card photo shoot. Instead, we opted for something we were even more comfortable with: our tried and true media outlets. Whether laughing at a particularly amusing Ad Age article, peering creepily up from between the pages of Direct Marketing News or admiring an interview with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Hollywood Reporter, we wanted to wish our DGC network the best headlines in 2012. In addition, we’ve also spearheaded a new philanthropy effort at DGC this holiday season, participating in Toys for Tots and the New York Cares Annual Coat Drive.

Holiday cards and philanthropic efforts have become a tradition within the advertising industry, with agencies annually raising the bar for creativity. Here’s a look at what we’ve seen so far this year:

  • Arnell Group: The Arnell Group wishes all a happy holiday season with its digital snowflake card—a modern take on the paper snowflake.
  • Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide: Blue Chip, in a clever nod to Conan O’Brien’s “If They Mated” segment, morphs its employees faces together to showcase the beauty of being “united” this holiday season.
  • Ignited: Ignited proves that–no matter what—“there’s an app for that,” as its digital choir of iPhones sings “Deck The Halls.” Ignited will donate five cents to the Los Angeles Mission every time the video is viewed.
  • MKTG INC: There’s nothing like some good holiday snark, and for that we can count on MKTG INC. MKTG INC’s video card infomercial advertises the “Holiday Sock”…for that special someone who complained about the brand new iPad that you gifted them last year.
  • Modea: Modea’s Wisdom Tree of Wishful Wonders app ties with Facebook, where you can select the friend for whom you need a gift suggestion. After answering a series of questions, the app will serve up a gift recommendation for that friend. But watch out: this tree has a warped sense of humor.
  • Wing: Wing emphasizes charity, urging people to give back to children in need this holiday season through an interactive holiday graphic. If you don’t want to get this kid a present…Wing will literally keep asking you questions until he cries.

Have you seen any other great industry holiday cards this year? Please spread the cheer and share in the comments section below!

%d bloggers like this: