Today, creating and distributing content goes far beyond just sharing your own messages and company news. Your content must be relevant, meaningful and useful to capture your audience’s attention. According to a Marketwired survey in December 2015, PR and marketing professionals plan to increase their content marketing programs by 64% in 2016. According to the same survey, 79% of these professionals have a content marketing plan in place. Content marketing has become an important part of your communication program, and your storytelling requires a strategic and creative approach.
In PR, the trusted resource is an important part the of the communicator’s professional brand. For me, it’s one of the thirds in the brand pie, right up there with strategic communicator and relationship builder. However, becoming the trusted resource is a career long effort and it should not be taken for granted. Just like any part of your brand, if you don’t deliver a consistent experience, then you may jeopardize your trusted title.
It’s time to ring in the New Year with #PRStudChat! PR students, educators and professionals will gather on Tuesday, January 19th at 8:30 p.m. ET to kick off 2016 with a discussion on PR Strategy. If you’re in PR and communications, then strategy should be top of mind, helping you to be more effective with your PR activities and to make strategic decisions around the best ways to communicate with your audiences.
Content marketing will be more than just a trend to watch in 2016. Creating and distributing consistent and relevant content is considered a proven strategic marketing approach that attracts and retains an audience and drives customers to action. In November 2015, Marketwired, a news distribution and social communications company, created a survey, “Are You A #ContentMachine?” to find out exactly how PR and marketing professionals felt about their content efforts in 2015, and to also see how they plan to approach content marketing in 2016.
Early on in my career, I remember being asked if anyone can be a leader. I said, “Yes,” but you have to cultivate the right skills. Now that I’m 25+ years into my career, I’ve experienced leadership as both a part of an individual’s personality and natural ability, as well as what he or she learns through education, mentoring and training. You need both the nature and the nurture to be a true leader today.
Can you believe it’s December and 2015 is coming to a close? Rather than share my New Year’s resolutions or point out the latest trends in PR for 2016, I’ve decided to share my thoughts about some important lessons this past year. After all, if you can capitalize on what you have learned, then you will move forward and have a much better New Year! Here are the 7 lessons.
With consumer behavior changing, technology advancing and it becoming increasingly more difficult to build a relationship with fragmented attention spans, organizations need employees who have a raised creative quotient. You have to be more creative and innovative in your communication to connect and engage with audiences today.
On Tuesday, November 17th at 8:30 p.m. ET, the #PRStudChat community will gather to discuss Creative PR and how smart PR today requires a combination of creative storytelling, powerful visual imagery and data-driven decision making. Special guests, Heather Whaling, President of Geben Communication and Jason Sprenger, President of Game Changer Communications will lead a discussion with PR students, professionals and educators on the importance of visual storytelling.
A documentary film depends on individuals, foundations and businesses to help fund it – and the process of applying and appealing is always ongoing. A production is always looking for money to keep it moving forward. When feature documentary Pioneers in Skirts needed to raise the funds to finish production of the film, and begin the efforts of transitioning into post-production, the producers launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $50,000. As a Public Relations volunteer on the production team, I was ready to do what it takes to help reach our goal. As a full-time student, I had to prioritize my time!
You know you’re a superhero if … You understand the importance of smart listening. In this digital age, everyone has the potential to be a publisher… which means there’s a lot of noise out there as they “contribute to the conversation.” And we PR pros are just as likely to do this as anyone else. Unfortunately, indiscriminate content creation is often a symptom of what I call “Social PR Anxiety Disorder.”
Remember what we discussed last time about a #PRStudChat that focused on public relations teaching and learning. Here are more of my takeaway insights. Just in case you are wondering if you have all the important traits to be an effective teacher, here they are: integrating real-world cases with teaching; hands-on projects; challenging students creatively; helping students make professional connections; sharing real life stories and lessons; setting high expectations; being tough but fair; being knowledgeable of and updated with the field; being passionate, inspirational, and confident; and offering service learning and client work. Whew! That seems to be a LONG list. I know I still have lots of work to do! How about you?
Learning and reflecting are my daily staples. After all, I am an educator, right? I have been teaching communication/public relations courses for a decade, if you include the earlier years when I was a Teaching Assistant at Syracuse University and the University of Maryland. Compared to many other seasoned educators, I still have a lot to learn and reflect upon. However, if I may, one thing that I learned about teaching over the years is that to be a good teacher, one has to be a lifelong student.
On Tuesday, October 13th at 8:30 p.m. ET, the #PRStudChat community will gather to discuss PR education and learning in the classroom. Ai Zhang, a professor at Stockton University in New Jersey, will host the Twitter chat. Professor Zhang has been instrumental in developing the PR courses at Stockton, and she is also the faculty advisor for the school’s PRSSA Chapter.
As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, whether you work in PR or not, it’s really hard to define public relations. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the leading trade organization in our industry, “public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Ummm…that’s pretty vague. What does it mean? How do we translate that into concepts and practices that will add value to our clients and organizations?
Public relations professionals are required to have many skills these days, from excellent writing to knowing how to read data or to be efficient. It’s no secret that to succeed in PR you need to be a “forever student”, always learning, always ahead of trends and constantly improving your craft. During my career, I have noticed that one particular skill is often overlooked when it comes to training new PR pros and that is customer service.
PRSA has designated September as “Ethics Month” with a wide variety of activities to educate and inform members and industry professionals. The month is jam-packed with twitter chats, webinars, blog posts, newspaper articles, and in-person presentations. In the spirit of Ethics Month, #PRStudChat welcomes Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, on Tuesday, September 15th at 8:30 p.m. ET, as our guest host and moderator, to lead a discussion on ethics and ethical conduct.
Whether you’re gearing up for your coveted “first job in the real world” or you’ve been working in PR for a bit, we know preparation is the key to success. Well, preparation mixed with perseverance, persistence and patience. Caffeine’s good, too. Adjectives aside, here are five ways to know you’re not only ready to work in public relations, but you’re willing to step up and blow the doors off the hinges.