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Today’s 24/7 media environment gives an immediate and constant voice to stakeholders. The information they share can be just as consequential as journalists reporting facts. Our organizations need not only a strong crisis communications plan but also strong issues management daily practices. Here are some tips for helping your organization prepare for and weather crisis situations. 1. Craft a crisis communications plan (or update it). 2. Get a seat at the table where organizational and operational risks are discussed (risk management meeting, etc.). 3. Maintain 24/7 on-call status for the public relations staff. 4. Brainstorm potential issues and situations; ...
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Over the weekend I tackled the most challenging physical activity I have ever undertaken - a 125 mile bicycle ride with over 16,000 feet of climbing. (That's me in the photo above on one of the downhills.) To give some perspective, my ride was the equivalent of cycling from Manhattan (New York City) to the very end of Long Island (the Montauk Point Lighthouse) and climbing more than the height of Europe’s tallest mountain (Mont Blanc at 15,781ft) on the way.  It wasn’t a single climb. Rather the ride was a series of peaks and valleys; a slow push up , followed by the speedy rush of a long downhill. It took me the entire day to finish the ride – with seven ...
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I have been out of college for almost 2 years now and am having difficulty landing a new position due to lack of experience, new to the field, etc. I have found that most places that offer internships will not usually allow a graduate the opportunity. With being impacted by a recent restructure at my full-time job, I am on the search for a new position and unfortunately haven't been able to tie anything down. Can anyone offer any suggestions, tips or companies they know of that are looking for entry level public relations people? Thank you in advance! Best Regards, Donunshae
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Let’s start off with complete transparency… I’ve only been in the PR and Communications industry for six years! If you’re still reading, you’re probably one of the people who accepts change and has an understanding that the PR, Marketing, Digital, Social and Advertising spaces are slowly merging. With that integration comes the need for the acceptance of fresh ideas and the adaptation to “New.” I’d like to digress for a moment, if I may. As a former professional athlete, I learned early on that adapting and continuing to push the boundaries of physical and mental capabilities were a MUST to compete at a high level. (To this day my mind still thinks I can perform ...
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I've posted a position description for a public relations intern in my office but haven't received any interest. What are some best practices in recruiting people to apply? It's unpaid but offers college credit. I have shared it with local university public relations programs and in our weekly email updates.
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In three months as of this writing, the PRSA National Assembly will gather in Austin, Texas, to debate and vote on new bylaw proposals . . . several of which focus on ethics reforms proposed by my colleague, Susan Hart, APR, Fellow PRSA, and me – aimed at correcting major systemic flaws in PRSA’s ethical compliance and accountability functions. However, before such a significant task can be undertaken in a fully informed manner, it’s critical for ALL PRSA members to share a uniform , unified understanding of the Society’s ethical foundation and how it works (or doesn’t work).  Assembly delegates also need to share this understanding – without ...
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Good morning, everyone. It's the Fifth of July, so I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. Maybe that's why I decided to start this blog today of all days! I have a personal blog that probably reveals just a little too much about my Opinions (capital O definitely intended) to be used as my professional blog as well. I hope to make this blog an ongoing discussion about ethics and diversity (two subjects about which I'm very passionate, as well as Opinionated) in the PR profession as well as within PRSA itself. I also plan to talk about media ethics, news, the concept of "spin" and other charged words the media often use, the ongoing need for PR to fight its way ...
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The journey to earning your accreditation in public relations (APR) can be a rigorous process. You must complete an application, study, present a campaign portfolio to a panel of APR peers, complete a computer-based examination and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through maintenance. Some may see the designation as being overrated, not worth it or too time-consuming. But that’s the point, isn’t it? It is estimated that there are only 5,000 accredited professionals worldwide. Making those with the APR designation a relatively small but distinguished group of practitioners. In full transparency, this past year, the organization I work ...
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In an increasingly visual and interactive world, photography—let me emphasize, GOOD photography—has never been more important. Far too often, photography is an after-thought, a line item that receives low priority in the marketing/PR budget and is not clearly understood by the client. Today, more often than not, photography is relegated to an employee or staffer who has more interest in the subject than skill. Perhaps there is no place where image-building photography is more important than in the PR industry. Photos can make or break a story. They promote a brand. They deliver a message. There is no doubt that good photography helps influence a journalist’s ...
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We live in a complex world.  Our offices, cars and even our household appliances function at the hand of a computer.  Television commercials for drugs have more disclaimers than content, and just recently General Electric released the 109,894-word annual report with approximately two-and-a-half times more words than the ‘Great Gatsby.’   Do you listen to those disclaimers delivered at the speed of sound or read those voluminous reports that take corporations and their PR firms weeks to prepare? Just as I thought--very few of you.  Granted some industries, like medicine and financial services and corporations doing business internationally, require this ...
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“ Shareability, Credibility and Objectivity: The State of Journalism Today ” – pushed out in May from Muck Rack and Zeno Group. The sample size of this online survey of journalists is relatively small with 520 global participants and has a 4% margin of error. It was completed in mid-February. Of those who did reply, the majority were U.S.-based journalists. Here’s what I found most interesting as a PR practitioner: Almost half of all journalists believe that it is “not possible for a journalist to be 100% objective” in today’s political and social environment. Nearly 45% are either “somewhat” or “very” pessimistic about the direction of their industry, up ...
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No surprise, 2017 was another record year for crises in the news.  Our firm, the Institute for Crisis Management®, tracked more than 800 thousand crisis news stories last year.  While there were a few surprises, overall results were consistent with 2016 in many respects.             Smoldering issues once again took center stage, accounting for 71.47% of all the stories we tracked.  ICM categorizes crisis news into 17 categories spanning four types:  sudden, smoldering, perceptual or bizarre.  How do we define crisis?  Any issue, problem or disruption which triggers negative stakeholder reactions that can impact the organization’s reputation, business and ...
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Media isn't dying, it's thriving. There are more and more outlets launching each day, and Scott Circle Communications   is helping PR  pros track them in "The Inner Circle Round Up" -- check out the June 2018 edition here: http://bit.ly/ICR
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Sooner or later every organization faces a crisis. Preventing a damaging blow to your reputation requires a strategic crisis plan. While the plan needs to be catered to your business and your specific situation, they all have three things in common: You must be assertive. You must be tenacious. If you’re in the wrong, you must express remorse. The best time to deal with a crisis is before it occurs.  When the phone is ringing, the TV cameras are set up outside, and the state of your organization is chaos, it’s not the best time to make informed decisions. Here are some tips for getting in front of the crisis. Be Prepared .  When a crisis ...
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ICYMI: The Independent Practitioners Alliance is featuring its popular speakers in quick Q&A format to give you some input even on your busiest days. Today, we’re featuring Scott Mann who was a presenter at IPA’s 2017 PR VirtuCon . Mann is the creative director and founder of Highforge and touched on many issues at VirtuCon, including the theme of the conference: Being an independent practitioner means freedom to control the type of work you do and the clients for whom you do it. It means you are in charge. But going it alone also means your bandwidth is limited, and sometimes so are your resources. Mann shares with us his “Guide to Winning Clients” ...
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Finding the right Public Relations firm is like finding that perfect pair of shoes.  While style and price are important, the fit is critical.  And before you determine if the shoes are a good fit, you’ve got to decide if you need them.  Here a just a few of the reasons you need a PR firm: -You’re paying too much for an on-staff PR employee. Agencies aren’t paid for vacation, sick leave, don’t expect insurance and perks, and don’t collect unemployment. -You are still outsourcing and coordinating graphic design, social media,  SEO/SEM and web design that supports the PR function. A good agency can handle it all. -You lack access to the latest PR technology ...
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Trade shows build brands by creating brand experiences like no other. Innovative exhibits along with integrated PR and marketing strategies, including a mix of traditional and social media, help maximize impact and return on investment. Here are six tips that will help ensure your client’s trade show success: Set a Trade Show Schedule . Determine which shows reach prospects in industries that will benefit from your client’s products or services.  Are the shows within easy travel distance? Determine your Objective. Know before you go.  Is the goal to introduce a new product or service to the marketplace?  Generate leads?  Attain new clients?  ...
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By understanding the attorney’s view and building relationships, PR pros can better serve their client or organization. Public relations professionals and attorneys often are accused of having opposing goals in crisis communication. While PR pros usually are focused on humanizing a crisis with transparency and protecting an organization’s reputation in the court of public opinion, attorneys are concentrating on the court of law and minimizing the risk of adverse legal action. For the attorney, that mindset often drives a desire to share as little information as possible in the heat of a crisis. It also makes attorneys loathe to even consider ...
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When it comes to crisis communication strategy, one “size,” or plan, does not fit all situations. No organization, regardless of size, is immune to the reputation damage and brand-crushing impact of a crisis.  While we often assume that only large companies experience crises, the fact is that every organization has stakeholders that can determine its fate when the unexpected happens.  In many ways,   small and mid-size organizations may be even more vulnerable to the damages a crisis can bring   because they rely on a smaller pool of stakeholders to sustain their organization. And yet, only about 50 percent of organizations have a crisis management ...
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What makes an agency/client relationship successful?  It’s a question I’m asked quite a bit. The answer is communication. While communication is a two-way street, we often experience roadblocks that impede our success.   The agency blames the client “ we can’t read their minds ,” and the client blames the agency, “ they should have known .” Who’s at fault? Both parties.  Here are a few strategies that will improve communication regardless of which side of the street you are on. Start with an Understanding.   While the client needs to establish their goals and objectives, the agency needs to manage expectations. Instead of nodding and agreeing ...
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