Category Archives: Public Relations

What Communicators Can Learn from Teen Activists

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 8.35.20 AMLike other Americans, I watched in horror as yet another school shooting took place, this time in Florida. If there is any good that comes out of this, it has been watching enraged teens share their voices in every possible way. I found this PR Week article: Politicians worst nightmare: Tone, Social Savvy make Parkland students authentic advocates, particularly interesting.

According to the article, what’s working is that students are not being careful and cautious and are not overly messaged. They’re being direct, outspoken and passionate. And they don’t have anything to lose, and everything to gain.

While many are speaking out about what happened, it’s the teenagers who could have the greatest impact on effecting real change. Theirs is the first generation that grew up with the internet and social media. To them, social media is allowing them to speak directly to elected officials, and rally people across the country on platforms to directly share their message.

Read more after the jump…

How 3 Lesser-Known Winter Olympians Earned PR Wins in Pyeongchang

The Winter Olympics has drawn to a close leaving us with plenty of memorable moments. From Shaun White’s triumphant return to the podium to Lindsey Vonn’s final Olympics performance, North Korea’s enthusiastic cheerleaders to tension around Vice President Mike Pence’s attendance – there were plenty of headlines made over the last few weeks.Olympic Flag | How 3 Lesser-Known Winter Olympians Earned PR Wins in Pyeongchang

It would have been easy to predict many of these story lines – but what’s more notable are some of the “stories behind the stories” that grabbed some ink and airtime. Here are three examples worth a look: Read more after the jump…

Biggest PR Winners of 2017

Over the past month, I have shared some of 2017’s biggest PR disasters (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). I thought it would also be interesting to take a look at some of the year’s biggest PR winners:

JJWATTJJ WATT …  JJ Watt is a star player for the NFL’s Houston Texans who is known for his community involvement. He took it to a new level following Hurricane Harvey, however. He started a fundraising campaign with a $200,000 goal that would be used to help Houstonians affected by the devastating flooding. Football fans quickly responded, and he met the $200,000 goal within hours. So he raised it to $1 million, and media coverage helped him reach that goal within a day. As the number climbed and climbed, and media attention got stronger and stronger, celebrities starting donating six- and seven-figure checks – people like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus and Drake. And then corporate donors such as HEB and Walmart started adding even more. When it was done, Watt had raised more than $37 million that is being used to help people directly affected by the flooding.

TSWIFTTAYLOR SWIFT … This summer, Taylor Swift became the face of girls and women who fought back against sexual harassment and assault, and her battle occurred in a courthouse in Denver. Swift was groped by a local KYGO disc jockey at a Denver pre-concert meet-and-greet photo session, and he was fired after her complaint. When the publicity made him essentially unemployable, he sued Swift alleging defamation. Swift said she refused to be shamed by someone who assaulted her, and countersued for assault, asking only for the symbolic amount of $1. The case went to trial in Denver, and Swift prevailed. And in doing so, she became a champion for women everywhere.

CajunNavyCAJUN NAVY … Herbert Hoover popularized the concept of rugged individualism, the idea that individuals – and not government – should be primarily responsible for the welfare of Americans. The ideal is perhaps nowhere more obvious today than in the “Cajun Navy.” Formed in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina, the Cajun Navy is an ad-hoc group of volunteers largely based in Louisiana who help rescue victims of flooding when traditional first responders are overwhelmed. The group uses the smartphone app Zello to connect rescuers on bass boats, air boats, jet skis, etc. with those needing help. The Cajun Navy reappeared this year in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and it is credited with saving thousands of lives.

THIRTEENWOMENTHIRTEEN WOMEN … Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood for decades. His track record of delivering hit after hit gave him enormous power, and he took advantage of that power to hurt women in the industry. His behavior had gone on for years, but this year 13 women summoned the courage to share their experiences – ranging from sexual harassment to rape – with NBC reporter Ronan Farrow. His article in The New Yorker sent shockwaves through Hollywood. Weinstein instantly became a pariah and a subject of criminal investigations, and more women throughout the worlds of entertainment and politics began sharing their stories, resulting in a wave of firings and resignations known as the “Weinstein Effect.”

Storytelling as a Presentation Tool

Storytelling plot example: The Quest | GroundFloor Media Public Relations Agency

Storytelling: The quest plot. Image via Quid Corner infographic.

At the core, those of us at GFM and CenterTable consider ourselves storytellers. Whether we’re developing social media content, drafting press releases or preparing talking points, we know that telling a great story is key to capturing our audience.

So, imagine our delight at finding this infographic that details seven basic storytelling structures:

  • Overcoming a monster
  • Rags to riches
  • Voyage and return
  • The quest (pictured at right, click through link above to see others)
  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Rebirth

Read more after the jump…

What You Need to Know About AP Style for 2018

As a follow-up to an earlier blog post on the importance of communicators’ adhering to AP Style, each year, in order to stay relevant, editors meet and make updates to the style book. Then we all need to learn the new rules. This year was no exception, and the following is a list of the more noteworthy AP Style changes in 2017.

  • Singular “they” – AP Style now allows the use of “they” as a singular pronoun when rewriting the sentence would be awkward.
  • “He” is no longer acceptable for gender-neutral.
  • Cyberattack – The word refers to a computer operation carried out over a device or network that causes physical damage or significant and widespread disruption.

Read more after the jump…

Everything You Need to Know About Media Interviews You Can Learn on “60 Minutes”

Everything You Need to Know About Media Interviews You Can Learn on “60 Minutes” | GroundFloor Media PR AgencyI recently caught an episode of “60 Minutes”  during which they shared the tricks of the trade by some of the most revered journalists ever, most of them now passed. As you may know, “60 Minutes” has been celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which makes it the longest running broadcast program ever.

When the show first aired in 1967, the formula for a “60 Minutes” segment was simple: keep it timely, keep it relevant and never be dull. That same formula is as relevant today, and should be used by marketing communications professionals in developing stories and pitches for the media. It doesn’t matter if your story idea is for print, TV, radio or online – your media pitch needs to include all of those elements, and it needs to be visual, as even a good radio story can be shared online.

In the segment, they shared their rules for conducting a “60 Minutes” interview, and these are recommendations for how to prepare for them:

Read more after the jump…

Three Things Clients Want From Agency Partners

At the Public Relations Organization International (PROI) conference held in Denver last month, I had the opportunity to hear from a panel of in-house, senior-level communications professionals who spoke about what they hope to get out of agency partnerships. Each of the panelists previously worked for creative agencies themselves, providing for unique insight and surprisingly simple answers. Below are the top three things this expert panel asks of agency partners.

What Clients Want From Agency Partners | GroundFloor Media Public Relations Agency

Photo credit: Startup Stock Photos

Read more after the jump…

What Communicators Can Learn from the White House Press Secretary

What Communicators Can Learn from the White House Press Secretary | GroundFloor Media PR AgencyAs communicators, it’s hard not to have an admiration for one of the toughest PR jobs on earth: The White House Press Secretary. Watching the current White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, bob and weave on a daily basis, got me thinking about this challenging role and one of the most famous press secretaries, C.J. Cregg of the West Wing (I know it was a TV show, but who didn’t love watching her in action?).

It has to be one of the toughest, most stressful communications jobs as every day is a crisis of some sort. According to the International Business Times, the average White House spokesperson stays in the job for two and a half years. President Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, made infamous on Saturday Night Live, lasted just 182 days.

Read more after the jump…

Back to School Offers Good Habits For All of Us

Back to School Inspires Good Habits For All | GroundFloor Media PR Agency

Photo credit: freestocks.org

Whether you’re a recent grad or preparing for a milestone high school reunion – there’s something about the “Back to School” season and quick change of seasons from summer to fall that drums up nostalgia for many people. And while my own children have been back to school for a little bit now, the very recent prospect of new backpacks, fresh notebooks and un-sharpened pencils really brought me back to that annual feeling of the chance for a fresh start.

Early New Year’s Resolutions

I recently read an article in Real Simple that offered “5 Excellent Habits to Start When School Does.” As adults, we often look to New Year’s Resolutions to start something new, but this article got me thinking that Back to School is a good time, too!

Start Assignments Immediately

My favorite tip from this article is to adopt a “read and discuss” policy. How often have you put off a project to the last minute, only to find that it actually would take only a few minutes to finish? I know I’ve done it before, and I love this tip for diving in to understand the components immediately. If it’s easy, just get it done! If it’s going to take a little more time, the “read and discuss” approach allows for some time to ponder the best plan of attack. Read more after the jump…

Client Culture – The Company You Keep

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 11.33.00 AMWhat are your boundaries when it comes to client culture and the type of clients you would represent? And would you have the courage to maintain those boundaries if the client represented hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual fees? How about millions of dollars?

How much do you care about client culture?

Would you be willing to represent Harvey Weinstein following his rape and harassment allegations? Sitrick and Company does. How about Bill O’Reilly following his sexual harassment claims? N.S. Bienstock Agency did. Would you be willing to create campaigns for the NRA or the anti-gun group Americans for Responsible Solutions? WPP did both… at the same time.

Read more after the jump…