Category Archives: Public Relations

The Art of Taking a Step Back

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

This week one of our account teams held an “Intense Period Debrief” – an opportunity to assess what went well, what could have gone better and what we can do moving forward to learn from experiences once a project is complete. The irony of this particular meeting was that, in taking the time to take a step back, much of what we learned from this particular account was the importance of taking calculated steps back more often.

The marketing world moves fast – new platforms, new products, content trends (this week it’s sarcastic polls on Twitter, FYI), changes in user behavior… the list of things that change actually changes itself quite frequently.

Add aggressive deadlines and high expectations to the list, and we’re frequently working in a world that pushes forward so fast that it’s easy to forget to step back and think strategically once a plan is in place. Ultimately, the best-laid plans don’t mean much if expectations aren’t set, processes aren’t communicated, and those plans don’t evolve based on trends and ongoing data.

Read more after the jump…

What Words and Phrases Can We Eliminate From Our Writing?

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.57.36 AMHow can Twitter’s 140 character missives, and pithy Snapchat highlights get translated into our everyday writing as communicators?

Every time I reach for my AP Style Book, I am reminded of a college journalism professor who left her mark on me for a couple of reasons: First, we had weekly quizzes on the AP Style Book, which was a great way to learn and practice the rules. And if you weren’t sure there was a rule, at least we all learned to use the book to see if a rule existed.

Second, she was a stickler for writing in the simplest terms, using concise, action words and cutting out fat from our writing. Following is a list of words or phrases that should be eliminated from our writing, along with a suitable replacement word. Just like Bitly and Tiny URL help us shorten URLs for social media, this list can help tighten all of our writing. What are some of your favorite words or phrases that can be omitted and replaced with a single word?

Instead of: Use:
In order to To
Utilize Use
Very ugly, very fat, very angry Hideous, obese, furious
In the event that If
On account of the fact that

Because of the fact that

Due to the fact that

Because
In spite of the fact that Although, though, despite
In the absence of Without
In the event that If
A large proportion of Many
In a situation in which When
There is a need for Must
Subsequent to After
Impact on Affect
Along the lines of Like
At the present time Now, currently

 

 

Charleston TSA nets simple, genius PR win for much maligned industry

See how TSA's "Great Catch" signs throughout the Charleston airport security lines have improved public impression, traveler interactions & employee morale. See how TSA nets a simple, yet genius PR win for the much maligned industry with "Great Catch" signs throughout the Charleston airport | GroundFloor Media PR Agency | Denver, CO

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has posted “Great Catch” signs across the Charleston International Airport celebrating the efforts of their security agents.

What do you discuss with your TSA agent?

Believe it or not, that’s a question I often ask myself as I approach the gatekeepers of airport security. Is it the weather? Do I venture a joke about the tumultuous sea of humanity I just traversed? Should I preemptively acknowledge the fact that my ID looks like it’s been acid washed (it does)?

Thankfully, that question was answered for me on my latest trip.

“Thank you Officer Mady,” I said to the agent. “Thanks for making sure that doubled-edged knife didn’t make it on my flight.”

You see, someone who works for the Transportation Security Administration within the Charleston International Airport has posted “Great Catch” signs throughout airport security lines — an arena where eyes are prone to wander and likely land on graphic images of weapons.

But instead of simply declaring these items aren’t allowed in your carry-on (duh), beneath the images are stories about how Charleston TSA agents have detected these very items during the course of security screenings.

All of a sudden, Officer Smith and I had something to talk about.
Read more after the jump…

One Journalist to Another: The Game Has Changed

Adele Arakawa, 9News Evening AnchorThis week marks the end of an era for one of Denver’s most beloved journalists as 9NEWS’ Adele Arakawa officially signs off on June 30. She’s been the evening news anchor for 24 years.

I couldn’t help but feel a little wistful after reading Joanne Ostrow’s article on Arakawa as it seemed clear to me from the article that she is not just ready to retire, but she may be disillusioned with the state of journalism today. If you haven’t read the article, it’s worth a read and you can draw your own conclusions.

It seemed only fitting that Ostrow wrote the piece on Arakawa, as Ostrow had bid farewell in a column less than a year ago to her job at The Denver Post. Ostrow shared her thoughts on a long and productive career reporting about the media for newspapers and magazines, and all the changes she too had seen in the news and entertainment industry.

Read more after the jump…

Shrinking News Hole Hits the “World Leader of Sports”

ESPN | Shrinking News Hole Hits the “World Leader of Sports”Communications professionals have long accepted the shrinking news hole and the impact it has had on how we share news and information about our clients.

Newsrooms are much smaller; TV reporters shoot their own stories and regularly report using Facebook Live. Newspapers are a fraction of the size and print reporters are covering more beats and are expected to produce many more stories each day for their online and social media channels.

It took some time, but now the cable sports world is feeling the same pain. According to Sports Illustrated, ESPN, which had roughly 100 million U.S. households paying for cable in 2012, recently laid off more than 100 journalists, including some well-known, on-air talent. A hundred journalists may not sound like a lot, but that’s on top 300 in 2015, and ESPN is now in 12 million fewer U.S. homes.

Read more after the jump…

Live, Baby, Live! Storytelling on Facebook Livestream

Facebook Livestream tips for on location

Facebook Livestream tips for on location

Facebook Livestream has brought communicators a fabulous storytelling tool for clients. Whether you are looking to cover an event, launch a new product, host a seminar or share news, it is a simple way to engage specific target audiences.

In fact, I recently worked with a local television station partner to amplify messaging for a public education campaign via Facebook Livestream on location and wanted to share a few tips:

• Once you determine a date/time, share that information across your social platforms to help gain an audience; repost it during and after with links to the livestream, as appropriate.
• Scout out a location beforehand and determine connections, best lighting, areas with the least noise/interruptions, etc.
• If you are outside, check on the placement of the sun and shading. Read more after the jump…

The Future of Content, and What it Means for PR

usc-annenberg-logoThe USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism recently released its Global Communications Report 2017, and it offers a number of interesting findings that affect the public relations and marketing industries.

One trend that has profound implications for public relations specifically is PESO – paid, earned, shared and owned – content. Historically, public relations has lived in the earned content box, but more than half of PR executives believe that in five years the average consumer will NOT make any distinctions among content that is paid, earned, shared or owned. Read more after the jump…

An Introvert in the Extroverted World of PR

IMG_2381 (1)I am unquestionably an introvert. I love people, and I love being around people… until it’s time to recharge. Then, I need to be alone. With a good book, hiking the trail near my home, or simply laying down and staring at the ceiling fan. I need to be quiet, turn my focus inward and regroup. Afterwards, I’m ready to be around people again.

Read more after the jump…

In The Mood: Creating The Perfect Climate for Creativity

Whether it’s dreaming up the perfect copy for a social media post, crafting a pitch for a key reporter, or strategizing how to report metrics to executives – the daily life of a communications professional requires a lot of widely-varied creative ideas and solutions!Rethinking the Creative Process | GroundFloor Media

Some days the creativity flows like a river and other days the creative process takes a little longer to get going, which is why I read two recent articles with great interest!

Creativity Isn’t About Talent, It’s a Mood

If you’re a fan of Monty Python, you’re a fan of co-founder John Cleese who – it turns out – is obsessed with creativity. This recent article describes some of Cleese’s best tips for setting the right mood for creativity which include:

  • Creating a space/time oasis where you can get away from daily distractions and disturbances
  • Sticking with problems just a little longer than when the “easy way out” appears… the alternative is almost always more creative
  • My personal favorite: making mistakes because “while you’re being creative, nothing is wrong”
  • Embracing humor, because it’s essential to spontaneity and playfulness, two key ingredients to creativity
  • Keeping a light hold of the problem you’re pondering, as you’re likely to be rewarded with a creative solution when you least expect it

Read more after the jump…

Journalism and a Trump White House: What are the PR Takeaways?

Saturday Night Live Sean Spicer Press Conference SkitNo matter what side of the aisle your political beliefs fall, it’s hard not to watch the very public antagonistic relationship President Trump and his administration are having with the media.

While President Obama had his fair share of scuffles with the media, they didn’t get the kind of attention President Trump’s school-yard battles are getting now. After several decades during which the media has lost trust, credibility and interest among Americans, will the new President bring back the Fourth Estate to its former glory?

I recently came across a Politico article titled: Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again. According to the article, there’s always been a quid pro quo in Washington, where journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. “There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.”

Read more after the jump…