#measurePR Recap (September 2018): Ethics of PR Measurement

#measurePRGuest Post by Jen Zingsheim Phillips The September #measurePR Twitter chat featured guests Sultana Ali and Kirk Hazlett. Sultana F. Ali, APR, has a 15+ year career in communications and marketing, and is adjunct faculty in Georgetown University’s Corporate Communication and Public Relations program. She previously served as President of PRSA-NCC, the largest chapter of PR professionals in the U.S. Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Adjunct Professor in Communication at the University of Tampa. He is also the Ethics Officer of PRSA Tampa Bay, and co-chairs the PRSA Tampa Bay PRSSA and New Professionals Committee and is PRSSA Liaison, PRSA College of Fellows Mentoring Committee.  The guest moderator was Jen Zingsheim Phillips, who is a freelance writer and communications strategist with 4L Strategies. As September is Ethics Month at PRSA, the discussion revolved around the topic of ethics in PR Measurement. After kicking off the discussion with
Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips
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PR Ethics … “You CAN Handle the Truth”

ethicsGuest Post by Kirk Hazlett Jack Nicholson’s explosive response to Tom Cruise’s relentless questioning in “A Few Good Men” more than a quarter-century ago has always hung out in the back of my mind as I’ve worked with employers and clients over the years. You can’t handle the truth.” It most often bubbles up when I find myself confronted by a situation that presents an ethical challenge.
“Should we, or shouldn’t we?”…“What do we say?”…“What do ‘they’ need to know?”
Public relations is just that … open and honest communication with those publics who turn to us for advice, guidance, simple “do’s and don’ts.” But how should we, as public-facing representatives of an organization, be expected to tell those publics what’s going on or what we’re planning without causing even further damage to our organizational reputation? As those of us who have been doing
Kirk Hazlett
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Trust Me, I’m a Communicator

communicatorGuest Post by John Friedman It is a difficult time to be a professional communicator. Trust and credibility are two of the attributes that we rely upon to do our jobs. However, today, accusations of falsehood and deliberate deception are eroding trust in our profession by both those stakeholders we need to do our jobs as well as those we hope to engage in order to provide the maximum value to our companies, organizations or clients. The continuum between full transparency and “spin” (as it is charitably called) is one we must navigate, and we must do it well. Fortunately, there are tools and allies to help us. The question of ethics is one that seems simple, but can become quite complex. Certainly, there are legal ethics, and there are parameters and guidelines that are encoded in law that must be followed. That is why one of the most valuable
John Friedman
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13 Things Content Marketers Need to Know About Email

emailGuest Post by Lane Harbin As a content marketer, you know how to keep the content train running. From brainstorming topic ideas to promoting the final piece, there’s an order to your world. One important step along the way is content promotion and distribution. You need eyeballs. You need readers who crave your content and one of the best ways to find those hungry readers is through email. Seventy-four percent of marketers believe email is the most effective distribution channel for their content. Why is email so effective for content marketers? Email has a lot going for it. Here’s why so many content marketers consistently rely on it to attract and retain readers: 1. (Almost) Everyone has an email address There are an estimated 5.2 billion email accounts across the globe as of 2018, according to a study from The Radicati Group. An email address is (basically) a requirement
13 Things Content Marketers Should Know About Email Marketing - Infographic by Campaign Monitor
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Once Upon a Time …: The Art of Storytelling

StorytellingGuest Post by Elena Bosch The art of storytelling is rooted in the origins of every society. As far back as history can reach, humans have used storytelling to teach the next generation, to connect with others, to protect their culture and much, much more. According to Dr. Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston and best-selling author, storytelling is innate.
“We’re wired for story. In a culture of scarcity and perfectionism, there’s a surprisingly simple reason we want to own, integrate, and share our stories of struggle. We do this because we feel the most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories – it’s in our biology.”
Today we have every channel imaginable to tell our stories. Yet, even as PR practitioners, we find ourselves challenged with how best to write a story. To learn how to better tell your brand’s
Elena Bosch
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Are You Writing Intelligent Content? Should You Be?

intelligent contentGuest Post by Kathy Vaské Intelligent content aka structured content is breaking out of its traditional boundaries. No longer is it used solely for product catalogs, technical specifications and the like. Today, organizations are looking to use Structured Content for their ebooks, case studies, research reports and blogs. Why? With the dynamic and ever-growing number of ways to consume content, there is a need to structure as much of our “valuable” content so it’s free to be automatically discovered and reused across multiple channels and devices and in a variety of previously impossible contexts. A piece of “intelligent” content can be created once and served up in many places automatically e.g., blog article served up on an Apple Watch or Google Home. Now that’s intelligence. What is Intelligent Content?        Intelligent content is essentially structured content. Structuring your content enables customers to find your message more easily online and
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10 Content Marketing Tricks That Will Help Your Brand Stand Out

content marketingGuest Post by Monika Jansen There’s a lot of noise out there. You are drowning in emails, ads and brand messages – and so are your prospects and clients. The best way to stand out from the noisy crowd is by employing a few tricks of the content marketing trade. As you work on your content marketing strategy, keep these in mind: Talk to your audience, not at them People don’t care about what you do; they only care about how you can help them. That means you need to write messaging that’s completely client-concentric. Instead of “We are an award-winning catering company” say, “Your guests will be wowed.” The next time you write marketing copy:
  • Use “you” instead of “we”
  • Focus on the benefits of working with/buying from you
  • Write like you talk
Ask for feedback, ideas and insights You can’t give people what they want unless you
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8 Reasons Your Content Campaigns Fail (And How To Fix Them)

Guest Post by Brandon Andersen content90% of content campaigns fail to meet business objectives. What’s more, only 5% of content produces 90% of audience engagement. So when you’re launching your content campaign, the odds are already stacked against you. How do you overcome these odds to make your campaign succeed? Well, to start, look at what you’re probably doing right now that you need to fix. Here are 8 reasons why many content campaigns fail, and what you can do to avoid them. 1. You wrote about a topic your audience doesn’t care about It’s easy to assume you know what your audience wants. But choosing the correct topic to write about is actually one of the hardest parts of content marketing. Even the best written piece of content will fail if the subject matter isn’t important to your audience.
Topic ideas can come from anywhere.
Some come from sales
Understanding User Search Intent
Make Your Audience the Hero
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How Do You Build A Brand? Start by Asking What Drives Human Behavior

brandGuest Post by Simon Erskine Locke When it comes to building brands most experts will likely start with the tactics: Develop a mission statement or messages, create a logo, use PR, advertise and leverage social media.  To be clear, these are all important components of the brand building process. But there’s a problem when we go straight to tactics – you may end up spending months or years, and thousands or millions of dollars, trying to build a brand that does not resonate. 
Like Sisyphus you may be pushing a rock up a mountain, stuck in an endless struggle against branding gravity – an unseen force preventing your or your client’s brand from taking off.
Research will clearly help you identify brand messages that engage audiences. But it has its limitations. Confirmation bias, for example, encourages us to look for what supports our beliefs and ignore what doesn’t.
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Simon Erskine Locke
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Shonali Burke
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#measurePR Recap (June 2018): Lessons from Millennials and Generation X

#measurePRGuest Post by Danielle Heiny As Generation Z attends college and begins to enter the PR workforce, what better time than the present to reflect on how measurement has been taught and implemented by two generations prior. In this “Generational Edition” of #measurePR, our special guests were Millennials and Gen. Xers who’ve been in the industry for a solid seven to 17 years. Taking us on a ride through their #measurePR journeys, here’s some of what we talked about: Everyone’s first PR-related internship or job:

Command Attention by Telling Your Company’s Story

storyGuest Post by Rob Biesenbach It’s an old story: PR people are often terrible when it comes to our own PR. I recently attended an industry event featuring a group of agency leaders who were clearly smart, successful people. Yet when it came to describing their businesses, they all delivered a version of this template:
We’ve been around for [xx] years and are headquartered in [city], with [x] offices around the [country/world]. We have [x] practices and specialize in [y]. Clients include [x, y and z] and recent matters we’ve handled include [a, b and c] …
And so on … Is it any wonder these opening pitches were barely memorable? Other than the data points, they all said essentially the same thing. Nothing to grab the listener or distinguish one agency from the other. And these were PR professionals — people who make their living communicating! Every Organization Needs
Rob Biesenbach
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How to Build an Influential Brand Through Authentic Advocacy (including Social PR)

authentic advocacyGuest Post by Brooklin Nash Marketing strategy has shifted over and over again over the past several decades. As technology develops, software and consumers become increasingly integrated. The end result is that marketing strategy is no longer only about TV spots or catchy slogans. Around one third of the world is on some form of social media. With social media on the forefront of many people’s minds, it has naturally also come to weigh on the minds of marketers. At the same time, the business climate has put increasing importance on the way company culture informs company success.
The combination of these two developments has resulted in what is know as “authentic advocacy.”
More than just a fancy marketing term, authentic advocacy encapsulates the heart of marketing strategy today: building a strong, influential brand by connecting with people. This is the point of inbound marketing, social PR and (yes)
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Career Development Tips for the 2018 Professional

career developmentGuest Post by Makeda Waterman At the end of the year, most professionals spend time contemplating achievements and areas of opportunity in their career. You are a hard-working professional with the talent to succeed in your industry. The difference between a person that climbs the corporate ladder and one that remains stagnant is the choice to plan for in the New Year. As you review your career options in 2018 to apply for a new job, here are a few helpful tips to help you get started. Work Smarter, Not Harder At any stage of your career, you can use your networking skills to work effectively with colleagues by delegating tasks. Most organizations expect you to be productive and can potentially create unnecessary stress. Ask your colleagues for extra help if they possess strengths that are your weakness. For example, when working on an assignment, if your colleague has excellent
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Ready Yourself Now for a Mobile Only Future

mobileGuest Post by Amanda DiSilvestro How do you communicate with customers or potential customers? We all know how we used to communicate—phone, direct mail, in person. Now? Technology drives our communications, and that’s only going to increase, again and again, and again. In fact, if you would have bet years ago that most electronic communication would have been via desktop or laptop computers, you would have been mistaken. While there’s still a lot of communication which happens through those devices, what’s on the rise are people who use their phones all the time, and exclusively, as their only resource to connect to the internet. This mobile-only group of users is forecasted to increase to 52 million people by 2021. 
For businesses, that means learning how mobile-only communication is different than other types of communication, and driving automation as much as possible when working in this space.
Automation can help with
What Is Mobile Marketing Automation?
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Want Your Content to Stand Out? Look to “the Basics.”

contentGuest Post by Lukas Treu Creating content that someone actually wants to read is extremely difficult these days. Everyone is surrounded by “noise” that they don’t have time to parse through, our attention spans are shrinking by the day and far too often, the content we do consume isn’t even truly novel.
Creativity is desired, yet is in short supply.
As professional communicators, we find that those comprising our target audience are at best overwhelmed and at worst wholly disinterested. And frankly, it’s hard to blame them. That said, what if I told you that the inspiration you need to stand out and resonate with your target audience could be sitting right in front of you? I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical … it’s easy to feel jaded. But I invite you to consider a somewhat counterintuitive concept for a moment: The key to differentiation isn’t a matter of
content1
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#measurePR Recaps: March-May 2018

#measurePRWhere has #measurePR been, these last few months, you ask? Right here! As in, we held the chats, but didn’t get to post the recaps because, well, #life. So now you get not one, not two, but THREE chat recaps below. Enjoy!  #measurePR March 2018 In March, my friend and colleague Heidi Sullivan stepped in to host the chat.  In honor of International Womens Day, all the guests were prominent women in the PR and technology fields including Serena Ehrlich, Aly Saxe, and Ai Addyson-Zhang. Here’s some of what was talked about: On how to overcome PR tech fears:

Daring PR Professionals and the Lawyers Who Love Them: A Primer for Avoiding Legal Problems

Avoiding Legal ProblemsGuest Post by Kerry O’Shea Gorgone Contrary to popular belief, lawyers do not enjoy making your job harder by nixing your creative campaign ideas. We’re just trying to protect you from risks you might not even realize exist—the kinds of risks that can cost a client or your own company a lot of money. There are legal rules marketers and PR professionals aren’t always aware of, and there can be serious legal consequences if these rules are violated. Let’s explore a few common legal problems (and their solutions) so that you and your clients can stay on the right side of the law! Problem #1: Using other people’s copyrighted content is incredibly risky! For example, copywriters at Webcopyplus posted a beach photo they found on Google on a client’s blog. A few months later, the client received a cease and desist letter claiming copyright infringement. The person who owned the
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Creative Storytelling: Picture This: It’s Not Just the Words – It’s What You Do with Them

Creative StorytellingGuest Post by Mary Wascavage Every morning I listen to the Elvis Duran Morning Show on my way in to work. I like to be entertained throughout my commute, and Duran’s show doesn’t disappoint. It’s talk-show-meets-freak-show with popular contemporary music added in for good measure. This one day, in particular, Duran told a story about the man who inspired his career choice. By chance, he met his idol – a fellow on-air personality – who gave Duran one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard:
Paint a picture with your words.
That sounds easy, but it honestly isn’t. You know that phenomenon when you arrive at your destination and you have no idea how you got there? That was me on that day. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had just heard, and how excited I was to tell you about it in this post. Of Pictures and
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It’s As If Those Parkland Kids Learned from a Pro

parklandGuest Post by Paula Kiger “You have to promise me you won’t share this.” The coordinator of a group of social media advocates said this via Facebook one night about eight years ago, on our private page. What could be so bad that I was being warned strongly against sharing it outside of a closed Facebook group? When the time came to watch the video, our coordinator appeared—no makeup, sweats, not as put-together as she would have required of herself for a broadcast beyond a small and trusted group. It would not have mattered to me what she was wearing or whether she had makeup on. She proceeded to tell us, with resounding sincerity, how grateful she was for our work on the project.
She put her pride aside and spoke from the heart.
More about her later. For now, I want to talk about what the students from
Paula Kiger
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Our Industry, Your Answers: Breaking Down the 2018 JOTW Communications Survey

communicationsGuest Post by Scott Kaminski Corporate communications and PR can be a lonely business of sorts. As communicators, we are sometimes holed up in self-imposed exile creating content for others to deliver on ever-shrinking budgets. Or are we? A recent survey conducted by Ned Lundquist’s Job of the Week (JOTW) in partnership with Sword and the Script Media, LLC sought to find out the true status of our industry. Conducted in February 2018, the online survey solicited the thoughts and opinions of 5,500 JOTW newsletter subscribers, mainly consisting of senior in-house and corporate communications professionals across a variety of industries. Let’s hit it. Let’s Talk Money The idea of doing less with more is not uncommon to communicators. And 63% of survey respondents cited budget as their top challenge – even as business and employers expected them to do more with a rapidly increasing list of things to do. As
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