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It will happen to all of us at one stage or another; a news flash appears in your Google Alerts, a tweet shows up on your Twitter feed, the phone rings in the middle of the night and just like that – you are suddenly operating in full-on crisis mode. All other priorities are on hold and you are 100 percent focused on the pressing situation at hand.
Whether you have a delayed product launch, a major mishap in social media, or you just found out your CEO is involved in scandal; a crisis of any kind can make a communication pro’s heart pound out of his or her chest in anticipation of the impending chain reaction.
Coach John Wooden is best known for his unprecedented run of excellence as the head basketball coach at UCLA. Under his guidance, UCLA won an astonishing 10 national championships in a 12 year period, including seven in a row. However, to label him simply as a basketball coach would be to greatly underestimate an educator who transcended sports and impacted the lives of so many during his nearly 100 years on this planet.
Coach Wooden didn’t simply teach a game to a bunch of college kids, he taught life lessons. Many of his words of guidance and encouragement are used today at our leading corporations and business schools to inspire the leaders of tomorrow. In reading through some of his more famous quotes I was astonished at how many of them were applicable to our own industry.
Public relations is often viewed as a “brand building” exercise – one that can’t necessarily be measured clearly in numbers. To some extent, that’s true. It’s not always easy to quantify the effect an article, analyst report or tweet will have on your business as there isn’t always a clear link between coverage and sales. However, with clients and boardrooms more reliant than ever on key metrics to justify expenditures and measure success, labeling wins as “brand building” simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
Fortunately today, there are tools that can help us track the performance of campaigns and content. Everything from Google Analytics to Twitter’s built-in metrics can now help you not only measure the success of a PR campaign but also provide clues for how and where to improve. By carefully tracking specific metrics, you can see what keywords and traffic sources are most effective for your brand and goals and adjust future plans accordingly.
Have PR surveys jumped the shark? A recent webinar and Twitter chat with journalists Lauren Young (Thomson Reuters) and Chitra Nawbatt (CTV’s Business News Network) mentioned “survey overload” and got us thinking. Have we PR professionals exhausted the survey as a tool to land media coverage? Are journalists “surveyed out”? Is the PR survey dead?
Not by a long shot. Good data, presented well, still makes for a heck of a news story. But surveys have become so common that they have to be more colorful, credible and interesting to stand out and get covered. Here are six suggestions for surveys that’ll get noticed.
1. Think in headlines. As you write each survey question, don’t think of the topic you want to ask about. Instead, ask every question based on the headline it will generate. That’s more likely to give you newsy, attention-grabbing findings.
Words of wisdom have been shared with students all month, as commencement speakers joked, advised and were inexplicably mad on campuses across the nation. We had our own special guest at InkHouse yesterday when Ron Miller, TechCrunch’s new enterprise reporter, stopped by our offices to give some insight into what he is looking for in his new role and some best practices to help us PR folks graduate from a pitch to an actual story for our clients.
Ron is certainly a familiar face to anyone who has enterprise clients. He has been a tech writer since 1988 and you may remember him from such publications as EContent, CITEWorld and FierceContentManagement.
Watching MadMen’s Peggy Olson win the room over for fictitious advertising firm Sterling Cooper & Partners in the Burger Chef pitch meeting was inspiring and a great reminder that no matter what you are peddling, the story is what you are selling. You have to get into the minds of those you are presenting to and make a connection with them in a way that makes you and your presentation memorable and credible.
Looking for inspiration for your next presentation? Here are five ways you can add some Peggy Olson-style passion to your next presentation:
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
For years as a PR manager my vice presidents had come to expect that whenever I submitted a client plan for review, it would include this quote from our 34th President. It wasn’t a form of silent protest by any means, but a subtle reminder that PR is fluid and news cycles can change within minutes or a simple Tweet. To lock into a plan of action without accounting for a changing media landscape would be doing us and the client a disservice.
In the ever-changing world of social media, everyone wants to be the first to declare the next has-been. Last week, The Atlantic put a stake in the ground with a 1,800 word Eulogy for Twitter where it declared that “the publishing platform that carried us into the mobile Internet age is receding.” The story is mostly based on a hunch that “people are still using Twitter, but they’re not hanging out there.”
From a numbers standpoint, it doesn’t look like Twitter is going anywhere fast. After earnings last quarter, Twitter added 14 million new users for a total of 255 million- an improvement on the previous quarter. Anecdotally, every teenager I know has left Facebook for Twitter (and Instagram), a promising sign for the platform.