Archive for the ‘Marketing’ category

4 Reasons to Register for the 2012 PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference Today!

October 5, 2012

Wanna know why you should register now for the PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake (#Chessie12) Conference?

4. Clear Your Schedule!

By registering early, you can block the day out on your calendar, eliminating the possibility that one of your colleagues will schedule an important meeting with you that day.

3. Get a Jumpstart on Your Networking!

Research the presenters and keynote speaker in advance so you know who you want to meet at the conference.  Gotta capitalize on that investment!

2. Formulate Your Plan of Attack!

Read over the agenda and figure out which sessions you’d like to attend.  You can choose to participate in all the sessions in one of the three tracks (PR Essentials, Social Media, and Strategic Business/Leadership) or mix and match from the 12 seminars.  Make sure to mark your calendar to arrive early at the conference for the networking breakfast and stay for the happy hour as well!

1. Save Some $$$ (and guarantee your spot)!

That’s right — the No. 1 reason to sign up today is to take advantage of the early bird discount and save, save, save!  Also, don’t let anyone take your spot because space is limited!

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Viral Marketing

October 28, 2010

I’m fascinated by viral marketing, and my favorite commercials are the Apple ads and the new Old Spice ads. So, I personally got a kick out of this video – viral marketing blended with Old Spice. Entertaining!

Gap Logo PR Flub

October 12, 2010

Gap has received alot of flak for quietly uploading a new logo to its website; so much flak that, in fact, they have since taken the new logo down and reverted to their old one.

As all of us know, the costs for rebranding with a new logo are astronomical. Can you imagine the amount of flak it took for them to make the decision to say, “oops!”?

Gap quietly uploaded the new logo about a week ago. Fans objected in force, posting comments to Twitter, FaceBook and on tech blogs. Initially, Gap insisted the new logo would stay, and would be rolled out in advertising and in stores next month.  However, Gap soon changed its tune and listened to its customers, releasing the following statement on its FaceBook page: “We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback. We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers”. The new logo was removed from its website today.

The thought behind the new logo was that it better reflected Gap’s updated image and more modern clothing designs.

What did they do wrong? They didn’t take into account the emotional attachment their customers had to their logo. On top of that, they ‘introduced’ the new logo without fanfare or even explanation. Plus (and I know I often stand alone on this), if you have something that works, and works well, why change it? Their logo was iconic – you can’t beat that PR! Finally, a big criticism they faced was that Gap didn’t ask their customers to weigh in on the new logo before choosing it.

What did they do right? They admitted a mistake, and swifly corrected it. Doing so endeared them to their customers, and allowed their customers to feel as if their opinion mattered and as if the Gap was listening. Doing so cut short what could have been an even larger PR disaster, and provided an opportunity to turn their current crisis into a positive experience for the company and its customers.

What do you think? What should Gap have done? Should they have reverted to their old logo? Weigh in with your thoughts and opinions!

And the Finalists for the 2010 PRSA-MD Best in MD Awards Are…

June 7, 2010

We’re so excited to announce the finalists for the 2010 Best in MD Awards! We’ve had some excellent entries this year, and the competition was tough, but here is who’s still in the running:

2010 Best in MD Awards Finalists

A. Bright Idea
Anne Arundel Medical Center
Barb Clapp Advertising and Marketing, LLC
CareFirst Blue Cross BlueShield
Crosby Marketing
Devaney & Associates, Inc.
Himmelrich PR
idfive
IWIF Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Maryland Lottery
Mayes Communications Inc. & Strategic Design Studio
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
Notre Dame Preparatory School
Sky Design LLC
Weber Shandwick

Of these finalists, two will be the recipients of the most coveted prizes: Best of Show and Best Theme.

This year’s presentation will take place as a luncheon during the 33rd Annual Chesapeake Conference. Will your agency/company receive one of these top prizes? Register for the Chessie conference now to find out. Follow us on twitter at #chessie10.

We’ve assembled some of the best speakers in the industry who can’t wait to impart their knowledge on hot topics such as social media, ROI/measurement, SEO, and more.

Full-day Chessie registrants will also receive a ticket to the awards luncheon, which will include a compelling presentation from the keynote speaker, Lisa A. Shenkle, President of VERB! Communications, that you don’t want to miss. If you don’t have time to attend the conference, remember that you can purchase Best in MD luncheon tickets separately. See you at the 2010 Best in MD Awards!

Creating a Winning Awards Entry

April 7, 2010

So you have a great success story. Now you’re wondering if its award-winning material. Only one way to find out – submit it for one of the industry’s prestigious awards like the PRSA Silver Anvil or PRSA MD’s Best in Maryland. (Note the 2010 Best In Maryland entries are due May 7 with a discount on fees for entries received by April 23!).

Before you finalize that submission, did you know that at least 25% of entries get pushed aside not because they aren’t creative, effective and successful, but because the entry wasn’t – as in wasn’t creative, effective, well-presented.

Here a few tips from some pros – pro’s at winning and at judging – that may help you create an entry that is as successful at your program.

Peter Stanton, APR, Stanton Communications:

Keep in mind that the awards are as much about what you did that’s new and innovative as what you did well.  While the judges may be impressed that you scored a major hit in the national media, it’s far more interesting to know how you did that.  Did your overall program incorporate some new approach or some new tactic that galvanized media attention?  Was there something in your program that could be instructive for the rest of the profession?  If
so, flag it.

Judges may be called upon to review dozens of entries.  If you are hoping they discern the key element of your creativity, they may miss it.   If you are hoping they will be awed by very traditional tactics and outcomes, you may be disappointed.  Demonstrate innovation and prove that it accomplished your goals and not just achieved a nice news piece.  That’s the way to win.

Chuck Fitzgibbon, APR, Weber Shandwick

Two thoughts:

Judges value outcomes more than output.  Behavioral change is seen as more valuable than volume of messaging, impressions, material distribution, etc.  Smaller, local programs that moved the needle and affected real change often receive higher scores than massive national programs that had a lot of output, but didn’t demonstrate real change.

Organization is key.  If your entry isn’t organized as specified in the guidelines, judges may overlook critical information in your entry, or may assume that either you’re not paying attention, or just resubmitting an entry from another competition.

Paul Eagle, APR, Imre

Winning entries go far above and beyond typical campaigns …

  • Results must match objectives
  • Campaigns are too focused on media placements – especially “integrated campaigns”
  • Pay close attention to the categories you enter – I judged three last week that were simply in the wrong category
  • Backup is critical – if you say you wrote a plan, include it…or at least parts of it so we know it exists
  • Research is more than “we conducted an informal poll at our agency”

Jody Aud, APR, MedImmune

Make sure what you are entering is really a “campaign.”. So often I see entries that are really a single tactic. – such as the launch of a  newsletter or an Intranet and the entry focuses on just the tactic and why it was selected, audience reach and so on. That’s the kind of thing you enter in a Bronze Anvil. For me, an entry that’s primary importance on the research, planning and evaluation – and secondary importance on the tactics is usually one that will stand out from the rest.

Lisa Miles, APR, Miles Public Relations

My biggest frustration when judging entries (both Silver Anvils and other chapters) is that MEDIA RELATIONS IS NOT A MEASURABLE OBJECTIVE!  It’s a tactic used to reach your target audience.  Start asking yourself the question of “why” each time you write an objective and if you can get to something measurable and timely, THEN you have an objective.  Also make sure your objectives match up with the rest of the program, particularly the results.  I heard a great quote from another judge when we were at the Silver Anvil judging this year – it’s the Alpha and Omega that we look at first – the beginning and end.

Harry Bosk, APR, Bosk Communications

Make sure when you say that you want to increase awareness that you state with whom, why and by what measurement.  Otherwise, it’s not a measurable objective.

Have your own tips and ideas? Add them. Have questions for the “pros”? Ask away here or send an email to PR Awards Pros at info[at]prsamd[dot]org.

Tips for Dealing with the Changing PR Landscape

January 22, 2010

Planning for PR programs in 2010 will be more difficult than in past years because of the dynamic and continually changing PR landscape.

frankstrong

Choose one: (a) strongly disagree, (b) disagree, (c) unsure, (d) agree, (e) strongly agree. Fifty percent of public relations professionals surveyed chose (e) agree, according to Frank Strong, public relations director for Vocus. Strong addressed PRSA-MD members Thursday morning at the University of Baltimore (left), where he discussed some of the factors that make PR planning increasingly difficult, and what you can do about it. Here are a few of my takeaways.

Maintain your media relationships. Last year 293 newspapers folded, 1,226 magazines disappeared, 10,000 radio employees were cut, and 100 TV stations were affected by Chapter 11. In short, massive job loss. Where are all these editors and reporters going? Some of them are getting into PR, but many are going to online publications. Wherever they move, they’ll land somewhere and may continue to be relevant contacts. So don’t let your relationships go. You never know where a sacked reporter might resurface.

Master SEO and other new media tools. Attention is the new deficit, and social media can help break the threshold. Increasingly, PR professionals are giving testimonials about how their blog or tweet or discussion board made a difference for their organization or a client. It’s not just about the message anymore. We need to think beyond text, giving more consideration to  posting videos, engaging readers in conversation, tagging and, above all, SEO. Figure out which social media tools are appropriate for your organization—and learn how to use them. (Note: SEO is a must for every professional communicator’s toolbox!)

Learn crisis communications. You’ll need it. Up until now, the prevailing wisdom has been that crisis communications should be left to specialists. While this may still hold true for major crises, it’s also true that social media leaves everyone exposed to previously nonexistent dangers. Know how to respond when a customer or employee launches a withering attack at your organization or its leadership. You may not be able to control it, but you need to know how to deal with it, or better yet—prevent it.

Integrate your communications. Social media’s rejection of commercialization makes PR central to an organization’s communications efforts. Users can sniff out marketing copy, but a good PR professional knows how to connect to people with authenticity—in other words, without selling. Okay, so does a good marketer, but relationships are the essence of PR. It’s not worth considering which of these two functions is more important. They’re both important for many organizations. A better question to ask is, How can PR and marketing work together?

For more information on this topic, check out Frank Strong’s whitepaper, Meeting Change: Public Relations Planning in 2010.

Another View of Chessie 09

September 22, 2009

Here’s another look at the Chessie Conference …

Wordle: PR Chesapeake Conference

image by http://www.wordle.net/