5 Pieces of Advice for New PR Grads—and One for Old Pros

graduationhatTwenty years ago, I crammed into the Philadelphia Civic Center with more than 6,000 of my fellow Temple University classmates to receive my journalism degree. After a few years spent working for a newspaper, I came over to the “dark side” and joined the agency world. I’ve never looked back.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how different my job is today from when I was a junior account executive all those years ago. For starters, we now have Internet that doesn’t require one of those AOL CDs. But aside from that, I’ve also been thinking about all the great advice I’ve gotten over the course of my career. Here are a few of my favorite tips:Read full post...

NASCAR knows more about Twitter than you do

Dale Junior Joins Twitter

Dale Jr. joins Twitter.

Yesterday’s six-hour rain delay of the Daytona 500 could have been a huge letdown for NASCAR fans. Instead, they spent the afternoon joking with their favorite drivers, getting updates on track conditions from race officials, and having a “fireside chat” with at least one driver (Clint Bowyer), who told track reporters that he was having “a lot of fun” with his Twitter followers until his PR team “shut him down” (Hey, sometimes we have to be the party poopers!). After the race, fans celebrated the long-awaited launch of race winner Dale Earnhardt  Jr.’s Twitter account, which he promised he would do if he won. Nine hours later, he already had 355,000 followers (and growing).

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What “Snow Bowl” taught me about public relations

Nurture your PR campaigns and plans through to the end … even if that means risking frostbite.

Nurture your PR campaigns and plans through to the end … even if that means risking frostbite.

Long before LeSean McCoy rushed into the record books in Sunday’s Eagles-Lions game in Philadelphia, the game itself was already a legend in the making. A surprise snowstorm and a second-half comeback by the home team made a captivating story for sports fans across the country.

Now that I have thawed out from hours spent in the icy stands of Lincoln Financial Field, I realized that Snow Bowl can offer some valuable public relations lessons. Think hypothermia has made me delirious? Consider:

  1. Be prepared for anything. Even the most carefully crafted plans could change. This is true whether you’re planning to launch an ambitious PR campaign for a product that suddenly isn’t ready for market, or if you game-planned for a few snowflakes and not a swirling snowstorm.Read full post...

Gyms’ PR strategy doesn’t work out

In a world of 24-hour information, quality PR work is crucial.

When the Baltimore Colts moved out of town under the cover of darkness in 1984, the team pretty much cemented its place in the Bad PR Moves Hall of Fame. But last week, Bally Total Fitness took a page out of the Colts’ playbook anyway, completing a sale of 171 of its clubs to competitor LA Fitness — without telling its members. Other than a vague, one-paragraph statement on both companies’ websites, and two days’ notice of an early closing on November 30, gym members were given no information about the sale, or what it would mean for them.Read full post...

The Leader of the Facebook Pack

Part 3: The Leader of the Facebook Pack

The first three posts in my Facebook news feed this morning were:

  • A video of my neighbor’s new puppy (cute!)
  • A picture of the beach in Greece where my best friend is vacationing (jealous!)
  • A rant on the morning commute from a high school classmate (unintentionally hilarious!)

On the surface, these posts have nothing in common. So how did Facebook decide they should be in my “top news” feed? In a word: EdgeRank.Read full post...

Facebook PR Strategies for Small Budgets

Part 2: Facebook PR Strategies for a Small Budget

Kohl’s department store has more than 4.8 million Facebook “likes,” a following largely built during a 2010 campaign that let fans vote for which 20 schools should receive $500,000 each. The company gave away $10 million, but gained a groundswell of good feelings and a legion of new fans who now receive the company’s updates every day.

But take heart — you don’t need a multimillion-dollar budget to build a Facebook following.Read full post...

Your Facebook cheat sheet

Part 1: Your Facebook cheat sheet

Facebook. One out of every 13 people on earth is on it. More than half of all social media traffic in the United States comes from it. It’s no wonder that it has become a component of every good PR strategy.

But unlike traditional media outlets, with their long histories of best practices and protocols to follow, Facebook and other social media outlets change the rules often by the day. The whole process of setting up a page, recruiting fans and interacting with them — not to mention making the whole thing valuable for the client — is new territory for many PR professionals.Read full post...