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Nanopunditry – How to make your mark

By Tracy Schario, APR

A decade ago, many public relations practitioners were struggling to explain to clients the definition of a blog and why interviewing with a blogger, in addition to journalists, was important to build third-party credibility for a company, product or executive.

Today, corporate and executive blogs are commonplace among the nearly 200,000,000 or more blogs vying for readers. Blogging is a proven PR tool to build thought leadership and establish an individual as an issue or industry expert. 

Accreditation Power Play—Get Into the Game

How do you stay on top of your game in a prolific profession like public relations? Pursuing the designations of Accredited in Public Relations (APR) or Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication (APR+M) may be just the game changers to help you reach your career goals.

April is Accreditation Month. Learning how to get into the game and become an APR or APR+M is well within reach for many PR professionals of varying experience levels and areas of focus. In fact, accreditation helps to level set the diverse PR playing field.

Panelists Provide Writing Tips at PRSA-NCC’s “How to Write a PR Plan” Workshop

On Wednesday, March 20, two panelist shared their knowledge on crafting a PR plan at PRSA-NCC’s “How to Write a PR Plan” workshop to communications and PR professionals at the Navy Memorial. Open to all professionals at any stage of their career, the workshop featured steps to develop a PR plan, and the content that should be included. The panelists answered audience questions about new tactics to foster new plans and strategies to update the old.

Anatomy of a Crisis & the Impact of Social Media

At 1:00 am one hot night last summer, Tracy Weise, of Weise Communications (Denver, CO), got the call we all dread. It instructed her that a crisis had hit and this was not a drill. Tracy grabbed a quick shower, a cup of coffee, and drove to the client. On her way there, the first media call came in on her cell phone. It was 1:40 am and the call was the BBC. Thus began her amazing experience handling media relations during the Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting.

Managing the Informal Generation

Today’s 20-somethings (aka Millennials or Gen Y) will soon be in middle management and then among the ranks of senior leadership. For those of us minding this generation gap in the workplace today, Millennials offer unique management challenges and opportunities. This group of young employees is not necessarily motivated by the climbing the proverbial corporate ladder or driven by traditional corporate incentives. Where can you find common ground and motivate the talent?

Shira Harrington, president of Purposeful Hire, shared practical insights into engaging the Millennial generation—with particular emphasis on communication, work-life balance, and technology—during PRSA National Capital Chapter’s “20+ LeaderPack” luncheon on July 25.

Millennials recognize that the employer loyalty contract is broken, explained Harrington. “Their ethic is to fit work around business, and they grew up with helicopter parents meaning employer validation is important.”

These attitudes and a more casual approach to communications—lack of punctuation and capitalization in written materials or frequent attention to one’s smart phone for example—highlight significant generational differences in the workplace. Harrington advised seeking mutual understanding to resolve differences. Her tips include:

• Ban cell phones from meetings to help ensure the full attention of all participants.
• Be a mentor. Help younger staff develop strategic communications skills and the value of social media as a formal channel for interacting with key audiences.
• Learn what motivates the “fast pace” of Gen Y and leverage their interests and abilities for optimal performance in the work place.

With nearly 80 million Millennials, it’s essential for older generations to develop a understanding of and appreciation for this cohort of leaders.

PRSA-NCC’s “20+ LeaderPack” is an exclusive forum for senior level professionals with at least two decades of experience to build relationships, offer support, and jointly address common challenges and concerns. “20+ LeaderPack” offers facilitated discussions that tap into the collective wisdom of the Washington area’s top PR professionals.

By Tracy Schario, APR

The Deadline is Dead

“There is no deadline,” according to NBC4 political reporter Tom Sherwood. “The deadline is dead.”

Sherwood was referring to the immediacy of information sent out via Twitter. “Every second of the day is now a deadline for reporters,” he said.

Sherwood — along with Dave Weigel, Slate.com political reporter; Ylan Mui, Washington Post retail reporter; and Mark Hamrick, AP Radio business editor — spoke at the June 12 PRSA-NCC professional development workshop on Media Relations in the Age of Twitter at the U.S. Navy Memorial & Heritage Center.

The veteran reporters talked about how they use Twitter in their everyday lives and how PR practitioners can best interact with them on this medium.

“I don’t get many DMs [direct messages],” said Mui. “I’ll also notice if you mention me. It helps build the relationship.”

All agreed that PR practitioners should not use Twitter to pitch reporters. “Email is the best way to pitch,” according to Hamrick though he acknowledged, “A good pitch is a good pitch, regardless of how we get it.”

All four panelists use Twitter to varying degrees and find it helpful for getting news they might not have otherwise seen. Furthermore, their news organizations encourage them to be active on the platform.

Mui uses Twitter to promote herself “and the Post encourages us to do this.” Sherwood regularly monitors Twitter and uses it to follow his competitors. Hamrick uses it to “gauge the temperature of the news environment” and distribute content.

Weigel’s assessment of the microblogging platform: “Twitter is basically candy. It’s a fun medium to use.”

Mentoring

Join the PRSA-NCC Mentoring program: Become a Mentor or Mentee

Are you a young professional looking for guidance?

Are you mid-career and seeking a way to get to the next level or change industries?

Are you a senior practitioner who can benefit from guidance on digital strategies or managing millennials from a young professional?

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