All posts by Keith Trivitt

Behold the Power of Brand Advocates

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For years, public relations professionals have known of the power of brand advocacy. But in the digital age brand advocacy is evolving into the realm and responsibility of nearly every type of digital marketer. Whether you’re working on a search marketing campaign or overseeing a client’s display strategy, every marketer needs to understand and believe in brand advocacy. Continue reading

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Stop Worrying and Start Innovating

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Worried! © by photoloni

For the most part, I find the PR industry’s trade publications — PRWeek, PRNewser, PRNews, etc. — to be good standard-bearers for effectively covering the ins-and-outs of this diverse and growing industry. Sure, they tend to focus too much on AOR announcements  — the old-time stock ticker-tape reports of PR — but they do the job.

So I try to do my best not to critique. Look, reporters and editors have a tough job at those publications. They are reporting on the very people — PR pros — who know how to promote a cause or a person better than anyone. So I imagine there is quite a lot of pushback and calls for fluffier fluff pieces than at your standard trade reporter’s job. Continue reading

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Groupon PR: Whoops! It Happens

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“People forget we’re a new company. It’s one of those things where, OK, we’re still growing up as a company. Now that we figured that out, there’s no reason to think it’s going to happen again.”

So said a Groupon exec in response to a Financial Times reporter asking about accounting irregularities that have plagued the recently IPO’ed tech startup. Continue reading

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Has PR Become a ‘Lightning Rod of Mistrust’?

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Lightning © by veggiefrog

Lord Tim Bell, head of the U.K.-based PR firm Bell Pottinger, thinks so.

That’s what he told a crowd gathered in Dubai for the recent IPRA Public Relations World Congress and reiterated in an excellent interview with The Holmes Report.

Lord Bell is asked why he feels that public relations has become a “lightning rod for mistrust.” His response is intriguing inasmuch as it provides a nuanced view of a much broader issue afflicting the profession: its reputation within business and society.

Lord Bell sees “no solution to [the] issue,” of public relations’ reputation challenges, he tells The Holmes Report’s Arun Sudhaman, believing that “We [have] become the lightning rod for that mistrust. It is something we have to learn to live with. That makes us an easy target for the media.” Continue reading

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Why It’s Not ‘OK’ to Not Understand Pinterest

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Pinterest Logo - why it's not ok for PR and marketing pros not to get new platforms.The headline of Julia Hood’s Feb. 16 column in PRWeek, “Don’t get Pinterest yet? It’s OK,” caused me to twinge slightly as soon as I read it. Not because I’m some social media snob who thinks that every PR pro must be an expert on every social network and emerging technology. Rather because it strikes me as odd that an editor at a publication that is supposed to champion the value and work of the PR industry would seemingly be communicating to the business community that it’s perfectly fine for PR pros not to “get” a social platform that is very much starting to impact clients. Continue reading

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Drop the Salesman Mentality

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I love PR. I really do. Yet, as much as I enjoy working in PR, there are definitely some parts of the business that concern me, and frankly have me worried about the state of the business in the future. One of those areas is how some in PR seemingly view their jobs with a saleperson’s mentality.

That whole, “Hey journalist, buy into this idea NOW! You gotta jump on this now, because I’m going to go after the next living soul I can find who will listen to my spin!” Or my personal favorite: “You owe me big for this hit.”

Continue reading

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Exploring the Value of PR for Startups

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A series of opinion pieces last week by Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban asserting that startups “should never hire a PR firm” got the PR world buzzing with outrage. But does he have a point or is it too general a brushstroke to paint that PR can “never” benefit a startup? Let’s look at the tape.

But, before doing so, it’s instructive to take a deeper look at what, exactly, Mr. Cuban said. In an op-ed for Entrepreneur.com, excerpted from his latest book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It,” he lays out his “12 rules for startups.” Rule No. 11 states:

Never hire a PR firm. Continue reading

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Time for Journalism’s ‘Name-and-Shame’ Game to End

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I’ve never understood the point of the “name-and-shame” tactic employed by some journalists who feel aggrieved by what they perceive to be an undue amount of pitches from PR pros or just plain spam from PR agencies.Is it that they are trying to teach us a lesson? A Daddy (the media) knows best, and if we (the misbehaving children) know what is good for us, we’ll shape up quick before Dad comes home type of ethos?

Or is it fueled by a genuine desire to help the public relations industry better inform reporters of key trends and provide the sources they need to report on the world’s news?

My cynical side tells me it’s neither. Instead, it’s a good bit of self-righteous hand wringing aimed at embarrassing us into submission. Continue reading

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The Next Great PR Firm

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What will be the next great, innovative PR firm?

I wrote this question in a note in my iPhone late one night last week. For those who don’t know me, I’m a bit of a nerd, and yes, these are the things I think about. Primarily, I posed this question to myself as part of my job at PRSA, which includes advocating the business value of PR. But I also ask it because I’m genuinely interested in finding the answer.

Who among my generation of PR pros — those old enough to remember Bacon’s before it became Cision but young enough that our entire careers have evolved online — will create the next great PR firm? The next Edelman or Burson-Marsteller or SHIFT Communications. The type of PR firm that comes to define a generation within the industry and advances the business of PR well beyond the status quo. Continue reading

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