Tag Archives: PRSA

Defining The Roles of PR Professionals and Their Partners

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After reading Jen Pedde’s post “What Buy kamagra cheapnity-manager-is-not”>a Community Manager is Not” – especially the comments – I started thinking about the grey areas between the roles of PR professionals and those under the departments and titles of

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The APR: My Experience

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To practice public relations there is no board or exam. The practitioners are lumped in together- the good, the bad and the ugly. The Accreditation in Public Relations process is elective. You can choose to sit for accreditation or you cannot without any consequences. And if you pass there is no real effect on your job and you won’t get an extra zero on your next paycheck.

However, I just checked the mailbox and my official letter of passing has just arrived. There is something that feels so good about having three little letters behind my name that I can’t help but be excited.

The desire to take the APR has to come within. You have to want to go through the process to further your career and to separate yourself with the designation in the pool of resumes. Continue reading

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The Importance of Making it REAL at Counselors Academy

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Running an independent PR agency can be a rewarding, yet risky business, with a variety of personal and professional challenges, adequate to fill a lifetime of sleepless nights. These include:

  • Constant, relentless price-cutting competition from multi-national agencies with deep pockets and a New Biz funnel that extends around the world;
  • The need to be a trend-spotting, trendsetter, always paving the way at the cutting-edge of PR best practices;
  • Learning and improving your business leadership skills, while trying to balance your business and personal life;  Continue reading
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10 Reasons To Think About Getting Your APR

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We all know there are good PR Pros and there are the “other” PR imposters. These imposters go around selling our profession short of what it is and throwing mud on the industry name. It is hard to show that you are not one of “those” to a reporter, client or boss who has been burned.

“Professionals have credentials and others merely have titles such as Vice President,” says Jeffrey Geibel, APR, Principal of Geibel Marketing and Public Relations. “An APR is a transportable credential such as an MBA. It goes with you, unlike a title.”

The APR is a hit or miss topic for PR pros. Some are die hard that you have to have it and others are waiting for the raise and the promotion to come along with the hard work that it takes to be accredited. Continue reading

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Honesty and Transparency in Public Relations

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This week, I had the great opportunity to speak with Ferris State University’s PRSSA chapter. Not only was it a chance to give them an idea of how a public relations pro got his start, it allowed me to give them advice they may not normally get in an academic setting.Some of the points I made during the talk:

  • Want a job when you graduate? Use your PR skills & put a plan together.
  • Research and know the company you’re applying to. Go to their website and study the job requirements.
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Out of Work? Put your PR Skills to Use!

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None of us ever want to be unemployed. Unfortunately, the reality is that it happens. I’m one of those who had reality slap me in the face when I was let go from my job last month. Disappointing? Sure. But, it was also a perfect time to refine who I am and what I really want to do.

What did I do?

I spent the first few days developing a plan of action and started to strategize my next steps. Think you can’t do a SWOT analysis on yourself? WRONG! Take any public relations-centered term and you can put it to use in your job search. Here’s what I did in the first weeks of being unemployed. Continue reading

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The Benefits of APR

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Three simple letters can mean so much to a public relations professional. The letters stand for distinction in our field and the dedication to the profession.  APR, or Accredited in Public Relations, has set the bar high. The test is not easy and it challenges your knowledge of proper practices and strategic planning, among others.

There are some that debate whether APR is necessary and if it is even worth it. I believe it definitely is worth your time. I know because I have taken the test, but didn’t pass it the first time (I’m gearing up to take it again).  I’m a member of PRSA and hemmed and hawed whether I should go for accreditation. I ultimately decided to go for it because I wanted to challenge my PR knowledge and go to another level.

Here’s why APR can benefit you: Continue reading

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Smear Campaigns Have No Place in PR

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Unless you were living under a rock last week, you likely have heard about the big ethical flap that PR firm Burson-Marsteller found itself in after it was outed by USA TODAY for engaging in an attempted smear campaign on behalf of its famous client, Facebook, against Google. “Whisper-Gate” it’s being called.

Long story short: things blew up — dramatically — in one of the most egregious displays of unethical practices our business has seen since Edelman got caught in 2006 for its fake blogging tactics on behalf of Walmart. Let me be clear: B-M’s actions on behalf of Facebook were unethical and improper.

All of the details of this epic tale have already been fleshed out (including new revelations over the weekend from WIRED.com reporter Sam Gustin that B-M was deleting negative posts about the firm on its Facebook wall) in the hundreds of stories that were written last week. Now, it’s time to consider the long-term impact this will have on PR.

Will our profession use this as a teachable moment; an opportunity to reassess our commitment to serving the public interest and being ethical counselors to our clients? Or will we just brush it aside as yet another instance of an ethical lapse taking center stage for a couple of news cycles.

Speaking as someone who manages advocacy for PRSA, a professional organization that strongly advocates for stringent ethical standards in PR, I sincerely hope it is the former. This unfortunate incident has cast a negative shadow upon our profession; one we can ill afford to become the de facto standard operating procedure.

And I believe that, on the whole, the majority of PR professionals are ethical and have the public’s best interest in mind. While B-M certainly made an ethical lapse in this case, we should give the firm some credit for admitting in a statement that “When talking to the media, we need to adhere to strict standards of transparency about clients, and this incident underscores the absolute importance of that principle.”

All that said, I was a little shocked to read in PRWeek UK a quote from Speed Communications MD Steve Earl that, “Smearing is an integral part of PR.”

I won’t try to get too high and mighty about this topic, but I will say this: Smear campaigns and unethical non-disclosure of clients and/or clients’ intentions are most certainly not an integral part of PR. That type of work is unethical and against most recognized global standards of ethics in the profession, including the PRSA Code of Ethics.

Thankfully, Mr. Earl’s assertions were counterbalanced in the same PRWeek article with a more sane statement by Fraser Hardie, senior partner of Blue Rubion, which just so happens to represent Facebook in the UK. Mr. Hardie made it clear that his firm had no knowledge of the B-M smear campaign and he went further by taking the stance that his firm is not willing to cross the line between advocacy and smearing.

This incident was an embarrassment to all parties involved, and more broadly, to the PR profession. It was also unethical. But I’m confident we’ll learn from this and add additional value to our work by keeping the public’s best interest in mind, even if that comes at the expense of our clients’ wishes.

We just need to take statements like Mr. Earl’s with a fine grain of salt to get through the murk.

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Defining PR – Is it Really that Hard to do?

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A recent post at Ragan.com caught my attention.  It was based on the premise that public relations has a definition problem.  According to the author, Frank Strong, if you ask 10 PR pros to define PR, you’d get 10 different answers.

Sadly, he’s right and that’s the issue.  Why are we having such a problem explaining what PR is? As Frank mentioned in his post, the Public Relations Society of America defines PR:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” Continue reading

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Caveat Twittor

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Earlier in his career, William Murray, my boss at PRSA, spent 20 years working under Jack Valenti as the COO of the Motion Picture Association of America. Along the way, he learned a little bit about what goes into the production of the Academy Awards, and he always has entertaining stories to share.

(Full disclosure: Keith Trivitt, a founding PRBC blogger, also works for PRSA.)

So Bill was a bit puzzled when I asked if he had seen the Tweet sent on Oscar night by Richard Robbins, AT&T’s director of social innovation. In it, Robbins suggested that the producers of live broadcasts put contingency plans in place for making mid-production changes when the social media buzz turns ugly, as it did in the case of this year’s Oscars.

“Say that again,” Bill asked. “He suggested what?” Continue reading

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