We’ve been Nominated & Friday’s 5 (+3) • 18 June 2010

Letter V

For those of you haven’t caught it, PRBC has been nominated in Arik Hanson’s PR Readers’ Choice Awards for Up and Coming Blog. Take a look at the list in that category (and the others) for some great blogs and vote for your favorites.  I’m not saying I’ve got a favorite in the Up and Coming group – but if you vote for us I might send you a Unicorn :).

And with that, kick up your heels and enjoy our Top 5(+3) posts from this week (based on pageview and in alpha-order). Cheers!

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Tricks of the Trade: Small Talk

BusinesspeopleOne of the most awkward moments is waiting for a meeting to start, waiting for someone to show up, etc, especially when you don’t really know the people. That silence in the room, the tiny smirk that pops up…I always nod my head until I think of something to talk about. Sometimes though, we just can’t think of what to say or don’t want to push any buttons.

The art of ‘Small Talk’ definitely takes some practice over time. From talking sports or pop trends to the latest in technology, the small talk can really seal a deal, or break it.  Has anyone ever tried to make small talk with the receptionist when interviewing for a job? I’m pretty sure that’s how I got my last two jobs. If the receptionist loves you, you’re in. Anyway, I wanted to point out what I thought was the best small talk, and the worst. Continue reading

The Official PRBC Guide to Summer Fridays

CalendarSummer Fridays are a tradition unique to New York City, I believe, but maybe some of you in DC and Chicago have the same experience. Some PR firms (or publishing houses, or tech companies, or marketing and ad firms, or doctors’ offices, or almost anything) take half days on the Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Some offices close on Summer Fridays at noon, some at three in the afternoon; some offices make up the lost time during the rest of the week, some are more lax.

The point is, Summer Fridays are a chance for you to use your precious downtime to enjoy the beautiful weather and cultural delights the city has to offer in the summertime. Here is how Summer Fridays usually go down: Continue reading

A Possible Facebook & Twitter Bubble?

Girl Blowing BubblesIn business, when is too much of a good thing just that: too much? More precisely, when it comes to online marketing for small businesses, when does too much reliance on the powers of Facebook and Twitter start to become a detriment to the long-term success of your business? Or even a bubble you should watch out for?

I’ve been giving this some considerable thought over the past few weeks. It always starts with a brief realization that despite the numerous marketing benefits of both platforms, each seems to be a bit overleveraged and oversaturated in terms of their true marketing benefits for small-business owners. In a world of 50 millions tweets per day and 100-plus million global users (only a fraction of whom are actually active), are we, as marketers, overemphasizing the benefits of Facebook and Twitter to the detriment of small businesses we represent? Continue reading

Clients and Phone Interviews – What’s Your Role?

Stained Sticky Notepaper Pad with Broken Pencil and Telephone HandsetCongratulations! You’ve scored a phone interview for your client with a big name reporter. Now comes the big question – do you join in?

I have worked for people that have stood on both sides of the issue as to whether or not you should be on the phone while a client does the interview. If the decision has been made that you will be listening in, do you tell the reporter you are on the other line? Do you chime in? Or, do you just pretend you aren’t there and take a back seat? And, what do the reporters think?

There are so many opinions that surround this topic; I thought I would poll the PRBC crew and a couple of reporters to get their thoughts. Continue reading

4.5 Tips for Bulletproof PR

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if PR pros got the communications equivalent of a bulletproof vest upon college graduation? Come on, we’ve all needed a little bit if kevlar from time to time! Since such a product doesn’t exist (although it should), here are 4 Tips to Bulletproof PR!

Tip #0.5: Have this song playing in the background while you read this. It helps.

Tip #1: Plan Start to Finish For a plan to be useful, it needs to go as far ahead as possible. Of course, it’s subject to change for any of a million different reasons, but it goes back to the old writing adage that it’s easier to edit than to create. The act of creating a long-term plan forces you to think about causes and effects of your campaign. Before you send out one release, make sure your entire team (and of course, any client contacts), know the next steps. From a client relations standpoint, having a plan reinforces your image as an expert.

Tip #2: Anticipate the Bad

Whippet looking sad

Poop Happens. Know it, accept it, plan for it and be ready to deal with it at all times. Look at it with this analogy. If you take your dog for a walk and bring a plastic bag with you, when your precious pup does his…uhhh…business…you don’t end up with poop-covered hands and a smell that won’t go away. The more you think about, discuss and prepare for the inevitable moment when the stuff hits the fan, the more bulletproof you’ll be.

Tip #3: Be Honest and Transparent What’s one sure way to NOT be bulletproof? Get caught in lies and Man's screaming facedeceptions. Just look at the recent BP oil spill as a “How Not To” guide. Seemingly every day, there as been a report of the public being misled on the entire incident, from the initial explosion to the clean-up efforts. Sometimes the truth can hurt. A lot. Like to no end. However, if you tell the truth from the start, it’s ALWAYS better than being caught in a lie down the road. Protect yourself and your client by just not lying.

Tip #4: Know When To Stop Talking Perhaps the biggest lesson a PR pro can learn is when shut the hell up. We are a gabby sort, us PR folks. We like to talk, share, learn, etc., etc., etc. But knowing when to stop talking and sharing is critical. Every PR pro I know has inadvertently said something they shouldn’t have to a reporter. It’s OK to not pick up the phone or wait a little while before returning an email. I know it sounds like a direct contradiction to Tip #3 (be honest and transparent), but saying NOTHING is much different than misleading.

What other tips for Bulletproof PR do you have?

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Selling Ourselves Short with Social Media

Hands countingOne of the core functions of the public relations profession is publicity. It’s why we chat up reporters, pitch, spin, network, etc. We build stories and buzz around products that are not always sexy. So it is funny to me, that we sell ourselves short when it comes to social media.

How many times have you said/heard “Social media is easy” or “It’s not rocket science?”

If you are like me, you don’t have enough fingers and toes to count. These phrases and similar ones that we commonly state belittle the work that we do in social media. Continue reading

Tradeshow Aftermath: What Not to Do

Businesswoman standing with arms crossedHaving spent last Thursday at a Business Expo, it has become evident that the days of building personal relationships have come to pass.  It seems as though people have become so intently focused on generating business transactions, that they have overlooked the importance of building and sustaining individual relationships.  The importance of the ‘Hi X,’ the ‘I enjoyed meeting you at the breakfast/luncheon/booth/event.’  While it may seem inconsequential, something as simple as a personalized salutation can mean the difference between ending up in the junk mail folder and converting a prospect into both a client and lead agent. Continue reading