Author Archive

Growing Pains, PR and Politics

When I started with c3PR, I assumed I would learn about public relations – how to write news releases, pitch editors, promote our clients through social media, etc. Yet, while learning the day-to-day tasks, I actually received a more significant and lasting lesson about communication and compassion.

PR is about finding the best way to communicate ideas to a certain group. To achieve this with any sort of proficiency, you must understand the motivations of each group involved; their desires, concerns, what keeps them awake at night. Your goal must be to really listen and find unique and inspiring ways to address the target audience’s uncertainties and assuage their doubts. Maybe that’s why the senior professionals in the field are called PR counselors, as they provide strategic counseling for business executives.

The ability to perceive and understand someone’s concerns is just as beneficial in politics as it is in public relations. Last fall I volunteered to help elect Eric Swalwell to congress. As a young, unknown city councilman and prosecutor going up against the 40-year-incumbent Pete Stark, most thought he didn’t have a chance of winning. However, his passion for change couldn’t go unnoticed for long. After just a few months, his campaign headquarters was flooded with volunteers coming in on weekends, canvasing door-to-door after work and manning the phone banks. It was the hard work and determination of the volunteers in this grass-roots campaign that helped him make it to Capitol Hill. The excitement of the election and the inspirational work of his volunteers rubbed off on me. When I was offered a position in Congressman Eric Swalwell’s district office, I couldn’t turn it down.

In my short time with c3PR, I learned how to empathize with and communicate ideas to vastly divergent groups. Now I would like to use my ability to identify concerns and communicate persuasively on behalf of our constituents. Personally, I believe that for our government to truly serve the people, our elected officials must actively listen to the people they represent and take those concerns to Washington. I’m grateful that c3PR has prepared me to help Congressman Swalwell do just that. If you live in California Congressional District 15, you’re sure to hear from me in one way or another. If not, I hope you’ll let your elected officials know when you have concerns or suggestions. You can find a list for your district at: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. And while I’ll truly miss working with all of c3PR’s clients, I’m excited for the opportunity to serve our citizens.

Social Media: The New PR World Order

Whether it’s challenging constituents through Twitter to ask Presidential candidates trivial questions at town-hall debates or making critical comments concerning President Obama’s late Grandmother, the strong political climate heightened by tonight’s Presidential debate is a stark reminder that in this race social media has become king.

But not all social media makes a negative splash. I recently had the privilege of attending the launch of Eastwick’s sister company, SocialxDesign, a firm dedicated to improving the social engagement of businesses, government agencies and NGO’s. It was at this event that I learned through an experienced panel of speakers – including founders Giovanni Rodriguez, Toby Chaudhuri and Barbara Bates – how social media can be used to empower everyone to become directly involved in the processes that affect them on a daily basis.

Think about it: social media is giving a voice to historically underrepresented groups, such as Asian and Hispanic Americans. In fact, the panel described how social media practices and applications are constantly being adjusted to suit the needs of both citizens and clients. This fluid technology gives renewed meaning to the adage, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Through groundbreaking new social media tools, like Peace on Facebook, even Average Joe’s across the world can make monumental and enduring statements.

Outside of the political spectrum, the global connectedness achieved through social media is alive and well in the PR realm. Using these channels to engage your target audience may seem like foreign territory, but the impact can be monumental with the right strategy in place.  

To learn more about SocialxDesign go to: http://socialxdesign.com/.

Amplify Exposure: Landing Media Coverage

Landing a mention about your company or product in an industry publication is good for business. But considering the competition for shrinking space and the attention of overworked editors, receiving the right kind of exposure is easier with a good PR agency on your side.

c3PR recently attended PRSA Silicon Valley’s “Inside the Newsroom” event at Facebook’s headquarters. The panel of experienced editors from the online technology publication, All Things D, explained that maintaining good long-term relationships with editors and reporters is critical. In fact, wasting a journalist’s time with inappropriate pitches is a sure-fire way to damage a business relationship and discount your brand’s potential.

The panel offered a few suggestions – all of which we put into practice daily at c3PR. Here is a sneak peek at the checklist we use to make sure our clients make a media splash:

  • Can you sum up your story in a tweet? 
    • If so, the editor may be looking for something with a little more meat.
  • Do you really know your editor? 
    • We research the person we’re pitching to discover what they’re interested in and connect your story to that interest.
  • Find the human angle. 
    • All good stories feature people, so we include something that makes your story resonate with the reader. For example, did your software developer come up with the idea for his new app while cleaning the catbox?
  • Why should the readers care? 
    • Remember, we must convince the editor why they should spend their time writing about your company. It’s their job to provide readers with relevant content. It’s our job to help editors do just that.

For more information about how to add good media relations to your PR plan, contact mar@c3pr.com

Do Your News Releases Work As Hard As An Olympian?

It’s hard to believe that after four years of grueling training some Olympians will compete for mere seconds at the London Olympics. That’s a lifetime of dedication building up to a single event – talk about pressure! In the business world, news releases are our client’s time to shine, but if you don’t know how to write a news release for the digital age, it can feel like your hard work is being wasted.     

For more than half a century, news releases were written to get the attention of editors and journalists, hence the name “press releases.”  But modern news releases are written primarily for search engines, with only about a fifth read by an editor. According to Ann Wylie, President of Wylie Communications, many news releases are “unreadable” because they’re not written for online audiences. The best news releases are written for humans, not search engines. While that may sound simple, many companies find this difficult to achieve without breaking portal regulations. For example, overloading a news release with links and keywords can be interpreted as spam and will limit the audience that receives your release. Below are a few straightforward tips to increasing your client’s name recognition and website traffic, through your news releases. With these in mind you’ll be sure to whip your news release into Olympic shape in no time!

  • Use strong verbs
  • Keep it short
  • Don’t drop the deck
  • Never repeat links
  • Match your media to the message
  • Skip fluff phrases

For more info and tips on writing news releases for your organization, contact Mar Junge.