BIZ Builder Magazine - The Decline of Trust in Corporate America - June 2012


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.BIZ Builder eMagazine brings together buyers and sellers of PR and integrated marketing communications services. This innovative digital magazine presents exclusive business-building news and features in an interactive format that is as easy and engaging to browse as traditional magazines.

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BIZ Builder Magazine - The Decline of Trust in Corporate America - June 2012

  1. 1. .BIZ BUILDER BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS WITH INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS June 2012 Premier Issue In This Issue: Apple’s Marketing Magic: Brilliant Ideas to Borrow from Steve Jobs Epic PR Fails: Belvedere Vodka F**ks Self Over Agency’s Date Rape Ad Netflix to Customers: Up Yours—Why Phony Corporate Apologies Backfire THE DECLINE OF TRUST in Corporate America Stephen M.R. Covey & Greg Link on Rebuilding the ROI of Trust
  2. 2. Are you trending on TV?Becoming the focus of broadcast coverage, whether internally or by happenstance,can turn your day upside down. The CEO who didnt know you existed suddenlystarts texting you for updates. Marketing wants to see the coverage. Your phones,Twitter feed and sales team are abuzz about your newfound stardom.With Critical Mention as your broadcast intelligence platform, you know where youare appearing - in real time. Coverage can be viewed, edited and shared withoutskipping a beat. So youll have plenty of time to text the CEO for a raise. All 210 U.S. TV markets Broadcast-quality video Radio in Arbitrons top 50 markets Precise editing in WordPlay U.S. Hispanic TV Every word searchable in real-time Email alerts Easy sharing of clips Report Builder Nielsen audience & SQAD ad dataALL BACKED BY WHITE-GLOVE CUSTOMER SERVICE 7 DAYS A WEEK To watch our video: 10 Tips in 60 Seconds, And get more information about our services Click HereCall +1.212.398.1141 or email ©2012 Critical Mention All rights reserved
  3. 3. WelcomeThen jump right into our premier issue! It’s the only .BIZ Builder...Vol I, Issue I June 2012 Published by:monthly online e-magazine dedicated to sharing CommPRO.bizwhat’s new and what’s working to grow your businessusing PR and integrated marketing communications. Editor-In-Chief Brian PittmanEach issue reaches thousands of businessprofessionals. Chief Creative Officer / Designer Todd FabacherYou’ll find plenty of advice, tips and more—rangingfrom our exclusive interview with Stephen M.R. Covey Publisherand Greg Link on the value of trust to a nearly a dozen Fay Shapiroarticles showing you how you can win more positive Chief Strategistpress, publicity and marketing value. The best part? Bruce MerchantThe digital magazine is just one part of our .BIZMarketplace...check out: Contributors .BIZ Channel Partners • Agile Engagement: From PR Newswire Marketplace • Critical Now: From Critical Mention • Marketing Nightmares: From BigFrontier Communications Group Online resource for marcom BIZ GIGS micro-projects and gigs. View .BIZ Bloggers • Hiring Hub - Marie Raperto A no-fee RFP and project Project Bidder • IR Therefore I Am - Gene Marbach bidding site. View • Social Media Zone - Vick Flaugher • The Pulse This new online directory connects • Great Marcom Minds BIZ Finder buyers and sellers of integrated marketing communications. View .BIZ Blog Contributors • Mark Faust, Echelon Management Job Board A free job board, connecting job • Ann Voorhees Baker, Publicity seekers with hiring firms. View • Laura Alvarado, O’Neill & Associates.BIZ Builder is the first stop on your journey to • Evan Weisel, Welz & Weiselbusiness growth. “Flip” the page and get started! • Scott Harris, Mustang Marketing • James Lukaszewski, The Lukaszewski Group Brian Pittman, LLC 222 East 34th Street Suite 1201 New York, NY 10016 View our Media & Sales Kit
  4. 4. 9 1418 24TRUST INC. 2
  5. 5. CONTENTS {6-7} { 18 - 22 }HOT News Trends: Trust Inc.: The Decline of Trust inSix Top “News You Can Use” Headlines of the Corporate America - And How to Fix ItMonth (an Exclusive Interview with Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link) { 9 - 11 } { 24 - 25 }Appleʼs Magical Marketing Prowess: Trust or Bust: Edelmanʼs Trust Barometer3 Brilliant Ideas to Borrow from Steve Jobs Shows Trust in Media Trumps Trust in CEOs - And What to Do About It { 12 - 13 } { 26 - 30 }OWS Infograph: Occupy Wall Street Is PR Primer: Everything You Need to KnowBack - Is Your Corporate Reputation Ready? to Successfully Pitch the Press { 14 - 16 } { 32 }Marketing Nightmares Channel: Great Marcom Minds: Cause MarketingBelvedere Vodka F**ks Self Over Agencyʼs Works: Tideʼs “Loads of Hope” Program Is aDate Rape Ad Good Model for Companies { 34 - 35 } .Biz Marketplace Advice: RFP FAQ for Businesses: How Do I Create a Strong RFP for Stellar Agency Work?
  6. 6. CONTENTS { 37 - 42 } { 58 - 61 }Cool Tools: 10 Favorite Social Media Critical Now Channel: Local NewsTools for Business Beyond 6 and 11 - How Business Can Benefit { 44- 47 } { 62 - 64 }.Biz Marketplace Advice: Six Must IR Therefore I Am: Learning from HonestHave Qualities to Look for When Hiring a PR Abe: Six Leadership Lessons from a ModelFirm Communicator { 50- 52 } { 66 - 68 }Say Hello to the New Marketing Mix: Social Media Zone: 10 Social MediaWhy PRʼs Role Is Increasing In Todayʼs Must-Doʼs for the Rest of 2012Economy { 53 - 56 } { 70 - 71 }Agile Engagement Channel: Why Hiring Hub: Difficult Conversations: 5Arenʼt Businesses Listening to Target Steps to Help You Manage Them at Work andMarkets Online - Why It Matters & How Itʼs BeyondDone { 72 - 76 } Netflix to Customers: Up Yours! Why Phony Corporate Apologies Backfire
  7. 7. 37 4861 72
  8. 8. HOT News Trends CEO Reputation Greatly Impacts Consumer Images of Companies, Weber Shandwick Survey Finds MarketWatch Two-thirds (66% ) of consumers say their perceptions of CEOs affect their opinions of company reputations, according to Weber Shandwickʼs “The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust - CEO Spotlight” research report. Execs, like consumers, also do not overlook the importance of a leaderʼs reputation – they attribute 49% of a companyʼs overall reputation to the CEOʼs reputation. Executive leadership is critical to burnishing the overall reputation of organizations today, particularly when it is estimated that a large 60% of a companyʼs market value is attributed to its reputation. The report explores the importance of executive leadership and communications to helping reverse the tides of waning trust in companies. Report Reveals 60% of Companies Say Social Media Marketing Improves Customer Service Brafton A report from thinkJar and Sword Ciboodle found that 60% of companies in the U.S. and the U.K. are using social in part to improve their customer service. In addition, 60% of companies polled are using both Facebook and Twitter to answer questions from customers and address feedback. A full 85% use at least one of the two channels. Larger companies that field a substantial number of queries from customers have found that social can help alleviate the strain of call centers or other parts of the business dedicated to customer service. And 40% said they have been using social media marketing as part of customer service for at least two years, while 53% said they have implemented it in the last two years. 2012 Media Survey: Journalists Expect to See Online Newsrooms on Company Websites Social PR Scoops TEKGROUP released the results of a national survey highlighting the importance of creating a content rich and up-to-date online newsroom. Close to 100% journalists said online newsrooms are a must. More than 50% of journalists said they are visiting your online newsroom once a week and 64% on a monthly basis, that number should motivate company newsmakers to deliver fresh content and package it in a way that is organized as well as user-and social media friendly.... 6
  9. 9. Mobile Marketing Boosts Profit for 84% of SmallBusinessesBusiness 2 CommunityA study conducted by (Network Solutionsʼ parent company) among 500 smallbusiness owners showed an overwhelmingly positive response to mobile marketing. ofthose surveyed, 84% saw an increase in new business activity after engaging in mobilemarketing, and 69% “somewhat or strongly agreed that “mobile marketing is key to mysmall business growth in the next five years.” The top two reasons business owners investin mobile marketing, according to the study, are: to provide better service to existingcustomers and to attract more local customers. The study also found that 61% of smallbusinesses are not currently promoting their business through mobile search.Google+ a Ghost Town as Brands Decamp forPinterestAd AgeGoogle+ launched brand pages six months ago. But rather than challenge Facebook andTwitter for mindshare, Google is a distant fourth to Pinterest, with its “pin it” button nowappearing alongside Facebook, Twitter and email buttons on prime web real-estate suchas eBay and Amazon product pages. Even the platformʼs “best” brands havenʼt put a tonof effort into building out the pages. Nissan was lauded late last year for having one of thebest new Google+ brand pages. But its content is pulled from Facebook. “The bottom linewas that it was pretty bleak in its traffic,” said Brandon Kleinman, director of social mediaand strategy at TBWA/Chiat/Day. Consensus is that Google+ is an empty city where themasses go to set up a profile but seldom return.CEOs Gone Wild: Rise of Corporate America ScandalsTied to Perceived Lighter Corporate GovernanceCNBCFour years after the financial crisis exploded and resulted in a regulatory clampdown, badbehavior is back in corporate boardrooms and C-suites, generating embarrassingheadlines and posing the threat of even more rules. Whether itʼs resume-padding atYahoo, improper relations with female subordinates at Best Buy or questionable loandealings at Chesapeake Energy, several high-profile CEOs have helped bring backmemories of PR scandals past that destroyed companies and hammered investors.For some experts on corporate governance, the rise in scandal comes as executivesmistakenly think the coast is clear after the increased corporate oversight following thecredit implosion in 2008. 7
  10. 10. Appleʼs Magical Marketing Prowess:3 Brilliant Ideas to Borrow from Steve Jobs By Mark Faust, Founder, Echelon Management 9
  11. 11. No doubt about it: Apple is the brand of team. People don’t come into theirthe decade. Even after the passing of positions and say, “Here is what I’veSteve Jobs, Apple retains an emotional learned in B-school” or “This is how weconnection with consumers. So what is did it at my other company” they innovatethe magic behind the companyʼs solutions to compensation, motivation,marketing prowess? As a growth customer responsiveness, financing, inventory…you name it, they innovate it.consultant and executive coach, Iʼveworked with Apple as a client and have Every brain at Apple has a Jobsian abilitysome insight on these questions. to see the greatest constraints of the process over which they are responsible.For starters, Apple uses three key Just like classic innovation strategy, theystrategies that any business leader or prioritize the top constraints to professional can implement. They always have the top two or threeThese strategies were borne out of Steve opportunities prioritized for improvement.Jobsʼ relentless pursuit of innovation. Next, the Jobsians facilitate a team-wideThey are: 1. “Innovating Beyond cooperativeness around generating aProduct,” 2. “Service Impression great quantity of ideas/solutions and theManagement,” and 3. “Brand leader or a solutions team prioritizesExperience.” Letʼs explore each of these ideas for action and standardizesand review some takeaways for helping improvements in rapid grow your own business: Is anything about this innovation process really new, or distinctly Apple? No. PeterStrategy 1: Innovating Drucker penned this process down a half century ago and warned us that it isn’tBeyond Product about the personality at the top, but theA plethora of print exists around Apple’s character and belief that there has got toinnovative products, but what is just as be a better way…and most importantlyimportant yet infrequently discussed is that the key is your implementation of theApple’s strategy of applying the simple, scientific process, ofprinciples of innovation into every other identification, prioritization, collection andaspect of the business. I’ve worked with implementation; i.e., innovation.Apple as a client, I’ve interviewed dozensof execs and dozens of their largercustomers and distributive channels and Strategy 2: Servicewhat struck me as the theme that is sooften missed by the media is that Apple Impression Managementinnovates on business and management The second Apple strategy that you canas much as they do on product. employ in your company is continuous improvement in Service ImpressionJobs’ attitude of “There has got to be a Management. The fact is that yourbetter way” permeates every facet of his service can stink, but with excellent management of the process, 10
  12. 12. communication, honesty and focus on experience when interacting with yourthe customer you can still out impress company? How can you create themesthe competition. You probably have more and commonalities amongst these topservice challenges at your company than touch points? Create commonalitiesyou would like, and while someone around sounds, color, shapes, quality ofneeds to focus on reducing those voice, emotion, and every modality youchallenges, take a note from Apple and can identify. Set up innovation teams toinnovate on how you can turn every improve and meld these touch points intoservice disappointment into an hooks that connect to other high qualityopportunity to lock your customers into a experiences.relationship for life. If you apply the science of innovation toThe fact is that managing the impression all areas of your business the fact is thataround service quality is more important you can probably create millions ofthan the competitive advantage or dollars of value for only tens ofdisadvantage that your service quality thousands of investment. I consistentlyactually has. While Apple doesn’t tolerate see our clients go throughpoor service, they do leverage the transformations that improve their bottomService Impression as a manageable line when they apply principles thatprocess and as a part of their brand Steve Jobs and Apple apply in business.experience. You should set up teams to Send us a note or give us a call and weanalyze and innovate all the possible will send you our book that is aservice impression points that your Presidents List of Innovation Ideas andcustomers have. Focus on where your Opportunities for can create moments of wow, evenwhen they may be around your handling The Apple magic isn’t Jobs or anythingof a complaint process. You don’t have to else that can’t be duplicated; it is thebe the best service provider, but you do process of innovating ALL of thehave to make the best impression. business, not just the product. What top areas of your business need innovationStrategy 3: Brand in order for you to grow? View on CommPROExperienceYou’ve walked into the Apple store and Mark Faust is thecalled service support and you notice a founder of Echeloncertain consistency around every aspect Management. A growthof the experience. From the color of their consultant, executivet-shirts, to the tone and confidence of coach and nationaltheir voice, there is a uniqueness and speaker, he is the authorquality that makes you feel good. It’s all of “Growth or Bust:been said a half dozen ways from here to Proven Turnaround Strategies to GrowSunday, the question is, what are the top Your Business” and can be reached attwo-dozen touches that your customers 11
  13. 13. p y c uo c Tweets are actually INCREASING IBMʼs approach to its 100th Anniversary is an example of aligning CSR with business goals. Click Here to View November 22, 2011 to May 22, 2012 69.7 million Total Media Mentions
  14. 14. Occupy is not going away. Quite the opposite, considering theelections will give OWS a boost. It continues to grab traditionalmedia headlines and gain support online—with OWS relatedtweets actually increasing since last November to 271,7333tweets a day about OWS, according to recent Sysomos data. ...and so are traditional Media Mentions. This means corporations who may be targeted must now add OWS contingencies to their corporate crisis communications plans. Consider Wells Fargo. When OWS hit it on Oct. 11, 2011, its positive sentiment rating was 55%. It now has a 85% favorable sentiment in social and traditional media. Watch Videos
  15. 15. Belvedere Vodka F**ks Self Over Agency’s Date Rape Ad By Steve Lundin, Chief Hunter and Gatherer, BIGfrontier Communications Group, Author, Marketing Nightmares 14
  16. 16. Need proof that corporate trust, played of “who hid the salami” isreputation and revenues are inter- indicative of the backbone mostconnected? Look no further than this agencies display when it comes toclassic example of another corporate owning up: nonexistent.reputation gone south. It didn’t take long for Omnicom Group’sPoor Belvedere Vodka – they learned the Arnell, Belvedere’s Agency of record, tohard way that while sex sells, rape make it clear through an Ad Agedoesn’t, when they green lighted an ad statement that they “did not do thatthat ran in March featuring a woman ad.” Hmm – one less person of interestbeing choked because she wouldn’t “go in the “investigation.” The New Yorkdown smoothly” on a (presumably) Observer asked the question: “Who isvodka lovin’ kinda guy. The backlash responsible for Belvedere Vodka’s sexistagainst this ad was predictable – and ad?” And then answered it with thefodder for a week of discussion by all theory that all signs point to Last Exit,the advertising pundits and “correctness Belvedere’s digital marketing Agency ofwatchdogs” who were offended – Record. Last Exit couldn’t even gasp outoutraged – insulted – demeaned – a “no comment” on the issue, in stepdismayed and disgusted; everything but with Mission Public Relations, Belvederewhat the ad intended: amused. But Vodka’s PR agency. that’s not the issue here – offensive adsget published every week. The issue is Mission not only wouldn’t confirm if Lastwhere the ire-fueled public spotlight Exit was involved – but whether or notalways seems to fall: on the client who any of its Agencies were involved; givenpaid for the ad and not the agency that enough time they might even deny thatthunk it up. Belvedere itself was involved.  Maybe the whole thing was an April Fool’s jokeTrue to form, within minutes (or was it by a competing vodka company.seconds) of the Twitter and mediaoutburst over the ad, Belvedere Vodka Well, nothing loosens a stiff upper lipyanked the offender and fell on its sword faster than a lawsuit – and to makefor a very public evisceration. Company matters even more interesting, thePresident Charles Gibb stated, “It should creative geniuses (aliens maybe – at thisnever have happened…I am currently point) behind the crime misappropriatedinvestigating the matter to determine the “forced sex” photo used in thehow this happened and to be sure it ad. The image was lifted from a videonever does so again.”  that actress Alicyn Packard and her boyfriend posted on “Funny or Die”Investigation? How about asking the under their Strictly Viral ProductionsCMO which of the Agencies thought the up and the CFO how much it cost?You don’t need CSI here – this should be Try and make it through video, anti-viralthe shortest investigation in history.  But is a more appropriate description. Theit’s not, because the shell game being only thing forced in Strictly Viral’s 15
  17. 17. production was the humor: In the year it the agency skulks around in thehad been posted it received a 53% background – waiting to peddle theirrating – with 14 die votes. It’s quite stellar services to the next willingpossible that it was actually seen by less victim. Sometimes, they are flushed, likethan 30 people until the incident; this Asian Longhorn Carp, to the surface,puts it in the realm of not  so funny, and the world gets a quick peek at theirantiviral, and virtually un-watchable. I scaly backs and pasty, quiveringwould imagine that most of its views underbellies. Agencies tend to shy away(outside of friends and family) probably from the light of day, preferring tocame from the publicity raised by its practice their arts in a dark corner –misuse. As a matter of fact – that may be rising only to trumpet success whilethe only reason to watch it  (spoiler alert) keeping a shovel handy for the failures.– you have to wait to the end to catchthe “rape” scene. Whoever penned and published the Belvedere blunder could probably garnerThe lawsuit charges “infliction of a brief modicum of respect were they toemotional distress,” (wait a second  – stand up and take the public lashing,that’s the viewers) along with image giving the client a respite from thethievery. Alicyn will probably receive whipping block, before heading intomore publicity for her 53% funny work court.  If the  lawsuit actually movesby virtue of someone else turning it into forward, and isn’t settled behind closedwhat she couldn’t: viral. She should doors, we may get to witness asend Mission PR and the currently discussion of the aftermath of aanonymous Agency a thank you check marketing disaster as told by allfrom her settlement with Belvedere. It’s participants involved.  A carnival like thatgood karma to remember those who should be run live on the “Daily Show,”helped you on your way to the top. with commentary by an appropriate expert. I nominate Homer Simpson, onlyWhile no Agency is named in the lawsuit, he would be on an equal plane with allit’s just a matter of time before an the parties deposes someone at Belvederewho will finally give up the name of the View on CommPROculprit. But why hasn’t this “mediacriminal” turned him/her/themselves Steve Lundin is thein? The heat from the witch/man/creative chief hunter andhunt is just going to build – can wanted gatherersigns on the USPS site be long in of BIGfrontiercoming? Communications Group, a ChicagoAt the core of every marketing nightmare based media strategyis a marketing person/team – either in- firm. His new book, “Marketinghouse or out-house, who sold someone Nightmares,” is slated for publication inwith a checkbook on an idea. Invariably, October’s the client that takes the bullet while 16
  18. 18. TRUSTEDClick through to learn why reliable mediameasurement is the path to trusted insight.Sign up NOW and save 10% on each storyanalyzed, as a reader.
  19. 19. TRUST INC. The Decline of Trust in Corporate America – and How to Fix it! An exclusive interview with Stephen M.R. Covey and Greg Link, by Brian PittmanCan you put a dollar value on trust? Canlack of trust sink a business? IsCorporate America facing a decline intrust? Absolutely, asserts Stephen M.R.Covey, recently featured in Trust AcrossAmerica’s “Top 100 Thought Leaders inTrustworthy Business Behavior” list.“Lack of trust kills a company’sproductivity, perception and profits,”says the co-founder of CoveyLinkWorldwide and son of Stephen R. Covey,author of the Seven Habits series. 18
  20. 20. “A perfect example is Enron, which lostits market value and reputation due to Stephen: A command-and-controlmisdeeds that led to public distrust in approach, for starters. It leads tothe company,” adds Covey, co-author decreased speed and increased costs,of “The Speed of Trust” and “Smart as well as less energized, engaged andTrust” with Greg Link, his partner at happy people. Ironically, it also leads toCoveyLink. less control. But when an organization creates a high-trust culture, it becomesHere, the two discuss the declining state self-monitoring and reinforcing of trust,of trust in Corporate America in general, weeding out violators, and can becomeand share how businesses can rebuild, a more effective form of “control” thanprotect and promote their valuable additional rules and policies.reputations as the economy turnsaround: Which brands have high-trust corporate cultures?Is this apparent decline of trust a Stephen: Warren Buffett of Berkshire-legitimate concern for business? Hathaway operates on a premise ofGreg: It should be the primary concern “deserved trust,” which allows for fasterfor any business owner today. Take a deals at less cost, and helps themlook at the Edelman Trust Barometer and operate at a higher efficiency—with whatyou’ll see we are experiencing the lowest two Stanford professors called “thelevel of trust in the 11 years since it lowest ratio of corporate overhead tostarted. Last year, there was a 20% drop investor capital among all corporations.”  in the level of trust Americans had inbusiness! Tony Hsieh, of Zappos, operates with trust, both with customers (free shipping)The financial crisis was a big contributor. and employees (no call center scripts).Before that, the Enron crisis kicked the They grew from $0 to $1 billion incentury off wrong. Corporate revenue in the same decade thatmalfeasance became a big part of the everybody else had bankruptcies andnews and it hasn’t gotten better. Madoff problems. I asked how he did it. He said:and more recent examples of fraud and “I trusted my employees and mymisuse all of have conspired to create a customers.” He wrote a book calledheightened crisis in trust. The result is a “Delivering Happiness” that illuminatesfear-based economy. Consumer how he developed a high-trust culture.confidence drives the economy—and My tip to all business owners is to readthat’s driven by trust. To rebuild that the book and apply those, we must focus on changes withinour corporate cultures. Similarly, Nordstrom’s policy and procedures manual is a post card. OneWhat fuels low-trust corporate side offers one simple rule: “Use yourcultures?    best judgment.” That high-trust culture translates to happy customers who 19
  21. 21. reward them with the highest customer In the old days, you could squelch badsatisfaction scores in the industry. news. For example, you might withhold facts from the press in a product recall.Pierre Omidyar founded eBay on the That doesn’t work anymore. Socialpremise that people are good, enabling media and the Internet are holdingthem to create a business in which leaders accountable. This is illustratedbuyers and sellers have learned they can by “The Arab Spring.” That dynamic istrust a complete stranger. Leaders from happening in organizations whereGoogle, SAS Institute, Southwest customers and employees haveAirlines, Virginia Mason Medical Center, information and can communicateW. L. Gore, IBM, Whole Foods, Four instantly with companies. That’s part ofSeasons and other businesses also what’s driving the “voice of theoperate on the explicit premise of trust customer” movement.with employees and customers. Can you give me an example?How do customers reward these Greg: The “United Broke My Guitar”companies? YouTube video is an example. He kept asking United to pay his claim, then heGreg: They vote with their wallets. If wrote the song and it has seen almostyou’re not practicing trustworthy 12 million and embracing CSR ideas,you’re in trouble. We found 91% have To keep this in perspective,refused to do business with a company that is over one millionthey don’t trust. Also in our book is a more than the populationstat showing 87% of people have sought of Greece.out a company they trust. They’relooking for reasons to believe in your The game has changed for the betterbusiness. and social media has given people a voice by which they can express whoCan social media help build that they want to buy from (businesses theybridge to trust? trust) and who they don’t want to buyGreg: Social media is a dramatic driver from.of this behavior of seeking outtrustworthy businesses. The business What have been PR andmindset in the past was informed by a marketing’s role in all this?military command-and-control mindset. Greg: In the past, senior execs andDespite all of the examples of “release communications departments workedstyle” management where you empower hard to manage the story and alland trust people, many tend to revert to communications. It was all overlycommand-and-control and try to controlled. Nothing is more detrimentalwithhold information. You see that when to a brand than getting caught managingcompanies face crises. information. For example, it wasn’t the 20
  22. 22. Watergate break-in that cost Nixon, it PepsiCo and Amex are taking the chargewas the cover-up. on this. They’re good examples.Not many businesses are dealing with But we all have a responsibility inbreak-ins and cover-ups. business to help create andNo, but when you abuse your employees communicate credibility, which will helpand customers, the communications build trust in business overall.department is on its heels in damagecontrol trying to spin bad news and How exactly do we do that?mitigate it. Bad news spread faster than Stephen: Building trust comes down togood news. This is the downside of your credibility and your behavior, associal media for communicators. We Greg said. In the book, we identified fivesaw it with the FedEx Christmas delivery actions shared by high trustvideo, in which an employee threw a leaders. One is extending trust to others.packaged computer monitor over a The first job of any leader is to inspirecustomer’s fence. That video saw 8+ trust. The second job is to extend trust.million views. Leaders need to be smart about it, because there is risk in trusting. But there is also risk in not trusting—in fact, not trusting is often the greater risk. What we call “Smart Trust” helps us find the sweet spot and develop the judgment of how to wisely extend trust in a low-trust world.  Greg: Let me add some more detail.This reinforces why it’s important to Here’s a snapshot from the bookrespond with open communications—as outlining steps for building trust:FedEx did with its YouTube apology. 1. Build a platform of personalWhy is CSR is becoming credibility. It all starts with YOU. Behaveincreasingly important? in trustworthy ways. Talk straight. BeGreg: Communications doesn’t drive transparent with employees, customers,behavior. Instead, behavior drives external communities and beyond. If youcommunications. Recently, there has build a platform of personal credibility,been a push for businesses to be more you become a model of trust for others.of a corporate citizen. People are moreaware now of environmental, employee 2. Influence stakeholders to take theand other abuses. The expectation of same stand. The best way to influencebehaving in trustworthy ways is others is to make the economic case forspreading, and CSR is becoming the trust and social responsibility. We cite arepository for that. Companies like Watson Wyatt study in the book that reveals: High trust companies 21
  23. 23. outperform low trust companies in total How does this apply to smallreturn to shareholders by THREE times. businesses and entrepreneurs? Greg: The only difference is theAlso, in the last 13 years of Fortune’s segmentation of roles. With small“Great Places to Work” listings, 67% of businesses, you are the corporatethe criteria to get listed involves communications department andemployee and customer surveys tied to marketing and operations and the In that time, Fortune’s “Best Places But the same principles Work” have outperformed the marketby 286%. Can you give an example of an3. Declare and then act on your intent. entrepreneurial company thatYou build trust when you tell practices “High Trust”?stakeholders what you intend to do and Greg: An example is Zane’s Bikes, whichthen do it—versus just issuing a PR had $13 million in sales. He did it bystatement. So declare you’re committed trusting customers. He doesn’t ask forand then behave consistently to that ID when people tested bikes. He said, “Ideclaration. trust you.” Sure, there is a risk to trust. That’s why we call it “Smart Trust.” TheToo many PR statements tie themselves risk for Zane’s Bikes is he loses fiveto CSR, for example, when there are bikes a year. But he sells 5,000. Again,actually no programs in the company to the same principles apply regardless ofsupport them. business size: ✓Believe in trustHow can we contribute to what ✓Start with yourselfthe book calls a “Renaissance of ✓Declare your intentTrust”? ✓Do what you sayGreg: It starts individually as business ✓Lead by extending trustowners and managers. The more These steps apply to CEOs, corporatecompanies behave in CSR ways, the communicators, small business ownersmore confidence people will have in and even politicians. Follow thesedoing business with them. That can help actions and you will build—and rebuild—create a “Renaissance of Trust” globally. trust. View on CommPROThis can be challenging when youconsider other business cultures. For Brian Pittman is a partnerexample, in India, it can be customary topay bribes. You have to draw a line in at, whereplaces like that and not pay them. he focuses on editorialUltimately, it comes down to avoiding and content issues while“spin” and instead “behaving out” in helping to build thehigh trust ways. community. 22
  24. 24. Click Here to Learn More
  25. 25. Trust or BustSurvey Shows Trust in the Media TrumpsTrust in CEOs - And What to Do About ItEdelman earlier this year released the global findings from the 2012 Edelman TrustBarometer – the firm’s annual trust and credibility survey. The results show an overall declinein trust globally, with steep declines in the levels of trust in government and business.Incredibly, trust in the media topped trust in all other institutions except NGOs, and themedia was actually the ONLY institution to see an increase in trust.So what does this mean to you? Sure, business experienced generally less severe declinesin trust, but has its own hurdles to clear – notably that CEO credibility declined 38percent, its biggest drop to date.The good news is a rise in credibility and trust of regular employees, at its greatest increasesince 2004. The lessons for businesses:• Don’t rely on your CEO to be the only face of your organization, particularly during times of crisis.• Instead, look for ways to activate your employees and connect them with customers and the community via ambassador programs, social media, featuring them in media and ad content, and engaging them more deeply.• Work to rebuild trust in the CEO through candid, meaningful dialogue via internal communications. 24
  26. 26. Credibility returns to low of 2009Business: from license to operate to license to lead Source: The Edelman Trust Barometer. Methodology: Online survey in 25 countries. 30,000+ respondents. Ages 18+. College-educated In top 25% of household income per age group in each country report significant media consumption and engagement in business news and public policy. Informed publics were surveyed online.
  27. 27. PR Primer Everything You Need to Successfully Pitch the PressBy Ann Voorhees Baker, CEO, Publicity Pros 26
  28. 28. Media relations doesn’t always have to services, and perhaps industry-specificbe the purview of seasoned PR veterans. websites or e-list services, as well.There are basics that any business Requests from the press go out via toolsowner can review to help drive publicity. like Profnet and HARO (Help a ReporterMuch of media relations best practices Out). A request is likely to generate manyare based on common sense, but the more fit-the-bill responses than therapidly and constantly changing nature of reporter needs. In fact, on some of theseonline publicity demands periodic services, we occasionally see a requestreassessment. Here’s Part 1 of “A summary appear for a second time oneReview of Media Relations Basics.” or two days after it was first posted, withNewbies will find tips and tricks that they the notation “FULL STOP” added.may not have learned yet. Old timers can Meaning, “Everybody, enough! Stopcheck their known skills and practices sending me information. I’ve got what Iagainst this review, and possibly pick up need!”some new info or exorcise some badhabits along the way: Proof and rehearse yourFIRST THING FIRST: media pitch at least once. Consider setting it asideDEADLINES and then revisiting it laterHonoring deadlines is something we before sending it.learned about with grade schoolhomework assignments, but in the worldof publicity, the rule of thumb is slightly So it’s not only important to be on topic,different: Never stick to a deadline – courteous, concise, and provide the rightBEAT it. Beat the heck out of it! information or expertise that the reporter’s looking for – it’s also importantJust like everything else in this world, not to be the twentieth person to do so.competition for publicity gets stronger A reporter will stop searching after he’severy day – and avenues of found what he seeks. All others whocommunication multiply and broaden. follow, even though they might haveWhereas a reporter in the old days used submitted on point and before deadline,to put out a few phone calls to find will lose out because they weren’t thesources, now he posts his search on first to hit the mark.private services that PR firms scanmultiple times a day, plus public online So be smart and be quick. As soon as you possibly can, after you get notified of a PR opportunity, send your pitch on to Use sites like ProfNet and Help a Reporter Out the reporter. The early bird gets the (HARO) to be a source worm, and a whole flock of birds is for stories reporters are swooping down behind you at all times, working on. so strive to be not just early, but first. 27
  29. 29. And do not submit after the deadline,even if you have your own seemingly Here are five quick tricks of the trade tovery legitimate reason for submitting late. make sure your pitch is letter perfect:It’s just bad form to send in a pitch after astated deadline. Plus, you sound 1. Make sure your spellcheck function isapologetic no matter how you couch your turned on, even if you feel you don’texcuse. You’re likely to annoy the heck need it, and force yourself to look overout of the reporter, and bottom line – the draft for those wiggly red andyou’re being disrespectful of his time and green underlines. Fix the errorsprocess. Not a good way to build a good highlighted for you.relationship. Better luck next time. Let 2. If you know you tend to miss errorsthis one go. when they’re on a computer monitor, print out your pitch on paper and proofAND NOW, THE PITCH ... the paper copy. 3. Read the pitch aloud when proofing.PROOFREADING IS A MUST 4. A good practice is to proof and correctSo, ideally, you’ve found a great the pitch once, then set it aside and doopportunity for yourself or one of your some other work for 10 or 15 minutes.clients, you’re way ahead of the stated Then proof again. You’ll be more likelydeadline, and now you’re sitting down to to see errors with your fresh eye.write out your fabulous pitch. But before 5. If spelling, grammar, or punctuationyou hit ‘send,’ make sher you’ve checked are not your strong suits, askit owt. someone else to proof your pitch before you send it off.Jarring, isn’t it? When you see a glaringtypo, it really distracts you – and let’s be GIVE YOUR PITCH SOMEhonest, it colors your opinion of thewriter, does it not? PUNCH What about making your letter-perfectTypos and misspellings and grammatical pitch stand out among all the others?errors are common, human mistakes, not One way is to tell a story, not just relaythe biggest deals in the world, but when facts. Here’s an example of a storytellingyou’re sending a pitch to a journalist, you pitch that caught one editor’s eye:should do everything in your power toavoid them. Your pitch is like your “She strode into his office, extracted aresume, business card, or the sign onthe front of your office; it’s your first face document from the files on her arm,and your first attempt at making a good and wafted it onto his desk, herimpression. On top of that, you’re elegantly manicured fingers trailingsending your pitch to a journalist, by across the paper. Looking down at thedefinition a wordsmith more likely to folders and papers strewn over hisnotice these errors. Do take the time to desk, she curved her lips in an ever-proof your pitch before it goes out. so-subtle, glossy red smirk, one 28
  30. 30. eyebrow raised just a touch. Languidly she raised her gaze and met his eyes. The pitch went on to describe a scene where a surveyor, on a job, had stepped He drew in his breath. around a city corner and into the middle of a dope deal. He went instantly from No! He couldn’t take it anymore! He working to trying to talk his way out of swept his arm violently across the being shot. This was the beginning of a desktop. Papers, files, notebook, pitch about an engineering firm’s safety phone – all crashed onto the floor. training for its urban surveyors. “Alexis!” he hissed, rising up out of his seat, nostrils flaring, heart pounding. One way to make your pitch stand out is to tell a He reached for her, grabbed her by story, not just relay the the arms. He shook her. “Alexis! I facts. This is called a can’t stand it even for one more “narrative pitch.” minute!” If you can write about a real person or His mouth inches from hers, he stared incident to highlight your product or straight into her eyes. service, go ahead and tell your story, like a story. Just get the subject’s permission “Alexis… Alexis. No more paper, for first, or change the names to protect the the love of God! No! More! PAPER!!” innocent!This was a lead-in for a pitch about a BE HONESTprofessional organizer. It told the story of In an effort to be interesting or eyeone client, an exec who couldn’t stand catching, sometimes publicitythe mess on his desk and in his office professionals kinda-sorta end upanymore. One day he snapped. After his stretching the truth. Don’t get caught inoutburst, he called the organizer and is this trap! Repeat the following mantra: Inow happily efficient and nearly paper- am what I yam and that’s all that I That’s what Popeye the Sailor Man usedHere’s another example, a one-liner that to sing. He wasn’t handsome, rich ortold a story in a heartbeat, and caught a glitzy, but he was honest and true andreporter’s interest: strong and whaddaya know, he was the star of the show! And – he always ate his “The lone surveyor stared down the spinach! (I know, anyone younger than a barrel of a gun.” Boomer is scratching her head, asking, 29
  31. 31. what the? Popeye the Sailor Man was a crowd” came to your store opening, orcartoon character of the 50’s.) that you are a “leading expert” in your field? Can you back this up? If a reporter were to ask you “Really? How Even though the running many attended your opening, exactly?” joke is that PR is all or. “So how many books have you about spin, remember written on your topic?” Could you that it should spin the truth and nothing else. answer with the truth and still feel OK about your claim? If so, fine. But if honestly you’d feel a little ashamed,Popeye’s mantra was and is a good one then tone it down a bit.– don’t try to be what you’re not, don’tposture, and do be proud of who and • Use the sweat test. Lawyers employwhat you actually, really are. Good for this when crafting their arguments forlife, and yes, good for morally powering an appeal: If saying it makes youyour PR activities at all times. sweat, it’s a no go. People won’t believe you if they can see NixonianRemember this cardinal rule when you’re beads of perspiration popping out ondrafting a PR pitch and it’s threatening to your upper lip.slide down the slippery slope frompositive optimism to positive bull. Don’t Editor’s Note: There are more tips in Partcross the line and pretend to be more or 2 and Part 3.different from what you really are. Eventhough the running joke is that PR is all View on CommPROabout spin, always remember that itshould spin the truth, not anything else.Here are some good ways to test yourpitch to make sure that a positive spindoesn’t turn into a “Twisting of the Truth”:• Look for absolutes in your pitch: Do you say words like “best” or “first” or Ann Voorhees Baker is CEO of Publicity “most popular?” If so, ask yourself if Pros, specialists in “All Things Publicity” you can back up your claim. If so, fine. for small business. For more information If not, substitute a more truthful word. about Publicity Pros, contact or visit http://• Look for overly enthusiastic adjectives: Do you say that a “huge 30
  32. 32. PlayCause Marketing Works:Tide’s "Loads of Hope" Program a Good Model for CompaniesBy Lisa Williams President, MEDIA Forte MarketingIf you’re looking for wider reach, online follow a similar approach, is aengagement and positive brand campaign that helps a major brand dobuilding, then cause marketing efforts well by doing good—and if the programcan be a great way to complement has a robust online presence, it will alsoyour wider branding program. contribute greatly to your search engine marketing initiatives.For example, one campaign we likehere at MEDIA Forte Marketing is the Click through to see how Tide is pullingTide “Loads of Hope” campaign, in this campaign together on its micrositewhich Tide representatives and here. The campaign is also doing aemployees go into communities—such great job in social media, with over 2.6as those with Hurricane Katrina victims million Facebook likes here and overor wherever there have been disasters 94,000 talking about Tide and the—and do people’s laundry. They also program at any given moment online.give a dollar every time a Tide bottle is View on CommPROsold to that particular cause. Inaddition, they sell T-shirts and donate100% of the proceeds. The end resultfor Tide, and for your business if you 32
  33. 33. RFP FAQ for Business:How Do I Create a StrongRFP for Agency Work? By Laura Alvarado, Director of Marketing, O’Neill and AssociatesA request for exercise will help inform the componentsproposal, or RFP, is a and language in your RFP. Feel free todocument drawn up by a share your objectives within the RFP, ascompany that wants a product or well.service and outlines the specific criteriait is looking for. As a result, the company 2. Organization is keywill receive proposals from vendors or It is imperative that you lay out thefirms that are interested in the work. components of your RFP in a logical and understandable way. For example, if youSending out an RFP for communications are looking for public relations support,or public relations work can be a great digital marketing implementation andway for organizations to find a firm that graphic design help, outline the specificscan address these needs expertly and of each in three separate sections. Thecost-efficiently. However, if it is not done benefit to a well-organized RFP iscorrectly, a company may miss the receiving well-organized proposals. Thisopportunity an RFP presents – finding way, you can truly compare apples tothe best fit and most qualified agency to apples and the selection process will beget the job done. Following these eight a lot less stressful. Sections of your RFPsimple steps will allow your company to should include:put together a strong RFP that will yieldfruitful results: Introduction – Explain why you are publishing the RFP and what you hope1. Know your needs to accomplish.Before you begin putting together yourRFP, figure out what your company Qualifications – Lay out your specifiedwants to accomplish and how an agency criteria for the firm and its expertise.can help. List your business goals andlay out how you see a communicationsprogram furthering those goals. This 34
  34. 34. Scope of Services – Be clear and time when it comes to evaluating therealistic about what you need (public submitted proposals.relations, social media, etc.). 6. Know your budgetProcess – Share the steps you will take Many companies do not feelin the selection process and the timeline comfortable stating their budget in theiryou will follow. RFPs. Even so, you need to keep your budget in mind when compiling your3. Be concise RFP, and be aware of the “going rate” forWhen it comes to RFPs, the shorter the communications services. If you cannotbetter. Be explicit and direct with what afford “everything but the kitchen sink,”you are asking for. Include enough don’t ask for it. Make sure you are beingbackground and explanation for realistic with your request and setclarification purposes. If an agency is priorities. If you ask for more than youdoing its due diligence, it will dig deeper can afford, be prepared for sticker shockinto your company history, philosophy, and be ready to sacrifice certain lineproducts and services and anything else needs to know to submit acomprehensive proposal. 7. Be rational In addition to keeping your budget in4. Set realistic timelines mind when detailing the strategic scopeThe larger the scope of services you are in your RFP, be aware of your currentrequesting, the more time an agency will resources, you staff availability andneed to respond. If possible, give timeline limitations. For example, if youagencies at least three weeks to submit ask for media training services for yourtheir proposals. Also, give yourself senior staff, make sure they have time inenough time to thoughtfully evaluate their schedules.each proposal that comes in. If you havea hard and fast start date, work 8. Be availablebackwards and figure out the best time Make sure you include your contact issue your RFP. If an agency is considering your RFP, it is likely they will have questions.5. Be explicit with your selection criteria View on CommPRODecide internally what the winning Laura Alvarado is directoragency will look like. In the RFP, share of marketing at O’Neillthe criteria that is not negotiable. For and Associates, led byexample, if you want an agency that has former Massachusetts Lt.proven successes with national public Governor Thomas P.relations campaigns for nonprofit O’Neill III, and servesorganizations, say so. This way, you can clients in energy, financialautomatically exclude companies who services, transportation, healthcare, hospitality, education, technology and real estatedo not fit the qualifications and save development. 35
  35. 35. By Vicki Flaugher, Social Media ZoneCOOL TOOLS 10 Stellar Social Media Tools for BusinessWe all love our online gadgets and tools.Some help us breeze through the day. We selected tools due toSome help us look like social media their convenience andsuperstars, whether weʼre marketers,entrepreneurs or business execs. Some are novelty. We like how theyjust plain fun. Practical or not, tools help. streamline social mediaWe scoured the Web and asked our friends efforts and so will you .and colleagues about their favorite socialmedia tools—especially those that help looked at a few of these online resourcesbusinesses with their marketing and through the lens of the Sysomos MAPcommunication needs. We took the work we listening tool to monitor some of the onlineknow you need to do in these areas and buzz about them. We think work should belooked for ways to make that easier. We efficient AND fun—and these tools willadded in some sassy alternatives, focusing certainly do the trick to help you grow youron affordability and usability. And finally, we business and online buzz." 37
  36. 36. 1. SlideRocket Make Your Presentations Take Off PowerPoint presentations can get dull. Not only do dull presentations lack impact in the boardroom—but they also get no traction online. Enter, SlideRocket. The presentations you share on social media and at your next meeting will never be the same. SlideRocket in an online tool with free and premium pricing that makes presentations more engaging. We like its ability to embed social media feeds and Web information into presentations. It’s also mobile-compatible and hosts a library of professional templates. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to take a ride on Slide Rocket. 2. Dropbox Manage Your Files on the Go Working on the go can be challenging. We all like to be un-tethered from our desktop, but working in the cloud isn’t a “dream” yet. Security concerns can drive the legal team crazy. Meet the solution: Dropbox. It handles big files, a variety of media types, and can be accessed from just about anywhere with an Internet connection. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. You can be social by inviting team members, clients and others to access files through the secure site to a permission- controlled folder. For working on the go, Dropbox rocks! 38
  37. 37. 3. Sprout Social Get It All Together Multiple accounts with multiple people working them can be a logistical nightmare. It’s one thing to be able to monitor mentions in social, but what about rolling that out to an actionable client lead management system? Sprout Social includes features such as dashboard analytics, scheduling, management, mobile, location check-ins and CRM. You can schedule updates, assign tasks, add contacts. With a 98% favorable sentiment rating, Sprout Social will help you get it together.4. Socialize Your Stuff Social Media Meets Direct Marketing Ever wish it were easier to send social media blurbs, posts and updates out to your email list? Socialize Your Stuff offers different ways of socializing your stuff. You can push Facebook updates to your email list. You can create and manage social content. You can run group promotions and you can use your email list to drive social interactions. Finally, you can allow resellers, franchises, independent consultants, or internal sales people to select and then publish your end-user content to their email lists and social media accounts. Pretty powerful stuff, if you ask us. 39
  38. 38. 5. Loop Lingo Monetizing Communication Every pro is faced with the social media ROI question. Loop Lingo just might be the tool you need to present a stronger bottom- line correlation to the C-suite. Loop Lingo lets you offer point-of-sale incentives to customers who share your message via their social media networks. You can integrate your e-commerce functions with your campaigns, on either a product-by- product basis or a multi-product program. You can track your success with a few easy clicks of a button. Do you think your client or CEO can appreciate that kind of lingo? We certainly think so.6. Online Twitter Newspaper with Global Appeal Want to broaden your social media footprint and thought leadership? will allow you to create an online pub based on a specific Twitter user, #hashtag, or Twitter list.’s are generated daily, with entries pulled from sources you select. It’s an easy way to compile corporate Twitter accounts, aggregate hashtag conversations, and become a go- to aggregator of industry information. 40
  39. 39. 7. Letter Pop Social Media Created Newsletter For hardworking pros tasked with publishing massive amounts of information, Letter Pop can help ease the strain. It lets you create beautiful newsletters by importing social media content, laying out the content via easy-to-use templates, and then publishing the final result to your social networks. It’s a drag-and-drop, click- and-edit content machine that’s hard not to fall in love with at first look. It’s easy to use and the results look great, too—so what’s not to love? You can even enable comments on your publication, transforming it into an additional engagement vehicle for your fans.8. Kwanzoo Catchy Campaigns via Social Channels Kwanzoo helps you put the “wow” into audience engagement. If you’re looking for an affordable and easy option for creating high quality creative, polls, surveys and more, then Kwanzoo lets you create multiplatform campaigns that can be deployed on a website, blog or affiliate site, or even a mobile landing page. It creates code to run on an ad network. Your campaign can be installed as a new tab on a Facebook page or as an email template and supporting landing page. Add in the analytical tools for tracking your ROI success and it’s hard to imagine a more engaging way to put the sales back into your communications. 41
  40. 40. 9. Recipe for Success You know blasting out the same thing across social channels isn’t ideal. But you also face restrictions on how much time to allocate to social media. Consider, which stands for “If This Then That.” It lets you create recipes for blurb publication that keep your stream fresh across channels. Simply set up sequences you prefer and they launch automatically once triggers and tasks are performed. Channels served include dozens of the big social channels. 10. Feed Rinse Sorting Out the Noise Channels As professionals, we all read a lot of media. We scour the latest industry news, keep up to date on what our competitors are doing, and set up feeds for our own media mentions. As a result, our RSS feed management system gets overloaded. Enter Feed Rinse. A better, more targeted choice than less filtered options (like Google Reader), Feed Rinse can load feeds, set up filters, “wash” the feeds, and then export them. You can share these feeds on your site or for your own enjoyment on your mobile device. It takes the noise out and lets you take action worth taking based on updates that matter. We like that.View on CommPRO 42
  41. 41. Six MustHaveQualities toLook for WhenHiring a PR Firm By Evan Weisel, Principal & Co-Founder, Welz & Weisel CommunicationsCompanies hire a public relations firm outside counsel to add or supplementfor all kinds of reasons: to build brand what is already being done.recognition, create awareness for itsproducts and services, help with So, as you get serious about reviewingmessaging and positioning within target prospects for the job, what do you lookmarkets, and ultimately build programs for? You will likely get proposals fromthat drive leads to support the sales dozens of contenders that claim they areforce (whether direct or indirect). In the best choice. So how do youaddition, many organizations just do not differentiate among public relationshave the time to implement and execute firms? The decision should come downa comprehensive public relations to whether the agency exhibits strongprogram in-house and need to turn to grounding with respect to six, essential qualities: 44
  42. 42. 1. Retention not get caught up in a numbers game. Too many firms still commit to X number You don’t hire of briefings and articles, X number of employees press releases, and X number of…well expecting them to anything. What happens in this scenario stay less than a is the firm is not focused on attaining year. So why results that align with the overall would you want company objectives or have a positive to bring on a firm impact on the business. that can’t keep a client for any Are there enough senior longer? Let’s face members working on it: If a firm has a your account, or is the history of accounts agency attempting to that turn over assign junior members within 12 months that is a negative after the account win? “churn and burn” rate you don’t want. What Instead they are determined to hit the you need is a long-term, promised numbers, regardless if it helps strategic partner, not a firm your business or not. Ultimately, a solid that promises the moon to and respected public relations firm will prospective clients in hopes of deliver impactful results that help your landing them and then promptly organization’s brand and bottom line – drops the ball. Clients may not stick both in numbers and quality.around for decades – agreements endfor many reasons that have nothing to 3. Staffdo with performance issues. But, you do Get to know the public relations teamcertainly want to see continuity within members who will work your account.the client roster, as opposed to a Are there enough senior members onrevolving-door situation. board? Or, is the firm attempting to assign mainly junior members to you?2. Results While we employ many junior staffers atIn the end, it’s all about results. However, our firm, they’re part of a team managedseek results that are both quantifiable by seasoned professionals, who came toand qualitative, with demonstrated ROI. us with proven track records. Watch outGetting ink and visibility in places that for the “Bait and switch” – meaning askyour customers do not read or visit is for the team that will work on theworthless. The value for a company is account to be in the pitch meeting. Toovisibility in front of the right audience – often in our industry firm’s bring in seniorprospective buyers. One of my pet talent and replace them with juniorpeeves is promising a certain number of staffers.articles, awards or speaking slots. Do 45
  43. 43. Insist before signing on with a firm that messaging strategy for your businessall or most team members meet with you gain insight into their backgrounds,especially related to your industry sector. An agency worth itsAnother important detail to ask retainer should offer aprospective firms: How long do people broad range of servicesstay at the firm? You certainly don’t want these days.a constant flow of new team membersworking on your campaigns that costextra time and money to bring them up 5. Servicesto speed on your account. Any agency worth its retainer should offer a broad range of services. No one4. Track Record/ can afford to be one dimensional in today’s environment so the bestExperience candidate should demonstrate strongDoes the public relations firm have performance levels in deployingexperience serving clients within your integrated programs that includeindustry? Do they know your market traditional public relations (presssector (consumer, technology, releases, media pitches, awardhealthcare, etc.)? Don’t be fooled with a nominations, guest editorials, etc.),proposal around the false idea that social-media strategies, content“Public Relations rules apply across the development, and thought leadershipboard, regardless of a client’s particular activities.industry sector …” because every sector A public relations campaign can takeis very different and this type of thinking shape in the form of Twitter feeds, blogs,only leads to a cookie-cutter approach, podcasts, webinars, white papers,or worse, not getting results. For bylined articles, case studies, contests,example, if your company is looking to trade show appearances, speakingsell into the government, does the firm engagements and/or mega-mediayou are looking to hire understand the events, among other formats. All requirenuances of this very unique sector? a public relations professional whoThink about it: When you’re going out to understands how to integrate theseeat, do you pick restaurants that have multiple platforms.Thai, Mexican and Italian food on the It is important to note that it is notmenu? I hope not. That would speak to a enough for a PR person to know how tokitchen attempting to please too many utilize both traditional and digital media.diverging palates. Similarly, every A true professional can skillfully weaveindustry sector is totally different so the right messaging within so theexpertise in your industry is valuable. resulting media reporting is on-point andHire public relations professionals who elevates corporate executives quoted asreally understand how to execute a high-profile experts/thought leaders. Any young public relations firm employee 46
  44. 44. can send a tweet, for example but it competitors. If you hear a firm say, “Wetakes a combination of written-word can manage the conflict of interest issueskills and modern-media savvy to as we will employ an entirely separatetransform the tweet into an outlet for team for your company,” that simply willoptimal messaging. not work well for your needs. It indicates that the contender public relations firm is6. Creativity willing to compromise working in the best interest of its clients simply forWe like to point out that most public expanding its own revenue base.relations firms offer the same basic coreservices. What separates great firms It’s not easy to find the right firm but wefrom good firms is creativity – coming up can agree that these are six traits towith programs that are memorable and consider before signing on the dottedset your company apart. The biggest line. “hits” we have generated for our clientsthrough the years have come from View on CommPROproactive, thought-provoking campaignsthat we created from scratch. Have theagency provide examples and casestudies of their creative programs.I also have one additional point to the sixlisted above which is to be sure toscreen the client roster for competitive Evan Weisel is co-founder/principal atconflicts. Obviously, you should never Welz & Weisel Communications, ahire a public relations firm already leading tech PR agency. Follow the firmcommitted to supporting one of your top on Twitter: @W2Comm. 47
  45. 45. View OnMarketplace
  46. 46. Say Hello to the New Marketing Mix:Why PR’s Role Is Increasing In Today’s EconomyBy Scott Harris, President and CEO, Mustang Marketing 50
  47. 47. The business world has, by and large, from economic instability, tightening theirresponded to the recent recession with budgets, being careful with their moneyrenewed enthusiasm and grit. Many and what is attached to the companybusiness owners have taken an “it’s not name, and investing only in mediumsover ‘til it’s over” attitude and doing that practically guarantee a solid returnwhatever it takes to keep their company on investment (ROI).afloat and, in many cases, successful. Asacceptance that things have changed PR, when blended with anpermanently has grown, optimism for the overall marketing plan, is thefuture becomes more widespread.Strong companies have maintained or most cost-effective marketingembraced this more aggressive format there is.approach, looking to all the newest ways PR, when blended with an overallto make and save money while marketing campaign, is the mostconducting good business. cost-effective marketing formatThe social media boom has been great there is. Ads and direct mail piecesfor some businesses, but it’s not always are easier to control – no third partythe latest developments that can bring (e.g., editors) judging the valueyour company back to a successful of your work and deciding if it willtrajectory. Public relations, or PR, though run or not. PR doesn’t come withoften overlooked, is a huge facet of the same costs, but typically comesmarketing that has seen itself move with more credibility. Studies show thathigher on the priority list. most of us trust editorial (which is where PR is classified) more than we do “ads.”The recent economic decline marked, in Ads are often (maybe too often) aboutmy opinion, a paradigm shift in American hype and catch phrases – all designed tobusiness. This isn’t merely a slump we grab attention. PR, of course, does theare recovering from, but a directional same thing, but often comes as more ofshift that requires a change in a reward – a published press release forperspective and attitude. It is this change a company’s new hire or 30ththat brings PR to a new, more significant anniversary, or an editorial spaceand more crucial forefront. because a good article was written, or getting called for a quote because you’veAs president and owner of a marketing proven yourself a reputable for the past 25 years, I havealways believed in the power of PR, and PR also captures attention in a way thatdo feel that its role has only become advertising does not – it creates contentmore powerful in the last three years. where ads are ignored, tuned out,This is not because the rules of PR have deleted or dismissed under thechanged – in fact, the approaches, goals knowledge that it’s “paid media” by theand overall value of PR have stayed very company being advertised. Yes, PRvirtually the same. The difference comes can be bought, but it generally comesfrom the business owners, still shaken from a third-party source: a newspaper, 51
  48. 48. magazine, radio or TV station, etc. It is PR has the power to reach people in anot immediately connected to the way ads both cannot and do not, andcompany itself, giving the piece far today, when the name of the game moregreater authority – and audience. Quite than ever before is ROI, PR has the solidsimply, the tendency is to believe PR and track record.doubt ads. When handled correctly – that is, when aWhen a company is actively and company gets consistent, positive mediaconsistently visible through various attention and not simply one flashy front-positive PR measures, it creates an page space a year – the result is trustimage of trustworthiness and legitimacy and authority, two characteristics most(this works the same way with negative business owners would love to gain inPR pieces, as felt recently through BP, their audience. This has always beenGoldman Sachs, JPMorgan, etc.). This true of PR, but it has never been moretranslates to name recognition in your necessary on such a widespread level.audience, and reliability to editors who The economy has demanded a lot ofwill return to you for column opportunities change in the way business owners runor article quotes. their companies – take comfort in the fact that this is a good change.There are limitations, however. PR is not“free marketing” and does not create a View on CommPROdirect call-to-action – it is not a sell piece.And it can’t magically wash away big Scott Harris is CEO ofmistakes and it does work independently Mustang Marketing, aof, or instead of, a good comprehensive marketing, advertising andmarketing campaign. As I said, good PR communications firm basedis often the result of good company work. in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
  49. 49. Why Aren’t Businesses Listening to Their Target Markets? Here’s Why It Matters & How to Do It By Sarah Skerik, VP, Social Media, PR Newswire, for the Agile Engagement ChannelContent is the cornerstone of today’s opportunity for communicators,communications strategies, but if the businesses and brands in general.content is off the mark or isn’t seenby the intended audiences, yourefforts were for naught. That’s whywe consider listening, targeting and The Benefits ofdistribution to be key fundamentalsfor a truly agile approach to Listeningcommunications. Today, we’re going Let’s say you monitor social channelsto dig into listening. Listening is truly for discussion about “PR” and “socialthe foundation of agile engagement – media.” The screen above is a graband it’s essential for ANY business from our monitoring dashboard thatseeking attract, engage and retain shows the popular subtopics withincustomers and brand followers that broader If we’re tuned into what ourHere at PR Newswire, we use the audiences are saying and whatterm “Social Echo” to describe the questions they’re asking, we shouldway messages reverberate around be able to influence the directionand are amplified by our audiences. these conversations take. And, ofAs messages enter the stream of course, “tuning in” really meansconversations, they’re shared by listening. But listening is a prettypeople in networks, sparking other broad term, so let’s break it down adiscussions. And today, social bit.conversations can make or breakbrands and products. Buzz is a First, it’s imperative thatpowerful thing. But that’s not the only communicators and businesses in general understand what audiences 53