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Content With A Purpose

We’ve all heard the saying “quality over quantity”, so why is it we are constantly being pushed to create content after content? Whether it be press releases or blog posts, you name it — once one piece was published, it was time to create another.

At some point, it was believed that the formula for success was: More content = more awareness = more success. While this may have worked at one point, it does not necessarily hold true today. With everyone constantly creating more content, audiences are becoming overwhelmed and as a result, are looking for a better quality of work rather than a higher quantity.

So, instead of focusing on content, focus on giving your audience a better experience. The goal is for your output to drive outcomes. Getting people to view your content is only the first step. Just because your blog posts have gained more views does not mean they’re doing their job. Are those views converting into leads? Are those leads converting into purchases? Are those purchases converting into loyal, repeat business? These are the results you’re after and overall, the result you need in order to make your content worthwhile.

“We have a lot of ideas – probably too many ideas. At some point, we have to face facts and need to improve on what we’re doing.” – Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web

New Rules for Up-and-Coming PR Professionals

Public relations has become a fast-growing industry, and its day-to-day practices are constantly evolving.

Here are new rules resulting from trends in the PR industry in today’s digital world:

Content is key.

As PR professionals in today’s world, we are storytellers, not salespeople.

Clients are looking for their stories to be told, and potential consumers to be engaged. Smart PR professionals will help clients identify their valuable differentiators, craft a story, and tell it where it counts.

PR is about SEO.

If PR is about content, SEO should be an essential item in every professional’s toolbox.

When it comes to content, quality and relevance have replaced quantity. To be shareable, content must be optimized, and SEO fluency is necessary.

Influence matters.

Many people confuse influence with popularity, but the two are not the same. Having a large social media following, doesn’t necessarily make someone influential.

Generating influence has also changed over the years. It is now very common for PR and marketing professionals to use influencers to help share their stories. In the past, celebrities would be hired for a product launch, but today social media influencers carry more weight.

The lines between paid and earned media coverage are blurring.

While content creation is an essential role of a PR professional, distribution is equally important.

It’s nearly impossible to achieve notable results with raw content alone. Many of the most successful campaigns are driven through paid content distribution tools. PR professionals today must understand social optimization tools and tactics.

Everything is measurable and measured.

The rise of data-driven marketing can be a difficult transition for those who aren’t trained in analytics.

There are new standards and guidelines for measuring PR programs. Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula, there are practical ways to put those standards into practice.

7 Ways to Be More Productive

For many PR Pros, the month of September ends up being the busiest time of the year. With back to school, year-end goals, and the upcoming year and holidays, work can tend to be a bit overwhelming. In order to handle this time of year, it is important to improve the way we work.

Here are a few tips to maximize your efforts:

  1. Don’t work overtime: Studies show if you lower your daily work hours from 10 to 8 and work 5 days a week, your productivity increases. There is no need to overwork yourself when the quality of work will not be up to your usual standards.
  2. Stop multitasking: While multitasking is a good skill to have, taking on too many jobs at once is not beneficial. You will complete the tasks at a slower pace, and make more mistakes along the way.
  3. Try to surround yourself with natural light: Working in a naturally lit place will most likely put you in a happier mood and keep you energized, thus making you more productive.
  4. Don’t be a perfectionist: According the research, there is a correlation between increased perfectionism and decreased productivity. Focus on completing the task as a whole the best you can, rather than focusing on perfecting every little detail.
  5. Go for a walk: Any exercise does the brain good. Walking in particular has been shown to increase people’s problem solving skills and creativity.
  6. Take a nap: A short nap can make you feel energized and recharges your brain. You’ll wake up alert and ready to start your next task.
  7. Work in sprints: Ideally, working for 90 minutes followed by a 20-minute break allows us to be more focused. Take those 20 minutes to go for a walk, or take a nap and you’ll be ready to go!

In the end, working smarter is more important than working harder. We need to prioritize better and have a good work-life balance in order to give 100% effort in every task we take on

Want to Be On the Winning Team This Season? 5 PR Tips from Fantasy Football

As the NFL season kicks off tomorrow night, millions of people are getting ready to play fantasy football. Fantasy football is not only a great opportunity for football fanatics to be involved, but it can also offer some lessons to PR professionals that will put them on the winning team.

Here are some tips from fantasy football that will help you excel in public relations:

  1. Know your stats.

Every week, fantasy football managers must decide who to choose as a starting quarterback or which running back to put up against the opposing defense. To assemble a dream team each week, you need to look at the stats.

This is no different in the PR world. You must do your research. Whether it is deciding which publication to offer an exclusive story or identifying which reporter would give your pitch a second look, you need to find the perfect fit.

  1. Remember that you could lose on “any given Sunday.”

Football is a game of inches and upsets. No matter how prepared you are for a launch or a release, something can go in an unexpected direction. Whatever you do, don’t panic. One slipup will not eliminate you from the game. Refocus your efforts and learn from your mistakes.

  1. Stay up-to-the-minute.

Injuries and changes happen so often in football, and either could result in one of your starting players being on the bench. If you are not aware of the latest injury reports, you might start a sidelined player.

In PR, if you’re not current with industry news, you could miss an opportunity to get included in a clutch story. So remember to keep your head in the game.

  1. Interactivity is good.

Fantasy football has so many participants because it enables people to feel like they’re a part of the NFL experience rather than just a fan or bystander.

A PR campaign that invites participation from the public is often more successful. People want to feel involved. Using PR in an interactive way allows an organization to engage directly with its core audience.

  1. Collaboration leads to wins.

Collaboration is an essential element of a successful fantasy football team. You’ll never draft the perfect team, but collaborating with others in your league and making trades helps set you apart.

In the workplace, collaboration is also the key to success. Everyone has different skill sets, and recognizing how each person can contribute to your cause will help you get the win.

Making Your First Impression Your Best

While it is impossible to get to know someone in an hour, that is usually all of the time you’ll get in a job interview or business meeting (if you’re lucky). This is why it is important to make your first impression a memorable one. Once someone mentally labels you as “likeable” or “untrustworthy”, everything else you do will be viewed through that filter. If someone likes you, she’ll look for the best in you. If she mistrusts you, she’ll suspect ulterior motives within your actions. Every detail from what you say or don’t say, to what you wear, to your body language can be a determining factor in how people see you as an individual, and more importantly, it can determine if you land the job or not.

Here are some guidelines to follow in order to make your first impression your best:

Be on time: And by on time, I mean fifteen minutes early. If you show up late to your interview, it will be assumed that being late is part of who you are.

Dress to impress: As often as we’re told “looks don’t matter”, you would think what you wear shouldn’t be an issue. However, what you wear can say a lot about the qualities you possess and how seriously you’re taking the interview or meeting.

Give a good handshake: Touch is the most powerful and primitive nonverbal cue. Nothing is worse than a lifeless handshake, but at the same time, don’t break their hand either. There is a perfect in-between that is essential to master. Practice up and make sure to make good eye-contact simultaneously. This is more significant than you know.

Don’t check your phone: This is simply rude and disrespectful. From the time you enter the building or meeting room, your phone should be turned off and out of sight.

Stay positive: Always try and spin things in a positive light or be upbeat when speaking. Smiling is key.

If all goes well, this first impression won’t be your last!

How to Handle Law Firm PR

Big law firms were one of the last industries to embrace PR. Historically, law firms were opposed to PR and marketing. Lawyers viewed advertising and PR as unseemly. Once one large law firm started marketing, the others followed.

Today many top ranking law firms have in-house marketing or use PR agencies. They are fully committed to it, but in some cases they can be among the more difficult clients for PR professionals.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind when working with lawyers and law firms:

Big law firms have a lot of PR potential.

  • Large law firms often have exciting news and high-profile clients.
  • Competition can be ruthless and creating the need to elevate your legal name above the competitive noise and be noticed

 

The bigger the firm, the stickier some things can be.

  • Sometimes, getting the news out or commenting to reporters can be sticky.
  • The problem can boil down to internal policies and client conflicts that prohibit talking to the media on certain topics.

 

Sometimes, law firms are their own worst enemy.

  • Dewey & LeBeouf is a law firm that stands out among recent disasters. It overpaid certain lawyers, began to sink, partners left, and the firm collapsed into bankruptcy. The press had a field day, and PR was of little use to help the firm.

 

Lawyers need to be trained to talk to media.

  • Make sure lawyers are media trained, but also that they speak to reporters in plain English and not legalese.
  • Big news can boost law firm PR when done well.
  • Lawyers can become go-to sources for media.

 

PR for big law firms can be rewarding, but it can also have its fair share of roadblocks and false starts.