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The Great American Eclipse is finally here!

The U.S. experienced The Great American Eclipse today and our team was able to watch this wondrous spectacle! It was the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years and the National Geographic called it “the most amazing celestial disappearing act seen since 1979”.

The eclipse fever was contagious and it reached coast to coast, from Oregon to South Carolina. During a span of almost two hours, 14 states experienced more than two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day. This happens because the moon completely covers the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere can be seen.

San Diego is out of the path for a total eclipse, so the moon here covered part of the sun’s disk. Its maximum point of visibility occurred at 10:23am. Even during a partial solar eclipse, it is still extremely important to view it safely because the eclipse viewing glasses avoid permanently damage on your eyes.

We hope you didn’t miss it, because we won’t see another solar eclipse in San Diego until 2023.

The 3 Best Marketing Practices That Your Legal Firm Must Adopt

Surprisingly, the legal industry is absolutely crushing content marketing. Legal firms are coming out on top and adopting a well-thought out strategy to ensure quality content that is timely, compelling and relevant.

While major firms are blogging about intellectual property right concerns, new SEC regulations, data privacy and other trending legal topics, consumer-facing firms blog posts range from DUI records to immigration cases.

Constantly posting about hot topics and using a smart content strategy is an absolute must for law firms to reach new clients. Since people normally turn to Google for information about an immigration case, a felony conviction or a fallout from an old DUI, publishing engaging content answering these questions can raise law firms profile and establish themselves as local leaders.

If you are looking to acquire new clients, invest in legal content marketing and keep these best practices in mind:

  • Keep it real.

Focus on having a dialogue with your audience rather than talking at them. Marketers and lawyers tend to fall back into industry speak and throw around a lot of lingo. The problem with speaking in a lot of indecipherable “legalese” is that it sounds like an alphabet soup to outsiders and alienates the readers.

Therefore, when writing a blog post about the legal industry, keep your audience in mind and balance a professional tone with approachable content. It is also important to use examples and a touch of humor when appropriate. Remember: a blog is not a college term paper.

  • Thought leadership over advertising.

Publishing misleading and incorrect legal information could lead to a possible lawsuit! Although legal blogs are not meant to substitute legal consultation, they are a trusted resource for gathering information. Your company`s content marketing plan must follow the path of thought leadership rather than advertising services, which means it has no place for inaccurate information.

In order to create a recognized law firm blog, conduct market intelligence research to understand what topics are most important for your customers and create content that addresses these concerns with action-oriented solutions. Remember not to push your own products and services!

  • Hijack the news.

When it comes to producing a stream of timely content, lawyers are lucky. They often get built-in news hooks like a major court ruling or new regulation announcement to comment on in their posts. However, if you don’t have that to cover, you can still find current events to “newsjack” in your content.

You don’t have to shape an entire blog post or article around those events or breaking news, but you can use these topics as “hooks” to publicize your content.

Bottom line:

Major law firms have some serious cash to invest in advertising; that’s why it’s even more noteworthy that they’re choosing to invest this money in content marketing rather than print or TV ads. Don’t have the marketing budget of a corporate law firm? Be sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck by adopting these smart content marketing strategies and keeping tabs on your expected return via a marketing ROI calculator.

7 Most Common Mistakes When Writing a Professional Bio

All professionals and business leaders should have a well-written bio that recounts their career accomplishments. A brief bio is essential for social media profiles, company Web sites, press releases, event programs, brochures and more. In reality, a professional bio is nothing to be afraid of—as long as you avoid a few common mistakes.

 

  1. Writing in the First Person

Even if you’re writing your own bio, refer to yourself in the third person. Whoever the subject is, call them by their full name the first time you mention them and just their last name on subsequent references.

  1. Starting at the beginning

Like resumes, bios should generally start with the present and work backwards in chronological order. The purpose of a bio is to describe what sets the subject apart professionally. For most people, that’s going to be the major accomplishments of their adult life. That’s why it’s a good idea to begin with a summary statement that includes the subject’s current position or occupation as well as their most significant recent accomplishment.

  1. “Fluff”

There’s no need to add extraneous information to make a bio longer. Three or four paragraphs is a sufficient amount to describe the major milestones of most people’s careers.

  1. Providing too much information

Remember, it’s called a professional bio for a reason. It’s fine to briefly mention a few personal details such as college and graduate school degrees, charitable activities, hobbies and passions in the last sentence or two.

  1. Lying

A bio should never include fabricated accomplishments, awards, titles or positions. Besides the moral issue, false claims are easy to disprove and the potential fallout from getting caught in a lie outweighs any benefits of exaggerating one’s achievements.

  1. Modesty

There’s no reason to down play any major accomplishments. Remember to include professional awards, accolades, honorary degrees, titles, etc. And never mention anything negative or unflattering.

  1. Humor

Avoid the temptation to be sarcastic or humorous. Humor and sarcasm rarely work in a professional bio. Unless you are a paid comedy writer and the bio is used to promote a comedic project. It’s best to just stick to the facts.

Avoid these mistakes and you will produce a better bio.

4 Reasons Why PR must balance screen time with face time

The digital media has shaped our lives and redefined human connection and communication. One study has shown that the average mobile device user checks his/her phone approximately 40 times a day. The ability to communicate without any limitation of time and distance has made us hyper-connected. As a PR pro, we have to consume media and be aware of latest news, so why check out? Stepping away from the screen can seem counterintuitive but we must learn the importance of balancing screen time with face time. Here are 4 reasons why every PR pro should find a healthy balance with both:

1) That balance starts with environment

The first step to finding a balance between screen and face communication is to practice what we preach for better communication. The PR industry is rooted in the ability to successfully interface with an audience and equally with the person sitting in the next chair. When spending most of our day at the office, an entire day may pass without even acknowledging our coworkers. Sometimes we send emails for things that could easily have been addressed in person.

As a result of the evolution of communication dynamics within company cultures, a common tendency in the office environment is for everyone to enter individual zones. While it might seem a highly efficient way to get work done, it also tells us our relationship with digital media.

2) It boils down to convenience

Every PR professional has to know exactly what we want to say and when it needs to be said. Therefore, sending a text or an email is easier and comes with a sense of security. There are no long pauses or questions to catch anyone off guard and you are able to re-read a message 5 times over before sending it. Each concept and phrase has been thought through and the words are tailored to convey exactly what they’re meant to.

Communicating, pitching or promoting through a screen feels more convenient when any misstep in language could alter the entire meaning of a message.

3) Creating a balance seems simple

Try to set up a meeting over breakfast instead of a conference call. Put the effort to schedule a dinner rather than check in via email. Making more time for face-to-face communication is key to foster relationships, build a good network and grow your business.

However, everyone in the PR industry is eager to see results and are too busy to be in touch with 10 different clients, 40 different reports and still find time within the day to eat and (hopefully) sleep.

Although the high level of communication leads us to look for shortcuts, try to remember that a lot of digital communication can be more impactful when delivered in-person.

4) The goal is to create opportunity for significant conversation

Quantity doesn’t mean quality. What gets said during meetings is far more important than the number of meetings. In order to maintain current relationships and develop new ones, you have to consciously choose to utilize mediums of interactions beyond the digital realm.

Regardless of the setting, transferring a message from one mind to another can be challenging. It is our job in PR to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding and accurate interpretation is more likely with physical presence.

Remember: although our preferred method might be the written word, a face makes more of an impression than an email signature.

5 POWERFUL TIPS FOR TAKING YOUR PR CAREER TO THE NEXT LEVEL

As a PR student there is no better time than now to perfect the skills you’ll be using in your career. Here’s our top 5 tips on how to prepare for you PR career as student:

 

  1. Network like it’s your job (because it is)—As a future PR pro, networking is a skill you’ll have to master in order to thrive. College is the perfect time to hone in on your networking skills . Consider every person that you meet at school or clubs—professors, fellow students, visiting speakers, club members, etc.—as a new member of your network. Focus on building relationships, and take the initiative to get out there and meet people.

In-person networking isn’t the only way to get yourself out there, an active social media presence can be a powerful tool for you as you start your career. Take the time to be active on social networks, making special effort to connect with the right people. Starting a blog is also a great way to share your thoughts and stretch your influence.

  1. Get journalism experience—It’s important to get into the mind of a reporter. When you start to see things from a reporter’s perspective, you learn how to craft better pitches as well as how to interact with reporters in a better way.

 

  1. Get as much feedback as you can—You’re young and you still have a whole lot to learn. Take advantage of your time as a student to get as much feedback from others as you can. Don’t be afraid to receive criticism from your professors or your managers at your internship. View all feedback as the opportunity to better yourself.

 

  1. Read. A LOT.— Reading about PR on a daily basis should be a priority. You have to stay current with what’s going on in the PR industry. Follow some of the top PR blogs and website, read up on all the PR books you can find, and read the news to improve your storytelling skills.

 

  1. Write. A LOT.—Writing is a skill every PR pro must possess. You need to learn how to write clearly, concisely, and compellingly. Practice by blogging, keeping a journal, posting actively on social networks, write mock press releases, write for the school paper; anything that’ll help you practice this vital skill.

SDSU Graduate Joins H&A Team For Summer/Fall Internship

Cecilia Zaccarelli, a recent graduate from San Diego State University, has joined Heying & Associates as an intern account coordinator. Heying & Associates is a full-service public relations agency located in midtown San Diego.

During her internship, Zaccarelli will be responsible for writing pitch letters and press releases, contacting clients, assisting with event coordination and managing social media accounts.

Zaccarelli is from Brazil and graduated from SDSU in May with a Bachelor`s Degree in Communications. She was the captain of the SDSU Swim and Dive Team and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Prior to joining Heying & Associates, Zaccarelli was an intern at Athlete Network where she experienced guerrilla marketing, social media management, PR and was also responsible for writing sports-related articles.

Since Brazil is a really diverse culture, Zaccarelli has a different perspective about the world. She was there for the Olympic Games in 2016 and experienced the biggest international sports event where the entire world was celebrating together. According to her, it was a great opportunity for Brazil to forget about the political and economic problems and welcome the rest of the world with their delicious food, beautiful nature and enthusiastic people. When deciding where to go in the United States, the weather was a determinant factor. Zaccarelli has never seen snow before and has lived her entire life in the tropical weather, so she thought California would be a great fit. One thing she misses the most about Brazil is the typical homemade dish: rice, beans and Brazilian barbecue.

Zaccarelli plans to stay in San Diego and go to Graduate School. After that, she wants to pursue a career in marketing or public relations.

 

In her free time, Zaccarelli enjoys hiking, swimming and going to the beach.