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Meet Kristen! H&A’s Newest Intern

Kristen Daugherty, a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, has joined Heying & Associates as an intern account coordinator.

During her four years at UCSD, she was a member of the Collegiate Track and Field team. Throughout her internship, Kristen will serve as an account assistant with several of the agency’s public relations and marketing clients.


To Be Discontinued… 6 PR Habits to Break

Not all habits are bad, but there are definitely some worth avoiding. When it comes to PR specifically, image is everything.  Although it is nearly impossible to elude all negative stereotypes, understanding the effects that bad habits can cause will aid in the improving of the PR image.

Here are some PR habits to break, or better yet, never get started with:

  • Giving clients unrealistic expectations: While this one can be hard to avoid, it is the most important one to pay attention to. PR professionals are only as good as their word. If they do not live up to it, it is damaging to both them and their clients’ reputations. It is important to set realistic deadlines and stick with them.
  • Using empty words and phrases: Adding fillers into your writing can come off as being exaggerative and highly cliché. In the end, they add nothing to your story. It is much more beneficial to write with some substance and originality.
  • Pitching across every social media platform in existence: Social media has proven to be a good outlet to reach the right personnel. However, there is no need to message a journalist the same thing on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Try to research how the individual would like to be contacted rather than bombarding them and turning them away.
  • Sending lengthy press releases: Most individuals do not want to write or read more than they have to, which is why a short pitch will often times do the trick. Sending drawn-out press releases too often will only overload the receiver’s inbox and cause “real” news to be disregarded.
  • Failing to listen: We’ve all been called out by our moms for not listening to her when she talks, but imagine being yelled at by a potential client. If you do not actively listen to what they have to say, you might not have any clients at the end of the day.
  • Being one dimensional: Everyone has their likes and dislikes, but when you are involved in PR, it is important to be knowledgeable in many different areas. Avoid being uninformed and pay attention to those trending topics and world events that are constantly flooding your screen.

4 Reasons Jobseekers Should Blog

If you find yourself getting lost in a sea of resumes for every job you apply for, you need to do something that will set you apart from the other highly-qualified applications. Blogging is a great way to go about this because it not only showcases your writing skills but expresses who you are.

Here are four reasons why you should start a blog:

  1. Show what you’re made of. In a job interview, you have to try to convince people what you know. In a blog, you can show them. Blog about recent events in your industry, your views on trends, your areas of expertise, and what you aspire to be.
  2. Engaging vs. advertising. No matter how creative, a resume is still an advertisement. A long resume can be a struggle to read, while interesting stories on a blog are more engaging. Compelling content gets and holds the attention of employers.
  3. A marketable skill. If you look for an entry-level job in sales, marketing, PR, and even HR, there is a good chance that part of your job will involve social media and blogging. Showing the ability to create content may be the difference that gets you the job over a non-blogger.
  4. Sharpen your professional skills. The more you blog, the more you learn. Putting out thoughtful content requires that you stay on top of your gram, which will be an advantage to you, especially if job hunting goes on and on.

Don’t forget to add the link to your blog on your LinkedIn profile and resume so employers see it!

Eliminate A Crisis Before Time Runs Out

In case a crisis occurs at your organization, it’s good to have a holding statement prepared in advance so that you can brief the public as soon as possible. A holding statement is an account of what the company knows and what actions it is taking to face the crisis at hand. It’s important to demonstrate control, credibility, and compassion in this statement.

Your statement should include:

  • The date and time
  • The location of the incident
  • Basic details that have been confirmed
  • Actions your organization is taking that you are willing to make public
  • An expression of compassion or empathy (if appropriate)
  • Contact details OR details on further updates

Once your team puts together the holding statement, it’s time to check for information that should not be written in the statement, such as details that are unconfirmed, any kind of speculation, the apportioning of blame, or the names of victims in case of death. Later, when the company knows more, another statement with further details may be released.

This statement is important because it tells the media what the company knows at this point and what it doesn’t know, what actions they are taking and how customers can get in touch. So be prepared and help your company create an outline for a holding statement before it’s too late.

How to Develop Strong Media Relations

Establishing a relationship with media and influencers is essential in the field of public relations. A close relationship will work in your benefit when you are trying to pitch your story. If you know exactly who to pitch to and what will catch their eye, your story will get a lot more publicity.

Here are on few tips to help you build successful connections with the media and influencers:

  1. Build relationships, not individual opportunities. If you make meaningful connections with the media, you may find that they are more receptive to your pitching down the line. You may also find they take interest in what is happening with your brand and reach out to you.
  2. Let the media get to know you. Provide opportunities for the media to get to know you. If you are launching a new brand, they will not know you at all, so you need to accessible. Invite them to media events you are holding, build a downloadable media kit, and be active on social media.
  3. Get to know the media. Using a blanket approach where you pitch every media contact you can think of is not a great idea. Thoughtfully build a list and get to know who your media and influencers are. What do they write about? What stories seem to grab them the most? And most importantly, what is the connection between your pitch and them?
  4. Anticipate the media’s needs. You have to be able to identify what the media may need to write a great story on your pitch. Be sure to include background information, high resolution images, and spokesperson/expert availability when you send your story.
  5. Be clear about what you want. Whether you are asking for coverage, event attendance, or an interview make it easy as possible for the media to evaluate whether or not they want to be involved.
  6. Keep your promises. If you say you are going to provide your contact with information by a certain deadline, then do it. Also, if you promise an exclusive to one publication, do not do the same to another. It breaks down trust, and they will likely delete your email next time you try to pitch them.

Winning Strategies for Father’s Day PR

Father’s Day is this Sunday! In addition to spoiling your favorite dad figures in your life while you grill-n-chill this weekend, keep in mind that Father’s Day can be a viable opportunity for success at work, too. According to the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending is expected to reach a record of $14.3 billion this year. If you’re a marketing and/or public relations professional, get ready to make use of the holiday in your PR efforts this weekend.

Here are some tips for winning PR for dad’s big day:

  • Use real-life people in your campaigns. Stories that feature real people not only win our hearts and minds, but they are more likely to earn coverage. Make real-life fathers and families the centerpiece of your Father’s Day publicity efforts.
  • Get emotional. It’s no surprise that emotional stories tend to be shared more frequently. Pulling at the heartstrings is not just a winning strategy when it comes to Mother’s Day – we know all dads have a soft spot deep down when it comes to their kids!
  • Be clever with hashtags. Using hashtags encourages social sharing, but make sure they reflect an equally clever idea. Last year, a home goods retailer used the hashtag #jokesfromdad, which generated a great deal of funny tweets and viral videos.
  • Don’t ignore gift guides. Just because a gift guide is predictable does not meant that it should be neglected. Top publications will share recommendations for gifts for dad. If your company produces a product for mass or male consumption, it is worth pitching the right targets.