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Being a business founder, MD or CEO sometimes means juggling your duties in between cities, countries or even continents. All this in order to connect with investors, meet up with clients and make new connections/networking. If you're a regular work traveler then it's highly of the essence that you come up with a certain pre-travel routine that sees to it even in your absence your business runs smoothly, both where you're headed and back at home. How do you do that, you ask? Well here goes a few pointers: 1.) Invest In The Right Luggage: The weight of your luggage matters a whole lot. You don't want to run through customs and the whole shebang that comes with the airport, with a not so portable suitcase. This should also be safe for your back, not forgetting you'll avoid excess baggage fees. Also, ensure that you invest in durability. Dealing with luggage malfunction...
If as millenials we don't count our lucky stars (Pun intended...You know, because "Brand"..."Star"... Get it?) then I don't know when we ever will. Why do I say this, you ask? Because SOCIAL MEDIA. In this era we're living in becoming a brand overnight is easy as ABC. Unlike in yester years/generations, where they had to rely on television and radio and newspapers (Yikes! *Shudders*). That in current language is how age is calculated in dog years. We cannot afford to ignore the power of social media which has only been around for only 5 years, over which immense growth has been made.   When potential employers and employees google you, make sure you've left behind a trail of impressive online presence. Otherwise you might not be cut out for that job you badly want or the labor your company direly need.    You now have the leverage, advantage, upper hand,...
When you're founding your business, high chances are you're working under a budget. A tight one at that seeing as, well, it's a new business. Financial discrepancies, capital-wise, are the last thing you need. Be that as it may, your business getting some media attention would be a big deal. So what do you do when you're doing your own PR because you can't afford the whole shebang that professional PR pros come with? It means that you have to pull a few rabbits out of your hat like compiling eye catching and relevant press releases. You need to build a concrete, useful network of media contacts as well as appreciate the ability and advantages of being spontaneous. That said, what makes you to a journalist what light is to a moth? a) Understand what makes news, news. Once you find out what rocks journalists' socks, you're a step closer to...
Not having your business on social media is probably one of the not so smart a move you can make. The world currently revolves around the digital communication axis, if I should call it that. And the medium is social media platforms. The biggest percentage of millenials, if not all, is either on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. Some are even on ALL OF THEM. I'm on the first 5. You can call this speaking from personal experience.   Creating a social media presence is easily the simplest way for building connections and visibility for your business. Below are several tips on creating a stable social media foundation.   1.) Create Profiles On As Many Platforms As You Can. Is it really necessary to have all these accounts? Isn't Facebook and Twitter enough, for obvious reasons? Yes, it's necessary. For SEO (Search Engines Optimization) purposes. When a potential...
Tagged in: Branding Social Media
No one ever  quite predicted bad news (Not 100% for sure, at least) and even worse, no one knew how hard bad news would hit them until it actually happened to them. The manner in which bad news may hit you has doubled over the years. In fact, it feels pretty safe to say tripled. What with the gazillion social media platforms, if you're in the limelight you just don't know the day, hour or minute at which the axe shall fall on you. It could be in form of a text, tweet, google alert or even from word of mouth. Heck, don't be surprised if an owl dropped a letter on your doorstep. (This is the 21st century. Anything is possible) On a larger and more lethal scale, an irate client could be criticizing your brand or company. In public or online. You're familiar with the line "No publicity is...

Preparing for a Crisis

Posted on in Monday PR Tips
A necessary, but stressful aspect of public relations is crisis communication. Crises are almost inevitable since we are human and constantly make mistakes and to put it frankly, things happen that are beyond our control. It is in those moments that we need to be able to effectively communicate key messages to our audience and maintain the integrity of the organization. In order to better prepare for a crisis, your organization can take these steps Establish and create a crisis communication plan Having a crisis communication plan makes communication during a crisis seamless. According to Bernstein Crisis Management you should include the following in your plan; Clearly identified individuals who operate as the crisis communication team. Identifying a team ensures that everyone on the organization knows who to field questions and inquiries as events unfold during a crisis. The team will drop most of their other responsibilities and focus solely on...
Snapchat, the social media platform that allows users to send 10 second snaps to their friends, or add “stories” for friends to see for a total of 24 hours before disappearing is rapidly growing to be one of the best marketing tools out there when used correctly. There is some sort of intimacy that Snapchat users get when watching stories – it is raw, unedited and more personable. Celebrities, brands and organizations are creating public Snapchat accounts to share behind-the-scenes with their followers. Gary Vaynerchuk, a digital marketing strategist, believes that Snapchat is the ephemeral, one-to-one experience that yields high engagement. He also adds, “reaching a smaller engaged audience is more important for personal brands than a massive disengaged audience. We have an article about choosing the best social media platform to engage your audience here, so once you establish that Snapchat is a good fit for your business or organization,...

Creating Quality Podcasts

Posted on in Social Media Wednesdays
Podcasts have proven to be very effective in building an audience, building awareness and increasing traffic. Once you establish a successful podcast, you position yourself to be an industry leader, offering valuable information to your audience. Podcasts are episodes of a program available on the Internet. Podcasts usually offer each episode in the same file format, such as audio or video, so that subscribers can enjoy the program the same way each time. Some podcasts, such as language courses, include multiple file formats, such as video and documents, to teach more effectively. For podcast listeners, podcasts are a way to enjoy great content from around the world for free. For podcast publishers, podcasts are a great way to reach a wide audience. Here are a few things to consider to help you improve or get you started on creating quality podcasts.  Plan Every form of communication that you put out there to your...

Tips for Writing a PR Case Study

Posted on in Monday PR Tips
Have you ever finished an amazing campaign for a client and wanted to share it with everyone? Writing a case study is the perfect way to do so! Not only do case studies help PR professionals who might be facing the same challenges as you did, but it is also a great way to promote your public relations skills and recruit new clients. Below are steps to help you write a strong case study and gain credibility. Begin with a strong summary: You want to gain the attention of your reader immediately. Make sure that you clearly state the problem and the solution in your summary. You readers should be able to quickly understand the main points of your case study just by reading the summary. Client input and testimonial: Include client testimonials whenever possibly. This helps strengthen the credibility of your case study. You can say that you worked well...

Book Review: Merchants of Doubt

Posted on in Monday PR Tips
Along with an introduction to Public Relations book, every aspiring public relations practitioner should consider reading the book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.  The book outlines the power of Public Relations and its ability to cause harm. Although we know that “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics”, there is still a lot of misconception about the role of Public Relations today, due to past malpractices of spin, lies and public deception at the hands of PR practitioners and those that they represented. The methods and tactics described in this book encompass everything that PR is not.  The beginig of the book covers the story of the tobacco industry in the 70s. How through the power of advertising and marketing, the...

Mastering Public Speaking

Posted on in General
Public speaking is something that a lot of people really struggle with. In fact, Fear of public speaking referred to as Glossophobia is often recorded as one of the most common phobias, according to statistic brain. Even the most seasoned public speakers have moments when they get nervous before giving a speech or a presentation. Working in Public Relations, we are often called to speak on behalf of the organization. Regardless of how nervous we are, there are steps that you can take to curb the anxiety and perform well in front of a crowd. In her Ted Talk, Kelly McGonigal, a Psychologist at Stanford University, offers tips on how you can make stress your friend, by channeling your body’s natural reactions to stressful environments, such as in front of a crowd, into the positive energy that you need to captivate and inform your audience. As Public Relations professionals, our bottom...

Facebook opens first African office

Posted on in General
Facebook has opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, the company’s  newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Head of Africa. The office according to a statement by the company on Monday will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook — Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones. “We are inspired by the incredible ways people and businesses in Africa use Facebook to connect. This momentum in Africa comes on top of strong advertiser partnerships and excellent adoption of our products across all regions. In Q1 2015, 52% of our total ad revenue came from outside...

Starting a Blog in 4 Easy Steps

Posted on in Social Media Wednesdays
Blogging has a lot of benefits; it helps you become a better writer and helps you become a better thinker. If you start a blog about your specific industry, it helps establish you as an industry leader who offers resources to others in the industry. If you start an orgnaizational blog you can share your brand's story for free and connect and engage with potential customers. There are also some financial benefits that come with blogging, such as the ability to be able to market products through the content of your blog. With the rise of influence marketing, blogging has also become a profitable venture since corporations and brands are reaching out to individuals with a large following to help market their products. No matter your reason for blogging, we can all agree that blogging is a great creative outlet. So follow these four easy steps to get you blogging:  Determine...
Telling your Brand Story through Instagram Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media networks. For many it is a creative outlet where they go to show off what they create as well s to get inspiration. Looking at Instagram from a business and branding perspective it is a great tool to communicate with your followers and tell your brand story. Instagram lets your followers connect with you on a personal level. Instagram offers a sense of intimacy, that’s why people love following brands, celebrities and influencers. It’s basically a backstage pass that allows people to experience things in a personal way. Below are a few things that set users apart for success on Instagram: Variety and consistency Find creative ways to showcase your brand.  Include photos of landscape, architecture, and people in your photos.  Be sure to update your feed regularly because unlike other social media network,...

Apps That Every PR Pro Needs

Posted on in Social Media Wednesdays
As PR professionals we need to stay up to date on everything that’s happening around us, but we always happen to be on our feet, going from meetings, interviews and events in order to help our clients accomplish their goals. For people who are always on the go, we tend to become more reliant on our phones and we need them in order to become rock stars seamlessly stay organized and on track with our daily responsibilities. Below are a few amazing apps that you should integrate into your routine if you haven’t already. Google Calendar Google Calendar is one of the best organizational tools out there. This app can also be integrated to mobile where you can quickly add events by typing Standard English phrases. There is also a feature that helps you color code and block out certain parts of the day to tasks. Another great feature for this...

Creating a Crisis Communication Strategy

Posted on in Monday PR Tips
A necessary, but stressful aspect of public relations is crisis communication. Crises are almost inevitable since we are human and constantly make mistakes and to put it frankly, things happen that are beyond our control. It is in those moments that we need to be able to effectively communicate key messages to our audience and maintain the integrity of the organization.  In order to better prepare for a crisis, your organization can take these steps Establish and create a crisis communication plan Having a crisis communication plan makes communication during a crisis seamless. According to Bernstein Crisis Management you should include the following in your plan; Clearly identified individuals who operate as the crisis communication team. Identifying a team ensures that everyone on the organization knows who to field questions and inquiries as events unfold during a crisis. The team will drop most of their other responsibilities and focus solely on...

Public Relations Measurement

Posted on in Monday PR Tips
 “If we want a seat at the ‘grown ups table’ we have to earn it via metrics.” This quote by David Rockland, partner and managing director at Ketchum, captures the shift as Public Relations is focusing more on data to drive efforts. In order for PR professionals to have a seat with the executive team (the grown ups), they need to be able to prove that PR efforts will yield a return on investment. So how do you do that? The answer is in the objectives. PR objectives are the cornerstone of any relations plan. A PR objective is defined as a specific statement of purpose for a public relations activity. In order to garner the most success, a well-written objective is S.M.A.R.T Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. Objectives are rooted in goals, focused on a public, results oriented, explicit, and must always be acceptable to management or to the...
Tagged in: communications PRTips

Recap of a PR Conference

Posted on in Catch-Up Fridays
Earlier this month, we attended the Midwest Regional PRSSA Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, Hosted by the Drake University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. The conference’s theme was Expect the Unexpected. There were a lot of lessons learned, in conference planning, in Public Relations and life in general. Below are our biggest takeaways from the conference. Themes Build a theme around the subject matter and make it an experience The reason that the theme was chosen was for various reasons; one, Des Moines is a pretty small town with huge opportunities, but not a lot of people are aware of it, and two; PR pros must always expect the unexpected! The theme related to the content of the conference itself, but it also related a lot to building an experience outside of the conference walls. The conference wrapped up at around 4pm each day, and attendees were...
Promoting your music on social media can seem like a daunting task. On social media, the competition is amplified because there are a lot of great musicians out there trying to be discovered and expand their fan base as well. It seem that it is getting harder and harder to get your voice and your talent noticed. But it is not impossible since lot of musicians who found fame on YouTube and other social media platforms. Talent scouts are now looking to social media to find the next big thing, and when you harness the power of social media you can position yourself in a way that increases your chances of exposing your music to a large number of people. Here are a few steps that will help you do just that. 1. Create a social media plan and define success  Social media must be done strategically. Use online resources to...
PR Trends 2015: First Quarter  It is April and we are a quarter of the way through 2015. Already, in just three short months, best practices to maximize the effectiveness of your public relations efforts have been identified via the first quarter Trend Reports. The reports that have been reinforced are the mobile trend, real time PR and the necessity to keep it short and visual. And although content is still very prominent, it is important to focus efforts on the quality of content and not so much the quantity. Also, social media influencers will become more exclusive, and press releases will evolve. Read more about the trends in detail here. Social Media Reacts to Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Announcement Gone are the days when politicians announced the campaign to run for office on regular media or at news conferences. This week, Hillary Clinton announced that she was running to be the...

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