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PR – Not Just For the Workweek

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It’s so easy to become completely consumed in the exciting and fast-paced world of public relations. However, after an eventful week, it’s finally Friday! Utilize these next two days to refresh and regroup from the everyday hustle and bustle by taking some time to get involved in PR activities outside of the office.

While you may be tempted to leave work at the office, incorporating PR inspired activities during your personal time will help you remember why you first decided to break into the industry. Whether you are a working professional or even a student, there are plenty of ways to become more involved in the PR community this weekend.

Here are three suggestions from PR Daily to get involved in PR activities this weekend:

1. Join a PR-Industry Organization

Being a PR professional is exciting because there are so many organizations you can join to help you relate with your peers.

A few favorites are the Public Relations Society of America, PR Council and Publicity Club of New England (locally the Publicity Club of Chicago).

Being part of these organizations—and working alongside those who run them—give PR pros opportunities to meet many local communications pros along the way. You can also learn new tips and tricks, which you can then share with colleagues.

2. Focus on Trade Shows

Spring and fall are typically the biggest trade-show seasons for PR executives.

In the trade show off-season, research events that would be useful from a knowledge-share perspective that your client isn’t attending. This will give you the opportunity to attend workshops and network without client demands.

3. Attend Networking Events

Major cities like Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco often host mixers and socials that bring together PR pros with common interest, such as technology or consumer products. These types of events are great for recruitment and new business prospecting.

Client responsibilities are the number one priority, but by making time for industry activities, you create opportunities to bring even more creative ideas to your client campaigns. Even for students, there is the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has chapters at campus’ across the country.

Hopefully these idea have inspired you to try something new you can start next week fresh, rested and ready to take on new challenges!

Read PR Daily’s full article here: http://prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19460.aspx

Twitter Chat: A Different Avenue to Engage Your Audience

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Twitter is famous – or infamous—for only allowing its users 140 characters to relay their message. So, why is it that this social media outlet is generally considered the best platform to capture brands’ audiences? The answer lies in Twitter chats, a discussion about an arranged topic. The short messages make it easy for participants to stay involved and interested. The chats create a comfortable atmosphere to connect with a brand, event or product. It can also build advocacy, loyalty and community with participants. Once a topic is chosen that will appeal to followers and future followers, what’s next? Twitter chats can work, but it takes a lot of effort beforehand.

Here are our favorite tips from PR Daily on how to host a successful Twitter chat:

  1. Invite Influential Users

If this is your first time throwing a digital party, it’s best to engage a few well-known tweeters who are experts on your topic. Find and invite some users with big followings who will bring their audience along to your chat and add a respected voice to your topic. Imagine the amount of knowledge available during an effective chat with a number of tweeters who can access real-time, expert advice with the click of a few keys.

  1. Hashtag it

So you have your topic and your special guests.  Now you need a hashtag so your audience can follow along and respond. The hashtag is important so your audience can find the conversation and use it to chime in when they have something of value to add. We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s quite a bit of activity on Twitter; let’s call it noise. Using a consistent and easy hashtag mean people will notice there’s an organized discussion happening that’s also easy to track.

  1. Go With the Flow, But Have a Plan

Twitter chats are fun, but ensure that you:

  • Promote it.
  • Keep the conversation going
  • Give guests equal time.
  • Don’t ignore your followers
  • Document it

To check out the rest of PR Daily’s tips visit: http://prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/19311.aspx.

PR Tips Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Netflix

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Netflix, an online video streaming service, is one of the largest and most successful corporations of its kind. It allows customers to stream or rent television shows and movies, and provides recommendations based on what each subscriber has previously watched. Netflix has become a very popular site, and is now a regular part of many people’s daily routine. Along with all of their success, Netflix has also gone through some of their own crises. Public relations professionals and business owners can learn from some of the difficulties that Netflix has had, and use that information to help make the best responses for their own companies.

Here are our three favorite PR tips from the Huffington Post that entrepreneurs can learn from Netflix:

  1. Always Be Transparent With The Public

When Netflix split their service into two different sites, streaming and renting, consumers who enjoyed both of the Netflix services were upset by the change. The second site, Qwikster, caused Netflix to lose the trust and business of the public, so Quickster was eventually shut down. Companies can learn from this Netflix experience that it is always better to gauge potential consumer responses to a change before making it.

  1. If You Want to Stay Relevant, Change With the Times

A big part of public relations is staying relevant in your current market. Netflix had to make changes when physical DVD rental became a thing of the past. The company saw the opportunity to add the streaming service and now it is the main aspect of the Netflix brand. Yet another way that Netflix has changed with the times is when they began creating original content. Their series Orange is the New Black, Peaky Blinders and House of Cards have grown into some of today’s biggest shows in entertainment.

  1. Damage Control Will Always Be Important

Keeping current customers happy with your product or service is important for every company. Netflix came under fire when they raised their monthly prices. The stocks plummeted and the public started firing back against the company, making damage control essential. Netflix focused on current customers in order to maintain their business and continue making money. In the end, smoothing the tension with current costumers lead to overall success.

Learning by example and taking a moment to find the important PR lessons from any situation can help companies and entrepreneurs succeed in today’s market.

To learn more visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-lorenzen/pr-tips-entrepreneurs-can_b_7840628.html.

How to Evolve as a Public Relations Professional

Public Relations Professionals

Today, public relations is vital to every brand, industry and individual. The PR profession has progressed into much more than just basic communications; it now includes media relations, planning for crises, media counseling and training, social media and much more. Since PR’s scope is increasing every day, it’s important for PR professionals to hone their skills based on the advancements in technology and PR. PR Daily seemed to agree with us when they shared “5 Ways for PR Pros to Step up Their Game”. Here are the top three that stood out to us:

  • Increase Social Media Skills.

Social media continues to gain popularity every day, so using it to your advantage is important if you want to stay relevant as a PR professional. Use both personal and client social media platforms to post newsworthy articles and communicate with other professionals and brands. Social media is also a great way to gain exposure for your own business and the business of your clients, while always making connections and networking.

  • Get Away from Phones and Computers to make Human Connections.

Online networking is great, but it isn’t everything. Face-to-face connections are still vital to creating personal relationships. Other professionals will see that you are responsible and committed to your work and gaining their trust. It makes clients feel more comfortable as well because they see how much their business means to you

  • Be Nice.

A PR professional’s main job is to be of service to clients. So, being nice goes a long way when it comes to building personal relationships with brands and clients. Business will come easier and more people will respect and trust you if you also treat them with respect.

What are some other ways you stay current in the field of PR? To check out the other tips from PR Daily, visit: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19164.aspx

Chevrolet Shakes Up Their Latest Press Release

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Chevrolet is bringing things further into the digital age with an all-emoji press release. Emojis are small pictures frequently used in text messages to convey emotion.

The new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze was announced in a press release Monday, and was decoded the next day for those who were unable to read the emoji message.

Why did Chevrolet decide to write an emoji press release?

Previously, Chevrolet’s attempts to reach a younger demographic have been underwhelming. Creating an all-emoji press release was their way of appealing to the demographic that would have the greatest likelihood to buy a car that is priced around $16,000 such as the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.

According to PR Daily, Chevrolet’s new technique will likely bring in more interest from the targeted audience for the new Chevrolet model. With this departure from a normal press release, PR Daily said Chevrolet is trying to attract younger consumers who use emojis often.

Chevrolet was able to create a press release that not only drew the desired attention, but required active participation for those who were interested in attempting to decode the emoji message. The car brand also took to Twitter to tease their press release by using even more emojis and the hashtag: #ChevyGoesEmoji. Commercials starring celebrities Norm Macdonald, Zendaya Coleman, Jamie Chung and Ashley Benson were posted on Chevrolet social media accounts. The commercials show the young celebrity women teaching the older generation how to use emojis.

Chevrolet’s goal was to reach a young demographic who can afford a car like the new Chevrolet model. Because consumers respond more favorably to celebrities that they recognize, Chevrolet chose young celebrities that are popular right now and are heavily followed on social media for the campaign. The celebrity and consumer interaction on Twitter is evidence that Chevrolet succeeded in making their announcement interactive. Twitter was torn as to whether the press release was effective, but it definitely drew attention and sparked a discussion.

The method was attention-grabbing, but even though this was the first time that emojis have been used in PR, other companies have used emojis as part of their marketing strategy. According to Mashable, today’s marketers have to “speak their language” to appeal to the younger generation—and emojis are part of the language.

According to Digiday, many companies are trying to be more appealing to the younger generation. Companies are using trendy words like “fleek” and “bae” in attempt to appeal to the younger audience. The incorporation of pop culture into marketing shows that marketers have realized that the younger generation is becoming increasingly important to business.

Will other companies follow suit and get creative with their press releases?

MakeSpace Expands On-Demand Storage Service to Chicago

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Chicagoans now have a new high-tech way to store their stuff—MakeSpace, “Your Closet in the Cloud,” is thrilled to announce the beloved five-star rated on-demand storage solution is now available in Chicago.

MakeSpace transforms the way we think of storage, whether we have seasonal items, live in a small apartment, or simply need to store items we won’t need for a while. Here’s how it works—with just a few clicks, MakeSpace delivers bins to users’ doors ($25/month to store four large (three cubic feet) bins). Once users pack their belongings into the bins, MakeSpace has them picked up from their door and then creates a photo catalog of each bin; so stored items are viewable and retrievable at any time.

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Through a partnership with Goodwill, MakeSpace will also bring users a laundry-sized Goodwill x MakeSpace bag, collect donations and drop off at a local Goodwill facility, free of charge.

For those residing outside of New York City, Chicago and D.C., MakeSpace partners with UPS to bring the same hassle-free experience with its MakeSpace Air service. With MakeSpace Air, users can request durable boxes be shipped to their door and picked up whenever they want. More information on the MakeSpace Air service can be found here.

MakeSpace has received total funding of $10.1 million from investors including Upfront Ventures, Founders Fund, entertainer turned business mogul Ashton Kutcher, and New York Knicks superstar and digital athlete Carmelo Anthony, among others.

 Check out their website for more information!

“Puppy Mill” Humor Not So Funny: How GoDaddy Avoided a PR Nightmare

GoDaddy Puppy Ad

Almost immediately after releasing its 2015 Super Bowl ad online, GoDaddy was criticized for its poor taste in a heartless commercial about selling a puppy online. The 30-second ad focused on a golden retriever puppy finding its way home after falling out of a truck. After making it back home, the puppy discovers that its owner had used GoDaddy to set up a website that let her sell the dog to a new owner. The commercial had dog advocates from all over the world gathering together to bring awareness to the inhumane practice of “puppy mills.”

What easily could have been a looming crisis for GoDaddy was quickly suppressed by the company. Fast reaction to the overwhelmingly negative comments, GoDaddy’s CEO, Blake Irving addressed critics on Twitter apologizing for their insensitivity and promised to not air the commercial on Super Bowl Sunday. Subsequently, the company removed the YouTube video of the ad. GoDaddy has confirmed that they will be airing a different humorous commercial during the telecast. After being heavily condemned for their encouragement of buying puppies online, GoDaddy tweeted in support of animal adoption. In a statement released directly to Adweek, PETA Director, Colleen O’Brien said, “GoDaddy did the right thing by swiftly promoting adoption.”

What does GoDaddy’s mishap mean for PR? It proves the importance of crisis communications. GoDaddy correctly identified the steps they needed to take in order to not further damage its company’s reputation. This can be seen in their responsiveness and honest dialogue with the public. Furthermore, GoDaddy demonstrated tremendous leadership by admitting their mistake and committing themselves to being more socially sensitive.

To view GoDaddy’s ad, check out: http://bcove.me/evbeesgz

Super Bowl viewers can only hope that the rest of game day’s commercials will be touchdowns.

Twitter Hashtag #JeSuisCharlie Demonstrates Global Solidarity over Paris Shootings

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Last Wednesday, Paris and the world were both shocked and devastated after the recent attack at the headquarters of satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo. While this is not France’s first threat on its national security, the shooting is currently the worst to date. Like so many others, this tragic event has sparked vast media attention and people around the world expressed their support within hours of the massacre. This article written by The Huffington Post explains how the #JeSuisCharlie Hashtag is “a message of solidarity” and the powerful effects of Twitter after the shooting at Charlie Hebdo.

Hashtag activism allows a simple phrase to turn into a powerful utterance that embodies sympathies of goodwill. The phrase #JeSuisCharlie or “I am Charlie” which emerged in the after math of the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo office is proof alone to cite the ever-growing presence of current events being integrated into social media. Twitter has become an online forum where people have the ability to connect to vast networks with updates of breaking news as well as free expression of their emotions and according to the Huffington Post, “thousands of Twitter users posted the hashtag in support of those killed and freedom of the press.”

In the past week, #JeSuisCharlie has become the trending hashtag bringing together journalists and citizens alike in support for the victims. Looking back to other past political movements in the last few years, such as the Arab Spring uprisings (#arabspring) or more recently, the Occupy Wall Street (#occupywallstreet) protests, hashtags are becoming increasingly powerful as they become a symbol for a global voice.

Read the full article written by The Huffington Post here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/07/jesuischarlie-charlie-hebdo-shooting_n_6429712.html

 

Consumer Electronics Show 2015

CES-LogoThe international Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) 2015 conference was held this past week from January 6-9 in Las Vegas, NV. Each year, the international CES features a wide range of products and companies from consumer technology markets that attracts more than 3,600 exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of attendees from more than 140 countries. At the heart of attention, the exhibit floor, which was spread out across more than 2 million square feet of hotel and convention center space, was packed with on-lookers. The conferences allow innovators to showcase their latest prototypes, preview products and announce new releases. The diversity of the product categories is vast and includes electronic gaming, 3D printing and robotics to name a few. Some of this year’s most anticipated products on display include 4K Televisions, Smartwatches, 3D printing and self-driving cars.

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3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker announced at CES 2015 the launch of the Ultimaker² Go and Ultimaker² Extended, two cutting-edge desktop 3D printers. Both models are pre-order from March 2015 and available from April 2015. Built with premium parts and materials, these 3D printers bring imagination to life with high definition printing technology. The new Ultimaker² Go and Ultimaker² Extended follow the success of the top-rated Ultimaker², which was awarded best in shootout 2015 from Make Magazine and best consumer product at the 3D Printshow global awards 2014. The Ultimaker 2 Extended has the capability to print objects up to 10 inches tall, while the Ultimaker 2 Go is smaller, more compact and portable printer for on-the-go. The two new desktop models were created to help with the needs of businesses and consumers and provide an affordable alternative for at 3D printers. The purposeful sizing of the printers complements Ultimaker’s previously released 3D printer, the Ultimaker 2.

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You can check the machines out in action on USA Today here: http://www.usatoday.com/videos/tech/personal/2015/01/07/21407523/

Paramount Public Relation’s Client Highlights of 2014

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It has been a busy year here at PPR, our clients have been doing some exciting things. From launching a new care booking site to partnering with the Marriott Hotels, here are a few highlights from 2014:

  1. Chicago Travelers Eat Well: Farmer’s Fridge, a new vending kiosk concept that dispenses gourmet salads and snacks made fresh daily with over 15 locations in the Chicagoland area, added a new location at the Chicago Marriot O’Hare hotel. Chicago Marriott O’Hare reached out to Farmer’s Fridge this year to be a part of their Travel Brilliantly campaign, offering Marriott travelers healthy on-the-go meal options made with local, fresh ingredients.
  2. Big Success in a Short Time: SuiteHop, the online marketplace for fans to book full suites as well as individual seats in suites across the country, announced the completeion of $1 million in equity funding this year. SuiteHop creates access to luxury suites with amenities to concerts and sports games around the country by allowing fans to purchase extra tickets to suites that would have otherwise gone unused. Even though SuiteHop was only launched this year, they recently announced they have over $5 million of inventory for booking luxury suites at more than 550 events nationwide.
  3. Celebrity “It” Drink at the Emmys: HYDRIVE Energy Water jetted to Los Angeles to hang out with some of their favorite TV stars for a little pre-Emmy fun this August. Emmy red carpet host Ross Mathews and actors from Emmy-nominated shows such as Veep actor Matt Walsh, Michael Gill from House of Cards, Game of Thrones actress Sibel Kekilli, RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad and more enjoyed a low-calorie and refreshing boost from HYDRIVE Energy Water before the event.
  4. Give Back to Charity While Talking on a Cell Phone: GIV Mobile continues to appeal to customers nationwide with their new all-time low $20 Unlimited talk and text plan with 150g of data. This consumer conscious no-contract service plan donates 8% of each customer’s monthly plan amount to up to three charities of the customer’s choice.
  5. A Unique Thanksgiving: This year, MealSharing.com, a website that connects travelers and locals over home cooked meals, connected over 1,000 on Thanksgiving through their ThanksSharing initiative. Whether a person was traveling, alone for the holiday or simply wanted a different experience—ThanksSharing helped connect people over home cooked meals for the special occasion.
  6. Company LaunchCareBooker.com, the only FREE “Open Table” of family and pet care services, launched this year.  CareBooker.com’s streamlined platform allows users to directly book interviews, single or repeated appointments and communicate with providers through real-time availability—plus online payment is available, eliminating any in-person transactions.
  7. Grand Opening Event: Our team had a blast attending Granite City’s Grand Opening Event this October in Naperville, IL. The polished casual Modern American restaurant features a wide variety of dishes prepared from made-from-scratch recipes as well as an on-site microbrewery. The new Naperville location is the 31st restaurant that celebrates gourmet food and drink in a family-friendly atmosphere.