By Gabrielle Woodard
It’s a Marathon not a Sprint: Political PR session at National Conference was lead by Christopher Harvin of Sanitas International. Sanitas International is a Political PR consulting firm out of Washington, D.C.
Harvin was a member of PRSSA when he was in college and remembered being in the audience’s shoes 20 years ago when he attended PRSSA National Conference in Seattle. This gave the audience some reference for where they could be 20 years from now.
One of the main focuses of this session was how public relations impacts campaigns. Harvins’ first example was of current President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign tactic of using YouTube. Harvin pointed out that is reached Obama’s targeted audience of younger voters and used a free service with low cost production. Harvin used the statistic that thirty percent of America saw Obama’s videos on YouTube, very little paid media could have that kind of length.
In comparison, Harvin said that this year’s Election is all about media exposure. Trump is making the news and getting the exposure, unlike a lot of the candidates. The Internet has made a huge difference in recent elections, there is now online fact checking and everything is public knowledge. Ben Carson has been “attacking the media” but the “practitioner needs the media as much as the media needs the practitioner,” said Harvin. Harvin said that this year’s election has been all about getting the public and the media’s attention, Trump and other candidates have been using the method of, “if they’re talking, no one else is being heard,” said Harvin. Harvin explained that while he had worked for Republican presidents before, he was not involved in this year’s election he wasn’t satisfied with any of the candidates, “it would be very hard to work for someone I didn’t support,” said Harvin.
After the discussion of the current election, someone in the audience asked a very thoughtful question, “ how can I stay involved with political PR, but I don’t like any of the current candidates?” Harvin, being in the same situation recommended others follow in his footsteps, “stay issues focused,” said Havin. He went on to explain that while issues can still have partisan influence, it allows one to stay about the fray and being associated with a candidate they don’t 100% agree with.
Harvin said that political communication is like “a chess match, it is all a game.”
By Latisha Ellison
Daniel Dao and Carly Nash presented “It’s All in the Details: Planning a Successful Event,” during the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta. Dao and Nash work for ignition, which is a part of Havas Sports and Entertainment network and specializes in event production. Their session focused on experiential marketing—a fancy phrase for event planning—and how one can create a great event.
The first trick to event planning is understanding the 80/20 rule. Dao explained that they plan events knowing what is happening 80 percent of the time, and knowing that 20 percent of time something will go wrong or not as planned. When that 20 percent happens, “take a breath, evaluate the situation, and be resourceful,” Dao said.
Plan all events with PASSION:
Poise: believe in what you’re doing and trust in the mission.
Attitude: P5 (proper planning prevents poor performance) + D4 (dedication, desire, discipline, determination) + C3 (don’t complain, condemn, criticize)
Substance over style: style is important, but you have to have the substance to back everything up.
Strategic: think and be smart.
Innovation: be ahead of the curve and know what is new and relevant.
On time, On budget
Nonstop, forward motion: when problems happen, deal with it and keep going with a positive attitude.
Nash and Dao pride themselves and ignition on being ignitors. They believe energy ignites action. Before planning an event one has to decide what the desired response is, how the event can ignite stories and what the measurable actions are.
Some other key takeaways from this session included knowing your audience, developing a consistent message, using your brand and creating content. Nash stressed the importance of knowing your audience when planning an event. If one knows her audience, she will be able to create an event that caters to them, and they will appreciate it.
Dao said it best when he said, “We exist to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” An event has the potential to gain great exposure for a brand and leave a lasting impression on its customers.
By Haley Keding
“If you’re in this business to travel, you need to think about being a travel agent instead,” says Scott Farrell, president of global corporate communications at Golin and guest speaker at PRSSA 2015 National Conference.
While living abroad is a large part of global PR, the industry offers far more than the opportunity to travel the world. From working with diverse clients to 24/7 communication, global PR encompasses all the glamour and grime of the industry.
Here are the top four characteristics firms want in an employee:
According to Farrell, “culture is king,” and he’s right. Cultural knowledge and sensitivity is THE most important part of global PR. In order for your campaigns and communications efforts to work effectively in different countries, you have to be willing to adjust your campaign according to the needs of each country.
2.Knowledge of a Foreign Language
As communicators, we have to be able to speak with our audiences and that requires knowing their language. Knowing a foreign language will also help you develop creative, catchy campaigns that resonate with audiences.
3.Understanding of International Markets
The leaders in the world’s economy are shifting from traditional countries like America, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and Italy to emerging countries like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. America will no longer be top dog and global PR professionals will need to learn how to cater to these new markets. Two thirds of middle-income households will come from the emerging nations, and these people will have an increased purchasing power and no brand loyalties, making them a very malleable audience. Knowing this will help you target your audiences well and get them to act on behalf of your brand.
Global PR professionals need to be flexible with almost everything in their lives. People are asked to move to countries on project-based timelines and be willing to live in diverse areas throughout the world. There’s also a need for flexibility with time because the world is always on. PR professionals need to be available for conference calls any time of day, including holidays.
By Hanna Moore
I was fortunate enough to attend PRSSA National Conference this November for the second time, where I was able to listen to speakers discuss various topics relevant to public relations and communication. My favorite session this year was “Building Personalized Experiences” from Scott Cuppari (@scottcuppari), Global Marketing Director for Coca-Cola Freestyle.
As soon as I read over the list of presentations, I was immediately drawn to this one. I have been brand loyal to Diet Coke and Coca-Cola for as long as I can remember, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear from one of its directors first hand.
Cuppari began by asking the room who had heard of a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. About half of the people raised their hands. He then asked how many people had seen the “drink machines from the future.” Everyone in the room raised their hands.
He asked us if we could remember the first time we had seen a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and my friend and I both looked at each other and immediately said “Five Guys!”
Listening to someone from some a well-known brand that has strong marketing campaigns was a dream come true. Cuppari shared personal career experiences that shaped how he got to his current career and offered some advice, such as “Don’t get complacent,” “Everything can change in the blink of an eye” and “Challenge yourself — think broader! Always ask questions.”
Cuppari used his experience at Coca-Cola Freestyle to describe how personalized marketing campaigns have changed the customer experience.
He said that this is the “age of personalization,” and that the challenge is to turn a mass-produced product and make it into a personalized experience for customers.
Some of the ways Coca-Cola Freestyle has been able to market directly to customers in a one-to-one world are through Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” and Powerade’s “Just a Kid” campaigns.
The session mostly focused on the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which have more than 150 options for consumers. Cuppari described the four types of media: owned, your own website and social media channels; paid, advertising; earned, third-party endorsements and media coverage; and shared, your partners’ and consumers’ social media channels.
I have heard about owned, paid and earned media in my classes, but the idea of using shared media was unique and is something to consider when looking at types of media.
Cuppari also encouraged us to think of consumers in the context of a “pinball machine” because you don’t know where they came from, but they should still be in the center of your marketing.
He finished the presentation by showing success Coca-Cola Freestyle has had with marketing and the role that big data had in the campaign. Overall, this was a great session that inspired me to think of marketing as a personalized experience for consumers, rather than a “one size fits all” campaign for all consumers.
My key takeaways from the session are:
By Endya Watson
Quick: When you think of networking, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a setting with professionals suited and tied, heeled and blazer ridden where every word counts and every handshake is crisp and firm? Or is it the perfectly crafted LinkedIn request read 6 times forward backward left and right to make sure there's no typos and that it meets an "eager to connect with you yet don't want to be creepy" balance?
People can tend to view networking as a structured practice that requires just the right formula for success. The reality, according to Alicia Thompson of Edleman Atlanta and Susan Rosenberg of UPS is that we should think less of the actual definition and perceived pressure of networking, and think more about how we do it everyday to meet new people and learn things about them.
Thompson and Rosenberg gave great insight on the key tips students and young pros should use when networking during their session "Shaking Hands with The Right People: Tips for Networking " at PRSSA national conference. To build the relationships we're looking for, we should consider other ways to think of networking, and describe it in more personable and realistic words.
When the word "networking" brings on pressure or stresses you out, call it:
Curiosity: You have to be genuinely interested in other people and engaged with what leads to success in the business. When you're networking, confidently express questions and thoughts that show you're truly interested in the person you're talking to.
Journey: networking isn't just for landing a job. The relationship building that comes along with it is a lifelong journey that will be never ending in your pr career.
Altruism: Reaching out and meeting new people should be mutually beneficial. It's fine to think about what you can take away, but also think of what you can offer to others in your network.
Connection: Everyone likes to feel special. Take the time to research those you want to have and already have in your network so each interaction is personalized to their interests or a commonality between the two of you.
Genuineness: Transparency, honesty and authenticity are critical for a networking relationship. Keep those values top of mind to make the experience most meaningful.
Before embarking on a new networking experience, whether it be a PRSSA meeting or grabbing coffee with a pr pro, take the definition of networking beyond what you know and consider how you can make the most of networking by another name.