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Here's some ways to turn press releases into press coverage

I was at a holiday party this past weekend and had a chance to talk with some reporters and PR folks.  I asked each person what was the biggest problem businesses faced when trying to pitch stories.  I was shocked that nearly all of the reporters and PR professionals agreed that finding a compelling story was the one thing businesses had the most trouble doing.

It is always amazing to me that businesses can’t seem to figure out the stories that make them interesting.  In that vain, here are five areas of your business where you can find that great story that can turn your press releases into press coverage.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR GOOD DEEDS

There’s one thing that most, if not all, news people bristle at is the perception that all they’re interested in is bad news.  It’s just not true.  News folks are interested in stories that are not “normal.”  Those stories can be good or bad, just not typical.  Here’s how this can work for you.  Do you as a company raise millions of dollars for a good cause?  Do you give away free products to the disadvantaged?  If you do, you need get a press release out, stat.  You see, you’re not “normal.”  There are many businesses out there who don’t do charity so finding one that does is newsworthy.  Reporters love positive news stories just as much as bad news stories, and the fact that your company is so charitable is news.  Let them know.

“SUPER” EMPLOYEES

Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super

What do your employees do when their not working for you?  If you don’t know, you should find out.   Too many Support and highlight your employees who are doing something super businesses don’t think about how their employees non-work actions can affect them, but it can.  Learn about your employees and support them when they do extraordinary stuff.  It would be a shame if you had employees that went to the mountains every weekend to help disable kids learn how to ski and you didn’t help them and tell the media about it.

OFFICE CULTURE

Why do people like working for you?  Yes, it might be that you give them 20% more money than anyone else, but more likely it has something to do with your office culture.  Do you allow dogs?  Do you have flexible hours?  Do you have a swimming pool in the main lobby?  If you do, I bet a news organization would love to do a story on it.

GENUINE INNOVATION

This area is where most businesses try to get news coverage but fail.  The reason is that their products are not interesting.  Look, I understand that to a company that makes rugs, using a brand new type of thread is interesting, but to the rest of us its not.  If you are using thread, however, that makes your rugs last for 200 years, or makes sure that nothing will ever stain them, or it makes your rugs fly…THAT is genuine innovation.  If your company is doing something that makes the average person on the street go “wow,” that’s a reason to let the press know.  By the way, that should exclude about 98% of the things businesses are currently writing press releases about now.

Are you an expert? Let reporters know.

EXPERTISE

Are you an expert in your field?  Do you have people on your staff who are experts?  I mean real “other folks come to you asking for help” expert, then you should notify the press.  Reporters are always looking to stack their Rolodex with experts they can call at a moments notice to help them with a subject.  Even better, tie your expertise in with something that is happening in the news.  You’d be surprised how often reporters are looking for experts.  Writing that press release will let those reporters know that you are the expert they should call.

To be sure, the hard and fast rule about sending out press releases is “less is more.”  But by examining these five areas of your business, you might just find a great story which will help you succeed in turning your press releases into genuine news coverage.

*(If you’re interested in hiring me you can go here for more information.)

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O.K. quiz time.  What’s the one job you wouldn’t take if it were offered to you tomorrow?

Yes, yes, I know.  Gorilla milker and phone book proofer are on the list, but I’m sure there were plenty of folks who immediately thought….

Not everyone likes TSA's screening procedures

TSA airport screener.

The TSA, or Transportation Security Administrations, has been getting a lot of grief lately for their “thorough” body search policy at airports.  Now, I’m not here to “probe” into whether the TSA deserves the criticism they’re getting for the invasive pat downs.   What I wanted to do was use the TSA to illustrate how a poor public relations response can turn a bad situation into an unbridled disaster.

It’s a lesson that every business really needs to learn.

The problem is that with the growth of social media and all the access that goes with it, businesses are becoming increasingly susceptible to getting bad publicity.  It happens a lot.   What most businesses don’t understand, however, is that it’s not the initial bad press that gets a company in trouble, but their response to it.  A lot of times that means simply making sure you don’t do anything to make matters worse.

Here are four tips to stop a business from making a bad situation worse.

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

Put yourselves in the TSA’s position for a moment.  You are in charge of every airport in the country.  You must screen millions of passengers, many of whom are just plain disagreeable, every day.  And now you have to read daily accounts of people who have had nightmarish experiences at the hands of some of your agents.

Your first instinct is to want to fight back.  You want to defend yourself.  You want to shove everything back at your “know-nothing, stupid, bus riding” critics and make them eat their words.

Don’t.  You’ll regret it.

Just ask TSA Head John Pistole.

John Pistole, Head of TSA

What a business needs to understand is that most folks take the side of the perceived victim when there is a dispute.  TSA is NOT the victim, the passengers are.  It may not be fair, but its reality.  Maligning the victim and trashing their supporters will only make you look worse.

Instead, take the high road.

Had the TSA showed any sympathy to the people having problems with the invasive screenings, rather than say “digging their heels in,” there wouldn’t have been quite the backlash.

SHOW WE’RE ON THE SAME SIDE

One of the TSA’s worst mistakes has been to turn the issue of invasive screening into an “us-versus-them” situation.  By doing this, the TSA has framed themselves as the opponent rather than as a supporter of the flying public.  Not very wise.  The TSA would have been better served to take this type of stance.

We understand and sympathize with everyone regarding the inconvenience of the increased screenings.  Believe us, we hate it as much as you do.  We feel badly about the increased screenings, but we would much rather feel badly about that than about sending hundreds of people into harm’s way because we chose convenience over safety.

Please.  We need your help.

If any of our agents are not treating you with respect and professionalism let us know.  We are all in this together.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Letting people understand that you’re on their side helps to diffuse many situations.

NO VENDETTAS

In many cases a business will want to “punish” the people who are causing them problems.  It may feel good, but acting on vendettas might be the worst thing to do.  Take TSA.  There are reports that TSA workers will start a work slowdown to show their displeasure about screening criticisms and a possible protest over Thanksgiving.

I can’t think of  a worse idea.

If people are angry with you, treating them worse won’t help.  Furthermore, if you find that you have employees who are acting on vendettas and you don’t get rid of them, your business will be looked at as having been in on it.

You must treat everyone even better than you normally would.  Especially the people complaining about your business.

BE OF GOOD CHEER

Let’s face it.  Screenings aren’t going to go away.  What doesn’t help, however, is when the TSA agents are grumpy, stern, and rude.  This just feeds into the public’s perception about the TSA as an opponent, rather than a partner in safety.

If you are pleasant, (not annoyingly cheerful or acting like a joker) people will be much more patient.  If you are already dealing with a bad situation, showing some understanding that the customer is being inconvenienced will let people know that you care about them.

In short, people want to know that you care when your business in making their life harder.

TSA didn’t do this.  Instead, they dug in their heels, threatened work slowdowns, and acted like they didn’t care about the passengers they were working with.  And because of that, they made a bad situation much, much worse.

So take a lesson from the TSA.  Everyone gets bad publicity, it’s how you respond to it that will truly help, or hurt your business.

*(If you’re interested in my services you can go here for more information.)

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The best part of elections is that the next one's two years away.

Well, the votes are in…mostly.   And, while half the country is celebrating and the other half is consoling itself, it’s important to look at five non-political lessons that every public relations person should take from Campaign 2010

1.  NOTHING IS OFF THE RECORD, EVER.

There once was a time when a person could let loose with the odd swear, slur, or violent outburst and have it slip under the radar without anyone knowing.  Not anymore.  Smart phones, cheap video cameras, blogs, YouTube and Twitter have made everything we do susceptible to public scrutiny.  Think how many politicians are wishing they could get back that one unfortunate minute of their lives that got caught on tape.  Gone are the days of controlling the media.  It has become vitally important for public relations folks to control their clients instead.  If your not giving your clients media training you must start, today.  The best way not to get caught doing something stupid on camera is to not do something stupid at all.

2.  BLOGGERS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS REPORTERS

Remember when reporters were kings and bloggers were just crazy nut jobs living in their parents’ basement?  Well that’s just not the case anymore.  A quick look at The Truth Laid Bear, a website which tracks blog traffic, will show you that the biggest blogs on the web are getting nearly two million hits a day.

Two million hits…..a day.

Heck, the 200th rated blog is getting over 75,000 hits a day.  You still think bloggers are crazy?  I can tell you that lots of politicians who are nursing their wounds today thought that.

Listen carefully, there is no “new media” or “old media.”  It’s all media, and you need to pitch to it.   It is far more likely that a person will take advice about a business from a blogger that they read daily than from a media entity they may only see occasionally.  Blogs are word of mouth on steroids.  If you’re not reaching out to the blogging community, you are doing your clients a disservice.

3.  ANYONE NOT USING SOCIAL MEDIA IS GETTING LEFT BEHIND

O.K. here’s a little test for you.  Look at all the people that you follow on your various social media sites who told you in the last week A) how they were going to vote; B) how you should vote; and C) that they did indeed vote in the 2010 election.  How many of them didn’t tell you anything about their voting preference four years ago?

Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Politicians who were able to take advantage of social media are headed to Washington, while those who didn’t are headed to their computers to learn how to take advantage.  Whether you like it or not, people are talking about your business with social media.  If you’re not listening and responding, your losing out on opportunities.  That’s just not good for any business in this current climate.

4.  PERSONAL TOUCHES STILL MATTER

Make no mistake.  Blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Flicker, Digg and Google are all very important.  But a handshake is just as important.  One politician who won as a huge underdog sent personal handwritten notes to every donor during his campaign.  Think that might have made a difference?  Public relations and social media are just like paint brushes and easels.  They are tools.  You have to use them to illustrate what makes your businesses identity.  The more you can reach out and touch people personally, the more likely they are to have a positive view of you.  Then they can use their social media to tell potential new customers how great you are.  Two networks telling their people about your awesome business is way better than just one network.

5.  KEEP YOUR POLITICAL THOUGHTS OFF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

There is one thing from Campaign 2010 which has brought all Americans together, and that is that they hate the mudslinging and arguing that comes with every election.  They hate being told “you’re an idiot if you vote for Prop T1000,” or “only commies and fascists would vote for that candidate.”  Perhaps the best advice on this topic comes from Michael Jordan who, when asked why he didn’t get involved in political activism on behalf of the Democratic party said, “because Republicans buy sneakers too.”  That’s really good advice.  There’s no need to alienate half of your potential customers because you have some political itch to scratch.  Customers don’t care.  And the ones who disagree with you won’t argue, they’ll just go somewhere else.

So while none of us can agree on whether this election was a success or a disaster, I think we can all agree that their are things more important than elections.  So take these five non-political lessons to heart.  It won’t help your depression or dampen your enthusiasm in the wake of Campaign 2010, but they might just make your business more successful.

Hope this helps you out.

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New idea? Focus on the food.

Re-branding yourself is a tricky proposition.  You never really know how a re-branding effort will work out for you.  Will it resonate with new customers without alienating the old ones?  Do people really care?  It’s hard to say.

So hearing that T.G.I. Friday’s was shaking things up made me a bit nervous.  Not that I was thinking about T.G.I. Friday’s at all, before last week.  Frankly they had faded in to the background of that white noise known as “casual dining.”  Yes, I loved them as a kid, but what were they doing now?  What sort of re-branding effort were they undertaking?  What’s the gimmick?  Well, what they’re doing is no gimmick, and frankly, its pretty exciting.

You see, T.G.I. Friday’s is focusing on food again.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but in reality this could turn out to be a master stroke for T.G.I. Fridays.

A little history for you.  About a three decades ago, T.G.I. Friday’s was an innovator.  Their menu had options that many folks had never seen at the time.  A 9-layer dip?   Using the freshest ingredients in the kitchen?  Unthinkable!  But as time went by, T.G.I. Friday’s fell into the same trap as all the other casual dining chains.  They got lost in the shuffle.

Deviled Eggs from T.G.I. Friday's new menu

The T.G.I. Friday’s people decided to take a look around as noticed that there was a niche in the casual dining market that wasn’t being catered to.  The “foodie” market.  They noticed that, though television ratings for food shows weren’t growing, the number of educated eaters was on the rise.  This was their heritage, after all.

So T.G.I. Friday’s brought in Roger Kaplan to revamp the menu try and get T.G.I. Friday’s back to its roots of using fresh ingredients at all their locations (Opting to get away from the pre-packaging of so many other chains ), and creating innovative menu options that T.G.I. Friday’s was once known for.

“We’re not trying to create a new T.G.I. Friday’s,”  Kaplan said, “we’re just reinventing back to our heritage to put the shine back on what we do.”

T.G.I. Friday's wants to food to shine

And truly the food is no joke.  The appetizer menu has unique selections like cheddar deviled eggs and hummus that hearken back to T.G.I Friday’s outside the box roots.  The portions are larger as well, designed for people to share, which is something Kaplan thinks T.G.I. Friday’s needed recapture.  Finally T.G.I. Friday’s made sure to create several new, tasty vegetarian selections so those not inclined toward meat won’t feel left out as they have in the past.

“We wanted to do something more for vegetarians that steamed broccoli,” Kaplan said.  They have, and items such as the Mediterranean Veggie Pizza will attract us meat eaters as well.

Vegetarians deserve good food too.

So will T.G.I. Friday’s new focus on food put them back at the top of the casual dining mountain?  We’re not sure, but by getting back to their roots and re-branding itself back to when they were the food innovators, T.G.I. Friday’s is putting the focus back where it should be…on the food.

And that’s definitely a good thing.

 

 

 

 

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Halloween is upon us and its amazing how far people will go to find that awesome Halloween costume.  What might not occur to some folks is that creating a great public relations strategy has a lot of similarities to finding that perfect costume.  Here’s a few tips that will help make your P.R. and your Halloween costume, awesome.

IT MUST BE UNIQUE

Find a one-of-a-kind costume

An awesome Halloween costume has to be one that no one else is wearing.  Why?  No matter how much time or money you spent on it, if lots of people have the same costume, someone else’s will be better and will get all the attention.  A unique costume lets you shine, even if it has a flaw or two.

Your public relations strategy needs to be unique as well.  If your company does the same stuff other companies do, you can bet that someone else will do it better and get the attention.  Instead, find out what is unique about your company.  For example, I worked with a company who sold software which is very ordinary.  When it came to how they treated their employees, bringing them lunch everyday and hosting ping pong tournaments, they were extraordinary.  Additionally, their employees were very diverse and actively charitable.  By focusing on their treatment of their employees, and their contibutions to their community, we could highlight their unique qualities and get them public relations attention they normally wouldn’t have received.

IT HAS TO BE AFFORDABLE

You don't need a lot of money to have a great costume

We’ve all heard the stories of folks spending thousands of dollars for their Halloween costumes, but that’s just not normal.  Great costumes don’t need to cost a ton of money.  In fact some of the best and most memorable costumes cost little or no money at all.

It is similar for public relations.  Not all of us can be Nike, spending millions and millions of dollars for their public relations.  That’s a good thing.  Public relations doesn’t need to cost a ton of money to be effective.  Just ask the folks who made the movie “Halloween.”  They made millions simply by word of mouth.  You just don’t have to spend a lot to get positive P.R. results.  That doesn’t mean you should look to spend nothing, but spend only what your comfortable with.

IT HAS TO FIT

Perhaps a size, or ten, too small

Nothing is worse than a costume that doesn’t fit right.  Its just not comfortable.  You end up spending Halloween adjusting your costume instead of enjoying your evening.

Public relations is the same.  You want public relations that fits your company.  If not, you’ll be focused on all the tweaking that needs to be done to the strategy rather than concentrating on your messaging.

IT HAS TO BE USER FRIENDLY

No party hopping in this costume

Every Halloween there’s one person who has an interesting costume, but its so cumbersome and rigid that they have struggle while trick or treating and all they can do at a party is stand in a corner.

That’s not good.

No one wants to have a bulky, rigid costume.  It limits what you can do.  That cool party everyone just heard about and is heading to right now?  You’ll have trouble just getting out of your door.  You want to mingle?  Good luck with that. Your costume limits your options and you end up doing nothing all night.   Not very fun.

What's your awesome Halloween costume?

An inflexible public relations strategy does the same thing.  Your business may have the flashiest P.R. around, but if it takes a ton of effort to make it go, your not gonna use it.  It weighs you down and limits your opportunities.  Make sure your P.R. is user friendly so that it gives you the flexibility to take advantages of opportunities that come your way.

As you can see, finding that perfect Halloween costume and creating an excellent public relations strategy have a lot in common.  You need to be unique, stay within your budget, and create something that is both flexible and user-friendly.   Follow these tips and you’ll find that your public relations, like your Halloween costume, can be awesome.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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The rescue of the 33 miners from the Chilean mine has captivated the world.  Everyone I’ve talked to, every Twitter post I’ve read, and every news update I’ve heard has the same reaction.

“This is amazing.  Incredible.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s a miracle.”

I echo all these sentiments, and what’s even more exciting to me is how Chile was able to turn this possible disaster into a resounding success story using excellent crisis management.

Here are some lessons that your business can learn from the handling of the Chilean Mine Saga.

1.  PLAN AHEAD

Obviously, a small business in Denver will never have to deal with trapped workers.  Or will it?  No one can foresee every possible bad scenario that might affect their business, but you can prepare for the most likely.  Obviously, one issue that a mine might have to deal with is a cave-in that might trap workers.  They don’t want it to happen, but better to be prepared.  With that in mind, the San Jose Mine was equipped with emergency shelters that were reinforced and stocked with emergency provisions.  The miners were in one of these areas when the collapse happened and were able to keep themselves alive with the emergency provisions until they could be found and other provisions could be sent to them.

You should take a look around and see what issues might affect your business.  Are you in a high rise?  Do you have employees that stay late?  Are children regularly in your business?  Recognizing where you business might be susceptible to a crisis and taking steps to prepare will help you deal, not only with the crisis for which you planned, but also for the one you may not have.

2.  TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES

One of the amazing aspects of the Chilean Mine Saga is how the miners were able to keep calm and collected while going through this ordeal.  Because the miners knew that there were  plans in place in the event of a collapse, they were much more likely to stay calm and work to stay alive.

Your employees should be aware of what you are doing to address crisis issues.  Knowing that you have a plan for a crisis reassures your employees that you have thought about crisis issues and gives them confidence to act when a crisis occurs.

3.  ASK FOR HELP

One thing, perhaps above all others, helped to save the lives of the Chilean miners and that was that the Chilean government asked for help.  Companies from all over the world were asked for help and they were able to come up with a rescue plan that saved the miners months sooner than originally thought.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.  If you run a restaurant, we expect you to know food not hazardous material clean up.  Thinking that if you keep things in house will only make things worse.  You might be able to keep on top of things in the short term, but chances are you’ll make a mistake.  Reaching out to others who have experience with the crisis you’re facing lets people know you’re interested in the public good, not just your public image.

4.  KEEP COMMUNICATIONS OPEN

When a crisis happens, people are going to want to know what’s going on.  In Chile, the families, the press, the Chilean President all needed to be updated on what was happening.   All parties were kept abreast of the efforts to find the miners right after the collapse.  When they were found alive, a camera was among the supplies sent down so that everyone could see the miners and be reassured that they were o.k.  This feed was also given to the media so they would have information as well.   Finally, the miners were kept up to date to ensure they knew they weren’t forgotten.

If you don’t let people know what’s happening, then people are forced to go to other sources to get information, and that’s never good.   You want to speaking for you.  When you don’t, people want to know what your covering up, and in most scandals the cover up is always worse (see Watergate).  If you don’t have an answer, say you don’t but when you get it you will let people know.  Then follow through.  People want information and honesty.  Give it to them.

5.  DON’T TAKE THE CREDIT, TAKE THE BLAME

The greatest part of the Chilean Miner rescue is that Chile understood that they couldn’t have done it alone and praised everyone else instead of themselves.  They praised the miners, the other countries that helped, and the citizens of Chile and around the world for their support.  By deflecting the praise, they spread the goodwill of the world to others and it was, in turn, given back to them.

A crisis comes with hard lessons and the main one is that there is always, always something you could have done to prevent the problem.  Fair or unfair you need to understand this.  You must take a hard look at yourself.  What could you have done differently?  What things need to be changed?  If you pat your own back, others will think “if your so great, why did the issue happen in the first place?”

6.  FIX THE PROBLEM

One of the issues that has been buried in the wake of the Chilean miner rescues is that the San Jose mine didn’t have a great safety record.  There had been other accidents and even deaths.  What the government of Chile did was to step in and work to fix the problems.  First they jailed the owners of the mine and ordered an inquisition into the mine’s safety procedures.  Additionally, the government said that the mine would be closed indefinitely until the safety issues are completely solved.

This bears repeating…there is always something you could have done to prevent a crisis.  If a client has a fatal heart attack in your business you will be asked why you didn’t take CPR.  Figure out anything you could have done better and fix the problem.  Give your staff CPR classes.  Put a portable external defibrillator in your office.  You don’t want to have the same crisis happen again because you didn’t take steps to remedy the situation.  Also, fixing the issue makes you better prepared for any type of crisis.

7.  BECOME THE EXPERT

The silver lining for the Chileans is that they are now the world experts on saving miners.  When another country has a mine collapse and miners need to be rescued, the miners, the rescuers, and anyone else associated with this rescue will be contacted for their “expertise.”

Face it, by having to deal with a certain crisis you are now an expert on it.  You have an obligation to pass on your knowledge to others so that when a similar issue arises they can handle it better than you.  One way to help your business is to embrace the expert title.  You can bet that when 9 miners were rescued from the Quecreek mine in Pennsylvania eight years ago none of them, or their rescuers thought they would be thought of as experts.  Yet here they are in 2010 on every news station being asked to comment on the rescue in Chile.

It is a rare opportunity that we can learn lessons from good news stories, but the rescue of the Chilean miners lets us do just that.  Without great crisis management, this story could have been told very differently.

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I got a question the other day that really made me think.

“So what makes you qualified to give advice on public relations?”

A great question.  Why should you heed my advice on public relations, or anything for that matter?

The short answer is you don’t have to do anything I suggest here at the P.R. by DeVol blog.  My musings here are but one opinion on how to handle certain P.R. situations.   But its certainly not the only way.  That’s what great about P.R. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

But the question about what makes me qualified?  That’s a query I think needs answering.

What makes me qualified to give public relations advice?

Well thanks for asking.

There are several different disciplines that are encompassed by public relations, crisis communications, social media, and corporate communications are a few, but what all P.R. people are practicing is “image advocacy.

Basically a business hires public relations people to trumpet their strengths while correcting and minimizing any weaknesses or flaws.  It seems like an easy task, but the devil is in the details.

See, a P.R. person never knows what will cross their desk on any given day, so having  relevant and varied experience in your past is definitely a strength.  I think my experience is a plus.

One of the main jobs P.R. people have is to get their clients earned media in the press.  This could mean a story on the clients’ company, an interview on a news program, or a stint as an expert for a certain big news event.  To do this, you gotta know how the news business works.  With over fifteen years in the news business as a reporter/producer/talk show host, I know all the ins and outs of how news decisions work and what reporters are looking for when making news decisions.  Why?  Because I made those decisions all the time.  I saw all the terrible press releases and heard the terrible pitches.  I also know what worked and why.  Now wouldn’t that information be useful?  I bet it would.

Social Media is a phenomenon that has exploded in the last two years, but in reality social media has been around a lot longer.  How do I know?  Well, I’ve been involved in social media for nearly 10 years.  This includes work on several personal and group blogs.  Yep, I’m a blogger.  You name it in the social media world and I’ve done it.  In fact, not a lot of people were trumpeting the P.R. value of blogs back in 2007 the way I was.  But like dealing with reporters, there is a right way and a wrong way to work with bloggers.  And my experience as both a reporter, P.R. person, and blogger has allowed me some great insights and connections on how to use social media for public relations.  Would you like to know more?

“All this is great,” you say, “but what about any actual public relations experience?”  Glad you asked.  Not only have I owned  a boutique P.R. firm, I worked as the Communications Director for the Colorado Senate Republican Caucus.

I know, I can hear it now, “a Republican!  Yuck!”

Well, it is what it is, and before you dismiss me out of hand, take the politics out of it and think about this.

While there, I was responsible for introducing and expanding their social media efforts.  This meant creating and integrating  Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn platforms.  Platforms, the Caucus is still using, I might add.  Additionally, I got the Caucus multimedia savvy by using audio and video to help them with their messaging.  It’s amazing how much both sides of the aisle have taken my ideas and ran with them.  I was also the first one to put together a summit between the State Senators and local political bloggers in order to show both sides that they could help each other.  They have and they continue to do so.  Oh yeah, did I mention that I also did press releases, media training, and media relations daily?  Not too shabby.

Finally, I have to mention my education.  What, you thought that I got all my know how from the streets?

Heck no, I got a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Denver.  You need a public relations plan? What kind, I’ve written communications plans, crisis communications plans, international communications plans, and even internal social media platform plans.  I’ve implemented these plans for large companies you’ve heard of and for tiny ones which you never will, but without that master’s, I wouldn’t have known about any of this.

So here’s the sum up.  I started this blog because I realize that when it comes to public relations, my past experiences have given me the great gift of having hands on opportunities that other P.R. folks haven’t had.  In fact, I doubt there are many who can combine reporting experience, long time social media experience, real public relations experience, and a formal public relations education.  Instead of keeping the lessons I’ve learned a secret, however, I want to pass them on so that other people who work in P.R., or who need P.R. can use and improve upon all this stuff.

But hey, I’m a giver.

So read the P.R. by DeVol blog with this in mind.  I may not have all the answers when it comes to public relations, but more than likely I can put you on the right path to making your P.R. efforts better.

Happy reading.

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