We’re all just sittin’ around the campfire, really

PR training helps our clients communicate clearly and  effectively.

PR training helps our clients communicate clearly and effectively.

I’m a PR professional. But my real job is storyteller. I use press releases, feature articles, social media and grassroots outreach to get our clients’ messages across. But sometimes, the client needs to be the storyteller.

The ab+c PR team offers a variety of training modules to help our clients communicate clearly and effectively. Maybe you need some help with a stressful situation, such as giving a speech in public or having to be interviewed by the media. Don’t sweat it. Yours truly, a PR pro, is here to help.Read full post...

July 21, 2014

Public relations shines bright light on Delaware skin cancer

We needed to face the problem.Protect Your Skin Delaware

Whether enjoying our famous beaches, working outside or just relaxing in the summer sun, Delawareans spend a lot of time outside. So what’s the big deal? Well, ultraviolet radiation from the sun — and indoor tanning — have done some serious damage in the First State. The most recent report from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DDPH) found the state’s melanoma incidence rate is now the fourth-highest in the country. Additionally, many people don’t put melanoma and skin cancer into the same deadly category as prostate, breast, colorectal and other cancers.Read full post...

THIS JUST IN …

With no speaking notes for nearly 30 minutes, he spoke from the heart with a humility unseen and unheard of in today’s professional sports world.

With no speaking notes for nearly 30 minutes, Durant spoke from the heart with a humility unseen and unheard of in today’s professional sports world.

By textbook and tradition, we in PR are in the business of influencing, and frequently, outright changing perceptions.  We try to inform and educate. Sometimes we are given great stories to tell; more commonly we’re asked to elevate the mundane or, perhaps too often, gild the less positive aspects of a situation.Read full post...

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Could no PR equal good PR?

I don't think you're ready for this.

I don’t think you’re ready for this.

Just when it seems as though the world could not be more obsessed with Beyoncé, the singer has found a way to prove us wrong. On December 13, Queen B shocked the world with the unexpected release of her self-titled “visual album.” When the 14-track, 17-video album suddenly dropped on iTunes at midnight, social media exploded. After dismissing my snooze alarm for the third time, I rolled over and grabbed my phone, only to find my Twitter feed flooded with news of the surprise album. When I turned on “Good Morning America,” the biggest story was, of course, Beyoncé. In the days to come, it seemed as though the entire world was captivated by her surprise.

It’s no secret Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z like to avoid the limelight, but the fact that she kept this album secret is shocking. As a public relations student (and Beyoncé lover), it makes me wonder: Did she want nothing to do with the PR strategies of releasing an album? Was the lack of PR actually a strategy in itself?Read full post...

Distribution takes a seat on the throne

Content has reigned supreme for decades, but now distribution is assuming the throne (or at least sharing it).

Content has reigned supreme for decades, but now distribution is assuming the throne (or at least sharing it).

If you’re a marketer or small-business owner, you should be creating high-quality content that gets shared and ranks high in search engines. But with more than 750 million websites competing for people’s attention, how can you make sure your online audience is receiving your message?

The answer is effective distribution.

Most of us have heard that “content is king.” And it’s true — no one is going to read your message if it’s not intriguing. According to Chad Pollitt, director of marketing at DigitialRelevance, great content goes unread everyday, and tweeting or posting it on Facebook isn’t going to cut it. In this day and age, you need to create a distribution strategy to connect your content to a larger audience.

Here’s how to get started:Read full post...

Year of the selfie

I suggest that before taking that selfie, turn the camera around and look at what your audience is seeing.

I suggest that before taking that selfie, turn the camera around and look at what your audience is seeing.

POTUS, along with some other ruling “buddies,” decided to take a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service this week. Wow. This is one of the craziest displays of bad judgment of this news cycle — if not this year.

Or is it?

Statistics tell us that photos are the thing to share, so is it inappropriate to share a historic moment? Judging by the social media comments this photo generated, there are plenty of people on both sides of the fence. By the time we make up our minds, another display of public misjudgment will have no doubt come along and distracted us.Read full post...

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What “Snow Bowl” taught me about public relations

Nurture your PR campaigns and plans through to the end … even if that means risking frostbite.

Nurture your PR campaigns and plans through to the end … even if that means risking frostbite.

Long before LeSean McCoy rushed into the record books in Sunday’s Eagles-Lions game in Philadelphia, the game itself was already a legend in the making. A surprise snowstorm and a second-half comeback by the home team made a captivating story for sports fans across the country.

Now that I have thawed out from hours spent in the icy stands of Lincoln Financial Field, I realized that Snow Bowl can offer some valuable public relations lessons. Think hypothermia has made me delirious? Consider:

  1. Be prepared for anything. Even the most carefully crafted plans could change. This is true whether you’re planning to launch an ambitious PR campaign for a product that suddenly isn’t ready for market, or if you game-planned for a few snowflakes and not a swirling snowstorm.Read full post...
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The writing is on the wall

I also never leave home without a good copy editor!

I also never leave home without a good copy editor!

With all the modern ways of communicating, it still comes down to good writing. Tweets, blogs, web copy and infographics still require dynamic writing that engages your audience. The rules for good PR writing still apply in the social media era. Some say the demands of sound bites and 140 characters make good writing next to impossible. I say these “restrictions” compel us to hone our skills even more!

Public relations and marketing professionals have to communicate complex messages in less “space” to less attentive audiences. Are you up for the challenge? Here are a few quick tips to improve your writing:Read full post...

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Ramp up your trade show marketing: PR opportunities abound!

Make sure your trade booth staffers are on the lookout for media representatives and familiar with the schedule of media appointments.

Make sure your trade booth staffers are on the lookout for media representatives and familiar with the schedule of media appointments.

Trade shows are an important component of most companies’ marketing initiatives. While participating in the show expo can be a valuable way to connect with customers and prospects at local and national levels, the promotional opportunities afforded by the event extend way beyond the exhibit booth. Boost your company’s return on investment and marketing success with a well-planned public relations effort to gain significant editorial coverage before, during and after the event.

Before the event

Start with pre-event publicity to maximize interest in and coverage of your activities through press releases, media alerts, invitations, and your company’s web site, newsletters and social media programs. Also take advantage of all the opportunities offered by trade show management, such as access to media lists and coverage in the event’s newsletter, show guide, website and social media.

Find out whether the show needs keynote speakers, panel discussion participants, presenters or authors of conference papers. Secure one of these opportunities for your business leaders and you’ll strengthen your industry reputation. Plus, you’ll form relationships with the trade editors, who will come to think of you as thought leaders and industry experts. Each speaking engagement offers the opportunity to send editorial advisories ahead of the event.Read full post...

Looking back at looking up

A case study benefits designers because it highlights their firm and their work.

A case study benefits designers because it highlights their firm and their work.

Much to my wife’s dismay, every time we walk into a building, whether it’s a restaurant, hospital or office, I look up.

The reason: For the past 20 years, I’ve handled public relations for the Ceilings Division of Armstrong, the country’s largest manufacturer of acoustical ceiling systems.

If you’re reading this at work, take a look up. Chances are there’s an acoustical or “drop” ceiling above you. Who would have thought someone could write about drop ceilings for 20 years?

Well, the reason I’ve been able to is that drop ceilings don’t have to be flat, white and full of holes anymore. They can have the warmth of wood or the sophistication of metal. They can be concave, convex or even serpentine. And they don’t have to be continuous, wall-to-wall ceilings to provide their acoustical benefit.  There are plenty of ceiling clouds and canopies that can do that just as well.

As a result, architects and interior designers can now create signature ceilings that make people look up as they enter a space. And that’s the basis for one of the most important, and my favorite, aspect of the Armstrong Ceilings program: case studies. Read full post...

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