Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take the PR Student Chat Challenge (#PRStudChat)

Are you a student studying PR? A professor in communications? A pro who teaches public relations courses? Then get ready for the PR Student Chat (#PRStudChat) challenge!

Yesterday, #PRStudChat moderator Deirdre Breakenridge (four-time author and president of PFS Marketwyse) and host Valerie Simon (Senior Vice President, BurrellesLuce, media monitoring and measurement) announced a twist to the upcoming October 21st #PRStudent Chat (Noon ET/11AM CT/10AM MT/9AM PT). According to the press release:
Whichever school has the greatest number of participants in the October 21st chat wins an in-depth conversation with public relations industry veteran Deirdre Breakenridge via Skype. The winning students will have an opportunity to pose questions and interact with one of PR’s leading professionals. Additionally, the winning school will have the opportunity to earn some publicity for their PR programs. Also, BurrellesLuce will be donating a $50 American Express Gift Certificate to the students and school in order to celebrate their PR Student Chat win!
#PRStudentChat brings together students studying public relations/communications to interact with some of the most experienced and brightest minds in the business and academia. For more information on how your school can participate in the challenge, read the press release which provides next steps. Also, don't forget to check out the PRStudChat Group on LinkedIn as well as #PRStudChat Group Guide to Twitter Chats.

I hope YOUR school takes on the challenge! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank You: Media Relations Class at American University (Resources Too!)

Gotta give a shout out to the AMAZING students in American University School of Communication's media relations class. I was invited to speak to the class last night about my experiences in public relations/communications and I had a BLAST! Thank you again for having me!

Below is a brief list of resources that I included at the end of my presentation. This is by no means an exhaustive list. My goal was to provide some high-level sources for the class to go to for information about the changing communications industry.

Here are just some of the resources I check everyday. Almost all have free newsletters, webinars, white papers, or other content to further our knowledge of the communications world:
I also strongly recommend signing up for Commentz, run by the wonderful Sarah Evans (@PRSarahEvans) and David Teicher (@Aerocles). It's free and a great resource for those who want to look at informative and important communications stories of the day.

Finally, Twitter! Thanks to Valeria Maltoni (@ConversationAge) for her excellent list of 100 PR People Worth Following on Twitter. If you are a communications pro looking to expand (or start) your list of people on Twitter, definitely start there. Also, I have to thank Meryl K. Evans (@merylkevans) for her excellent post of all the Twitter Chats that may be of interest to budding and veteran communication pros. She just updated the list yesterday so make sure you check it out. I most often attend #journchat on Monday evenings, but after looking at the list, I see that I will be joining a few more chats in the very near future!

Finally, here is a link to a post of some of my favorite job search sites. I also strongly encourage those looking for a job to use Twitter. I find #prjobs, #printerns #PRSA #IABC #PR are good hashtags for those looking for opportunities on Twitter.

Again, thank you to the media relations class at American University. I wish you all continued success in your studies and your budding communications careers. Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you in any way!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Defining the New Role of Communications

I spotted Geoff Livingston's great post entitled, 'Why Being Dubbed a Social Media Expert or PR Guy Rankles Me' and had to recommend that all other communication pros give it a read.

I agree with Geoff 100% that the term "public relations" has become synonymous with media relations or publicity and no longer seems to invoke or indicate the strategic planning associated with some of the best communication campaigns. 

As I've written many times on this blog: PR ≠ Media Relations. I think Geoff's definition of professional 'communicator' is a much better and more encompassing description of what we "PR types" are capable of doing and providing.

In the changing age of communications, the walls keep tumbling down and silos are continuously smashed that once used to distinguish marketing, sales, PR, corporate communications and business development. Geoff's post seems very apropos and falls in line with an article in today's Advertising Age, 'How PR Chiefs Have Shifted Toward Center of Marketing Departments.' What struck me about this article is how some of the largest companies in America are integrating their communications strategies and becoming more holistic in their approach to telling their corporate story. This is especially key as companies are adjusting to the new social media space where audiences expect a quick and timely response.  

I think the role of CCO (Chief Communications Officer) is becoming more popular as companies adjust and realize that a decentralized strategy in brand communications is no longer as effective or able to respond in a timely fashion to its stakeholders needs.

Long live the communicators who can strategize, plan, execute and measure the effectiveness of ALL ASPECTS of a communications campaign!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Your Input Needed: Information for the Next Generation of PR Pros

I've been asked to speak to a media relations class at American University in a few weeks. In addition to going over new media tools, media monitoring, pitching basics and how to build and effectively maintain media relationships, what information, tips, advice or general knowledge should I share with the class? Students: what types of information would be useful? I'm told this a senior level class with a few graduate students as well. I appreciate all suggestions. Feel free to e-mail me, leave comments on this post, or @ me on Twitter with your recommendations. 
Thanks!