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Posts Tagged ‘PR lessons’

For any company publication, an editorial board plays an important role in ensuring a variety of voices are represented. It helps keep the coverage widespread and, typically, will help ensure the goals of the publication are met. Because of these important end results, it is important that you choose your editorial board carefully.

Photo By Mary Ann Muher

Photo by Mary Ann Mulhern

1. Find people who will work well together. Editorial board meetings are often filled with heated discussions and debates. Because of this, it is important to choose editorial board members who will stay cool under fire. You need even-tempered people who can debate but also discuss. You want to keep out people who will try to monopolize the editorial board meetings and instead find people who are team players. Choose those who will put their personal vendettas aside for the good of the publication.

2. Pick opinionated people. While this may appear to be in contrast to reason No. 1, but it actually is right in line. You don’t want to choose editorial board members who will sit on the sidelines and not contribute. Frankly, it is a waste of a seat. You need people who will bring ideas to the table, represent the company and help make the decisions that drive the publication forward.

3. Represent the company. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts how important it is for one group to not monopolize the publication. Whether the publication is going to your customers or to your employees, more than likely the goal is to well-represent your company to its fullest. That means showcasing different departments or divisions. When choosing your editorial board members, ensure you have people who represent all facets of the company. This way, when they bring story ideas to the table, you hear the great works from all across your organization.

4. Choose a leader. It is true that everyone can’t be a leader, but someone needs to be. There has to be a person who can break ties and make the decisions that no one else is willing to make. This person also needs to be willing to stand up for the editorial board if and when a story or decision is questioned by outside sources.

5. Have a contrarian. On the editorial boards I have been a part of or managed, some of my favorite people to work with are the ones who voice the opinion that no one else is willing to say. You need the person who will stand up to the popular vote and help people see things in a different way. This helps keep your publication honest and, in many cases, keeps you from writing an article  or publishing a photo that could damage the organization.

What do you think? What are things you consider when choosing an editorial board?

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We’re only three weeks into 2009, and I can already see the big pitfall facing PR professionals (and in some way all businesses) this year — social media. I know what you’re thinking. Social media has been listed on almost every list as the trend of 2009. But that is the problem. 

For every new client coming this year, it seems like the natural reaction is they need a social media campaign. It isn’t true. Social media doesn’t work for every client. It isn’t the end all be all of PR strategy. It is really important that we, as PR professionals, take a step back and really think about the why. 

The strategy of a social media campaign is just as important as the strategy behind the entire PR campaign. You have to think about your target audience and how they can be reached. Certain demographics are on Twitter. Different ones are on Facebook. Way different ones are on MySpace. Suddenly jumping into everything social media with a Twitter account, Facebook page, blog, LinkedIn account, YouTube channel and Flickr page isn’t the way to go.

A social media campaign shouldn’t be done just for the sake of doing one. That’s the pitfall. So as you are planning for new clients and old, be sure you equip them with the right tactics to achieve their goals.

What do you think? What are the other pitfalls facing PR professionals this year?

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RSS feeds are the primary way I read blogs. And what I’ve noticed is the lack of power in the first paragraph of posts. You see, many feeders only run the first paragraph, thus if you don’t make your point up front, your reader is going to miss out on all the great things you have to say later. This will address how you can improve that opening paragraph. 

It is one of the golden rules of journalism … you have to captivate your audience with the lead paragraph. If not, they’ll move on to something else. This still holds true for blog posts. You must captivate your reader with the first paragraph or they may never make it to the second.

There are two key elements to starting your post off right.

1. State the problem. Something obviously spurred you to write the post. Refer to it here. 

2. State how the solution will be presented. Is this a list? Just ramblings of your idea? Do you have eight solutions to talk about. Make sure the reader knows what they’re going to get.

No blogger can rely on his / her reputation to ensure people will read the whole post. People are busy. Make sure you give them what they want up front, so they can choose whether they want to continue reading.

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I feel that as a blogger and a member of the PR and advertising industries I would be doing a disservice to not comment on the Motrin vs. Mom Bloggers news that is everywhere right now. If you haven’t seen the Motrin ad, here’s a YouTube link.

I’m amazed by the media frenzy this “social media case” has provided. There are a number of businesses who have been slammed by social media. It is simply part of the process. And every time I try to convince a client to create a blog or a Twitter account, they shy away because of these bad cases. But, this is where our industries are headed. People want to have a voice in the news and the comment function readily allows that.

So what’s the lesson learned by Motrin? Don’t do ads? Well, we know that isn’t going to happen. This is simply a lesson that every PR professional needs to be prepared for the impact social media may have on their clients. Just because your client isn’t jumping out into the social media realm with YouTube videos, tweets, blogs and flickr photos of their own doesn’t mean social media won’t affect them. You must proactively be prepared for a “social media crisis” and how you and your clients will respond to true and false social media news.

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