Advice From a PR Fortune Teller

All models are wrong, but some are useful. -George Box

George Box, a preeminent statistician, points out that a statistical model is never going to tell you the whole truth and that the usefulness of advanced statistics is based on whether we are asking the correct questions. However, PR often leans on advanced statistics/predictive analytics to provide precise answers to some of the hardest questions facing the industry, many of which revolve around the following questions:

“What is the exact value of PR?” or “What is the business impact of a specific campaign?”

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Being Yourself Is Not Optional

Should you have to be serious to be taken seriously? Should you be afraid to speak about your failures? Should you always try to fit in? I believe the answer is “no.” So, how can we break free of our corporate personas and dare to let our personalities shine through a bit more?

We’re all brands, whether we like it or not. If you are using any online services that require private information, your persona is already created (and if you’re one of the few holding back from using them, that also says something about you). Truth is, that if we are not defining our personal brand, others will.

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My Travels Reveal Six Communications Trends

In recent months, I’ve spent a lot of time with an array of clients in various parts of the world. We talked in detail about the state of their business, the business world at large and the evolution of the communications function. Our conversations revealed six communications trends vital for today’s business climate.

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Going Native: Where The Clicks Don’t Matter, But Real Measurement Does

It is no secret that modern audiences are continuing to accelerate away from traditional outlets and toward web-based content. This ongoing evolution has forced brands to change the way in which they tell their stories, as well as continuously adjusting the platform they are attempting to engage with their target audience on. One answer to this dilemma has been to utilize “Native Content.” While there are several other names for this strategy and content, such as native ads, sponsored content, and other terms in an ever-changing pantheon of buzzwords that exists in the digital marketing space, the fact remains that for the foreseeable future this will be something to consider when planning content and strategy.

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Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots: The Next-Gen of Brand Experiences and Customer Engagement

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots (bot) are rapidly emerging as technologies impacting our daily lives, as well as changing the way customers interact with brands.

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Why the World Needs More Communicators

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been asked to meet with recent college grads as well as those entering college and even a few people considering a career change to talk about my chosen field of communications. These requests have prompted me to contemplate why I chose to work in communications and whether, if I had it to do all over again, I would choose it again today.

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“What’s your favorite pharmaceutical company on Snapchat?” said no one ever.

It’s only a matter of time before a pharmaceutical company breaks through with audiences through an award-winning Instagram story or an ephemeral Snap.

Despite being makers, innovators and even at times magicians (e.g. enabling patients to use the immune system – the “Force” within – in order to conquer an ailment or illness), beyond a few exceptions, pharmaceutical companies have largely been laggards when it comes to adopting social and digital communications. Certainly, there’s a robust pipeline of reasons for why pharmaceutical companies have been slow to evolve: from hurdles in digital transformation (e.g. cultural issues, archaic IT systems, limited digital skills, or a lack of clear leadership vision) to the perceived risks associated with breaking from traditional tactics in favor of digital-first approaches. That said, a survey from earlier this year found that 18 percent of healthcare companies planned on increasing their traditional consumer advertising spend, whereas 50% reported planning to increase their digital spend.

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Lessons Learned From a Long Career in Public Relations

I did it. On July 31, after 17 great years at Ketchum, I retired from my full-time role as CEO of Ketchum Global Research & Analytics. However, if being retired means not working at all, then let’s call it quasi-retirement. I have contracted with Ketchum to serve as KGRA’s part-time chairman for the next two years.

When you reach retirement, people at earlier stages of their careers often ask what lessons you’ve learned. Here are three of mine…

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Reporting 2.0: A Recalibration of Digital Measurement

Social and digital media is revelatory, giving us a platform to change the world and engage audiences across the globe. We can inspire, educate and entertain, while also having the unprecedented ability to measure, track, report, slice, dice, pivot and visualize all of the data in real-time.

With this wealth of information at our fingertips, we often get ahead of ourselves and report on everything from followers and bounce rate, to impressions and click through rate.

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Using Emotional Intelligence to Take Your Business to New Heights

As an organizational effectiveness consultant, I often encounter people at cocktail parties who have never heard of organizational psychology and can’t imagine what it is I do all day. When I begin to explain, a frequent response is to jokingly ask me to come in and help “fix” their company – often referring to misguided strategy, poor processes or not enough focus on engaging and developing talent. These are common yet complex problems at organizations. Studying emotional intelligence (or EQ) over the last couple of years has illuminated for me that a lack of EQ plays a sizable role in each of these common organizational problems. Developing better EQ can allow leaders and organizations to take their business to new heights.

Here are three ways heightened emotional intelligence can elevate your brand:

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