A PR Award Blueprint From the Judge’s Table

At the latest Eurobest competition in Helsinki I had the unique opportunity to be one of 10 judges within the PR-category. I can assure you that being a judge is not a job that one can take lightly: there’s a lot of pre-judging to do in the weeks prior to the festival, then there’s a first long list, followed by a second one and finally you work your way through, in our case, to the best 50 or so PR-cases. This long, but very insightful, process led me to create and share these five tips to help boost your odds at winning a Eurobest Gold or, why not, a Cannes Lion.

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How PR Can Spell SUCCESS for Entrepreneurs

Did you know that last year, venture capitalists invested $29.4 billion in 3,995 deals, up seven percent in dollars and four percent in deals from a year ago? Since the recession of 2008, more and more people are going into business for themselves, according to the MoneyTree Report by PwC and the National Venture Capital Association.

And while the business leaders of tomorrow are finding the capital and deals, building awareness to support these emerging ventures still needs plenty of work. Many entrepreneurs understand their industry, but not how to reach potential clients in a credible way. So, while they are working hard, and sweating even more, no one really knows what’s happening outside of word-of-mouth (or, at the very least, an appearance on Shark Tank).

Here are three easy tips that any budding entrepreneur can use to build awareness for their new business…

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Man lives in IKEA

By allowing a comedian full access to everything inside an IKEA store to film a series of videos, Ketchum helped engage millions of consumers on the IKEA website, and ultimately drove store sales.

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How to Achieve Success with Less Stress (Video)

How to Achieve Success with Less Stress (Video)

As Seen In PRWeek…

At this time of year, tips for managing our energy and reducing stress are always handy. With that spirit in mind, I recently had the pleasure of moderating a panel in Chicago comprised of some remarkable female leaders during Omnicom’s Omniwomen event.

The panel, “Intentional Living: Being more Proactive Under Stress,” featured Sharon Melnick, author of “Success Under Stress,” and fellow panelists: Morgan Flatley, CMO, Gatorade and Propel, Robin Shapiro, president and CCO, CAHG, and Tonise Paul, president and CEO, Energy BBDO. Janet Riccio, EVP Omnicom Group and leader of Omniwomen, introduced the panel.

The group gave many wonderful tips, relevant to everyone, but three insights I personally took away were…

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Four High-Impact PR Trends on the Horizon

I was recently asked by the PR Council to share a few trends that we will consider significant in shaping our business over the next few years. Below are four trends, two of which were featured on their blog, that I believe meet those criteria. Some are already happening, others are on the horizon.

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Less Is More: The Redundancy Trap

It’s no secret: PR and corporate communications professionals spend an extraordinary amount of time writing. Yet, we often don’t have time to review our work to ensure it’s as effective as it could be.

When editing other people’s writing, and admittedly sometimes my own, I notice people falling into the redundancy trap. In conversation, it’s easy to give into effusive and repetitive speech. It’s less forgivable in writing.

There are many reasons why writing is redundant. Some insert unnecessary words or phrases because that’s what they’re used to hearing (e.g., the phrase “last and final,”). Others think using a lot of words makes them sound more polished. For example, when sending an email to one’s boss, a person might say “due to the fact” when “because” would suffice.

Others are simply looking to reach a certain word count and, in such cases, they turn to a writer’s lazy fall back: fluff.

But fear not, there’s hope. Below are a few tips you can use to help tighten up your wordplay and eliminate redundancy.

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What Makes a Great Leader in PR? (Video)

As global director for Ketchum’s social responsibility program, or as we call it, KSR, I recently had the opportunity to lecture at the University of Alabama on the topic, “Using Communications for Positive World Change.”

With studies revealing that 72% of students feel having “a job that can make an impact” is essential to their happiness, I was excited to talk about the world of corporate social responsibility and the power of communications to influence tangible and positive change.

As part of my visit, I was also invited to sit down and share my thoughts on effective leadership in PR.

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The 3 Essentials of a Great Agency

As my six-year anniversary at Ketchum Maslov came and went, I began thinking about what has really inspired me at the agency over the years, and what exactly makes an agency stand out from the pack. While there are countless things that I believe can make any company a great place to work, there are three quintessential attributes that Ketchum does well that I think can really help a PR agency shine…

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Give Thanks to Your Team

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
– William Arthur Ward

Like many, I’m busy preparing for a holiday that celebrates giving thanks for the bounty in our lives. It’s a time to pause and reflect on the positive elements—the people, circumstances, and opportunities we’re most grateful for (before the self-reflection of improvement opportunities that tend to accompany year-end). In my family, guests go around the table and each share some of the people and situations they are most thankful for.

Intuitively, we know it feels good to share our appreciation with others, but neuroscientists and psychologists have studied the many real benefits we experience from expressing gratefulness, including dramatic lifts in social, emotional and physical well-being. It turns out that expressing thanks lifts both the receiver and the one delivering the message.

I invite you to use the occasion to express your thanks not just to your family and friends, but also to your team members and colleagues. Appreciation is a fundamental human need, yet the busy demands of daily client service sometimes mean recognition moments are put aside or considered “nice to have” rather than essential elements of effective management and a driver of a vibrant workplace.

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Four “Be”s to Boost Your Personal Brand

Both social and digital have become vital components of any successful brand communications campaign. A company would have to be equally uninterested in growth and reputation to ignore their online presence in today’s technological age. Yet, as a recruiter, I often find that young professionals entering the workforce are ignoring their own personal brands online. A candidate’s social and digital footprint is one of the first benchmarks when establishing their viability. First impressions are no longer made upon first meetings… now… they are conveyed digitally. With that in mind, here are four basic “Be”s to building your authentic and professional online personality.

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PR: Creating And Sharing Ideas The Public Can’t Live Without

One of the biggest challenges of working in PR is explaining to your parents exactly what it is you do and, in my case, why.

The usual definitions fall short, and PR people themselves can rarely agree. Get ten of us in a room and ask what we do, and you’ll get 20 different answers. Ask non-PR people the same thing and they’ll probably roll their eyes, mutter something about ‘spin’ or just leave the room.

So after 20+ years of ineffectual explanations, it was a little surprising to stumble upon a description (see title) that not only seems to explain the ‘what’ part, but add a little insight into ‘why’ as well.

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