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How to Avoid Time Traps: A Lesson on Productivity


In the busy day-to-day work of a PR professional, there are many days where it feels as though there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some weeks this cannot be helped—but other times it is more about how we use the time we have. PR Daily’s article “The top 5 workplace time traps,” demonstrates how getting everything done in the workday is all about efficiency. The author, Laura Stack, has been a productivity expert for over 20 years and lists the five major problems workers face as the following—poor prioritization, distractions and interruptions, overwork, poor self-discipline and poor organization.

Having a strong game plan when entering the office is the first step. Whether using lists, flagged emails or calendar alerts it is necessary to stay organized. The best PR professionals understand that efficiency is all about prioritization—knowing what needs to get accomplished by the end of the day and in what order. Stack recommends when feeling overwhelmed with work to “drop anything you can, give misallocated tasks to the people they really belong to, and delegate whenever possible. Move ‘someday’ tasks back to your Master List until you have time to deal with them.”

Stack also speaks about distractions in the workplace, whether it be coworkers, email alerts or other office conversations. These distractions can make workers unfocused, causing valuable work time to be lost. Her recommendations in a time crunch is “don’t answer emails and phone calls as soon as they come in. Turn off email alerts and let calls roll over to voice mail.” The distractions themselves not only waste time, but even more time is then lost trying to find our place before we were distracted.

This advice can help guide workers towards a lifestyle that is productive and therefore allows them to enjoy their lives outside of the workplace. Laura lists overwork as number four in her list of problems, stating that as employees are assigned more and more work, “Time remains our most precious resource; we can give up only so much of the time we need for sleep, good health, socializing, family, and the other things that make life worth living. You have no choice but to more firmly control your behavior. Trim away the unimportant and tightly control how you spend every minute of your workday. Firm, consistent time management and hard work are the only ways to pull out of this trap.”

While breaking free of these habits is not easy, learning how to become more productive will allow for better time management and more activities outside of the office.

Read Laura Stark’s article about how to tackle work efficiently here:


Guerilla Marketing Tactics of the 2014 World Cup

Fortune 500 companies are shelling out big bucks to advertise the 2014 World Cup, this summer’s biggest sporting event. In this Main Street article, Jason Notte reports that Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony, Visa, Hyundai/Kia and Emirates paid $100 million each to become official World Cup partners. McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser and BP’s Castrol each paid $20 million for second-tier sponsorship. Despite these huge expenses, many of these companies are being outshone by guerilla marketing tactics from direct competitors.

The most-viewed World Cup advertisement (at 80 million views on YouTube) is “Winner Stays” by Nike, a direct competitor of World Cup partner Adidas. This marketing battle was simply one of star power. While Adidas features several recognizable players in their ad “The Dream” (35 million views on YouTube), including Argentinian Lionel Messi, Nike compiled an all-star team of celebrity players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Wayne Rooney and Gerard Pique. Nike’s celebrity endorsers are familiar outside of the soccer sphere and created more activity on social media. Ronaldo tweeted the commercial to his millions of followers, while Messi doesn’t even have a Twitter. “Winner Stays”, which turns a group of average kids in a pick-up soccer game into star players at the World Cup, also appeals to a much broader audience than “The Dream” which, while dramatic and exciting, makes the World Cup the central focus.

Guerilla marketing is continually present during large-scale sporting events like the Superbowl and March Madness. By excluding all World Cup logos from their advertisement and relying on the power of implication, Nike has proved that partnerships are not worth the hefty price tag. While Adidas may have edged Nike in soccer sales last year ($2.7 billion to $2 billion), Nike has come out on top during soccer’s most important event.

Here are the two ads, watch and decide for yourself which is more effective.

Adidas, “The Dream”

Nike, “Winner Stays”

Get Important People to Respond to Your Emails

blog post 051614 pic

Email is the most common form of communication in countless fields of business, including PR. Whether connecting with clients, media contacts or coworkers, PR specialists are constantly building professional relationships through email. In a recent article, Levo League compiled five tips from Brazen Life for becoming an expert in the art of email. Here are our top three:

1. Be brief

A successful career leads to a busy life! Influential people don’t have time to read through long, winding emails, so present the essential content right away. Be very clear in what you want and why your message is important to your contact. “A long email is like the stranger who reveals their life story five minutes after you shake their hand. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Short messages decrease the chance your contact drags your email into their trash folder”, Brazen Life says. Keep things simple to save time on both ends.

2. Keep it genuine

Trust is the basis of all positive professional relationships. Create this trust with your contact by making your intentions clear. Avoid an automatic delete by keeping content honest and likeable. “Successful people develop a B.S. detector after constantly having others compete for their time and attention”, notes Brazen Life. Never underestimate the importance of authenticity.

3. Show you’re already winning

Don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments! Gain credibility by sharing a recent or unique project with your contact. “The message conveyed is that you don’t mooch, and that establishing a professional relationship with you won’t be a waste of their time and effort”, Brazen Life says. Prove yourself by showing your contact that you’re already winning.

Important connections depend on effective communication. Take a little extra time when composing your next professional email.

Read the full article here:


Pixar’s 7 Core Principles for Building a Creative Culture

While many skills are appreciated in the modern PR world, creativity is definitely an attribute that will distinguish good PR professionals from GREAT PR professionals. Whether it is thinking of creative pitch angles, media stunts, campaigns and more, building a creative culture is crucial for a PR firm’s work environment. Pixar’s President and Co-founder Ed Catmull knows the essential ingredients for creating a unique environment–after all, Pixar’s work has won 30 Academy Awards® and generated $8.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

“Based on philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, these principles should be at the heart of any work environment that strives for originality, fosters problem solving, and pushes its employees to new heights.”

See below for Ed’s 7 core principles for building a creative culture or read the full article here:

1) Quality is the best business plan.

Quality is not a consequence of following some prescribed set of behaviors. It is a mindset you must have before you decide what you are setting out to do. You can say you are going to be a company that never settles, but saying it isn’t enough: You must live and breathe it.


2) Failure isn’t a necessary evil.

It’s a necessary consequence of doing something great. Uncouple fear and failure. Making mistakes should never strike fear into employees’ hearts. When it comes to creative endeavors, a goal of zero failure is worse than useless. It is counterproductive. The truth is, the cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.

3) People are more important than ideas.

People IdeasWhen hiring, give an applicant’s potential to grow more weight than her current skill level. What she will be capable of tomorrow is much more important than what she can do today. Why? Because if you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, they will either fix it or come up with something better. That’s why people matter.

4) Prepare for the unknown.

Unforeseen, random events happen. And when they do, don’t waste time playing the blame game. To think one can control or prevent problems or guard against randomness by making an example of someone is naïve and wrongheaded. Instead, empower employees at every level to own the problems and give them the freedom to fix them without asking permission.

5) Do not confuse the process with the goal.

Making the process easier, better, faster, and cheaper is something we should continually work on—but it is NOT the goal. Making something great is the goal.

6) Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.

Communication structures should never mirror organizational structure. A chain of command is essential, but making sure that everything happens in the “right” order and through the “proper” channels is not efficient.

7) Give good notes.

Truly candid feedback is the only way to ensure excellence. When giving notes, be sure to include:
Give good notes

A good note is specific. A good note does not make demands. Most of all, a good note inspires.

Promoting A Socially Conscious Brand

Lately, consumers have been drawn toward brands that make a good impact on society, whether through charitable causes or brand alignment with non-profit associations.  Cause marketing goes beyond traditional marketing by creating the necessity to convince the audience that it is a socially responsible contributor to society. This type of publicity, however, works more seamlessly for some brands than for others. It is important to consider the audience and product before considering promoting a partnership with a non-profit or other charitable cause.

A recent PRweb article by Stacey Miller highlights the trend for brands to want to appear socially conscious as a tactic to gain visibility and promote the brand’s image; however it cannot be a universally applied tactic. Here is key advice about how to move forward with a cause marketing campaign:

1) Authenticity is key. 

You must select a cause that supports your brand’s core values. Avon’s “Breast Cancer Crusade” echoes the company’s values, which encompasses the well-being of women. The cause aligns with the company’s mission and connects with Avon’s customers.

KFC’s “Buckets for a Cure” cause marketing campaign did not coordinate with the fast-food chain’s values and ended up being detrimental to brand image. Consumers felt the campaign was a sales gimmick rather than a true concern for women’s health.

2) Integration is an everyday effort. 

The needs of your nonprofit partner should be fully integrated into all marketing endeavors. It’s no longer enough to just sign a check. The success of the “(RED)” campaign and its fight against AIDS is in part due to how big-name organizations such as Coca-Cola, Apple and Starbucks seamlessly merged the foundation’s visions and goals with their own.

3) Are you talking to me? 

As with any PR or marketing initiative, you must understand your target demographic. The audience for your cause marketing campaign may be more narrow or broad than your traditional customer demographic, so it’s important to do the research and get to know them.

Cause marketing has to be carefully articulated to appeal to the desired demographic and product image. Without the right insight, a socially conscious campaign can actually hurt the image and integrity of a brand.

The SEO Role PR Pros Play

PR-SEO-PuzzleA recent Cision article by Kevin Bailey stressed the importance of SEO in today’s branding world–in particular, hard links. For PR professionals, securing fantastic media placements for clients also means securing the “hard link” that comes with it.

According to Bailey, “PR pros have a huge leg up in terms of earning the hard links. They have the ability to reach top media outlets and get content assets covered—content assets that are more about solving a large problem in a given industry than they are about touting a brand and its products.”

Read more here:


9 Powerful Words For A Successful Presentation



Public speaking today is more a necessity rather than a skill. But most find this task rather daunting. As communications professionals, we are expected to have spectacular skills in delivering speeches and presentations.  We spend hours practicing or taking lessons. All you really need are these nine simple words to build a strong foundation for an effective presentation:

Have a conversation. Keep it simple. Know your stuff.

Strong eye contact and body language are basic requirements. But what really makes an effective presentation is staying upbeat and engaging your audience in a conversation.

Mike Neumeier from Public Relations Society of America demonstrates how we can be effective in our delivery as PR professionals.

Click here to read the blog post:

Ignite Your Content with Social Media

Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker

Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker

The most important aspect in PR is staying relevant with the content. Social media is one of the most effective channels to spread the content. In today’s digital day and age most people access news through their cellular devices or the internet. It’s important to incorporate digital technology when creating content. Content is important because it’s a means to create consumer engagement through storytelling. Content is also what ultimately drives leads and sales. You need to put thought and structure behind the content you create.

Angie Pascale from Clickz illustrates 7 tips on how you can create strong content for social media:


  1. Know Your Audience: It’s important to get a good understanding of your audience. Analyze you consumer demographic, interests, needs, mindsets, and behaviors. You can also do industry research, focus groups, and brand surveys using social monitoring software and Facebook Custom Audience
  2. Provide Value: Your content should highlight long-term awareness and brand recall. Your brand should be with the consumer at every step till final purchase.
  3. Expand Your Conversation: Shift focus from the importance of the brand to what your brand can do for consumers. You can broaden conversation by creating content pillars that represent the brand’s core environment and its application.
  4. Look Beyond Facebook and Twitter: Create content through owned, earned, and paid methods across a variety of channels rather than just facebook or twitter
  5. Know Your Dimensions: Focus on understanding the various dimension of each channel for spreading your content and how accessible you make it.
  6. Don’t Ignore the SEO Impact: It is equally important to enhance the ranking of your content. There are several key factors to take into consideration such as lead traffic and how to generate links
  7. Measure Success: Before you begin writing your content determine the objective and metrics you will use to measure performance such as awareness, consumption, engagement, actions, and SEO impact

To read the Original Article, click here:

Find Your Own PR Niche

Source: Mashable

Source: Mashable










With graduation just months away for most college seniors, now is a great time to begin your final career preparations. If you’re looking to land your first job in the public relations industry, begin your job search by identifying your desired niche. Look into specific areas you know you want to work in or industries or fields that best reflect your professional skill set and personality.

Alex Honeysett from The Daily Muse illustrates a step-by-step process on how you can be more effective in your PR career if you develop your niche