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13 Things to Include in a Communications Firm Business Plan

Spin Sucks

By Gini Dietrich On Thursday, Benson Hendrix is going to give you a really good rundown on what should be included in your communications plan (if you haven’t already registered for the free webinar, hustle over there!) He talks about how most of us prefer to jump right to tactics and we forget about the research and plan phase of what we do. List them all out. Don’t worry.

Social Media Strategy Template

The Proactive Report

Download the PDF of the Social Media Strategy Template here. link]. In January 2014 almost three-quarters of all adults were active in social media, according to the Pew Research Center. 92% of marketers claim that social media marketing is important for their business. 83 percent have a Twitter account and 80 percent are on Facebook – a ten percent increase since 2013. Meritus Media Inc.

A Look at Malaysia Airlines’s Crisis Communications During the Crisis of Flight MH370

Melissa Agnes

By now, we’ve all heard of the terrible crisis Malaysia Airlines is facing with flight MH370 appearing to have vanished out of thin air with over 200 passengers and crew members aboard. It’s an unthinkable situation, though one that every airline needs to be prepared to properly manage at any given time. So how is Malaysia Airlines handling this crisis? Compassion and sincerity. Update.

An open letter to Marriott: I’m staying elsewhere as long as you want to block my WiFi hotspot

Holtz Communication + Technology

Dear Marriott: Your focus on the business traveler experience has made your hotels my first choice when I have to hit the road for work. However, your anti-consumer stance on WiFi has me rethinking that choice. In fact, all the business I’ve been giving Marriott over the years could well be going to Hyatt, which seems to your polar opposite. Microsoft isn’t alone in its opposition.

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Harness the Power of Influencers and Advocates

Learn how to find and use influencers and advocates to gain buyer's trust on your behalf.

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Guest Post: The PR Generalist vs. The Industry Specialist

PR Expanded

A Guest Post By Suzanne Mannion, EVP & Co-founder, Newsmaker Group. One of the aspects I like best about being in public relations is that it presents opportunities that appeal to a wide variety of people. Because PR is relevant to nearly every industry, practitioners can tailor a career in any number of ways. One notable distinction: becoming an industry-specific specialist or PR generalist.

Rotman School of Management’s PR Fail


So the Rotman School of Management had to pull an assignment from its first year MBA program because the narrative it used to illustrate a problem was unabashedly sexist. In the assignment, a fictional young woman, Elle, was too distracted by sparkly jewelry and designer shoes to put her girly-mind to understanding the compensation packages offered to her by Tiffany and Co. for the job she would soon accept (but only for a time because she has plans to go have babies in the Hamptons!). Instead, she relies on the advice of Chip, her Yale-trained lawyer boyfriend. Um, shouldn’t he have?

PR Today

Online PR Thoughts

Isn''t the PR that you learned in school or practiced for much of your career. Now it is data-driven communications. The traditional model of earned media that couldn''t be measured is being swiftly replaced by social media that can be counted and tracked. Agencies that do not have access to the data are being left behind and might shrink to a niche of the industry. There will be room for smaller clients and B-to-B where there is less data, but the large consumer packaged goods, electronics and transportation accounts will gravitate to where they can get answers to their ROI questions.

Uber Flap Shines Harsh Light on Tech Journalism

Flack's Revenge

Uber executive Emil Michaels got in hot water this week amidst news that he had threatened to hire researchers to dig up dirt on hostile journalists, or more specifically, Sara Lacy – and spread dirt about her personal life. The episode brought more negative attention to Uber. Some took it as an opportunity to explore the reporting practices of those who cover the tech sector. 

Top 15 Free PR Ideas to Grow Your Online Business

You've got a great idea, you've built your killer team, and you've maybe even gone through the first round or two of funding.

The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

Spin Sucks

By Gini Dietrich Last week, I had a fun email conversation with Patrick Coffee over at Mediabistro. He told me he was moderating a brand storytelling panel, which he thinks is the most over-blown buzzword today. He said, “Even my 65-year-old dad used “storytelling” in casual conversation last month when he wasn’t even drunk.” ” Which made me laugh out loud.

The Facebook Dilemma

The Proactive Report

It seems as though Facebook has businesses between a rock and a hard place: their audience is on Facebook and wants to interact with brands there.  A community of loyal and engaged fans is considered to be a valuable asset.  But, as more brands jump on the bandwagon and post content, space in the fans’ newsfeed gets too crowded. After all they are not a business, not a charity. It should.

Free Issues Management Response Flow Chart (For Your Use)

Melissa Agnes

Effective issues management is a hot topic these days, which makes sense considering that every week presents us with another organization in need of putting their issues management to practice. When it comes to your organization’s issues management, equipping your frontline with a response flow chart is essential. Guide your team to effectively manage any type of issue that may arise online.

The customer has spoken: Every employee must be socially engaged

Holtz Communication + Technology

LinkedIn’s list of the most socially engaged companies It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what position employees hold in your organizational hierarchy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2C company or B2B, or whether your workforce is younger or older. Employees in your organization will use collaborative media on the job. You will retain more customers.

How to Identify the Influencers You Need to Engage

You need to understand who your community is and what makes them tick. You need to identify your “tribe” -- those who are immersed in your subject and have a following.

The Pros Weigh In: The Best Books for the Marketer on Your List


One Christmas when I was a kid, I remember really, really, really wanting a Tony the Pony. If you’re younger than I am, you may not remember Tony. He was a battery powered plastic toy you could “ride” as he stoically moved across your rec-room floor—nothing like a real pony at all. guess my parents knew best and I didn’t get the pony. Yet Christmas was never disappointing at our house. Here, here!

How to Reach Career Resonance: Purpose, Passion and Persistence

PR Job Coach

Career resonance in my view is a state of existence where you are happy, healthy, balanced, busy and emboldened. Your life is self-fulfilling because all aspects are generally working together to make you high performing and personally and professionally satisfied with your career and life. In my coaching practice I see this phenomena from time to time. Take a read. Well, it kind of was! and M.A.

My Alternative to the Suddenly Expensive iStockPhoto.com

Rock the Status Quo

Until last week, I was a staunch supporter of iStockPhoto.com. At three credits for a low-res image suitable for blogging, it was my go-to resource for stock photography. Depending Depending on how many credits I purchased at a time, it would run from $1.59 to $2 per credit – so my image would cost $4.50 – $6.00. Not too bad. I can live with that. Enter, Dollar Photo Club. Picky, picky.) 

How to Get Ahead in PR and in Business

PR Expanded

I spent a good part of last week in Orlando at the Florida Public Relations Association ( FPRA ) Annual Conference. After my session concluded, there was one question, which stood out in my mind. I was so pleased to have a young professional approach me to ask, “How do you get ahead in public relations and in business? You always have to take a calm and clear-headed approach. Command the Room.

How Leading Companies Tie Employee Advocacy to Business Outcomes

Insights from expert marketing and communications pros who are doing it today.

Why Facebook’s War On Marketing Is A Good Thing

The Influential Marketing Blog

Facebook has brands worried … again. recent article headline from Ad Age magazine summed up this concern perfectly, announcing that “ Facebook Cuts Brands’ Reach Once Again. ” Of course they did. One of the biggest issues facing the largest social media platforms today is how to monetize their offerings. What will they start charging for? Space on Facebook is rented.

The four Ps of public relations leadership

PR Conversations

The chair of the Global Alliance introduces the Madrid Momentum ( Learning to Lead ) and details four Ps that constitute the cornerstones of PR leadership. By Anne Gregory, PhD, FCIPR. Distance from an event lends a certain perspective, as we all know from our various war stories on crisis communication. He agrees, “PR now has the opportunity to do something about this.”. Purpose. Not so. People.

How Best To Twitter – Everything You Wanted to Know, But Didn’t Have Time to Find Out

PR Matters

We’re all swamped. Besides living our lives, there are millions of us who want to keep up with our activities on Twitter and to know we’re doing a good job about it. But are we using it in the best way we could? That is, in the most efficient ways to benefit and strengthen the relationships we foster in our social media communities? collection. hope you will like them, too.

The Five Communications Trends for 2015

Spin Sucks

By Gini Dietrich On the fifth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you… five communications trends, four free webinars , three strategy games , two  Crazies secrets , and the PR win of 2014. How clever are we to get the stuffy old, SEO-laden communications trends aka predictions in here in a fun way? Yay for my content team! They came up with the idea. just have to execute. mean, right now.

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Revenue Generating News Releases: How to Optimize Strategy and Improve ROI

Achieve better results with targeted news release distribution.

2014 Edelman Trust Barometer

6 A.M.

Watch the recap from the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer presentation and discussion panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos. . The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer shows the largest ever gap between trust in business and government since we began this study in 2001. In nearly half of the 27 nations we surveyed, there is a gap of more than 20 points. That would be a monumental error in judgment.

Emory’s Excellent Crisis Communication on Facebook

Melissa Agnes

As you probably know, I’ve been having an interesting debate with a fellow crisis professional on whether or not to shut social media down in a crisis. If you’ve been following along, then you know that my take is that there is more to gain in leveraging social media to communicate with your audiences in a crisis, than there is to gain from closing the accounts down.

Companies should look to PR to ensure strong characters before crisis hits; just ask Sony and Uber

Holtz Communication + Technology

A brand’s reputation can rise or fall based on how it reacts to unplanned events. Having a crisis plan in place is a good start, but it’s not enough. The right response has to be part of the organization’s character, part of its DNA. Two companies have hurt themselves and eroded their own reputations with woefully tone-deaf responses to events.

Guitar Center: Content Marketing and Storytelling at Their Best


It’s no small feat. Guitar Center’s YouTube channel beat out hundreds of leading brands, including Target, Four Seasons and General Electric, to snag the Project of the Year award at Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 Content Marketing Awards. Guitar Center is the largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards and lighting equipment in the United States. It’s a $2.3 and more.

Great questions can prompt great insight – What should you ask?

PR Job Coach

More often than not how you convey your value and abilities can determine whether you end up at the top of the consideration set of a job interview. If you are prepared, can tell compelling stories of your career and chemically connect with the hiring managers, more than likely you have struck a resonant tone for a positive outcome. Where do you see the company going in the next year? 10 years?

A Ten-Minute Blog Post

Rock the Status Quo

I’m down with some sort of hideous stomach thing today, but I wanted to send out a quick post with links of value. As part of my normal content curation this week, I sifted through hundreds of articles but only read a small handful. I found these three interesting and hope you find some value from them. 1. Plus, some really GREAT photos of Rand sporting his glorious new ‘stache.

Part I: Treat Every Meeting Like a First Interview

PR Expanded

This post is Part I of a two-part series on Treating Every Meeting Like a First Interview. When I mentor young professionals, we discuss the importance of preparing for a job interview.  A lot of emphasis is placed on preparation, which includes doing your homework on the company and the interviewer prior to your meeting. The exercise helps you learn about the people and the company culture.

7 Reasons GE Is The Most Strategic Brand In Social Media

The Influential Marketing Blog

Marketers love to celebrate forgettable things. Every week I read magazines covering the most popular marketing campaigns of the moment. Reading about creative campaigns is fun. Yet it is easy to underappreciate the brands who take a long term view. The smartest brand in social media today is General Electric. Solve real business challenges. Kaggle + GEQuest ). Experiment often. The Bottom Line.

Ultimate Year-End Checklist for Self-Employed Consultants

Solo PR Pro

The end of the year is fast approaching, but there’s still time to close out the year with a bang! Here are 12 items that should be on any independent consultant’s year-end checklist: Financial. 1. Make business purchases now – One of the top tips any accountant will give you is to “accelerate expenses.” Also take a look at your office supplies: are you getting low on paper, pens or ink?

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