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communications

Building An All-Star Communications Team

Building An All-Star Communications Team

Last night, we watched two standout teams, which have spent the past few months enduring an endless amount of workouts, practices, meetings and games, fight for the title of Super Bowl winner.

As PR professionals, we can all appreciate and gain some perspective from the similarities between building an all-star football team and building an all-star PR team:

Head Coach: Like a football team’s head coach, senior PR executives build and manage groups of individuals who demonstrate exceptional talent, expertise and promise. While these leaders may not have all the answers, they do have the experience and understanding necessary to develop successful strategies that move things down the field. 

Team Captain: To take a team from great to best, you need a fearless team leader with a clear game plan and the ability to inspire those around them. When the proposed game plan isn’t working as well as it should, this leader can call an “audible” and quickly change directions. These decisions keep teams nimble and are a testament to the leader’s ability to read what’s best for your team at any given moment.

Most Valuable Player (MVP): An MVP is a top player on the field that has the opportunity to make THE game-changing play. True MVPs go the extra yard – they assist teammates when needed, always meet deadlines, are known as a go-to for quality work and continuously challenge themselves and those around them to keep improving. Being an asset to their team also means they are an asset to their client.

The Rookie: No team is complete without a rookie, usually taking the shape of the youngest or newest member. Rookies are sponges, and with strong leadership, coaching and teammates, they can rise to become an MVP or even the captain. Leaders should be a mentor for their rookies and show them how to keep the ball moving forward. When appropriate, take them off the bench and trust them to keep the ball moving forward on their own. You might be surprised to find out they have the perfect new pitch idea or a much needed mastery of presentation decks.

The Locker Room: Also known as your office, a company diner, meeting room – wherever the team comes together and makes magic happen. It’s where the team spends hours preparing client materials and late nights or early mornings meeting deadlines. A great company culture allows every member’s opinion to be heard and new ideas are welcome and respected, ultimately allowing the team to work to its full potential.

By combining all of these elements with motivation, a good attitude and drive, you can build an all-star PR team that is ready to move into the end zone for the win.

 

4 Tips For Choosing Your Next PR Firm

4 Tips For Choosing Your Next PR Firm

“I want to be on Oprah.”  Years ago, this was one of the most common phrases public relations executives heard from prospective and existing clients. Although “Oprah” is no longer on the air today, the requests for big-name hits continue. 

Each time the discussion turns to a particular “wish list” in a meeting, we respond with a question of our own: “Why do you want to see your organization there?” We don’t ask these questions because we can’t deliver those moments.  We’ve actually made plenty of those dreams come true throughout the past 20 years! Rather, we ask because it’s critical to understand our clients’ underlying objectives so we can help them impact the bottom line and achieve their goals.

It is clear that it is no longer enough just to get good media coverage.  Today’s communications and marketing professionals must show clear ROI and prove their efforts move the needle.

Working with a results-driven PR firm can make that happen, but selecting the right one can be challenging.  How do you identify the right partner that not only understands your company’s goals, but also knows how PR can help achieve them? Below are four suggestions for how to evaluate potential partners in 2017:

1.       Ask The Right Questions, And Give Honest Answers: Has the firm asked what success looks like for you?  Is it lead gen, increased sales, awareness?  Cookie-cutter solutions DO NOT work so it’s important that the firm understands the nuances of your short- and long-term goals. The more honest and upfront you are, the better the strategy your firm will develop. 

2.       Go Niche Or Go Home: Does the firm realize which audience you are trying to reach?  Is it c-suite decision-makers? Advertisers? Policymakers?  A well-defined strategy focuses on the outlets and publications your target audience reads, even if they’re not the most popular names or have the largest circulations. Targeting niche media that reaches specific buyers can often be more impactful in moving the needle.

3.       Proven Success And Creativity: Does the agency have a strong track record of success? Have they been tasked with similar objectives in the past?  Do they understand how to tackle challenges they might encounter and, when they do have a road block, do they think creatively to find another solution?

4.       It May Not be A Marriage, But It Is A Partnership: Is there chemistry? Your PR firm should be your partner and an extension of your in-house efforts.  If you can’t imagine sitting next to members of the firm on a long flight, they may not be the right fit.

Being on “Oprah” used to be considered success on its own. But as the focus on ROI only increases, make sure you seek out an agency that can help you meet your business objectives. After all, what’s the point of being on “Oprah” if you don’t leverage it to impact your bottom line, drive business development and achieve your goals?

Written by Amy Jaick, Executive Director of GMI Digital at Goodman Media. For more on how we think, click here.