PR Industry Trends

Finding the Starting Line as a PadillaCRT Intern

media relationsMinnesota winters, drinking coconut Boba Tea, Dungeons and Dragons, anything potato… Just naming a few of my love-hate relationships. Hello, my name is Alayna Xiong and I am a summer intern here at PadillaCRT in the Minneapolis location. I recently graduated from high school and will attend Saint Catherine University in the Twin Cities this fall. While I am still navigating my future career path, I will likely major in English and/or Business.

I was given this incredible internship through a non-profit organization called The BrandLab. The BrandLab is a program founded here in the Greater Twin Cities that provides diverse high school students who are interested in business and marketing the opportunity to learn and get hands on experience. The organization’s hope is to bring diversity into the world of business while at the same time guiding students as they grow into young adults.

Programs like BrandLab are vital to the community because they provide real-life experience at a young age. Not only are we getting an unforgettable experience, but for many of us, this is our first experience networking. It takes a lot to get into the doors of…

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On Purpose

On Purpose: 3 Questions with HNTB’s Pat Mosher

The Buzz Bin’s “On Purpose” feature explores the thinking behind the strategies and tactics top marketers employ in pursuit of business goals.

Pat Mosher is senior vice president of corporate communications and brand optimization at HNTB. She leads a 16-member national corporate communications department from her office in Kansas City, Mo., where she oversees award-winning external and internal branding and thought leadership programs.

Today, we talk with Pat Mosher, senior vice president of corporate communications and brand optimization at HNTB, an infrastructure solutions firm celebrating 100 years in business.

For Pat, content marketing is a key component of brand building in a specialized, highly competitive and high-stakes industry. PadillaCRT has worked with Pat and HNTB for a little more than a year. Since day one, we’ve been impressed with her team’s disciplined and “client first” approach to content marketing.

Buzz Bin: Not many companies continue to put the time into developing high-quality print magazines and newsletters for clients, prospects and influencers. Why does HNTB?

Pat Mosher: The answer is simple: our intended audiences find our publications valuable. We have publications that include our clients discussing their programs, which is…

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PR Industry Trends

Beyond Keeping House: 3 New Developments at The Good Housekeeping Research Institute

GHKInstit-100206, Good Housekeeping Institute, FrankeI recently caught up with Sharon Franke, the Kitchen Appliances & Technology Director at The Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI).  As the product-evaluation arm of Good Houskeeping, GHRI operates state-of-the-art laboratories and tests everything from moisturizers to bed sheets to cell phones. Staffed by scientists, engineers, nutritionists and researchers, GHRI is unique in the publishing world. While readers look to Good Housekeeping’s magazine and website for inspiration and trusted shopping advice, they turn to GHRI for product recommendations based upon exhaustive, unbiased testing. They also rely on GHRI for never-fail recipes. The Institute operates the magazine’s test kitchen. They create, taste and triple-test (at least) the thousands of recipes appearing annually in the magazine. So what is new with this 100-year-old trusted voice?

1) Testing Smart Home Appliances. According to the January 2014 survey by Pew Research Center, 87% of American adults use the Internet, up from 14% in 1995. It is no surprise that our home’s appliances are colliding with emerging digital capabilities like sensors, internet-enabled appliances and remote monitoring. From food thermometers to slow cookers, today there’s an app for that. “The nature of…

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B2B/Technology

Content is King, but Growing the Realm with it isn’t Easy

king content

Last month, Forrester released a study that indicated B2B marketers talk a good content marketing game, but have a hard time actually translating their efforts to business value.

According to the report, Compare Your B2B Content Marketing Maturity, more than half of B2B marketing leaders rate their content marketing operations as “very mature.”

Eighty-five percent of them, however, say they fail to connect content activity to business value.

Doh!

“In fact,” says Forrester, “when asked to look back at the past 12 months and rate the effectiveness of content marketing efforts, only 14 percent of those surveyed gave their content practices high marks for delivering value back to the business.”

Fourteen percent? That’s it? Hasn’t content has been king since Bill Gates crowned it in 1996?

The proliferation and widespread adoption of all things digital since then has opened powerful new possibilities to B2B content marketers, but a simple truth remains unchanged.

It’s hard work.

“The majority of marketers find producing content that engages buyers to be a major challenge,” said Business Marketing Association Chair Steve Liguori, a partner in the study. “Our survey results show that the majority of B2B…

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Branding

When Journalism and Brand Management Collide

Recently, PadillaCRT hosted a “meet the journalist” breakfast that invited a local magazine editor to our office to discuss their role and answer questions regarding how we can provide relevant content and news ideas on behalf of our clients. During the conversation, we were reminded of what most of us in the PR industry already know – editors are busy, their outlets are understaffed and their inboxes are often flooded with hundreds upon hundreds of unrelated email pitches from PR professionals assuming that their audience will be interested, which is a huge pet-peeve!

But, as I walked away from that meeting, I was left thinking about the relationship between brands and media. Given the shrinking number of journalists reporting for publications and the onset of owned content, the landscape and connection between journalist, brand and PR agency is changing. Journalists are up against native advertising, eBooks, videos and more that are not usually distinguished as advertising or marketing and further blur the lines between editorial and paid content.

Getty Images

Similarly, the PR industry is being impacted by these changes. Fewer media opportunities mean more occasions to self-publish and syndicate. Some brands are…

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PR Industry Trends

5 Internal Communications Trends

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Credit: Flickr User Sebastien Wiertz

Over the years, internal communications has changed, and companies now recognize the importance of keeping associates engaged, informed and inspired. An effective internal communications plan can help build a positive culture, enhance associate morale, increase productivity and decrease turnover.

With technology changing, the amount of resources a communicator has at his or her disposal continues to grow and evolve.

Here are five internal communication trends to look for in 2014 and beyond:

1. Responsive Emails
Let’s all face the fact that the medium of emails is here to stay. Emails are still the most reliable, bang-for-your-buck tool for communicators to reach associates. However, the majority of emails I check on my smartphone require me to pinch the screen to zoom in and out and create a terrible user experience.

Making your company’s emails responsive will automatically adjust the email to the correct dimensions for any smartphone or tablet. Responsive emails can enhance the user experience and increase the likelihood that the message will be read. There are several options that companies like ExactTarget and Mailchimp offer for sending responsive emails that…

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Branding

The School of Gaga – 5 PR lessons we can learn from Lady Gaga

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Credit: Flickr User John Robert Charlton

Mouths agape, my sister and I watched as a man sporting a pair of meticulously crafted angel wings with a six-foot wingspan nearly knocked out a security guard with his left wing and was escorted out of the concert venue. At that moment we knew we had come to a special place.

For my 18-year-old sister, our first Lady Gaga concert last weekend was a thing of dreams, but for me it was a fascinating window into Gaga’s methodically constructed public relations and brand strategy. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Gaga knows a thing or two about building and executing a hugely successful business.

If you need convincing, just check out last year’s FORBES Celebrity 100 power list where Gaga was named World’s Most Powerful Musician of 2013, or the TIME online poll where readers voted her Second Most Influential Icon of the Decade. Her rank may have fallen slightly this year, but her 41.6 million Twitter followers suggest that she’s not fading into oblivion anytime soon.

Start taking notes. Here are 5 PR…

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Branding

Choosing a Winner in a World Cup Brand Battlefield

infographicBy now everyone across the planet is aware of the thrilling World Cup festivities. With many eyes and conversations focused on the ball, another discussion is proliferating the marketing world about the competition taking place off the field, starring two athletic-apparel titans – Nike and Adidas.

Having historically sponsored FIFA since 1970, Adidas has theoretically owned a big piece of the World Cup until now. The company claims, “This is where we put our stake in the ground and prove our domination in the market.” But, despite this official title and category exclusivity to the World Cup rights, Adidas is seeing its competitor take a piece of its pie.

In only the last few years, companies have become decidedly daring, taking leaps to harness real-time events to promote their brands. Take some favorite instances like Oreo at the Super Bowl or Arby’s and the famous Pharrell Grammys hat. Out of these examples came skyrocketing share of voice numbers and awareness levels. And they cost nothing.

bloombergSo, is the $280 million that Adidas is going to spend until the end of its…

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PR Industry Trends

PR Truths Uncovered By “Bar Rescue”

taffer bookI see that Jon Taffer has published a book. Taffer is the host of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” which is my favorite show. I won’t buy the book, called Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions, but I hope lots of other people do, just so Taffer makes even more money than he already does.

I can’t quite see Taffer as a man of letters. But I love him as that oafish loudmouth who storms into someone else’s saloon, tells the owner the awful truth: He’s a fool and a slacker and will be out of business within two weeks unless he fires the incompetent bartender, cleans the cockroaches out of the kitchen, rips out the tacky decorations and stops hitting on the barmaids and drinking up all the profits. Taffer also tells the owners when their most cherished dreams—like the pirate-themed grog shop in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, and the hookah bar in Omaha—are idiotic and should fail.

bar_rescueI live for “Bar Rescue” marathons, and all PR professionals should do so, too. That’s because Taffer’s projects are exercises in…

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Branding

5 Lessons in Brand Journalism from Ragan’s Content Summit

brand journalism

Image Credit: BrandJournalists.com

In opening Ragan’s Content Summit last week at the Nascar Hall of Fame, Mark Ragan stated, “We need to stop begging the media, and become the media instead!” Powerful words, especially coming from a reporter turned publisher and CEO. But he hit the nail on the head; no longer are pitches and press releases enough. With media companies downsizing, there are now less people to cover more stories, making it even harder to get our messages heard… unless we write about them ourselves. Brand journalism provides us, as marketing and public relations professionals, the forum to give our audiences the information they want while bolstering our brands’ credibility and influence. Here are my top five brand journalism takeaways from the conference:

1. Tell a Story:

At the heart of brand journalism is storytelling. We must learn to think like journalists and tell stories that excite emotion in our readers. Brand journalism, also called content marketing, talks about the audience, their needs and desires, not the product or company. Rather than writing the story we want to tell, we need to write they story…

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