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Reporting on the state of the PR industry

Nearly five years ago to date, when I was still in my twenties and San Francisco rent didn’t eat up half of one’s salary (imagine that!), I set out to solve a problem that many said would be “nearly impossible to do.” As any entrepreneur would, I thought: “PERFECT! I’m in.” I managed to convince […]


15 Digital Skills PR Pros Must Master

Sally Falkow, president of PRESSfeed and founder of Meritus Media, is no stranger to the AirPR blog. In fact, she’s a downright digital regular! From her brilliant trends reports to our mutually shared love of integrating data into content, Sal is one of those PR pros who quite simply “gets” it. So it should come as no surprise that when one of […]


How A Press Release Is Like A Selfie

Today’s most successful PR campaigns begin with communications teams who have adopted the mentality of thinking like a journalist. Before even considering sending a pitch over to their favorite reporter, they’ve already strapped on their newsroom-caps and have evaluated whether or not Pitch A is a story with depth, nuance, and appeal. Would an editor […]


Content Marketing: Building A Web of Influence

Can you name the last time you stopped to look at a spider’s web? Chances are, if you hate spiders, it was not recently. But there is much to be learned from these intricately designed feats of art and engineering. Every part of the web is connected, making it both complex and powerful. If any […]


Getting First Dibs on the Future of PR and Media

When a writer for Fast Company agrees to write a “first dibs” article for your company blog, it is all at once flattering (OMG! She’s gonna do that for lil’ ol’ us??), but also – ah hem – kind of scary.

Because…what if…everyone likes her better?

Inflated egos notwithstanding (and in true entrepreneurial fashion) this week we are thrilled to take the risk of Wendy Marx eclipsing us so that you…yes YOU…can gain interesting insights from one of the PR industry’s finest.

Read. Enjoy. Tweet. Discuss. Comment. Re-post. We promise not to be offended or to take it personally if this goes viral:

Getting First Dibs on the Future of PR and Media

By Wendy Marx

Want a peak into the future of PR and media?

Expect to see in the coming years a more ballsy, diverse PR profession that is less obsessed with scoring a big hit in old-time media than capitalizing on niche and non-traditional media. And expect to see a reimagining of media storytelling tools and tactics coupled with a new PR-journalist alliance.

At least those were the prognostications of some seers of PR and journalism at a PRSA Tri State District event titled “PRX: The Future of Media.”

One fact is patently clear: PR and its first cousin, journalism, are in a whirlwind of evolution of redefining themselves.

What’s ahead and how do you succeed? These PR and media crystal ball gazers articulated a roadmap of the future. Here are ways they recommended to get your own toehold on the future:

Shed the veneer of sameness

Decrying the commoditization of PR practitioners who are spit out of the PR factory in the same mold, Fred Cook, President and CEO of global PR agency Golin, urged the mostly female audience to dare to fail and keep more balls (or ideas) on the table. “Failure is the best way to success in your career,” said Cook, who regaled the audience with his failures as a doorman, chauffer, tennis player, and school teacher as chronicled in his book, Improvise: Unconventional Career Advise from an Unlikely CEO.

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PR Summit and PRTech Award Notables & Quotables

Last week was a whirlwind of PR awesomeness. We had the pleasure of attending the 5th annual PR Summit in San Francisco (thank you Shaun Saunders), the Publicity Club of New York’s New Media Influencers Luncheon (thank you Peter Himler), and the first round of AirPR’s PRTech Awards in NYC (thank you Mediabistro and Porter Gale).

Curious about what hot topics are being discussed across the country by PR pros, media, marketers, and technologists alike?

Of course you are.

Below you will find three PR trends that permeated every event, oh-so-tweet-worthy PR tidbits, and the individuals leading the PRTech evolution that should definitely be on your radar.

Let’s kick it off with the trends, shall we?

#1 – Data must be used to drive marketing and PR decisions

No longer can PR rely on purely anecdotal or observed data. For the first time ever, companies and publishers have insights into what is working in terms of content and messages and PR professionals across the globe are now required to use data to drive and optimize their efforts.

#2 – The role of PR is finally getting the credit it deserves due to technological innovation

The lines are blurring between social, content, media relations, media buying, and analytics with PR assuming more responsibility in all of these areas. PR is breaking out of its silo and establishing itself as one of the most important layers in any organization. Technology and measurement is helping cement PR’s seat the table as a key business driver and decision maker.

#3 – Social, content, and measurement are the 3 elements shaping the future of the PR

This trifecta demands that PR rock at the intersection of the strategic insight and creative thought. From social and blogging, to partnerships, thought leadership, contributory writing and beyond, PR pros must create relevant communication in real time and ensure all pieces of content marketing are connected, supportive and of course, driven by data.

And now, in case you’re looking to quote bomb Twitter this week, we’ve got you covered.

From PR Summit in San Francisco

On content:

  • “To better relate to people…Write an amazing story first and then fit your company in later.” – John Rampton
  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Start with the “Why?” not the “What?” – Jill Rowley
  • “We are programmed to pay attention to things that violate our expectations.” – Ben Parr

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Serena Ehrlich from Business Wire sets the record straight

DON’T FORGET: The 5th Annual PR Summit in San Francisco is 1 month away! Be sure to buy your tickets. Here’s 20% off because we love you: http://bit.ly/1iXXuWE

Back in the fall of 2013, I wrote this blog post where I equated the press release to that annoying guy nobody wants to invite to a party, but for some reason everyone feels obligated to invite.

This type of behavior (inviting unwanted guests) entirely eludes me – probably because I’m not nice. Or something like that.

Truth be told, however, being nice has its distinct advantages. Namely: you tend to have a higher quality of life and meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. These people, the ones you may have otherwise ignored while clinging for dear life to your bitchy resting face, can end up being great advocates for you…if you take the time to get to know them, understand where they’re coming from, and ultimately relinquish your propensity to thinking “hey, I’m usually always right.”

In a moment of weakness, niceness, and extroversion, I accepted an invitation to a PR gathering in San Francisco hosted by Paul Wilke (whom I adore), the founder of @UprightComms. While there, over an assortment of wine and charcuterie, I met a woman by the name of Serena Ehrlich – who just happened to be the very friendly Director of Social and Evolving Media at Business Wire.

Oh, and she was also named the “top 25 women in mobile to watch”, “25 women who rock social media”, “best social media blogger for PR”, and a various assortment of other titles that tend to intimidate-slash-excite me.

In true social media culture fashion, we spoke to each other briefly in person at the little gathering but quickly launched a rather heated Twitter affair – which is entirely appropriate given her skill sets. We have serendipitously run into each other at PR-related events over the past year, the last of which was the “PR News’ PR Measurement Conference” in Washington DC – where Serena graciously gave me her perspective on why newswires are still relevant (despite Google’s algo updates and my seeming disdain for press releases) and how we can measure their impact more effectively.

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4-Part Guide for Interview Preparation in a Pinch

You’ve reviewed the 7 Signs You’re Ready for PR and landed an interview with star business reporter after chatting them up at a networking event. Giggles dispersed, you now come to terms with the part that makes you panic: They want to interview you tomorrow!

You choose to

1. Feign illness (complete with faux coughing) while making the call to cancel.

2. Politely ask if the reporter would mind rescheduling (Until you’ve had enough time to build key messaging, prepare talking points, and buy the perfect interview outfit)

3. Accept with enthusiasm, kick it into overdrive, and nail down some strategic talking points stat. You’ll dedicate some extra time to building messaging after the interview so you’re more prepared the next time you hook one.

If you chose A or B, shame on you! When opportunity knocks, it’s in your best interest to answer the door. It’s fine to agree upon a different date and time than the one a reporter first proposes, but this should be due to scheduling conflicts, not your want for a generous amount of prep time.

If you chose C, great job! You have enough time to pull together talking points, and transform into the star spokesperson we know you can be.

The following 4-part guide is packed with ideas and tips for interview preparation when your time is limited. You’ll just need a trusted colleague who understands your messaging objectives and business goals and a few free hours to hash out a plan. Reserve a conference room and have at it!

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AirPR & YEC team up to increase PR opportunities for entrepreneurs

Editor’s Note:

This blog post is touting a partnership AirPR has recently launched to promote the benefit of our Marketplace. So, yes, we are going to talk about ourselves.

But I think it’s relevant to where the PR industry is going (content marketing, publication partners, branded content, etc.) plus we interviewed the co-founder of our partner organization, and he has some VERY interesting opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Read on, after the jump!

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The Ultimate Public Relations Love Song

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks!

In homage to St. Valentine and his cherubic, winged partner-in-crime Cupid, we’ve rewritten a classic L-O-V-E tune for all the PR peeps out there.

This new improved version of this classic love song is the perfect way to express admiration, adoration and general appreciation to your fave journalist. Without them, where would we be??? Bonus: they will likely love you right back which is always great for, ah-hem, relationship building.

So sit back, unwrap some chocolate, and figure out which lucky media contact will be on the receiving end of your heartfelt serenade.

I personally will be singing this to Rip Empson of TechCrunch tomorrow at 10:30am PST.

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