May 6, 2013
If brevity is the soul of wit, Twitter is brilliant. Capped at 140 characters, the true power of Twitter is that it forces you to be concise. Handled by a professional PR agency, your message can be concentrated into its most impactful – and quotable – context. Messages, images, even video links can be shared quickly and easily.
This means your content can be packaged, sent and received in an instant, then shared exponentially across the globe. Having a sale? Starting a new product line? Re-branding, publishing a book, releasing a movie or a record? Twitter can blast that good news out to everyone. Plus, the conversation dynamic of Twitter allows fans to respond, repost and re-tweet in real time. This keeps the buzz at a fever pitch indefinitely.
But if you send out something on Twitter, there’s no getting it back. No matter how fast you take it down, your message is out there. It’s like firing a bullet. Once it leaves the gun, there’s no getting it back. Even if you reconsider, assume that one of your followers already took a screenshot, capturing the moment forever.
The lesson here is think before you Tweet. How will you feel about the message when you are not so fired up? Because, chances are, that is when other media sources will get a hold of it and start reposting it all over cyberspace. Suddenly you are answering questions about why you felt a certain way – and you may not even feel that way anymore.
When you are in the moment, it can be easy for the frustration or anger to get the best of you. The nearly instant responses of back and forth Twitter messaging has the feel of an actual conversation. The rough reality here, though, is that this is a conversation being witnessed by untold millions, none of whom will ever hear the entire context of conversation.
Suddenly snippets of your argument are being posted and re-tweeted across the web. And it is impossible to explain “what you really meant” on that exponential a scale. You simply cannot counter all the misquotes and out-of-context sound bites.
And you cannot stop them either. Since none of us can completely trust ourselves to be discreet in the midst of a heated exchange, do you really want to have that argument in front of millions of people? Especially when most of them can’t quite hear you or came in late?
Ronn Torossian point is simple. Save your fights for more private and less permanent situations. When it comes to Twitter, fight about it and then forget it is not an option.
May 4, 2013
When you live your life in the public eye, chances are sooner or later you will find yourself dealing with an uncomfortable situation. Mistakes may have been made or, perhaps, you or your company may have been accused of errors. At that moment, the facts of the case matter much less than your reaction to the situation.
While it is understandable to vigorously defend oneself in the face of negative PR, 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian suggests a careful and considered response. Sure, when something potentially negative happens, most strong people wish to address it as soon as possible. That is an understandable response, and it can be the right one. As long as that response is measured, planned and controlled. Let’s look at some scenarios.
#1 – You make a mistake
We’re all human, but there is some truth to the idea that the only thing some people love more than a success story is a fall from grace. Think of that mistake as an unexploded bomb. It may feel like you are already getting shelled, but if you immediately fire back, chances are that mistake you’re holding will really explode. Instead, your response must be cautious, careful and tactful. A difficult proposition in a highly emotional situation. But it is possible when you have the right representation.
#2 – You get accused of a mistake
You did nothing wrong but now at least some people are convinced of your guilt. It’s humiliating, frustrating and can leave you angry – with nowhere to direct that justifiable anger. Here’s the problem, if you decide to respond while angry, no matter how justified, you may make matters worse. While it is true that many people like to think the worst, many will believe the truth if presented properly. It is not enough just to tell the truth, it must be packaged in a way people want to hear it.
#3 – Your employee makes a mistake
Depending on the severity of the offense, it may be tempting to fire them and just move on. But doing so can leave far too many questions unanswered. In 2012, a major media network was accused of doctoring a recording to implicate a potentially innocent man of a crime. It worked. The producers were subsequently fired and the network moved on as if all was right with the world. Then, months later, another mistake was made. Guess what the first thing that came up was? Yep. That “old” news was suddenly breaking news again. Instead of dealing with the current mistake the network was dealing with accusations of institutional corruption. They could not deal with the actual issue because an unresolved issue was in the way.
In all of these instances, your first response may be defensive. That’s understandable. But you must squash that reflex and think about the response to your response. Your first call should be to a public relations firm. Agencies like 5WPR handle crisis PR on a regular basis, and we know exactly how to address these situations.
May 3, 2013
With well-known PR phrases like these, you may be tempted to believe they are true. But as 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian knows, this “All press is good press” idea is one of the biggest myths in the public relations industry. Reputation is everything, in any business. Bad press can have significant negative ramifications.
Adoring fans and interested spectators will tune into the red carpet pre-show on awards night just to see what celebrities are wearing. And the day-after coverage will not only cover who won which awards, but who looked the best and, more importantly, the worst. The best dressed will have their careers discussed and other positive accolades. The worst dressed will have their horrific fashion fail dissected in embarrassing detail.
A fashion fail during a highly publicized event can completely derail a promising narrative. On a night when they were hoping to elicit positive TV commentary, tweets and glowing press coverage, an unsuspected celeb may just end up as fodder for TMZ.
Ronn Torossian of 5WPR further explains that this doesn’t just apply to public events either. Being in the public eye means that somebody is always watching. It may not be fair, but it is the price of fame. The paparazzi know that they can just as easily sell a candid picture of a disheveled, frumpy celebrity as they can a red carpet glamour shot.
While some celebrity fashion flops are simply a matter of poor taste or ill-fitting garments, some celebrities will take a fashion risk and wear something wacky, risky, or flat out risque just to generate some attention. This kind of flash in the pan publicity can do more harm than good, causing that celebrity to lose credibility and respect in the public eye. Cheap gimmicks and “wardrobe malfunctions” rarely pan out as intended.
Look at it this way, that fashion faux pas may have made front page news, but it may have also replaced a potentially priceless fashion PR opportunity. 5WPR knows that when so much about celebrity is public image, that image needs to send the right message at all times.
A bad fashion incident, either accidental or “accidental,” could burn up precious time in the spotlight. Worse, it can follow you for years. Look back at the BEST and WORST dressed lists of fashion mags and post gala reports. There’s a reason why the same names seem to grace both lists each year. Think about it.
May 1, 2013
As consumer technology continues to evolve, the way PR firms approach marketing media must evolve with it. PR approaches vary depending on what audience brands seek to reach. Modern technology, with high-def TVs in nearly every home and digital image screens on smart phones, has changed the status quo in less than five years.
5W Public Relations, also known as 5WPR gives three formerly “cool” media examples that are “heating up” and how that is changing consumer PR.
#1 – Television
Do you know someone with a console or tube television? Do you remember the last time
you watched a square format program or a movie produced before 2000? Do you remember TV looking that “bad?” The average consumer is now accustomed to experiencing picture clarity and quality in their home that a few years ago was only possible on the big screen. It is really not accurate at this point to think of TV as a cool medium any longer. It is fairly universally hot, and marketing strategies must be also.
#2 – The Internet
Video is taking over the Internet. The only question is when this will happen. Further, as upload and download speeds increase, increased visual acuity is possible across the web. This combination of rapidly improving technology and a shift in consumer expectation is driving a new sort of content war online. Consumers are looking for quick, interactive content to view and share. PR firms like 5WPR must respond to this by formulating campaign content that is “hot” for a traditionally “cool” medium.
#3 – Personal Computers
Here we are using the “PC” label in the traditional sense but including laptops and mobile devices in the equation. While in some cases PCs are still cool media, with the capabilities of many to play high-def music and video, that is changing. More importantly, consumer expectation is changing.
Ronn Torossian of 5WPR believes if you rigidly follow the traditional rules for hot and cool media, you will miss out on what’s possible with today’s new media. Worse, you will also frustrate a consumer market growing accustomed to “hot” media on just about every tech device they own.
April 30, 2013
Last week sports media was abuzz with the NFL draft. Fans of every team scoured the Internet for the latest updates, hosted draft parties and waited – wishing and hoping for the missing piece that would get their team back into the playoffs. “This tension,” said Ronn Torossian,the head of top PR firm 5WPR, “can teach you the most important fundamental of a good social media campaign.”
During the entire process, from the Round 1 pomp and circumstance to the undrafted signings after Round 7, the NFL’s Social Media/PR agency was working overtime to keep fans engaged. Here are three ways they did so utilizing social media PR. You can apply the same principles for success in your business.
#1 – Easy sharing
This is vital. No matter what the news was surrounding the draft, from player reaction to pictures of draftees holding jerseys, the NFL’s PR Agency made it easy to share. A simple click kept content flying back and forth across cyberspace. This can work for your social media PR efforts too. No matter what you publish, make sure it is “one-click” simple to share.
#2 – Ready-made images
Within minutes of a pick being made, teams released dynamic images of that player in a team uniform. After some added splashy text and a catchy slogan, suddenly that image was being shared across the web at blinding speed. That was how millions found out who their favorite team had drafted. Not from some news report. From a picture that popped up in their newsfeed. Think about how much information was actually being shared in a single image. Did you know that consumers are much more likely to share a visual image than a text link? It’s true. So … how can you communicate news about your organization with a single dynamic image?
#3 – Re-tweets
5WPR’s Ronn Torossian also pointed out that over the past year, Twitter has increasingly become a channel for news. What gets tweeted or re-tweeted has even impacted presidential politics. During the draft, Twitter was on fire. Instead of asking the players how they felt when they were drafted, news agencies simply followed their Twitter feeds and reported what they read. What about you? Who’s following your company Twitter page? Have you trained your employees to automatically re-tweet company messages? If not, think about how much potential market saturation you’re missing out on.
With some forethought planning and training, any company or cause can use social media to ignite their PR efforts. Take a page from the NFL. Make it easy for fans to share. Keep them well stocked with shareable content and encourage your employees, volunteers and fans to re-tweet your content.
April 25, 2013
Music may be a universal language, but everyone has a favorite dialect. Genres are often important to a person’s sense of self. Who you listen to matters. Most people have a favorite artist or genre, but they are open to new musical experiences. They know they might not like it, but they are willing to give it a shot. In the Public Relations industry, we call that an opportunity.
One of the key concepts of basic marketing is called “participation.” This is the idea of attracting new clients or customers and turning them into fans. One of the main catalysts of this sort of marketing is employing current fans to introduce your product or service to their friends, family or coworkers. How can you do this if you love orchestral music but everyone else you know digs rock-n-roll? Chances are your local orchestra already has this figured out.
#1 – Guest artists as soloists
Many orchestras will invite a superstar solo act from rock or pop to join them for a special series of shows. They do this not only to get wider exposure, but to give their loyal fans the opportunity to do a little one-on-one entertainment PR. “Hey, did you know so and so will be singing with the orchestra next month? We should get some tickets!”
#2 – Crossover performances
One of the most famous rock-opera crossovers happened when two members of the international super band, U2, joined forces with opera powerhouse Pavarotti. Their single took the world by storm and is still getting airplay on YouTube and mass downloads on iTunes.
#3 – Rock series
As the boomers grow older, classical concert orchestras have increasingly added rock songs and series to their repertoire. And why not? That generation came of age during the glory years of the British Invasion. The idyllic harmonies of the Beatles and the huge wall of sound generated by Pink Floyd pair perfectly with a full orchestra.
And even a much younger crowd can remember the orchestral arrangements on Guns N’ Roses and Smashing Pumpkins albums. Replaying these arrangements are a terrific way for orchestras to introduce new fans to their talent and create that “participation” every entertainment act needs to succeed.
April 25, 2013
Gwyneth Paltrow was today named the world’s most beautiful woman for 2013 by People Magazine, and all of us should stand up and celebrate her success. She is a beautiful, successful, intelligent and confident woman, and it is special to watch her.
Paltrow is a great mother, in a seemingly healthy celebrity marriage, committed to her family People Magazine deeming her the most beautiful woman will be great for her career and should help her to achieve even higher success.
It was absurd that last week Star Magazine named her the Most Hated Celebrity. She was more hated that Chris Brown who beat up Rihanna, or Kristen Stewart who cheated on her boyfriend publicly? Could the reason be anything other than jealousy?
Brand Gwyneth is simply awesome – she took care of her mother when she was sick, her husband is rock star Chris Martin of Cold Play, and she cares about all aspects of her childrens’ lives. No one is perfect, but this is a successful, intelligent, confident woman – haters should leave her alone. Isn’t it nice to read about a celebrity who is honestly a nice person? Her reaction to the People Magazine cover? “I honestly thought someone was playing a joke on me. I had to reread the e-mail three times. I was like, ‘This can’t be true…” Genuinely humble.
As CEO of 5WPR, I have worked extensively with celebrity brands – and the Gwyneth Paltrow brand is simply an amazing brand. All of America should salute her and root for her.
April 24, 2013
One typo, no matter how small can have a significant impact on anything from a resume to a large scale campaign. Case in point, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s own mishap, which cost them about $250,000 dollars worth of maps because they were printed with outdated info.
While the evolution of all things digital has profoundly changed the way we communicate in the 21st century, there will still be one core skill no matter how things evolve that folks will need to master for success – writing.
Although, the fast pace environments in which we work can often mean that time is limited, there are great resources available at a moment’s notice that can be referenced if you’re in a bind. Check out a few of them below:
- Daily Writing Tips: A great resource no matter if you’re a high school student or a seasoned journalist. The website touches upon everything from grammar to vocabulary and everything between.
- PR Daily: Not matter what industry you’re a part of, PR Daily has a great section on writing and editing with a ton of great articles. One of the more recent one’s that stood out is “10 rules for using the apostrophe.”
- Tweet at @APstylebook: Many of us PR pros live and die by our AP Style book. However, if you’re in a bind feel free to send a tweet over to @APStylebook and they’re likely to respond and help out.
- PR Newswire: As a seasoned PR professional, I’ve used PR Newswire in a number of capacities for years and am always keeping an eye out for updates. Not only are its blog posts informative but they’re also good to bookmark and keep handy in case you need to reference something in a pinch.
While I could go on for days, these are only a few of the resources used on a frequent basis. What are some of the ones that you use to help improve your writing skills?
April 18, 2013
There seems to be an ongoing debate when it comes to technological advancements as far as the latest digital devices and software and workplace productivity. While some harness these developments such as project management software like Asana or Basecamp, others are slow to adopt these new advancements.
Although, the answer isn’t always black and white, as an entrepreneur who has developed one of New York’s top PR agencies from the ground up, I’m always on the lookout for new technology, whether it be a device or piece of software that can help improve efficiency and productivity across my company.
Over the years I’ve seen the PR industry go from Bacon’s to Cision and faxes to smartphone emails. The fact of the matter is that the technology industry as a whole is ever-evolving and will continue to be day-by-day, week-by-week and year-by-year. CEOs, senior leadership and business owners should embrace the fact that these new capabilities are springing up at such a rapid pace.
Now, am I saying that folks should use and experiment with every new piece of technology or software that is released and find a way to integrate it into their business, no. Use a practical and strategic approach when it comes to doing so. Perhaps you’re looking for new CRM software that will help your sales team or a specific tool that will help streamline social media efforts. Do the research and implement these changes into your everyday efforts to ensure that they will help your day-to-day processes while also keeping the big picture in mind.
5W Public Relations has seen quite the change in the tech world over the last 10 years since our inception in 2003 and we’re looking forward to what the next 10 brings.
April 16, 2013
Today, many CEOs believe that social media is merely a fad and a byproduct of a new generation. A recent study released by Domo shows a wide margin in the way young and old CEOs approach social media and its strategies.
According to the survey’s findings, younger CEOs (those under 50) value social media more so than their older counterparts. While there are numerous social media platforms out there, when it came to the major players such as Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, blogs, YouTube and Flipboard, younger CEO’s ranked these almost twice as valuable as their elder counterparts.
As a CEO of a PR firm who sits in the young demographic and uses each of the above listed social media platforms, I can say whole-heartedly that social media and digital media in general isn’t just a fad and can add a wealth of benefits and value to any business if used correctly.
Granted, as a CEO there are competing priorities and time spent on something like a new business proposal can’t compare to time spent on Twitter. However, social media is a place where important conversations are taking place. It’s in these communities where real business benefits can be realized while utilizing the relationship-building capabilities that exist within each specific platform and network.
Take a look at some of the Domo findings below. Out of the hundreds of social media platforms available, which do you find most valuable as a business owner?