Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are Pictures Really Worth 1,000 Words?

There have been rumors going around that the press release is dead, but ask any public relations practitioner and they will whole-heartedly disagree. The press release is one of our most commonly used communication tools. The press release isn’t dead; it’s just changing.

Instead of the traditional press release, new social media releases with attached video and infographics are growing in popularity.

Infographics are visual representations of information. They can be used to explain complex issues and can be read quickly. They are relished for creativity and stand out from the traditional press release by drawing attention. Infographics also tend to be great marketing tools for viral campaigns. They are fun to look at and people love to share them.

Have you ever used an infographic release? Was it successful? Do you think a pictorial representation of the information you need to communicate can be just as successful as the written word?

By Kate Brissenden
Associate Manager

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Five pillars of online reputation management: a pragmatic approach.

With people spending more and more time online and 70% of consumers trusting other people’s online opinion (Nielsen 2009), the social web is definitely an interesting playground for reputation building and management. Here are five pillars for a pragmatic approach to online reputation management:

1. Mix hard and soft management.
On one side, organizational communication consists of lots of micro-stories told by stakeholders, therefore communication management should shift from a logic of command to coordination. In this peripheral model, an organization trains people to participate to conversations in the social media and the PR function acquires a leadership role. On the other side, the traditional rationality is always valid: planning, efficient resource management and measurement with hard metrics remain important tasks.

2. Listen.
First of all: people talk about brands and organizations online. Organizations can listen to them, try to answer and put into practice the insights they get. Conversation monitoring must be done analyzing content with a mix of software tools and the human sensitiveness of people who hang around the web and know its dynamics. Finally, also online conversations are mediated: organizations must know who the key influencer for their areas are.

3. Participate in all channels.
Both owned and non-controllable channels are relevant. Organizations must participate in all channels being transparent about the identity of their online spokespersons and ambassadors. However, the best case is to try to convey conversations on the owned channels, transforming them into online stakeholder relationships centers.

4. Engage your stakeholders.
Many stakeholders are not satisfied with being a mere communication target: they want to be involved, to become ambassadors, to contribute to organizational change. The web allows managing extremely effective engagement projects, such as those based on crowdsourcing. With the typical online interactivity you can make information readily available and in a more appealing shape, you can build gaming environments and you can leverage social influence and word of mouth.

5. Measure.
Organizations should keep an eye on awareness and preference. A more holistic measurement is the assessment of relationships. Finally, they should measure the level of engagement, actions and advocacy.

By Marcello Coppa
Managing partner, Anteprima LAB, Italy
Global Affiliate, The Center for Global Public Relations

Global Non Profit Organizations

In a world gone global, it is important to consider non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations are taking the stage and demonstrating how important global involvement and support is for those countries less fortunate. Public relations professionals who focus in crisis and non-profit communications understand how these issues are of extreme importance. There are thousands of non-profit organizations that provide utilities for the less fortunate; one organization that stood out amongst the rest is Global Water.

From their website, it details the specific descriptions of the organization and the services they provide;

“Global Water is a volunteer-based organization, so we’re able to send more of your donations directly into our water/sanitation/hygiene facility projects to support rural communities and rural schools. These projects include: surface water supply and distribution systems, rain harvesting supply systems, water-well drilling activities, hand pump installations and repair, water treatment equipment, latrines, school hand-washing stations, community laundry-washing and bathing facilities, watershed reforestation, and health & hygiene education.”

As public relations professionals we must consider all aspects of communications, especially global involvement.

You can view their website at and view the inspiring contribution that Global Water provides.
This picture from the Global Water website, shows a recently drilled well in southern Kenya for the villagers of Maasai.

This picture from the Global Water website, shows a recently drilled well in southern Kenya for the villagers of Maasai.

By Anna Craver
Associate Manager