Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Don’t make PR an afterthought!

By: Cole Buergi, Leoanrd & Finco Public Relations
When developing your plan of action for growing your business, be sure PR is a key part of the planning process and not just an afterthought tied to marketing.

Far too often, PR is directly associated with marketing and doesn’t get the full consideration it should for the benefits it can provide. Yes, marketing and PR are often complementary, but the two are very different, yet important components, and should be treated as such.

Similar to marketing, PR can be used to help influence your audience. The difference being marketing uses paid advertising in the form of print; television; radio; direct mail or social media, which can be very effective.

PR often uses many of the same media, but in a much different fashion. Our goal is to generate interest by reporters to cover the information as a news story. In doing so, reporters provide third party validation to the topic being covered. It’s similar with social media but the third party validators are a much broader group, not only including reporters, but also customers who use your product.

As for measuring success, it’s often easier to see a direct link between a marketing campaign and sales increases. However, a good PR campaign generates strength to a brand, creates connections between the company and its stakeholders. And yes, good PR helps generate sales.

And, if you ever have “It hit the fan”, you’ll definitely want to make sure your PR team is at the decision making table, and not a group that is provided with the details after all the decisions have been made. The reason is PR professionals are in tune with not only the company but also its audiences and can provide the valuable insight needed to best approach a situation.

Does your company include a PR team member during its planning process? If it doesn’t, why not?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Are you ready for another election?

By: Scott Stein, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

With Donald Trump set to be sworn in as the 45th President in just a few days, the November election is still top-of-mind for electors across the United States. I won’t weigh in one way or the other on the results of the Presidential election, I only want to remind people that another election is just ahead.

Granted, the entire country won’t be focused on one race, but the state and local offices that will be filled with the vote outcome on April 4, 2017 are important.

Throughout Wisconsin various municipal and school board positions will be decided by voters in the non-partisan election. Those elected will make the decisions on the local level that impact city, village and town residents in many ways. It’s the local elected officials who decide how your property tax dollars are spent and what improvements are made in your community.

In addition, Wisconsinites will vote for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, where a primary race will take place in February as Tony Evers seeks re-election. 

As a member of Project VOTE of Brown County, WI, I encourage you to take some time to learn about the candidates who will be on the ballot for the February 21 primary and the April 4 election. Project VOTE is a grassroots, non-partisan, volunteer-based organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout in Brown County.

Our local elections, obviously, don’t get the same attention as the national races. But the decisions made on the local level can affect us all in many different ways. I encourage you to learn about the candidates and get to the polls this spring. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Reporting live from…everywhere. Can your business incorporate live video to reach your audience?

By: Allison Barnes, Account Assistant, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Social media is constantly updating to incorporate new features and compete with other social media platforms. The latest trend seems to be offering live video to show your followers what you’re doing in real time. Facebook now lets users share live video when they launched Facebook Live in 2016 and Twitter lets users rewatch live videos that were made with their live video app Periscope at any time. Instagram is the latest to join in on the craze, offering a live video stream after their November 2016 update. Instagram alerts followers that you are posting live on Instagram story, similar to a Snapchat story, but the live video can only be seen when the video is live and is immediately deleted.

Celebrities and social media users have been using live videos to show followers what they are doing and to talk about their lives. But how can you incorporate Facebook Live or live video into your businesses social media? Here are a few ideas:

  • Set up a demonstration of a new product. Let viewers watch how the product works and learn how to use it from the people who created it. Viewers can comment with questions about the product that could also be answered during the live video. Why not show off a cool feature of the product that viewers may not have known about?
  • Go live at an event that few people can attend, but might be interested in seeing. Sharing a live feed at an athletic event, groundbreaking or a special guest speaker lets the audience feel like they are there even if the event is states away. Offering a sneak peek of a display or new project would be fun to show to followers too.  
  • Post a live interview, question and answer session or news conference. Let followers get to know your company from the CEO and employees. Followers with questions can have them answered immediately and they can learn what is new to your organization.  

Have you or your business tried live video on social media? We would love to hear what you thought!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tis the Season

By: Cole Buergi, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

We’re well into the holiday season and many people have completed their gift shopping or, in some cases, are just about to begin. It’s a happy time spent with family and friends, enjoying good food and exchanging presents. 

It’s also a great time to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. There are many people who will be lucky to get a hot meal, much less a warm place to sleep. 

Fortunately, we have a number of great community organizations that work to make a difference every day of the year, but they need your help. 

Some of the great Green Bay area organizations include:

This is just a short list. There are many other wonderful organizations throughout the area that make a big impact. 

Please consider supporting them and help make this a brighter holiday season for everyone. Any donation, no matter the size, means the world and makes a real difference.

May you all have the Happiest of Holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The crystal ball: Top PR trends for 2017

By: Susan Finco, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

It’s that time of year. No, I’m not talking about the holidays, although it is that time of year. I am talking about predictions. It seems in every industry, people come out with predictions and trends for the New Year. So what do we, at Leonard & Finco, think will be trends in PR this coming year?  Here’s our top 5 list:

5.  Influence of social media. Everything we see indicates the increasing influence of social media; it isn’t going away anytime soon. That doesn’t mean traditional media is dead; quite the opposite.  Traditional media will continue to provide news with a growing emphasis on doing so via social.
4. Social media advertising.  Understanding how social media advertising works, what it will and won’t do, will be essential to good PR efforts.
3. Key words.  Want to extend the reach of your online communication? Key words – especially in headlines – are more important than ever.
2.  More visuals.  It’s the world we live in. Photos. Videos. Live streaming. Some visual element(s) is a must in PR today.
1. Analytics. None of the preceding items are relevant if you don’t know what they are doing for you or if they’re accomplishing your goals.

And while there will always be new trends around the corner, there are some things that WON’T change in the PR world in 2017. Those include:

5.  Continued importance of targeted communication. We are bombarded with more messages than ever before. Make sure your communication efforts are targeted.
4.  Face-to-face conversations still count. Whether it’s in-person or via video, seeing someone face-to-face can make a world of difference when establishing or maintaining strong agency-client relationships.
3.  Having a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’re flying blind. And how do you know if you reached your goals?
2.  Good grammar. Even with all the shortcuts for Tweets and texts, good grammar remains important when trying to get your message across.
1.  Knowing what makes something interesting. Always know what makes your communication efforts interesting to others; be it journalists, co-workers or another business. That’s the hook you need to get them to watch, read and listen.

Is there anything you’d like to add to this list?  We’d love to know.  In the meantime, happy holidays from everyone at Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.!