Friday, September 19, 2014

Finally, I can upgrade

By: Cole Buergi, VP of Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Like so many others, I’ve been anxiously awaiting Apple’s launch of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. 

Granted, I’m not crazy enough, nor do I have the kind of free time, to pull up a lawn chair and perch outside an Apple store for two weeks, wanting to be the first to get my hands on one. Yes, it’s hard to believe people would do this but, on the other hand, there could be worse things in life to waste your time on. In the words of my dad, “At least they’re not out stealing hub caps.”

My enthusiasm stems from the fact that I still have the iPhone 4. I passed on upgrading to the newer version, iPhone 5 or 5s, simply because the changes weren’t significant enough to warrant spending the extra money. Oh yeah, and also because I was still under contract which would have added significantly more cost to upgrade.

But alas, my contract has ended and the new phones are just what I was hoping for. For one, they are bigger which, I hope, also means the keyboard for typing is larger.  My wife giggles at me often for sending her the message, “I love you.” At least, that’s what I intend to type. Instead, because my fat fingers don’t do well on the little keyboard, I often text her, “I live you.” Mis-typed words happen frequently but, thanks to my wife’s keen deciphering abilities, she is surprisingly able to understand most of what I text her.

We are both grateful I’m not a high level government official sending texts to other world leaders. I’m pretty sure my texting errors would have started World War III by now. At the very least, a small border skirmish with Canada.

Besides the increased size, there’s also a better camera, faster processing and a host of new features I’m looking forward to trying out. 

My biggest problem now, besides determining whether I want the 6 or 6 Plus, is waiting the few weeks until they become available locally. Oh well, I’ve waited this long, what’s a few more days going to hurt?  

Are you planning to get the new iPhone? If yes, were you a hold out like me and which do you plan to get? What do you use your phone for, work or purely personal?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The ‘M’ Word

By Kristen Paquet, Sr. Account Executive

In order for a communications plan to be effective you need to take a well-rounded approach to the development of the plan, its implementation and, of course, the dreaded ‘M’ word… measurement.

I know, it’s not glamorous, and not always an exciting job, but measuring your progress and/or success is quite necessary. How can you tell if what you are doing is effective, or if the message you want to share is being heard, if you don’t ask the audience you are trying to reach?  

Many people think that measuring progress is full of mathematical equations and pie charts, but there are really only a few things you need to know to get started:

Know what you want to measure before you start. When developing a communications plan, determine the goals you want to meet and how you will measure your success. Doing this during the planning stage will help ensure that when it comes time to measure your success you’ll be asking the right questions.

Measurement can take many forms. Measurement doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It can be a quick online survey, using statistics generated from a website or social media platform or reactions from target group. Just be sure to choose a measurement tool that resonates best with your audience and will provide the most accurate results.

Do it often, but not too much. Measuring the success of your communications campaign after the first year is critical, but don’t rest on the results of just one year. Consider conducting some form of measurement on a semi-annual basis to make sure you are still meeting the goals you set, are considering new goals and reaching your audience.

Friday, September 5, 2014

I can’t sleep…should I be more productive?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been having some trouble sleeping lately. I find that I wake up during the night and I’m wide awake. Then I came across a blog from marketing and public relations guru Peter Shankman on the very subject…“Five ways to turn occasional insomnia into productivity.”
Shankman’s five include:

  1. Listen to the other side of the world 
  2. Learn some new things  
  3.  Workout 
  4.  Meet new friends 
  5.  Handle annoying tasks

Let me tell you right off the top, I won’t be looking to do a workout when I wake up and can’t sleep during the night and probably won’t be heading out to meet new friends at 3 a.m.

But “listening to the other side of the world” holds some interest. In fact, my Instagram account includes a number of photographers from around the world and there are always some interesting posts that pop up while I’m sleeping or at least trying to sleep. Shankman suggests going on Twitter and looking for people who are currently tweeting using hashtags within your industry or other items of interest.

Shankman also suggests using this new free time to try out new things that might improve productivity, including checking out to “get the latest apps, programs and browser extensions to make you more productive.”

As for handling those annoying tasks, we all know what they are; from cleaning out your inbox to filing papers to updating your checkbook log.

My hope, of course, is that, starting tonight, I’ll be able to sleep through the night. If that doesn’t happen, maybe I’ll try some of these suggestions.

How about you? Would you consider increasing productivity when you should be sleeping?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Death of the Deadline

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

RIP the media deadline. One of the most common questions asked by PR professionals everywhere is “What’s your deadline?”  We still ask it, but I think it’s more out of habit than anything else. We all  know the answer is, “As soon as possible.” And that answer applies to TV, radio, newspaper and online. Today, even before an interview is given, a call is made, facts are gathered or the story is actually written, tidbits of the “news” will hit social media. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad – for journalists, PR people or the general public.

We all turn to social media the minute something happens and then generally wait for the full story to unfold. It certainly satisfies our need to know in a very timely way. (Can you say “Instant gratification for news junkies?”) But I’m not sure it satisfies the need to be accurate, fair or balanced; to have the whole story (or at least most of it) before it becomes public. We often don’t have time to think or gather information before responding to journalists’ calls and they don’t have time to develop the full picture before having to post or Tweet about it. I know it’s frustrating for them as well, but that’s the world we live in. So, RIP media deadline, it was nice knowing you.

So, what do you think about the death of the deadline? Is it good, bad or just the way things are?

The PR Experts

Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
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