Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keep your PR plan up to date for success

By: Angela Raleigh, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
No matter where your business is in its fiscal year, with the first quarter of the year under our belts, it’s a good time to pull out your PR plan for 2012 and see how you’re doing. PR requires a consistent and persistent approach to be effective, but flexibility and a recognition that things will change over time are also important.

Let’s face it, we’re all busy. But staying on top of your plan can truly help you in the long run. If you haven’t looked at your PR plan in quite some time, or don’t have a PR plan in place, here are some things you’ll want to consider:
  • Research. Understand your company’s goals and research ways to achieve those goals. This is a vital in PR because it helps guide the planning process that affects future success.
  • Develop strategies and tactics to meet those goals. Be realistic in developing a list of activities that will produce results. Once your plan is in place, create a task and timeline that will help you get things started. It will also help everyone understand what is to be accomplished and who will be responsible for each activity.
  • Lastly, keep things fresh and be flexible. As we all know, the company goals, the PR industry, target markets and the economy can all change creating a need for adjustments. There is no guarantee that strategies and tactics that were successful in the past will be moving forward. Additionally, strategies that work in one situation may not work in another. Be sure to create a workable PR plan that can be tailored depending on the current market conditions to achieve the desired result.
Remember there’s no magic in PR. It’s about being consistent and persistent in following a plan and knowing how to reach the target market to communicate information in a timely manner. What do you do to keep your PR plan up to date and on the path to success?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Those little icons are everywhere?

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

As I sat and watched the NHL playoffs last night I noticed a Twitter Hashtag in the corner of the screen (#StanleyCup) and decided to check it out. I was treated to tweets from hundreds of other hockey fans, some with similar thoughts on how the games were going, many with differing opinions.

The timing was perfect as I came to work the next day and came across a news story about a survey showing “U.S. Consumers Receptive to Social Media Appearing on Their TV Screens.” The survey of 1,000 U.S. television viewers was conducted by Accenture.

The survey, conducted in March, found that:
  • 64 percent for viewers recalled seeing social media symbols (Facebook, Twitter, QR codes, etc…) while watching TV 
  • 33 percent indicated they had actually interacted with social media after seeing one of the symbols on their television screen
  • 20 percent said they’d interacted by “liking” the TV program on Facebook
  • 11 percent responded that they had scanned a QR code
  • 7 percent said they searched for a Hashtag on Twitter

Digging a bit deeper, the survey also found that the biggest motivation in going to social media during a television show was to get more information about a show, product or service (43 percent). Another 32 percent said they did so to get coupons or promotional codes, while 31 percent said they did so to enter a contest. Other reasons listed included, watching another video (26 percent), interacting about the show or product (26 percent) and connecting with others with similar interests (21 percent).

The survey also found that nearly three out of every four respondents (74 percent) who went to social media after seeing one of the symbols on TV said it “met expectations.”

I’ll admit that I’ve reached the point where I’m often using my phone and checking social media sites while watching TV – particularly sporting events. And with survey results like this, there’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing more and more social media symbols as we watch our favorite TV programs in the future.

Do you pay attention to Facebook, Twitter or other social media symbols on your TV screen? Have you gone to a social media site after seeing a symbol on TV?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Now that is good PR, even though it wasn’t meant to be

By: Cole Buergi, Vice President Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Reporter Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star reported today that he received a call Thursday from NFL quarterback Peyton Manning (formerly of the Colts and now with the Broncos) to say thanks for his work over the years and express his appreciation to him and his colleagues.

It was a personal call and when Wilson expressed his respect for Manning’s years with the Colts and the respect he has gained by so many fans, Manning said, “Tell the fans I appreciated them too.” Had he not said this, Phillip may have never shared this story but kept it as a personal memory for himself. However, as a result of Manning’s request, Phillip shared the story publicly.

I’m appreciative to Wilson for sharing it. All too often, you hear about the negative happenings in sports and don’t hear about the truly wonderful things that the players, coaches and their families do in a community. It may sound strange that I really like this story because it’s about a simple thank you phone call that speaks volumes about the kind of person Manning is.

Some may say that Manning made the call as a publicity effort. In my heart, I don’t believe this was a calculated PR move by Peyton, but a reflection of a man who truly cares for the community and the people who have been involved with his life and career. I believe he cares for the them, no matter how big a role they play in his life and that he will very much miss a team and a community that has supported him for so many years.

What are your thoughts? Would it be nice to hear more stories about the good things athletes do?

I wish Manning the best of luck in Denver and that he’s continues his success, except when it comes to playing against the Green & Gold.

Wilson’s full article can be read at:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Was the media out to get pink slime?

By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

Recent news stories and public disgust over pink slime, a beef filler made from left over trimmings that is added to ground beef has caused quite a media stir in recent days. And now it has been reported that AFA Foods, a major supplier of pink slime, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy sighting poor sales due to the public outcry over the product.

This is not the first time that there have been reports about pink slime. But with greater access to news, Facebook, Twitter and blog posts, the public has more of a voice than ever before. And while some people (like the governor of Iowa) are calling this a smear campaign by the media, are reporters really the ones to blame?

What the news media did was share the facts and inform the public. From there, social media helped countless people spread the word at lightning speed and provided a platform on which to speak. As writer Andrew Leonard recently put it: “Pink slime was born for the Twitter era. When you only have 140 characters to spread the news, “pink slime” packs all the wallop you need.”

ABC News first broke the story and stayed with it, almost “pushing” the issue as some would say. But I don’t necessarily think that the media is to blame for the public’s fervent demand to rid the universe of pink slime. I don’t think anyone could have planned for the reaction that came to be.

Case in point: About a day after the USDA publicly stated that it still planned to purchase seven million pounds of pink slime for the school lunch program, well- known blogger Bettina Siegal posted an online petition on asking the U.S. Government to stop using pink slime. A week later, the petition had more than 200,000 online signatures. I don’t think the reaction here was media driven. It simply showed the voice that social media can provide to an informed public.

So, did the media lead the American public to make the decision it did? Or, did media outlets simply report on the facts and let viewers be the judge? I mean, now that you know about pink slime, would you eat it?