Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How Interns Add Value to Your Team

By: Ashley Vickney, Intern, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

As a college student and intern, most of my undergraduate career has been focused on gaining experience. While I know the many benefits that come from completing an internship, I thought that professionals might view them differently. Since completing a number of internships, I’ve gained a unique perspective on how interns can add value to a team of professionals.
  1. Fresh Ideas: Interns generally don’t have a lot of industry experience, and that lack of experience can lead to great ideas. Interns have a clean slate when it comes to brainstorming, with that clean slate are able to suggest ideas that may have failed with a different project but would work with another.
  2. New Concepts: As students, interns are learning about the latest industry trends, new techniques and technologies. While many professionals stay up to date with new industry practices, students are being taught them more thoroughly. Their knowledge could give your next project an innovative edge and help simplify some of your daily tasks.
  3. Value at a lower cost: Interns want experience in the basics, so they are willing to sit there and write all of the news releases and event calendars you might need. This not only gives them the ability to develop their skills, but allows more time for your permanent staff members to work on different tasks.
  4. Talent Development: Your new intern may not know everything right away, but developing their talent could lead to a great new hire. It eliminates a lot of training if they become a permanent staff member after graduation. If you aren’t looking for a great new hire, there is something to be said for mentoring the next generation and ensuring the standards of the industry are kept.
While all the benefits may not be financial, training the next generation of professionals is important. There are plenty of us willing to soak up all the knowledge you can give us!

What do you look for in an intern? What value have your interns added to your team?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dogs and Cats living together. Well, at least on Facebook!

By: Steve Scaffidi, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

As I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline this week I noticed that many of the posts involve people's pets and their occasionally entertaining antics, at least in the eyes of my friends and family members. This made me ponder what actually goes into crafting a good post. Not just why dogs and cats are so popular, but what else makes a person reading or viewing a post want to engage, or better yet share it?

I suppose we all understand the universality of pet ownership and how most people relate to that, but what else "sells?" If you look at the most popular or shared Facebook posts of last year, it's a somewhat revealing list of what makes us tick, and how we are willing to invest our precious social media time.  Amazingly,  pets don't crack the top 50 until number 38, but numbers 39, 41, and 45 all involve dogs or cats, and if you really want to see a dog waiting for a treat, tucking in a baby, or teaching a baby to jump, Google the top 50 Facebook posts of 2014 and enjoy!

Here's a quick breakdown of the list:

  • Universal Picture's "Minions" make the top 5 twice, proving that everybody loves animated movie characters.  The trailer for the movie "Minions" also made the list at number 22.
  • Weird things couples fight about comes in at number 8, proving that we're nothing if we're not curious about what everybody else's relationship is like.
  • Speaking of movie trailers, they are also very popular. The trailers for Furious 7, Minions, Jurassic World, Cinderella and Fifty Shades of Grey all make the list.
What did I learn by searching and watching the 50 most popular posts of 2014? Well, humor is important. So if your goal is to engage as many people as possible with a Facebook post or a 140 character tweet, I don't think you can go wrong with a quick video link featuring your dog dressed up as a minion, or any movie character for that matter.
But if you really want to go viral, why not go all out and spend the budget on a really good video camera, and just film everything. At some point, something amazing or wonderful will happen, and your 15 minutes of fame will arrive. But wait, that's just reality TV isn't it?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ten Things That Make PR Pros Happy

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
It would be fairly easy to come up with a long list of things PR pros don’t like. After all, it’s human nature to complain. But I prefer to focus on the positives. So, what makes PR pros happy? Here are my observations along with some comments from friends and colleagues (in no particular ranking):

  • “Seeing a positive, front-page newspaper article about my company.” - Jackie Olson, ATC Corporate Communications
  • Clients that understand successful PR is an “all the time” thing and not a “one and done” effort
  • Good reporter relationships
  • “The excitement of a successful client product launch.” - Cole Buergi, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
  • Tackling a crisis situation and getting the outcome you hoped for
  • “Articles or social media praising a PR team that was proactive and did something right.” -Dana Jermstad, Prevea Health,  Integrated Media Supervisor
  • A media monitoring service that is honest about what it can – and can’t – capture
  • Putting two clients together for a collaborative effort that works out even better than expected
  • “Writing a column and having it come together quickly and in a way that you feel good about it.” - Scott Stein, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
  • Networking.  With each other. With clients. With complete strangers. We’re in PR after all!

What things make you happy as a PR pro?  I know there are dozens of additional items to add to this list!