Tips and information for effective public relations - Spring 2017 

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Here's a sampling of what's going on with our clients and staff:
under construction in the Titletown District across from Lambeau Field welcomed VIPs and the media for a Hard Hat Tour on April 6. The 4-diamond hotel is slated to open in mid-July.

Green Bay's Austin Straubel International Airport is now officially "The Gateway to Lambeau Field." In an announcement involving the airport and the Green Bay Packers , it was explained that the Packers and GRB have had a long and mutually beneficial working relationship and this designation recognizes the importance of both organizations to the community.

Amerequip ®, a Wisconsin-based designer and manufacturer of custom equipment for the lawn, landscape, agricultural, construction and industrial markets, has received the first ever Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) "Bert Grover Child Advocacy Award - Business." Amerequip created, launched and raised more than $315 thousand in less than 12 months for a comprehensive network of underfunded programs at two area school districts.
PPG has opened a nearly $3 million expansion for packaging coatings manufacturing at its Oak Creek, WI facility. The new generation of food-can coatings is designed to help canmakers and brand-owners meet increasing food-contact regulatory requirements. The expansion garnered extensive business and trade media coverage.

Looking for a PR expert's analysis of the United Airlines situation, 620 WTMJ radio in Milwaukee interviewed Leonard & Finco's Susan Finco during an extended segment on the crisis.

  Congratulations to the Port of Green Bay which received its 13th Pacesetter Award in 25 years. The Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award is presented annually to those ports that register year-on-year increases in international overseas cargo tonnage shipped through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. The Port of Green Bay moved over 90,000 tons of international cargo on 11 ships in 2016, an increase of approximately 1,200 tons from 2015.
Congratulations to Wisconsin Plastics Inc. (WPI). The manufacturer's innovative hand towel dispenser, PROvider, was recently featured in Crain's Plastics News magazine in its Best Practices section. It was also highlighted in Mould & Die World Magazine.

While every day is a celebration of the Virgin Mary at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, May is the Month of Mary for the Catholic Church. Marian Day takes place at the Champion Shrine on
May 18 and will feature Fr. Francisco Pereira, Chaplain of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. His visit to the area follows just days after the start of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima, Portugal.

Crisis Management 101:
What your organization can learn from the United Airlines fiasco
Let's face it; most people are still scratching their heads over the United Airlines fiasco. It certainly ranks among the top crisis communications blunders in recent history. Although United legally had the right to remove paying passengers to make room for a flight crew that needed to be in another city; the way it unfolded was inexcusable and deserving of the scorn and controversy that followed.

While I could speculate for hours about what went wrong and why, it might be more valuable to look at the situation to see what your business or organization could learn from the mess. The following are my five top takeaways and recommendations:
  1. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Legal rights are one thing; treating paying customers badly because you are sticking to your rights as a company is another. Let common sense dictate policies and procedures and give your workforce the flexibility to adapt to crisis situations. If passengers on the United flight had been offered more money or larger vouchers to give up their seats, I believe they would have had more than enough volunteers.
  2. Understand that, especially in the public arena, everything is fair game on social media. It's not necessarily a level playing field out there. A negative story or situation can gain ground in a matter of minutes, so you have to be prepared. A good crisis communication plan or framework can be your best friend in times of crisis.
  3. Respond quickly and appropriately. With the instantaneous world of social media, you don't have a lot of time when a crisis hits. Gather your leadership team to assess what happened and then develop your response. You don't have to provide every little detail, but you do need to be honest and appropriate in whatever you say.
  4. Use four key points when responding. Keep it short, simple and in this order:
    • Express sympathy or concern for anyone who was hurt, impacted or injured
    • Explain what happened (to the best of your knowledge at the time)
    • Explain why it happened (and if you don't know, or are trying to find out, that's an acceptable statement; at least initially).
    • Explain what you're going to do about it. Doing nothing but hiding behind your policies or procedures isn't an option. There's always room for improvement.
  5. Follow through and follow up. If you are going to reevaluate your policies and procedures, then do it. And, when you're done, let your employees, customers and the media know what changes or adjustments you're making. If nothing changes, your next crisis will be even worse than the first.
In the months to come, someone will write a textbook about the United crisis fiasco and PR students will be studying it for years. Will United recover from this? I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but it won't be quick or easy and that's not something you want to happen to your organization.

The preceeding column by Susan Finco was recently featured in the May 1 edition of The Business News.
Ready, set, run:
breaking down Facebook advertising
What two steps come before you run? Get ready and get set. The same steps need to happen before running a Facebook ad. You have to get ready with a campaign plan and get the ad set up. Then, you can start running the ad!
Facebook advertising might seem simple because you can decide to run an ad on Facebook and actually start running it the very same day. But it really does require more planning than that. You have to make strategic decisions about marketing objectives, targeted audiences, budget and ad design. In Facebook Ad Manager, where you can set up your ad, the structure is broken down to help you think strategically about each of those areas, from campaign to ad set to ad. Here's the breakdown on each one:
  1. Campaign. This is the highest level of your advertising plan. All you have to do at this level is name your campaign and choose your Objective. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish, for example, spread your brand message or get people to your website?
  2. Ad Set. Here you'll determine the Audience, Placements and Budget & Schedule of your ads. Plan out the timeline and identify your ideal customer in order to set this up strategically.
  3. Ads. Finally, you actually set up your ads. The Format is the first thing you have to decide; more or less the format is just a choice between one image, multiple images or video. The last thing to set up is the Page & Text, which is basically the ad itself; it's the image and the text of your specific ad.
There's a lot more detail to each step, but hopefully, this helps explain the way Facebook structures their advertising. These are the things you need to decide before jumping in and running a Facebook ad. So get ready, get set and then run your Facebook ad!

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Quick Quote

"Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language."
- Walt Disney