Tips and information for effective public relations - Summer 2016  

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Name Dropping

Here's a sampling of what's going on with our clients and staff:

Congratulations to The Port of Green Bay for receiving the
Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award
for its increase in international tonnage during the 2015 shipping season. The award was presented by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. This is the Port's 12th Pacesetter award in recognition of an increase in international cargo.
Seymour, WI, the Home of the Hamburger, is holding its 28 th Annual Burger Fest and 16 th Annual Hot Air Balloon Rally this year. The weekend of August 12-14 will feature a 190-pound hamburger, ketchup slide and breathtaking hot air balloon ascensions and glows!
Congratulations to Great Northern! Great Northern Corporation designs, manufactures and distributes packaging solutions and point-of-sale display programs for industrial, commercial and retail products. They've been awarded the first ever Platinum Supplier Award from Hickory Farms. Hickory Farms produces high quality food gifts and baskets sold worldwide; with Great Northern StrataGraph supplying 100 percent of Hickory Farms packaging and display needs from multiple Great Northern facilities.
The Chamber of Marine Commerce is getting into summer festival sponsorships. The Canadian-U.S. organization is taking its message to fest-goers at the Bay View Bash and South Shore Frolics in the Milwaukee area and was among the sponsors at the Green Bay Tall Ships Festival.
Congratulations to
Grande, on the opening of its new home office and research center in
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  The facility was designed to recognize and honor the past, as it reaches for the future, in a way that is sure to become a model for what workplaces can be.
The awards continue for Amerequip, the Kiel, Wisconsin based designer and manufacturer of custom equipment for the lawn, landscape, agricultural and construction markets. It recently received the
Manufacturing Business of the Year Award from the Fox Cities Chamber. Congratulations!
The Parelli Foundation announced the first three recipients of its Future of Horsemanship scholarship awards: Avery Schaffer from Wisconsin, Ada Draghici from Nova Scotia, Canada and Anna Workman from California. These young ladies are well on their way to becoming natural horsemanship professionals.

Quick Quote

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about."
-Benjamin Franklin 
Have a strong brand? Live up to it!

Ever buy a product based on the hype of the brand only to get it home and find out it was just that, hype?  Most everybody has at some point in time. The reality is that when this happens, it makes you reconsider any future purchases of products made by that company.
With today's social media, the unhappy customer can share their negative experience to their family, friends and just about anyone with access to the internet (all potential customers) with a simple click of the mouse.

That's why it is vital for businesses to live their brand.

For example, if your company's brand is about saving the environment, then the company's president shouldn't be driving to work in a gas guzzling, monster truck. Taking it a step further, there should be recycling bins throughout the building and encouragement for employees to actively participate in environmentally friendly activities. In addition, pamphlets could be sent home with employees encouraging them to conserve and recycle resources.

Living your brand should be a company-wide philosophy, not just someone sitting in an office saying that's what our brand is going to be. It comes from the top down and is continually nurtured so that it resonates throughout the company, creating a culture for all employees to experience and take ownership of.  

Key to this is clearly identifying what your brand is and then communicating it. Employees need to know when hired what type of company they are about to work for and what's expected of them. It's important as the employees are your ambassadors and represent your company to their family and friends.

If they're not buying into your brand, why should anyone else?
Conducting a social media audit:  
Is it really necessary?  
Many social media managers make the s ame mistake immediately after taking over their companies' social media. In their excitement to get started and ge t posti ng, they miss a crucial first step - conducting a social media audit. Neglecting a social media audit is like trying to c ome up with a plan to fix a problem before the problem has even been  identified. Big picture problems can often get ignored because the manager is suddenly focusing too much and too soon on posting the first thing that comes to her mind.

A social media audit may sound intimidating, but it's just an assessment of the current social media pages to see what's working and what isn't working. Starting a social media audit is as simple as finding the social media pages. Do they link from the website? Do they pop up in a Google search?

The next step is to determine if the appropriate channels are being utilized. The types of content being posted on these various platforms also needs to be analyzed (e.g. promotional videos, text questions, employee spotlights, etc.). On each individual channel, the "simple" stats, such as the number of likes or followers, should be checked. Engagement rates are extremely important to monitor as well. It will be valuable to note if these stats are improving, staying the same, or maybe even decreasing.


Once this data has been collected, patterns can be analyzed and problems can be isolated. By analyzing the content of the best and worst posts, it will become clear what kinds of posts should be replicated in the future. Those big picture problems should also become obvious and hopefully, so should the solutions. Because of these important insights, a social media audit is not only necessary, it's also very valuable.

Should you tie your business
to a national news story?

Because the media is always "on" and always "live" there is the need to constantly search out new content. Often, when there is a big national or international story, local media looks for local businesses, organizations or individuals that may have ties to the story or have expertise related to the story. For instance, if there is a natural disaster, the media may turn to the local Red Cross or The Salvation Army. If, a few months down the road, rebuilding in that impacted area isn't going as fast as anticipated, local media may turn to area home builders to find out just how long it takes to build a house. In those cases, it doesn't hurt to showcase your expertise.

But, the media may also call when there's a national recall or a controversial study is issued. Generally, you don't want your business or organization tied to that type of negative event. First of all, you probably won't have all of the pertinent details so it could be difficult to make an informed comment. You could also wind up defending your industry or practices or be put into a position of criticizing a competitor. 

So how do you evaluate whether that kind of a news tie is right for your organization?  Ask yourself these questions:  Is the overall story positive or negative? Will I have anything to say that will reflect on my business/industry in a good way? Can I reassure others that something similar is unlikely to happen here? And if you decide to go ahead with the interview, find out all you can about the national/international news story and make sure you've taken the time to develop and practice your main talking points.

Sometimes unsolicited media attention can be a good thing; but other times you may want to take a pass.
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