Monday, March 2, 2009

PR job openings round-up

Yes, jobs are tough to find, especially now. We see hundreds of people waiting in lines for only an opportunity to see company representatives at job fairs on the news. The percentage of unemployed people in every state is creeping higher. Yet, the market isn't completely dry. Prepare for fierce competition, but here are a few openings around the country:

Here's just a sample from the Public Relations Society of America Job Center:

American Water Company External Affairs/Government Affairs Manager OH
Ohio American Water has an opening in Marion, OH for an External Affairs Manager to provide senior-level communications counsel to the state president and senior management team and to develop, coordinate, implement and manage all external communications and government affairs activities to support the success of the state business plan and operating objectives.

Red Bull North America Media Relations Specialist CA, IL, GA
The Regional Communications Specialist (RCS) will assist the Regional Communications Manager (RCM) in strategically positioning Red Bull’s editorial communication of all marketing activity across all appropriate media channels across a Business Unit (BU) including print, television, radio and internet. The RCS will assist in generating media coverage for select Red Bull events, projects, teams and athletes in the BU – maximizing the impact of these initiatives via high profile and strategically placed media content.

Tipton Communications Public Relations Specialist/Writer Newark, DE
Coordinate and implement the day-to-day public relations efforts, develop marketing communications programs, support employee communications efforts and serve as the front-line representative to the media.
* Develop press materials on behalf of clients.
* Conduct media contact and follow-up, secure placements and coordinate media coverage and interviews.
* Develop marketing communications plans for clients.
* Develop a thorough understanding of the client’s business and industry.
* Develop strong working relationships with client peers and managers.
* Attend client meetings and prepare client reports.
* Develop and present plans as necessary.
* Supervise the development and maintenance of project schedules and status reports.
* Regularly update supervisors on the account, client requests, upcoming projects, status, etc.
* Manage the development and updating of media lists.
* Manage all press release distribution.
* Keep track of media placements for compilation, assembly and presentation to clients.

New York State Nurses Association Assistant Director, Communications NY
Edit and write articles for member newsletter. Prepare fliers and brochures for production and coordinate with art department. Conduct media relations activities, including issuing press releases and maintaining press contacts. Improve and expand department's social media capabilities.

From O’Dwyer’s Public Relations News

LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. Public Relations Manager Portland, Oregon
LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. (Nasdaq: BOOT) is a leading developer and marketer of branded, premium and innovative footwear for expert users at work and in the outdoors.

Responsible for planning, development, implementation and tracking of public relations and communications activities for the Danner and LaCrosse brands, and for the LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. holding company.

The essential functions of the position include:
· Brand & Product Public Relations: Planning and execution of brand and product-related public relations programs targeting consumer publications and media outlets to support LaCrosse & Danner brand and business initiatives. Primary goal of public relations activities will be top stories, product placement, field tests, reviews and new product introductions in publications reaching each brand’s target customers.

* Manage all media contacts and serve as media liaison. Identify key media targets and actively pitch top stories to support brand and business initiatives. Develop talking points and other materials for management and staff as needed to handle media interviews. Educate and train staff on media relations skills, and assist with interviews. Serve as spokesperson when appropriate.

* Manage all elements of media relations programs, including developing and maintaining media contact lists; writing press releases and creating media kits; coordinating mailings; shipping samples; tracking and organizing media clips; reporting media activity and placements internally and externally on a monthly basis. Coordinate media relations activities related to trade show appearance for Danner and LaCrosse brands and serve as on-site media relations contact.

* Trade Public Relations: Development and execution of public relations activities targeting trade audiences, including retail dealers, vendors and competitors in the sporting, occupational, uniform and footwear/apparel markets. Primary goals of activities will be editorial placements about new products and product lines; company activities and developments; and other activities in support of corporate goals.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A few ideas: How do you get more fans for your Facebook page?

As a thank you for creating my super cute blog header, I agreed to help my friend Andy get started on Facebook with his band’s Facebook page. By the way, you can find them on Facebook if you search StereotypeAtl.

With two days live, I haven't grabbed too many fans. The band's gonna have to track down their faithful fans. And the idea is that unless you're The Police, you're going having to put a little more effort toward building relationships with the fans at your gigs and other musicians. But here’s what I’ve learned from setting up a music fan page and it might help you, too:

  • Send an e-mail out to your fan e-mail list and ask them to be a fan.
  • Keep taking your e-mail sign-up list to all of your gigs and message new friends and ask them to be a fan. (But not at the same time, Facebook sees this as spam and will slap your wrist with a temporary freeze on your account.)
  • Create an e-mail signature with a link to your Facebook page in your signature.
  • Put the Facebook logo on all of your communications, print and pieces online with saying something like: You’ll find us on Facebook. Just type ______(the name of your band, or the name that would take them to your page) in the search box.
  • Send some e-mails to your friends on my space and tell them you’re also on FB. Be careful not to send out HUGE e-mails, because you don’t want to be found guilty of spam.
  • Build your own personal/musicish profile on Facebook and once you develop relationships online with your new friends, ask them to consider being a fan, too.
Anybody got more ideas? What else has worked for you?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Well, hello again!

The Online Marketer Blog helped me figure to ‘splain my absence on this blog. Click here for the post

By writing about why you haven't written, not only do people learn more about you, and what makes you human, you can promote the other cool things you’ve been up to.

So here goes:

- I’ve been thinking about what I really want to accomplish with this blog. That analysis includes reading more of what others write and figuring how I belong in this group of PR people online. I am still working on this.
- I begged my favorite graphic designer and friend Andy Meeks to help me with a better looking header. My old one was plain and was uninspiring. It's amazing what a little color and creativity can do.
- I’ve spent more time with my family. My parents are 50-plus and my dad’s been feeling a little puny as he lives with congestive heart failure. They live eight hours away so I’ve made two trips home and enjoyed being with them. This has done wonders for my emotional well being. I highly recommend reconnecting with your folks.
- Volunteering is something else I’ve slacked off on. And I’ve been working at a consignment shop (in addition to my full-time job) for mostly women and spending time with folks with developmental disabilities. This has also contributed to my overall health. Volunteering or reaching out to others is one of the essentials of life, especially for people with depression.

And now, I want to be connect more with you. What would you like to see me do better? What would you like to hear about?

Thank you Online Marketer Blog. I hope you aren't too mad about me stealing your idea.

Check out this perkier blog!

In hopes of having a better looking blog – I’ve asked my designer/music friend ( Andy Meeks to help me out.

Thankfully he agreed and I agreed to help his band do a little social networking through Facebook. The idea is that this chick in this header represents me in my best form. Happy, thinking creatively and writing a lot. I think it brings energy to the page.

What do you think about it?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Facebook makes us nicer online

Maybe it’s because I have nice friends on Facebook but I think this Facebook thing is making people nicer online.

Know how much restraint it takes to not fire off a nasty e-mail because a friend is being just too much? And when we send an e-mail about a co-worker to a friend but actually sent it to the offender? That one is very hard to fix.

We self-edit with Facebook.
But with Facebook’s transparency, we self-edit the image we want to project to the world. That’s possibly thousands and thousands of friends, co-workers, maybe even potential love interests who can read any wall post, comment, and status update we write. Who wants to look like a jerk? We end up not calling out women who run off with our husbands or lashing out for someone doing other things that hurt us. We just focus our attention on other friends and they’ll write nice things on our walls.

Friends can help us, so we have to mind our manners.
See, having lots of friends on Facebook is the key for many and anything to jeopardize that is just stupid. Facebook has turned into a place where we not only stay in touch with friends and families but it’s a door to experts when you have questions, or even a pick-me-up after a bad day etc.

Let me know if you find examples that prove me wrong.

Here are summaries of examples of the closest things I could find to Facebook meanness lately:
- 2009 is a new year to start over and I don’t need some of you stupid people anyway.
- Mary Poppins, you are all that and a bag of chips, aren’t you?
- I have just had it with people, really.
- A colleague stole my idea and got credit for it. But I don’t want to say anything to him because he just lost his son. (Wow, think your other colleagues DON’T know who this person is? You sure are being nice, aren’t ya?)
- I am the alpha female and understand why certain women are jealous. And you know who you are.
- I am not working another extra hour or Sunday for The Man.

None of these are that bad.

One exception to this idea, however: A lot of Facebook pages are based on Super Heroes, fictitious people and TV stars, like this one: where some page owners write some gruesome stories about their characters and vent. But Facebook has been shutting down those pages.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Help me not make the Bad Pitch Blog :)

Our big State Games is coming up next weekend and now's the time for me to pitch a few human interest stories to a few reporters in the metro-Atlanta area. Below are the type of pitches I send out. Note: The blanks are where names and locations would be.

There's a well-known blog called the Bad Pitch Blog dedicated to crappy pitches. I
don't want to make a headline there. So, how would you improve these pitches?

Pitch 1: Dear _____,

I thought you might be interested in a story about a local man who will attempt to break a world record next weekend.

Elliott English will attempt to break the 10-year-old record next weekend at (specific) State Games next weekend. The record, a 1,000 pound deadlift, was set by Elliot's teammate Mark Bigham at World Games. Elliott plans to lift 1,500 pounds at the power lifting competition.

English will remain in the (city) area until mid-week when he travels to the Games. Both athletes train at the ______. To find out how one and now potentially two athletes from the same agency learn not only life and work skills at the center, but how to break world records, please call me so I can set up the interview.

Pitch 2: Dear ______,

I thought you would you be interested a feature story about a group of older adults with special needs and how they stay connected to their community, when typically most in their population tend to live sedentary lives.

For several reasons, people with intellectual disabilities risk leading sedentary lives. The reasons: many are cut off from social activities and making friends; and some are not as likely as others to be employed or live independently, according to studies by the University of Massachusetts and Yale University. But this group of former ____________ who no longer compete, use music and performance to the odds.

With this special needs choir members perform for the community and at church and develop friendships. The choir sings and signs _______, ________, _______ and ________. Last year the group performed at ________ in front of their former teammates. And they wore medals too, given by the choir director.

To find out how the choir works in the lives of the former athletes, please give me a call.

Here are a few tips I picked up from other PR people and at conferences:

1. Pitch a story one to one reporter at a time. And tell them that. You can even say, "you're the only writer I'm sending this story to, so will you let me know by (day), (date) if you're interested in pursuing this story?"

2. Just like any writer would do, think of something you would want to tell your family over dinner. That's your pitch. Other families would like to hear these stories too.

3. Keep the pitch short.

4. Go ahead and tell the story as you would see in the newspaper: use a good lead and a nutgraph to show why the story is important.

So, PR people: What are your favorite tips for story pitching?

Reporters/writers: What works for you? What doesn't?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Twitter, Twitter, not so bitter about you anymore: Plus, a Twitter testimony from writer Melissa Oyler

I shrugged off Twitter this summer because I didn’t understand it. One, I couldn’t figure out how to find other public relations people on this social networking site to follow and two, why would anyone care “What I’m doing”? After messaging a few people and stealing some of their people to follow, I got it. You can keep up with friends and share information and interesting articles with your e-colleagues on Twitter. I think you should check it out, too.

I follow 62 people who are friends, other PR people or my newest favorite friends: social media experts. Some people follow a 1,000 people or plus, but I like to only follow a few people that know the most about PR and social media. Otherwise, the conversation gets too noisy for me. But you can connect with me here, if you like. ☺

Here’s what I learned during those first few months:
- Try not to tweet much more than providing an interesting link or a light-hearted note of what news is breaking or something funny heard in the office. And something encouraging to others is also very nice.
- It’s also very important to be quiet and listen first. Just like joining a new real person group or starting a new job, no one really likes a Ms. Smarty pants declaring undeniable truths without introducing herself gently first.
- Execs tweet about important meetings or newsy stuff. Or, they tweet about a new kick-butt product or their next TV interview time and channel.
You can also find out what’s being said about you and/or your company by using these links:
2. Alerts will be e-mailed when someone mentions our organization.
3. Twitscoop.

I ended up with positive results.

With Twitter, I was able to connect with top-notch PR social media people, who otherwise may have been hard to reach, like the CEO of Zappos. Several of the people I followed reviewed my first social media strategy and offered help. They answered my questions about how to get You Tube to open as a TV screen on a Web page and what in the world ROI is. Still haven't worked on either of those things, but at least I sorta know what they are!

In an e-mail, I asked my a colleague and talented writer Melissa Oyler, who has her own blog and is working on her first novel, to share what she’s gotten out of Twitter:

Melissa wrote:
“What I expected to get out of it was some social networking that would hopefully lead to increased visits to my blog, What I didn't expect was for it to change my life.

I don't know most of my Twitter followers in real life. This makes it different for me than myspace and Facebook. I found followers based on common interests - graphic design, writing mostly. What has resulted is a huge outpouring of creativity among me and my new peers. When I was writing a novel in November, my peers provided encouragement and I was able to track my progress and theirs. It even helped me to jump start my new web site,, which I had thought was still a year or more out.

I was sick this week and spent a couple of days barely online. I found I was just as curious what my Twitter networkers were doing as I was my real-life friends. When I'm having a bad day, they are there to provide encouragement. We know about each other's families, likes and dislikes, jobs. Some of them are now my friends on Facebook and some of them I email and Instant Message with. When I say Twitter has changed my life, I mean it. I will never again lament for the days in which I have creative buddies again. I will never again feel lonely working from home. And yes, my blog has gotten more hits! Which in turn makes me want to write more because I know they are reading.”

You can follow Melissa here.