Chapter Events

  • Fast Five with Deirdre Breakenridge, 2018 Social Media Summit Keynote Speaker

    Deirdre K. Breakenridge is Chief Executive Officer at Pure Performance Communications. A veteran in PR, marketing and branding, Breakenridge is the author of six books, including “Answers for Modern Communicators”, “Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional”, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” and “PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.

    Deidre teaches online PR and social media courses for the UMASS at Amherst  and for Rutgers University’s PR Certificate course. She is also the host of a podcast program, Women Worldwide, interviewing women around the globe who are encouraged to share their incredible stories, educating, imparting advice and offering insights to show listeners. Women Worldwide has recently joined the C- Suite Radio Network, where Deirdre is recognized as a C-Suite Advisor.

    Deirdre will be the opening keynote speaker at the 2018 Social Media Summit on May 11 at Bentley University.  Join Deirdre and a host of other speakers for an amazing day as we explore how social media is being integrated in communications strategies at some of the region’s most visible brands.  Learn more and get your tickets here

    What prompted you to start PR Expanded?

    I launched PR Expanded (formerly PR 2.0) when I was researching and writing my book PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools and New Audiences. The blog was a way to document my social media journey, share topics covered in the book and gauge community member reactions and thoughts that I would include in my manuscript. Since the launch of PR 2.0, I’ve rebranded my blog as PR Expanded, which represents the many opportunities for PR professionals today. PR Expanded continues to showcase new roles and practices in PR as a result of the changing media landscape, advancing technologies and shifting consumer behaviors.

    What is a recent winning move your social media team has made for a client?

    We work with a digital marketing agency that is taking a stand on Artificial Intelligence and marketing ethics. A recent study of 6,000 consumers in the US, UK and Germany reveals consumer attitudes and concerns about AI. Our team was able to immerse ourselves in the survey data to come up with creative pitch angles. Our pitches have led to more media exposure in the form of byline articles, Q&A guest posts, radio interviews and expert commentary in business, technology and industry trade publications.

    What top deliverables do you look for in your social media team?

    Your social media team must deliver outcomes for your business. Yes, there are communication goals as a result of your campaigns, but you’re also tying what you do to higher-level business goals. A social media team that has a purpose and goals and sets up a measurement program that shows how social media directly relates to sales and lead generation, marketing optimization, customer satisfaction or brand health, is a team that gets the attention of the company leaders.

    What big goals or programs do you want your social media team to accomplish this year?

    Companies need to share stories and share meaningful information with the public, but they also need to create a sharing culture on the inside of the organization. Our social media teams are focused on igniting employee champions within the organization to create more strategic participation and greater momentum and engagement through employee networks. As a rule, good communication (including social media communication) starts on the inside of the company.

    What do you look for in a social media professional when you are hiring?

    A social media professional needs a balance of IQ and Emotional Quotient (EQ). It’s great when a candidate knows the areas of social media management, data and analytics and good writing and communication skills. However, the EQ is important when you’re dealing with a community and any issues or concerns that may arise. Showing EQ means stepping back to evaluate a situation in a social media community and having more empathy for your customer. When you blend the strategic with the empathy, you can solve problems and prevent the escalation of issues for your brand.

    When your clients just don’t get social media, how do you explain it?

    When clients don’t understand social media you have to show them why it matters in their world. Showing them could mean sharing the results of a competitor audit and how the competition uses social media. You might also reveal that the top companies in their industry are using social media to attract the best talent. You can also share how their customers, employees, media, and other important stakeholders are on social media giving them a reason to monitor or to engage directly. For these clients, it could be a crawl, walk run approach to get them comfortable with social media and understanding the meaning and value for their business.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at josh@joshuamilnepr.com and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 

  • Fast Five with Melissa Mann, EF Education First

    Melissa Mann is the social media and content manager for EF Education First, the world’s largest international education company and #1 Top Place to Work in the Boston Globe’s 2017 list. Melissa got her start as a fashion copywriter and remembers the day Instagram launched—she’s worked in social media ever since. She’ll be sharing her knowledge at the 2018 Social Media Summit on May 11 at Bentley University.  Learn more and register here.

    What prompted you to join EF Education First?

    I was working in the fashion industry, managing social media for an ecommerce brand and had the wakeup call that I didn’t actually care about fashion. Since studying abroad in college, I’d realized the benefit of travel and felt very strongly about the doors and perspectives it opened. So when I started asking myself what my values were and looking to align my work with something I believed in, travel was the theme. I found EF Education First through a former colleague and once I learned more about what EF stands for—opening the world through education and breaking down barriers through travel, cultural exchange, and language learning—I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Walking in, you can really feel the culture and the passion of the people who work at EF. I haven’t looked back.

    Do you have a favorite social media campaign? 

    I love seeing what other brands are doing in the social space and there are always a ton of good ideas out there. I really like what Southwest is doing with their “every seat has a story” campaign—it feels a bit like what we’re trying to do at EF with our storytelling and focus on our people. I am also a huge fan girl of Wendy’s on Twitter. They really own their voice and have such a strong personality that actually encourages other brands to pitch in. They’re super fun to watch.

    What are the most common mistakes – and winning moves – social media managers make?

    I think one common mistake is trying to retro-fit a channel to a solution. We’re always looking out for “the next big thing” and it’s easy to get wrapped into the craze of “let’s do this on Facebook live!” or “let’s add 5 polls to our Instagram stories!” I think it’s important to be able to take a step back and really identify what the goals are and decide what the best platform is to accomplish those goals. Winning moves are when you can adapt quickly to those changes, however, and leverage them in a way that supports your business. The sooner you can take advantage of updates like customizing your ad creative for Facebook, the sooner you’ll see that ROI.

    What are the top three skills in demand by your management?

    For anyone going into social media, I think it’s important to know a little bit about a lot of different areas of marketing. Of course you need to be specialized in social media, but there are a lot of us out there whose roles touch so many different pieces, from acquisition to customer care to email marketing.  Having some knowledge in each of those areas will make your role as a social media manager that much easier (while making you more marketable). So that being said, knowing how to run and manage some paid media (in particular, Facebook and Instagram ads) is a huge benefit. Knowledge of analytics and experience with tools like Google Analytics or Moz are also incredibly useful skills to have in your toolbox—bonus points if you can build your own reporting dashboards and make it easier to present that to your stakeholders. Finally, I think it’s super important to be detail-oriented. Social media is big and it’s fast, and it’s easy to make a mistake, like push an Instagram post to the wrong account (been there). Being organized and giving your attention to the small details will help keep you on top of it all.

    When management just doesn’t get social media, how do you explain it?

    This is a tough one; I think all social media managers and content producers go through this. I try to focus on the engagement and nurturing piece. Social media ROI can be really difficult to prove, but what you’re really building through social is a loyal, engaged community. Social gives you the opportunity to keep your brand top-of-mind for people (potential customers, e.g.) who are interested in what you have to say. By producing relevant, interesting content that ties back to your brand, your followers will remember (and choose) you when it’s time for them to make a purchase.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at josh@joshuamilnepr.com and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 

     

  • Fast Five: Tara Goodwin Frier, founder and CEO, The Goodwin Group PR  

    In Chapter Events, Fast Five on

     

    PRSA Boston recently spoke with Tara Goodwin Frier, entrepreneur and founder of Goodwin Group PR, to learn more about her thoughts on today’s PR job market, the most important skills that agency or companies look for in prospective employees and common mistakes that job seekers regularly make.

    Goodwin Frier is schedule to participate on a panel called “New Year, New Career” that will be held on Monday, January 29th. The panel is designed for any PR professional who wants to grow his or her career or take on new and exciting challenges in 2018. The event will offer an all-star panel including Goodwin Frier, Norine Shults, VP at Chaloner, and a special guest from MullenLowe.

    Here is a Q&A from our conversation with Goodwin Frier.

    Q: What prompted you to launch Goodwin, and what do you like about it?

    A: It was accidental, and I owe the launch of Goodwin Group PR to Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. At the time, I was working as VP of Public Affairs, and after 9/11, the technology bubble burst sending us into a recession. Richard made the decision to close five of the smaller Edelman offices, Boston among them. I had the unenviable task of laying off all the Boston employees as our GM was conveniently out of the country when the news broke and I was second in command. Richard said he was not going to come back to Boston and that if I wanted to take the clients I worked with and start my own consultancy, he was fine with it. At the time I was pregnant with my youngest son, Will, who is now 15. I thought “why not?” so I did and couldn’t be happier that I took the risk. I love seeing our clients grow their companies as a result of our work—one client doubled his revenues from $3-6 million annually because of an offbeat idea we came up with at a meeting!

    Q: What should PR people know about today’s job market?

    A: As a CEO, I’m constantly seeking new talent, and it is highly competitive fighting for the limited positions that are available. Two of the people who have become permanent, trusted employees came to me as volunteers because they were so eager to learn the business and hone their skills. This gave me the opportunity to see them in action and both ended up making themselves indispensable to our team, and we had to hire them. I would advise PR job seekers to look for opportunities at a firm you love even if they don’t have any openings at the moment. You can make an impression either by being an intern, offering helpful suggestions, volunteering on a project or event or generally keeping in touch with suggestions or commenting on a recent article, etc. Our motto is “whatever it takes” and we expect job seekers to be willing to do whatever is needed for the team and our clients.

    Q:  What are the most common mistakes – and winning moves – job seekers make?

    A: Winning moves—DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If you don’t know a lot about our company, we’re not convinced you want to be part of our team. ASK QUESTIONS—the worst thing you can do is show up for an interview and when we ask if you have questions, answer with a “nope.”  RELATE YOUR EXPERIENCE/TALENTS TO OUR WORK—how does what you have done fit with the work you know we do? WRITE A HANDWRITTEN THANK-YOU NOTE—we love old school attention to detail!

    Worst things you can do—SHOW UP LATE TO AN INTERVIEW—on-time is late for us. SEND US A RESUME OR WRITING SAMPLE WITH TYPOS—even one! BE A SUPERFAN—we work with several New England Patriots, and we can’t have people who are enamored with a player or coach. One prospective intern wrote on her Facebook page that she wanted to sleep with Gronk—Um….no thanks!

    Q: What are the top three skills in demand by your clients and account teams?

    A: Media relations, video production and blog/content writing.

    Q: What’s changed the most since you began your career?

    A: Having so many places to pitch and promote content as a result of the internet’s growth and the development multiple social mediums to get your news out there—it can get overwhelming and often, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. My staff congratulates me if I correctly post/tag client news on our social channels!

    Also, from a crisis perspective, I used to say “The first few hours of managing a crisis will determine the success or failure of your efforts.” Now, with citizen journalists and the immediacy of social media, it’s SECONDS not hours and people need to be better prepared to respond.

    Goodwin Frier brings more than 30 years of media relations, public affairs and public policy experience to her firm. since founding Goodwin PR in 2001, Goodwin Frier has built a company that attracts, engages and sustains clients ranging from small startups and nonprofit organizations to high-profile CEOs, professional athletes and coaches. She is considered an expert in crisis communications, media relations, strategic events and effective content development and curation.  Known for her open and honest counsel, Goodwin Frier helps clients develop communications programs that drive traffic, develop relationships and resonate with key audiences.  She is a driven and focused leader who partners with her clients to deliver exceptional results.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

     

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at josh@joshuamilnepr.com and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 
  • PASSING THE BATON: ANNOUNCING THE 2018 CHAPTER LEADERSHIP NOMINEES

    In Chapter Events, News on

    PRSA Boston’s 2018 Nominating Committee of past presidents is pleased to put forth this talented Board and Leadership Slate for the membership’s vote at the Annual Meeting on November 16, 2017:

    2018 OFFICERS

    President 2018 (previously voted)
    Erin Callanan, APR
    President, Callanan & Klein

    Immediate Past President
    Dan Dent, APR
    Media Relations Manager, Draper

    Treasurer
    Jeff Caywood
    Director, Headquarters Communications, GE

    Secretary
    Cheryl Wheeler
    Director of Global Leadership + Associate Engagement Communications, Novartis

    VP Programming Co-Chair
    Michele Snyder
    Consultant, Snyder Communications

    VP Programming Co-Chair
    Rhiannon D’Angelo
    Senior Media Specialist, Eversource Energy

    VP Membership Co-Chair
    Matt Bashalany
    Senior Communications Manager, FTI Consulting

    VP Membership Co-Chair
    Eric Berman
    Director of Communications, Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®

    Director-at-Large/Content (thru 2019)
    Sofia Coon
    US PR Manager, kununu US

    Director-at-Large/Diversity (thru 2019)
    Kelley Chun
    President, Kelley Chunn & Associates

    Director-at-Large (thru 2020)
    Amy Riemer
    President, Riemer Communications

    Chapter PRSA Delegate (thru 2019)
    Diane Pardes, APR
    President, Pardes Communications

    Chapter PRSA Delegate (thru 2019)
    Josh Gitelson, APR
    Executive Managing Director, RF Binder

    Chapter PRSA Delegate (thru 2020)
    Loring Barnes, APR, Fellow PRSA
    CCO, Clarity

    2018 LEADERSHIP TEAM

    Content Chair
    Joshua Milne
    President, Joshua Milne Public Relations

    Accreditation + Awards Chair
    Josh Gitelson, APR
    Executive Managing Director, RF Binder

    Social Media Chair
    Shannon Giordano
    President, Serendipity Social Media

    Young Professional Network (YPN) Chair
    Kristin Foley
    Senior Account Executive, Sleek Machine

    Faculty Forum Chair
    Maureen O’Connell
    Subject Matter Expert, Bay Path University

    PRSSA + College Co-Liaison
    Nikki Vergakes
    PR Specialist, Trevi Communications

    PRSSA + College Co-Liaison
    Ermolande Jean-Simon
    Student Programs Manager, New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University

    Ethics Chair
    Nancy Sterling, APR, Fellow PRSA
    Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications, ML Strategies

    Independent Practitioner Network (IPN) Chair
    Henry Stimpson, APR
    President, Stimpson Communications

    The Ted Chaloner Learning Fund Liaison
    Dan Dent, APR
    Media Relations Manager, Draper

     

    We wish to congratulate our colleagues and thank their 2017 predecessors for going above and beyond for their service to our 300+ strong members. This talent pool points to a tremendous year of networking and programming ahead.

     

     

     

     

  • PRSA wrapped up its annual International Conference, which was hosted by the Northeast District’s own Boston chapter!

    In Career, Chapter Events, ICON 2017 on

    Here is how your district was represented and recognized:

    The Boston Chapter Leadership, including president Dan Dent and president-elect Erin Callanan (who is also our 2018 District Chair-Elect!), put on an amazing show! There were nearly 1,000 professionals in attendance for the Leadership Rally, PRSA’s National Assembly, and the 100+ sessions offered throughout the International Conference.

    Tony D’Angleo, APR, Fellow PRSA, from the Central New York Chapter, will be the 2018 Chair of PRSA’s National Board of Directors! (Talk about representation for the Northeast within PRSA!)  As Chair-Elect this year, Tony planned and ran the 2-day Leadership Rally on Friday and Saturday, which is a free chapter leader training program PRSA offers in conjunction with the International Conference every year.

    Crystal DeStefano, APR, past Northeast District Chair, attended the Leadership Rally, PRSA’s National Assembly, and served throughout the International Conference in her new role as PRSA’s Northeast Regional Representative.

    Every chapter in the district was represented at the Leadership Rally and at the National Assembly, where we were able to voice opinions, share ideas and vote on proposed changes to PRSA’s national bylaws. Each of your chapters were represented by your delegate(s), and our district vote was carried by our current District Chair Scott Fraser.

    Past Northeast District Chair and past Yankee Chapter President Jane Law presented, explained and discussed all of the proposed bylaws changes to the National Assembly in her role as Co-Chair of PRSA’s Governance Committee.

     Maria Russell, APR, Fellow PRSA, from the Central New York Chapter, received the annual Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA!

    Three members from our district were inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows during this year’s conference: Loring Barnes, APR, Boston Chapter past president; Nancy Sterling, APR, from the Boston chapter; and Joseph A. Brennan, Ph.D., APR, from the Capital Region Chapter. A great honor!

    Dan Dent, Boston Chapter president, added a public relations textbook and some swag from our PRXNE17 District Conference this year into a time capsule that PRSA National will open in 30 years – on PRSA’s 100th anniversary.

    Almost 100 members from our district attended these events! And dozens of students from PRSSA chapters across the district attended the PRSSA National Conference in Boston,  held simultaneously with PRSA’s International Conference.

  • FAST FIVE: Five Things Mike Rush Learned in 10 Years Consumer PR

    In Chapter Events, Fast Five on
    For over a decade, Mike has led successful, award-winning integrated campaigns for both heritage and challenger brands in the home, tech, travel, pet and publishing sectors. Since joining 360PR in 2007, Mike has developed numerous influencer-driven campaigns, from pairing Liberty Mutual Insurance with HGTV’s Chip Wade for a DIY homeowner campaign and spearheading the company’s safe driving program with NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer, to a consumer health campaign called “what’s your healthy?” for Aetna featuring The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney.  Mike has worked with countless HGTV personalities, authors, celebrities and physicians & veterinarians-to-the-stars, from Richard Simmons to The Bachelor’s Trista Sutter. His passion for home design and DIY has also inspired work for such clients as Cree LED lighting and Honeywell portable appliances. He created the multi-year “America’s Coziest Cities” initiative for Honeywell heaters, which taps environmental experts to define what makes a home “cozy” in winter, generating targeted consumer lifestyle coverage on Good Housekeeping, This Old House, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, The Weather Channel, Accuweather and more. 
    Prior to joining 360PR, Mike worked at Weber Shandwick, where he was nominated for PRWeek’s Young Professional of the Year for his work on Ocean Spray’s “Bogs Across America” campaign, CVS/pharmacy, and Staples. Mike has served on the board of the Public Relations Society of America’s Boston chapter, overseeing educational programming. Mike has also spoken at the PROI Worldwide Global Summit and is the agency’s representative in the PROI Consumer Group.  In his spare time, weather permitting, he can be found sailing around the Boston Harbor, Cape Cod + Islands.
    How do you identify and connect celebrities with brands?
    As an agency, we have a formalized, documented process for connecting brands with third-party experts, whether they be musicians, celebrities, chefs, etc. Our process begins with a mapping exercise where we examine a short-list of potential spokespersons’ spheres of influence – their visibility (e.g. Q score), social reach, skill set/expertise, credibility, their own brand / tone of voice, etc., and how well that matches the client and story, the audience the client is trying to reach and how the person augments the client’s current footprint across channels. We also conduct a comprehensive audit to determine how the spokesperson has been discussed and covered in media to ensure we stay ahead of any potential issues that could arise during the contract term. We will conduct a professional background check on spokespeople before inking a deal as well. This helps ensure less worry down the road and that our clients are protected to the fullest degree.
     
    What should brands keep in mind when negotiating a contract?
    When negotiating a contract, flexibility is key. Spokespeople and their agents often think in terms of 8-hour service days – but it is often difficult to fit all PR activity into one day, especially if it is a set date, and media often have specific needs or asks that fall outside those eight hours. TV producers and guest bookers in particular need flexibility, and celebrity spokesperson contracts should reflect how PR works. One approach is to structure an agreement based on activity versus consecutive hours—e.g. a guaranteed number of phone and email interviews, a set number of television or Facebook Live interviews that can be conducted at any point during the term.  Flexibility often commands a higher price tag but will maximize your PR program’s success.  Service days are ideal for media stunts and events, but are not ideal for longer-term agreements when PR needs to be “always on.”
     
    What is one of the biggest challenges working with celebrities?
    Message training spokespeople, particularly celebrities, is perhaps the most difficult aspect of engagement, aside from negotiating a contract with a prickly agent! It is important to remember that third-party spokespeople are not brand experts nor are they as well-versed in your brand as an internal spokesperson would be. I have seen clients try to spoon-feed pages of key messages unsuccessfully. My recommendation is to condense key messages to *one* thing the spokesperson *must* say in every interview for it to be a success, followed by 1-2 follow-up messages they can add to elaborate. These messages are most effective and authentic when tied to a personal story or anecdote—the personal story is established early on in the spokesperson vetting process.  These top 2-3 key messages are best presented when laid out in a placemat format—and in large, bold font so it can be easily printed as a cheat sheet directly before going into a television interview or phone briefing. Brevity is key. Attention spans are typically shorter with celebrities and interview topics can go wildly off course based on current events, so it is crucial to coach the expert on “bridging” techniques so they can bring a discussion back to your brand’s story.
     
    What does every brand need to know about FTC guidelines when engaging an influencer?
    The FTC guidelines on paid spokesperson disclosure are ever-evolving – but when in doubt, it’s important to remember that transparency is key. Put yourself in the shoes of the average American, and if you’re watching a segment and it is not crystal clear that the talent is working in partnership with and paid by the brand that they are promoting, then it should and needs to be. Build this disclosure requirement into your contract so your client is protected, though it is YOUR responsibility to ensure disclosure happens.  Same goes for social media – sponsored posts must have disclosure upfront so that the average user scrolling through content sees that a post is sponsored at a glance.  Many blue-chip brands were recently slammed this year by the FTC for putting their disclosure, for example #Ad, below the break on Instagram posts.  While they were using the correct disclosure, consumers had to click “more” to view the full copy/caption with the disclosure. That does not mean you need to put #Ad at the beginning of every post, but it should appear before the fold.  And, the FTC has declared #spon is not clear enough – it should say #ad or #sponsored fully spelled out.  And, celebrities who received product for free outside of a contractual agreement need to disclose they were gifted it.  I could go on!
     
    Have you ever had any random or bizarre contract asks for celebrities?
    No – but my two parting pieces of advice would be: (1) Know your audiences – specifically, that your client is one of them! Don’t forget to build in guaranteed facetime for your celebrity and your client’s senior executives. The PR program might be a smashing success, but what will be remembered will be that intimate dinner, autograph or employee engagement activity you ensured your client received as part of the deal. (2) Remember when working with networks like ABC or HGTV or leagues like NASCAR or the NFL that when you enlist a celebrity, you don’t normally have the rights to mention these networks in your media materials!  This can create a hurdle if your spokesperson is up-and-coming and not a household name. Make sure to clarify this contractually and that you set expectations with your client.
     
    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization.