News & Publications

  • Broadening Perspectives in PR Josiane Martinez, CEO and Founder, Archipelago Strategies Group

    Q: Tell us about Archipelago Strategies Group’s (ASG) unique and intentional approach toward multicultural marketing?

    A:  ASG creates multicultural campaigns that are as diverse – in both audience and purpose – as our global staff members. Three-quarters of ASG is fully bilingual in English/Spanish and English/Portuguese, and we employ specialists in the most-spoken languages of our communities. Instead of translating marketing materials from English, ASG “trans-creates” unique assets in each key language. This helps ensure that messaging culturally resonates with the target audience, including shared imagery and references.

    Our approach to developing creative assets for multicultural communities also begins with a deep understanding of the audiences we want to reach, and their systemic and perceived barriers to engagement. ASG thus frequently conducts primary research, and analyzes secondary research, to inform communications strategies and test creative concepts. To align with our vision of “marketing with purpose,” ASG specializes in social marketing to influence human behavior. Our team applies marketing principles and techniques to create, communicate and share content to achieve a more equitable common good.

    Q: Last year, you were one of the Boston Business Journal’s LGBTQ Business of Pride Trailblazer Award recipients. As a well achieved Latina who identifies as LGBTQ, what is your recipe for success? How have both identities impacted your career?

    A:  This is something I’m very proud of. It wasn’t too long ago that a LGBTQ woman with an accent wasn’t winning awards, or getting asked to bid on a big contract, or even part of the conversation. I think we have shown our value, our work ethic and our results speak for themselves. As the make-up of our great country continues to evolve, there will need to be a greater focus on including a wide range of perspectives at all decision tables. Those who choose not to adapt in that way will most certainly be left behind.

    Q: Boston’s theme for PRSA’s 75th anniversary is Communication Evolution. Talk about some ways that you’ve seen the communication and marketing industry morph since you’ve been in business?

    A: I created ASG to help our clients reach and engage with important constituencies and populations that too often are overlooked, not seen or heard, and forgotten about. For too long, non-English speaking communities and immigrant populations were always thought of last when a PR plan or a marketing plan was being created. We set out to change that so that these important communities were integrated into every aspect of a client’s strategy. The way media is consumed is changing and we saw an opportunity. Not everyone is reading The Boston Globe or watching a local newscast, so we had to create a new game plan to meet people where they are.

    We have prioritized hiring people who reflect the rich diversity of our city and our region; people who speak the languages, and understand the cultural gifts that make our communities so vibrant. With that type of competency, we are no longer talking TO certain populations, but we are engaged in dialog about what they want and need and how our clients can best serve them. It is a win-win situation for all involved.

    Q: What was the last thing you binge watched?
    A: My wife and I are raising a 4-year-old, so we binge watch Encanto.

    #diversityequityandinclusion

  • APR Month Program Recap: Leadership and Expertise in PR 

    In APR, News & Publications on

    By Bernandine Cassell, APR

    APR – Accreditation in Public Relations – is a mark of distinction in PR; a credential defined by PRSA as certifying your drive, professionalism, and principles, setting you apart from your peers and positioning you as a leader and mentor in the competitive public relations field.

    At the April 26th program An Introduction to APR, Josh Gitelson, PRSA Boston APR Chair, walked attendees through the preparation and steps to achieve APR. He also gave a personal perspective on how APR helps you learn about industry practices and high standards and become a leader in the profession.

    Rewarding Process

    Josh, came to PR after being a journalism major and, after several years working as a PR professional, found the APR process “incredibly rewarding.” He felt the best part was studying for the exam. “I felt like I was earning a mini-MBA, and after practicing PR for a number of years, I could step back and get new perspectives and understandings.”

    He explained that the APR preparation and exam focus on six major areas of PR. They include Research & Planning; Leading the PR Function; Managing Relationships; Ethics and Law; Managing Issues and Crisis Communication; and Understanding Communication Models, Theories and PR History.

    He added that while you have an entire year to complete the APR process, preparation can typically take three or four months—and some people move through the study period even more quickly. “However, you can really do the preparation at your own pace.”

    Five Steps to APR Success

    1. Any member in good standing of PRSA or its partner organizations may take on the challenge of earning accreditation. At least five years of professional experience in PR is recommended, but not required.
    2. Submit a one-page application found at the PRSA national website. Once the application is approved, candidates have one year to take the online Certification Exam.
    3. Even before applying, you can download a free, 160+ page APR study guide from the PRSA national website. It contains information, exercises, case studies, and more. It also lists recommended texts, such as Effective Public Relations by Cutlip & Center. PRSA national also offers an online study course for a fee.
    4. When you feel ready, contact Josh, and apply to participate in a Panel Presentation with three APRs. At the session, you will be invited to talk about your professional experience and background and present a PR program/case study from your work.
    5. If the panel agrees that you’re ready to take the Accreditation Exam, you can then make arrangements to take the multiple-choice exam shortly thereafter. Upon completion, the results are available in minutes.

     Additional Resources

    Visit https://accreditation.prsa.org/MyAPR/Content/Apply/APR/APR.aspx

    Josh is available at JOSHG1068@gmail.com. He is happy to discuss the APR program in more detail, connect candidates with local PRSA accreditation study groups and answer any questions.

  • communication-evolution

    Fast Facts from Podcasting Meets Public Relations 

    In News & Publications on

    By Jamie McIver

    Communication Evolution is Boston’s theme during PRSA’s 75th Anniversary, as we spend the year examining the manner in which communicators recognize and embrace change, from the tools, to the tenets, to the people. The way PR practitioners fundamentally do our jobs continues to morph and expand just as it is rooted in its beginnings.

    Podcasts had been an underutilized marketing tool. According to Statista.com, “Back in 2006, only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. By 2021, this figure had risen to 78 percent.

    Clearly the tide has changed. According to The Verge, “The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers released their annual joint report on the podcasting business, projecting that the industry will generate $2 billion in revenue this year and $4 billion by 2024.”

    Josh Boroshok, APR, recently hosted Podcasting Meets Public Relations. Here are a few kernels of knowledge from his presentation for use when considering adding podcasting to your PR toolkit.

    Who Listens to Podcasts?

    The U.S. accounts for 46.9% of podcast listeners, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada. Podcast listeners are an educated group. Over 66% have a college degree (bachelor’s or higher), and an average annual household income of $75,000 and higher.

    Whites comprise the majority of listeners. However, this is starting to shift along with the age and gender gap. There was more diversity in 2021 among Hispanic, Latino, and African American listeners, mirroring the diversity of U.S. population.

    • 57% of U.S. podcast listeners are White
    • 66% of podcast listeners are ages 12-34
    • 13% are African American
    • 16% are Hispanic, 4% are Asian
    • 10% are other

    Why People Listen to Podcasts?

    • Three-quarters of people ages 12 – 34 listen to podcasts while doing other things for entertainment.
    • Nearly 85% of listeners say their favorite podcast host feel like a friend.
    • Podcasts are unscripted and feel more authentic.

    When and Where People Listen to Podcasts?

    • A 2019 (pre-COVID) study showed that over ¼ of podcast listeners consume podcast content while commuting to work.
    • Most consumers stream content from their smartphones via an app like Apple or Spotify.
    • Podcast durations aren’t pre-determined, but are generally between 10 and 60 minutes.

    How Do People Find Podcasts?

    • Directory searches such as Apple Podcasts
    • Suggestions from favorite podcast hosts and guests
    • Internet searches and social media suggestions
  • Meet Geri Denterlein 

    In News & Publications, Uncategorized on

    Q: What is your most memorable public relations success?

    A: I have been fortunate to enjoy many memorable occasions across all the industries my firm represents such as healthcare, travel and tourism, real estate, and life sciences. However, there is one client that stands out, both for the impact of their work and the duration of our working relationship:  Samuels & Associates.

    When I first moved to Boston, I lived in the Fenway – during which time its best-known known watering hole was Copperfield’s, a step up from a bar down the street, “The Rat”. Over the past 20 years, Samuels & Associates has transformed Fenway into a livable neighborhood, flush with restaurants and housing options, while keeping longstanding commitments to the community and its neighbors. Our work with the Samuels team has spanned across all forms of communications and PR services, all while giving our internal team the opportunity to help create and implement a vision for a welcoming, sustainable, and diverse neighborhood.

    Q: Communications Evolution is PRSA Boston’s theme for PRSA’s 75th anniversary. Can you describe some ways that you’ve seen our industry evolve?

    A: In the early days of my career, while at WBZ-TV, one of my mentors was John Henning – and I was fortunate that we remained lifelong friends and colleagues.  During the mid-2000s, when social media was beginning to eclipse traditional forms of communications tools, I asked John: “What is the difference between old media and new media?”  His response: “Nothing much. It all begins with a story.  However, the ways we tell stories have certainly evolved.”

    Media relations is at the heart of all we do and it’s what we love – we like reporters (some of us enough to marry one)! As public relations professionals, we are storytellers and media relations experts, and we need to be much nimbler and more reactive to quickly, effectively, and with a human voice get directly to key audiences.  The additions of social content, web, email and now zoom/video, is a game changer that opens a world of communications opportunities.

    Q: Did you have a failure in your career that taught you an important lesson?

    A: Of course – more than one.  But what I remember most is the first year my company was in business, we were involved in a competition and prepared a formal submission to an RFP. It was, to my mind, a thoughtful, engaging, strategic and tactical response. However, we misspelled the name of the client on the cover page!  Fortunately – the client was forgiving, and they remain as one of our firm’s most longstanding clients.  That situation taught me lessons beyond just good proofreading – it taught me to

    s l o w d o w n.

    Communications is a business of judgment calls.  And in agency life, you are moving fast and making countless judgments every day.  The big failure is when you don’t step back and look backward and think about those judgments and what (if anything) you could do differently.  So I try to look – not so much for failures, but maybe missed opportunities to do things a little differently and apply those to the future work.  It’s also why having a team of diverse perspectives matters, it creates more opportunities to both in the moment and retrospectively considers how things could be more effective.

    Q: What song is currently on repeat on your music playlist?
    A: DuaLipa and Elton John: Cold Heart Remix

     

  • communication-evolution

    Communication Evolution

    In News & Publications on

    Communication Evolution is Boston’s theme during PRSA’s 75th Anniversary, as we spend the year examining the manner in which communicators recognize and embrace change, from the tools, to the tenets, to the people. The way PR practitioners fundamentally do our jobs continues to morph and expand just as it is rooted in its beginnings.

    Since PRSA’s founding in 1947, the methods used by public relations practitioners to reach  audiences, and the associated technology, have transformed and multiplied exponentially – from newspapers, radio, and television, to cable news and entertainment networks, computers, the World Wide Web, email, cell phones, tablets, text and social media.

    As in 2022, social, cultural and business dynamics ruled the day in the early 1900’s. The fertile soil of burgeoning public opinion that helped form what would become the public relations industry was sparked by several events, including:

    • Labor disputes in the coal mining industry managed by public relations pioneer Ivy Ledbetter Lee.
    • The surprise military strikes on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
    • Propaganda to rally the home front as US troops descended upon the front lines.
    • Expanding media.

    Stay tuned as PRSA Boston brings you more content and programming aimed at engaging members, and the Greater Boston communication community, while elevating the discussion of the Communication Evolution.

    Image courtesy of ImageSuitePR.com
    Concept: Jamie McIver

  • daren-bascome

    Spotlight on Proverb’s Founder and Managing Director, Daren Bascome  

    In News & Publications on

    Q: Tell us about Proverb’s unique approach to brand building?
    A:
    Research and data are central to our process. A brand needs to answer at least three basic questions: How does it benefit its audience, why is it better than what else is out there, and why is it believable? Depending on the needs of the project, we do audience research, gather qualitative and quantitative data, conduct interviews and surveys, hold workshops, study the competition, and assess relevant cultural forces.  Investing in that work lays a solid foundation for everything that follows. The quality of the process and the quality of the brand expression are directly related.

    This is especially important because in one way or another the majority of our work focuses on place, which makes it less ephemeral than a lot of branding and advertising work. It’s a big investment to develop a building or anchor institution, or make a city run well; you can’t pick those things up and move them if you don’t get it right. On top of that, we’re often working to create places that might have been overlooked or underappreciated, and our role is to help change the narrative.

    Whenever possible, we like to come in early on the project because the process of branding can help the various players align; it’s as much an internal tool as an external one. As we do our foundational work, we consider what is often a complex mix of audiences and stakeholders, the context of their lives, what kind of environment they want to be in, and what kind of problems we can solve for them. Storytelling, strategy, hospitality, and experience design become part of the brand equation.

    Q: How did you make your transition from architecture/exhibit design to marketing, to ultimately leading your own firm? 
    A: I studied design at MassArt and then began my professional career at a well-regarded exhibit design firm that had projects all over the country, as well as several in Europe and Asia. Exhibit design brings together people with different specialties—architects, 2D and 3D designers, curators and educators, historians and scientists, media designers, lighting specialists, fabricators—to create an immersive experience that is both educational and fun.

    Unexpectedly, the firm that I worked for after college needed to downsize when a major client couldn’t pay the bills. I jumped at the chance to get laid off, even convincing them that my computer should be part of the deal—and that’s how I got my start sooner than expected! A big incentive was being able to express myself more fully in both aesthetic and cultural terms, and fortunately, it worked out well.

    Q: What is the significance of your firm’s name, Proverb?
    A: A proverb is a concentrated form of collective wisdom. It’s a way of taking a set of observations that in some cases might have been observed for centuries and distilling it down to something that almost anyone can access. In other words, proverbs are pithy, memorable ways of expressing human truths.

    Much of what we do involves bringing focus and meaning to a large, unfocused set of data. Our process involves digesting lots of research, background information, marketplace analysis, competitive analysis, SWOT, and all the things our clients know, and sifting through it to find their essence—what you can think of as their brand’s X factor. That essential, underlying truth then fuels everything from what the product is about to organizational development, marketing, advertising, and any other type of communication. It’s a powerful idea that’s easy to rally around.

    Q: What else should we know about Proverb?
    A: Creating diverse teams is also part of our approach. I strongly believe diverse teams make for better outcomes, and there’s research to back this up. We consciously stock Proverb with an array of cross-disciplinary, culturally diverse talent. It’s one of the reasons I decided to start a company more than two decades ago after working in some places that didn’t feel very diverse or inclusive. If our industry is going to serve our clients well, the composition of agencies needs to catch up with what’s happening in the rest of the country—and it makes brainstorming sessions a lot more fun.

    We value being a good employer to our staff and a good partner to our clients. The world has plenty of ego and drama; we prefer to pull together and generate constructive energy around projects. Yes, hustle is part of the industry, but we also care about the people we work with. It’s a virtuous cycle, because when people feel respected, they invest more of themselves in the outcome.