November 2012 PR Visions Posts

President’s Letter

Happy post-election!

Whether your candidate won or lost, most of us are happy to see the end of the campaign season. However, I implore you to consider one more voting opportunity.

In the coming weeks, Cincinnati PRSA will announce the slate for its 2013 Board and Leadership Team, and we need your vote of approval. This group will spend countless hours planning events, organizing professional development seminars and searching for ways to add value to your PRSA membership.

When you receive notification, we hope you take a few minutes to review the candidates and exercise your right as a member.

Jonathan Kissell

Cincinnati PRSA President

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Message from the Editor

Today is the last day to buy tickets for this year’s Blacksmith Awards ceremony, which takes place Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 6-8 p.m. If you’re interested in attending to check out this year’s top PR work in the area, click the link below.

Cincinnati PRSA had a several members attend the PRSA 2012 International Conference in San Francisco a few weeks ago. Ashley Walters, APR, and Jennifer Mooney shared their insights and takeaways in the article below.

Megan Haughney
Newsletter Editor

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Last call for Blacksmith Awards tickets - RSVP deadline extended to Nov. 8

Today is your last chance to order Blacksmith Awards tickets! Join us to celebrate the "Top in the Tri-State" at the annual awards ceremony. We'll find out which pros are the best in the business while we enjoy some of our local favorites for dinner, including coneys, Montgomery Inn ribs, Graeter's ice cream and more!

Celebrate, network and see what's happening locally in PR and social media. Maybe you'll find some inspiring ideas for your own work! Plus, have the chance to meet Liz Bonis from Local 12 who will be our emcee for the evening.

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6-8 p.m.

The Hyatt Regency – Cincinnati

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m.

Click here to order your tickets:

$50 each per member (each member can purchase up to 4 at the member rate)

$65 each per non-member

$350 for a table of 8 (any combination of members and non-members) – Reserved seating!

Deadline to register is 5 pm, Nov. 8, 2012.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

     Presenting: The Eisen Agency

     Platinum: Northlich and Shoutlet

     Gold: Gail Myers Public Relations, LLC

     Silver: PPS Group and HALO Branded Solutions

Shara Clark and Stephanie Honan, APR

Blacksmith Awards Co-Chairs

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December Program Update: The Story Project

On Thursday, Dec. 6, we will host a joint meeting with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) to learn about the Greater Cincinnati Story Project, and how we can use the Story Project in our own work. If you haven’t heard of the Story Project – those of you who work to create and tell consistent “stories” in your own organizations (and don’t we all?!) – you will find the session engaging and very useful.  

The Story Project is all about creating a “master narrative” – or singular themes that, when woven together, craft a powerful and unique story about our region. The Story Project is not about creating a new tagline or ad campaign. It’s about providing resources that allow us to consistently and intentionally share who and what we are and why our unique qualities create an extraordinary place to live, work, learn and play.

Presenters will include Mary Stagaman, executive director of Agenda 360 and vice president for regional initiatives at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, andKara Williams, vice president of strategic initiatives and communications for Vision 2015.

This is a two-part program. Mary and Kara will present a case study and take Q&A about how the Story Project was created and has evolved. The second part is a hands-on idea session that will dive into applying the Story Project’s content to our own work.

Join us Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Health Foundation offices at Rookwood. Registration and networking will kick off at 11:30 a.m., with the program starting at noon and the brainstorming session at 1 p.m. Tickets will be $25 for PRSA and IABC members and $35 for non-members. Please click here to register.

Lauren Doyle

Vice President, Programming

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New Pros learn from nonprofit PR professionals

Join the New Pros on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at Knowledge Works (One West 4th Street) and learn from top PR professionals from the nonprofit industry. Learn how these professionals create fantastic PR campaigns for their organization and discover the challenges they face.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, Nov. 13 to This event is free and all are welcome.

Kristen Marshall

New Pros Chair

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PRSA 2012 International Conference Recap

The annual PRSA 2012 International Conference was held in San Francisco, Oct. 13-16. The following Cincinnati PRSA members represented our Chapter at the conference:

  • Ashley Walters, APR, Chapter president-elect and director of consumer experiences at Powerhouse Factories
  • Lauren Doyle, Chapter vice president, programming, and senior account supervisor at Wordsworth Communications
  • Chris Kemper, APR, Chapter board member and director of PR at Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
  • Kevin Dugan, APR, director of marketing at Powerhouse Factories
  • Jennifer Mooney, executive communications director at Northlich

From the Conference: Eight ways to avoid a blogger outreach #fail
We’ve all heard about successful blogger outreach campaigns, but what is it that makes some brands totally and utterly fail? The eight tips below will help you avoid disaster.  

  1. Don’t invite just anyone – Selecting the right bloggers for outreach is critical. But it’s not all about reach. Take into consideration writing styles, content focus areas, engagement levels and reader demographics.
  2. Don’t pretend to read the blog if you don’t actually read it – You have to do your homework. Whether it’s your agency or your internal teams, we recommend following each blog for at least two weeks to understand their likes, dislikes and reader expectations.
  3. Don’t ignore problems – If something goes wrong with your product or service, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, if we are doing our jobs right as PR professionals, the bloggers will — in most cases — call you first before ever writing a negative review.  
  4. Don’t demand a review – If you want a guaranteed positive placement, buy ad space. It works every time. Always remember, it’s the bloggers’ job to provide their readers with unbiased, authentic reviews. It’s our job to provide the bloggers with information and experiences to help inform their opinion.
  5. Don’t dump your crap on them – Bloggers are inundated with useless swag. In fact, most of what brands send to bloggers either gets thrown away or recycled. Bloggers are looking for experiences, not gifts. So choose your content and samples carefully. Ensure everything you send has a unique purpose.
  6. Don’t end the relationship – Blogger relations isn’t a one night stand. It’s an investment that pays out over time. The more you put into the relationship, the more you will get out of it. Once you have a network of influencers who champion your brand, never let them go.
  7. Don’t forget their fans – The more readers bloggers attract, the more influence they gain. The more influence they gain, the more opportunities they get exposed to. Offer something unique and compelling for the blogger to share with his/her readers. It makes the brand look good and it makes the blogger look like a hero in front of the people who matter most.
  8. Don’t forget to measure – One of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting to set metrics from the beginning. What business challenges do you need to solve? How you answer the question will dictate your blogger strategy. One of the great benefits of blogger outreach is that you can measure almost anything, whether it’s standard metrics like impressions, click-throughs, newsletter subscribers or Fans to revenue-generating metrics like coupon redemptions or sales.

There are many benefits to incorporating bloggers into your public relations or marketing plans. If you follow these tips for avoiding a #fail, you are sure to have a #success on your hands.

What ways have you seen brands #fail at blogger outreach? What would you add to this list?

Ashley Walters, APR

President Elect

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Jennifer Mooney spoke at PRSA 2012 International Conference

Jennifer Mooney, executive communications director at Northlich, presented at the conference. Her presentation, titled “Internal Communications: Maximizing Their Influence, Minimizing Risk” covered:

  • Effective ways to communicate with all levels of management
  • Insight on how to motivate employees
  • How to leverage messaging across various platforms
  • How to measure internal impact on your return on investment (ROI)

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Featured Member

Name: Beth Charlton, APR

Current position: Director of issue management and special projects, Macy’s, Inc.

How long have you been a Cincinnati PRSA member? Since 1986 (26 years). I served as Chapter president in 1997.

What do you find most beneficial about Cincinnati PRSA? Networking with peers and learning new trends.

What social media outlets do you use? LinkedIn and Facebook

You’re in PR, which means you’re interesting by default! Tell us one fun fact about you: I have loved parades since I was a child. Some years ago, I took a clowning class and appeared in several parades. For the past six years, I have been a volunteer for the Anderson Township 4th of July Parade. I love going to the Lebanon Christmas Parade every year. However, my biggest parade thrill was seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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New member welcome

Name: Courtney Caudill

Current position: This month, I am joining Wordsworth Communications as an account executive.

Previous experience: I previously worked as the event coordinator for West Chester Township. I planned and promoted local events and assisted with website content, social media and general community relations. Prior to that, I interned with the Cincinnati Reds and with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.

Education: I graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. I was a member of the Beth Wood Chapter of PRSSA for four years.

Twitter handle: @CourtneyCaudill

I love walking my dog around my neighborhood, Pleasant Ridge, going to Go Bananas comedy club and trying out new things in Cincinnati – even though I grew up here. I feel like I’m always discovering new places to go and things to do. I also enjoy traveling, spending time with my family and tweeting.

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Questionable PR practices

I recently attended an excellent PRSA Webinar, “Ethical solutions to questionable PR practices.” The webinar presented three ethical case studies. The cases were “ripped from the headlines” and involved paid reviews, inserting personal views into commercial activities and orchestrating a viral hoax. All three generated lively discussion.

Timing of this webinar was perfect, as I was teaching the ethics section of the APR preparation class that evening, so I brought the same three cases to the group, prompting animated discussion among its members.

In the case of the first, much of the discussion involved disclosure – if the fact that the reviews are paid is disclosed, is it still unethical? In the case of the second, the biggest question was: who is affected? If a CEO’s personal views are made public, and it hurts the business (market value declines, stockholders lose, employees lose jobs), is it ethical for the CEO to share those views publicly? The third case was almost universally seen as unethical in the discussion – nowhere in PRSA’s Code of Ethics are lying and deceit seen as acceptable.

The webinar is available online – and free to members. I encourage you to check it out here.

Gail Myers, APR

Ethics Char