Key Takeaways From 2013 Cincinnati PRSA Media Day

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Media Day on October 1, and special thanks to our sponsors and all of the panelists, presenters, and members of the media.  It was impressive to see the talented professionals who took the time to be part of our panel discussions, provide inspirational presentations, or share insights about their newsroom.

A total of 114 PR professionals attended Media Day and many of them finished up at our happy hour at Chez Nora for great food, prizes, and plenty to drink.

We had a lot of topics and experts to choose from; here are my key takeaways from two panels I attended.

How to Kill Great Ideas – Steve Kissing, president of Wordsworth Communications, provided a funny presentation on serious topics: how to generate great ideas and effective ways to get alignment around a new idea with your client or senior leadership. Kudos to Steve for spending part of his birthday presenting at Media Day!


Challenge Yourself – It’s easy to stay in the status quo and continue getting the same results, especially if that’s okay with your client or boss. Challenge yourself to be more creative and consider new approaches that will lead to those breakthrough ideas.

Brainstorming to get Started – This can actually be a great way to get you and your team started with ideas you can individually build on. Keep the discussion open and don’t get caught in the trap of trying to find the perfect idea during the session.

Establish Clear Expectations – This is the critical first step in successfully gaining alignment with your client or senior leadership around a creative new idea that moves away from the status quo. By setting expectations for the end result, you can show how your new idea will help reach the goal.

Digital in the C-Suite: Should my CEO be on Twitter What are the advantages to your CEO tweeting? What about potential pitfalls?  Our panelists included UC President and renowned tweeter, Santa Ono, and social media experts who have direct experience with these and other related questions.

Tweeting isn’t for Everyone – Consider your key audiences and whether they are likely to be on Twitter. Think about your CEO/President and whether they could become engaged enough to use social media effectively.  You can provide support, but ultimately they need to take ownership.  President Ono mentioned that today he provides about 99% of his tweets.

Social Media = Relationships – There was consensus among the panel that social media is really about developing relationships with your customers.  It’s a great way to support your brand and add more of a personal touch to an organization.

Focus on Value, not ROI – Talk to the C-Suite about the value social media can provide in terms of building relationships and connecting in new and more timely ways with your key audiences.  It’s not about ROI, it’s about value.

I hope everyone who joined us for Media Day came away with valuable information that will lead to new ideas and new wins.  I look forward to seeing you next year!

By Pete Gemmer

Debbie Copeland-Bloom, APR, is recipient of 2013 Werner-VonderHaar Bogart Award

Debbie Copeland-Bloom, APR

Debbie Copeland-Bloom, APR

Debbie Copeland-Bloom, APR, corporate director, communications, Catholic Health Partners, is the 2013 recipient of the Werner-VonderHaar-Bogart (WVB) Award. She will be honored at the Blacksmith Awards Celebration on Nov. 13. WVB is this is the highest honor bestowed by the Cincinnati Chapter of PRSA, named in honor of three chapter presidents who went on to become national presidents of PRSA.

Debbie was selected as the honoree by a committee that comprised several past WVB honorees. Debbie is the current APR chair of PRSA’s Cincinnati chapter. Among other glowing comments, her nominator said of her, “Anyone who has earned APR under Debbie's tutelage, or worked with her in the review program, or on the Readiness Review sessions, will have to agree that no one is more dedicated, more hard-working, more persistent in the advancement of the APR credential than Debbie.”

Join us at the Blacksmith Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Hyatt Regency to celebrate Debbie as she receives this well-deserved honor. Here’s a link to the registration page:\chapterawards .


Gain Experience By Giving Back

Give Back Cincinnati has a proud tradition of developing today’s communities and tomorrow’s leaders… with an emphasis on developing leaders.   Volunteering at Give Back Cincinnati offers future PR and advertising professionals valuable experience in a real-world agency-client setting.

To that end, Give Back Cincinnati is excited to announce that we are now recruiting communications liaisons to assist with publicizing, marketing and promoting our events.  

The Give Back Cincinnati communications committee is much like the advertising and PR agency of the organization: various committees (clients) plan more than two dozen large-scale volunteer events, and communications liaisons (account executives) make sure Give Back Cincinnati members and the community know about them!

Communications liaisons can be as involved as they would like – from simply writing a newsletter article to executing a full-blown media relations campaign – and ultimately report to a communications director who offers guidance and support as needed. 

Give Back Cincinnati is currently looking for individuals who are passionate about Cincinnati and want to volunteer their time to make a difference in the community, but who also want to grow their professional skill set at the same time. If you would be interested in learning more about Give Back Cincinnati and the opportunities that exist to get involved, please RSVP to attend an info session on Saturday, October 12.

We’ll walk through the history of Give Back Cincinnati, offer some insights into what we look for in the leaders of our organization, share the positions that are available for 2014 and give you an opportunity to ask questions. 

Questions? Feel free to reach out directly to Lauren Doyle at And if you’re not able to attend an info session, don’t worry! An application will be available on our website by Sunday, Oct. 13. The application isn’t complicated – it will just give us a better sense of the skills you want to grow and the areas you would be most interested in supporting, and how we can reach you!


New Member Welcome

Ali Stigler

Ali Stigler

Name: Allison Stigler

Current Position: I am the Public Relations Coordinator at Northlich.

Previous Experience: I had internships during my collegiate career at Essex Studios as a Marketing Associate Intern, Dress for Success Cincinnati as a Scripps Howard Intern and CityBeat as a Journalism Intern. After graduation, I worked briefly at the University of Cincinnati as the Assistant Public Information Officer for the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Education: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and certificates in public relations and journalism from the University of Cincinnati.

I live in a small town on the east side of Cincinnati. In my free time, I enjoy Zumba and spending time at new restaurants and bars downtown. I am also an intern at an event planning company called Cincy Event Planning. I am a HUGE sports fan, especially of the Cincinnati Reds!

Name: Kathrine Scoville


Current Position: I am a PR Specialist at Scooter Media in Covington.

Previous Experience: Prior to joining Scooter, I interned with Rockfish, Catholic Leadership Institute, the Cincinnati USA CVB and the 2012 World Choir Games.

Education: I am recently graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

I just moved back to Cincinnati and, since I've been singing since I was little, I joined the Young Professional's Choral Collective.


4 Tips to Cultivate “Monster Loyalty” Like Lady Gaga

With 23 million albums sold, five Grammy Awards, and Forbes’ distinction as one of the world’s most powerful celebrities, Lady Gaga is one of the most well-known pop artists in the world. Known as much for her voice as for her over-the-top wardrobe, few recognize Lady Gaga for her stunning business acumen, giving her legions of loyal fans worldwide—fans who are eager to buy her music, concert tickets, and products. Her social networking prowess is off the charts with 40 million Twitter followers and 59 million “likes” on Facebook. Not only has she created a brand but she is cultivating a fanatical group of consumers, known as her “Little Monsters,” who will follow her for decades to come.

Lady Gaga didn’t become the success she is today based solely on her talent. She did so by engendering immense loyalty from her fans through her music, her message, and the community she has built around them. To anyone in the business community, this sounds like a classic case of loyalty marketing and customer cultivation. Here are five lessons for building this kind of loyalty in any organization (and they don’t include wearing a meat dress):

Focus on Your One Percenters Gaga spends most of her effort on just one percent of her audience, the highly engaged superfans who drive word of mouth. Despite her tens of millions of followers in social media, she focuses on the die-hard fans that make up a small but valuable part of the fan base. It’s these fans who will evangelize for her and bring new fans into the fold.

Lead with Values Gaga differs from her contemporaries by standing up for issues that she cares about and for sharing her values. She champions those in society who feel marginalized and bullied for being different. Customers feel a deep emotional connection when they identity with your values or causes that you care about. Leading with values is not easy, but when done with integrity and commitment, customers will reward you with their loyalty.

Build Community Gaga knows that connecting One Percenters strengthens their bonds with each other and the business, so she built her own social network for the die-hard fans called Fans set up profiles, post fan art and photos, message each other, and find links to concert dates. They even get their own e-mail address, linking their online identity to Gaga. The pop star is on the site weekly, posting special messages to fans, “liking” and commenting on their fan art, and participating in chat discussions.

Generate Something to Talk About Gaga is the queen of word-of-mouth marketing. She understands that you must continually give your One Percenters things to comment about so that they have reasons to talk to others about you. From popping out of an “egg” at the Grammys to lighting her piano on fire, she fans the flames of buzz and talk value.

Now that you’ve learned a lesson or two from Lady Gaga, ask yourself a few questions:

Who are your One Percenters and are you giving them a chance to connect to each other and to your company? What are your company values or special causes, and have you shared those with your customers? What do you call your loyal customers? What are some symbols that your loyal customers have already created? How can you be fans of your biggest fans? What have you given your One Percenters to talk about lately?

So much more than a catchy verse, latex and lust, Lady Gaga can teach businesses how to lead with loyalty and gratitude.

By Jackie Huba