April 25, 2018

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

2017–A year of great content

2017–A year of great content

The end of the year is when we take time to look both forward to the new year, and back, to see what the last twelve months have held. A lot of great content has been written—here are some of my favorite posts from my favorite PR, communications, and marketing blogs.

January – January is good for getting yourself prepared for the coming year and whatever it may hold. Shonali Burke’s post on getting a handle on social PR so that it won’t overwhelm you was a good reminder that despite there always, always being something new and shiny out there, you absolutely have to manage how you digest content. There’s so much that the overload-overwhelm-shut down cycle is unavoidable unless you’re proactive in how you will manage it.

February – Ragan’s PR Daily had a fun post that also happened to be informative, at least to those of us who live by the AP Stylebook, but have issues remembering the rules relevant to occasions like Awards season. For a quick refresher course, review this post that strings together AP’s tweets on how to reference plural awards, such as Grammys, and whether the post-show celebration parties use a possessive apostrophe.

March – I am a big fan of the PESO strategy for PR. Not only does it neatly organize all of the areas PR now has some or all responsibility for, by design it contributes to a more holistic way of viewing measurement. To that end, my pick for March is Gini Dietrich’s post about which owned media (the “O” in PESO) metrics every communicator should be tracking.

April – There were a lot of great crisis communications posts in April, because that is when United Airlines landed squarely in the spotlight for forcibly removing a passenger from one of its oversold flights to make room for crew members. With so many great pieces, it was hard to select just one, but The Drum focused on an important point: the role of video in sparking the widespread public outrage. As the headline notes, “every disgruntled passenger is a potential publisher.”

May – One of the most thoughtful and respected voices in communications is Shel Holtz. In addition to hosting one of the most successful podcasts in the PR/comms space, he also has incredible expertise in corporate communications and internal comms, which comes through in a post he authored in May. After reviewing an eye-opening survey by APPrise Mobile that showed CEOs of large companies might have a visibility problem (the survey found 23 percent of employees weren’t sure of their CEO’s name and 32 percent suspected they wouldn’t be able to pick their CEO out of a lineup), Shel wrote a great post detailing ways CEOs could overcome this problem.

June – It wouldn’t be too far off to describe 2017 as the Year of the Instagram Marketer, as we saw many companies running solid influencer marketing campaigns through the visual-dominant social channel. This post on marketing blog Convince and Convert has the stats—and infographic—that make it clear: Instagram is now a marketing powerhouse for influencers.

July – One of the hardest parts of PR for me is media relations—I am by nature fairly introverted, and cold pitching is no fun at all. It’s difficult for me to inject myself into a busy person’s day without reverting to squishy words and apologies when pitching. PRSA’s blog PRSay carried a post in July that felt like it was aimed directly at those like me about how to get your mind in the right space to do cold pitching.

August – High turnover is fairly standard in the PR industry—and perhaps not coincidentally, it also often makes it onto lists of top stressful jobs. In August, Influence&CO carried a post of 4 Unique Ways to Reward Employees and Give Your Company a Culture Boost, which sets forth some ideas to keep employees happy, engaged, and contributing.

September – September is Measurement Month, and that means a lot of great content gets posted globally. The focus on measurement is important, because the practice of PR is still only making incremental gains in this area. Of all the great posts in a month of great content, I’m highlighting one by CARMA’s Roxane Papagiannopoulos titled “Why PR Professionals Should Create a Standard of Measure,” because creating a company-wide standard not only helps to pull the organization together by unifying around common measurement, it also serves to raise the profile of PR as a player in advocating numbers-based goals. Win-win.

October – Christopher Penn at SHIFT writes some of the smartest, clearest posts on how to use data and integrate marketing and PR, and one of his posts from October is no exception. One of the trickier aspects of attending conferences is trying to figure out how to track information to see what is resonating with the attendees. Penn’s post How to analyze conference data for marketing and PR describes how to mine social content for insights, and presents a visual representation of the data for a quick, at-a-glance depiction of who and what was discussed most frequently.

November – For November, I’m going to cheat a little bit and recommend not one post, but Gini Dietrich’s entire series of posts about developing an effective content strategy. These four posts are a terrific primer that contain solid instruction on how to make content actually work. Start with How to Create Your Content Plan, and you’ll quickly find yourself making notes on what your next steps should be.

December – We’re only in the first full week of December as I write this, but there’s still a lot of great articles from which to choose. I’ve decided to highlight Arik Hanson’s post on LinkedIn’s native video feature, because it’s a creative take on how brands can use the feature—before company pages even have access to it. He lists three ways to use video that work to support brands.

And there you have it—twelve posts that run the breadth of amazing PR and communications writing. From data analysis to measurement, to corporate and crisis communications, I think there’s something for everyone on this list.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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