Since starting this blog in February, I’ve interviewed nearly 20 PR and marketing pros on, well, communication. I figured back then I would have interviewed far more than that by now, but turns out, you all are a lot of work! But you’re worth it because of the insight you provide to those who read PRPBI. (That’s the first time I’ve ever used that acronym, and I don’t think I ever will again. Man, that’s ugly!)
As the name implies, I started this blog to bring forward the people behind the profession, many of whom bring themselves forward on their own very well. But alas, I chose to do so as a way to give back to them and help bring forward information and perspective that otherwise may have never been available online.
Unsurprisingly, those I’ve interviewed have been more than forthcoming and speared the intent of PRPBI (yeah, still hate it) through the heart.
Here are some of the best bits of PR perspective shared here to date.
Jeff Esposito responding about a blog post asserting social media is dying while social marketing is on the rise
“Social marketing is just another buzz word for social media. Much like other avenues social media is a tool for business that will either make your company money or save it money. Listening will never be dead as the nature of the medium is social, so brands and marketers need to dig into their human self to put out content that speaks to other humans and can help convert leads to sales.”
Rick Liebling on where social media is headed
“I think we’ve reached an inflection point. Brands no longer can derive value from the first mover advantage of being on Facebook before their competitors. I think we’re going to see companies need to adopt a “social business” strategy that connects several areas of their brand to their customers, clients and the public. Marketing or sales or customer service isn’t enough. R&D, the man on the assembly line, everyone who is part of the process will be connected.”
Recent grad, Boston Blake, giving advice to PR students
“The thing I would recommend most for students to do to prepare for ‘real life’ would be to go out and find opportunities to put into practice the things they are learning in the classroom. Find volunteer, job or internship opportunities. Don’t wait until you are a junior or senior, start immediately. If there aren’t any available, MAKE your own opportunities. People are happy to let you do PR work for them for free. And don’t be afraid to do free work, at least at the beginning. After you spend time doing that, you have quality resume items that will help you get greater opportunities later. These opportunities will help you stand out from other students, especially those who try to enter the work force with only a degree. Everyone has a degree. Make yourself different.”
Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Vician on serving the country as a Public Affairs officer
“Serving means putting others first. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Freedom isn’t free.” I don’t like that saying because for many people it is free. They have never sacrificed or served others. I’ve been blessed many times over by serving others, and have served alongside others who have sacrificed so much more than I have.”
Beth Tallent on giving advice to CEOs
“Be honest and direct. It’s not helping anyone if you withhold information. Your CEO hired you for your expertise so give it. If you work in an environment where your CEO consistently doesn’t listen or doesn’t value your advice you might want to look for another position. Dave and I don’t always agree, but I know he’s listening and he values my input.”
Ruth Streder on what she could have done better as a student.
“Be more confident – I attended networking and industry events whenever I was invited to them, but what I was afraid to request informational interviews with agencies or professionals that interested me. I should have just reached out to them, commented on blog posts etc. But back then I thought they would not be interested in talking to a PR newbie – big mistake! If you have an opinion, are interested in discussing industry trends and just keen on learning more about PR, go out and meet people. You have to reach out to them (agencies, companies, professionals) to make them aware of you – they are not going to come and look for you. Take initiative!”
Chuck Hemann on helping clients blend math, science and art together
“This is kind of the secret sauce, right? What’s the appropriate blend of all elements? The answer, like most things in life is “it depends.” I do know this… The abundance of data available to us via social media (or any other form of digital communications for that matter) has almost made qualitative analysis even more important. There has to be a human on the other end of the computer who can collect, segment and analyze for the ultimate use of developing brand-specific insights. Without someone adding the human touch, data is just data. Useful, but only to a certain degree.”
Tanya Montgomery on how the U.S. Air Force can improve its use of social media
“I’d also like to see more people create products with their social media lenses on. I see many traditional AF news stories that inspire my social media senses. I think to myself, it would be great to have pictures of X to put on Facebook and what about a blog post from an Airman quoted in such and such story. It would be great for people to consider social media as well. There are so many possibilities for it.”
Kellye Crane on her vision for Solo PR Pro
“My mission is to raise the visibility and esteem for those working as independent PR consultants, and to help those pursuing this path surpass their goals – it’s something I enjoy and take very seriously.”
If you know someone, student or pro, who should be featured here, let me know!