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A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal Episode 3 – The PR Warrior

In Episode 3 of Smoke Signal I speak with Trevor Young, a.k.a. the PR Warrior.

Trevor is well known on the PR circuit, having been a practitioner for over two decades, a regular speaker at industry events, and one of Australia’s earliest PR bloggers and tweeters. His blog, PR Warrior was ranked in the world’s top 100 PR blogs to follow in 2018 (#33).

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The lines between PR and content marketing have certainly merged in recent years. In fact, in a recent global PR survey (which I speak more about in the In The News section of this podcast); nearly two-thirds of PR practitioners surveyed believe that in five years the average consumer will not be able to tell the difference between paid, earned and owned media.

In this context Trevor Young talks about the need for brands (and individuals) to embrace content marketing as a way to deeply engage and influence consumers.

Trevor defines content marketing as “strategically creating, publishing and amplifying original content that is of interest, relevance and value to a specific audience with an ultimate goal of influencing a desired outcome.”

He believes it is VITAL (Visibility, Influence, Trust, Advocacy and Leadership) that individuals and brands use the tools that we have available to make a connection with the audiences that are important to you.

Trevor admits today there is a lot of junk content out there but the common denominator among organisations who do it well is passion. They embrace it and have a culture of content in their organisation.

We discuss the different types of content and that while utility-based content (FAQs, informational needs, addressing pain points etc) is useful, and every organisation needs to do that, it is through leadership content where you can really set yourself apart by pushing the boundaries and inspiring people to think differently.

And the biggest mistakes when it comes to content marketing: wanting instant results;  doing things as a campaign (it is not a campaign); and succumbing to pressure to repeatedly talk about your own products and services (follow the 80:20 rule).

You can follow Trevor Young on twitter (@trevoryoung), on LinkedIn or via his blog.

A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal Episode 2: The Creativity Coach

In this episode Andy Eklund, a.k.a. the Creativity Coach, takes us into the wonderful world of creativity.

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According to Andy, who defines business creativity as the act of combining two different ideas in an unusual way to create something unique, useful or new, creativity is one of the most important life skills that everyone should learn. He believes it should also be taught in schools!

Creativity seems and ever more important skill for PR practitioners where creativity is becoming more and more vital as brands look to differentiate themselves and cut through the clutter.

Andy currently runs his own creativity coaching business, having held both in house and agency roles, including Global Creative Director for Burson Marsteller in the 1990’s where he was involved in 4-6 brainstorms a day.

According to Andy brainstorming gets a bad wrap. In reality brainstorming is simply the act of your brain coming up with an idea – whether that’s in a formal team setting or a chat in the hallway.

Some of his tips on brainstorms that he discusses in this podcast are:

  • You need ice breakers to help participants become creative
  • Understand 90/10 rule – it’ll take at least 10 ideas to get one good one
  • To brainstorm in the absence of the audience is a complete waste of time

We also discuss the fact that while creativity is a right side of the brain, it also requires discipline and consistency that is left brain thinking. And relax, creativity can be taught, you just have to really want to learn.

In the news this week we look at what feels like the only story going around – the Facebook Cambridge Analytica controversy. The story has continued to roll on since I wrote this blog and it shows no sign of since Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of Congress to admit guilt and apologise.

There is no doubt a lot more to come on this story but restoring trust will be a key challenge now for Facebook.

If you enjoy this podcast then do be sure to check out Andy’s blog www.andyeklund.com where you can get a lot more tips on creativity.

 

A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal Episode 1 – The Global State of PR

In episode 1 of Smoke Signal we speak with Editor-in-Chief and CEO of the Holmes Report, Arun Sudhaman.

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes

“Bell Pottinger is probably the biggest story that I will cover in my career,” reveals Arun in episode one of Smoke Signal.

The demise of the venerable Bell Pottinger brand was not only the biggest story in the last 12 months but of his whole career, a big call for a journalist who has been covering the PR sector for over a decade.

As well as giving an inside view into the collapse of Bell Pottinger, Arun shares his views on some of the key themes that he’s seeing as major influences impacting the practice of PR globally – the emergence of purpose as a key driver for brands; the increased role of data and analytics in creating and measuring campaigns; and the impact technology now plays in everything we do in PR today.

While the quality of PR campaigns across the globe has never been higher, as seen in awards winners being given globally, Arun believes there still a breadth of work that is “relatively average” that continues to plague the industry.

The cricket loving Arun (he hosts a podcast on this too), also shares his views on the increased presence of creativity; the role of awards in the PR sector; and the rise and rise of crisis management as an important facet in the PR toolkit.

In this episode we also take a look ‘inside the news’ at one of the more bizarre stories of recent times with ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, telling a group of communications professionals that he  “hates journalists and is over mainstream media”.

Enjoy episode one of Smoke Signal.

A Public Relations Podcast: Smoke Signal – Pilot

In this pilot episode of Smoke Signal we kick off the podcast by taking a step outside of the PR bubble and speak with someone who is not in the day to day hustle – my wife Jennifer Cheal.

In this podcast we discuss the origins of Smoke Signal, the changing media landscape, the rise of social media and trust in this day and age of “fake news”.

Enjoy this pilot episode of Smoke Signal.

BLOG: PR more than just media

And it is not flattering to say the least.

One of the interesting findings from the primary research undertaken of senior PR and journalist figures and outlined in the book is more about what PR does that is not seen, than what is visible.

Titled the “Other Invisible Side of PR” by Macnamara, he highlights that the “more invisible element of PR unseen and unrecognised even by journalists” is “PR as Counsellor”.

That is providing  strategic advice to senior management. In fact, Macnamara’s findings reinforce the fact that “much PR is nothing to do with mass media.

You can’t go a day without reading about the changing media landscape. Driven by the rise of online, social, digital, the consumers are now producers (“prosumers”) of news.

The mass media is struggling to transform its business models in response. Crikey.com reported this week that Seven in 10 Australians aged over 18 say they have no intention of paying for online news, according to an Essential polling, saying that mainstream media would need to revert to “content marketing” or “native advertising” to survive.

So too PR needs to adapt – and it is. As this research by Macnamara shows, senior professionals recognise media is still an important channel, but just that, a channel. Not the be all and end all of our profession.

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