Podcast: Rebecca Dersh: Cision

Podcast: Rebecca Dersh: Cision

Bringing PR into the Digital Age with Cision’s Rebecca Dersh

If you’re a PR pro, you’ve probably already used Cision to pull media lists. However, as Amy found out in this interview with Rebecca Dersh — Public Relations Manager for Cision — the platform can do so much more. 

As Rebecca describes it, Cision is a software solution helping PR and communication pros reach, target, and engage their audience. During the course of Amy and Rebecca’s chat, we discover how tools like Cision can help us justify our activities to our clients and open the door for more strategic work.

PR Reporting is Changing

Everyone in PR should be doing a better job of measuring ROI. In the analog days, that wasn’t always easy, and some industry members remain stuck in that old mindset. Rebecca explained how Cision makes it possible to connect PR activities with direct business results — the same way marketing and advertising can. This ability allows PR pros to showcase how consumers viewed a piece of media coverage and how it generated website visits and purchases.

 

PR Analytics are Now a Reality

Through their recent acquisition of TrendKite — a PR analytics company — Cision has brought PR reporting in line with ad and marketing tech. Now, PR pros can sync Cision up with their client’s Google Analytics and use the resulting information to place their efforts in context and tell better stories.

Rebecca believes these new capabilities also open the door for greater integration between earned media teams and their advertising and marketing colleagues. For example, how can paid media pros use earned media analytics to repurpose and retarget their paid media opportunities?

 

Will Automation Steal Our Jobs?

As their conversation progressed, Amy broached the subject of PR automation. Cision can automate tasks like updating media lists, ed calendar tracking, delivery and reporting. So, is PR ever at risk of becoming fully automated?

While Amy and Rebecca both agreed that the creativity and strategic thinking necessary for successful PR could never truly be automated, using tools like Cision to their fullest can make the average PR pro more successful. Ideally, most of our time should be spent thinking strategically to craft the best pitch possible. Instead, we often get bogged down in other time-consuming tasks that could otherwise be automated. So we might as well use technology to free up a little extra bit of space in our brains, and in turn, do better work.

 

Wait, There’s More!

Listen to the podcast to hear more of Amy and Rebecca’s conversation about emerging PR technology, and to hear what it’s like for Rebecca to do PR for PR. You can also subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on Stitcher, iTunes, and Google Play.

About the guest: Rebecca Dersh

After earning her B.A. at American University, Rebecca Dersh began her career with global branding agency Wolff Olins. While there, she worked with a wide variety of clients from nonprofit to tech, before leaving New York for Austin, Texas. Today she works for Cision as its Public Relations Manager.

Connect and follow Rebecca on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Mark Knowles: So Much More Than Swivel

Podcast: Mark Knowles: So Much More Than Swivel

Mark Knowles On So Much More Than Swivel

Two secrets to Mark Knowles’ success, both personally and professionally, are to always be curious, and to fail fast and learn from those failures.

I interviewed Mark for Episode 70 of the PR Talk podcast. We had a candid conversation about a range of topics that went beyond the upcoming marketing conference he’s organizing in Bend called Swivel and delved into float planes, intention setting, serial entrepreneurialism and more.

Besides organizing Swivel, Mark is a principal at Smartz (digital marketing) and The Growler Guys (craft beer), and is the CEO of Pixelsilk (an SEO-friendly CMS). At the end of the interview we learned about how his entrepreneurship began with the proverbial lemonade stand.

Swivel is September 16-17 in BendSwivel Conference

Entering its 12th year, Swivel will be held September 16-17 in Bend, Ore. This year’s event includes well-known speakers, including: Wil Reynolds, Cari Twitchell, Blake Denman and even yours truly will have a stint onstage discussing digital PR.

Swivel also includes an Unconference on the second day, as well as two workshops on customer feedback and content marketing.

Mark’s goal for the conference is bringing together all of marketing’s parts—from creative to technical SEO—and learning how they each work independently and cooperatively.

 

Traveling Brings Greater Perspective

One of Mark’s passions is travelling. He recently returned from a trip to a remote river near Bristol Bay in Alaska where the only way to access it was via a float plane. Sharing about 1.5 million acres with only a dozen other people gave him perspective, he said, especially when compared to the times his day is dictated by his inbox.

All of that just goes away when you’re out in the wild and looking at all that nature, he said. A little bit hungover from the trip, he said he’ll eventually respond to those emails that are piling up in his inbox. Or maybe he won’t.

 

The Secrets to Mark’s Success

Listen to the podcast to learn how Mark embraces failure rather than running from it. He also is always curious and learning new things. He said both failing fast (and learning from that failure) and continuing on a learning journey have shaped his professional life.

He also shared his “1-2-3 practice” with us. Each morning he identifies the top three things he can do to make that day a success and sets out to accomplish them as soon as possible.

About the guest: Mark Knowles

Mark Knowles is a serial entrepreneur, including being a principal at Smartz, The Growler Guys and CEO at Pixelsilk. He is an advisory board member for the Search Engine Marketers of Portland (SEMpdx) and organizer of the Swivel conference in Bend. 

Connect and follow Mark on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Work/Life Balance

Podcast: Work/Life Balance

Work/Life Balance

Work/life balance is a popular topic for all industries and job-types. Amy and Mike talk about how they strive to strike the right ratio and provide tips for listeners on the PR Talk Podcast.

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

How to Choose the Right Communication Channels for Your Communications Campaign

How to Choose the Right Communication Channels for Your Communications Campaign

With so many communications channels to choose from, it’s easy to see how some businesses might get overwhelmed.

According to a recent survey by The Manifest, 64% of small businesses use two or more channels when relaying messages to consumers.

By choosing a combination of channels, businesses can ensure their messages are being received by the widest possible audience.

Although it might be tempting to use as many communications channels as are available, businesses would benefit from a more deliberate and mindful approach.

 

Know Your Audience

One of the first steps of planning a successful communications campaign is knowing exactly who the campaign is for.

Ask yourself:

  • How old is the target audience?
  • What are their communication habits?
  • What types of messages do they respond best to?

For example, if your target audience is younger, social media might be the best way to reach them.

Businesses should also consider whether the target audience is current customers or people they’re trying to convert into customers.

“Current customers are going to listen to that message quite differently than folks who don’t know who you are or haven’t had any sort of relationship with you,” said Mike Rosenberg, CEO of Veracity, one of the top PR agencies in Portland, Ore.

 

Consider Your Message

 The next step to planning an effective communications campaign is to consider the message you want to share.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you sharing information about a new product or service?
  • Do you want to share company news?
  • Is the purpose of your message to inform or incite a specific action?

Businesses should always consider the nature of their message before determining which communication channel would be the best fit.

 

Think About What Kind of Return You Want to Gain

After you’ve considered your audience and the type of message you’ll be sharing, you also need to consider the type of return you want to gain from your communication efforts.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the goal with communication to customers?
  • What action do we want them to take?
  • Do we want them to buy something?
  • Do we want them to start a conversation around our brand?
  • Is this more a matter of customer service?
  • How will we track our returns?

For example, if you want to jumpstart buzz around your brand or a new product, social media might be the best channel. If you want to offer customers exclusive news or discounts, email or direct mail might be best.

Whatever your intended return is, make sure it is trackable so that you can measure the success of your campaign to prepare for future campaigns.

 

Business-Consumer Communications Requires a Well-Thought Out Plan

While businesses should use multiple platforms to emphasize their messages, they should do so in a deliberate way. By considering their audience, message, and the return they want to gain, businesses can create a communications campaign that strengthens their public relations, marketing, and reputation management strategies.

Featured image from Ethan Hoover
Podcast: PR Tools

Podcast: PR Tools

PR Tools

If you are like me and you hear the term tools, you start thinking about software or applications that make your job easier. Or, maybe you think about the more classic tools of a carpenter such as a hammer, measuring tape and architectural designs? Others may think of humans most important tool, the mind. 

In this episode of PR Talk, Amy shares her view that the most important PR Tool is not the mind, relationships, a press release or even her favorite, the telephone. She insists that the most important PR tool is instinct.

Other PR tools that help you do your job include:

  • The Press Release

 

  • The Press Pitch
    • Editorial Calendars
    • Contributed Articles & Ghostwriting
    • Media Exclusives

 

  • Additional (maybe even more important) tools
    • Photos & Videos
    • Media Database/Media List/Relationships
    • Press Kits & Virtual Press Rooms
    • Media Drops
    • Email
    • Snail Mail
    • The Telephone

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: How to Start a Podcast with PRSA

Podcast: How to Start a Podcast with PRSA

This episode of #PRTalk is a recording from a PRSA Oregon event we did about the Ins and Outs of Podcasting. During the hourlong presentation at the University of Oregon in Portland, we spoke about why we started PR Talk, our processes and the technical requirements.

 

This PR Talk Podcast was recorded at PRSA Oregon’s:

The Ins and Outs of Podcasting

Video:

We also recorded the session if you would like to watch it.

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.