Screw You January and the PR Firm You Rode in On

Screw You January and the PR Firm You Rode in On

For me, January has always held a certain type of edge. The promise of a new year and a new start bubbles with pressure. Many Januarys have brought insurmountable business goals, along with the hardest part, the way in which I will get there. Or rather, how I will spend my time. 

I joined a January goals group just a few years ago with real trepidation, mostly to appease a friend, ignoring my honed self-knowing. Just a few weeks into the month, I quickly unraveled when I just COULD NOT maintain the new schedule I’d created with that group.

With my sanity in question, there is too much at stake. Today, I treat myself kindly and understand that small daily tweaks revolutionize the years ahead. 

However, when I heard Glennon Doyle’s January riff on her We Can Do Hard Things podcast (episode from January 4th), not only did I feel validated in my eschew against resolutions and goal-making in general, I found new clarity. 

“It is as if January has this PR agency that all sat around a table and decided that the way that we will brand January is to capitalize on how much people hate themselves,” Glennon says when speaking about the “New Year, New You” tagline.

“It’s a great way to run an economy,” Abby Wambach, Glennon’s wife and Olympian superstar adds.

“The PR for January is really just everybody on earth who’s trying to sell you this shit that will certainly make you a New Year, New You,” says Glennon, adding that her new vibe is “screw you January.”

What was most comforting to hear throughout the episode was that we may not need to change anything at all. It’s revolutionary to think that we may be fine exactly as we are. At this very moment.

And what I hadn’t thought about was Glennon’s explanation that people at their core don’t change. She wasn’t talking about identity. She meant that we don’t change our actions, which possibly stem from our internal core values, just overnight. For example, overnight I am not going to place money as a value over caretaking. My caretaking begins with myself which then extends toward my family, multiplying outward to others whether that be Veracity’s clients or our team.

So there. To January and its “New Year, New You” PR motto. Drop the campaign. Humanity’s veil is slowly lifting as we discover that we’ve always been fine just the way we are last January, ten years ago January and most of all, this January. And with that, I close the month out by joining Glennon’s rally cry as she says “screw you, January!” But as a PR person, I offer a flippant middle finger to January’s evil PR firm that clearly doesn’t put caretaking over profits.

2022 Public Relations Predictions

2022 Public Relations Predictions

Q&A with Amy Rosenberg About Her Public Relations Predictions for 2022

As December comes to an end, our minds naturally turn to all the exciting possibilities of a brand new year. In this Q&A, Amy Rosenberg, Veracity’s Founder and President, shares her thoughts about what 2022 might hold for public relations (PR) professionals.


Q: What were the year’s biggest PR stories, and how will they impact us in 2022? 

Amy: The first story is one we’ve been tracking for a few years now, and it’s the continued loss of trust in the government and media. In many ways, business leaders have filled this trust vacuum, which creates a significant opportunity for PRs to work with executives in thought leadership outreach efforts.

The second significant story is the war for talent within the PR industry. Firms are going to have an increasingly difficult time finding new talent because they can’t adapt to the needs of their employees. I’ve watched many of my colleagues drop out of the workforce and start their own PR consultancies because their previous employers couldn’t give them the flexibility they needed to successfully manage their roles as a parent, spouse, and general human being.

This attitude carries over into the newer generations of workers as well who believe their lives are more important than their careers. Many legacy firms are stuck in the old model and still require their employees to follow arbitrary rules rather than trusting them to be professionals. The industry will need to adapt if they want to continue attracting new talent.


Q: What opportunities are you most excited by in 2022?

Amy: There are a few things on my radar that are really exciting. The first is highlighting mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and “new workforce” stories like the Great Resignation, which all highlight the importance of having leaders with high emotional IQs.

The second is exploring the return of in-person events, which present great PR opportunities. However, during the pandemic era, business leaders must also know when to cancel events because sometimes, doing nothing is the most intelligent decision. PR people can play an important role in offering that kind of advice.

I’m also excited about developing mutually beneficial partnerships with influencers in the business-to-business space. Not the overhyped kind of influencers, but people who make significant impacts within their industries.


Q: What PR activities will offer the best value next year?

Amy: Businesses can benefit from building cohesive teams that combine traditional PR with content marketing, social media, and traditional marketing. Agencies like Veracity can help groups organize their content, make it flow better within an aligned content schedule, and maximize its reach with PR opportunities.


Q: What PR activities do you hope will finally go away next year?

Amy: It may never really go away, but I hope that PRs will finally begin moving away from measuring success solely by media hits or ad equivalency. These days our work is so much more complicated than chasing coverage, and we need to start explaining our value in ways that accurately capture everything we do for our clients.


Q: What will be next year’s biggest PR trend?

Amy: I’m watching a trend of PR people moving away from media relations, which ties in with the previous question. This transition is pretty challenging because constantly chasing the next story provides a concrete workflow to follow. But at the same time, it’s almost impossible to predict if you’ll be able to land coverage at all, which means proving your value to clients is challenging under the traditional framework. I think going forward, PRs will focus on initiatives like branding within owned channels and internal comms, while earned media coverage will become an added value.


Q: What’s one PR technique most people won’t use but should?

Amy: Customization. I know it takes more time, energy and budget to customize a pitch every time you send it out, but it’s more important now than ever. The average media member receives so much junk mail that emails have to be customized, or they just won’t break through the noise.


Q: What’s the most significant opportunity in PR next year?

Amy: I think we all have a huge opportunity to treat ourselves and our employees in a kinder manner by creating boundaries with work and clients. Because making space for ourselves to live creates more opportunities to be creative and fulfilled in our work and home lives.


Q: What’s the most important skill PRs should cultivate next year?

Amy: Being more assertive with your clients while not being assertive with the press. Also, understanding that you don’t have to rely on the press to get the message out if you’re making good use of owned media channels, which is a tremendous perspective change for many PRs.


Q: What industry do you think will need PR the most this year?

Amy: What I think is most interesting is that suddenly, everybody I know is booked. It seems like businesses woke up and now understand how much they need PR. So the answer is, every industry! One by-product of this surge in PR interest is that it may create more opportunities for us to finally have a seat at the decision-making table. If more CEOs begin seeing the value of PR, it might prompt them to pull PR people into critical conversations more often.


Q: What are the biggest challenges PRs will face in the coming year?

Amy: People leaving the industry. In many ways, it’s always been this way. Firms put the clients first and rely on lots of young people to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of the work. To make matters worse, shrinking newsrooms make it harder than ever to get coverage, which means PR teams experience fewer and fewer wins. If this doesn’t change, people will get burned out and leave for other areas of marketing, and PR firms will continue to experience a revolving door of talent.

Alternatively, firms can prioritize their employees’ experience and add new deliverables their team can feel proud of rather than simply chasing news coverage. That change creates an environment where a creative and fulfilled team accomplishes meaningful work.

A Conversation with a PR Student About My Career Journey

A Conversation with a PR Student About My Career Journey

“How did you get your start?,” is a common inquiry from people interested in the PR field. With years of experience working in agency settings and then starting out on her own, Veracity Founder and President Amy Rosenberg has a volume of stories to tell about her career journey. In a recent interview with a university student, Amy freely shares anecdotes from what first piqued her interest to how she came to launch her own PR firm, offering valuable insights for budding entrepreneurs and those seeking to learn more about beginning a PR career.   


What got you interested in public relations?

Even though I was a psychology major at the University of Oregon, one of my good friends Michele was a PR major and I watched her having so much fun with the work, organizing events for students, writing articles about community happenings and more. All of the PR groups she was involved in (probably the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) as well as the school’s mini PR firm that helped local Eugene, OR companies with pro-bono marketing) had her really plugged into the community and enjoying her activities. While I did apply to, and got into, graduate school for counseling psychology, I thought I’d spend the summer at a PR internship.

That internship at a small PR firm gave me so much on-the-ground experience, I was hooked. One of our areas of focus was entertainment, therefore we PR’ed many events that came to town, such as the circus, Disney on Ice, and even the rodeo. I got to help out on-site with the media. There were many late nights and early mornings (TV morning shows), but we had a ton of fun. It was during that internship I was offered a full-time position, and I did not hesitate.


Why and how did you start Veracity?

I actually took a break from PR to sell and market a high-end condominium development. I got my real estate license and sold other properties during that time. At the same time, I had my son. With the condos all sold, I attempted to sell real estate on my own, with a baby. I even took him to a house inspection once! 

However, the market started to crash and some deals didn’t go through. I didn’t like having spent my entire weekend working with a prospective buyer with nothing to show for it. Also, I missed the camaraderie and support of the condominium team, which I no longer had since the properties were sold. So, I gave up my license and tried my hand at being a stay-at-home mom. Ha! With no outside things to focus on, laundry became my priority (second to my son of course) and I began to lose my mind! 

My husband was very involved with the local search engine marketing group, SEMpdx, and thought possibly I could do some pro-bono work for their largest event, Engage (formerly known as SearchFest). That year, I did their PR successfully enough I guess that they wanted to hire me the following year (well, I did become pregnant with baby #2 and said that I couldn’t work for free anymore, it’s important to know your worth and sometimes simply attempting to walk away is more powerful than negotiating). So, my pro-bono client became my first paying client! 

The SEMpdx community is amazingly supportive and offered many referrals that I began to call them “my clients.” I ended up getting so many clients that I threatened to fire half of them, so my husband quit his job at a search firm to help me with the business and even more so with the kids. This extremely privileged situation pushed me from being an independent freelancer into a company founder. 


What is your book about and why did you write it?

I have always had a love for writing and for as long as I can remember it’s been a goal of mine to write a book. Of course my mind instinctively goes to fiction when thinking about writing, because that is what I read and I find most marketing books to be a bore. But, over and over I heard that you should write about what you know. And I most definitely know PR. 

A Modern Guide to Public Relations is a beginning primer to the field and includes tips on what I think are the best ways to go about things. It also serves as more of a training manual for Veracity, since I have some particular ways of doing things. However, I realized there is so much more to say on the topic so I am hoping it is just the first in a marketing series, with the next book meant for small business owners and start-ups.

Using Thought Leadership to Drive SEO [Podcast]

Using Thought Leadership to Drive SEO [Podcast]

In this week’s episode of the PR Talk Podcast, we are featuring Amy’s presentation from the recent Engage Conference. She goes in-depth about how to use thought leadership for search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. You can watch the presentation below or read all about it in a recent blog post Move Over Traditional Media: Why Thought Leadership is the New Public Relations.

Watch Amy’s presentation on this topic from the 2021 Engage Conference


Don’t Miss an Episode

You can access more great episodes by subscribing to the PR Talk podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio and Spotify.

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 for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

How To Write How-To Blog Posts

How To Write How-To Blog Posts

One of my most favorite pieces of advice I received when it comes to creating content for your blog is to reference the things you say and do for your customers frequently. These could be frequently asked questions, things you find yourself explaining over and over again, and instructions you have given so many times you have created a template.

Below is some of the advice we share with clients when it comes to how to write how-to blog posts.


Blog Post/Content Guidance

It’s often said that longer blog posts and web pages are better for SEO. This is pretty much true. Think about the first few results when you are looking for a recipe. Do you really need the full history and step-by-step instruction with images of Baked Ziti or would the ingredients and basic recipe suffice? But it really comes down to how many words it takes to properly explain the topic. As a general guide, we typically shoot for around 800 – 1,000 words. However, this can be changed based on the blog post type. And today we are talking about How-To Posts.


How-To Posts

Good How-To posts can be quite intensive as they are paired with video or many photos (also great for SEO!, especially original videos and images). Moreover, it’s easier for the reader to understand complicated projects when given simple, clearly written, steps. This is why we suggest at least 500 words for these types of posts. 

You can get more words on the page by adding in many subheads to explain the steps, which can also be beneficial for people reading on a phone, tablet or laptop. This also makes it easier for the reader to follow along. 


Key Elements for How-To Posts


Follow a formulaic approach that makes it simple to catalog so consumers can find them easily when they are looking for this type of post.

For example, start all posts like this:

How-To: [insert project name] 


A Step-By-Step Guide to [insert project name]


1st subhead or photo caption to run under the first photo

Further, explain the project or mention the “hook,” i.e. summer is coming so get ready for backyard fun with our steel BBQ project. Whether or not this appears as the first subhead, an introduction, or it runs under the photo to look like a photo caption depends on your website/blog design. But it can be fun to view your words as art and see how they’ll line up on the completed webpage.


Materials needed

List materials needed in a bullet-pointed or easy-to-read fashion. Possibly link to products or provide instructions for where to buy (especially if they can buy from you) as long as it doesn’t take up too much room before getting to the steps.


Tools needed

List tools needed in a bullet point or easy-to-read fashion. 


Time required

Give the reader an idea of how much time this project should take.



Provide the expected cost for the materials required.


Subsequent subheads

You can list every step numerically, with each step being its own subhead. Don’t leave out any steps and assume they know how to do it. After listing the steps as subheads, go back in and provide at least two sentences explaining the step in more detail, much like how you would say it in a video (in fact, this can prep you for video recordings).


Close/Call-to-Action (CTA)

Do not forget this part, a lot of people do! Here is a great place to bring back in the hook mentioned above to tie it all together. You should also add your CTAs here as it’s typically best to have them in the close of any blog post. For example, if there is a special kit or product they could buy from you to enhance this project, include how to get it here (with links). And/or include any class information and how to sign up (link) if it relates to the project.

If you have two CTAs, break them apart into two paragraphs. Also, when bringing the “hook” back in, if you have enough to say, it could even be its own paragraph. Then you have 3 paragraphs “bottoming out” the subheads/steps above! It looks nice and complete! YAY good job. You are done! 🙂 Possibly this little note of encouragement here is an inspiration to provide kudos to your audience for finishing the project you just walked them through.

In closing, always remember your close :), below are some additional resources from the Veracity blog that can help you through various types of blogging processes, whether it is writing and formatting, or how to reach more people with your posts. 

Catching them Hook, Line & Sinker with Blog Posts

8 Elements Of A Good Blog Post [podcast w/ blog]

Creating Blog Post Ideas [podcast w/ blog]

Skeptical About Thought Leadership?

Skeptical About Thought Leadership?

Here’s Why Your Perspective Matters.

If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately, you’ve probably seen the posts. Brash statements about business success. Pictures of flashy clothes and cars. Humblebrags about the fantastic team that “made it all possible.” Promises of extraordinary results if you just follow their plan/hire their company/buy their book/click this link. These posts have become the background noise we all wade through as we roll our eyes and continue scrolling. In too many cases, what passes as thought leadership is nothing more than a thinly veiled sales pitch or a cheap Ted Talk knock-off.

It’s no wonder, then, why many executives avoid adding their voices to the online conversation, choosing instead to focus on their relationships and day-to-day work. After all, when thought leadership goes bad, it can go very bad, and no serious business leader wants to come off as a cliche. However, leaders who are reluctant to enter the thought leadership space often don’t give themselves enough credit for what they have to offer. Others don’t realize the benefits this marketing approach can bring their organization. In reality, you don’t have to be Simon Sinek to make a difference in your industry. With a good strategy in place, any leader can become a thought leader.


Why Business Leaders Should Also Be Thought Leaders

Business executives are already leaders by nature. They manage teams, direct initiatives, oversee operating budgets and use their experience to make tough decisions. Within these everyday duties lay the kernels of big ideas that can educate, inspire and even promote. Thought leadership demonstrates these ideas through writing, videos, podcasts, speaking engagements and more. As a business leader, you have the opportunity to lead from the front by highlighting what makes your organization special. But that’s not the only reason to take the plunge.

Skeptical about Thought Leadership Infographic

The Human Element

It’s easy for organizations to appear impersonal, while its human face remains hidden within cubicles and conference rooms buried inside nondescript buildings. Thought leadership campaigns add an essential human element to your corporate identity. Through carefully crafted content, executives add personality and context to their company’s work. This strategy also humanizes the people making decisions behind-the-scenes. Most importantly, the best thought leadership connects business activities with our shared human goals. If you can show people how to connect and cooperate more effectively, how to improve in their work or how to thrive in their lives, you’ll transcend the typical buy/sell relationship into something much more meaningful.


You Have Ideas to Share

We’re not talking about E=MC2 here. Those ideas come along once in a generation. However, you’ve undoubtedly learned a thing or two over the years. Whether it comes from smashing success or crushing defeat, your experience can help other people move more successfully through their own lives. What’s more, your organization is full of professionals and experts who’ve built their careers on doing their thing. Knowledge and ideas exist within your orbit. The challenge comes in unearthing and sharing that innate expertise in ways people find relevant and exciting.


You Aren’t Doing This for Yourself

Undertaking thought leadership as an ego play is a losing proposition. Social media has helped us all become adept at spotting and dismissing inauthentic personal branding efforts. If, instead, your thought leadership campaigns remain focused on meeting your audience’s needs as a way of raising your company’s public profile, your work will have a tangible business goal and measurable outcomes. Any attention from these efforts will benefit your company and your team, which is the way it ought to be.


Your Organization Will Benefit From the Spotlight

Sustained thought leadership campaigns can also become significant sales engines for your organization. Research conducted by LinkedIn and Edelman showed that thought leadership drives new business, increases existing business and shortens the sales cycle. Thought leadership also supports other sales and marketing goals like increasing engagement, driving website traffic and building brand loyalty. As a leading company spokesperson, your efforts will bolster your organization’s reputation and boost its bottom line.


You’ll Recruit and Retain Better Employees

Thought leadership helps build organizational pride. When your leaders create exciting content that garners positive attention, it gives employees one more reason to love where they work. Plus, the new business your thought leadership campaigns generate could lead to more rewarding and profitable work for your staff. When it comes time to expand, your thought leadership work will have formed a positive backing of press coverage, making your organization more attractive to top-level talent.


You Don’t Have to Do It Alone

Perhaps most importantly, thought leadership won’t be something you have to tackle on your own. Instead, influential thought leaders work with a team that helps them develop ideas, create content, strategize placement and analyze the results. Taking this big step alone would be challenging for almost anyone. But with the right people in your corner, thought leadership can become one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal.


Great Leaders Are Already Thought Leaders

Thought leadership doesn’t have to be cliche. When done well, it communicates ideas, promotes an organization, builds identity and connects us with shared goals. In reality, these are activities great leaders already participate in every day. Thought leadership simply extends those activities outside your corporate walls in ways that return benefits to the organization. With a little planning and care, your thought leadership will rise above the noise to become something truly useful.