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January | February 2011

January 4, 2011

Jon Myers

Message from the President

Happy New Year PRSA members! As we close 2010 and welcome 2011 I would like to first thank our 2010 President, Lindsay Pangburn for a great year of leadership. Lindsay has done an incredible job during some fiscally challenging times in which our chapter has grown and flourished. In fact, the entire 2010 Board deserves special recognition for great efforts and direction.

I would also like to take a moment to say thank you to our chapter members for an opportunity to lead the California Capital Chapter as President through the next year. I look forward to continuing the progress we have been making and working with an amazing board of professionals. There is much to look forward to in 2011.

This year, it is my hope that we will reach even more of the Sacramento region PR professionals and engage them in all that PRSA has to offer, including outstanding training resources, access to the latest technolgies and medias from some of public relations finest, and great networking opportunities with like-minded colleagues. 

PRSA networking is a great way to learn from eachother, stay in touch with friends and keep up on new ideas and technologies. I look forward to much more networking in 2011 and continuing to build a stronger and more dynamic PRSA chapter. As always, I welcome your feedback, opinions and suggestions.

Thank you once again and Happy New Year!

Jon M. Myers
President, PRSA California Capital Chapter


Message From The Immediate Past President

It’s hard to believe that 2010 is already coming to a close! It has been an honor to serve as your 2010 PRSA-CCC President, and I look forward to continuing my involvement in the chapter next year. As we wrap up 2010, I wanted to highlight some of our chapter accomplishments this year.

Early in 2010, the chapter was struggling a bit financially, and the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to no longer retain a Chapter Administrator. With that position vacant, the members of our Board assumed all of the administrative duties for the chapter and also took the opportunity to revamp some of our processes, such as the registration system used for our events. So, with a lot of effort and dedication from our Board, I’m proud to say that our chapter will wrap up this year with money in the bank! The chapter now has funds available for use toward a variety of programs and activities next year, such as bringing in a special guest speaker for a monthly luncheon program.

We have continued to provide a variety of valuable programming and networking opportunities to our membership in order to keep members up-to-date on the latest information, research and trends in our industry. Important topics covered during the year included social media, special event planning, speech writing, crisis communications and political/campaign communication strategies. Earlier this year, we were also able to lower the registration fees for our monthly events, in an effort to make attendance feasible for more of our members. Additionally, the chapter hosted its second successful “Quality Time with PR Minds” event in October. During this annual half-day event, local PR professionals volunteered to provide on-the-spot PR and marketing consultation and brainstorming to nonprofit organizations from the Sacramento region, helping them communicate with their shareholders and potential donors, and further their contributions to the Sacramento community.

Through our revamped chapter website, http://www.prsasacramento.org, we have been able to continue providing access to a plethora of local and national PR resources, as well as chapter event information and postings for local public relations, marketing and communications job openings.

I hope you are all able to take some time to relax and enjoy this holiday season, and I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2011!

Best Regards,
Lindsay Pangburn


Looking Ahead to 2011 Luncheon Programs

We have an exciting year planned out for our 2011 luncheons!  From social media to crisis communications, our 2011 monthly luncheons will cover the hottest topics in the industry and feature some of the most well known experts from the area.  Some of the topics include New Rules of Media Relations, Branding, Special Event Planning and Reaching Diverse Audiences, just to name a few.  We will kick off the year with our expert panel revealing their predictions for the PR industry for 2011.  Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to brush up on the latest in the industry or you are just entering the PR industry, PRSA-CCC’s 2011 luncheons are sure to provide valuable insight.  

We are also happy to announce that we have a new venue for 2011.  Our luncheons will now be held at Chops located at 1117 11th Street.  We look forward to seeing you in January!


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PR Measurment Metrics – The New Global Standards

Over the past 30 years, the debate about measurement and evaluation in public relations has been endless. The importance of this research has never been in question, but how it has been applied has been controversial.

Today, most measurement and evaluation programs only deal with the outputs of public relations activity and fail to account for measuring specific communications and business objectives. In June of this year, over 200 public relations researchers from around the world reached a consensus on a set of principles that for the first time reaches a consensus among researchers on what is the right way to measure and evaluate public relations. Those seven principles — The Barcelona Principles — take a comprehensive view of what to consider in developing a measurement and evaluation program. However the Principles did not prescribe or recommend a specific approach to measurement.

David Michaelson, Ph.D., has 30 years experience conducting high quality, actionable research for Fortune 500 companies, including MetLife, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Coca-Cola and AT&T. He has received numerous awards, including PRSA’s Jackson, Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize recognizing outstanding contributions to the research body of knowledge, two PRSA Silver Anvils and the 2009 Measurement/Research Expert of the Year from PR News. Michaelson is principal ofDavid Michaelson & Company, LLC.


Get Active

Want to do more for the public relations and marketing industry in our region? Join one of PRSA Sacramento’s committees and get more involved in what we do and how we do it. We are looking for chapter members to help fill positions in our membership, communications and programming committees. If you would like to get more involved with your local chapter and be part of what makes PRSA great, contact Jon Myers at jonmmyers@sbcglobal.net.

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November | December Newsletter

November 8, 2010

Message from the President

Believe it or not…November is already upon us!  As we wrap up a busy and successful 2010, I wanted to highlight just a few remaining PRSA-CCC activities for the year: 

First, our final luncheon program of the year was held last week, and the topic focused on “Post Election Discussion: What Communication Strategies Worked.”  The program featured two of California’s most well-known and respected political communication strategists: Steve Maviglio, Principal at Forza Communications, and Kevin Eckery, President at Eckery Associates.  PRSA-CCC will be taking a break during the month of December, but we will be back at it in January so keep an eye out for information on our 2011 luncheons!

Second, the ballot for our 2011 Board of Directors will be emailed to all chapter members later this month, so please keep an eye on your inboxes for that.  If you could cast your votes and return your completed ballots as soon as possible, we would greatly appreciate it!     

Lastly, as you have all heard, PRSA-CCC lost a dear friend and colleague earlier this year with the passing of Lisa Fisher, APR.  Because Lisa is so respected in the PR community, a scholarship for communications/public relations students has been created in her name at her alma mater, California State University, Sacramento.  If you would like to contribute to the fund, please make checks payable to Lisa Fisher Fund/University Foundation, and in the memo line of the check please indicate “Lisa Fisher Fund.”  Checks can be mailed to the CSUS Development Office, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6030. 

Thank you all for your support and participation in PRSA-CCC during 2010.  I wish you all the best this holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous 2011!

Should you have any questions or suggestions for us, please feel free to contact me at lpangburn@counties.org.

Best Regards,

Lindsay Pangburn
President, PRSA California Capital Chapter


MyPRSA

There are many reasons to join PRSA and many more to be involved, participate and remain active. However, there are benefits to being a member that many don’t take advantage of or even know about. One of these benefits is the new member’s page on the updated PRSA National website.

If you haven’t already signed up for MyPRSA, I encourage you to visit the site and register. As a member, you already are an active part of MyPRSA, its just waiting for you to sign in. Once you are signed in, you can control how much you want to participate. Much of this is done in the profile page. From here you can create your own personal profile and be among the hundreds of other professionals who are part of PRSA. The profiles page lets you include things like where you work, social media links and even post a picture. Creating a profile is a great networking opportunity.

Another missed feature in MyPRSA is the incredibly resourceful Leadership Tools page. There are numerous links to documents and other resources that can provide you with the  leadership tools needed to achieve winning results for your district, chapter or even in your personal professional activities.  

And did you know that being a PRSA member provides you access to preferred rates on insurance, shipping, car rental and financial planning, to lower your professional and personal expenses? Well it does. So be sure to check out the Member Discount Programs page to access all the savings and benefits that come with PRSA membership.

And don’t forget to check out the MyPRSA e-groups where you can join and interact with other professionals about topics that are important to you. It’s a great way to stay on top of the issues, meet other professionals and be a leader in the industry.

All of this is already there, waiting for you to sign in and start taking advantage of your membership to PRSA. www.prsa.org


The 2010 National PRSA Conference:  Three Take-Away’s

By John Frith

As always, there were far more interesting sessions at this year’s PRSA International Conference than there was time to attend them all. But here are the top three takeaways I got from the sessions I attended:

  • Tell persuasive stories. You can’t change public opinion with PowerPoint bullets.
  • Social media is a great PR tool, but it only works in conjunction with other tactics.
  • In today’s media environment, do as much of the legwork for reporters as you can and you’ll likely enjoy greater placement success.

This year’s conference, in Washington, DC, was the fourth one I’ve been fortunate enough to attend, and I’ve gotten great insights from each that have helped me grow and improve as a PR professional.

Interestingly, two of the best speakers I saw dovetailed significantly in their messages. Christopher Graves, Global CEO for Ogilvy PR, and Mahmoud Arafa, President and Creative Director for Designframe USA, gave dynamic presentations that had the same bottom line: people don’t change their minds based solely on facts. Emotion is a key player as well.

As Arafa put it, people make decisions based on their gut and their heart, then justify those decisions with their heads. Powerful stories, written concisely but with enough detail that the story sticks (“brain Velcro,” as Graves put it) reach the heart and bypass the hearer’s BS detector.

Mark Story, Director of New Media for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said social media serves the same purpose as taking clients to play golf: it builds relationships. But Facebook and Twitter are only effective as tactics that are part of a well-planned strategy. For public affairs success, you need to integrate them along with lobbying, grassroots programs, and traditional PR tactics.

And when it comes to media relations, PR pros need to remember that journalists today are busier than ever. Michael Smart, the head of Brigham Young University’s PR department and an independent consultant, said anything you can do to help them cover a story will increase the chances they’ll write about your issue.

Among other things, he suggested finding real people they can interview, and even feed them bullet points that can form the basis of questions. Also, give them names of third-party sources who will back you up. And finally, offer them art or visuals since even print journalists now frequently have to shoot video for their paper’s website.

Smart also talked about successful pitching. Among his tips:

  • Tie in your pitch to something the reporter or blogger has written about recently.
  • Write a compelling subject line that will get them to read your email.
  • Keep the e-mail pitch short enough to be read in Outlook’s preview screen. If it’s too long, most of us tend to move on to the next email intending to come back at some point, but usually we don’t.

Next year’s International Conference is in Orlando, and the year after that it will be back in San Francisco. These conferences are a valuable part of your PRSA membership and I’d urge all Chapter members to attend if at all possible. It’s worth the investment.


 

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Welcome New Members

Jennifer Armitage
Consultant
Jennifer@outreachgeek.com

Brad Dore
SMA America

Robin Marie Jackson
Chief of Public Affairs
Department of VA Northern California HealthCare System

Tiffany Nicole Scalone
Public Relations Assistant
SMA America

Ashlee Tate

Dan G. Dement


Social Media Rules for Rush Hour?

Posted by Richard Teplitsky on October 19th 2010 

One of the modern benefits that arise when well-connected public relations professionals congregate is our thirst for reporting pertinent information on the proceedings   most frequently delivered via social media. What has amazed me in recent years when attending the PRSA 2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress (and other recent PRSA-sponsored events) is the volume of virtual participants who aren’t onsite.

Those following the event hash tag (#prsa_ic) are absolutely fervent with commenting, debating and retweeting posts that are originating from the gathering. In fact, I’ve noticed so many active event hash tag followers, it’s actually hard to determine if they are here in person or if they are participating remotely. And this two-way dialogue and sharing of information and education is a wonderful endorsement of the power of the “global village network” that the Internet has truly become.

That said, and after observing some of the voluminous amount of tweets here at the Conference, I thought I’d propose a few potential social media ethics and best practices that occurred to me during the past days. Since social media etiquette has always been informal, consider these just suggestions. It’s up to you to use your own good judgment:

Consider letting YOUR followers know you are attending an event, then simply retweet posts to them that aren’t redundant. Really. It’s OK   you’ll still get credit for sending along good content to your followers if you didn’t write the original tweet. And this year’s attendees at #prsa_ic have done a pretty good job of respecting the original tweets of others by simply retweeting. Think of the message overload that occurs when people pile on by sending exactly the same tweet that’s already been sent a dozen times with the same hash tag.

When adding your own editorial comments to a speaker’s remarks, consider making it clear where your point of view begins and ends in those tweets. It’s a more responsible approach and avoids putting words in someone else’s mouth.

Also, consider your PR and/or journalism education (if that’s your background) and cite by name the source of your tweets. That’s especially important for event attendees who may not be attending the same session you’re sitting in (or following along from miles away). Providing Web links and other pointers to source information is also helpful.

Well, it’s a start.  Anything else come to mind on group tweeting and social media etiquette that you have found helpful?

Rich Teplitsky

Rich Teplitsky

Rich Teplitsky is vice president, Lois Paul & Partners, in the agency’s Austin, Texas, office, and also serves as the current chair of PRSA’s Technology Section. A life-long early adopter of what’s new and what’s next, Rich believes the “cell-dividing” edge now trumps the leading and bleeding edges. He is also a contributor to the agency’s “Beyond The Hype” PR blog, with an eye and an ear for reporting on the challenges of tech, modern PR and the zeitgeist that was honed in his early career in broadcast journalism. Connect with Rich on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @rteplitsky.

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Get Active

Want to do more for the public relations and marketing industry in our region? Join one of PRSA Sacramento’s committees and get more involved in what we do and how we do it. We are looking for individuals to help provide their creativity, experience and know-how on the Chapter’s Programming Committee, Membership Committee, Outreach & Communications Committee and Quality Time with PR Minds Committee. For more information contact Jon Myers at jonmmyers@sbcglobal.net.

September | October Newsletter

September 1, 2010

Message from the President

It’s hard to believe we are already into September!  The PRSA-CCC has had a busy year so far!  Hopefully you’ve had chance to attend one of our great monthly luncheon programs, visit our completely redesigned chapter website, or check out our latest postings for job opportunities in the Sacramento area.  We have several more events and activities coming up in the next few months that I wanted to make sure our members are aware of:  

  • Quality Time With PR Minds
    PRSA-CCC will host its Second Annual “Quality Time with PR Minds” event in Sacramento on Tuesday, October 5, from 8:30 a.m. to Noon.  During this half-day event, we will provide on-the-spot PR and marketing consultation and brainstorming to a group of local nonprofit organizations, helping them communicate with their shareholders and potential donors, and further their contributions to the Sacramento community. 

 
Volunteers are needed to help staff this event!  We are looking for public relations professionals with at least two years of PR and/or marketing experience to participate.  The event will include a brainstorming session for each nonprofit organization from the Sacramento area where we will focus on a specific PR issue area that the nonprofit is facing, such as message development, media relations, social media or communication plan development.  Breakfast will be provided for all volunteers.   

To sign-up as a volunteer, please click here for the Volunteer Application.  Please note that anyone with an APR needing continuing education hours can count 3.5 hours toward their required quota by participating in this event.     

  • APR Boot Camp
    If you’ve ever considered pursuing your APR, now is a great time to do so.  We are offering a series of four free APR boot camp study sessions to help you prepare for the exam, including copies of the PRSA study guide, case study exercises, and advice from other members who have succeeded in achieving their APR.   In today’s tough job market, adding APR to your professional credentials just might give you the competitive edge you need.  Classes began on August 21st, but you are welcome to join at any time.  For more information on the remaining classes or the APR process, please contact Nancy Kincaid, APR, at (916) 654-2441 or nkincaid@csus.edu.   
  • Other Programming/Events
    We’ve had some fantastic luncheon programs so far this year!  Topics covered have included event planning, crisis communication, speech writing and social media.  In September, we’ll be discussing the topic of successful mentoring and job searches.  This event is scheduled for Thursday, September 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and will be held at River City Brewing Company in downtown Sacramento (inside Downtown Plaza).  Please keep an eye on your email and/or our website for further information and registration details.    As you may have already noticed, we’ve also initiated a new registration and payment process for our monthly events, using EventBrite and PayPal.  Hopefully you have found them to be user friendly; if you have any additional feedback, please let us know. 
  • Updated Chapter Website
    The PRSA-CCC website, located at www.prsasacramento.org, has been completely redesigned and updated.  The site includes details on upcoming Chapter events, local job postings and our quarterly newsletter, as well as links to many of the resources, trainings/events and materials provided by PRSA National.  If you haven’t visited the site in a while, please be sure to check it out!   

Should you have any questions or suggestions for us, please feel free to contact me at lpangburn@counties.org.  

Best Regards,  

Lindsay Pangburn
President, PRSA California Capital Chapter  


  

PRSA-CCC Launches New Website

If you have visited the PRSA-CCC website recently, you will notice some big changes have taken place. Our website, http://www.prsasacramento.org, underwent a major facelift over the past few weeks. The new and improved website follows a similar layout and style of the PRSA national website and serves as a great resource for PR professionals in the Sacramento area.  

The new site allows you to tap into PRSA national resources as well as find out the latest news for our local PRSA-CCC chapter. Whether it’s learning about our new APR bootcamp, registering for our next luncheon or browsing through job postings, the new PRSA-CCC website has it all. You can also connect to us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn through our website.  

We would like to give a special thanks to Jon Myers for all his hard work in developing the new website!  


  

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Welcome New Members

Diane Jayne Barney
Director of Public Relations
NorthBay Healthcare  

Jordan Blair
Director, Communications
Jesuit High School  

Michelle Marie McIntosh  

Lisa Michele Sherrill
Community Relations Manager
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano  

Jason Eric Sorrick
Director of Communications and Government Relations
American Medical Response  

Jennifer Sweeney
Public Relations Manager
California Travel and Tourism Commission  


  

Measuring Stakeholder Relationships: A Case Study

Posted by Alan Chumley on July 30th 2010

We work in an increasingly ‘direct-to-stakeholder’ world. Stakeholder, influencer, key opinion leader relationships are everything in this business. So if the industry is investing time and money in initiating, building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders for mutual benefit, then there sure better be a way to first diagnose the situation, respond to it, then measure success.  

In Theory
There are. Methods exist to quantifiably benchmark and track the quality of stakeholder relationships (customers, interest groups, investors, employees, vendors, government officials, etc.) over time. It’s an index used to establish a diagnostic benchmark, build a campaign around addressing gaps, and measure again for lift.  

The index, which comes to us from the granddaddy of contemporary public relations academia, Jim Grunig, Ph.D., out of the University of Maryland, can be executed through a series of interviews, focus groups and/or (ideally) a survey.  

It measures success in familiar terms such as mutual awareness, accuracy, understanding, agreement and the less familiar, symbiotic behavior.  

Six elements of a relationship are testing using an agree-disagree scale:  

Control mutuality (The extent to which stakeholders feel they have control over the direction of the relationship, the organization, the strategy, or whatever’s at issue.)
Trust (integrity dependability, competence)
Satisfaction
Commitment
Exchange and communal value (Anybody remember their Marx readings?)

Each of the above categories generally has at least a dozen or so agree-disagree statement behind it.  

So, does it work? Yes, it does. Let’s look at an some simplified excerps from example undertaken recently.  

In Practice
A large public sector organization operating in a very complex environment with a wide and diverse range of external stakeholders wanted to understand what stakeholders thought of them. The project set out to test the hypothesis that this organization had fairly decent and strong (read: good quality) relationships with their stakeholders.  

The result was much poorer than was assumed: 34/100. The score means that, all questions and all categories being equally weighted (and they aren’t always or at least don’t have to be), and looking at all stakeholder groups, on average, 34 percent of all survey respondents would have either agreed or strongly agreed with the statements, such as those below, put to them. Or, looked on another way, one might infer that only 34 percent of respondents agreed that they have a ‘quality’ relationship with the organization. (Examples of statements are below.)  

•This organization wants to develop a partnership with clients. — 29 (percent agreed)
•This organization treats people like me fairly and justly. —.44
•This organization is responsive to me. — 39
•When this organization makes an important decision, it will be concerned about people like me. — 24
•This organization can be relied on to keep its promises. — 27
•This organization really listens to what people like me have to say. — 29
•I feel that this organization is trying to maintain a long-term commitment to people like me. — 32
•I can see that this organization wants to maintain a relationship with people like me. — 37

More importantly, looked at in the simplest light, the results essentially mean that 66 percent didn’t feel they had a ‘quality’ relationship with the organization with whom they deal. And if one were to look at these results broken down by type of stakeholder (say, investors versus suppliers versus government officials), the bad news is that the results, in many cases, are even more troubling. As a former employer used to say, “Data can validate the intuitive.” In this case, it (the data) did quite the opposite. It disproved an assumption. But that’s not always a bad thing. The good news is that the organization that commissioned the study now has a diagnostic benchmark that helps them identify with laser focus, problem areas; prioritize stakeholders; go after those stakeholders; and improve those relationships.  

   

Alan Chumley

Alan Chumley

Alan Chumley, senior consultant at CARMA International Inc., Global Media Analysts, has twelve years’ experience in the corporate communication / measurement industry, including senior-level, in-house corporate communications roles for leading blue chip organizations such as Bell Canada, as the director of Measurement for Hill & Knowlton, and vice president at Cormex Media Content Analysis. An advocate of driving science into the art of communications, Alan has extensive experience in the use of research and measurement to inform and influence strategy. He specializes in interviews, focus groups, surveys, stakeholder relationship measurement, communication and perception audits, reputation research, employee engagement research, traditional and social media content analysis, and correlating this data with tangible organization outcomes. Connect with Alan and the CARMunity on Twitter and on LinkedIn. 

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July | August Newsletter

July 14, 2010

What’s Happening At National

Our national Public Relations Society of America is continueing to develop new training and new opportunities for PR pros to enhance their skills, learn about new trends or refresh your creative juices. If you havne’t looked lately, go to www.prsa.org and click on the “Professional Development” link to see all the new and exciting training programs that have developed. Many of them are webinars or teleconfrences, making it easy and convenient to provide training to your entire staff. As a PRSA member, you’ll receive a discounted cost to the training making it affordable for firm or office, no matter what size.

This summer is a great time to join PRSA if you are not already a member. 

Join in July and August and PRSA will waive the $65 initiation fee. You’ll be able to get on the inside track to a bright future.

Stay on Top of Emerging Trends and Industry News.

  • PRSA Issues and Trends delivers daily industry trends straight to your inbox.
  • Public Relations Tactics, our award-winning flagship newspaper, provides essential tips from PR experts.
  • The Strategist magazine delivers executive-level competitive insight.
  • Public Relations Journal, our online journal, showcases original research.

Extend Your Network While Increasing Your Knowledge.

  • Chapters deliver your membership experience in your local community.
  • Professional Interest Sections focus on issues, trends and research in specialized practice areas and industries.
  • PRSA’s RFP Exchange allows you to search and post your own RFPs to grow your business opportunities.
  • MyPRSA lets you access and manage your members-only benefits including our directories and e-groups.

Keep Learning and Stay Competitive.

  • Access our members-only database of case studies, articles and research.
  • Attend free and discounted learning and networking events.
  • PRSA’s Jobcenter helps you make your next career move, plus receive job alerts and access career advice.
  • Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the only professional public relations certification program, lets you distinguish yourself and gain a professional edge.
  • PRSA’s prestigious awards programs, including Silver Anvil, get you recognized for your excellence and accomplishments.

 

What Did I Miss? May Luncheon Program

Political Consultants Lead Spirited Discussion on Upcoming Election at PRSA-CCC May Meeting

By John Frith

Two political pros gave their unvarnished views on how they see the June primary election unfolding at May’s PRSA-CCC lunch meeting.

Steve Maviglio, a prominent Democratic public affairs practitioner, and Kevin Eckery, a veteran GOP consultant, agreed on a number of things but – naturally – not everything.

To begin with, the pundits agreed that Meg Whitman will probably – but not certainly – pull off the Republican nomination for Governor over Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Why? “Amateurs talk tactics. Professionals talk money,” Eckery said, citing Whitman’s overwhelming ability and willingness to contribute to her campaign.

Maviglio told the group of more than 20 PR pros and – for the first time in recent memory, two reporters for the AP – that Democrats are joining Poizner and piling on against Whitman in a wave of TV ads because they see her as the stronger candidate against presumptive Democratic nominee Jerry Brown.

The two disagreed about why Whitman’s support has dropped so sharply. Eckery, former spokesman for Gov. Pete Wilson, thought it was because of the former E-Bay CEO’s ties to the investment firm Goldman Sachs, while Maviglio, who worked for Wilson’s successor, Gray Davis, thought it was because Poizner has rallied on the illegal immigration issue.

As for Brown, seeking another stint in the corner office 28 years after he left the Horseshoe, both agreed his famed intellect and equally famed short attention span will make things interesting should he win the election – especially if San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (who observers say has an equally short attention span) is elected Lieutenant Governor.

Eckery cautioned that Republicans will make a big mistake if they run against Brown’s actions during the 1970s and ‘80s, since many voters weren’t even alive then.

In the other major statewide race, both consultants thought former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina would win the GOP nomination. Eckery thought she would give Sen. Barbara Boxer a tough race, but Maviglio predicted Boxer would win handily as recent primary results in other parts of the country show that anti-Democratic sentiments aren’t nearly as strong as some observers had expected.

As for many of the candidates in the other statewide races, Maviglio dismissed most of the termed-out legislators running as not ready for prime time, saying it was a perfect example of why term limits don’t work.

Getting Real About Creating Change

11 March, 2010 | Written by Amber Naslund/Blog

Altitude Branding - Getting Real About Creating Change

I wrote a while back about social media and culture shift. I continue to believe that the biggest obstacle to social media adoption and integration is a culture shift, not an operational one.

But there’s a subtle point to be made.

The culture issues that exist in these companies have been years – even decades – in the making.

So, social media didn’t cause the culture disparities. They’ve been there all along. But the new expectations for responsiveness, accountability, personality and human focus as a result of the potential and visibility of new communication have put a big, fat spotlight on where those values are missing.

Social media may be part of the indicator, folks, but it’s not the issue.

Change is.

 And change isn’t instant, nor is it usually easy. We’re not really asking for companies to embrace social media. We don’t really care if they’re on Twitter or blogging. Those are just details.

What we’re asking is for them to take a good, hard look at why they’re doing business, for whom. We’re asking them to communicate better, more clearly, more genuinely. We’re asking them to spend the effort to rework the way they do business to make customers feel like they give a rip.

Social media is just the soapbox we’re using to ask for that change.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, of course. I’d be willing to bet that hundreds of businesses that we would identify as not putting their customers first will tell you all day long that yes, indeed, that’s what they aim to do. It’s the rare, ruthless business that would say they truly don’t care about people (and if that’s the case, we can’t help them anyway).

But what we’re NOT doing well – collectively – is really illustrating the disconnect points where organizations’ expressed positive values don’t line up with the way they do things at a functional level.  

We’re telling them to get on Twitter, but we’re really asking them to have more immediate and responsive customer service channels because their call center is a nightmare to navigate.

We’re telling them to blog, but what we really want from them is to understand more about the people behind their business, and what they’re thinking and feeling and doing, and feel like they really want to share those things with us.

I’m getting hungrier and hungrier for the next phase of this blog, because that’s where it’s all focused. It’s discussion with all of you about how to communicate, architect, and implement change. Big and small. Operational and cultural. Social media is one of the vehicles, but what we’re really focusing on is far, far more fundamental than that.

It’s down at the roots of these businesses, and in the minds of the people that have build them. It’s in the intent, the approach, the thinking. That’s where the pivot point is.

The challenge for us is to get thoughtful and articulate about what we’re really asking for. There may not be a one-size-fits-all approach to creating change, but we sure as hell can do a better job of cutting some clearer paths through the jungle that aren’t regurgitating the same old  generalized rhetoric.

I’m committed, and ready to tackle the tough stuff. Are you with me?

PRSA-CCC Welcomes Our New Members:

Cheryl Brownlee- CB Communications

Cassandra Rene Keyse- Blue Diamond Growers

PRSAY: The Give and Take of Mentorship

Posted by Blake Lewis in June 24th 2010  

The public relations profession recently lost its most treasured “early adopter” of student development. Betsy Plank, APR, Fellow PRSA, was a trailblazer in cultivating young energy and talent, founding what arguably is the premier public relations student organization in the world, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Her legacy of mentorship lives on, and its benefits flow not only to grateful students, but also to an enriched profession.

Earlier this week, my colleague on the PRSA Board of Directors, Steve Iseman, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, provided valuable insights in PRSAY into identifying and pursuing mentorship opportunities. Critical to aspiring practitioners, these opportunities also unleash immeasurable benefits to every one of us in the public relations profession. Each of us should give of ourselves to help students meet their potential. But, there’s also a big “take” coming back to the profession as they parlay our seasoned advice into tomorrow’s best practices. 

Clearly, mentoring goes well beyond a sense of benevolence for students and young professionals. Today, those young professionals are in the position we were ten, twenty, thirty or more years ago. Yes, many public relations professionals give a brief word of thanks to others who possess a vision and passion for the next generation of professionals. But, then they move on to the next plan, the next program, the next project.

If doing something good for the future of a young person isn’t enough to make the case for mentoring, here are some further thoughts that might help you reframe your thinking on the benefits of assisting newly minted public relations professionals and those who are still in training:

  1. The most significant developments in delivery channels now actively used in public relations arguably have been developed by young professionals, and younger public relations practitioners often have been the early trial and adoption advocates for these practices. Having young professionals who can merge their formal training with a solid command of current practices obtained from seasoned practitioners aids in the innovation process, making our work all the more relevant to current and future needs of our employers and clients.
  2. Beyond this superior understanding of new and emerging technologies and practices, younger professionals often provide immediate team access to an important voice and perspective — the younger marketplace. Having fast access to youthful perspective can be a critical factor in creating successful public relations programs with wide demographic appeal.
  3. Without new professionals gaining and applying practical, post-bachelor degree knowledge, demands for new team members to deliver tactical program elements could exceed the supply. That causes seasoned professionals to be stretched thin and results in less robust employer or client solutions. Contrary to how it may seem to some in our ranks, today’s senior professionals will seek to retire at some stage, with younger professionals advancing in responsibility and authority. A world that is getting ever more complx cannot afford not to have a steady supply of professionals who serve to interpret, interface and inform both organizational leaders and the audiences to whom these leaders are responsible.

There are many new graduates in the business who interface with a variety of professionals who can help them learn and grow. Often, students can find mentors among their teachers, as well as among contacts outside of academia. However, there are many more who need our attention both before and after graduation.

No matter how they connect with us, and us with them, the time to reach out is now. It’s an investment not only in our mentees, but also in the future success of our profession. It’s what Betsy did, selflessly, for decades. And, it’s the best recognition of her contributions that we can give.

Blake Lewis, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a member of the PRSA Board of Directors and principal and senior consultant at Lewis Public Relations in Dallas.

January | Febraury Newsletter

March 11, 2010

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