Tricks of the Trade: Sports PR

Photo via Flickr Commons,  CarolMunro.This past week I heard the 411 on sports PR from Craig Pintens, the senior associate athletic director of marketing and public relations. Pintens knows how the world of sports PR works: he’s been doing it for over 10 years. If you want to find out who is behind all of the University of Oregon’s PR magic, it is this guy. Pintens has dealt with everything from Chip Kelly’s departure, LaMichael James volatile ways and  the NCAA sanctions. Thankfully, the Allen Hall team and I had the opportunity to hear his advice on what the world of sports is like. Here are some of my favorite tips he gave us.

 Know your brand. 

  • Ask yourself, who are we?
  • What is our story?
  • How do we accomplish our goals?

Social media is huge.

  • It is the most important advancement in sports PR since 1995.
  • Be on relevant platforms.
  • Link content from Twitter, to Instagram, to Facebook.

Be engaged. 

  • Be fan centric.
  • Social media is for the fans.
  • Post unique content. If you have special access to certain things, take advantage of that.
  • Influence > growth. Because influence will eventually lead to growth.

Measure your efforts. 

  • Even if you can’t access expensive measurement tools like Topsy, you can use others.
  • Facebook and Twitter have great free analytics.
  • Find trends within your most popular posts and post according to those trends.

“It’s only a crisis if you make it a crisis.”

  • Crisis is one of the most overused terms in PR.
  • It’s almost impossible to have a plan.
  • You can’t have an exact plan because each crisis is unique.
  • But, you can have a protocol.
  • Rely on experience, instinct, and other informed people.

Sports PR is definitely a different monster than other facets of PR. But, you can tell that the basics of PR still hold true. Hopefully you can use this advice if you decide to go down the sports PR path!

Digital Strategy: Here’s What Ya Gotta Do

Image via Creative Commons, IntelFreePress.

Image via Creative Commons, IntelFreePress.

“Digital.” A word I hear over and over again in the PR world. Even though it’s  all the rage, I embarrassingly have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure all that it encompassed. Thanks to TJ Kelly, executive vice president at Edelman Digital, I have a much better understanding of the digital side of PR and how to make content that stands out and gets you or your brand noticed! Take a peak of TJ’s great advice on digital strategy.

“Trust and reputation are more important than ever.”

  • Reputation is the expectation of the future based on what you’ve done in the past.
  • Look at tools like the Edelman Trust Barometer for research on global trust within government, companies and brands.
  • Trust in CEOs and government officials is on the decline.
  • Trust in experts and educators is on the rise.

“You need to have a good story.”

  • Find a story in unexpected places.
  • Who are the best people to tell stories on behalf of your company or brand?
  • Look at companies like Shell and Ben and Jerry’s for brands that do storytelling well.

“Have a master content narrative.”

  • Know what your narrative is.
  • How are you pushing your brand into the story?
  • Do that by having structure, themes and a framework.

“Build your editorial strategy.”

  • Spot a trend.
  • Monitor that trend.
  • Take that trend and turn it into content.

“Remember the continuum.”

  • PR is a continuum of payed, owned and earned.
  • Paid and earned are starting to merge more.
  • Take advantage of earned media.

“Don’t forget about email.”

  • Email marketing is key and is still pervasive for 99% of audiences.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Take advantage of the higher bandwithes: use more imagery.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.”

  • 64% people need to see content 3 to 5 times to believe it.
  • The audience needs that content on different channels and media.
  • Remember, social media is great but life on social media is short.

“Remember that we live in a multiscreen world.”

  • Think about content and how it relates to those different screens.
  • Should something appear solely on television? Over email? Or on social media platforms?

“Don’t forget to…”

  • Always have a finish or continuance to a campaign.
  • Measure results and optimize for the future.

Superbowl Advertising

Although I am PR-obsessed, I’ve always been interested in advertising, especially when it comes to the Superbowl. PR and advertising go hand-in-hand with eachother and I think all PR pros can learn a lot from that facet of communication. Thanks to the good people at Unruly, we can see some of the interesting facts about Superbowl advertising. As you know, I have a love affair with infographics and Unruly did a great job on this one. Take a peak!

Via David Waterhouse @ Unruly.

Via David Waterhouse @ Unruly.

Social Media Tips to Ditch according to Ragan’s PR Daily

Image via Jason Howie.

Image via Jason Howie.

I recently came across this insightful article by Jackson Wightman on Ragan’s PR Daily discussing some of the biggest social media myths. I enjoyed this article because it helped me realized some of these things I’ve been hearing all along in my PR experiences are downright wrong. To me, it’s almost the same as hearing “don’t go outside with wet hair if it’s cold,” just to hear that this actually has no effect on your chance of getting a cold. Go check out the article to get a full 411 on what social media tips to avoid, but just incase you don’t, I’ve listed three of my favorite “tips to ditch” below. Take a look and make sure you don’t fall trap to these faux pas!

1) “You need to be present on all social media platforms.”

This is one tip I’ve heard many a time. People say it’s better to be on all social media platforms just a little then be focused on just a few. I’m glad to hear this is one piece of advice to avoid because I’ve always thought quality over quantity. You should focus on platforms where your audience is and where you can achieve the most with your brand.

2) “Email is extinct.”

I can’t remember a time that I was taught any PR-related email information. Personally, I’ve always found email to be quite useful and in past internships this was one of the biggest platforms we used to raise awareness, garner donations and engage with our audience. As Wightman states, “Email is an essential part of lead nurturing and enables you to segment content. Despite what the charlatans say, for many people email is still the preferred channel for communication.” So keep on sending those emails and drafting those pitches because email is here to stay!

3) “All your updates can be automated.”

Thankfully this is one tip I’ve never been told, but one I’ve seen many times. Are you ever going through a company’s Facebook feed and all you see is automated, robot-like posts? This is one of my biggest pet peeves and I believe it does nothing but hurt companies. Social media is all about interaction and engagement with your audience, so why would you only publish automated “read this article” content? Hopefully all content creators will take note that this tip is long gone and simply not acceptable in today’s social media world.

9 Media Relations Tips According to a PR Pro

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, NapInterrupted.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, NapInterrupted.

This week at my Allen Hall Public Relations meeting, we had the opportunity to hear about media relations from the self-proclaimed “shiny new toy” PR instructor at the UO SOJC, Kathryn Kuttis. Kathryn is well-buffed in media relations, seeing as she was a vice president at Edelman in NYC for over six years. She gave us the ins and outs of the media relations world of PR and I’ve listed nine of her tips below.

Build trust with the media

  • Give accurate information.
  • Make sure you deliver on the stuff you said you would deliver on.
  • Know what is newsworthy.

Think like a reporter

  • Do research on reporters.
  • Ask simple questions like “What was the last thing you wrote about?”
  • Find out their beat.
  • They want you to know what they cover.

Know what their audience wants to hear about

  • Read their publication.
  • Research their audience.
  • Are they a Wallstreet Journal types or Newsweek? Finance or politics?

Be clear and concise

  • Use easy to understand language.
  • Practice your pitch to cut out buzzwords.
  • Boil things down till they are easy to understand.

Find the newsworthy story angle

  • What is newsworthy?
  • What is relevant.
  • Reporters want to know why I should write about it now.

Link stories to trends

  • What “buckets” or trends can you put your client in? Hopefully they fill more than one.
  • Things like education, obesity, urban farming, politics, and sports are all great ones.
  • These trends elevate your pitch and help you approach the media through an issue.

Be balanced

  • When giving them factsheets, give some background surrounding your issue.
  • dont just pitch your stories, pitch stories about your trend.

Make the pitch

  • Start with what you can give them.
  • Give them a quick slice of your “story.”
  • Supply them with a person to talk to for more.

Be professional

  • Start with phrases like “Is this a bad time?” “I saw your article last week…”
  • Be polite.
  • Keep your “professional fence” up.
  • Build a reputation with reporters.

Kathryn gave us some great advice and insight into the world of media relations. She stressed the fact that the relationship between PR Pro and reporter is mutually beneficial and works both ways. Hopefully you learned something from her advice because I know I did. Thanks again Kathryn!