Should PR pros get accredited?

By Matt Wilson| This post can be found here


Of the Public Relations Society of America’s 21,000-plus members, only about 3,800, or 18 percent, hold the organization’s Accredited in Public Relations (APR) certification. The number of professionals seeking the accreditation is on the decline, too, according to PRWeek.

That’s likely why the PRSA is re-examining the APR. In a Monday night email to members, Mickey G. Nall, chairman and CEO of PRSA for 2013, announced plans to work with a consulting firm and the Universal Accreditation Board to “enhance the profile and prestige of the APR credential” for the 50th anniversary of the credential next year.

“Rest assured, abandoning accreditation is not an option that PRSA is considering,” he added.

Yet plenty of PR pros have clearly decided accreditation isn’t something they need. To find out why—and whether they’re mistaken in that assumption—PR Daily talked to a handful of accredited and non-accredited PR professionals.

The reasons why 

Brian Lee, president of Revelation PR, Advertising and Social Media, says he got his APR credential in 2011 for a very simple reason: It “helps distinguish the contenders from the pretenders, to put it bluntly.”

“You can only earn the designation after you have proven mastery of areas such as research, ethics, media relations, crisis communications, and management,” he says.

Bad apples, such as the PR firm that helped Facebook plant negative news about Google back in 2011, can give the PR field a bad name, Lee adds. Accreditation can help separate those bad apples from the bunch.

“I’m hopeful that no APR-trained practitioner would ever agree to do something that unscrupulous, and that’s reason alone for the need for more accredited PR professionals,” he says.

Crystal Smith, director of integrated media for public relations at Strategic Communications and president of the Central New York chapter of PRSA, says it’s tough to explain to people outside the PR industry what PR professionals actually do.

“I relate the APR to a CPA for accountants,” she says. “You don’t need a CPA to do business as an accountant. But if a business or consumer has a choice, they’ll pick the CPA—especially for their more serious and significant accounting needs.”

Philip Chang, partner at the PR firm Carbon, says firms benefit from managers having APR credentials, as a shorthand way to prove the company means business and cares about PR and its history.

The reasons why not 

Chang says he can see the other side of the coin, though. To the untrained eye, one certification—APR—isn’t all that different from any other, such as the Business Marketing Association’s Certified Business Communicator credential.

“Where there are competing organizations, there are competing credentials and consequently, it diminishes the value of the credential,” he says.

Jenni Gritti of branding firm Wyatt Brand says she had every intention of gaining accreditation after graduating from college in 2009, but it’s become less and less important to her over time.

“APR at the end of my name doesn’t make anyone open my emails any faster, get back to me any quicker, or approach me with ideas and business any sooner,” she says. “My hard work makes a name for itself, and I personally don’t need the three letters at the end of my name to prove it.”

[RELATED: Hear how top companies adapted to the digital PR industry changes at this August event.

Josh Cline, president and CEO of The Cline Group, seems to confirm Gritti’s suspicions.

“I find no need for anyone to be accredited,” he says. “Anyone can pass a test, but work experience, accomplishments and understanding how PR is only a subset of marketing and marketing needs to map to business objectives.”

Is it worth it? 

PRSA hasn’t explicitly tied APR to higher earnings for professionals, though the organization has done surveys that found the accreditation has been beneficial to those that have earned it. Most, 91 percent, view their APR as a source of pride, and large majorities have used theirs to develop professional skills (78 percent) and resolve ethical dilemmas (58 percent).

Even so, Bob Birge, director of marketing at Blue Pillar, says accreditation seems to have simply gotten buried under other priorities in the past decade or so.

“Those in hiring positions often are looking for the best people available, with the right background and at the right price,” he says. “Whether or not APR appears after their name is somewhat irrelevant.”

Smith, who earned her APR as soon as she was eligible—which is after one gains five years of experience—says the roadblock she sees most PR pros encounter is the cost involved in becoming accredited. An application fee, an online course fee, and the cost of textbooks are all part of the deal.

For that reason, she’s starting a scholarship program for professionals in Central New York.

What do you think, PR pros? Is there significant value in having APR after your name?

Matt Wilson is a staff writer for


9 Things Every Publicist Does (Differently) That You Should Do, Too!

By:  Post can be found here

People will ask me all the time, “Why do I need a publicist?” If you have to ask the question, chances are you probably need one. Why? Because there are too many stories, too many angles, and too many opportunities you might miss by not knowing the rules of the game, so to speak. Authors, speakers, small business owners (turned authors) often launch headlong into their marketing campaign with little or no regard for the steps and the process of getting media. Some authors stumble into success after success, and that’s great, but it’s often not the norm. Why? Because in our zeal to tell the world about our story, we often stumble over our own efforts. We send pitches that are too long, or send them to the wrong person. Or we get a media person on the phone and fumble our elevator pitch. All of these things can rob authors of the chance to get some coverage for their book .

Over the years, a lot has changed in publicity. Players have come and gone, pitching windows have narrowed, and with so many stories vying for airtime, your 15 minutes of fame often seems like 15 seconds. To be successful, not just once but continually, you need to understand how publicity people view each facet of their job (and the pitch) and how they garner the media they do. Generally it’s not one thing, it’s a collection of tasks publicity people do over and over that gets them traction on a story.

Let’s look at some of the things we do on an ongoing basis and how you might be able to apply them to your own marketing efforts:

    1. Think like a journalist: This is probably the most important and the most difficult. When I say “think like a journalist” what I mean is thinking objectively and not thinking about yourself, your book, or your pitch because those don’t matter. The only thing a journalist cares about is “Will this interest my readers.” If you can work using that objectivity, you’ll gain greater access to media, both online and off, than you could have ever imagined.
    1. Know the rules: When I say rules, I mean not just the rules of your industry but the rules of pitching. When to pitch, who to pitch, how to pitch. A good publicist knows this, updates her information constantly (because media changes, moves, etc.) and lives and dies by these rules. Why? Get a reporter angry and you’ll see what I mean. Turn in a story late and see how much media coverage you end up getting. A lot of authors think they are special and different, and the rules don’t apply to them. Yes, you are special and different and yes, the rules still apply to you.
    1. Read outside of your market: They say that, eventually, everything ties into everything. This may or may not be true for all industries, but when it comes to promotion you’d be surprised how much a ripple over there can affect what you’re doing here. Reading outside of your market, mostly related to changes affecting other markets, serves a couple of purposes. First, the importance of creativity when you’re pitching can’t be overstated and sometimes to be creative, you have to look through your world using a different lens. By digging into and outside of your market, you’ll be able to gain access to information that could affect your message long-term, or perhaps give your brain enough juice and insight to bring a new set of ideas that will create some great pitches.
    1. Google Alerts: You can’t possibly follow every thread of discussion around your topic, or know where and when it’s being covered, but you do need to stay up on all of it; that’s where Google Alerts comes in. Yes, there are more elaborate tracking services, but Google Alerts is a great way to know when and where your topic is being featured. Also important, you’ll see who’s getting quoted and which media is covering your industry.
    1. Understand the importance of local media: Many times clients want to overlook local media. It’s not as glamourous or as big as national media. Well, that may be true but there’s gold in your back yard. We love local campaigns and local media loves their regional “celebrities.” If you haven’t done a local outreach you should. Additionally, network with local media by going to media events like Press Clubs (which anyone can register for). You never know where this will lead you, and you never know where your local contact may wind up on the media food chain. Years ago I worked with a producer for a local (small) Los Angeles station. We stayed in touch over the years and now she’s one of the head producers at CNN.
    1. Local vs. National: And speaking of local publicity — local media loves a local angle on a national story. If you can hook your book into something that’s going on nationally, then I suggest you pitch it to your local market. Good publicity people are always on the look-out for regional tie-ins, they make for great media!
    1. Media leads: I subscribe to several media leads services and I scan them, not just for existing clients, but to note trends nationally. Doing a quick scan of leads is a fantastic way to see what’s piquing the media interest. As you start doing that, you will also find that you’re responding to more and more stories because you’re starting to see tie-ins that you may not have seen previously (which is helped along by #3).
    1. Realize the importance of a subject line: I know that the topic of subject lines in email pitching has been covered (a lot), but I can’t state enough how important it is or how much time a good publicist can spend agonizing over it. Don’t just willy-nilly point and click your way through your media pitching — subject lines are extremely significant, and most publicity people I know spend a lot of time crafting, redrafting, editing and tweaking them. You should, too.
    1. It’s all about relationships: Once you start getting media, remember that staying in touch with the person who interviewed you is important. Find them on LinkedIn, thank them for the story they did on you (I still send hand-written thank you notes) and then stay in touch a few times a year. Perhaps you can comment on a story they did or send them a quick update or a copy of your latest book. If you can become a reliable media source for someone, you’ll likely always be in their rolodex even when they move on. Just like the example I gave above, media can move, and if you’re lucky, your information will keep moving with them.

Being a publicist is more than just knowing how to craft a snazzy email, it’s a process and an ongoing effort. If done right, you can really pull in a lot of great mentions, features and even reviews. Building media relationships takes a while, and there are no shortcuts, but if done effectively, these relationships can grow and flourish throughout your career. And remember: Media loves media. The more you get, the more you’ll get. Know the rules, honor the rules and perhaps if you’re lucky, the media will beat a path to your door.

How To Respond To HARO/ProfNet Queries Without Pissing Writers Off

This post can be found here

Think your peach defuzzer is the greatest product in the known universe, or rep a doctor who’s on the road to curing a formerly incurable disease? Then you’re probably signed up as an expert source on services like Help a Reporter (HARO)and ProfNet.

I use these services as just one of many tools in my arsenal to find expert and “real life” sources, but often I end up frustrated — and without usable sources. To be fair, sometimes my requests are kind of crazy — like I’m looking for a Hispanic woman in her 40s who lives in the Midwest and drives a Suburban. But many times, it’s the people who respond to queries that make a writer want to drive flaming daggers into her eyes.

Don’t get me wrong — I love and appreciate these services. They’re free to journalists, and I often find good sources through them, like the beautiful bridal entrepreneur-slash-cage fighter I ended up profiling for Fortune Small Business and later for Inc. But the successes are tempered by avalanches of off-point e-mails from PR reps and expert sources.

If you use these services as a PR rep or a source, here are some tips for boosting your chances of a reply when you respond to a writer’s query. (Yes, writers, these requests confusingly are called queries.) I’ll use some examples from recent queries I sent in.

1. Read the Freakin’ Query!

Lat week I sent out the following query:

Are We Detoxing Too Much?
I’m looking for experts such as MDs who can discuss whether the detoxing trend is going too far, in terms of detoxing our homes, our bodies, and our food. Magazines and books are telling us to purge everything from house dust to bleach to non-organic foods, and more and more people are going on fasts and detox diets. How do you know if you’re going too far? And how much do we REALLY need to detox? I do not need to hear from vendors about detoxing products.

You get it, right? I’m looking for information on the negative side of detoxing — how much is too much and how to know if you’ve gone too far. And yet, almost 100% of the responses I received were from medical professionals who offered to talk about why we need to go on detox diets and how to do it. It’s like they scanned the query, saw the word “detox,” and blasted off an e-mail about the wonders of detoxing. If you can’t (or won’t) read, how can we trust you as an expert?

So please…READ the query!

2. Sell Yourself

Every once in a while I get a response that says something like, “I can help you with your article. Call me.” Yeah, I’ll get right on that. Please, tell me who you are and what makes you an expert in the topic I queried.

3. Remember That Our Job Is Not to Sell Your Product

Of course, people who respond to writer queries have something to sell, whether it’s a product, a viewpoint, or something else. But you need to use some smarts to determine when it’s right to make a blatant product pitch. For example, here’s a query I sent out yesterday:

For a national health magazine, I’m looking for beauty news that’s NOT product-specific and that is backed by studies. For example, I don’t care that Jane’s Sun Kissed Skin Lotion was proven to prevent wrinkles, but I do care that a recent study published in the Journal of Dermatology concluded that the antioxidants in pistachios were proven to whiten teeth. Please, no product pitches.

I’m guessing you noticed that I did not want product-specific pitches. I mean, I made it pretty clear, right? So why do I get replies from people telling me, for example, that the FatBlaster Brand Laser Machine has been proven to reduce the look of cellulite? I guess the reps think, “Well, it can’t hurt to send it along anyway.” But guess what? Itcan hurt, because I’ll be sending very negative vibes your way, and I will remember you when you contact me again.

4. Don’t Add Us to Lists Unless We Ask You To

I can’t even count how many PR reps add my address to their press lists after harvesting it from a HARO or ProfNet query. I know this because I have a special e-mail address that I use only for queries on these services, so when I start getting press releases at that address, I know how I ended up on the list. Many people see I’m a writer — what type? who cares? — and decide that maybe I’d like to write about their clients who run a cracker factory in Boise. But even if a PR rep groks my specialties, I don’t want to be added to press lists unless I ask for it. Just because I wrote about safe web surfing in 2001 doesn’t mean that I want to receive press releases on that topic for the rest of my days. I get enough e-mail as it is.

Now HARO has a special feature that hides your e-mail address on your queries so this is less of an issue, but as soon as you respond to a PR rep they have your e-mail address and can add it to their press lists, so the problem hasn’t been completely eradicated.

5. Make Sure Your Client Is Available

It sucks when a PR rep responds to a HARO or ProfNet request with what sounds like the perfect source, but when you try to set up the interview the source goes AWOL. Check with your source to make sure he’s interested in doing the interview before you respond to a query.

5 signs to discover if you would be a great Fashion PR Girl

by Yazmina Cabrera  This is our favorite  blogger when it comes to fashion PR. Click here to see post

Potential Fashion PR Girl


Yes, we all want to be there. For sure!
We fashion-PR-Girl-wannabes want to become part of that glossy world where everybody seems to smile the whole time, receive exclusive gifts and go to super cool parties. We all long to try that skirt, touch that bag and wear that jacket before anybody else. And moreover, we desperately want to be able to publicly announce that we are our favourite brand’s new PR person! Swoon!
I guess we all want to be happy at work, and there’s nothing wrong about it.
But how do you discover if you would be a great PR Girl for your favourite fashion brand anyway?
There are five ways of finding this out. But these signs go beyond the professional Linkedin-type skills. These are inner signs which matter in the long term, the ones you can’t fake nor hide. The ones which eventually pop up in breaks-by-the-photocopier or in a lunch with the Fashion Editor of Swedish ELLE.
I will take you there by asking you five simple questions and replying them from my perspective as a Stella McCartney’s genuine lover (and PR wannabe) and experienced Luxury PR Girl.
Visit Girl with a Banjo each day this week for a new sign! By the end of the week you’ll know if you are the right person to work as a Fashion PR.

Film Fest Tips: Hire A Publicist

  • Posted by Jason Guerrasio  This post can be found here

got into Sundance! Great! Amazing! What do you do now? SOOO MUCH.

When your film gets into any of the major festivals (Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Cannes, Tribeca ect) it’s likely you are filled with a mixture of excitement and anxiety—especially if you’ve never gone through it before. There are a number of things you should start taking on before packing your bags and flying to the big premiere.

This is our first in a series of posts dedicated to some of the essentials any filmmaker needs to have a successful festival experience.

On tap: hiring a publicist.

Here one of New York City’s prominent indie publicists, Susan Norget, takes time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions via e-mail. Having handled over 250 theatrical campaigns (including Oscar winner Man On Wire, pictured above), she’s worked with everyone from Werner Herzog to Miranda July and is a fixture at the major festivals. Her reputation for only taking on films that strike a cord with her has made Norget a favorite of auteurs and respected among journalists. Below she candidly answers some of the questions that may be rattling around in your head right now.

Why should a film selected to Sundance (or any major festival) hire a publicist?

At the risk of sounding self-serving (and I’d encourage festival virgins to consult with their more experienced industry peers for their perspectives as well), I think having a good, well-connected publicist on your side can be invaluable. I would definitely qualify that by saying some films (frankly, those that start out with more inherent commercial and/or artistic appeal or social value) will benefit from it more than others, but a publicist can be one of the most crucial people on your festival team. In addition to helping position the film (determining its greatest strengths, its potential challenges and working out the most compelling media angles) and developing strong publicity materials, at a major film festival, where there are hundreds of journalists accredited, a good publicist will know how to reach them and, more importantly, will know WHO to reach. In many cases they’ve spent years establishing and developing these connections and have developed strong relationships with some of the most influential journalists in the process. I often liken a big part of the festival publicity process to matchmaking—I’m matching films with the journalists, critics, bloggers, etc. who I think a film is most likely going to appeal to based on what I know about the person’s sensibilities/tastes/interests as well as the particularities of their media outlet. I’m also determining who are going to be the most important press for the overall campaign. Mapping out who those key targets are is a big part of the pitching process. In addition to getting press to see the film—and, with luck, cover it—a publicist will gauge their responses and relay that information to the rest of the film’s team—from producers to sales agents, the latter of which—if it’s a film looking for distribution—will in turn share the most positive reactions with potential buyers. In addition to press, a seasoned publicist will also be familiar with all the most important buyers, festival programmers and other key players and will likely be informally talking up your film to the right people in those quarters and, where appropriate, can help facilitate introductions. In that way, I see my role as something of a “connecter,” as much as the person responsible for press coverage.

Should a filmmaker hire a publicist BEFORE they are accepted to a film festival?

It’s generally not necessary but really depends on the film, publicity budget etc. Bigger films—be it a significant documentary project or a drama with ambitious, multi-faceted PR expectations—can especially benefit from early planning, but an honest publicist will tell you what sort of timeline they’d really need to do a proper job of it and give you the most bang for the buck. At the very least, I think it’s a good idea to approach your preferred publicist—or shortlist of publicists—prior to being accepted, if at all possible (it’s usually low on the list of priorities for many filmmakers racing to finish their films, which I understand), just to suss out their basic interest, affinity for the project, whether you feel you have a rapport with them, etc. When your film does get accepted, that earlier vetting process (and, believe me, it goes both ways—we’re feeling you out too) makes the next stage in formally engaging a publicist a shorter one. It’s especially important to keep this in mind in light of the fact that the more in-demand publicists and publicity agencies often book up soon after the festival program is announced.

How is it that you find the films you take on?

In the vast majority of cases filmmakers and distributors (as well as some sales agents) find me. In many cases it’s people I’ve worked with before who have a sense of the kinds of films I’m interested in and what might be a fit with my taste and sensibility. In other instances it’s through recommendations from filmmakers and other people in the industry who know me and my work, or maybe it’s someone who’s just done some extensive Googling of indie film publicists and has gone to our website and approached me cold. Very occasionally I’ll approach a distributor if I’ve seen and loved a particular film at a festival like Cannes for instance (the one festival where I actually find some time to see films), fallen in love with it and have heard that it was acquired. But the bottom line with any of these scenarios is that I have to see the film and get excited about it—and feel I can get some press traction for it—before considering taking it on.

What are some of the materials you expect from a film’s producer when you come on to handle their film?

The most basic materials are a selection of good high-res film stills, from which I can work with the filmmakers to select a strong set of key images, and the basic building blocks of the written materials that will go into a press kit (a synopsis, cast/crew bios, credits, etc.). The more materials that have been pulled together prior to my coming on a project, the less time I have to spend doing it and the more time I have to get out there and actually do the job of promoting the movie.

What’s a common misconception filmmakers have about publicists?

Wow—there are so many!  One is definitely that a publicist can help you get accepted into a festival by getting press coverage for your film in advance and by talking up the film to festival selectors. Any festival programmer worth his or her salt is going to accept a film based on their own sense of its merits, not articles written about it or the enthusiasm (however respected that person might be) of a publicist. The same goes with festival awards. Publicists can be instrumental in raising the media profile of a film during a festival but that has no bearing on whether it’ll win an award. That’s purely for the jurors to decide.

What should a filmmaker ALWAYS do when working with you?

Be available and communicative. Once I start on a festival film, my team and I hit the ground running and depend on frequent and open communication with our filmmaker clients throughout the project. That extends to regularly batting around ideas around the publicity of the film and the general marketing strategy to being responsive to specific press requests like interviews, etc. Oh, and be on time!

What should a filmmaker NEVER do?

There are a few big don’ts, but—certainly at any film festival—don’t think you’re being helpful by arranging your own interviews and not telling your publicist (or even doing so before a publicist comes on board). It can be counter-productive, not only because it can foul up the larger press schedule they’ve planned, but—in some cases, and more importantly—it can negatively affect the long-term publicity goals, especially if a major interview the filmmaker has arranged independently effectively cancels out the opportunity to secure one with that outlet timed to the release of their film (helllooo NY Times!). Trust your publicist to determine the interviews that should be done out of the festival and make the necessary arrangements. There’s always a larger strategy at play.

In this age of DIY, why should filmmakers hire a publicist instead of going it alone?

I understand that with all the social media options out there that filmmakers have more tools with which to get the word out about their films and to connect with press, but with a film festival on the level of Cannes, Sundance or Toronto, for the reasons given in my answer to your first question, I think in most cases you’d really be doing your film a disservice in not having a publicist on board. I do think that with some of the smaller regional or international festivals, you’re dealing with such a small pool of journalists—and mostly local press—that it’s enough to get friendly with the festival’s publicity department and work with them to reach the right press. For a festival like Tribeca it’s also a good idea to have a publicist given the huge number of media in New York and its importance as a film market.

What should a filmmaker expect to pay for the services of a publicist?

It really depends so much on the type of film it is (a small personal documentary vs. a more high-profile narrative with a cast of known actors for instance), the festival in which it’s playing (major festivals usually demand higher fees, at least a portion of which goes to the higher overhead), whether a press kit will have to be written largely from scratch or just edited, the amount of work it will take to put together other publicity materials, and of course the length of the contract. For smaller films with shorter term contracts and the minimum of demands it will certainly start at a few thousand dollars at the bottom end and can go way up from there.


15 Shakespearean quotes for PR pros

By Shonali Burke  This post can be found HERE

Last week, when you realized Friday was Mar. 15, did you think of “The Ides of March” and secretly decide to watch your back?

If you did, then like me, you’re a fan of Bill the Bard, except you probably know him by another name: William Shakespeare. It’s thanks to Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that the phrase—and its most popular historical reference—live on well after the actual Caesar was assassinated back in 44 B.C.

I don’t know if we ever stop to think about just how much of our language, sayings and references we owe to Shakespeare. If you look at quotes from his plays, some are particularly relevant for public relations professionals, even today.

1. “This above all; to thine own self be true.” ~ Hamlet, Act III, Scene I.

In PR: This is one of the most important things we need to remember, as practitioners and advisers to our clients. What is important about what we do, and why should anyone care?

Accurately translating the “truth” of who we, or our organization, are at our core, is critical to good storytelling, which is what we do.

2. “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” ~ As You Like It, Act IV, Scene I.

In PR: Yes. Focusing on getting “millions of impressions” for our campaigns, initiatives, or clients comes to mind. Hello, measurable objectives, where did you go?

3. “An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.” ~ King Richard III, Act IV, Scene IV.

In PR: It’s one thing to craft elegant messages, it’s quite another to create “facts” where none exist.

The best PR doesn’t make sh*t up .

4. “I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.” ~ The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, Scene II.

In PR: Branding crisis, anyone? What could be worse than being so generic in your messaging that people don’t even remember who you are?

5. “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” ~ Macbeth, Act V, Scene I.

In PR: What all measurement geeks want to do to Ad Value Equivalency. Be gone!

6. “Nothing will come of nothing.” ~ King Lear, Act I, Scene I.

In PR: You can’t build a solid program until you’ve done your research, and know what measurable objectives you’re trying to reach. Otherwise, you might as well say:

7. “Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” ~ Macbeth, Act V, Scene V.

In PR: Could anything be worse than your program, or company, being perceived as “signifying nothing”? Egad!

8. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” ~ King Henry the Sixth, Part II, Act IV, Scene II.

In PR: Yes, this is something we might, or might not, secretly dream about. But when working on your social media policy, or crisis communications plan, getting buy-in from the legal department at the start is a smarter way to go.

9. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” ~ Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene III.

In PR: Do you work as a community manager, or have a component of community management as part of your responsibilities? Build it slowly; that’s much more likely to scale well.

10. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” ~ Hamlet, Act II, Scene II.

In PR: Don’t “take the opportunity to say” or do something. Just say or do it.

11. “I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.” ~ The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III.

In PR: Ethics is the one thing we can never, ever be without.

12. “Of all base passions, fear is the most accursed.” ~ King Henry the Sixth, Part I, Act V, Scene II.

In PR: Measurement is frightening, but it’s critical if you want to learn and work successfully.

13. “I’ll not budge an inch.” ~ The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, Scene I.

In PR: A recipe for disaster, since you must know how to adapt your messages for different audiences and platforms. It’s also a really bad attitude to have in general.

14. “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” ~ Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene V.

In PR: There’s nothing wrong with starting your PR program modestly. Some of the best campaigns started out small. The main thing is to keep going.

15. “Why, then the world’s mine oyster.” ~ The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Scene II.

In PR: We don’t always make a ton of money working in public relations. But we do sometimes get the opportunity to help effect real change. The world is our oyster if we choose to make it so.

And there you have it. Fifteen quotes from Shakespeare for PR pros (and I trust you know why I chose to share 15, as opposed to seven, or 23, or another arbitrary number). If you enjoy them, keep them handy to pull out at your next client or team meeting … or maybe even when you need a little levity!

Shonali Burke is president and CEO of a micro PR agency that successfully helps businesses take their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool. She founded and curates the popular #measurePR Twitter chat, and is an adjunct faculty member at The Johns Hopkins University’s M.A./Communication program. A version of this article first appeared on her blog, Waxing UnLyrical.


How To Harness Twitter For Public Relations

When the micro-blogging site Twitter first appeared on the
scene, few people knew what to make of it. It was a
combination blog site and social network, and people quickly
set out to find out how to leverage the hot new service.
Fortunately for PR professionals, Twitter has proven to be
an excellent avenue for public relations and even media
Here are just a few ways that PR pros are using Twitter:
1.) Promoting Companies or Products – The 140 character
Tweet is at the heart of Twitter. People tweet about
everything from what they had to breakfast to jokes to a
problem with a company. Savvy PR pros can use the 140
character Tweet to build buzz around companies, products,
services or individuals. Suggestions for Tweets include
hinting about new products, offering special promotions to
Twitter followers, or hosting contests such as allowing
Twitter followers to name a new menu item to win a free meal
or offering a prize to whoever comes up with the most
creative Tweet about why they love your product.
2.) Answering Questions – While Tweeting about your product
can often fall into the realm of marketing, answering
questions is where PR pros shine. Use the website to set up various searches
with your company, product names, services, industry, or
competitors as the keywords. When someone asks a question
about your company or your industry, jump in to answer it.
You will be perceived as helpful and probably gain a new
follower and thus a target for your PR message.
3.) Getting on Top of Bad Press – When bad press strikes, it
can go viral in seconds thanks to social media such as
Twitter and Facebook. Fortunately, Twitter can be use to
fight fire with fire, pointing your followers (which always
tend to increase during a time of crisis) to your response
to the situation and quickly answering questions and
diffusing rumors.
4.) Monitoring Reputation – Twitter search
( can also be used to monitor what
people are saying about you. If someone consistently raves
about your product, you might want to offer them a freebie
or special treat. On the other hand, if you notice a segment
of Twitter speaking unkindly of your company, you are on top
of it and can form a plan of action to nip it in the bud.
5.) Meeting Reporters and Bloggers – Reporters and bloggers
have taken to social media like ducks to water. They often
search for sources on social media or Tweet about the types
of stories they are working on. This can be a goldmine for
PR pros. Further, according to the Journalists Speak Out on
PR newsletter, many reporters and bloggers prefer to be
pitched via Twitter because it forces PR pros to get to the
point in 140 characters or less.
The most interesting thing about Twitter is that people are
developing new ways to use it every day. PR pros should
follow lots of people, including industry leaders,
competitors, influential Twitterers, and the general public,
and learn from them when it comes to taming this new
technology for your PR efforts.
Mickie Kennedy Founder, CEO, &