Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Luncheon recap

rob-biesenbachBy Lauren Gonn

One of the most powerful forms of communication is storytelling. 2014 is considered “the year of the story,” according to Entrepreneur. Rob Biesenbach explained at Friday’s luncheon that 63 percent of members in an audience remember stories, compared to 5 percent who remember statistics.

Stories can help accomplish many things when told correctly, including the ability to tap into peoples’ emotions, put a face on issues, connect us, humanize us with what we stand for and raise the stakes in a situation.

The proper structure of a story usually consists of a character(s) in pursuit of a goal while encountering an obstacle.

When telling a story, think about how your audience will react and what you want your audience to know, feel and do after they hear the story. Try to use your own personal experience and feelings to try and connect the audience with what you are expressing. And remember that less is more. Keep your stories concise and to the point.

With that, I will leave you with some tips from Rob Biesenbach:

  • Passion and emotion sell
  • Be original with what you are telling
  • Always be looking for new topics to discuss with others
  • Get personal with your audience

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, April 10, 2015

As a female millennial, I frequently find myself as the target audience for consumer marketing campaigns and market research. From health care to grocery stores, many consumer brands are trying to figure out the millennial generation and how to communicate with them. Therefore, for this week I chose a few articles about my awesome generation and added in a little advice on public speaking from one of my favorite TV shows, House of Cards. Enjoy!

SocialTimes
Survey: Facebook is becoming a primary news source for millennials Read>>>

Ragan
5 public speaking lessons from ‘House of Cards’ Read>>>

Advertising Age
How marketers can reach mobile-obsessed multicultural millennials Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, March 27, 2015

It’s all about Facebook and social media! This week, Facebook announces a plan to host news sites’ content, best practices of the top brands on social media and how users feel when it comes to interacting with businesses on Facebook. Enjoy!

New York Times
Facebook may host news sites’ content Read>>>

Social Media Today
8 winning habits of social media’s top brands Read>>>

Fortune
Do Facebook users really want to chat with businesses? Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

“Generation C”- luncheon recap

By Lauren GonnPRSA Southeastern Wisconsin - Generation C luncheon

What is Generation C? Why should we care, and who is involved in this group? A collection of people from Bader Rutter gave an eye-opening discussion at PRSA’s March luncheon.

Generation C has no defined definition, but rather determined by one’s behavior. There are four “Cs” that define this group of people: connection, creation, communication and change.

Those considered a part of Generation C are three times more likely to attend live events, influence $500 billion of product/service purchases annually and have a huge purchasing power. Forget about age, these people are passionate brand advocates growing on both ends of the age spectrum. Their views are shaped by personal connections.

In fact, 85 percent rely on their peers’ approvals for buying decisions. They need to be constantly connected with the world and their peers, mostly through social media and always have their personal and business lives intertwined. For example, they may be checking their Facebook or Twitter accounts while on the way to a meeting; or reading emails when with a client. Bringing us back to those “Cs”-connection and communication.

So what motivates these brand advocates? They want to “show and tell.” Once they find a product and/or service they love, Generation C members will want to share this information with their peers. It’s only natural after finding something you love to want to share it with others. Specifically, they are looking to support brands with a shared purpose.

Going back to the idea of staying connected, these people want to be advocates for brands who have not only good products/services, but who are doing something more with them. Generation C members are our influencers of the world, bringing attention to brands through many ways of technology and word of mouth.

Now, let’s look at the last two “Cs”- creation and change. Being so connected, these individuals create a lot of content every day that’s put out there for everyone to see. Statistics show that more than 216,000 photos are loaded to Instagram every 60 seconds, and 2,460,000 pieces of content are placed on Facebook every day. That’s quite a large amount of content!

Generation C seeks content and experiences worth sharing, changing the way marketers look at their audience. It’s about the whole brand experience, not just the content itself. Brands need to keep their messaging authentic and entertaining, and embrace the fact that they don’t own the conversation- their audience, including members of Generation C does.

Generation C members want a brand that is unique and original, offering real value, and those who get on a more personal level with its consumers. In other words, companies need to “start, guide and change” their brands based on its consumers and Generation C.

APR helps young PR pro take career to the next level

By Don Klein (@donklein99), director at large, PRSA Southeastern WisconsinSaige Smith

Saige Smith (@Saige_Smith), PR leader at GE Healthcare, is definitely making her mark as a young PR pro. Agency experience? Check. Corporate? Got it. Strategy chops? All day.

But with only five professional years under her belt, she thought of a way to take her career to the next level: Become APR.

If you’re not familiar with those three letters, APR stands for Accredited in Public Relations. It recognizes professionals who have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to develop and deliver strategic communications. The APR process involves an initial screen to test for qualifications; a readiness review presentation before a panel of seasoned PR leaders; and a comprehensive knowledge test. From there, it’s an ongoing commitment to professional development and bringing the best skills and thinking to work every day.

Saige was familiar with APR because a client at a former agency called it out as one of the reasons they invited that agency team to the new business table. A former supervisor – who is also APR – encouraged Saige to take a serious look at accreditation.

Finding support
As she got started, Saige and a few other applicants connected with Kelly Savage, APR, (@SF_KellySavage) the accreditation chairperson for the Southeast Wisconsin PRSA chapter.

“Kelly was great. She sat down with us and explained APR in a way that wasn’t intimidating. She helped me believe I could go for it and succeed in it.”

Because Saige didn’t quite have the industry experience that’s typical of an APR applicant, she needed to make her case to PRSA national in New York.

“It was a really casual phone call,” she recalled. “After a few questions they passed me on to the readiness review,” Saige said.

To prepare for the review, Saige dug into a huge campaign she conducted, clearly breaking out the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics she implemented. When it was time for the review, she faced a panel of three prominent Milwaukee area PR leaders.

“It was intimidating, but I welcomed it – it motivated me to really prepare to defend the work I was doing,” Saige said. It also gave her the opportunity to make new connections with these three inspirational PR pros.

Time to study
After passing her readiness review, it was time to prep for the test. She signed up for the online cohort program and highly recommends it but actually ended up doing a lot of studying solo. She was challenged to consider real life situations and apply principles to them. Since she’s worked in health care during her career to date, she found it interesting to consider hypotheticals such as being a PR director for a manufacturer or a governmental PR officer.

“It definitely forced me out of my comfort zone,” Saige said.

She passed and was thrilled. From start to finish, the process took about a year and a half. She was recognized at the February PRSA luncheon with her APR pin, a lasting sign of her accomplishment.  She’s also begun to spread the word about the value of APR to her colleagues at GE Healthcare and with college students she encounters.

Looking back
Saige said the process made her think about her career goals and where she wants to go.

“It forces you to do some serious career introspection.” It also demonstrated she was already doing a lot of the right things.

Overall, Saige feels the APR is a great confidence boost. She urges other PR pros – even those with only a few years of solid experience – to consider accreditation.

“I think people are afraid of it,” she said candidly. “We have busy lives, we’re working, we don’t get paid to go off and get these letters behind our names,” Saige said. “But it isn’t the time commitment you might think it is.”

It is, however, an investment you make in yourself today that pays off tomorrow.

To learn more about APR, contact Kelly Savage at kelly.savage.lvv0@statefarm.com.

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, March 6, 2015

Happy daylight savings time weekend! There’s only two more weeks until spring officially begins and it’s not going to be dark when we leave work anymore (if we’re lucky) so hang in there! Aside from me daydreaming of warmer weather, my favorite PR related articles of this week covered a variety to topics; millenials, fake news and social media tools. Enjoy!

Forbes
Study shows secret to managing millennials can be summed up in one word Read>>>

DIGIDAY
How fake news goes viral, and why it will happen less Read>>>

Social Media Today
These 10 tools will boost the productivity of your social media campaign Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Happy Friday! Hope everyone managed to stay warm this week. We’re all about the infographics in this week’s Top 3 PR Articles of the Week. Enjoy! Perfect elevator speech infographic

HubSpot
The anatomy of a compelling elevator speech: http://bit.ly/1DZrytu

MarketingProfs
Customers want to talk to brands, why aren’t they listening? http://bit.ly/18ulUEk

PRDaily
The best ways to pump up your Instagram strategy: http://bit.ly/1MYAaVA

Recap of “The Bucks: A Fresh Start” luncheon

By Lauren GonnPRSA bucks luncheon feb2015

Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin, and Senior Vice President Jake Suski spoke at PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin’s Feb. 18 luncheon to share the Bucks’ approach to marketing and public relations.

Feigin and Suski explained their goals and challenges with the Bucks organization and how they want to transform and re-develop the organization. They see public relations as a big piece of their messaging strategy, with their greatest asset being the actual basketball players. Their goals include establishing more partnerships in the community, and using social media to increase engagement among fans.

The Bucks players love Milwaukee and once basketball season is over, the Bucks are hoping more and more players will want to settle down in the area; instead of leaving till the next season. The organization continues to work on expanding their audience – which gets easier as they continue to play well! The Bucks are doing a fantastic job at identifying what they need to do; and developing the right strategy to accomplish their goals.

Top 3 PR Articles of the Week: Friday, February 20, 2015

After a bitterly cold week in southeastern Wisconsin, all I can say is TGIF! As I looked back on this week and some of my favorite articles from the past few days, I recognized a common theme; Twitter. Social media is always a hot topic in the world of PR so before you head out in the cold to start your weekend, check out some light reading about a Twitter PR nightmare, the connection between Twitter and website traffic, and how your style impacts the success of your Twitter account. Enjoy!

Bloomberg Business
Fashion company tweets about its interns; PR nightmare ensues Read>>>

Mashable
This tool could make your tweets more popular Read>>>

The Atlantic
The unbearable lightness of tweeting Read>>>

Kristin Rabas (@krabas)
Sr. Public Relations Advisor
Aurora Health Care

PRSA now serving Repairers of the Breach

Providing public relations and marketing expertise to nonprofits serving our community has been a longstanding tradition of PRSA of Southeastern Wisconsin. We’re excited to add to that tradition as we have partnered with Repairers of the Breach, Milwaukee’s daytime warming shelter for the homeless.

Repairers serves a real need in the community. Not only does the shelter provide meals and a place to stay, but, when the weather is extremely cold overnight, it stays open to accommodate guests who might otherwise end up in a life-threatening situation.

Repairers works in partnership with other organizations that have similar missions. For example, shelters that specifically serve women and children. It also offers valuable educational and job training opportunities that have demonstrated results.

To date, the PRSA committee has begun to conduct media outreach on behalf of Repairers and is creating a comprehensive communications plan for 2015 that includes media relations, grant writing and stakeholder engagement.

If you’re interested in joining the committee, and in enhancing your skills while serving a worthy cause, please contact Don Klein at donklein99@wi.rr.com. You can also help by bringing needed items when you attend the monthly luncheon. We started at our Feb. 18 luncheon with paper products (toilet paper, paper towels or Kleenex). We’re collecting 40-50 gallon garbage bags at our next luncheon on March 18.Watch for more details soon!

Paper product donations