Sponsor our PR Palooza event

PRSA is seeking sponsors for its PR Palooza holiday party on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 5-8 p.m. at Villa Terrace. Plan now to be a part of this great industry event and fun night of networking. Sponsorship opportunities are as follows:

PR Palooza 2016 Presenting Sponsor: $1,000

Sponsor benefits:

  • Logo included in PR Palooza ads in The Milwaukee Business Journal (up to 2 ads to promote this event will run in November)
  • Sponsorship mention on blog & social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) and on Chapter Web site with logo
  • Link from PRSA Chapter Web site program page to sponsor’s site
  • Logo in all PR Palooza e-blasts
  • Five (5) admission tickets to the event
  • Signage recognition at the event
  • Verbal recognition at the event
  • Ability to have sponsor brochure/information available at event
  • Second “sponsorship” support recognition at one PRSA monthly meeting in 2015

PR Palooza 2016 Supporting Sponsor: $ 500

Sponsor benefits:

  • Sponsorship mention on blog & social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) and on Chapter Web site with logo
  • Link from PRSA Chapter Web site program page to sponsor’s site
  • Logo in all PR Palooza e-blasts
  • Two (2) admission tickets to the event
  • Verbal recognition at the event
  • Ability to have sponsor brochure / information available at event

To secure your sponsorship, please email Kelly Savage at kelly.savage.lvv0@statefarm.com.

Luncheon recap: Perfecting the art of an essential, yet often ignored skill: Speaking effectively

By Lauren Gonn

CindyLaatschWe often don’t realize that the way we communicate every day, both verbally and through our body language, can make a big difference in any situation. The tone of our voice and even certain hand gestures can completely alter a conversation for better or worse. Cindy Laatsch, DTM, program quality director at District 35 Toastmasters, discussed how to master speaking effectively with these techniques at our April luncheon.

When speaking, it’s important to come across as sincere. If you don’t act like you believe what you are saying, your audience won’t either. Some key tips to help get your listeners more attentive to what you are saying include: the use of visual aids, hand gestures, making direct eye contact and speaking louder yet with a calm tone. At the same time, you don’t want to freak out the audience by overdoing any one of these techniques.

Evaluating your message before presenting is crucial when giving a good speech. Thoughts you should go over include:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What does your audience want to know?
  • What may your audience object to?
  • Will your audience be prepared for your objective after you speak to them?

Some issues people come across when speaking are using too many “filler words,” overusing some speech techniques and having an actual fear of speaking. Filler word examples include the use of: like, um, oh, right, basically, etc. The words “like” and “um” are some of the most commonly used filler words. We often use these words as a way to fill in the dead silence and think about what we are going to say next. Taking the time to practice what you are going to say can help avoid the use of these words.

Sometimes people can practice all they want and still feel uncomfortable speaking. The term “glossophobia” is literally the fear of speaking. Of course, practice makes perfect, but someone who has this fear needs to really face the fear head on in order to move forward. Cindy gave a great example of this. She referred to the cows vs. bison example. During a storm, cows tend to go run and hide because they’re afraid of the thunder. If bison are around a storm, they tend to run after the noise of the thunder and face their fear head on. Don’t be a cow; learn to overcome the bad tendencies of speaking.

If you’re someone looking to practice on your speech techniques, there is a program called the Toastmasters International (www.toastmasters.org). This program is an amazing opportunity to polish your speaking skills and receive feedback from your peers.

Luncheon recap: Changing behaviors through social marketing

By Lauren GonnDOR_logo_tag

Prescription drug abuse is one of the nation’s leading killers. Sadly, 70 percent of people get these drugs from friends or relatives, and 44 people die every day from a drug overdose in the United States. In many cases, painkillers and other prescription drug use, lead to the abusing of other drugs like heroin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Wisconsin is the second leading state in the U.S. with the most prescription drug abuse.

Annie Schwartz, director of communications and trainer at Wisconsin Department of Justice, and Laura Monagle, vice president of client services and public relations at Affirm Agency, presented at the February luncheon.

Annie and Laura gave us three takeaways from their presentation regarding prescription drug abuse:

  • To inform us what the Wisconsin Department of Justice does
  • To explain the definition of social marketing
  • How to use social marketing techniques the right way to raise awareness

The Wisconsin Department of Justice created the “Dose of Reality” campaign to enforce a change, provide treatment and create prevention measures. Annie and Laura explained they used shocking situations to get people’s full attention and achieve the campaign’s goals.

They created TV PSAs of true stories of prescription drug abuse in Wisconsin. You can view the spots on their YouTube channel here.

The target audience is all ages, but specifically teens and young adults who seem to have the highest rate of abuse. The point is to provide the target audience with information on who is at most risk and why, what the myths are with prescription drugs and who is more likely to take these drugs.

The “Dose of Reality” campaign is the beginning of a prevention effort through social marketing. As said during Laura and Annie’s presentation, this effort will take years to evolve and commitment from everyone involved (parents, medical community, business community, law enforcement, etc.).

The Wisconsin Department of Justice currently has two media partners: Fox6 in Milwaukee and WKOW in Madison helping promote this campaign. Close to 50 percent of all TV spots aired are donated for these PSAs created.

To learn more about the WI Dept. of Justice, please visit their website.

Luncheon recap: 8 trends in content marketing

By Lauren GonnTrends in content marketing

Chuck Frey, director of Online Training at the Content Marketing Institute, presented 8 trends in content marketing at our January luncheon.

These trends require a strategic approach and a need to focus on audience needs (instead of products or brands). The 8 trends Chuck shared are:

1. Less content, greater impact
This trend reminds us to be concise in our writing. Focus on the main goal and get straight to the point so that your audience can soak up the main aspects of the content.

2. Focused content distribution
Focusing on fewer social media platforms and placing more effort on just a few will help with targeting those specific audiences. In other words, “focus and own it” with one or two channels, and grow from there.

3. Branded content
Consistently published content should be customer-focused.

4. Delivering a true mobile experience
Most mobile content is actually just rearranged desktop content. This trend reminds us to create unique mobile experiences for our consumers. Whether this is through apps, links or websites, develop something that creates a better user experience and stands out from the rest.

5. The rise of ad blockers
The goal of this trend is to create content experiences without ads that will be blocked by users. Chuck predicts that banner ads will eventually disappear since most people tend to be irritated by these ads, meaning we need to get creative when it comes to attracting our audience and producing ads.

6. Accelerating changes in social media business models
This trends involves driving people to your own media. In other words, you have to “pay to play” if you want to spread content to more outlets, but you can use the content you own to get your message out.

7. Audience building
This should be a big priority for all content marketers. It’s important to drive your target audiences to your website. In order to do so, you must target your ads to match your audience’s personas.

8. Thinking like a publisher
This is a clearly defined “editorial mission,” where there is a well-developed business model and processes to produce content efficiently. Content marketers can learn a lot from their publishes.

Luncheon recap: A Star to Sail Her By

By Lauren Gonn

Mark McClennan ColorMark McClennan gave an informative presentation on public relations and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), including his thoughts on what will change for public relations in 2016, what needs to stop for public relations in 2016 and what he feels is ahead for PRSA. Mark mentioned that the public relations industry is at an inflection point and is going through more changes right now than the industry has in years. Social media plays a big role in these changes. The fast spread of content can be both good and bad for a business, depending on how and when it is reached by an audience.

The new word for PR in 2016 is ‘ICYMI’ (in case you missed it). People have a fear of missing out on many things, especially the latest news occurring in the world. Besides TV, people are sharing their content numerous times by using different forms of social media. With this large amount of sharing going on daily, it’s important to fully recognize the potentials and hurdles that come with posting on social media.

A good rule of thumb is to treat every post you create on social media as something that represents your brand, as if it were the first and the last post you ever presented about your business. Everyone should also keep things in perspective when receiving feedback after posting. People will react differently to the same post because not everyone has the same opinion and/or experiences. It’s best to take these negative opinions with a grain of salt you could say and try to see the full outlook the post can have for your business.

In 2016, Mark McClennan sees the quest for experimentation to “reach new heights.” Everything is being switched over electronically: books, billing, you name it. It’s predicted that there will be more than 5,000 social media crises in just 2016 alone. People will weigh out global vs. hyperlocal, and Mark advises that focusing on specific targeting, rather than the big outcome first, will pay off in the long run. With the amount of social media being shared, and by focusing on those specific target audiences, the right people will share the proper information in order for content to be shared on a global scale. Another big trend happening right now is web coding. Not just with computers, but there is now wearable technology: Google glasses, the HoloVisor and much more. The PR industry is heading in the correct direction when it comes to social media and new technology.

Luncheon recap: Best of Show Paragon Award: Bader Rutter

By Lauren Gonn

This year’s 2015 PRSA Paragon Awards winners included an impressive lineup of public relations campaigns, including the 2015 Best of Show Paragon Award that went to Bader Rutter. The award recognizes Bader Rutter’s work to launch HOOF-TEC, a footbath product for dairy cows, from its client, Zoetis. The judges gave the integrated communications entry high marks because Bader Rutter’s work was measurable, creative and delivered strong results.

At the October PRSA luncheon, Bader Rutter kicked off with an audience-engaging hair metal band trivia, which set the stage for sharing the campaign, “Easy on the metal, bro.”paragon

Bader Rutter was tasked with developing a campaign, in just eight weeks, for HOOF-TEC to increase awareness and use of the unknown product. Bader Rutter had to capture the attention of dairy farmers and veterinarians because HOOF-TEC is in a saturated and often overlooked product category. The campaign launched the product into the spotlight with a smart mix of research insights; well-timed, integrated content; show-stopping creative and inescapable advertising strategy.

Bader Rutter PR practitioners took the lead in finding that one thing to tell a differentiated story and build a campaign on and worked with an integrated, cross-disciplinary team.

What was the one thing? Metal. Metals are a common antibacterial agent in footbaths that cows walk through to clean their hooves. And research showed that most dairy farmers were concerned with the metal content of their footbath solutions.

Because HOOF-TEC has less metal, there was a straight forward message: You don’t need that much metal in your footbath.

To turn heads, the campaign vision was to take “too much metal” to extremes by using in-your-face, heavy-metal hair band photography that helps quickly convey the message that farmers can reduce metal in their footbaths.

The PR team took the lead in priming the industry and audience for the introduction of HOOF-TEC and the campaign through well-timed pre-conditioning blogs and expert-bylined articles to address the impact of hoof health challenges and tips for incorporating and managing footbaths. In addition, the PR team and other agency team members developed a comprehensive sales kit that helped Zoetis representatives effectively demonstrate proper footbath management and product use.

By six months post-launch, the campaign helped garner 39 percent market awareness. With captivating creative, strategic advertising placement and well-timed content, the campaign garnered above industry average impressions for print/digital advertising and launch release impressions. This high-impact marketing strategy led to 50 percent market awareness of HOOF-TEC by 9 months. The steady increase of awareness led to an increase in incremental HOOF-TEC sales for Zoetis. Regular monitoring and reporting of metrics for each campaign tactic served as the compass to ensure “Easy on the metal, bro” maintained a successful course.

Wondering what it takes to be the next Best of Show Paragon Award winner?

While it can be difficult to select the Best of Show winner from a group of well-executed campaigns, the following criteria is key:

  • Clear objectives, including target audience
  • Detailed research and planning to identify challenge and or/opportunity
  • Execution, including strategies and tactics and how these addressed the objectives
  • Budget definition and application
  • Results that demonstrate how the campaign met or exceeded project goals

“Goal setting and measurement are absolutely critical for PR pros today,” said Bill Bussler, chapter president. “Of course, all of the campaigns that were recognized as part of our 2015 Paragon Awards demonstrated very strong results. Award-winning work now requires measurement of outputs and outcomes as well as the impact of these efforts on overall organizational performance.”

Stay tuned for information on our 2016 Paragon Awards. Chapter members interested in participating in the 2016 program are encouraged to watch the chapter website for more details.

Luncheon recap: The “It’s Aaron” Campaign

By Lauren Gonn

Even if you are not from Wisconsin, if you have not heard of Aaron Rodgers then you are living under a rock. Aaron Rodgers is currently the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl MVP (after 2010 season), named the Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011, and was also voted MVP for the 2011 and 2014 NFL seasons.

Attorney David Gruber has been practicing law for over 30 years, and has focused mostly on his personal injury law firm. David founded Gruber Law Offices more than 28 years ago, and is a family man with a passion for helping others.

Together, these two incredible men have created a campaign that brings awareness to organizations in Wisconsin, who are changing the world. David Gruber was joined by John Cary, Executive Director of the MACC Fund, for our September 16th PRSA luncheon.

So far, the campaign has worked with G9 (childhood cancer awareness), Milwaukee College Prep (a free K-8 public charter school), and Camp Hometown Heroes (help children who faced the loss of loved ones who were in the U.S. military). So how does this campaign bring awareness? A series of videos were formed for each of these organizations, featuring inspiring children and adults who helped found each group. Aaron Rodgers and David Gruber have also made it a priority to speak publicly whenever they get the chance in order to convey a message/awareness.

As Aaron and David would say, they are “shining a light” on some amazing organizations and bringing attention to 100,000s of people. Their continuous relationships with the families of these organizations show the true compassion they have for everyone involved.

Check out http://itsaaron.com for videos produced specifically to bring awareness, and how you can help out. You may have also seen these videos as previews on television. Currently, there are no plans set in stone for the future of “It’s Aaron,” but David Gruber mentioned that they are always brainstorming and keeping in touch with the local organizations.

Data Visualization: Get Some Data in Your Life

By Lauren Gonn

CKDY0bKWoAA_ktY.jpg-largeKevin Crowe joined us for our July luncheon, explaining the ins and outs of data visualization. So what is data visualization? It is considered to be the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. In other words: charts, pictures, graphs, video and other tools used to get a point across.

Crowe talked more specifically on data journalism, stating that many people see it as the future of journalism. In reality, it has already been used for centuries in many ways. Basically using statistics, design, computer science and much more to determine an issue and report it to the public.

This scientific approach to reporting combines surveys and analyzes demographics in order to test and draw conclusions. There are different forms of data journalism and different kinds of data. Some of the forms Crowe focused on are “quick-turn dailies,” web applications and months/years investigations. The dailies are open source (free) tools, like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for example, that provide specific information on a subject often. Most data has a documentation on how, when, and where to use it.

CKDa8cbUwAEiVHE.jpg-largeUsing homeowner property as an example, let’s say you want to know how much you are paying in taxes, and how much your home is worth compared to your neighbor. The different kinds of data that would be involved in this topic are: metrics on property assessors, assessed values for different countries, contact info for assessors, data on when different municipalities did property re-evaluations, etc.

Data visualization allows you to break down this information in detail, figure out what it is you are trying to decipher and in a way that appeals to everyone.

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

“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.