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

Top 10 insights from Aurora Health Care’s intranet pilot program

Aurora Health Care recently launched a pilot intranet program, designed to enhance connectivity among caregivers, foster employee collaboration and, ultimately, to help drive better patient outcomes. Aurora employees Don Klein and Annette Guye-Kordus shared what they learned in the process. Here’s their list of the top 10 takeaways:

1. Make sure you have the right platform for your organization.
2. Put your geek on – make friends with IT!
3. Measure, measure and measure again.
4. Be enthusiastic! Embrace the new way of doing things.
5. Get leadership on board. Position the new system as innovative.
6. You have to become an expert.
7. Customized training for the audience and their tech maturity is worth the effort.
8. Access + content = activation. Encourage community owners to be creative even if it’s not what they do.
9. Assemble a support team to include manager, technical and industry roles.
10. Governance is important. Users will have questions from day one.

Does your company have an internal social networking system? What successes and challenges have you encountered?

Free skating lessons at upcoming luncheon?


Rumor has it that the speakers at the March 20 luncheon (Milwaukee Admirals marketing gurus) will be giving ice skating lessons to all who attend. Better register now!

Well, maybe the “Dynamic Duo”  of Jon Greenburg, president of the Milwaukee Admirals, and Mike Wojchiechowski, vice president of business development, won’t be donning skates for their presentation, but these marketing magicians will reveal their secrets of Integrated marketing, promotions and publicity. Find out how the Admirals use these tools to build their brand, create a fun fan experience, and, most importantly, increase sales. You’re sure to learn tips to apply to your own clients and brands. Register NOW!

Why do you love PRSA?

The PRSA Social Media committee got together and started to talk about why we are PRSA members. Read their responses below.

Take a look at what our committee loves most about PRSA. It’s interesting to see everyone in this groups finds value in different ways.

Emily Lenard – PR + Social Media Strategist at Hanson Dodge Creative

While there are many benefits to being a PRSA member, I find that I most value the daily Issues & Trends PRSA email newsletters. These daily newsletters include insightful, relevant articles from both industry publications and mainstream media. In the past, I have found blog inspiration and creative solutions for the clients I represent. With countless resources available online, I greatly appreciate being able to go to my PRSA Issues & Trends email to find that the most beneficial, credible articles are at my fingertips.

Jenna Kashou – Development Director at Notre Dame Middle School

PRSA has been a hotbed of ideas and knowledge for me. I moved from the PR to the nonprofit sector, but remain a member of PRSA because of the professional connections I have made and because the programming really gives me an edge in my career. The best benefit – I’ve met great friends through my involvement in PRSA.

Meghan Welch – Marketing Communications at Derse

Why is PRSA awesome? Because of the networking, of course! Whether you’re looking for a new job, another way to get involved in the community or just to meet new people, PRSA can help. The group is comprised of passionate PR pros that span a variety of industries and disciplines, so you’re guaranteed to meet a wide variety of people.

I joined PRSA about four years ago. In that time, I have changed jobs, started volunteering and widened my social circle. Networking through PRSA has helped with all these changes. The experience has been invaluable and the people in PRSA are constantly helping me to reach my goals, both professionally and personally.

Andrew Wiech – PR + Social Media Specialist at Hanson Dodge Creative

I really didn’t know what to expect when I joined PRSA. I was pretty nervous at my first luncheon. It was like freshman year of high school all over again. I walked into the Rouge Ballroom at the Pfister Hotel and thought to myself, “Where do I sit?” But this chapter embraces with open arms and the relationships I’ve formed over my first year of membership have been extremely valuable.

I love how malleable PRSA can be. Personally, I dove in head first and started getting involved and I love the experiences I’ve gained by being a member of the organization. From leading educational sessions on social media tools and strategies for the Social Media committee’s Friday morning training sessions to co-chairing of the Young Professionals committee and setting up events to get our younger PR professionals involved in the chapter, I feel connected to the chapter and love to see it continue to grow and evolve.

Laura Stanelle – Account Executive at Emerald Isle Marketing + PR

What’s so great about a PRSA membership? Is it the trove of resources made available via email, blogs and social media? The monthly luncheons that feature engaging, educational speakers? The delicious desserts that end those valuable luncheons? Yes, yes and definitely yes. For me, though, the things that make joining PRSA a no-brainer are the abundant networking opportunities that exist for members. As a young PR professional, starting out in this industry can be daunting, but talking to that agency founder would be much more difficult had I not sat next to him at last month’s meeting. And getting to know those women at that other PR firm? Much easier now that I’m serving on a committee with them.

Public relations is, by nature, a social profession. What better way to exercise the very tenants of our industry than by meeting and networking with others like you? From helping advance your career to providing insight into new client opportunities to just being really great friends, the people you meet through PRSA prove a membership’s value time and time again.

Mo Moorman – Public Relations Director at Jockey International 

I enjoy being involved with PRSA because it is focused on advancing the PR profession and it provides excellent personal and professional growth opportunities through initiatives like networking events, shared resources and seminars. Sharing suggestions, challenges and opportunities with fellow PR pros brings to light best practices that strengthen my ability to provide excellent service as a PR practitioner. Getting actively involved is key: Serving on PRSA committees; contributing to and sharing association resources; and attending events are just a few of the ways that I find help me maximize my membership with PRSA.

Now it’s your turn! What do you love about PRSA?

How SEO and PR are BFFs

Just a year ago, there were rules about how to write a news release that would be friendly to search engines. But now, there is so much more that PR pros can do online to help boost the profiles of their organizations or their clients. Blogs, blog commentary, discussions, images, influencers, social media newsrooms – these are all new tools in a PR pro’s arsenal. But how do you decide which ones? How do they work with the way the top search engines now perform?

Next week’s PRSA  luncheon, you’ll get a better idea on just how to make SEO and your PR efforts the best of friends. Bill Finn, Founder and President of Finn Digital, LLC and members of his internationally-recognized team will be on hand to talk about SEO for PR, propose some strategies, and take your questions in an interactive and informative session.

A little more about Bill. He is responsible for the strategic innovation, design and support of digital media initiatives, bringing more than 12 years of expertise with Fortune 100 and other corporations, both national and international in scope.

The Finn Digital team consults on, designs, and produces business communications projects including interactive marketing strategy, e-learning, core business data applications, rich internet media, video and corporate event media. Their work has won best-of-category and excellence awards from the Business Marketing Association in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005 as well as multiple awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts in 2008.

Put in on your calendar- Thursday, June 24th at the Pfister Hotel.

Register online at

How Milwaukee journalists use social media

.. And what they need from PR pros

BizTimes Reporter

BizTimes Reporter Alysha J. Schertz

Join us Thursday, March 25, to hear from journalists actively using social media and digital tools to enhance their reporting. Our panel includes:

Susan Kim, anchor and reporter, WTMJ-TV Channel 4
Alysha Schertz, business reporter, Milwaukee BizTimes
Bobby Tanzilo, managing editor,
Mark Kass, editor, The Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee

It’s a new age for PR pros, journalists and editors. Social media enables us to communicate more quickly, relevantly than ever before, and those mediums offer new opportunities for us to become trusted sources.

But how do you appropriately forge a relationship via social media? What about pitches? Is a well-written alert or news release still necessary? Should you add video, photography, links with the story? Do they actively seek sources via social media that they don’t in other forums? Which social media outlets do they use?

Register for this session here.

Special Note: Two lucky meeting attendees will win a pair of round-trip tickets on AirTran Airways courtesy of AirTran.