R Public Relations Firm

cause marketing campaigns

Give (& Get) with R Cause Marketing Campaigns

Cause marketing isn’t a new thing. It’s actually been around since Marriott Corporation partnered with the March of Dimes in the 1970s. But it may be more important today than ever. Not because causes are more important now, rather it’s more important for brands to support them. Why? Brands need a way to cut through the noise and connect with consumers on a more purposeful level. Doing good for others certainly fits that bill. Here are tips to get you started.

What is a Cause Marketing Campaign?

Cause marketing in and of itself is a cooperative effort between a for-profit brand and a non-profit for the mutual benefit of both. The benefits include increased connection with consumers and increased awareness of the cause as well as profit. A cause marketing campaign is the implementation of that effort with the goal to increase sales for the brand while also increasing money contributed to the non-profit.

Keep in mind that cause marketing campaigns don’t have to focus on just national or global causes. They can and should focus on local causes as well.

The Impact of Cause Marketing 

So how much impact can cause marketing really have for brands? Quite a bit actually. In fact, a Mintel study shows that 73% of Americans say a company’s charitable giving affects their purchase decisions. Not only that, 50% of Americans say that they would switch to a company that supports a cause they believe in and that stat rises to 61% for Millennials (aged 24-41).

But it’s not just that consumers think it’s nice for brands to support causes. It’s increasingly becoming an expectation. That same Mintel study found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe it is a company’s responsibility to give back (65%), while around half expect brands to improve the local community (53%). 

Cause marketing has even become so important there’s an actual day devoted to it–Giving Tuesday. It’s a day that not only encourages all people to do good by donating to causes that are important to them, many brands partner with those nonprofits to match a certain percentage of donations they receive that day. It’s hugely impactful for consumers, nonprofits, and brands alike! 

How to Do Cause Marketing

So, how do you create a successful cause marketing campaign? Start right here:

  • Authenticity: We encourage all R clients to give back with a cause that speaks to their mission because, above all, your campaign must be authentic to resonate with consumers. Ask yourself, is there a non-profit that aligns with your goals as an organization?
  • Audience: Next, consider the target audience for your brand. Are there causes that are more likely to speak to them and/or that they may already support? Ideally, the cause that you choose will align with your mission and the interests of your target audience.
  • Collaboration: Most non-profits are thrilled for any support, but collaboration can maximize the effectiveness of your campaign as it can give you insight on what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past. Not to mention to help you get the message right!
  • Timing: Not only when to launch but also the duration of the campaign. Typically up to 2 weeks gives you enough time to generate excitement and to hold your consumer’s attention. Then consider if there a certain time of year in which your cause is more urgent?
  • Branding: Go beyond simply putting a non-profit’s logo on your marketing materials. Think about a cohesive strategy across all your platforms. Create a hashtag and content to share as well as perhaps even a logo and/or specific design for the campaign. The idea is for the campaign to stand out while complementing your brand and keeping consumers engaged.
  • Call to Action: Consumers need to be able to quickly understand the ‘why’ for the campaign and what you want them to do. So, make sure there is a clear call to action at each touchpoint. This will also help you quantify the success of the campaign later. 
  • Share the Results: Another connection builder with consumers is to share the results of the campaign as well as its impact on the cause. And thank them for their contributions! This creates trust that you did what you said you would, and who doesn’t like appreciation?

Cause Marketing Campaigns in Action

Here are some favorite cause marketing campaigns from R clients:

This year’s Giving Tuesday is coming up on December 1 which means now is the perfect time to create your cause marketing campaign. We’d love to help—click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!


nashville influencers

20 Top Nashville Influencers (and what makes them so important to brands)

Image by Style Blueprint

Merriam-Webster defines an influencer as someone who inspires or guides the actions of others, or more specifically, as someone who is able to generate interest in something by posting about it on social media. Brands have taken notice and influencer marketing is now a key component of social media strategy. How do they help and who are the top Nashville influencers? Find out here.

The Influence of Influencers

According to We Are Social, 3.484 billion people actively use social media (that’s 45 percent of the world’s population if you’re counting!). What we can pretty much all attest to is that we’re sick of being marketed at from every direction, no matter how targeted it may be. Enter influencers.

Early on, influencers were primarily celebrities. Anyone ever bought anything a Kardashian plugged? You don’t have to admit it, The Guardian shares the proof. But celebrity endorsements can be hard to come by, and can cost you big. 

Luckily, there are plenty of “regular people” who have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on specific topics or specific categories through regular social media posts. They’re seen more as trusted friends and peers and are able to generate an engaged following that pays close attention to their recommendations. While they may not have the millions of followers, these influencers can potentially drive an average of 16x higher engagement rates than celebrities , according to The Realtime Report.

Top Nashville Influencers

If you’re a lifestyle brand in Nashville looking to connect with consumers and establish trust, influencer marketing may be just the way to go. Here are our top 20 Nashville influencers (in no particular order):

Nashville native Hunter Premo is the daughter of one of the city’s most sought-after makeup artists. But she’s more into fashion, sharing her boho style – and her life – with tens of thousands of followers.

After competing in Miss America as well as The Amazing Race (and gaining a following from that), Ervin is an influencer on topics that range from marriage and kids to fashion and female empowerment.

Born out of a desire to share her love of Nashville’s culinary scene, Davis’ Instagram has now become the place to inspire foodies or anyone exploring local restaurants to try.

This influencer and blogger shares her tips on food, fashion, and family plus offers tons of “swipe up” retail codes and life hacks.  

The Happily Grey founder posts beautifully curated pictures from her life as a fashionista, businesswoman, wife, new mom, and dog lover.  

Tomiko provides all kinds of travel tips and she also works to help brands shift the culture on diversity in tourism.

This yoga instructor and doula posts fitness and beauty tips as well as body-positive messages and book recommendations.

Husband to Hunter Premo, this photographer/videographer is an influencer in his own right on topics that include adventure, style, and chivalry for the modern gentleman.

She’s a trainer to local celebrities with a feed that shares workout tips, healthy recipes, and videos from her weekly Saturday night dance party with husband Sean.

This photographer came to Nashville by way of Austin and posts snaps of everything from walks in the park with her pups to front yard hangs and the beauty of everyday life here.

This power duo of Michelle and Dan came to Nashville by way of New England and we are all the more hungry for their food photos for it! Their posts and snaps of recipes, top lists of fab food finds, happy hours and more are not to be missed! 

Holly is a nurse practitioner who loves exploring some of the hottest restaurants and dishes in Nashville. She also shares some of her own dishes on her feed.

Josh’s blog reviews the best restaurants in Nashville and offers fun insights into the dining scene while all the mouth-watering finds are shared on Insta.

Ashley is a girl mom (and a dog mom) with a lifestyle blog that dishes on food, the latest fashion trends, parenting tips and life in Nashville where she’s lived for 10 years.

Blair overcame hunger herself and now shares her foodie experiences across Nashville and beyond.

This native Nashvillian blogs about food and lifestyle as she brings us along on her epic travel adventures near and far.

She’s your go-to girl for all things Nashville sharing delicious food as well as local clothing and cool snaps of our awesome city! 

Brittany is a creator, influencer and stylist who delivers daily inspiration for luxe plus fashion on Instagram and YouTube. 

Melissa is a digital strategy expert who brings authentic storytelling back to social media. In her spare time she shares the best plus size fashion trends and tips.

Chef Laura Lee has a background in health-related cooking and shares healthy, delicious recipes, meal plans and insights into her. 

For R help with influencer marketing, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!

Image by Nashville Lifestyles


virtual events in nashville

R Checklist for Creating Top Virtual Events in Nashville

virtual events in nashville

It’s pretty much inevitable at this point that if you’re planning to host an event anytime soon, you gotta go virtual. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Unless you have R checklist for creating top virtual events in Nashville, of course!

A Virtual History Lesson

We get it; nothing truly replaces the experience of meeting face-to-face with prospects, clients, and colleagues, but since COVID-19 began virtual events have been as much of a necessity as our daily coffee fix. In fact, virtual events have been around for longer than you may think for that very reason. The first webcam was actually created in 1993, by University of Cambridge computer scientists who were too ‘busy’ to physically check to see when the coffee, located in another lab, was ready. So, they created a webcam to livestream its progress. Priorities, right!?!

Virtual Events Today

In all seriousness, today’s virtual events can range from small groups to thousands of attendees, and the most common types of events include:

  • Question and answer sessions
  • Tutorials and/or classes
  • Training
  • Tours
  • Interviews
  • Performances
  • Conferences
  • Networking events

R Top Virtual Events Checklist

Anyone who’s ever planned an event knows how much goes into it. Success doesn’t come easily with virtual events either, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look seamless! Here’s how:

Get a Game Plan And start early! Think about: 

  • What you want to achieve
  • Who your audience will be
  • The experience you want to offer
  • What content would be relevant to them, whether you want a live or on-demand event or both
  • If you’ll require registration
  • If you want to partner with advertisers and/or sponsors, as well as how you define success and how you will track those metrics. 

And don’t forget to create an event budget.

Work Out the Right Time – From working out time zones to ensuring you’re not competing with other similar events to doing some research on when your audience is typically online; choosing the right time and date is much more important (and much more involved) than you may initially think.

Pick the Right Platform – This really depends are what type of event your hosting. For live-tweeting events, you might use Reddit or Slack (don’t forget the hashtag!). Webinar platforms include Zoom, as well as Livestorm and YouTube Livestream. Social livestreams include Instagram Live, Facebook Live and LinkedIn Live. For conferences there’s 6connex, HeySummit and Run the World.

Promote, Promote, Promote – There’s so much competing for your audience’s time, including other virtual events. So, make sure potential attendees know the details and WHY they should attend. Then promote far and wide using email, social media, and on sites like Eventbrite. What’s more, ramp up your efforts starting 2-3 weeks out as many won’t commit until then. And don’t forget to enlist speakers as ambassadors for the event in addition to creating an event hashtag and a dedicated landing page.

Test Things Out – Rehearsals are super important because it’s far too easy for attendees to bail if your virtual event is a pain. Test internet connections, prepare backups of presentations, and make sure your speakers are comfortable with the platform. Depending on the size of the event, you might even have some tech support available for attendees should they run into trouble.

Create Opportunities to Engage – Of course we’ve never done this ourselves, but we’ve all ‘heard’ of multitasking or social media surfing during a virtual event. Gasp! The easiest way to avoid people tuning out is to keep them engaged by incorporating a poll or chat tool (make sure to have a moderator) and/or encourage live-tweeting. Don’t forget to ask for feedback at the end of the event so you can improve for next time too!

Virtual Events That Got It Right

With so many virtual events out there right now, there are plenty of hits and misses. But, here are some of R favorite successful events:

  • Skift’s Online Summit - Travel's Path Forward – The first in their series of travel summits, the event had multiple speakers and guests had the opportunity to ask questions. Recordings of the series can be found here. 
  • Lululemon has been hosting a monthly online book club with live discussions on Instagram that feature the authors. Each book club pick focuses on a health and wellness topic and the discussions are moderated by one of their global ambassadors.
  • Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood hosted a series of free livestream concerts on Facebook Live with the hashtag #GarthRequestLive where they played requests that fans put in the comments. We simply had to include a Nashville success story right?
  • Silverado Vineyards came up with the concept of a virtual wine taste test to unveil a new product. They sent wines to their best customers and invited them to a virtual tasting while their experts discussed the wines.
  • Washington Performing Arts Gala – Their gala was scheduled for March and instead of canceling it they turned it into a virtual livestream experience in only 3 days! And even created a webinar to document how it went!

Top Virtual Events in Nashville Coming Up

For R help in planning your virtual events in Nashville or beyond, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today!

virtual events in nashville


crisis communications

R Take on Crisis Communication During COVID-19 and Beyond

crisis communications

 

This year, the collective elephant in the room for every marketing and PR team is COVID-19. Whether it’s affecting your organization through closures, restrictions, lack of demand, supply chain delays, or any other avenues, it’s something we all need to address. But, most of us aren’t exactly sure how. We can help with crisis communication tips that can be applied now or to any unanticipated situation that can affect your brand reputation.

What is Crisis Communication?

It may sound ominous, but in general, crisis communication is simply your strategic approach in responding to any unanticipated event that could disrupt your organization’s operations and/or cause potential harm to your brand reputation such as:

  • Product recalls
  • Customer injuries
  • Employee misconduct
  • Security breaches
  • Natural disasters

And unfortunately, we can now add pandemic to the list.

Crisis Communication in Action

With the speed in which news travels today—as well as its reach—how you communicate during a crisis can dramatically impact your reputation—good or bad.

Here are some examples of misses in crisis communication:

On the other hand, these organizations got it right:

R Crisis Communication Playbook

When you have a crisis on your hands, you’re likely asking what should you be saying, how should you say it, who should you say it to, and via which channel(s)? It can get overwhelming pretty quickly so the first thing to do is take a deep breath and then:

Assess the Situation – There are a couple of layers on this one. From a broader perspective assess the type of crisis you’re dealing with, as a product recall will certainly dictate a different response than a pandemic. Then, take a look at all your currently scheduled campaigns as well as social media to see if they are still right for the current situation in voice, tone, and messaging. Don’t forget imagery too! Considering COVID-19 specifically, you don’t want to show people too close together for example. And with emotions so high right now, perhaps shift your message from an overt product focus to more of a human focus that’s empathetic and helpful. 

Respond Quickly - To control the narrative for your brand as best you can, quick action is a must. Also, consider your channels. For example, if safety concerns about your product are reported on social media first then respond there first. Expand to other channels quickly thereafter and communicate often with updates. Next, once you’ve assessed your campaigns, quickly stop any that may be perceived as insensitive to the situation. Even with campaigns you continue, consider how often you email and/or post. Too much push marketing can be seen as intrusive (and self-serving) in times of crisis.

Be Transparent - As you saw in the examples of misses above, any attempt to withhold information— whether real or perceived—will be disastrous for your brand. If the crisis is a situation in which your organization is at fault; acknowledge what happened, accept responsibility, apologize, and clearly communicate how you will move forward. Importantly, if the crisis resulted in injury, put the victim’s pain and frustration first. And avoid placing blame right off the bat. It can also be helpful to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and/or victims of the crisis to think about what you would want to know and how you would want it communicated.

Be Consistent - Not only in message but also across channels. Keep in mind that in most cases you’ll have different audiences in which you need to communicate. You’ll need to carefully craft messages that are still consistent, yet specifically speak to their concerns. Using COVID-19 as an example, if you’re a restaurant whose business hours have been restricted this will impact employees and customers. While it’s inconvenient for customers it’s potentially devastating to the livelihood of your employees, so the tone needs to be appropriate although the general message of restricted hours is the same. And consider the best way to get that message across. Social media and on-premise signage may work for customers, but would be highly inappropriate for employees.

Monitor Sentiment - Make sure to keep a close eye not only on national and local news outlets during a crisis but also on what your customers are saying on social media. And don’t forget to respond, on-message of course! Track your campaigns carefully as well. If your crisis communication approach is working, great! But still remain vigilant. If it’s not, go back to the beginning and reassess to see how you might tweak to improve communications going forward. Another option here might be to enlist the help of supporters such as brand ambassadors to create some positive influence.

Schedule a FREE 15 min Discovery Call to share your biggest communication challenge during COVID-19 or any crisis situation for your organization, and we’ll offer tips to keep your brand's reputation intact.


difference between pr marketing and advertising

R Commonly Asked PR Questions

difference between pr marketing and advertising

With years of experience in public relations, we know that great things come when you get people talking. But that’s just one reason why we love answering your PR questions. The other: to show just how effective PR can be in helping your business flourish! To start the conversation, we’ve answered some of R most commonly asked questions.

What's the difference between Public Relations & Marketing and Advertising? 

Public Relations are creative content tools to relate to the public and a wider audience messaging for your business, such as press management, content on your social media, and creative promotions to entice a larger audience to know—and care—about your business or brand. Marketing is a tool used to mix the brand aspects of your business with internal messages such as menus, website updates, social media strategy and a direct a to b channel from brand to a message. PR is more indirect, as you rely on media (both traditional and digital) to convey your message—here, a publicist is in the driver seat to ensure your messages are properly conveyed, serving as your messengers to the general public as opposed to just message givers (like a more traditional marketer). Advertising is a direct message to a platform such as a billboard, digital ad on a website, TV ad on a station or show—this is where your message, such as “stop by we’ll leave the light on for you,” would be directly placed on a platform. An advertising agent will likely lead you to those sources, discuss an ad budget, and advise on proper channels and messages to entice a direct audience with a direct message.

Are press kits still a thing? 

Yes, a press kit is used for many reasons, it aligns all press you have garnered ( or are garnering) and offers the writer a way to fact check directly with a proper press kit a lot of back and forth and research can be avoided and a writer is more likely to write about someone or a business that has an organized brand. All of which can be conveyed on a professionally done press kit.

How can an influencer help a brand? 

Influencers can sometimes be a tool to entice more buzz, however, often influencers charge for posts, so you want to be sure that the influencer(s) you choose to work with offer media kits with successfully brand sharing stories and also their audience matches your brand efforts. Know your goals going into the relationship, like if you want to increase your followers, be sure they have a track record of helping others do this, or if you are pushing a product or sale be sure you have your message clear to them so your goals are also met, especially if you are paying them.

Let’s keep talking. Schedule a FREE discovery call today!

difference between pr marketing and advertising


Nashville PR

How a Nashville PR Opportunity Inspired R Business to Branch Out

As we’re all becoming increasingly aware, you have to be open to change. Whether it comes about intentionally, as happenstance, or in response to a crisis, sometimes you just have to roll with it. In doing so, you may just be surprised by the opportunities that grow. The story of how RPR Firm came into the Nashville PR scene is a prime example.

The ‘It’ City for Business Too

Nashville’s moniker as the “It” city has been firmly entrenched for its music, food, and Southern hospitality. But, it’s also become one of the top places in the country to start a business in 2020 according to Inc.com. The reasons for the number 11 out of 50 ranking include the city’s net business creation, population growth, and job creation. R founder, Emily Reynolds Bergh, luckily recognized this entrepreneurial spirit much sooner.

The Call That Changed It All

Never one to limit herself to one city for long, Bergh had spent years working in public relations in San Diego, CA, as well as San Antonio and Austin, TX. After having launched RPR Firm in Austin, as she tells it, “I received a referral from a long-time client. His friend was opening up a new concept in Nashville. I had never even been to Nashville and yet was called to see if I would be up for doing some work for an opening. I visited and fell in love with the city (as many do). The music, the food, the life felt like the change that I needed both personally and professionally.”

Why Nashville PR for RPR Firm

What she also realized was that the most thriving industries in Nashville happened to be those in which RPR Firm specializes including restaurant, retail, hospitality, health and wellness, and of course, startups. It was the perfect fit. But, says Bergh, “I didn’t want to leave my Texas life fully behind so RPR Firm now has branches in Texas and Nashville and we work with clients nationally. It was the best decision I ever made.”

We now not only have Austin and Nashville PR clients, but we also help brands across the country from Portland to New York City bring their vision to life. And expanding to Nashville helped us find just the right blend of talent across our brand, digital, and content teams for R clients.

How can we support your brand?

Schedule a FREE Discovery Call with our Nashville PR Team Today!


R is for R(e)-opening! 6 Tips to Help You Reopen Seamlessly

Raise your hand if you are a business owner who recently had your entire world turned upside-down? For us, we’ve been in the trenches with R clients as they’ve shuttered their doors, launched take-out menus, and now as many look to Re-open businesses, which in some cases, have been around for more than 20 years. Wow, things can change with the blink of an eye, can’t they? First, we want to say, whether you’re a client, a friend, or new to the RPR blog, we are here with you. Seriously, this is a time to band together and to be flexible, forgiving, and open to the new world we live in—a touchless, mask-wearing world. We see you and your pretty eyes in those masks, and we R here to help! Below, we’ve pulled together six tips to help you R(e)open and thrive in this ever-changing world. 

 

Make a plan. For many of you, the new rules, regulations, and stages of reopening are hard to keep up with—they change daily, and just as you seem to catch your groove something new pops up. Deciding when to open, re-open, who to bring on board, and what to do with your furloughed staff can be mind-boggling, let alone thinking about your marketing messages during times like these. First things first, take a deep breath and sit down. Let’s write a plan—a new plan—here’s what we need to include:

 

  1. Dates and guidelines for your city, what you are going to do, and when you want to do it. Start with a projected date of opening at (25% 50% 100%) capacity and re-hiring (XXX) employees to get things up and going. Call your staff even if they are furloughed, most probably want to come back ASAP. They most likely miss you—and their jobs—too. 
  2. Once you have a general outline, set up a Zoom call with your crew, review the plan you have and let them know, yes, things are changing so please be patient and flexible, and that you are, too!
  3. Share your plan with your staff. This may involve retraining them on new systems for cleaning, for customer service, for everything (it will be like you just opened!). We know it's frustrating, but take the retraining seriously as the last thing you want is a customer to video your staff NOT meeting new guidelines (if you need help in the HR department, let us know—we have resources to guide you).

 

Make a Plan B. If we can learn anything from the past few months, it’s that we all need a Plan B. There are a lot of what-ifs in the world of business right now, so be PROACTIVE vs. reactive, meaning prepare for things to continue to operate under a “new normal” and/or potentially even revert to stay-at-home orders, but this time you will be ready to make your business marketable!

 

Prepare for things to be touchless. Many places plan on keeping curbside shopping, free shipping, new website features for online ordering, and more from the past few months. We can say most of our lives are now MORE THAN EVER online, so get those online shops and websites up to snuff. (Psst: we can help here, too.)

 

Think outside of the box. Now is the time to offer up something new—to your menus, to your websites, to your business. We are seeing some make masks, some make new kinds of menu items (cue in family-style take-out meals), and some make new kinds of lemonade from these lemons. Perhaps this is the time your business thrives in a way it never has before, because, really, why not?

 

Take this time as a lesson on diversifying your offerings, adding merch, launching new product packaging, making your site shoppable … whatever it takes! Let us know if you need more suggestions or want help executing—we’re here to help!

And, as always, be patient and be kind. Your audience, clients, and customers are all in a state of unknown, and are adjusting, too! Have your social messaging be bright, informative, and positive. Remember your words have POWER, so use them accordingly!

 


5 Ways To Pivot Your Businesses Message Right Now!

 

As we enter a new “normal” in terms of our business world during the time of COVID-19, the world “pivot” has been thrown around as a big buzzword, particularly when it comes to businesses. For us as word-weavers, we want to help, as when you pivot internally and not externally things can go south. Meaning, if your messages are mixed, inconsistent or flimsy (which is easy to do considering the world has turned upside down in the past 90 days), your people may be lost as to what you really are offering and thus move onto another pasture, if you know what we mean. We R here to help with our 5 ways to “pivot” into your new normal.

 

  1. Google your business and your top employees and see what has been written and what may be changing for you for the foreseeable future. If you are, for the foreseeable future, going to offer curbside pick-up, see if that is in your current online search messaging, and if not, hire a great SEO company to make it happen (we have friends we can point you to if you need it). People are online now more than ever and most people want to come back to you, but if they see the words “closed,” “temporarily closed,” “laid off,” “furloughed,” or whatever else has come up for you and others in the past month, they may be shy to buy, purchase, or stop by for a visit if you plan on reopening anytime soon. Make a checklist of where you need to re-message your message and get going on that ASAP.
  2. Update your social media but know the who, the what, and the when before you do so. 
  3. Meet people where they are—get masks, sanitizer, and so on for your establishment (we even have a client offering sneeze stations, no joke), and anticipate varying levels of comfort for guests. Some people are not going to want to get out of their cars for the foreseeable future even when governments open up, so be prepared for those who are ready to come in and those who want to be met out.
  4. Offer NEW purchasing options. You may want to update your websites (we are happy to help) and offer some additional items for sale. We have restaurant clients that are upping their merch and dry goods on their websites and we have online retailers offering free shipping as a long term goal!
  5. As always be kind! This seems obvious but when you look at a Yelp review that slams you for whatever choice you may be making, as the world opens back up, be sure to answer when you have cooled off—a quick tweet, Yelp response, or what have you, can have a lasting effect. 

 

If you need more tips, tricks, or help, click HERE to schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!


10 + Ways To Help Small Businesses Right Now!

 

We are the behind the curtain folks, the weavers of words, the people that help share passion and spread good news! I am writing this as, like many of you and like most of the world, I want to save all the restaurants, bars, and small businesses we can from the hardships being immediately faced. I feel like every morning I wake up and see someone else I care about posting about making a hard decision with their business, and it seems that although we are practicing things like “social distancing”—a phrase I never have used in my life as both an extrovert and a lover of people—we are also in the midst of times where supporting and giving services is needed more than ever. As communications pros, we can be a beacon of hope during these strange and difficult times—we are the messengers to the media, we are the media, we move the needle from fear to fearless by being courageous and creative innovators in a time of great need! So I ask, HOW can we help—now? I’ve listed some of R teams ideas below on ways to support clients, media friends, and most of all each other. Let us know what you’d add, too, we are here to bounce ideas, support and share! Let’s do this!

 

  1. Pick up the phone. Get off email and CALL your people—they need you. They’re reading the news and social media and seeing their friends close down and make difficult decisions—offer creative solutions that can help them weather this storm (an abbreviated but awesome take-out menu, clever delivery options, etc). Read this again, CALL and connect, it makes a world of difference—trust me.

 

  1. Source ideas with other professionals. If you are like me, you have been writing crisis communication plans, scraping all the content you planned for this month and next and next and gearing up for a daily swipe of your ideas—you need some creative support! Call, text, and email fellow communications pros! This is the time to give extra hours, time, and talents to each other to support the world of small businesses. THIS is our time to really support each other and get over any fear that someone will take your client or idea. In this case, we all need to save this sinking ship for EVERYONE and we are the answers. 

 

  1. Be a marketing genius. During the Great Depression, furniture stores offered free incentives called “Depression glass” (like a plate or a teacup) and people went wild shopping for furniture just to get the free glasses, even when they didn’t have much. Today a tiny Depression tea glass is worth $25-$75 (some more), and these were given out for free to our grandmothers. Who came up with that idea? A MARKETING GENIUS, that’s who. Us marketing pros are the people behind the curtain and we get to show off our most genius ideas—often in the most desperate times. Just this week alone I have seen café owners delivering goods, celebrities reading storybooks online, museums offering free tours, and even Disney taking viewers on virtual rides. The internet is blowing up and our ideas are just waiting to take off and find value with our clients. So do what you need to be risky and wise and get someone to sign up for something they never thought they would—it WILL work!
  1. Be calm + confident, be collected, and know this too shall pass. If we hold our visions our clients will too, and we are the ones who help document and execute those visions. So it is up to us to be calm in the storm when they need to freak out because their business is taking turns they never imagined. Be confident. Know you were hired because you are smart, talented and clients can count on you to share their message—that’s you!

 

  1. Be mindful of your words instead of “hard times” change that up for “things are constantly changing” instead of “closing” change that up for “we will open as soon as we can.” Words have power and now more than ever WE are responsible for encouraging clients and media to lessen the drastic language and fear and see things as a work in progress. As the truth is this is actually a golden opportunity to be creative with businesses, and those that know how to pivot and stay calm will be the ones on top after the storm blows over.

 

  1. Be generous with your time. We need to write more blog posts, edit more press releases and help more than we probably ever have before—now is the time to get our boots dirty. It’s hard work, but so worth it! 

 

  1. Shop, shop, shop. Buy all the things—get merch, get gift cards, and practice what you are preachin’ sister!

 

  1. Make your pitches short and sweet and with all information in digestible deets—who, what, where, and website links—and nothing else! We don't want to make more work for our media friends who are getting more emails than ever right now. 

 

  1. Share other people’s creative work—not just your clients. Ask and offer fellow comm friends ways you can lend a helping hand! Giving truly makes the world of difference in stressful situations.

 

  1. BE KIND yourself included, take a bath, do an online yoga class, pour a glass of wine at the end of the day, whatever gets you to zen. You can’t save the world if you aren’t taking care of you and from there sprinkle out the good witch vibes and let people know they have had the power to change and shift and grow within them the whole time. (‘nuff said).

From friends in the comm worlds:

“Entertain and engage! This is the time to show your audience your brand value through digital marketing by giving them what they need the most right now. Something to do. You literally have a captive audience, so don’t waste that opportunity with your average content. Find creative ways to entertain and engage your audience. A great way to do that is through mixed media: video, graphics, motion graphics, email campaigns, etc. Create giveaways, quizzes, and games! The more your audience feels supported by your brand during this time, the more brand loyalty they will reciprocate when things go back to normal.” Sarah Wlliams (digital marketing guru)

 

Have something to add? Please share!

 


public relations checklist

A Public Relations Checklist + Trends For 2020

So the year of 2019 is about to go by and here we are R-eflecting on all the fun openings, book launches, new businesses we supported, and clients and media we related to. PR at it’s finest but what have we learned from this year that we will bring into next? Here is our ultimate PR checklist—we are always happy to set-up a free consultation if you have more needs, wants or R-equests!

R words of advice for 2020 as far as public relations goes is:

  1. Stop sending press releases for things that are not immediate release or going to earn attention as “news.” There is a time and a place for all communication but press releases—unless it is breaking news—are a thing of the past. Customized-meets-personalized pitching is where things are headed, which means short, sweet, and to the point.
  2. Start investing in video—things are moving towards fewer written words, not more. I started blogging in 2010 and began doing vlogs shortly thereafter, as well as short videos that convey a message. YouTube is still going strong as an avenue to share and post videos + iPhones have made it super easy too!
  3. Speaking of short and sweet, keep your communications to media appropriate and short and sweet—not mass distributed. No one likes a mass email, especially someone who gets 100s of emails a day. This is one of the perks to hiring a publicist—we have ways to get the message to contacts without being pesky.
  4. Start posting in your social media stories NOW. General posts are moving towards a thing of the past, so have your social team post those stories and make them personal!
  5. Know what is a trend and what is an end! Avocado toast was so five years ago—things move particularly fast in the food and fashion worlds, so ask your PR team to help advise before making a product launch or new menu.


6. Invest in EVENT-focused outreach. Start sharing your brand with a party or collaboration. Being a solo-standing brand is becoming a thing of the past.

7. Do use professional photos in all situations. No more dark photos of parking lots—have your marketing/pr team help you put your best photo-foot forward.

8. Do sign up and/or post on Linkedin NOW. Trends revive and Linkedin is one of them, especially for B to B businesses.

9. Do sign up and/or start posting on Tik Tok NOW. This video streaming platform will be taking over Instagram in 2020, just you watch and see!

10. As far as social media goes, know your platform when sharing on digital media. As we say to clients, each social media channel is its own neighborhood, and not all work the same way—think art district (Instagram), up and coming (Tik Tok), hipster (Snapchat), old historic (Linkedin/Twitter), mom ‘n’ pop (Facebook). A good PR team will help you navigate this so you can maximize your efforts in all places or just focus on one neighborhood doing really well!


Onwards towards a new year and a R-fresh of your brand!

Emily + RPR

***Schedule a free discovery meeting with us today at https://www.rprfirm.com/schedule/