Wednesday, November 16, 2011


A new survey finds the public perceives low-level employees as more trustworthy within most organizations. I find these results interesting as they dovetail with what I’ve seen informally in my public relations work over the years.

If true, this trend has multiple implications for practitioners focused on a number of important roles – community relations, internal communications, media relations, etc. For example, it may be more effective in crisis situations to have a well-trained local employee handle the media questions or meet with the mayor than to jet the big guy out from headquarters. Or, perhaps a service project featuring a group of blue-collar employees may have a more positive impact than a vice president handing over a check while the TV cameras roll.

Deciding who delivers the message can be as important as deciding what the message is.

Why PR Practitioners Should Care About Content Marketing

Michael Pranikoff, global director of emerging media at PR Newswire was the featured speaker at the PRSA Luncheon and Professional Development seminar in October. His luncheon presentation addressed the alignment of PR and Social Media because they both focus on storytelling. His focus on content marketing came from this statistic: 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. Here’s a brief video interview with Michael. You can follow him on Twitter or see some of his many presentations on Slide Share.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Highlights of PRSA’s Recent Advocacy Work

Rosanna Fiske, APR, PRSA chair, presented the state of the society in the opening portion of the international PRSA Assembly. One of the highlights was the work PRSA has done this year in advocacy for the profession, including several actions related to U.S. regulatory affairs. Here are some examples.

Letter to U.S. Senate Subcommittee regarding GSA’s use of PR firms – The Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight was investigating the use of PR and public affairs firms by government agencies. PRSA’s formal letter discussed the substantial public interest served by PR and PA on behalf of the federal government. As a result of the letter and other work, PRSA successfully discouraged the committee from restricting the U.S. government from using approved PR and PA counsel.

Comment on FTC’s ‘Dot Com Disclosure’ guidelines, ‘Green Guides’ for environmental marketing – The Federal Trade Commission invited comments about its planned overhaul of “Dot Com Disclosure” guidelines regarding advertising, marketing and sales on the Internet. The PRSA website describes: “PRSA submitted comments noting that its 32,000 members believe strongly in online consumer protections and are seeking clear guidance from the FTC regarding how businesses can appropriately communicate and market consumers online. PRSA also noted that disclosure of relationships, motivation, compensation and other pertinent factors should be the basis of all forms of marketing and communications, including emerging practices like social media and online contests. Finally, PRSA requested the FTC host a public workshop on online advertising disclosure to obtain the full input from all stakeholders.”

Letter to FDA urging publication of social media guidelines for pharma/health care – In April took action to urge the FDA to release its long-delayed guidelines for the health care industry’s use of social media. With strict regulation in place regarding patient privacy and other policies with implications for social media use.