Friday, December 12, 2008

Recession "PR"oof

The Berlin Wall falls. Five U.S. presidents in the Oval Office. U.S. national debt ratio more than doubles. Microwaves outsale range ovens. Heath Ledger is born and dies. Watergate scandal and fallout. Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's home run record. More than a billion people gain access to the world wide web.

What do all of these events have in common? They all have taken place since the last time U.S. unemployment claims were as high as they are today. The economic crisis worsened further this past month as employers cut more than 500,000 jobs in November, the largest one month decline since 1974. More than a million jobs have been lost since September. With a president-elect waiting to take the nation's reigns and the government acknowleding that the country has been in a recession since late 2007, hope may still be on the horizon.

One industry's gloom can be another's gold. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) held its 2008 Annual “Masters of Marketing” Conference in October, where attendees including client-side marketers, media and creative agencies and others were polled about their marketing and media budgets, plans and tactics going forward. The findings are encouraging for those in marketing communications. Following is a sample of the results:
  • 67 percent reported they "will spend more" or "spending will be constant/no changes"
  • Of that 67 percent, 26 percent plan to increase spending by more than 10 percent

Public relations in particular is and will continue to be an essential piece of the fiscal pie. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor) estimates that the number of "public relations specialists" will increase to nearly 300,000 by 2016, an increase of roughly 18 percent. The forecast for public relations practitioners is mirrored internally.

  • Social media integration was selected as the "marketing discipline" most likely to promote growth, with 28 percent of respondents choosing it as their top choice
  • Next most important: Grassroots/viral public relations (19 percent)

Chuck Werle, an Asheville, NC-based public relations professional, gives a synopsis of the difference between advertising and public relations. "Advertising is what you tell others about yourself, your products or your services. Public relations is what others tell about you."

That definition in mind, it's easy to understand the pending marriage of social media and public relations. It's as natural and fitting a match as cereal and milk. One is seemingly incomplete without the other. Sure, businesses can still post online ads on Facebook or create pop up videos where you catch the monkey and win, but as with traditional media PR has always been superior in credibility.

The opportunity is ripe for public relations professionals to integrate with social media; post podcasts, build blogs, tweet on Twitter, mingle on MySpace. Create relationships and authenticity. Help others to tell about you, your products or your services (or your clients').

The reason social media still feels refreshing and new despite its age is that the message pipeline, although growing more narrow, is nowhere near as clogged in social media as with other media. For now it's "real," and a real opportunity for PR departments and businesses.

If your business hasn't caught the wave yet, it's not too late to grab a board and get your feet wet. Social media is growing. Approximately 25 percent of the Inc. 500 reported that "social media was very important to their business/marketing strategy" in 2007, reports The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research. That number increased to 44 percent in 2008. The growth is staggering even on a global scale. According to Comscore, "social networking use grew 25 percent year over year worldwide."

Think social media like Facebook and MySpace are for teens and twenty-somethings? Think again. Rapleaf report on the gender and age of social media users.

- Justin Moore


The emergence of Web 3.0 ("Semantic Web"). The electric car is revived. U.S. economic debt eliminated. Abagail Breslin wins an Oscar. Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl. U.S. national unemployment rate dips below 3 percent. First female U.S. President.

All events transpiring during the next 34 years(?)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Plugging the Portfolio

My professional experience and responsibilites in a communications capacity have included,

  • public relations
  • marketing
  • market research
  • brand positioning
  • relationship building with local and national clients from multiple industries.

I've regularly developed...

  • media relations strategies
  • key contact databases and execution plans
  • key messages
  • positioning strategies
  • online content (web editing)
  • creative client materials
  • internal communication documents
  • unique public relations campaigns and initiatives
  • wide variety of written materials, including editorials, press releases, newsletters, reports, training manuals, brochures, web copy and ad-based copy.

I've also supervised multiple interns while working on and leading professional and diverse account teams representing major brands.

Whew! Say that three times fast...

After all, career seeking is one giant self promotion, right?
(Try clicking on the drawing board looking icon at the bottom right of the presentation for a "full screen" view if your browser cuts off the right edge.)

"To establish oneself in the world, one does all one can to seem established there already." - Fran├žois, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680), French writer, moralist