Technological Difficulties

The content for my last two posts is currently not appearing on my site. I am unsure why this is happening and I am actively working to get it fixed! I’m very sorry for this problem and thank you for bearing with me.

~S

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The Do’s and Don’ts of PR Blogging

DO Customize Your Stories.

In the world of PR, and blogging in general, the same topic and story gets covered dozens of times by dozens of people. There is nothing wrong with writing about a topic that has been covered before by someone else, just make it your own. For example, if you are writing a crisis communication blog but want to write a post about the soda tax you could cater the post to talk about how coca

DON’T Forget About Strategic Communication.

It is easy to get caught up in the story and forget about the PR side of things. When writing a PR industry specific blog, make sure you tackle all stories from a strategic communications standpoint. Continue reading

3 Reasons You Should Start Using Infographics Right Now

I recently wrote an article titled How to Make a Delicious Infographic. After writing that piece I started thinking about infographics and content marketing. I realized that while learning how to create an infographic is important, it is just as important, if not more so, to understand why they’re effective.

As a result, here are three (of many) reasons to use infographics!

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1. Improved Retention.

Using text or images both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Infographics use design to combine these mediums into one cohesive product. Recent research from Barbara Miller and Brooke Barnett, shows that “combining text and graphics allows communicators to take advantage of each medium’s strengths and diminish each medium’s weaknesses.” By combining both text and images, infographics access the best parts of each and get rid of their downfalls. Viewers are more likely to remember your content if it is shown in a visual appealing and informative way. Continue reading

Starbucks: Sweeping the CSR World by Storm

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I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Corey duBrowa, the Senior Vice President of Global Communications at Starbucks Coffee over Skype. I’d like to start of by saying that Mr. duBrowa truly exemplifies the qualities of a communications professional and is a true joy to talk to. Corporate Social Responsibility has become a hot topic for companies everywhere. It is known to increase profits, brand loyalty and customer favorability. According to Time, businesses “can no longer afford to ignore CSR.” Millennials are a generation of advocacy. They support businesses that support causes they care about. With CSR becoming an essential part of customer acquisition and profit, businesses are adding CSR programs left and right. Starbucks, like with most things, has been one step ahead of the game. Starbucks follows the mantra that there is no difference between doing well and doing good. Continue reading

3 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out From the Crowd

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LinkedIn has become the number one, go-to place for networking in the work force. The idea for the website was conceived in 2002 and it was up and running by 2003. Since its creation, LinkedIn has taken the world by storm. In its last fiscal quarter it was reported that LinkedIn has reached a whopping 433 million active users. So if you don’t have a profile yet…now is a good time to start making one!

Creating a LinkedIn profile has become an essential part of the networking and job hunting process. In a world that revolves around who you know, it is the perfect platform. Simply having a profile, however, is not nearly enough. Your LinkedIn needs to draw in connections and make them see just how unique and desirable you are.

So, in a sea of qualified candidates and wordsmiths, how do you make your LinkedIn profile stand out. Continue reading

How to Make a Delicious Infographic

 

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Infographics have become an instrumental tool in setting companies and information apart. They depict dense statistics and data in an easily digestible and visually appealing way. Mark Smiciklas defines an infographic as “a visualization of data or ideas that tries to convey complex information to an audience in a manner that can be quickly consumed and easily understood.” As simple as that seems, however, there is an art to creating a successful infographic. Follow the tips below to get a jump start on an infographic that will awe your audience!

Define Your Goal.

Before you even start creating content determine what you want your infographic to do. Will it educate? Create awareness? Sway misperceptions? The goal of your infographic will determine the layout, design and content. Continue reading

5 Steps to Effectively Communicate During a Food Crisis

 

 

 

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Photo from blog.foodnetwork.com

I recently wrote an article analyzing Chipotle’s crisis communication tactics during an E. coli outbreak that started in November 2015. Writing that article got me thinking about crisis communications in the food and beverage industry as a whole. When something goes wrong with food it is a big deal, and it can really hurt your image. It is hard to convince consumers to keep eating at your restaurant after a food poisoning outbreak or a picture of hair in your food goes viral on the internet. After thinking over this for a while (and shivering at the idea of hair in my food) I decided to compile a list of the initial 5 steps to take as a communications professional when there is a crisis with food or a food business.

 

1. Address the Problem.

Publicly and Immediately.  The first step to communicate a food crisis is to simply admit that something has happened. Give the basic details, be upfront and, most importantly, be transparent. If you address the public but are dishonest, insincere or not transparent you will only make the problem, and your brand image, worse. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the problem and put together a cohesive and comprehensive report and statement. Address the crisis on all platforms: with the media, social media accounts, your website etc. All of your audience needs to know that you understand the problem and that you are facing it head on. Continue reading

The Art of Pitching Food Bloggers

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As an avid cook and food enthusiast I follow dozens upon dozens of food blogs religiously. I wake up every morning and check out my handful of favorites (more than a handful on lazy Sundays) before even making my cup of coffee. I follow blogs that review restaurants in Portland all the way to blogs that exclusively post ice cream recipes. My Pinterest is a never-ending stream of soufflés and purees. It’s an addiction. So, as a person with a mind inclined towards both PR and food, I have decided to compile my advice for pitching a food blogger using my sets of knowledge for both things.

Do your research!

I can’t say this enough and it is relevant to any PR task you will ever come across. For more information on the importance of research in PR check this out. Research is everything, especially when it comes to bloggers. Find out the the bloggers name and address them as such. Do not refer to him or her as “blogger” or “author of _______ blog.” The only acceptable time to do this is when you are pitching an entirely anonymous blog. Look into past articles and reviews. For example, if you are pitching your new peanut butter brand and don’t look into the previous posts on the blog you are pitching you might not see that the blogger wrote a post a few weeks ago about having a severe peanut allergy. This can also work in the reverse. The blogger might have written a post a month or two back that marries perfectly with the post that you are trying to pitch. Showing that you know about the blogger and the blog sets you apart and makes the blogger more interested in working with you.

Show Interest.

Blogs are a labor of love and so is cooking. Combine the two, and you have the ultimate love child. This is why it is absolutely essential to show interest in not only the pitch, but also the blog and the blogger. Food and cooking is a food bloggers passion. Show interest in the food, the concepts and the author. Getting to know the blogger even before the first point of contact is essential. Go beyond just knowing his or her name and what has been posted previously on the blog. At the very least read the “About Me” section and the blog introduction. Bloggers want to know that you care about what they do.

Continue reading