Archive for November, 2011

Three Ways That Customer Service Skills Make Good PR Professionals Great

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

My resume boasts more than six years of customer service experience in various positions. Although not all of the skills I’ve learned directly transfer to my current role at Brookline (accessorizing wedding gowns for example), I credit this experience for advancing my career to where it is today. I believe that the interpersonal skills that are developed through customer service are essential to becoming a successful public relations (PR) professional, and here’s why:

1. As a PR consultant, you are a spokesperson for the organizations you represent.

In PR we strive to achieve our clients’ goals, whether increasing media coverage, the execution of a seamless event, or effective communication within an organization. While we are working to realize these goals, we approach vendors, industry peers and members of the media on behalf of our clients. Putting a professional foot forward is important because it reflects not only on you, but your employer and your clients.  

 

2. Customer service is all about making the customer happy, and so is PR.

A typical day at Brookline can consist of monitoring client mentions in traditional and social media outlets, identifying industry-specific, timely issues, and crafting any number of strategic communication pieces. That’s not to say we don’t do more than that.  From cleaning lobster tanks, to lying on a shopping mall floor for measuring purposes, PR pros always do what it takes to get the job done.

 

3. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

PR is an industry that is based on relationships. Whether you’re interacting with colleagues, media, suppliers or clients, it helps to be nice. While the customer may “always be right,” you’re more likely to change their mind and prove your point with a smile.

The skills above are things that I continually strive to do when tackling any PR project. What do you think?

^sg

“We Were There” for the debut of the 2012 World Junior Championships theme song – were YOU?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

On November 16th Brookline was behind the scenes as Canadian country music artist Paul Brandt launched the official theme song for the 2012 World Juniors Championship at the CORE with hundreds of hockey fans and country music fans alike.

Paul Brandt sings to the crowd during the inaugural performance of “I Was There”.

With a 20 foot tall Team Canada jersey hanging from the ceiling, Puckster the mascot, and enthusiastic fans on three levels of the CORE, Paul performed “I Was There,” to an excited crowd for the first time exactly 40 days before the puck drops at the 2012 World Juniors.

“I Was There” is a hockey anthem that represents the passion and pride Canadians feel about our sport, and encompasses hockey memories from 5 a.m. practices to learning to skate as a 25-year-old Assistant Account Specialist (not naming any names.) Net  proceeds from all downloads of the song “I Was There” will be received by the Hockey Canada Foundation for their nationwide support of hockey for underprivileged kids. “I Was There” is available for download at www.paulbrandt.com and www.hockeycanada.ca/2012juniors and will be available on iTunes in mid-December.

Also in attendance was Jim Peplinksi, Co-Chair of the 2012 World Junior Championships who spoke at the event, and members of O2 The Dance Company who formed a hockey mob that danced their way through the crowd during Paul’s inaugural performance.

Jim Peplinski and Paul Brandt wave to hockey and country music fans at the CORE.

Brookline was excited to plan and execute logistics for the event, implement a collaborative social media outreach strategy with the World Juniors and Paul Brandt, and manage media relations for the song’s debut. Don’t forget to share your “I Was There” moments with us on Twitter using the #IWasThere hashtag.

The Brookline team.

-SG (Assistant Account Specialist)

Brookline PR hosted Student Blog Winner Reanne Andersen

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Brookline PR hosted student blog winner Reanne Andersen for an informational lunch and learn on Nov. 10. Please enjoy her blog about her experience with the Brookline team followed by her winning blog on the effects of public relations on current events.

 The day of the Lunch and Learn finally arrived; armed with our resumes and a ton of questions my roommate (Stina) and I headed downtown to meet the team. To begin the afternoon Mallory and Alisha looked over our resumes and told us how they could be improved. We received great advice about how to appear desireable to potential employers, and had the chance to pick their brains about how they landed jobs at Brookline. Next the rest of the team joined us to tell us more about what Brookline does and how agency life works.

During lunch Stina and I got the chance to ask what types of projects Brookline has done in the past, and we heard about their wide variety of clients. Shauna told us how Brookline came to be, and everyone told us about the journey that led them to Brookline. They all have different backgrounds and education, which is why I feel they are so innovative. Hearing things from their unique perspectives broadened my understanding about what is required of someone working in PR. They told us about building strong business contacts, gaining experience, and getting the most out of our schooling. Presently Brookline is in the midst of organizing a Hockey Canada and World Juniors Championships event where Paul Brandt will sing his new theme song for the 2012 World Juniors, and Stina and I will both be volunteering. Planning this is just one of many very cool things that they do, and we are both looking forward to getting involved in this, and hopefully other, Brookline projects.

This experience showed me that PR is the right field for me; I am looking forward to applying Brookline’s advice to my education and job search. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in PR to try and meet people like Shauna and the Brookline team because my afternoon in their office was worth every second.

  

If I’m Doing my Job Right, The Public Shouldn’t Know who I am
Reanne Andersen
3rd year BA Communications, Management and Society Minor-University of Calgary

There is no worse feeling than being embarrassed in front of a huge group of people… Especially when you know it was preventable. When I watch the news I see stories about companies making publicity mistakes or verbal blunders that result in embarrassment and plummeting stock. A lot of these stories seem to be blown out of proportion due to a lack of control over the flow of information between the company and the media. Poor management of a situation can result in a reputable company turning into the joke of the year (BP Oil, anyone?); someone who knows how to keep their client happy, however, can stop a seemingly disastrous story from ever reaching the news at all.

The influence that public relations can have over current events is huge; PR professionals are in control of what becomes news at all. If a situation occurs that could appear negative to the public, a company must make a decision. Should a press conference be called? Should the situation be kept under wraps? What is the best way to maintain the company’s reputation? If the right decision is made then the issue at hand will be resolved without making it onto the evening news. The idea behind hiring someone in PR is that they will help maintain your privacy and reputation.

When spokespeople do an effective job of calming their customers and stakeholders the story rarely makes headlines. This means that we do not hear about the people who work in PR unless they screw up. So if a company has not been ridiculed by the media, you can thank whoever is in charge of their public relations. If you know who they are, that is.