Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

The creativity conundrum: how to keep your campaigns fresh and current

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Ashley Tymko, Account Manager

“I have an endless supply of award-winning campaign ideas! What is writer’s block? Inspiration just hits me at all times.”

In an idyllic world, the statement above is what myself, and I am sure every public relations practitioner wishes they would experience. In stark reality, creativity is relentlessly capricious. It ebbs and flows in waves and even the most seasoned of us can at times struggle to find inspiration.

Creativity can be defined in countless ways, but for the purpose of my blog, I am defining creativity as: “unique ways for organizations to evoke emotion and brand recognition among its target audience.”

I am often asked by my peers and those outside of the PR world how I continually stay creative for new and returning clients.

I thought I would share some key learnings that I’ve applied throughout the years to ensure I always put my most creative self forward.

Be authentic. This one is less of a ‘be true to yourself,’ but rather, more ‘be authentic to your client’.

Our clients work with us not only because we are good at what we do, but because we take the time to understand their needs and goals to authentically communicate their message. Strategy sessions are essential to building an excellent working foundation, but also imperative to getting those creative juices flowing with your client. We often bounce preliminary ideas off of one another to get a true sense of what they want vs. what they aren’t crazy about.

There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all media strategy.’ Learn your client, their language, their goals and desired outcomes. The more information you have on your client, the better you can determine what approach is best and find creative ways to solve their problems and add value.

Know your strengths. Know when you operate at your optimal creative level i.e. when you produce your best work. For me, it is first thing when I wake up. I quickly brush my teeth, make a coffee and hunker down at the computer and write. My optimal time is between 5 and 8 a.m. (as I edit this blog I peeked at the clock and its 6:05 a.m.) I often get (lightly) chastised from my concerned colleagues for sending emails and documents at 5 a.m. but that’s what works for me to get in my optimal writing headspace. This is the time I can pump out a killer press release or a thought-provoking pitch.

Be aware and make time or space to allow yourself to operate most creatively. It truly helps.

Our Senior Account Manager, Angela, needs to blast soca music to slay an amazing press release. Our Senior Intern, Nicole, likes to declutter and work in a clean space and our PR Assistant, Ottilie, loves to listen to Podcasts.

Get inspired! When creative juices are running low, don’t shy away from getting inspiration from different campaigns.

Whenever I am in a rut, I think back to my favourite PR campaign, the Dove Real Beauty campaign and its evolution. It is simple, evokes emotion, connects with the target demographic and is extremely creative in the delivery of its messaging. It’s a tremendously well-rounded campaign. So much so that it was pivotal in not only promoting their brand, but having their target audiences question their competitors’ marketing tactics. Its influence is seen heavily in public relations and marketing today. Just look at their competitor, Olay’s, new campaign.

So, when you find yourself spinning your wheels running through the same three ideas over and over again, step back and gain some clarity and inspiration from other places.

I asked around the office and here are a couple of our favourite campaigns:

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

The key word here is FUN. At the end of the day, being creative, brainstorming ideas and stretching the limits of what we thought possible is always invigorating. My favourite days are when my colleagues and I get together in the boardroom and tackle an issue together. It usually ends in a pile of giggles and us shouting out the most obscure ideas we can think of – but at the end of the session, we come out with solid ideas to present to our clients.

So even when you are exhausted, out of ideas or feel like you’re hitting a wall, turn to your colleagues for support and have fun with it.

Ashley Tymko is an Account Manager at Brookline Public Relations. Ashley has expertise in event planning, media relations, client relations and strategic planning. Ashley thrives in a fast-paced workplace where there are constant opportunities to learn new things and explore bold ideas.

Hittin’ the Road in Style Thanks to Universal Ford Lincoln

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Ashlee Smith, Account Specialist

 

Brookline is excited to be working with Ford of Canada once again and we are looking forward to supporting their Southern Alberta grassroots public relations activities. We’ve supported the iconic brand with some exciting projects these past six months and we are thrilled to share some highlights in the following weeks. Enjoy the read, we sure enjoyed the road!

When driving on Alberta roads, safety is the first thing on everyone’s mind. So, when we had to hit the road in the middle of winter and head to Edmonton for a client media event, our first thought was we need a safe, reliable vehicle. We are precious cargo after all!

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We took the opportunity to experience a brand new 2017 Lincoln MKC loaned to us by Universal Ford Lincoln here in Calgary. For two ladies who own dated, shall we say, vehicles, we were tickled pink and jumped at the chance to safely travel in style to our northern neighbouring city.

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Technology has come a long way in vehicles with Ford offering an array of new technology across their lineup, and the 2017 Lincoln MKC is no exception. While driving the burgundy beauty, we noticed the lane keeping system which monitors road lane markings and helps drivers detect unintentional drifting outside of a lane. If the camera detects an impending unintentional drift, the system can use the steering system and the instrument cluster display to alert and aid drivers to stay in their lane. Needless to say, we had fun testing it out, safely of course!

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Yes! We were listening to rap oldies!

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The Lincoln MKC made a dull highway drive to Edmonton a real treat for us and we securely arrived on time for our media event and couldn’t wait to get back on the road in our luxury ride!

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Brookline is excited to be working with Ford of Canada once again and we are looking forward to supporting their Southern Alberta grassroots public relations activities.

AshleeVBW

-Ashlee Smith is an account specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She has solid work experience in community relations, marketing communications, event management, and media relations. She loves to get her hands dirty and immerse herself in ‘the details’.

Fact or Fiction? Debunking PR Myths and Setting the Record Straight

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Pauline Tapuska, Intern

 

“No Mom, I don’t work at a TV station. And no, I can’t introduce you to Ellen DeGeneres.”

As many PR professionals can attest, one of the most misunderstood communications industries out there is public relations. Like many other industries, public relations is no stranger to the sting of misconceptions and stereotypes.  While some might envision careers like that of Samantha Jones on Sex and the City, others seem convinced that PR folks are glorified event planners, celebrity publicists and even spin doctors, the reality is that PR is much more meaningful and complex.

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Admittedly, public relations can be a difficult industry to define, so let’s set the record straight by debunking five common myths about PR:

 

Myth 1: Public relations is easy, so I’ll just do it myself

This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about public relations. Many organizations lack a strong understanding of PR and assume that simply publishing a few press releases is all it takes to capture the attention of the media. Wrong.

PR can be used to roll out much larger, more effective strategies that involve more than just writing press releases. Among many other things, PR is about developing consistent brand messaging across several channels, communicating effectively, creating and maintaining relationships, and building an extensive knowledge of the industries in which you and your clients operate.

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Myth 2: Public relations will make my business famous overnight

As much as we wish this was true, building a brand takes time, hard work and a lot of creativity, which is why PR is more effective as part of a long-term strategy. PR pros work every day to develop fresh communication strategies and execute them effectively in order to garner audience awareness and media attention for their clients. Coming up with unique and newsworthy angles to communicate a client’s story isn’t always easy, but hard work pays off in the long run (if not overnight)!

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Myth 3: PR pros prevent the media from talking to who they really want to talk to

Ah, yes, the common misconception that our job is to keep media away from the real story. In reality, it’s our job to connect people! PR practitioners put media in touch with spokespeople who can confidently offer useful and knowledgeable insight into specific subject matter. Just because media want to interview the CEO of a company, doesn’t mean that person is in possession of the information needed to speak to a certain topic. Public relations professionals find the best person for the story and ensure media get the most accurate information for their audience.

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Myth 4: Public relations is all spin, slogans and propaganda

Propaganda is typically a tool of the state, used to manipulate people into actions that are not in their best interest. Contrary to this definition, we hold ourselves to high ethical standards and avoid spin, slogans and propaganda techniques at all costs. In fact, PR practitioners are held to codes of ethical and moral professional conduct, like the Canadian Public Relations Society’s Code of Ethics.

In addition, today’s audience has never been more intelligent or sophisticated. There are countless alternative sources for the public to gather information from and they are not easily fooled by biased or ethically questionable content. To put it simply, transparency is key when communicating our clients’ messages and it is our job to work together with the media to do so in an upstanding and ethical manner.

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Myth 5: Public relations only deals with social media nowadays

In the world of public relations, social media is an increasingly important tool for generating audience awareness, sharing brand stories and so much more. And although it is a valuable messaging platform, social media is not the only communications channel used in the business. Traditional media channels like print and broadcast continue to hold weight with a number of key audiences, and emerging media like blogs and other online news sources are gaining prominence and traction daily. Beyond that, public relations encompasses more than just media relations – media training, crisis communications and issues management, integrated marketing, branding, and event management are just a few of the service areas that fall under the umbrella of PR.PR Myths 6

 

As professional communicators, it’s up to us to continue to break free from stereotypes and misconceptions like these – luckily we’ve got the tools and know-how to do so! And it is our hope that as the influence of the PR industry continues to grow, a clearer understanding of what we do and why we do it will continue to grow too.

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Pauline Headshot

– Pauline Tapuska is an Intern at Brookline Public Relations. She brings experience in the areas of internal and corporate communications. Her expertise lies in event management, social media utilization and content creation.