I’m a People Person

April 15, 2015

by Kim Taylor

I’d place a pretty hefty wager on that phrase being uttered in almost every interview we hold with potential candidates. 

I suppose it’s sort of a given in public relations, right?  Maybe that’s why we find ourselves somewhere between a giggle and a wince when we hear it.  What does being a “people person” really mean, anyway?

If you’re a people person, by definition, you’re a person who enjoys or is particularly good at interacting with others.  That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re suited for a career in PR … you could just as easily be a car salesman.

Sure, to work in our industry, dealing successfully with the public is essential.  But, more essential is your ability to build relationships with clients, media, other stakeholders, peers, and the list goes on.

Convince your potential employer that you’re a connecter, a masterful networker and a skilled relationship-builder.  I promise it’ll go further than being a “people person.”


Back from the Dead

April 14, 2015

by Roger Pynn

Remember the days when everyone was predicting the death of shopping malls?  Bricks and mortar are doomed, they said, because online shopping will do away with the need for behemoth shopping centers.

Well think again.  This story based on an International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) study says 2014 was the best year the industry has seen since 1987 and that malls have higher occupancy rates, tenant rents and net operating income.

Why?

I buy things online all the time, but there’s nothing like the ability to touch before you buy.  And I find that once I’m there, if it looks, feels and performs like what I want there’s little motivation to save a few dollars by ordering from Amazon.  Sure, drone delivery sounds novel, but if I can wear a pair of shoes right now, the charge card confirmation hits my iPhone faster than a drone will ever deliver those loafers.


A New Source for Business News in Orlando

April 7, 2015

by Dan Ward

Interesting announcement from the Orlando Sentinel today regarding its new subscriber-only digital publication for Central Florida’s business community.

GrowthSpotter (a name sure to spawn some dermatologist jokes), is being billed as a daily newsletter that can be read in 10 minutes, giving business users “an edge to help them make smart decisions.”  If the trademark filing is any indication, the Sentinel may have plans to expand beyond business coverage into news regarding “social and cultural development” as well.

No word yet on pricing, but the Sentinel promises content developed by a new team of business journalists and provided to subscribers “before it’s reported somewhere else.”

That’s a worrisome phrase, suggesting that content may not be exclusive to subscribers, but merely provided to them before being published on other Sentinel platforms.

If it works, it could create a badly needed revenue boost for the Orlando Sentinel Media Group, though it remains to be seen whether the local business community will invest in the service.  It also will be interesting to follow whether the focus on GrowthSpotter will have any impact on the Sentinel’s existing business coverage, which has been expanding in recent months.

At the very least, it’s a new resource for Central Florida’s PR community to follow, and could provide new opportunities for us to share information about our clients and companies with those who have an interest in Orlando’s continued growth.


What’s in a Name?

March 27, 2015

by Kim Taylor

Lately I’ve been doing some research to come up with a name for a personal project I’m working on.  I’ve spent a ton of time thinking through options during my morning workouts or on long car rides.  But ultimately, I’ve been trying to walk myself through some of the same advice we give clients:

  1. Your name should effectively communicate who you are, what you do and how you do it.

One brand that comes to mind is Hotel Tonight—an incredibly useful mobile app that lets you book a hotel room for the same night at a discounted rate.  They really nailed it with that name, right?  Except last year they expanded to allow users to book rooms up to 7 days in advance.  Drat!

Six months later they’re still communicating that message to customers.
hoteltonight

If your business model changes and your name no longer reflects what you do, would you embark on a re-branding campaign or hunker down and invest more in public relations, marketing and advertising to reinforce your message?

What would you do?


It’s Worth a Little Discomfort

March 18, 2015

by Kim Taylor

Have you been reading the dialog online since Starbucks launched its #RaceTogether campaign?  I have, and it hasn’t been pretty.

#RaceTogether was born out of a forum Starbucks held with some of its employees in December.  The initiative is intended to stimulate conversation and debate about race in America by getting employees to engage with customers on the topic.

From Howard Schultz’s perspective:

“We cannot continue to come to work every day aware of the difficult and painful experiences facing our nation, and not acknowledge them, together, as a company.”

Disclaimer:  I’m a big Howard Schultz fan.  I’ve kept his Proust Questionnaire from the September 2006 issue of Vanity Fair tacked to my wall for years.  But, beyond my admiration for Schultz is an admiration for a company willing to take a step forward without fear of retribution or snark.

Is it just Starbucks with its overpriced fraps or would our beloved Apple bear the same criticism?  Forget about all that could go wrong when people immediately jump to find the negative and think for a moment about what might happen if this did spur some healthy, positive conversation on an issue clearly still at the forefront of society.

Frankly, I hope Starbucks isn’t bullied into backing off this one.  They’re right.  It is worth a little discomfort.


How is Steve Jobs still newsworthy?

March 13, 2015

by Vianka McConville

Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO, may have died in October 2011, but that means nothing to the media.

Almost five years later, stories are still running with headlines, such as, 3 Really Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs ‘went off on a rant’ about the terrible design of cars way back in 2006.

Why do I care?

I get it.  He was a visionary and revered by many in the tech industry, but it must be difficult being Tim Cook, current Apple CEO, and having to compete for his position with someone who is no longer alive.

Jobs deserves to be remembered, but it’s time to move on.  It’s time for Apple to take the reins, reel in the message, and put the spotlight back on Cook and the future.

A company can’t be expected to grow if it’s constantly looking at the past and the media sure has Apple pinned to the past.


The Space Between the Ads

March 13, 2015

by Roger Pynn

We often tell clients that a modern definition of news could easily be “the stuff that fills the space between the ads” as media are more and more limited in the space they have to devote to news.  I’m growing accustomed to bottom banner ads on section fronts of our newspapers even though my first and perhaps most revered journalism professor told us “it will be a cold day in hell when you see an ad on Page One.”

But now comes CNN to prove our point.  As if those scrolling news updates weren’t annoying enough, Variety reports that the home of Wolf Blitzer and other around-the-clock newsies may be toying with ways of inserting advertiser logos in the bottom-of-the-screen scrolls.

Next up:  intravenous advertising.


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