Author Archive

PMG Seeks Entry Level PR Associate

September 10, 2010

PMG Public Relations is looking for the next member of our growing team.  This assistant account executive will be supporting two PMG associates on existing client accounts.  Duties would include: building media lists, pitching story ideas to journalists, assisting in execution of social media tactical plans, writing press releases, etc.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • a degree in communication, journalism, and/or marketing
  • have completed an internship in public relations or a related field
  • have experience using social media tools
  • is a competent writer
  • is a self starter
  • is an all-around nice person

Salary range: 30 – 35K based on experience.
PMG offers a competitive benefits plan including: health plan, three weeks paid vacation, paid time off for community service, seasons pass to local ski resort and more.

PMG is a boutique PR firm located in Burlington, Vermont working with socially responsible clients. Please email a resume and cover letter to jobs@peoplemakinggood.com. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Please do not apply if you do not have a strong interest in pursuing public relations as your career.

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PR Best Practices for Social Media at SXSWi

August 12, 2010

Each March thousands of web and digital strategists, social media “experts”, flacks (like me!), media, and many from other professions flock to Austin, TX for the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. I attended the event last year and learned a lot.  It was a fun, overwhelming, stimulating, engaging and highly educational experience.

Upon returning home from the event, I started to think about how I might contribute to one of the sessions.  Well, with the help of some friends – I figured it out!

In March 2011 for SXSWi I hope to be part of a four-person panel with Sarah Evans, Ryan Osborn, and Jason Kintzler.  The title of the proposed panel is: Spin Doctors: PR Best Practices for Social Media.

The process to have your panel chosen to be part of the event is three-fold. And is weighted as follows:

30%            Staff Choice

30%            Crowdsource – via PanelPicker

40%            Advisory Board

To vote, log onto the PanelPicker site and register.  Registration is free and is only a few steps.  After you have confirmed your registration, please consider giving our panel a “This idea rocks”-thumbs up.  You do not have to attend the event to vote.

Thanks for your consideration.

Welcome Tom Kupfer!

July 22, 2010

We’re really excited to welcome Tom Kupfer as a PMGer.  Tom started at PMG two weeks ago and has hit the ground running.

Tom was previously employed by Okemo Mountain Resort as communications coordinator and at Liberty Sports Magazine as a contributing editor.  He holds a Masters of Science in Communication from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University.

I’ll Pencil You In…

July 20, 2010

But, you only get 45-minutes of my time.

The next time you set a meeting with someone consider setting aside just 45 minutes in your calendar rather than the typical hour.   After reading this blog from LifeHacker.com, I decided to do just that.  It is incredible the amount of time that I seem to have recovered in my day as a result.

I found that if you stick to what needs to be discussed and accomplished in the meeting and each party leaves with a clear idea of what the next steps are, you can spend less time meeting and more time doing.  In a service based business, like mine, the results is what gets you paid – and to achieve those results you have to do… not just meet about what you want to do.

Photo by: Steve Grosbois, reproduced courtesy of Creative Commons Copyright.

Hold on Cobbler’s Kids…

July 15, 2010

I have been know to say (often), “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” when it comes to the work that we do on PMG’s behalf.

As we work on our client’s behalves, our own brand takes a back seat. While that is certainly necessary at times, it is hard to grow your business and scale appropriately when you don’t give your own brand some loving attention.

We have re-jiggered how partners at PMG work on the business of PMG in the past few weeks to make the organization more efficient and effective for our clients. So far, we have seen some immediate results in the earned media we have been achieving for clients and from a less chaotic system. This has allowed us to take a hard look at what we’re doing to promote ourselves as well.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see PMG become one of, well, PMG’s clients. We will actually start to practice what we preach and share the results – bad and good – along the way.

In keeping with how one of my clients ends many of his emails (I like it!)…

Onward!
Nicole

Note to the Cobbler’s Kids: I called Zappos and your shoes are on the way!

Are Embargoed Releases Dead?

March 17, 2010

Note: My first draft of this blog basically listed reasons why I think that the embargoed press release is dead.  After passing the draft around to get some opinions and edits, I was starting to hear, “Nicole, this is great, but I don’t really agree with you.”  So, here I sit with the second go at the entry… and I hope that it sparks some lively discussion from both sides!

When I first started my career in public relations embargoed releases were something that we discussed with clients and within our agency on, at least, a weekly basis.  In my first year of agency life I distributed five embargoed releases on behalf of clients with “breaking” news for next week.

Looking at public relations and the media today, are embargoed releases even necessary?  I think that they are less important than before, and here’s why:

  • Technology. In the mid 90’s email was just coming on line. Agencies used to fax or mail press releases to media outlets.  Publicists used to have to work the phones (gasp!) to pitch media, who were always on deadline and would be anxious to get you off the phone. Setting up a story and sources used to take hours (if you were lucky) and lots of coordination. In today’s world, use of email and mobile applications have sped this process up.  Most of my media contacts appreciate a well-written, concise pitch via email – NOT a traditional press release.  Response to the email can take time, but if your news is time sensitive (read: breaking news) you can reach the media quickly.  A call to the assignment desk if necessary, with a follow-up email if they have requested more information is easily done.
  • Social Media. Sure, it is great if you can get a network evening news program to break your client’s story – but if you are not getting the traction you need, you can break the news yourself via social media.  Stowe Boyd made the “twit pitch” popular. PitchEngine, made an easy platform for creation and distribution of social media releases (SMRs).  These are just two of the many examples of how you can get the message out to traditional and non-traditional press… and go direct to consumer.

Bottom line is getting the story out in a “controlled” way – avoiding information leaks before your client is ready for the news to break.  I have had experiences with a major news network jumping the gun by 20 hours and pushing my story out – Hooray! I got the press for the client, but we were just not ready yet.

So, what do you think? Are embargoed releases still an important way of how we do public relations today? Why or why not?

The Art of the Press Conference

February 26, 2010

Over the past two weeks there have been several press conferences that have drawn national, and in some cases international, attention.  Though there seem to be fewer press conferences called by companies than when I first started in PR, they still do exist.

Typically sensationalized or tragic news bring in larger audiences for media – so with that comes more questions and interest from media outlets to the parties involved.  The easiest way to disseminate information to the press? Gather them in one spot and talk to them.

In most cases, the talking heads of companies have been formally coached by their publicists to stay on message, communicate the prepared remarks clearly, and manage the questions/audience. For those who do not have to speak publicly or at press conferences often, this can be daunting.

I watched the SeaWorld press conference today with great interest.  Here is a really unfortunate situation that happened and now a well-respected company has to jump into crisis pr mode.  At the top of the conference, the press is told what the flow will be, how to obtain the written information and who will be available for one-to-one interviews post event.

And then Dan Brown, CEO of SeaWorld began to speak.  He made a brief statement and read prepared remarks from the victim’s family, and then opened it up to questions. Questions from the press ranged from soft balls (when would various attractions re-open?), to very pointed questions that were asked repeatedly in a variety of ways (is this same whale has apparently killed three other people?). Brown managed the questions well.  He answered each question, and for those that he was unable to discuss he stated that he would not comment on until after an investigation was complete.  His message was consistent and clear.

Of course, there are others in the media and the general public that think this event was a disaster.  But, purely from a pr perspective, it was a success: 1.  SeaWorld communicated their message clearly and, 2.  They have now set the stage for communicating out their findings after the investigation.

Kudos to SeaWorld and their PR team for handling a tough situation with grace and professionalism.

South By

February 26, 2010

I am headed to Austin for SXSW in two short weeks. When talking to a client and friend who is also attending, I was corrected and told that “people in the know do not call it South by Southwest, rather South By.”

Ok. Clearly I have a lot to learn, this being my first time to South By, and not just about what to call the event!

Here’s what I am scheduled to do (scheduled to change without notice and often!). In addition I will be part of the PR and media focused Tweetup with Sarah Evans and PitchEngine’s Jason Kintzler. I am really excited to hear many a social media rock stars speak and share what they have learned, but my real interest in going is network with others who do what I do and learn from them.

If you are going, drop me a line or connect with me on Twitter. If you have been to “South by” before and can share some tips – bring it! I’ll be sure to post a blog upon my return about the trip highlights.

Hey! We’re looking for YOU!

January 30, 2010

PMG is, once again, hiring.  We are looking for talented public relations professionals for the following full-time, salaried positions:

  • Assistant Account Executive (AAE): Entry-level position. The ideal candidate will have a degree in communications, public relations or similar and have completed an internship with a PR firm or similar.  A good understanding of social media and strong writing skills are essential. This is a growth position.
  • Account Executive (AE): Two plus year’s agency or in-house public relations experience.   The ideal candidate will have strong media relations skills and an excellent understanding of social media.  Strong project management and client relations abilities are mandatory.

Think you have what we are looking for?  Send us your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to jobs(at)peoplemakinggood.com.

NO PHONE CALLS, please.

Have You Thanked Your Mentor Today?

January 22, 2010

Often times, saying “thank you” to people in your life that have made a difference falls off the plate.  We have the best intentions to call or write them to say, “Hey, thanks! You really have helped me on my path.”

Fortunately, days like today, Thank Your Mentor Day, has us take pause to think about who our mentors are and thank them.  From the associates at PMG, we offer the following words of THANKS:

From Alicia DeMartini

Throughout my college career, there are a handful of professors that stand out amongst the rest as influencers, teachers, friends, listeners, and mentors. However, for Thank Your Mentor Day, I would like to thank my former professor Jim Ellefson. I took his Reading and Writing in the Wilderness class in the fall of 2008. The class focused on reading literature of the environment and the outside world, as well as intensive writing and journaling to explore our own passions and expand our abilities as writers. I have never had a class that encouraged more free discussion and student interaction, in a truly comfortable and open setting. Jim took us on various hikes and outdoor adventures, as well as opened his home to us for a communal (and absolutely delicious!) dinner of homemade garlic bread and minestrone soup. I immediately felt like I belonged. It was visible on my and my fellow students’ faces the effect that these sessions had on us. Jim encouraged me to share my writing, as well as my dreams and fears, and gave never-ending support and encouragement. A year and a half later, I still look back on those experiences as moments that truly shaped and developed who I am today. For that I thank him!

From Elizabeth Hagwood

As most people who grew up in good families know, parents always seem to top the list of role models in one’s life. Mine is no different, and since I’m a momma’s girl, my mom has played a significant role in my life.  I grew up in a military family and moved around every couple years, and my parents (especially my mom) always was able to make the best of it and never complained.  She always put HER dreams to the side to support my dad’s dream of flying (he was a Marine aviator) and her kids.  She was always there to encourage us, whether it be at a swim meet, piano recital or science fair, and to lend a giving hand (or, in some cases, a firm hand).  Now, my parents have retired, and my mom is finally able to live her dream of quitting the corporate world and moving away from the suburbs – they live on a farm and take care of many chickens, fifteen goats, and two dogs, and oh, play with clay for a living (alright, she’s a potter now).  Hmm, maybe that’s why I not only went to the same college as her, but also ended up in the same general career field as her (amidst all her career changes)…

From Izabela Socha

Mentor, hero, best friend— they all ring the same sort of bell in my ears. A great, passionate, determined sister or brother can make a monumental difference in your life. They drag you out of that deep hole you dug yourself into, but will also give you a piece of their mind to keep you in line. My mentor in life is my best friend and sister, Daria. Her determination for her personal career and vibrant life, in general, has inspired me to directly do the same with mine.

She has “shown me the ropes” of what needs to be done to get what you want, when you want it without hurting others in your way by giving your all and giving it with a certain sense and degree of passion.  Her positive reinforcement for my seemingly far away dreams has made me the person I am today and continue in becoming everyday.

From Alex Benepe

My mother has been a solid mentor in my life. She is a very steady, consistent, and calm person, who believes strongly in education. She taught High School for many years and is now a counselor at a University, and she has always encouraged and helped me to succeed in my own studies and projects.

One outlook she taught me that I will always remember is “Doors open and close for a reason,” which means that you should not be disheartened by rejection, and instead look at it as an opportunity for moving in a new direction.

From Nicole Ravlin

When I started my career I thought I would actively need to seek out a mentor.  For me finding this person was more organic – something I would have never thought. I was under the impression that I needed to have a structured conversation and define the relationship.  My mentors have come into my life, as bosses, and have evolved into mentors over the course of years after I had time to really appreciate what they were bringing to the table of my professional career.

For me, I am lucky to have two such individuals in my life, whether they know it or not!  Peter Giles is my former employer. While I worked for Peter, I was greatly impressed with his skill as a publicist and his natural ease with clients. However, Peter did not become a mentor to me until long after I departed Giles Communications and started PMG. It was then that I looked back on my days at Giles and was able to fully appreciate all that Peter did for the firm and why he made the decisions he did. Peter and I have talked from time to time and he has always offered me great advice and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. I consider him often as we work to build and better PMG and treasure the advice he has given, and I hope, will continue to give!

My second mentor is Reggie Cooper.  Again, my appreciation for what and who Reggie is took some time and reflection. From managing financials to management of associates and learning how to deal with tricky situations with grace, the lessons that I learned from Coop (as I fondly think of him), have stuck with me. I am honored to consider him a dear friend and my mentor.

PMG works with icouldbe.org, an online mentoring program connecting high school students from at-risk communities with mentors from across the country, cultivating the students’ potential career interests, post-secondary educational opportunities and overall future goals.  January is National Mentoring Month.  If you have one hour that you can spare per week, please consider signing up to mentor a child. The beauty of the icouldbe program is, the mentoring takes place online only – so you can mentor from home, work, the beach, wherever is convenient.

Have a mentoring story or want to thank your mentor? We’d love to hear it!