Articles Tagged ‘Public relations’

A Life of Spectacular Opportunities

Friday, May 31st, 2013

(Publisher’s note: Ian Clark emailed me from China, asking if I knew of any small businesses that were hiring. I thought such initiative should be rewarded, and I told him to write an article about himself and his experiences and that would be a way to get noticed on Indy Smallbiz by businesses who are hiring.)

My life has been filled with stories that, when summed up, can only be described as spectacular. Most of the opportunities that I have had are one-of-a-kind and I wouldn’t change any of them for the world.

I was born in May 1988, in Buffalo, New York, and adopted by my father, who was in the news business, and my mother, who was a Special Education teacher. At eight months of age I moved to Fort Myers, Florida, for my father’s job. Five short years later, I moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where I would live for the next ten years. While living there many exciting things would happen to me. For 18 months, starting at age six, I received chemotherapy for a benign brain tumor which left me legally blind. I made weekly visits to the wonderful Riley Children’s Hospital, in Indianapolis. Most would consider this a tragedy, but I took it in stride, making many friends, and I became so much a part of the people in Clinic B that I even had my own mailbox. As you read further, you will notice that my blindness has not kept me from doing anything that I wanted.

During that time, my father was the News Director at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, where I was a “fan favorite” around the news room. I was known and loved by all, in the hospital and news room. I still do this with everyone I meet, which is one of my best traits. I can make friends and acquaintances with people from the age of six to eighty-six.

Fast forward to 2004, and we move to Macomb, Illinois. My father has quit the news business, gone back to school, received two masters degrees from Indiana University, and has a job at Western Illinois University, as a Reference and Instructional Librarian/Professor.

After graduating from high school, I attended Western Illinois University for four and a half years, studying Communication and Public Relations. While there I did a seven month internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where I interacted with people of varying nationalities. I used the “Disney Magic” to make sure that each person left with a Disney smile. I treated them all with the respect that I would want, from everyday folks to celebrities.

My last semester of college, I decided I wanted to travel overseas for a year and teach English as a Foreign Language. I got my certification, and after graduation found a job in a “small Chinese town” of two million, Yinchuan. It is one of the fastest growing areas in China, evident by all the construction that is going on all around me as I write this.

During my senior year, another big event occurred. After having no previous contact with my birth mother, in September 2011, I discovered her on Facebook. After writing a rather mysterious letter to her, we made contact and began texting regularly. In December 2011, she and her husband attended my college graduation, making it one of the top days in my life. Later, meeting the rest of her family was an amazing opportunity. Until then, I had been an only child, and suddenly I had a little brother and little sister.

My work in China since July 2012 has involved teaching Chinese children the English language and American culture. I teach in a private school setting, and at “Number One Middle School” in my province, one of the top 50 middle schools in China. Classes may vary between two and 75 students, neither of which fazes me anymore. I have also done a lot of recruiting for my company, helping them to have the most students in the history of the school.

Me on the Great Wall of China, far right. February of 2013

My year will be completed this June and I will be returning home having learned much about foreign cultures, and how a culture determines the way business is conducted in that country.

Indianapolis has always been special to me, and upon my return in June, my goal is to find a job there. I would love to work for a small business in the area doing some sort of work with my Communication and or Public Relations major. My main concern is finding a good company that can use my talents, and the skills I have acquired through experience, in a way that matches their needs so that the company benefits from hiring me.

If any small businesses in the area are hiring, I can be reached at the following email address: irclark1988@gmail.com

Ian Clark

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The Changing World of PR and Advertising Firms

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

kylepic

The marketing world is changing. We know that. And with the change in process comes a change in budget. We have been talking about it for years. However, there were two amazing blog posts published today that talk about the changing world of public relations. They are a must read.

Jay Baer published a post called Blogger Outreach Changes the PR Timeline Forever. KD Paine also published a post called Memo to the PR Profession, budgets are there, just not for what we used to do.

Many of you know that I have been an outspoken critic of traditional PR and ad firm practices over the past few years. This does not mean I disagree with the need for marketing and guidance but I do believe the entire model is changing. It may not be changing drastically now… but it will in the near future.

Jay’s post talks about the changing world of strategies to pitch bloggers on upcoming events and public relations needs within the market. Like Jay, I receive pitches on a daily basis that are not personalized or relevant whatsoever to my content or blog. The mass distribution of content is still around in the PR and marketing world. However, the world of relationship management and budget development is changing drastically. Jay states:

PR firms need to be billing their clients to develop relationships on a retainer basis, so those blogger bridges can be crossed whenever necessary. That’s also why I see smart PR firms starting to specialize more and more in a particular vertical, whether it’s B2B technology, marketing to women, or food and beverage. It’s much easier and cost effective to develop and maintain many blogger relationships when doing so can benefit multiple clients instead of just the one client with the big launch coming up soon.

It is the truth and it is nothing new. Just like customers, bloggers need to be developed before agreeing to pitch your product, service, idea, or event to their masses. Also from Jay’s post:
Despite all the apps and influence metrics and crazy stunts, social media isn’t a game. It’s about business. Relationships are the foundation of success in business, and Twitter and Facebook and Klout and WordPress don’t change that one iota.

If we are still following the traditional model of relationship development with media professionals… why are we changing the model with social media? KD Paine’s post is related to the way companies are spending money in the world of marketing and PR. She talks about budget battles not being between advertising and PR. However, the battle is between “traditional PR thinking that can’t get beyond AVEs and HITS and the PR pros that understand two way relationships fueled by social media are the future.”

In her post, KD quotes Pierre Loic from Traackr in which he states:
read full article »

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Are you Scaring Away the Media?

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Do your PR tactics send reporters running?

There are some good and bad ways to approach the media with your press release or story ideas. Are you breaking any of the media etiquette rules? If so, you may be scaring away the media (which will get your pitch deleted or ignored). Here are some ways you might be sabotaging your PR efforts:

Not using the 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why) is your press release: Following basic journalistic principles, include the most important information upfront, in your opening paragraph (typically the 5 W’s), so that the reporter/producer knows the overview of the story before getting into the details.

Including Too Much Information in your Release or Pitch: Reporters and producers don’t have time to read an entire history on your company or sort through pages of brochures. Stick to the main story/segment idea, try to keep the release to one page if possible, and the pitch to a paragraph or two. Use bullet points to summarize main concepts in your press release.

Including too much technical jargon: Try to use the simplest terms possible when describing your story idea or writing your release for distribution. The reporter/producer may not be familiar with all of the technical terms of your industry, so it’s best to speak in a more common language.

Sending your release or media via an email attachment: Sending attachments via email to reporters/producers is a sure-fire way for your email to get put in the spam folder. Always cut/paste your release or story idea text directly into your email. If you would like to include photos, videos or other media, mention that these are available and offer to send them if they are interested.

Sending out mass pitches: It’s okay to send the same pitch and press release to each media outlet. However, sending a generic email where you CC: or BCC: several reporters shows that you haven’t taken the time to personalize the pitch to that publication. Why not read a little bit about the reporter’s/producer’s beat and the stories he/she has covered in the past, and address them in a personal email, with a suggestion for how they might consider using the story. Your pitch is more likely to get considered this way.

Hounding the reporter with follow-ups: Although you do need to follow up with the reporter after sending your pitch, don’t call or leave multiple messages for the reporter or producer if you don’t hear from them. One follow-up phone call or email should suffice to ensure that they received the information, and if they are able, they will most likely get back to you with their interest.

Pitching via Social Media: Most editors, reporters and producers use social media as a way to communicate their stories and share information related to the subject matter they cover. It’s not the best way to pitch a story idea. So unless the reporter specifically requests you to tweet out a story idea, stick to email.

Pitching the Wrong Audience: This mistake relates to the mass pitching mistake listed in #5. Be sure to research your targeted publications or media outlets to ensure that they are a good fit for your story idea before pitching. If they haven’t covered stories like yours in the past, or if you don’t think their audience would be interested in your story, don’t pitch that media outlet.

Susan Young, President
AimFire Marketing
(317) 858-7669 office/fax
(317) 414-3623 cell
syoung@aimfiremarketing.com
http://www.aimfiremarketing.com

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