Tag Archives: media relations

Eighty Days of Red Kettle

All PR professionals have that one client project that seems to take over everything.

It means long hours at the office, lack of sleep (which leads to copious amounts of caffeine), around the clock emails and being on your feet for hours at a time.

For those of us who work on The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit account, our crunch time is Red Kettle season. This Christmas season’s fundraising campaign aimed to raise more than $8 million dollars in 80 days…

80.

Days.

To achieve our goals in that timeframe, events needed to be planned and attended, media materials written and distributed, and interviews coordinated.  And that’s just scratching the surface.

With such a huge task it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the stress, but somehow we always manage to have fun with it. Here are some of our favorite moments from this past season as we reflect on our 80 day PR campaign.

“This was my fourth Red Kettle Campaign and I continue to find myself amazed every January with the mysterious moment each year when “the holidays being a long way off” suddenly shifts to “the holidays are here” and our entire team is off and running . . . and then it’s over in a flash. Armed with the Red Kettle plans we strategize year ‘round, we navigate the frenzy of announcements, events and the occasional Krugerrand donation, adjusting our approach with each new opportunity.”

Pat Adanti-Joy, vice president

Roary and PAWS are always big hits at Red Kettle events. Peek-a-boo is a fan favorite and Andrea and Pat never pass up an opportunity to pose with the beloved team mascots.

PAJ ---- All at Royal Park

The team posing with The Salvation Army gingerbread house at Royal Park Hotel. Visitors were invited to sponsor “mittens” to help provide warm clothing items for families and their children served by The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit.

“I was hired at the very start of the Red Kettle campaign. I had little time to get to know The Salvation Army before diving head-first into its most busy time of the year. But now, looking back at those 80 days, I know I could not have asked for a better and more exciting start to my professional PR career. I especially enjoyed working at events while taking photos for The Salvation Army’s social media pages. It was so much fun speaking with event attendees and hearing how The Salvation Army has impacted their life.”

Mary Parkinson, assistant account executive

MP

Mary Parkinson (right) snapping a photo of WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis (middle) and Major Russ Sjögren (left), general secretary and metro Detroit area commander for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division for The Army’s social media page.

“This is my fourth Red Kettle season so it’s difficult to choose a favorite Salvation Army event. There are so many! I love being involved with the annual Royal Park Hotel gingerbread house event. The side benefit of coordinating this mini PR campaign? You get to eat amazing, delicious desserts prepared by executive pastry chef, Mark Slessor.”

Andrea Kenski, senior account executive

AK ---- _CBRD with Brooke Allen

Selfies are a must for Celebrity Bell Ringing Day 2015. Andrea found time amidst the fun and snapped one with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Brooke Allen and volunteers from The Salvation Army of Warren. Brooke and other local celebs from television, radio and print media helped raise more than $6,000 in two hours!

AK ----_SR Santa PAWS

We get to meet tons of celebrities this time of year! Detroit Tigers mascot, Santa PAWS joined the Red Kettle action by recording a #RingOrSing video encouraging metro Detroiters to sign up as Salvation Army volunteer bell ringers.

“I had mentally prepared to be crazy busy during the campaign. What I hadn’t planned for was the amount of fun we would have during the season. My favorite memory comes from Red Wings for Red Kettles. I grew up a Red Wings fan and have spent countless nights at The Joe cheering them on. So, meeting Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendenning  while they had fun competing to raise money for The Salvation Army was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Sasha Reeves, assistant account executive

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The Red Kettle Campaign is truly a learning experience. With its disproportionate shape, carrying a heavy kettle stand is not an easy task. So we adapt.

SR----Red Wings photo

We celebrated 10 years of partnership between The Salvation Army and the Detroit Red Wings. Each year Red Wings players and staff compete for bragging rights to see which group can raise the most money as part of Red Wings for Red Kettles. Pat was on location with Head Coach Jeff Blashill and General Manager Ken Holland ringing bells with Major Russ Sjögren. Meanwhile, Sasha contained her inner fan girl as she joined Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendenning.


What’s your “Red Kettle” project? Share it in the comments.

Paid, owned and earned media – Finding the right balance

Advertising and public relations can work together to find the perfect balance of paid, owned and earned media for a company to effectively communicate its messages to each of its audiences.

One of the most important decisions a company can make while constructing its media strategy is to decide the type and location of content that will have the greatest influence on its audience. For many, the first question that comes up in making this decision is whether to focus on creating paid, owned or earned content.

Paid and owned media, such as advertisements, brochures or newsletters gives the company full control over the content included in the media. These forms are great for targeting internal audiences or broadcasting self-promotional information. However, when targeting external audiences such as potential customers, earned media gives the audience a sense of trust.

At Franco, we generate earned media for our clients in a variety of ways. Through media relations, we are able to work with reporters to spread the word about their businesses without the use of paid or owned media.

In addition to working with traditional media, social media posting can help generate earned media. Social networks allow users to take posted information, whether it comes in the form of owned media (posts to your own page) or paid media (sponsored posts or site advertisements), and share it with their friends and connections. Each time that post is shared, it becomes earned media.

The combination of traditional media relations and an effective social media strategy allows your messages to reach to audiences through a variety of trusted third-party voices.

Dan Horn is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5008 or horn@franco.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @DanHorn90.

 

Four reasons to combine media relations and social media

Combining your social and media relations teams saves time and budget. Photo: Flickr via Guy Kawasaki.

In a world where breaking news is most often spotted first on social media before it’s blasted over the airwaves, it is essential to blend your social media and media relations strategies. Just look at the news of Whitney Huston’s death, which broke on Twitter 47 minutes before it was reported in traditional media.

But even in the non-celebrity world, a blend of traditional and social media relations is key to achieving success in both arenas. Here are four reasons why:

Combining your social and media relations teams saves time and budget. When you have individuals from different organizations working on media relations and social media (whether it’s two agencies or an agency and an internal team member), there is often a disconnect. One team can be held up waiting for another team to share content for repurposing or posting. Content creation and maintenance are expedited when PR and social media are handled by the same team. Not to mention, you then have one point of contact for both traditional and social media inquiries.

It’s important to have a common voice. The voice of your company should be consistent across all platforms. Whether it’s a news release or a tweet, the tone and strategy need to be aligned. Most companies have (or at least should have) a social media policy that outlines what can and cannot be shared online; which is often similar to what is allowed to be shared with traditional media.

It’s where your stakeholders look for answers during a crisis. Social media plays a huge role in crisis communications today. Companies must respond immediately in a crisis, and vague media statements don’t always cut it.  When a crisis hits, consumers will turn to social media for answers and your company needs to be able to provide them. Carnival Cruise Lines received much criticism for its decision to “take a break” from posting on its social media pages during the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia in Italy. Unfortunately, you cannot turn off social media. The company received angry comments, complaints and inquiries and is still working to rebuild its reputation.

Social media helps build media relationships. After working with a new reporter on a story, one of the first things I do is follow them on Twitter from both my personal and my client/brand’s account. Doing so helps keep you and your client top of mind, and also invites the reporter to opt-in to updates that might be of interest for future stories. Many reporters spend more time Tweeting or on Facebook than they do on their email, which is usually overloaded.

Angela Hernandez is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5008 or hernandez@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AngelaHernandez.