Posts

Falling In Love with an Open Dog Policy

 

sending all The love (1)

Working in public relations isn’t typically conducive to having a pet. PR Professionals work tireless hours, have chaotic schedules, require intense concentration during the majority of their days and rarely find time to even grab a lunch away from their desks. So what prompted me to get a 12-week old puppy? An Open Dog Policy!

 

After spending the good part of a decade wanting a dog, the opportunity presented itself as a three pound Chorkie, whom I’ve named Penelope “Foxy” Brown. She’s a dynamic member of the GRS team and is grateful for the Open Dog Policy. Well, in hindsight, I guess I forced the Open Dog Policy on my office, but I believe we pawed the road for a very successful business and interoffice-enhancing policy update.

 

Pet policy in the workplace is a hot topic, and the benefits of pet ownership are well supported in numerous scholarly journals. From stress relief to companionship and even the effects of therapy dogs in patients with dementia. In 2010, Central Michigan University conducted a study and found that the presence of a dog in the office helped employees work more effectively together. While Penny generally sleeps most of the day, she is already our catalyst for change at GreenRoom. We occasionally pause to play or engage with her which activates our creative minds and give us lots of laughs making the workplace more enjoyable through difficult tasks. PR requires multitasking and juggling many complicated problem-solving tasks at once, it’s amazing what a quick 10 minute walk and mental break with a pup will do to reopen the mind and reinvigorate those puzzle-solving tactics.

 

While one might think having a pet in the workplace is a distraction from daily activities, this couldn’t be further from the truth. From a work-life balance perspective, with poochie at the office employees aren’t worried about the welfare of the four-leggers as they sit home all day. Plus, they can care to their canine’s welfare at the office without missing important late-night meetings or after hour events.

 

It’s evident that the vibe of GreenRoom has shifted. In the past two weeks since Penny has been on campus, we’ve laughed more often, been more active and generally more pleasant. We’ve also enjoyed working through tasks together as a team more than before. We’re a strong team of rockstar PR pros, but Penny is a constant comedic relief in our daily routines that helps reduce our workday stress and keeps us active.

Making the Move with PR

“Don't worry about a thing,every little

One of the benefits of working in public relations is the flexibility to live and work virtually anywhere. While moving can be daunting, the benefits of following your career are limitless. I never thought I would find myself moving away from home, but I saw an exciting opportunity to grow and move forward. After accepting my role at GreenRoom Social, I had less than a week to pack most of my life, drive from New Orleans and find a place to live. Yes, it was a bit overwhelming but it can be done, trust me! If you’ve just moved to a new city to start or continue your career, here are some tips to help you get settled:

1. Media Introductions: Remember, journalists are people too. Introduce yourself and become someone they want to work with. If you’ve just started your career or starting a new venture, be sure to introduce yourself to media contacts across all vertical markets. You never know what type of brand you’ll be working with! Cultivate relationships that will turn into possible opportunities in the future.

2. Professional Organizations: Explore what professional organizations are available in your new location. Professional networks provide a foundation of colleagues, friends and learning that can help in all assets of your professional and personal life.

3. Get To Know Your Industry: After all the moving, unpacking and settling in, take some time to actually get to know what clients you will be working with. Follow them on social media, research previous media coverage and start tracking coverage as soon as possible. Immerse yourself as much as possible in competitive brand research, dig into relevant trade publications and conduct a communications audit.

4. Social Media: From Facebook to LinkedIn, start following marquee media outlets on their social media channels. You’ll stay connected with the media and it provides an addition conversation piece.

5. Finally, just DO IT! : Make the move and create your own path. Whether you’re a recent college graduate or a veteran public relations pro, you will never know unless you take the plunge

While PR isn’t rocket science, it takes relentless, passionate and hungry professionals to move forward in this industry.

 

4 Steps to Beating Writer’s Block

write-all-the-things

A huge part of PR is writing about diverse clients, products and use case to the media. If you’re as fortunate as we are to have an incredibly interesting roster, that process is generally not too difficult. However, there are times when you’re just struggling to come up with something that persuasively articulates your point in the most effective way.  When that happens, it’s important to take a step back and regroup. Following are a few of our favorite ways to beat writer’s block:

  • 10-minute writing prompt – To help clear your mind, spend 10 minutes writing about something completely unrelated to your work. Start with a sentence like “The brick crashed through the window” and see where your mind takes you for the next ten minutes. Other starter sentences include
    • “I can’t believe it,” she said.
    • He opened the check made out in his name, and it said $1 million.
    • She hadn’t laughed that hard in months.

** A twist on this is to step away from the computer and pick up a pen and get old school with it!

  • Plug in – If your office is anything like ours, there can be a lot of noise between phone calls with journalists and clients, lively brainstorming sessions in the conference room and water cooler discussions about Jimmy Kimmel’s latest viral video. Getting out the headphones and either putting on your favorite music or just blocking out the noise can be the remedy for writing a dazzling pitch or press release.
  • Clean – The life of a PR pro often means that there are slide decks, spreadsheets, fact sheets, notes and a sea of post-it notes on your desk. Your inbox is also probably full of client and journalist correspondence, competitor’s newsletters and Google Alerts. Take a few minutes to file the physical papers and the emails you don’t need anymore. The literal and figurative “clean house” will also let you approach your writing with a clear mind.
  • Chew gum. Yep, it’s science.

Happy writing!

Now & Then: A Millennial’s Look Back at Tech

 

PULLOUTTEXT (3)

Some of my most vivid memories from childhood are from lengthy trips to the public library. When I was a kid, writing a paper on Sir Francis Drake or endangered rhino required spending a full roll of quarters and a couple hours at the local library photocopying pages from Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

Nowadays though, information is readily available at our fingertips, making trips to the library practically obsolete. Between Google, Wikipedia, seemingly endless social media platforms and the prominence of mobile technology, we’re able to seek out more information than ever before without even leaving our homes.

 

The evolution of technology over the past 25 years is, to put it simply, pretty mind blowing, and like most things, it’s not until we look back at where we started that we realize how far we’ve come. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite reminders that show us just how far technology has come.

 

The Floppy Disk

 floppy discs

Nowadays Floppy Disc’s are solely reserved for the “Save” icon on Microsoft Word, but Floppy Disk’s were once the cornerstone of 90’s kid tech evolution. These things used to only hold 1.44 MB’s, now we have USB drives capable of holding up to 1GB.

 

The Original iMac

imac

Remember when computers came in an assortment of colors? Enter the iMac G3, which was primarily responsible for Apple’s turnaround in the late 90’s. Kids today would gasp in shock at the pure size of Apple’s then innovative design, so let’s all give thanks for how far we’ve come.

 

The Sony Discman

Discman

There was nothing truly portable about the Sony Discman and skipping tracks was always an issue.

 

Blockbuster

Blockbuster

Friday night trips to Blockbuster were one of my family’s celebrated traditions. Now, we can easily stream movies and catch-up on any TV shows we may have missed through streaming services such as Netflix and OnDemand. Be kind, but there’s no need to rewind.

 

The Evolution of a Startup: Steps to Growing up as a Brand

the evolution of a start up- steps to

Defining a startup can be challenging; is it based on company size, yearly or quarterly growth or projected income? While most people define a startup as a company in the early stages of its operation, there are no hard and fast rules of the definition.

We see a lot of startups in the consumer goods industry; everything from the small 2 man operation to larger teams with well over 100+ employees.  While there is a place and time to be defined as a startup, as public relations professionals and brand consultants, there comes a time when we have to encourage the companies we support to evolve.

We know growth can be tough, especially for companies, but eventually every company will be faced with pertinent decisions about their future. To prepare for those moments, we have a few tips to prime your company for the transition from startup to the growth phase and ultimately transform into an established company.

Media Programs

Of course, this is our agency’s bread and butter. By developing core media programs that include company profiles and executive interviews that not only demonstrate thought leadership, but company growth, can be a determining factor when legitimizing a business or organization. The media not only creates a framework for discussion, but provides a platform for a brands’ message to be told to a wider, interested body of consumers and investors. The agency shapes and molds the message with the media to help accelerate a company into the forefront of consumer’s attention.

Effective media relations also give companies the chance to be seen by retailers and buyers. The agency pinpoints publications with readerships in key retail markets ensuring the product is seen by decision makers and buyers.  Not only do retail partnerships create a steady stream of income, but provide a wider distribution of messaging which can help accelerate a company on all fronts.

Creative Assets

Media relations isn’t the be-all and end-all for transitioning a company from startup to established. It takes a holistic approach. Everything from the look and feel of the company website to formal headshots and expertly crafted executive bios, no detail should be overlooked when entering the competitive space of Corporate America. Adding a creative edge with polished assets can create the perception of an established company even if the startup hasn’t quite reached established level yet.

Guidance

Your PR representative should not only be a brand ambassador with the media, but provide guidance and direction during the entire growth process. PR representatives should seek and cultivate opportunities for brand growth by encouraging participation in mentor or accelerator programs, panel discussions and speaking engagements. Further, PR representatives should provide continuous brand counsel during these programs ensuring the brand’s message is being formed effectively and appropriately.

With the knowledge and know how from your public relations team, the agency can be a driving force for brand growth. Sam Cooke said it best, “It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gon’ come”, and if executed properly, those changes can effectively move a company from startup to established.