Do What You Love

by KGBTexas Admin on April 21, 2015

I frequently tell people how much I love my job.

During a recent expression of my feelings for my chosen career I had someone ask, “How did you know you loved public relations?” The fact is, I didn’t.

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I knew I enjoyed writing, exploring and developing relationships and a fast-paced work environment. Public relations just happened to encompass all of the above.

Plot twist: I love a lot of other things too. Things that may not seem directly related to my career—at least not at first glance.

I’m slowly learning that, especially in public relations, bringing outside passions into your career reaps many benefits.

Take fitness, for example. You’ll probably never see a general public relations job title requiring the applicant to be up-to-date and knowledgeable about the latest fitness trends. If fitness is your thing, find a way to play off of that. You never know who may be sitting next to you in spin class or when you may be able to draw on your fitness knowledge for a creative story angle. Look for opportunities to harmonize work and passions in unexpected places.

I recently worked an event for a client who incorporated an employee with a talent for singing the blues into a grand opening event. Not only did her performance bring down the house, but the employee found personal joy and made a huge contribution to the success of a national company’s local event. How’s that for an awesome story?

There’s no doubt “do what you love” is the unofficial mantra for those choosing a career these days. But finding a way to intermingle everything you love—that’s when you’ll truly “never have to work a day in your life.”

-Brooke Boriak

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Who cares? You do.

by KGBTexas Admin on April 13, 2015

Back when I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof, I liked to say I didn’t care what anyone thought of me. It wasn’t true, but it was something the cool guys were saying, so I said it too.

The cool guys aren’t saying that anymore.

They’re running businesses now in an age of instant global information and their reputations are critical to their success. They certainly care what people, at least their customers, think of them.

A company’s reputation, or “brand” is partially about products and services. But, it’s also about culture. All things being equal, what kind of company am I doing business with?

KGBTexas produced two videos in the last week demonstrating, in two very different ways, what kind of company we are.

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While the videos are different in most ways, they’re identical in one. They’re genuine reflections of what’s important to the people who made them happen. We like beer, and we like kids.

I’ve had more than one client tell me, “We want to make a viral video.” Quantity of viewers, rather than the quality of those viewers, has become the goal.

Okay first, that’s not how it works. You don’t get to decide whether your video goes viral. Second, why?

Quantity is easier to measure. It’s more impressive to say, “Our video of a dog eating peanut butter was watched by a million people,” than, “Our video of some of our employees volunteering at a food bank was watched by 100 people.”

I’m not 10 feet tall and bulletproof anymore. Those 100 people, who care about the same things I care about, mean a lot to me now.

- Randy Lankford

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Marketing Lessons from Live-Tweeting The Americans

by KGBTexas Admin on April 6, 2015

During a commercial break in the FX series The Americans last week, I sent a tweet that summed up my divergent opinions on the program:

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In fewer than 140 characters, I had been both kind and unkind (though, I hope, in a somewhat amusing way). Within two minutes, I got a surprise. The executive producer and writer of The Americans, Joel Fields, favorited my tweet. I hasten to add that I have never met Mr. Fields. He doesn’t know who I am. In truth, I didn’t know who he was until I Googled him. If I were to try to pop into his office for a chat, his assistants would call security and have me removed from the premises.

But Twitter closed the distance between us. He didn’t stop with favoriting my tweet. He proceeded to strike up a conversation:

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I won’t bore you with where things went from there. What’s important is that Mr. Fields broke down the normally impenetrable wall between the people who make mass entertainment and the people who watch it. He demonstrated that he has a sense of humor. Perhaps most critically of all, he more or less guaranteed that I would share the story of our interaction with hundreds of people, all of whom would wind up feeling better about him and his program.

In the world of marketing, we have a word for this kind of behavior: Smart. Not enough brands do this. And by this I mean use social media to remind consumers that brands are not monoliths; they’re made up of people. Show a little humanity to your target audience. Demonstrate that the CEO not only has a pulse, but that he can take a joke and talk in something other than “corporatespeak.” Your customers will like you because of it. They might even give you the benefit of the doubt somewhere down the road when you really need it.

All that being said, my opinion of the wigs on The Americans has not changed. I challenge you to look at the image below and tell me I’m wrong:

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- Scott Johnson

 

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Show, Don’t Tell Day

by KGBTexas Admin on March 31, 2015

Do you remember Show and Tell day at school? Someone always forgot their item and struggled to keep from talking during Show and Tell time. The policy was if you don’t have something to show, you don’t have anything to talk about.

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Photo source: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Why should it be any different as grown ups? My theme for the year is “Show them, don’t tell them” when it comes to advising clients on media relations. You can’t expect any audience – from social media fans, journalists or even your employees to share your story (much less believe it) if you don’t offer stats and visuals to prove it.

Had a successful year? Great!
• How do you quantify that?
• What were sales?
• What’s the impact to the economy?
• Did you create any invaluable project or service?
• Did you create new jobs?

You’re a good corporate donor? Fantastic!
• How much did you donate?
• To whom? Why?
• What was the impact of your gifts?
• What are your charitable pillars?
• How does a nonprofit apply for funding?

Volunteering’s important to your company? Awesome!
• How many hours did your employees donate?
• How many hours did your leaders donate?
• What type of activities will you support?
• How does a nonprofit request volunteers?

It all boils down to one question. Why should the public care?

Today’s consumers are hyperconnected, sniff out advertising easily and trust their peers’ recommendations above all others. With a swipe of a smart phone, they can research your “story”, and can take down your communications plan by publishing content that contradicts your message. The only way to excite them is to show results that will inspire their support of your company as a brand ambassador.

Lesson: Don’t take a seat on the circle rug without your teddy bear in hand. Otherwise, you won’t be welcomed to speak.

-Melissa Vela-Williamson

 

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The Internet is Forever

by KGBTexas Admin on March 24, 2015

We were all schock-ed to hear about the recent scandals that brought down Rep. Aaron Schock. Well, maybe not shocked after hearing the details of the scandal, but all things considered, one of the biggest lessons to be learned is the one his former press secretary Benjamin Cole learned this February.

Cole posted some racially charged social media posts that I’ll spare you the outrage of reading. While some may argue that this is a case for free speech, it’s also important to remember, especially as a government employee or person in a position of influence, that the Internet is forever and your social media rants will not be kind to you in the future.

We live in an interesting time in our society; kids are growing up with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat and many other social media channels. I’m really glad these social media channels didn’t exist when I was in high school and that I had the confines of pen and paper to share my every thought. That generation will eventually run for office, with their every waking thought, whether it’s what they had for breakfast, or an unfiltered, controversial post, published online for the world to see.

Benjamin Cole, like many adults, let his thoughts flow freely online and it ultimately cost him his job. Sure we have free speech, but remember that society can also judge us for what we say and how we act.

Let this incident serve as another reminder that the Internet is forever and your online social commentary will follow you.

-Laura Elizabeth Morales-Welch

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