When big news breaks, it's tempting to check if there's a chance to add your company's voice to the issue (how's your Pokemon Go pitch coming along, by the way?).
As March Senior Account Executive Alex Jafarzadeh recently wrote, the recent Brexit story provided interesting examples of what works and what can go wrong when you try to offer your spokesperson to reporters as an expert on a major timely news story.
"Newsjacking," as this PR strategy is called, can pay off when you have a legitimate angle or comment to offer a journalist. However, a poorly conceived pitch might come off as trivial, clueless and even tasteless depending on the story and timing.
On this week's Hacks and Flacks, we ask Alex and March Account Director Courtney Allen: when does this type of pitching cross the line, and how can PR pros ensure that their pitch actually benefits both the reporter and their client?
Whether you're hiring for a PR agency or an in-house marketing team, it's helpful to know as much as possible about the capabilities, expectations and possibilities of your potential future employees. That's why Hacks and Flacks brought in Amy Shanler, Associate Professor of Public Relations at Boston University and the head of BU's PRLab, for a glimpse into how tomorrow's professionals are being trained for a PR career.
The student-staffed PRLab is the nation's oldest student-run PR agency and supports real-world clients, with access to BU's state-of-the-art resources (including a Communication Research Center with a faux living room outfitted with bio-metric sensors).
PRLab has worked on a number of compelling, creative and inspiring campaigns - including a partnership with March Communications to support the nonprofit Adaptive Sports New England. March Vice President Liz Swenton Hosman oversaw that project, and she also joins the conversation with Amy to talk about PR training and hiring today, career expectations and anxieties for students coming out of college looking for their first PR job, and what employers need to know about the next generation of communications talent.
Data can tell a great story, and research campaigns are how you find that data. In this week's episode we talk to March Research Manager Jeremy Guterl, Account Manager Steph Jackman and Senior Account Executive Samantha Bell about their recent work developing, distributing and promoting a successful PR research campaign.
Jeremy defines the difference between media-genic and strategic research, and walks us through every step of the research process. Steph provides a blueprint for conducting media outreach for a campaign, and Sam explains why clear, impactful data points help you capture the interest of readers and the media.