Recruitment and hiring are cornerstones of any growing business. Whether you're developing an agency from the ground up or looking to bring fresh talent into an established organization, it's important to find people with the right skills and attitude to push your business forward.
In building our agency, March co-founder Cheryl Gale and Vice President Liz Swenton Hosman have frequently tweaked their recruitment approach and philosophy in order to find and attract the right talent. In this episode of Hacks and Flacks, they share their perspectives on recruiting and hiring for a PR agency, along with tips for first-time agencies looking to build their team, and advice for aspiring PR and marketing pros hoping to get hired.
We're living in the era of fake news, or at least, the fear of fake news. Stories that would have once been reserved for salacious supermarket tabloids are now being shared like wildfire across social media and discussed seriously on the nightly news.
It's bad for readers (who do you trust?) bad for media (how do you prove your credibility?) and bad for businesses, who don't want to get caught up in a phony but potentially damaging story. Even a fake story could be a massive PR risk.
In this week's Hacks and Flacks, March VP Meredith L. Eaton and Content Manager Andrew Grzywacz break down the fake news phenomenon. Meredith shares crisis communication tips for brands that need to react to a damaging fake story, and we discuss the budding cottage industry of fake news publishers.
Companies like to talk a lot about their fancy gadgets and whiz-bang whirligigs (good word), but are customers actually listening? In most cases, probably not.
So, how should brands re-think marketing and PR to grab the interest and attention of the right buyers, and drive them to take an action? We ask Jodi Petrie, Executive Vice President at March and the head of our new Consumer Innovation shop, for her perspective. Jodi offers thoughts on the current state of tech communications, and suggests a better way forward for brands in this space.
January was a busy month for the tech world, and for March Communications. We sent team members out to major tech events this month, and in this episode of Hacks and Flacks, three of them report back what they heard and saw while on the road.
Courtney Allen, James Gerber and Alex Jafarzadeh check in after trips to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail's Big Show. They evaluate how the biggest innovators in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics and more are succeeding or failing to connect with their target buyers.
Which of these trends are overhyped and which are underrated? We also pay our respects to the dearly departed 3D TV trend and ask: how can companies avoid seeing their product end up in the graveyard of gimmicky tech?
Most tech businesses abide by that old rule of thumb: never discuss politics and religion in polite company. However, this year we've seen many prominent individuals and companies thrust into the political spotlight, whether they wanted to be there or not. How have they responded? And as tech becomes more intertwined with our everyday life, should we expect to see more companies comment on social and political issues that are typically outside their depth?
In this episode of Hacks and Flacks (which, it's important to note, was recorded before the 2016 presidential election) Manny Veiga and Andrew Grzywacz discuss the communications responses of some of the biggest names in technology - Facebook, Airbnb, and even figures like Peter Thiel or Sheryl Sandberg - when faced with political issues. We also muse on the issues (data security, personal privacy) that could force B2B enterprises to wade into these murky waters.
Bloomberg is a brand of contrasts. It's simultaneously one of the biggest names in news, while also flying under the radar for those of us who don't keep up on the latest in business or investment. The Bloomberg Boston office is inconspicuously tucked away on two upper floors of a Downtown Crossing high-rise, but within that space, reporters are creating stories that are read and heard by a huge international audience.
In this episode of Hacks and Flacks we talk to Anne Mostue, radio anchor and reporter at Bloomberg Boston, to help PR professionals get a better sense for this dichotomy. After transitioning from the world of public radio, Anne now spends each afternoon on Bloomberg's airwaves, covering the latest in finance for an audience of movers and shakers. She describes the types of news that's important to her audience, the differences between Bloomberg and her past stops in journalism, plus the best ways for PR professionals to pitch her.
What's one buzzword that's just about run out of steam in the world of healthcare? "Solutions."
Boston Business Journal reporter Jessica Bartlett hears it often enough, and that's because she's regularly pitched by PR professionals working on behalf of the region's many healthcare businesses. Off the back of a recent Pub Club of New England speed pitching session, Jessica joins Hacks and Flacks this week for a discussion about media outreach and reporting.
She offers a glimpse into the dynamics and expectations of Boston Business Journal's readership, and insight into the story ideas - and headline opportunities - that catch her eye as a healthcare reporter covering one of the nation's top markets for that industry.
The relationships between PR pros and journalists can be... complicated, to say the least. But, it's not all form pitches and frustration - in the best case scenario, PR folks and reporters can establish mutually beneficial relationships that result in great stories and reliable sources.
On this week's Hacks and Flacks, Manny Veiga and Paul Davenport talk to HealthITSecurity's Elizabeth Snell about her preferred rules of engagement when it comes to PR pitching and outreach. We also talk about the unique experience of finding compelling angles and navigating PR relationships when writing and editing for a vertical publication like HealthITSecurity.
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.