October 2016 Luncheon

fwprsa-2

Think you’re ready for your next crisis? Join the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA on Wednesday, October 12, for our professional development program. Test your level of preparedness during this three-hour simulation workshop led by Fran Stephenson, APR, of Step In Communication. Participants will work in teams to solve a surprise crisis scenario using role playing, critical thinking, project management and negotiation to prepare their spokesperson to go on camera and “meet the media.” A group debrief will help participants develop a framework for future crisis response. Additionally, after the event is over, Fran will provide a detailed written critique of each spokesperson’s media briefing, along with their video clip.

Register today!

Registration Deadline
Friday, October 7, 2016

***** Notice of Annual Membership Meeting of Fort Worth PRSA *****

Schedule

8 a.m. – Seminar Registration/Networking
8:30-11:30 a.m. – Group Crisis Simulation Program
11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. – Luncheon Registration/Networking (Please note: the room will be changed over for lunch from 11:30 to 11:50 a.m.)
12-1 p.m. – Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon Program

During the annual membership meeting portion of the luncheon, members will vote on the slate of the officers compiled by the Nominations Committee for the 2017 Greater Fort Worth Chapter. (Please note: The full slate will be released at a later date.)

When
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Where
City Club of Fort Worth, 301 Commerce Street, Fort Worth

Dress Code
Business Attire

Fees
Luncheon Only
Members $30.00
National Members $35.00
Non-members $35.00
Students $20.00

Morning Program Only
$75.00 (All registrants)

Morning Program and Luncheon
$85.00 (All registrants)

Register today!

8 Tips to Writing a Winning Worthy Award Entry

BClaire Armstrong 2 (1)y Claire Bloxom Armstrong
Public Relations Director, PAVLOV

From the pride it brings to your team/agency, third-party credibility and validity it gives to your work and services, and recruitment opportunities it provides for both new business and star employees, it’s difficult to overstate the value of winning a Worthy Award.

Be sure to take some time before you start the entry process to maximize the quality of your submissions and ensure your entry stands out. Here are 8 tips to help you do this:

  1. Plan Ahead.
    Draft an outline of what you want to get across before you start writing. The entry system now takes place entirely online, and the allowed copy length for both Programs and Tactics is 1,500 words (1,600 if you include the optional 100-word synopsis).
  2. Tell A Story.
    Judges like a clear narrative, so borrow some techniques from PR Writing 101 and emphasize the 5 Ws: Who, What, Why, Where, and When – and throw in a little “How” if you have time and space.
  3. No Jargon!
    Did you “utilize and leverage existing resources to achieve your goals and exceed KPIs?” Well, cut it out. Jargon like that takes up precious space and words, and conveys nothing about what you actually did. How about this instead: “We transformed the streets of downtown Fort Worth into an outdoor art gallery and performing arts venue.” Much better! Skip the big, flowery words, and cut to the chase.
  4. Don’t Ignore The Fine Print.
    Check the category descriptions and entry guidelines to ensure you are covering all of the criteria for the categories you are entering. Keep to the maximum word count (300 per section) and upload only the maximum number of supporting materials (5 per section). Otherwise, you risk annoying the judges at best; at worst — being excluded from the category.
  5. Choose Supporting Materials Carefully.
    There is so much temptation to upload everything, but don’t do it. Choose the best and most impressionable media clips, videos, images, and testimonials to support your case.
  6. Explain Your Results.
    When you reach the last section of your entry, it’s tempting to make a series of bullets — ad equivalency values, impressions, followers, engagement rates, etc. But the storytelling shouldn’t stop here. Put those numbers in context. What do they mean for your client? How do they contribute to overall business goals? How did the organization and target audiences benefit? Share results beyond numbers — comments, stories, or changes in business practices, for example.
  7. Think Like A Judge.
    The judges might be reading/judging 10-20 submissions. Think about that and put yourself in their shoes before submitting a final draft and make it as easy as possible for them – they will appreciate it and look at your entry in a more favorable light. Make it an easy read with clear objectives. Consider having an internal judging panel assess the entries before they are submitted – if you can’t convince your own colleagues, you won’t convince the judges.
  8. Connect All The Dots.
    Most importantly, don’t expect the judges to draw conclusions for themselves. What seems obvious to you as an expert in your category and someone immersed in your client’s world for a year or more will not be obvious to the judges. Educate them about the challenges you faced, the uniqueness of your strategy, and the significance of your results. Because the truth is, great work and great results are just the first step. Great entries win Worthy Awards! 🙂

September 2016 Luncheon

PRSA_SeptFBgraphic

“To Post or Not to Post?”
September 14 – GFW PRSA September Luncheon

Join the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA on September 14 for a panel of social media experts who will talk through several challenges many of us face on our social platforms. With a focus on ethics this month, our panelists will discuss some best practices to help guide us through these tricky situations.

Register today!

Our panelists include representation from a variety of industries, ensuring there is something for us all. Join panelists from higher education, agency and corporate social media teams to hear how they have addressed issues encountered in their industry.

Entry tips for the 5th Annual Worthy Awards!

By Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

The Worthy Awards are back! The annual contest, like those held by other chapters, gives area communications, marketing and public relations professionals an opportunity to honor and celebrate creativity, strategic thinking and professional ability.

Worthy entries will be judged by professionals like you who understand the challenges of time, budget, staff and other factors that go into efforts to support our organizations or clients. Don’t be shy; identify your best efforts and enter them. But be sure to allow plenty of time to think about your work from beginning to end and prepare a strong narrative to showcase your project.

Terminology and tactics have changed over the years, but the fundamentals of our profession remain the foundation for contests: research, planning, execution and measurement. Read the entry form closely and be sure to explain:

  • What was done?
  • Why did it matter?
  • How was it measured?

Some tips for entrants:

Explain any type of research. A textbook campaign includes qualitative and/or quantitative research, but that isn’t always feasible or necessary. Judges know this, but they expect your entry narrative to show your knowledge of options and professional literacy. The judges want to know that you observed the public or market, and then thought about how to reach it. Use textbook terminology. For example, best practices review, media audit, literature search, anecdotal reports or even a brainstorming session may be described as secondary, informal research.

Explain the strategic purpose of your entry. Was your intent to create name recognition, influence behavior, increase sales, raise funds? Describe any factors about the program or tactic that will help judges understand your decisions. Judges are not likely to be familiar with our market and geographic area, so be sure to include details about population, annual sales, number of employees, consumers, etc., that help them understand the scope of your efforts.

Explain which tactics were chosen and why.

Remember that the judges won’t know that your tactic was spot-on unless you tell them. If your work required extraordinary skills or a budget challenge, be sure to say so. If media relations are part of your entry, be sure to note that we work in the fifth largest media market in the country (Nielsen) and that there is fierce competition for mass media attention.

Describe how the target responded and how you learned about its response. Program evaluation and measurement may be a replication of preliminary research or of other activities. For example, measures can be election results, a sales increase, ROI, donor or donation increase, or the number of participants/responses that exceeded expectations. Include as much measurable and anecdotal response as possible; describe future plans.

If comprehensive research was not needed, say so. For example, “More than 5,000 people in our target public responded to the activity. We expected only 3,000, so we did not repeat our preliminary research to measure interest.” 

Or, if the goal was “to generate five media stories,” the result must show five (or more) media reports. If the purpose is “to raise awareness,” the results must show a measurable increase in awareness.

Remember that evaluation results must must must match your stated goal or purpose, i.e., “Why our work mattered.”

Good luck!

(Carolyn has been a member of Fort Worth PRSA since 1999 and was previously a member of contest-hosting chapters in New Mexico and South Carolina.)

June 2016 Member Spotlight: Margaret Ritsch, APR

June 2016 Member Spotlight: Margaret Ritsch, APR

SONY DSCName: Margaret Ritsch, APR

Job Title/Company: Director, Roxo, and instructor at TCU

College/Degree/Graduation Date: University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A. Journalism 1987. College of William and Mary, B.A. English, 1980

Hometown: Greenville, S.C.

Position within GFW PRSA (i/a): Member

Childhood ambition (what did you want to be when you grew up?): An actress, believe it or not!

Current livelihood (what you’re actually doing as a grown-up): I oversee a student advertising/public relations agency at TCU called Roxo. I also teach courses such as Strategic Communication Campaigns and Diversity and provide academic advising to a few dozen students.

First PR job: Straight out of college I got a job as an assistant advertising manager at a rapidly growing video-electronics company, Erols, in Northern Virginia. I established its first employee publication, which grew quickly in popularity and won the CEO’s direct involvement. I’d like to consider this my first PR job!

What you know now that you wish you’d known then: I was unaware that internal communications is an important subset of the public relations profession. I had majored in English at a liberal arts college, which offered no coursework in professional fields like public relations.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received: Trust your gut.

Greatest professional or personal accomplishment: Building a wildly successful student advertising/public relations firm at TCU.

If you weren’t in PR, you’d be: A creative director at Droga5 in New York!

Desired legacy: To inspire young people to pursue not only a career in public relations, but also a way that they can contribute to the social good.

Why did you originally join PRSA: I had landed a job as the director of communications for a small company in Delaware, and realized I knew nothing about corporate communications! I owe my entire education in public relations to PRSA workshops, conferences and seminars.

Finally, tell us about your hometown and what makes it cool: I don’t really have a hometown. I was born in Greenville, S.C. but have no memories and we moved frequently during my childhood. I have lived longest in the Washington, D.C. area (11 years) and in Fort Worth (12 years). Fort Worth is much cooler than D.C.! To me, D.C. means traffic, a high-pressure work culture and too many people who believe they are very, very important. I absolutely love Fort Worth’s big sky, slower pace, lack of pretension, friendly people. This is now my hometown.