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.

 

October 2015 Luncheon

Luncheon

“Moving PR Measurement Forward”
October 21 – GFW PRSA Half-Day Professional Development Program & Luncheon
Presented by: Marianne Eisenmann, inVentiv Health Public Relations Group

Join the Greater Fort Worth PRSA on Wednesday, Oct. 21, for a half-day professional development program and luncheon featuring Marianne Eisenmann, head of research and analytics at inVentiv Health Public Relations Group, who will join us from New York City to discuss “Moving PR Measurement Forward.”

Nearly everyone agrees on the value of PR measurement, but doing something about it can still be a challenge. This session will focus on identifying steps you can take to put measurement into action, including applying the Barcelona Principles and PR standards, using an integrated approach to measurement, measuring relationships and incorporating best practices for practitioners at all levels.

Click here to register!

The morning program will consist of:

  • Revisiting standards: Barcelona Principles 2.0
  • Setting measureable objectives
  • Establishing benchmarks
  • Achieving actionable measurement
    • AVEs and the AMEC Valid Metrics Framework
    • Integrated measurement
    • Measuring intangibles
  • Exploring PR measurement standards for traditional and social media

The lunch session, titled “Measurement Rules,” will include:

  • Barcelona Principles 2.0
  • Putting the Principles into action
  • Best practices in evaluating PR programs

Schedule:

  • 8 a.m. – Seminar Registration/Networking
  • 8:30-11 a.m. – Professional Development Seminar (approximately 11-11:20 a.m. Q&A followed by room changeover for luncheon)
  • 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. – Luncheon Registration/Networking
  • 12-1 p.m. – Annual Membership Meeting & Luncheon Program

Marianne Eisenmann - headshotAbout Marianne Eisenmann
Marianne Eisenmann is head of research and analytics at inVentiv Health Public Relations Group, where she leads a team that focuses on research as the foundation for the development of communications strategy and planning and commits to delivering evidenced-based public relations. She and her team work with leading global companies, such as Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, J&J, Novo Nordisk and Pfizer.

An established thought leader in communications research and measurement and an elected member of the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission, Eisenmann led the development of the standards for traditional media measurement and, together with her co-authors, received the 2014 Jackson Sharpe Award for research testing their reliability. She received the Jack Felton Golden Ruler Silver Merit Award, an AMEC Communication Effectiveness Award and PR Daily’s Best PR Research Award, for her METRIC Model for measuring engagement. She was also included in PharmaVOICE’s 2012 list of the “100 Most Inspiring People” in the life sciences industry.

Eisenmann’s career in communications and public relations has had an international focus, including positions in Washington, D.C.; Beijing, China; Hong Kong; and New York. She has an MBA from George Washington University and a BA from St. Lawrence University in New York State. She is a member of the IPRA United Nations Department of Information Advisory Group and the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication.

Philanthropy in Action Conference

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA has signed on as an Association Partner for the 33rd Annual DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference, hosted by the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth Metro Chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Beth Lamb, along with other board members, will represent PRSA June 7 at the Irving Convention Center.

This partnership provides an opportunity to introduce the services of public relations professionals to hundreds of non-profit leaders in the Metroplex.

Forging Social Media Successes

By: Brian Murnahan

WeberSocial media success has long been a difficult area to quantify for employers and clients alike. Bosses want to know how much it will increase sales, improve branding or assist with customer services and are often worried that because they can’t control the conversation, they see more problems than it is worth. But, on Feb. 13 the Greater Fort Worth PRSA heard from some of the areas’ social media experts on how to set goals, create content and grow engagement!

Measuring social media can be nebulous and precarious for many, but working with tangible and measurable metrics can be the key for success. Part of determining what success is, is determining what level of social media proficiency your organization is working at. For instance, if you are walking, a goal might be to simply increase your brand awareness or increasing “likes” or if you are in the running area you might set a goal related to increasing potential sales traffic by a set percentage.

Cosmin Ghiurau, the digital media strategist for Radio Shack spoke about how they were able to get their message out via digital on Cyber Monday. “I would describe RadioShack as in a jog mode last fall with a goal of being at a run by the end of this year.” This past year RadioShack set up a program to introduce #24dealsin24 beginning at 11 p.m. on Sunday before Cyber Monday. By introducing clues via twitter to what will be coming on scale, RadioShack was able to encourage shopping on the site during the full 24-hour cycle. The program was generating such a good response, the Twitter team actually reached out to RadioShack in part because they saw RadioShack was the only U.S. brand to organically trend, 20 of 24 hours, driving 10 million impressions. Ultimately Twitter wrote a piece on RadioShack’s success.

To that end RadioShack set goals to measure the social media programs success, but some of those are secret, though he did share that Web traffic increased related to these promotional efforts. In fact, RadioShack saw Web traffic increase 14 percent year-over-year. They also saw a more than 1,200 percent increase in social engagement compared to a regular day. Be sure to check out Ghiurau’s presentation here.

Measurement is not exactly easy for most to actually measure, though there are some tools out there that may be able to help. For those larger businesses, services like Radian Six, are available for a price, but for those on a budget there are services like what Catholic Charities of Fort Worth uses such as Sprout, which only costs less than $20 a month for the non-profit.

Brian Conway, an account supervisor with Weber Shandwick’s Dallas office spoke about measurement specifically and highlighted that while working on American Airlines social community, they were able to find brand ambassadors that with some assistance where able to spread AA’s message far better than the brand itself because they appreciated the brand and knew its strengths. When trying to determine what to measure, it was clear that Brian wanted organizations to look at what their core function was and how social media can support that mission. From there, goals can be crafted and then metrics can be formed and measured. Brian also led the group in an introduction to social media with this presentation. To view his presentation, click here.

@CCFortWorth joined the conversation talking about how it is able to be successful from a non-profit perspective, noting that even those agencies that have “no budget” can be successful. Also, it was noted that personnel dollars used on social media is budgetable. Using many of the free tools available from Google and Facebook it is possible to measure impact. @CCFortWorth went through an extensive rebranding of its social media program to align its online presence with its brick and mortar programs.

The question @CCFortWorth had to answer was how to take all the programs available and make a viable social media program. To their credit they went back to the core of @CCFortWorth and set themselves up to be a thought leader of poverty and social innovation. From there they could highlight their programs and comment on other interesting news and situations that dealt with their topic. Katelin Cortney, public relations director with @CCFortWorth said it was important to stay on message or risk losing the audience. “You can’t start posting about a new restaurant just because a friend is opening one up. But say, a restaurant is hosting a fundraiser or doing something that supports poverty that may be a different story.” Check out their Prezi presentation, by clicking here, and use the arrows at the bottom to move through the slides online.

Scott Baradell, founder of Idea Grove brought much of what was said together indicating that no matter where you call your internet home, make sure you are putting up content that keeps your audience coming back. Well worth note was his passion for not losing control of your “field” or internet real estate as he said “You don’t want to get caught in a position where you work real hard to get an audience to follow and then the rules are changed and the work is all but lost.” The reference was twofold, first was his personal experience where a flickr community that he built was removed due to an erroneous complaint (flickr acknowledged the error, but the community was already gone.) Second was the advent of promoted posts and ads on Facebook that will allow you to purchase your way back in front of the fans that you may have already earned. Scott was not a fan of “sharecropping,” but encouraged use of those sites to drive them to your Web site or blog, where you could control the message, look and feel of the site and not risk losing so much! Check out his presentation here.

Be sure to check out these great speakers at their sites and within their social media accounts. Here are the speakers and their handles.

Cosmin Ghiurau, RadioShack – @RadioShack
Brian Conway, Weber Shandwick – @WeberShandwick
Scott Baradell, Idea Grove – @IdeaGrove
Katelin Cortney & Kate Blackburn, Catholic Charities Fort Worth – @CCFortWorth