Public Relations Awards

Revelations From a Stevie Awards Judge in Vietnam

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Dec 08, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

Dale E. Gerstenslager is General Manager, Public Relations & Communications for Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam Co., Ltd.  He has been a judge for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business for the past two years, and plans to to assist with the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards judging early in the new year.

Entries are now being accepted for the 2015 edition of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, which are open to all organizations operating in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region.
APSA judge(
REVIEW THE ASIA-PACIFIC STEVIE AWARDS ENTRY KIT HERE.)

We talked with Dale about his company, working in Vietnam, and judging the Stevie® Awards. He told us he’d learned some useful things from his judging experience: “First and foremost I’d have to say that as a judge for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business I’ve learned a great deal. It has been an opportunity to see some amazing Public Relations and Communication campaigns.  The entries spanned the globe and covered a wide spectrum of categories.  Many times I found myself taking notes and thinking: What a great idea.”

A Virtual Think-Tank

Dale is now looking forward to reviewing the Corporate Communications Awards, Investor Relations Awards, and Public Relations Awards categories of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
“The Stevie Awards create a virtual think-tank that provides fertile ground where creativity can blossom and grow,” commented Dale.  “Rarely in life do true ‘epiphanies’ occur; so anytime people share ideas, doors in the mind begin to open and possibilities expand, with one idea leading to the next.  That’s how programs like the Stevie Awards help business leaders find new opportunities to increase market share and expand their business.”

An Unbeatable Package

We asked Dale why The Doosan Group, an international company headquartered in South Korea, was operating in Vietnam.  “The Doosan Group chose Vietnam for its $330M investment because of a unique set of incentives and circumstances offered by the leaders of Vietnam,” Dale explained.  “It began with a set of critical criteria followed by a lengthy global search and an extensive due diligence of the many proposals put forth by countries from all over the world. Doosan ultimately selected Vietnam because of the outstanding support and stability of the local, regional, and national governments, an unbeatable package of financial incentives, an eager labour force, and a coastal location that allowed us to build a dedicated port that would give us ready access to major sea lanes.”

Be Flexible

Since Dale is a specialist in communications in the region, we asked him for some tips for companies thinking of doing business in Vietnam. “First, do your homework,” advises Dale. “And that should involve consulting with those that have ‘been there, done that,and have the T-Shirt to prove it.’ That will save a ton of time and money in the exer-cise and get you into production much faster than would happen otherwise.
“Second, Vietnam is evolving at such a rapid pace that you should be prepared to be flex-ible—like you’ve never been before or even imagined possible—then double that.”

Future Potential

We asked Dale what excited him most about his work. “Communications is foundational to all that we do in life,” he told us. “So finding a new, more effective way to reach someone—be it a customer, co-worker, or community—is both challenging and exciting. It keeps my wheels turning and my mind working.  Here in Vietnam, the communications industry is morphing on an almost daily basis. It is still developing, but to look back just a few years and compare it to today, I see tremendous improvement and even greater potential.”

About Dale E. Gerstenslager:

After a 25 year career in the media, living and working in six countries and 14 U.S. states as an award winning editor, journalist, and publisher, Dale Gerstenslager moved from mass communications to public relations and communications.  He accepted a position In Vietnam with Doosan in 2008 where he planned, launched, and now leads the Public Relations and Communications function for the Doosan Group’s $300 million investment in Vietnam.

About Doosan Vina:

Doosan Vina is a high-tech industrial complex in the Dung Quat Economic Zone of Central Vietnam’s Quang Ngai Province.  It covers 110 hectares, employs 3,000, and has shipped over $1 billion U.S. of product to global markets.  The company supplies the mega infrastructure products that make modern life a reality. Doosan Vina’s products include: boilers for thermal power plants; heat recovery steam generators that increase the efficiency of a typical power plant by over 30%; 4,500 ton desalination plants that are the size of a football pitch and turn 95 million liters of sea water into fresh per day; material-handling systems like the cranes that are the heart of logistics at ports around the world; and chemical processing equipment that turns the earth’s natural resources into the useful products we use every day.  

About The Doosan Group:
The Doosan Group is a global multinational focusing on power, water, and other infrastructure developments worldwide. The company is Korea’s oldest business operation, tracing its roots back to 1896 with the opening of the Park Seung-jik Store. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and has operations in 37 countries, over 35,000 employees, and $22 billion in annual revenue.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, women awards, ir awards

How PR Awards Can Validate the Quality of Your Work

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 @ 02:30 PM

Dr. Zehra Güngör is president of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and founder of STAGE Communications Consultancy (a member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group) in Istanbul, Turkey. IPRA's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence, now in their 22nd year, are managed by the Stevie Awards.  The GWAs are the world's top PR awards competition, and feature a variety of categories for both agencies and in-house departments.

The entry deadline for the 2014 IPRA Golden World Awards is May 5. Get your entry kit here. You'll avoid the £50/entry late fee if you enter through this deadline.

1404IPRAnewWe asked Zehra for her elevator pitch to communications professionals on why they should enter the IPRA Golden World Awards.

Zehra told us that she sees it as “a great motivation for the project staff and the project itself. Winning an IPRA Golden World Award provides a validation of the quality of an organization’s work. It’s marketing plus. IPRA is the pre-eminent international PR organization, so it is a great honor to receive an IPRA award from the global PR community. Furthermore, it’s a recognition of the talents and effort of the staff involved in a project.”

Or, for that really short elevator ride: These awards offer worldwide recognition for world-class public relations programs.

Successful Partnership

IPRA teamed up with the Stevie® Awards two years ago to manage the IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence  Zehra told us that the partnership has contributed significantly to the perception of these awards.  As she put it: “Partnering with the Stevies has extended our reach and brought the Golden World Awards to a wider audience. Both the Stevies and the Golden World Awards have a worldwide reputation for consistency in rewarding success. This partnership helps to provide a more potent recognition for people in the PR industry.”

New Categories for 2014

The IPRA Golden World Awards categories cover a wide range of fields. We asked Zehra what new categories had been introduced for 2014. “This year, we talked to the European Commission department responsible for the digital agenda, and are pleased to announce a Special Award this year for ‘PR with an objective of progress in digital inclusion within the EU.’ Additionally, we already have a UN Award, which will be made for a campaign that best demonstrates PR with an objective of social progress. We are also in discussions with other international organizations for future special awards.”

The Future of the Communications Industry

Zehra has worked in the communications field most of her life, and is excited about the future. The dynamism of the communications profession is what inspires me,” she told us. “There are no borders for this industry: it is multi cultural. Tolerance and empathy are the key words I use to describe successful PR professionals.”

Zehra sees big changes ahead: “I know that there are going to be many changes in the future, so the business of communications will become more challenging. This is what stimulates me. I look forward to the test.”

About Zehra Güngör

Dr. Zehra Güngör has been a member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) for 10 years and has served on both the former Council and the Board for some eight years.  She has been Jury Chair for the IPRA Golden World Awards for the past two years and was appointed president of IPRA for 2014. She is also a member of TUHID (Turkish Public Relations Association) and a founding member and former board member of KAGIDER (Turkish Women’s Entrepreneurs Association) and the Propeller Club.

Zehra worked as an economics journalist for 20 years before founding a PR consultancy, STAGE Communications Consultancy, in 1999. During her journalism career, she was named “Best Journalist of the Year” three times by the Turkish Journalists Association. She was awarded a scholarship to the USA by the Turkish Government and worked as a journalist at McGraw-Hill Publications in New York for one year. Zehra has been running STAGE Communications Consultancy for the past 14 years.

Zehra is the holder of an MA and PhD in communications together with a BA in English Literature. She currently lectures in communications and publicity at both Okan and Yeditepe Universities in Istanbul. She is married and lives in Istanbul with her husband and her daughter, Melisa.

About IPRA

The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) was established in 1955 and is the premier international association for individual public relations practitioners with members in more than eighty countries. IPRA prides itself of its Code of Conduct governing public relations across the globe and is the patron of the World Public Relations Congress with recent events in Chicago, Istanbul, Beijing, and Lima.

IPRA is recognized by and enjoys a close relationship with major international bodies including the United Nations. For more information please visit www.ipra.org.

About the IPRA Golden World Awards for PR Excellence

The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations (GWA) were instituted in 1991. Each year a panel of international judges selects the GWA winners from hundreds of entries from across the globe in some thirty categories. The IPRA Golden World Awards offer worldwide recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programs. The 2014 competition, conducted by the International Public Relations Association, is open to local, regional, national, or international public relations programs carried out or completed in 2013/2014. For more information, please visit www.gwa.ipra.org.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA, public relations association

How to Win in the PR Game: Tips from Stevie Awards Winner Nikki Tanis

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 @ 06:07 PM

Nikki Tanis, president of Tanis Communications in San Jose, California, USA will chair the final judging committee for the Public Relations Awards categories of The 2014 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the US. (There is still time to enter the 2014 competition. Learn more here.)

Tanis Communications won the Gold Stevie in the PR awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, and was named the 8th-ranked communications agency in the San Jose Metro area in the 2013 Inc. 5000. We asked Nikki what made Tanis Communications stand out in the fields of marketing and communications.

Tanis.new

A New World Order

“The world of marketing, PR, and communications has dramatically changed,” Nikki told us. “No longer can companies manage their internal and external communications in silos. Today's forward-thinking companies recognize it's the content—strategically crafted and produced with high quality—that drives engagement, awareness, differentiation, action, and loyalty across target audiences. A single piece of content crosses traditional boundaries and can be repurposed for PR, for employee communications, for direct marketing, for social channels, and for the web.” 

Continued Nikki: “We created our agency with this new world order in mind, staffed with people from the corporate world who have walked in the shoes of our clients. As a result we become indispensable to them—that one-stop, go-to partner that understands their business, can relate to their internal challenges, and can quickly and effectively execute marketing and communications programs to generate exceptional results.”

Added to that, according to Nikki: “Culturally, our team has a huge desire to excel. You will not find an agency that cares more than we do about the outcome for our customers, and you will see that validated by the testimonials on our website.”

Validation

We asked Nikki what winning a Stevie Award last year had meant to Tanis Communications.  “Because the Stevie Awards are peer-reviewed, they have substantial credibility with our target clients,” she told us. “In addition, we have won a broad range of Stevies—from website development to media relations; from integrated marketing campaigns to financial communications. As a result, the Stevies validate that we have a comprehensive service offering that aligns with the vision and positioning of the agency.”

Paying It Forward

Nikki was appointed Chair of The 2014 American Business Awards Final Judging Committees for Communications, Investor Relations & Investor Relations earlier this year and has put together an impressive judging committee.  “I am extremely honored and excited to lead the judging for these categories,” she told us. “Because the Stevies are peer-reviewed, they have significant industry credibility. After winning several Stevie Awards ourselves, I am motivated to pay it forward, joining the smart and talented team of communicators and marketers who will determine the winners in 2014.”

Fast-paced Industry

PR professionals have a fast-paced existence, especially when working in Silicon Valley. “We are always on the go and have to provide our employees with substantial flexibility,” Nikki explained. “Our cloud-based applications keep our business running: From Google Docs to Microsoft Office 365 for collaboration and communications; Twitter to stay on top of breaking news; LinkedIn to stay connected with my peers and colleagues; and I can’t forget Replicon, which keeps us on track for time-keeping and budgeting. They're all important, and play a role in delivering great service to our clients while at the same time making Tanis a great place to work.”

Change is Good

“I love the fact that the marketing world is changing so dramatically. It makes my profession an exciting field to work in,” concluded Nikki. “Also, every morning, I look forward to working with my team of passionate, smart, and kind people who are always willing to work their hardest for our clients.”

Nikki points out that it takes hard work to keep on top. “We are all rabid readers and leverage social media to follow the great thinkers in our industry,” she explained. “So far this culture has served us very well.”

About Nikki Tanis

Nikki Tanis, president of Tanis Communications, has over 20 years experience creating and implementing a broad range of strategic communications, marketing, and PR programs. She has spent 12 of those years as the head of Tanis Communications, a respected and fast-growing Silicon Valley agency serving a diverse set of high technology companies with a breadth of marketing, communications, and PR services.

Previously Nikki was corporate vice president, corporate marketing and communications at Spansion, Inc., a global, NASDAQ-listed semiconductor company with $2.5 billion in revenue and over 9,000 employees at the time. Prior to that, Nikki was director of corporate communications at S3, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed leader in graphics chips for the PC industry. She was also advertising and PR manager for NEC Electronics, the U.S. semiconductor subsidiary of NEC Corporation, and has held communications positions at Precision Monolithics and Signetics.

Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in psychology from San Diego State University.

About Tanis Communications

Based in San Jose, California, Tanis Communications is a marketing and PR services agency offering brand strategy, public relations, corporate communications, social media, web development, and marketing communications services. As the central hub for clients’ internal and external marketing and communications efforts, Tanis delivers creative, award-winning programs that help technology companies bring their innovations to life and engage, inform, inspire, and connect with the constituents who matter most. A recent addition to the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list, and with an extensive line-up of awards, Tanis is a new kind of agency—at the intersection of owned, earned, shared, and paid content. For more information visit www.taniscomm.com

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards

Stevie Awards Winner Reveals What It Takes to Succeed in Asia-Pacific

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 02:45 PM

Weber Shandwick | Asia-Pacific won two Gold Stevie Awards in The 2013 International Business Awards.  Their Beijing office won in the app awards categories for an app created for McDonalds in China; and their Singapore office won for a community relations campaign in the PR awards categories.  (The 2014 International Business Awards is currently accepting entries. Get your entry kit here).

We asked Simon Dang, vice president, inline strategy, at Weber Shandwick Beijing, for his insight on what companies and organizations should be doing to better promote their goods or services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Engaging with the Consumer

Simon DangSimon told us: “Throughout Asia Pacific, and in the China market especially, social media and mobile access simply cannot be ignored.  Brands really need to start with a mobile strategy first, not as an afterthought.  Whether it is investing in a custom APP or creating content on social media mobile such as WeChat and Line or Weibo, branded customized communication experiences on mobile devices need to meet the demand for the on-the-go, always-on lifestyle of today. “

Simon added: “Just as many consumers today expect to be able to chat directly with a brand one-on-one via WeChat, WhatsApp, etc. It’s a huge opportunity for brands to further engage with personalized conversations and learn more about their consumers.”

Dedication to Clients

Weber Shandwick’s Stevie® Award-winning entry in the Apps categories, Olympic App Strikes Gold with Youth,” is a perfect example of how the agency helped their client McDonald’s reach the youth market through the use of social media.

Simon told us that he regards the Stevies as one of the major awards in the industry. “We are honored and delighted to have received this award.  It’s a testament to the exceptional dedication and skill of our entire team and the work we do for our clients.”

He added that the Weber Shandwick team had had a lot of fun creating the app for McDonald’s.  “It was used to truly engage and tap into the passion of the Olympic fans of China.  Winning this award has energized the team to really push the boundaries on what types of mobile apps to create for upcoming campaigns, and how we can make more apps that truly engage audiences and make a difference.”

Getting Around in Beijing

Being a part of the on-the-go, always-on lifestyle himself, Simon tells us: “It’s really hard to get taxis in Beijing so I like using 嘀嘀打车(Didi Dache)along with WeChat’s integrated payment system.”  Useful information if you are doing business in Beijing.

Historic Change

We asked Simon what excited him about the future.  He told us it was the limitless possibilities for the Asia-Pacific region.  “It’s often said that there’s not a lot of innovation coming out of the China,” Simon explained.  “But as many Stevie Award winners show, that’s completely false.  We are living in an historic period of change. We’re already seeing so much being led out of Asia Pacific—and there is much more to come.“

About Simon Dang

Simon Dang is vice president, inline strategy, at Weber Shandwick Beijing. He provides strategic direction across digital and traditional PR teams to oversee integrated marketing and media strategies that inspire clients and target audiences in both the online and offline worlds. His ten years of experience in digital includes paid search, social media, display media buying, above-the-line advertising, and creative content production that spans FMCG, finance, retail, travel, and technology verticals.  Simon’s current clients include McDonald’s, Unilever, Microsoft, California Walnuts, and Ocean Spray.

Prior to Weber Shandwick, Simon was the global search director at Mindshare NY overseeing the global account for SAP and the North America region for all Unilever brands.  For Unilever, his team created and executed social media, community management, influencer engagement and integrated marketing programs for Unilever, including a Facebook campaign that led to top fan page growth in 2010.  Simon was also invited to join Unilever’s North America Digital Innovation Board as an advisor on all brands for search and digital media strategy.

Simon has spoken at various international conferences, including BeaPon’s Annual Asia Social Media Summit, the Beijing Government Affairs Forum 2012, SES China, SES London, and OMS New York, and was a guest lecturer at the Zicklin School of Business in New York.  Simon is a volunteer at TED-X Beijing and holds an MBA from Columbia University.

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of thinkers, strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers, and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications, and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital, and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, weber shandwick, simon dang, IBAs

Tips on Successful PR Strategies From a Grand Stevie® Award Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 02, 2014 @ 01:38 PM

Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG) of Hong Kong won a Grand Stevie Award for being among the top 10 overall winners, including three Gold Stevie® Awards, in The 2013 International Business Awards.  Among the agency's Gold Stevie wins was for Public Relations Agency of the Year (China, Japan, and Korea) in the PR awards categories.  The early-bird entry deadline for the The 2014 International Business Awards, the world’s premier business competition, is April 16. Get your entry kit here

1403SPRGtsangWe asked SPRG’s Chairman, Richard Tsang, what has made his agency so successful in the Hong Kong and Asia-Pacific markets.

Richard Tsang founded SPRG in 1995, at the age of 29, with just four employees. Within a relatively brief period, he successfully transformed the agency into one of the largest PR networks in Asia, with nine regional offices employing 300 professionals. SPRG is now the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong (with a 150-strong workforce), and currently serves 300 retainer clients in Asia, including over 160 listed companies.

Retaining Staff and Clients

“One of the keys to operating a successful PR agency is a stable workforce,” Richard told us. “And such stability can only come through trust, which is why members of SPRG’s senior management are afforded full autonomy to run their business, while benefiting from the Group’s resources.”

The overall staff retention rate at SPRG was an impressive 80% in 2013, despite high turnover and aggressive headhunting in the Hong Kong communications industry. All 22 assistant director-grade or above staff have remained loyal to the Group–with each having served SPRG for over 12 years on average.

To convey SPRG’s philosophy, vision, and goals, Richard personally welcomes new staff members on board during bi-annual meetings. “A stable workforce helps us build long-term relationships with our clients,” Richard explained. “80% of the clients that we secured during the first three years of SPRG’s establishment are still with us today. These long-standing relationships really mean a lot. I sincerely believe that we not only help clients climb to the top of their fields, but that we also grow along with them.”

Some of SPRG’s retainer clients include adidas Golf-TaylorMade, Air China, Automobili Lamborghini Asia Pacific, CFA Institute, China Mengniu, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Eli Lilly (Taiwan), FOX International Channels, Google China, GSK, Hasbro Singapore, Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board, KFC, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Lindt, Logitech, P&G, Nestle China, Ronald McDonald House Charities Taiwan, and UC Rusal.

IPO Specialist

SPRG continues to be No. 1 in the IPO market in Hong Kong, having completed 26 new listings in 2013 alone. The Group has devised a number of pioneering campaigns for its clients, including the listing of the top fast-moving fashion group in Asia and of the largest housewares retail chain in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau.

An Independent with Worldwide Contacts

In addition to helping clients from Asia reach out to the world, SPRG also works closely with partners to provide their overseas clients with professional services, thus enabling them to be in touch with Asia.

“While mergers and acquisitions have become more prevalent among PR agencies, I like SPRG to remain independent,” commented Richard. “We are affiliated with some of the best independent PR agencies in the world, many of which are leaders in their respective countries.”

SPRG is a partner of PROI Worldwide, the world’s oldest and largest independent PR affiliation network. Together with its member companies and partners, it has coverage of more than 110 cities around the world. To promote experience-sharing and regional business cooperation, SPRG established a taskforce responsible for selecting the appropriate office or team to work with member companies and worldwide partners.

Awards and Accolades

As a PR veteran, SPRG is no stranger to industry recognition. The award-winning agency captured several accolades in 2013, including 10 Stevie® Awards, and was named Local Hero–Public Relations Agency of the Year (for the fourth consecutive year) and one of the Top Ten PR Agencies in Singapore by Marketing magazine, along with other international and regional awards for client-related campaigns.

Still other agency-specific awards that SPRG has won over the years include Asia Pacific Network of the Year (SPRG became the first independent agency in Asia to ever win the award), Greater China Independent Agency of the Year, Hong Kong Consultancy of the Year, and Best Financial PR Firm–Asia.

“We are truly grateful for receiving the Stevie Awards, among others,” Richard noted. “The Group has been increasing its participation in local, regional, and international industry awards, and the fruits of our efforts include over 30 accolades in 2013, with 2014 already proving to be another successful year. Through such strong showings, we trust that not only the Group, but also our client campaigns will gain the international recognition that they deserve.”

To extend award-winning success in the Asia-Pacific region, the Stevie Awards recently announced the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards, the first business awards program to recognize achievement in business throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region. Find out how to enter here.

About Richard Tsang

Richard Tsang, Founder and Chairman of SPRG, is an investor relations/PR veteran with over 25 years of experience. He founded SPRG in 1995 and it is now one of the largest PR networks in Asia and the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong.

Richard holds over 40 board, committee, and advisory positions in business organisations, religious associations, NGOs, and academic institutions. He serves as Chairman of Global Development Group, APAC Region, of PROI Worldwide.

Accolades that Richard has earned include the 2003 “Young Entrepreneur Award” by DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards; “Excellence in Achievement of World Chinese Youth Entrepreneurs”, presented by Yazhou Zhoukan and World Federation of Chinese Entrepreneurs Organisation in 2009; and “Outstanding Individual Achievement” at the 2012 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards.

About Strategic Public Relations Group

As one of the largest PR networks in Asia—and the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong—SPRG is a specialist in public relations, investor relations, and financial communications, and a trusted corporate and marketing communications leader. For further information, go to www.sprg.asia/

Tags: communications awards, business awards, International business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, Strategic Public Relations Group, Asia-Pacific Market

Why Media Relations Are Still Relevant, by a Stevie Awards Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 11:45 AM

5W Public Relations, in New York, New York, USA was named Public Relations Agency of the Year in the PR awards categories of The 2013 American Business Awards. (Entries to The 2014 American Business Awards are now being accepted.  Get your entry kit here.)  Agency founder Ronn Torossian shares with us his views on the relevance of media relations today.

Ronn TossorianEvery year, the argument of how “PR firms are overrated” or “You don’t need a PR firm” floats about, usually thanks to an influencer who doesn’t see the results he anticipated or because of an article in the mainstream press. As the CEO of a large PR firm, I am not angered by these comments; rather I appreciate the discussions they foster. As 2014 begins, we media relations experts must continue to showcase our ability to lead the communications discussion and execution by understanding the following:

1. Crisis communications issues are magnified.  In the past, a company could botch an order, have an employee do something stupid, make a big quarterly loss, or experience some other major dilemma, then simply wait for the crisis to blow over. Now, mostly due to the advent of the Internet, crisis issues can destroy companies if they aren’t handled correctly.

It can begin as a blog post that is tweeted and is then seen by a small town reporter who writes an article that gets picked up by a wire service … the next think you know—BOOM!—a horrible story about your company is on the front page of the Huffington Post and your competitors are stealing your clients and customers.

So, what role can media-relations experts play? They can navigate these waters by speaking with the blogger and getting the post revised, or maybe they can jump on the phone with the small town reporter and explain where the blog post erred in its reporting and why it’s NOT a story.

Someone without a communications background may be ill equipped professionally to tackle these issues. 

2. Everyone is a reporter… literally. Because we all have blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter handles, LinkedIn profiles, and more, companies need to tread lightly around sensitive issues, yet be aggressive in their promotion of positive ones.

Understanding who are the correct bloggers to reach out to, or which introductions to make at conferences or trade shows—not to mention who to respectfully stay away from—are not skills learned overnight. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of crafting smart messaging—and delivering that message to the correct people.

Companies that adhere to the “any publicity is good publicity” adage are often found by outsiders to have inconsistent messaging and confusing company structures.  This can sometimes result in missed stories that should have been big—or small, negative stories that should have been killed. Being able to discern the difference between an opportunity and a pitfall are two things that any media-relations expert can identify. 

3. … While influential Print/Radio/TV reporters are getting harder to find. While it is true that these days everyone and their neighbor is a reporter, the truly influential traditional reporters still exist. Your parents are not crazy, and many people do still read publications like The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, Entrepreneur, and The Wall Street Journal cover to cover—and not on their Kindle. EVERY industry—no exceptions—has at least four or five reporters from whom all the experts, bloggers, specialists, etc. take their cues. 

Knowing who these influencers are, and having the relationships to make introductions and to generate coverage that moves the needle, are the most important reasons for companies to hire a public relations firm.

4. SEO is of high importance. This should come as a shock to no one. An entire industry has been built around search engine optimization and online reputation management, and the connection between these and public relations cannot be ignored.

Having online media results that rank very highly—especially when these reflect company messaging or are a ringing endorsement of your company—such results will not go unnoticed, particularly when third-party members of the media draft them. Prospective buyers, clients, and partners do perform due diligence, and having the online reputation to support your business is what makes the difference between an incoming lead or a phone that doesn’t ring.  And its just as important to have the volume of online content to battle negative reviews, false stories, and other content deemed detrimental to ones brand.

These objectives can all be met by having a media relations team in place to build positive online search results filled with media coverage. 

5. Content marketing both requires and creates a need for PR. Yes, even in 2014, people still use brochures and one-pagers for marketing. They also use—perhaps more than ever—webinars, white papers, video, and e-mail marketing.  These are all tools most marketers keep in their work belt.

Public relations outreach is often what drives people to download, sign up, or request more information for content marketing tools. More importantly, once that e-mail address is captured or that trade show is booked, something needs to be delivered. This is where media articles, videos, and sound bytes can best be utilized. Rather than sending out an email blast telling your prospective leads how great your company is, you can send out that same blast with a Forbes article, which will do all the telling for you.

Public relations experts know that media results speak for themselves—and they know how to use them to get results from your marketing practices.

Read more on the 5W PR Agency’s blog.

About Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian is the founder, president, and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations (5WPR), a top 25 US PR Agency with more than 100 employees.  Ronn is known for his resourceful, results-focused approach and for his close relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians, and celebrities. Under his leadership, the firm has become one of the fastest growing agencies in the industry, with work that spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional businesses, government agencies, and academic institutions, managing both their routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. 

Ronn has been recognized as a semi-finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year and named to the "40 Under 40" lists of both PR Week and Advertising Age. The country's most influential media frequently feature Ronn's commentary and opinion on reputation management issues. His book, For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations, was released in 2011. Ronn is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and serves as a board member of numerous non-profit organizations. Ronn was born and raised in New York City and resides with his family on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

About 5W Public Relations
5W Public Relations is a full-service PR agency known for innovative programs that engage with businesses, individuals, and ideas. With over 100 experienced professionals serving clients in industries spanning Beauty & Fashion, Consumer Brands, Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Travel & Hospitality, Technology, Nonprofit, Corporate Communications and Reputation Management, Public Affairs, Crisis Communications, and Digital Strategy, 5W provides leading organizations and individuals with a resourceful, creative and results-oriented approach to communications.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, agency of the year, public relations awards

Call for Entries for 22nd IPRA PR Awards for Excellence

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

stevie_ipragwa_sitelogo_newThe 22nd edition of the International Public Relations Association's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence is now accepting entries.

You may access the entry kit here.

The GWAs are the world's top international public relations awards competition, featuring a wide variety of categories for agencies and communications departments.  All organizations and individuals worldwide are invited to submit entries. 

The Golden World Awards initiative, established in 1990 by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and now managed by the Stevie® Awards, recognizes excellence in public relations practice worldwide.  There is no more prestigious international public relations awards program.

Here is the calendar for the 2014 competition:

14 April is the early-bird entry deadline with discounted entry fees.

5 May is the final entry deadline.

19 May is the last day that late entries will be accepted with payment of a late fee.

Judging will take place: 1st Round in early June, 2nd Round on 26 June.

The winners celebration will be held in fall 2014, date and setting to be determined.

If you have questions about how to prepare or submit entries after you've reviewed the entry kit, please don't hesitate to contact us.

[email protected]
+1 703-547-8389
www.StevieAwards.com

 

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA

PR Awards Winners Announced in 21st IPRA Golden World Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Sep 12, 2013 @ 11:39 AM

Winners have been announced in the 21st annual IPRA Golden World Awards, the top international public relations awards competition.

See the full list of 2013 winners here.   Among the top winners with multiple awards are Bacardi Limited, Citi, MSLGroup, and Weber Shandwick.

IRA GWAThe IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence offer world-wide recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programmes. The 2013 competition, conducted by the International Public Relations Association, was open to local, regional, national or international public relations programmes carried out or completed in 2012/2013.

The number of categories in the GWA doubled this year, with separate categories for Agency and for Inhouse entries. Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories, which include: Community Relations, Corporate Communications, Crisis Management, Digital Media Relations, Event Management, Internal Communications, Launch of a New Product, PR on a Shoestring, Publications, Social Media for PR, and Technology, among others.

Entries submitted to the Golden World Awards competition were judged by an international panel of senior practitioners.

The GWA are managed on behalf of IPRA by the Stevie® Awards, which organizes the world’s premier business awards programs including The International Business Awards, The American Business Awards, and the forthcoming Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. Questions about IPRA’s Golden World Awards may be directed to [email protected].

Entries for the 2014 edition of the Golden World Awards for PR Excellence will open in January.  Join the mailing list to ensure that you are emailed the entry kit as soon as it's available.


Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA

Overcoming Global Challenges: Advice on International Communications, From a Stevie® Awards Chair

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

Kevin Read, Managing Director of Bell Pottinger Business & Brand in London, U.K., will Chair the Corporate Communications Awards and PR Awards Final Judging Committee in The 2013 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. (Judging for the 2013 IBAs is now underway and we invite you to apply to be a preliminary-round judge. If you qualify, you will be able to judge over the Internet at your convenience.) Here we talked with Kevin about his thoughts on the world of international communications.

Kevin Read, Managing Director, Bell PottingerAs managing director of an international public relations company, what advice do you have for corporations on how PR can solve international communications challenges?
One of the great strengths of PR consultants, especially those involved with international work, is that they can simplify the way that global corporations seek to express themselves. Equally, they are past masters of finding solutions that will illustrate the core points of a business’s products and services.

Many corporations—even significant global brands—need PR consultants to help them distil and deliver crucial messages to their target audience. Highly experienced PR professional are culturally sensitive to the ways in which a message needs to be delivered.  They are acutely aware of the modern need to balance the emotional with the rational, and the visual with the verbal.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I have been fascinated by the recent business news about the appointment of a Canadian as the new Governor of the Bank of England, one of the most traditional and conservative positions in the world. The media—with a little help from the Chancellor of the Exchequer—chose to portray Mark Carney both as the best man in the world for the job and as a new broom for a dusty old institution that has maybe felt too comfortable behind its giant stone walls. As Mr. Carney settles in to the job, it will be fascinating to measure any gains from improved communications with the outside world against the risks of market reactions to more regular interaction.

Do you have a favorite app that you use for business purposes?
One of the great pleasures of working on international PR campaigns is not only visiting many fascinating and vibrant cities but also having the opportunity to sample the cuisine of different cultures. The free and highly reliable OpenTable app has on many occasions—and usually at the last minute—provided me with fantastic recommendations and allowed a very smooth and easy booking process; and the ability to flick back from time to time to see where you last ate in a particular city is a great plus for the next time you visit.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Most of my career in public relations has focused on trying to resolve urgent yet complex communications challenges in different fields.  I’ve frequently had to spend long hours studying a wide range of different topics in order to get up to speed as an expert in each of these fields. I would therefore very much enjoy the opportunity to work within academia where perhaps I could instead focus on just one issue and spend time looking into it in greater depth.  I would like to make a tiny contribution to the world’s total knowledge of one particular subject.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
There are two things about public relations which I still thoroughly enjoy: the first is coming into the office in the morning and a having a brand new brief land on my desk in an area about which I know very little, then spending the rest of the day trying to unravel the intricacies of something totally new; the second is that I still relish the process of pitching—the ideas, the structure, the performance, and, of course, winning … although it does on rare occasions involve losing.

About Kevin Read:
Kevin is a former political speechwriter and management lecturer. His main focus is on resolving complex, international communications problems, shaping fresh, modern strategies, and implementing integrated solutions that are typically spearheaded by PR.

He has more than 15 years’ senior consultancy experience and specializes in strategic planning and providing senior level business counsel. He has worked extensively for leading global brands (HSBC, British Gas, Unilever), a wide array of industry bodies (nuclear, food, telecommunications, cosmetics, beverages), government departments, NGOs, and professional services firms. 

About Bell Pottinger Private:
Bell Pottinger Private is an international, full-service communications business. The company has business experience in 60 countries, advising world leaders in politics and business, supporting communications executives in every industrial and commercial sector, and managing reputations and brands in every communications medium.  For more information go to www.bell-pottinger.co.uk.

 

Tags: communications awards, International business awards, PR awards, Kevin Read, Bell Pottinger, international public relations

Finalists Announced in IPRA's Golden World PR Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Jul 03, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

Finalists are announced in the 21st annual IPRA Golden World Awards, the top international public relations awards competition.

See the list of Finalists here.

IPRA LogoThe IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence offer world-wide recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programmes. The 2013 competition, conducted by the International Public Relations Association, was open to local, regional, national or international public relations programmes carried out or completed in 2012/2013.

The number of categories - and entries - in the GWA doubled this year, as now there are separate categories for Agency and for Inhouse entries. Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories, which include: Community Relations, Corporate Communications, Crisis Management, Digital Media Relations, Event Management, Internal Communications, Launch of a New Product, PR on a Shoestring, Publications, Social Media for PR, and Technology, among others.

Finalists were determined by an international panel of senior practitioners. Final judging to determine the overall category winners will take place in Cologne, Germany on July 12.

The 2013 GWA are managed on behalf of IPRA by the Stevie® Awards, which organizes the world’s premier business awards programs including The International Business Awards and The American Business Awards.  Questions about IPRA’s Golden World Awards may be directed to [email protected].

Tags: communications awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA