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Calling all APRs! Serve as a Panel Presentation judge and keep your accreditation current!

The PRSA Maryland Chapter currently has 8 APR candidates who will soon be ready to give their Panel Presentations. We are putting the word out now for those APRs interested in serving as a Panel Presentation evaluator in 2019.

You can earn 1 point for each Panel Presentation you evaluate, which counts toward the 5 points you must earn every 3 years to keep your accreditation current. We will be hosting two types of panels:

  • Final Panel Presentations –This would involve an in-person meeting during one evening after work at a Baltimore-area business or organization yet to be determined.
  • Practice Presentation – We would also like to offer APR candidates an opportunity to practice their Panel Presentation before giving the real thing. This would involve about an hour of your time via video chat or conference call with the candidate.

Please contact Dianna Fornaro, APR Chair, at dfornaro@ceiwc.com if you are interested in serving as a Panel Presentation evaluator on one of the panels, or would like more information on this important volunteer opportunity.

Take PR leadership skills to next level

Leadership training. Building your network. Boosting professional skills. Having fun.

These are promises we will deliver on when you say “Yes!” to volunteering for PRSA Maryland. Just ask any of our current Board members and they will share with you outcomes like developing skills leading to promotion, new positions, new clients, new friends and fun.
 
We’re forming the 2019 Board and committees and so we’d love to hear from you. Positions currently open:

  • President – guide the board in serving members’ needs
  • Secretary – officer position to assist in leading the board
  • Membership Chair – welcome new members, meet other PR pros
  • Communications Chair – guide the chapter’s communications and marketing
  • Conference Chair – guide the planning and hosting of the Maryland PR Conference
  • Mentoring Chair – guide the chapter’s mentoring program
  • New Professional Chair – guide the planning and activities to meet new professional’s needs
  • Volunteer Coordinator – connect members to chapter volunteering & engagement
  • And seats on all committees including Best In Maryland, Mentoring, and APR

Plus, we’ve have openings for blog writers, social media posters, program hosts, Coffee With hosts, awards judges, PR writers and more.
 
Let us know you are interested by completing this quick survey or send us email right now at info@prsamd.org
 
If now isn’t the right time for you, we are always interested – just let us know what you’d like to do and when you are available – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PRSAMDGetInvolved.

The Walk of Shame … what happens when we aren’t prepared to talk or work with the media

By Peggy Hoffman, FASAE, CAE

I caught up with our two media experts for a chat about the upcoming deep dive workshop on the Do’s & Don’ts of a TV Interview, September 28, 2-5pm. Debra Schindler is currently the Regional Director of Media and Public Relations, MedStar Health; however, her career started in journalism. Debra launched her television work as a reporter for the national Fox Television network show, America’s Most Wanted, followed by work at WMAR. She netted an Emmy nomination as well as been recognized with such honors as the National Headliner Award and a Clarion for investigative journalism. Today, she oversees all external media and PR efforts for MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals where she created the MedStar Television Network and conducts physician media training.

Dan Dunne, APR, Fellow PRSA, Director of External Communications, Erickson Living. During his national spokesperson role with the U.S. Justice Department, he was interviewed each week by national news media and served as an agency media relations training expert at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Aurora, Colorado. He continues to help enhance the media relations expertise of government officials and others, recently instructing a two-day workshop enabling Franklin County, Pennsylvania officials to increase their public and media relations knowledge and news media interview skills.  

Peggy: The title is the do’s & don’ts of a TV interview, but I guess the prep starts before the interview, right?

Debra: Yes! I use this video clip (the Walk of Shame) to demonstrate the importance of contacting media relations when the media is calling.  By ignoring media requests, or not responding to negative allegations, they don’t go away. The result is an ambush interview.  And this one is from an investigative reporter I produced at WMAR -way back when- about a bad doctor. I contacted the hospital and the doctor, and no one would respond or supply a statement.  Never a good move for a PR professional. A statement would have averted this action.

Peggy: Not everybody will be confronted by TV or make headlines, so will this training translate to radio, podcasts or video casts?

Dan: Absolutely! Being successful with TV interviews is about sharing messages in a way that your audience will understand. By building your interview skills, you enhance your ability to be an effective speaker via multiple communication platforms.

Peggy: What are the top interview tips that you’ll expanding on?

Debra: (1) Use short, concise sound bites that are in complete sentences.  (2) Chances are the reporter questions are cut out of the video package so to ensure the message, put the question in the response. (3) Stay with three message points. (4) Bring visuals, such as props, models photos or video on a thumb driver or via shareable software. (5), this often gets left unsaid by the reporter … keep eye contact with the interviewer, not the camera. Reporters tend to do what they do so frequently, they forget to tell the interviewees to not look in the camera.

Peggy: Dan, what tips do you offer to control the interview or avoid tough/wrong question?

Dan: You will always have the option to “bridge” to a response that aligns best with the main messages you intend to share…your primary talking points. For example, if asked about details of an ongoing investigation (which you are not able to share), instead of saying “no comment,” you could bridge to a response like: “Since the matter remains under investigation, we are unable to share any details at this time…which is standard practice in these situations. This matter continues to be one of our highest priorities, and we will share any details possible after this investigation has been completed.”

Peggy: There’s going to an on-camera portion of the workshop – tell us more.

Dan: Because we’re hosting this in the Erickson Living TV Station, we are doing a combination of conversation/content sharing with on-camera work. So, participants will have the added value of having an on-camera interview and immediate feedback.

There is still time to register for the workshop; however, seats are limited to 12.

Influencers Share their Stories

From left to right: Tracy Imm, APR; Jessica Fast; Jill Smokler, Christine Carter, Margaret Nam. Photo courtesy of conference lunch sponsor Planit

Submitted by Tracy Imm, APR

One of the most talked about sessions at 2018 PRSA Maryland Conference held on June 12 featured four top thought leaders on influencer communications. On stage we had three influencers, two of whom are also in the PR/Communications profession, and an influencer strategist.

The panel discussion highlighted that PR professionals are well positioned to leverage social media influencer relationships and connect brands to targeted buyers. We are skilled at delivering business results for our organizations through earned media and the more we understand the perspectives of the influencer the better job we can do as PR professionals.

“It’s hard from marketers and communicators to accept: you can’t control everything. Allow the relationship to be imperfect and authentic.”

Here is a quick recap of what our panelists shared.

 

  • New York Times best-selling author Jill Smokler (aka Scary Mommy) shared with us her journey from mommy blogger to macro-influencer with a platform that partnered with major brands like Target. Before her platform was purchased she had more control over the content strategy decisions (which she liked) and she saw how having an investor changed the game. She recently left her role at Scary Mommy to pursue new opportunities where she can control the content strategy and tactics and discuss topics she finds interesting.
  • Christine Michel Carter reviewed her strategies as a micro-influencer sharing her views with other black millennial moms. She has consistently created content over the past ten years and she now has brands such as Brick Bodies sponsoring her content. She shares with her audience in an authentic fashion in order to engender the “know, like and trust” factor. One eye-opening point she made was in sharing how she measures the unicorns (impact of influencers). Her formula: Average engagement per post divided by the number of followers times 100. Her influencer score is 1.95% compared to Beyonce at 2.73%.
  • Jessica Fast from Abel Communications talked about how brands are looking for social media influencers to promote their products and services. She shared several case studies with the audience. She underscored that we need to understand influencers are not media outlets, they are people, not reporters telling your story. The power of the influencer is in their authenticity. “It’s hard from marketers and communicators to accept: you can’t control everything. Allow the relationship to be imperfect and authentic.” She also noted that we shouldn’t limit our thinking. “Don’t think about influencers as just individuals, explore relationships with influential groups.”
  • Margaret Nam from Planit, another micro-influencer who works with influencers for her clients, discussed the tactics she has used to grow her audience in the Baltimore marketplace and the new opportunities that have come her way as a result. She noted that micro-influencers provide more opportunities for added value content, a niche, targeted audience and lower cost.

 

PRSA Maryland Chapter thanks all the event sponsors who helped make this conference possible. Click here to see who was there! 

If you attended the conference, check out the pictures below and by clicking here. If you didn’t, see what you missed.

2018 PRSA Maryland Conference Recap

130 communications professionals gather in Towson for 2018 PRSA Maryland annual conference.

Each year, the PRSA Maryland Chapter gathers together a diverse network of communication professionals at its annual conference and provides attendees with a day-long professional development and networking opportunity. Speakers share their insights, industry knowledge and, most importantly, vision for the future of public relations. The 2018 conference, held June 12 at the Baltimore Sheraton in Towson, was no exception, attracting 130 attendees and speakers.

Attendees engaged with prominent social media influencers as well as heard experts present on topics about fake news, analytics, what CMOs expect, and the latest changes in social media.

The conference keynote speaker featured a presentation by Ed Bodensiek highlighting the convergence of communications, marketing, and customer experience (CX). Click here to see the full agenda and learn more about our speakers. 

PRSA Maryland Chapter thanks all the event sponsors who helped make this conference possible. Click here to see who was there! 

If you attended the conference, check out the pictures below and by clicking here. If you didn’t, see what you missed.

Photos courtesy of Coyle Studios

Why should we, as PR professionals, care what the Chief Marketing Officer within our organization is doing?

Once upon a time, PR and Marketing were very separate disciplines. Heck, back when many of us were in college, the PR department was housed with English, journalism or communications and marketing was across campus in the business department. We were studying a separate curriculum and performed separate functions within the business unit.

Enter social media and the upheaval begins. Social media is clearly an extension of PR. It’s us telling our story to our community. Oh, but wait. Now we can boost posts and target ads to be seen by specific demographics. Sounds a little more like advertising or marketing now, right? Or does it?  

We know our days in the PR world have changed drastically over the last ten years or so. We are more concerned than ever with measurement, showing ROI and monitoring the health of our brand. Some of our marketing counterparts have been completing these tasks a little longer than we have, but in different ways. It’s time for us all to come together for ultimate success.

At our June 12 PRSA Maryland Conference, Rise of Influencer Communications, we will focus on this topic in an afternoon session with Jeb Brown, chairman, Yes& Agency; Robert Sprague, president & CEO, Yes& Agency; A.J. Guenther, director, Public Relations, ConnellyWorks (a Yes& Agency); and, Jeffrey Davis, APRmanaging partner, Van Eperen, discussing the New Role of PR: Meeting the Needs of Today’s CMO.

If you want to be at the forefront of major changes coming our way, make plans to join us at the Sheraton Baltimore North June 12. Click here for the full program and registration details.

*Read more about Jeb, Robert, A.J. and Jeff as well as all our #PRSAMD18 presenters by clicking here

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Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors