The All Points Team Powers Up 2020 with January’s Seminar
by All Points Public Relations, January 31, 2020
Going on six years, the All Points team holds an agency-wide seminar once a month that’s led either by a team member or an outside resource. The goal of these seminars is to empower others to share their skills and expertise to help the agency grow as a whole. Some months, topics focus on ideas related to PR, content marketing, digital advertising or social media, and other times, we focus on internal matters.
As we Power Up 2020, our January seminar focused on internal processes and systems. We pride ourselves on being an extension of our clients’ teams, and in order for us to do so, we have to have efficient programs in place.
We took an in-depth look at how our team members organize projects, communicate internally and how performance updates were delivered to clients. Led by Senior Director Bailey Hewitt, the agency gathered this month at an off-site location to dive into a full day of learning. During the seminar, we rolled out a new project management tool and refined other elements essential to how we serve our clients. Our team members also learned more about the social media platform TikTok, and how our clients can get involved.
As it can be difficult to set aside the time to focus on internal structure, it’s important to do as we continue to grow with our clients and develop new skills that help us stay creative and competitive. We look forward to implementing this tool and delivering more results.
Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook and Twitter to hear about our latest seminars, and follow along on Instagram to keep up with the office.
President’s Point: Public Relations for a New Decade
by All Points Public Relations, January 30, 2020
Public relations is often considered an art and a science. It requires an understanding of human behavior, and the ways in which PR evolves over time in order to effectively insert and represent yourself, your brand or your client in today’s world.
The way we communicate and rely on technology has especially changed, affecting how PR professionals pitch the media, as well as how the public consumes news. In order to prepare for PR in the new decade, it’s important to understand PR’s history, how it has reached where it is today and where it’s headed in 2020 and beyond.
1990s through the early 2000s
The late 1990s and early 2000s marked a revolution in communications with the tech boom. At the time, newspapers, magazines, radio and television were primary news sources, with journalists as the main gatekeepers to news. Press releases took a lot longer to go live, considering many faxed or snail mailed physical copies to editors.
Public attention was captivated by tech innovation, the excess of dot-coms and the first websites, including news sites and blogs, which all began to emerge. Individual use of the internet became widespread by the year 2000, and companies rushed to create their own online presence. The tech boom also ushered in new and quicker forms of communication, with electronic mail becoming a popular method of correspondence.
Cable news and 24/7 access wasn’t an entirely new concept in the 1990s – CNN, the first 24-hour cable news operation, was launched in 1980. The success of CNN inspired many other 24-hour cable news stations, with FOX News and MSNBC launching in 1996 to compete.
Cable news grew even more in the new millennium, with an increasing trend in cable networks becoming more opinion driven. The beginning of the 21st century also called for vast improvements in crisis communication following 9/11. Previously, PR professionals and agencies took longer periods of time to respond to a PR crisis due to limited and less timely communication channels. The 9/11 attacks heavily impacted the way crises were handled, with an increasing demand for speed and accuracy in news reporting.
The first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. 2003 marked the launch of LinkedIn, and 2004 onward led to the creation of additional social sites that are still heavily used today, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. By 2008, social media would be used extensively and effectively within politics. The public relations profession took a leadership role in social media’s use and development as a two-way communication tool between brands and consumers, as well as between professionals, such as PR pros and the media.
Just as social media was starting to gain traction, 2008 marked a complete crisis for newsrooms and journalists. In the wake of the economic crisis, there were nearly 8,000 job cuts in the media industry during the first five months of 2009. These layoffs would set the stage for continued employment decline in the news industry over the next ten years.
2010s to now
The start of the new decade created a major shift in the media landscape, with blogs, social media, podcasts, digital outlets and online review sites building up major influence in the 24/7 instant news cycle. As a result of the increasing number of bloggers and social media influencers, journalists were no longer the only gatekeepers of the media.
Today, PR professionals outnumber journalists 6 to 1, creating heavy implications for agencies trying to break through the clutter. In order to effectively reach journalists, it’s essential for PR professionals to hyper-customize pitches, spending more time than ever doing prep work.
Unsurprisingly, crisis management is also more important than ever. With the lightening speed of information online and through social media, word travels fast, so a quick response is vital. Organizations must have meaningful responses and thorough crisis plans that are regularly updated, enabling the appropriate individuals to address the public as quickly as possible and collect accurate details. Trust is essential, so don’t underestimate the power of a sincere apology. Recognize your wrongdoings, outline a clear plan of action and ensure you can – and will – follow through on those promises.
PR for the future
Everything connects. In the new decade, PR professionals should prepare for a world where androids and virtual assistants act as the new gateways or barriers in attempts to connect with people.
Primary survey data from Business Insider Intelligence indicates that as many as half of U.S. respondents reported living in a home with a voice-enabled AI device. In fact, 63 million American homes will qualify as “smart” by 2022! Smart homes can have the ability to learn about their owners, knowing and anticipating their needs. This allows them to provide recommendations on where to go, what to buy, who to vote for – the list goes on. It will be necessary to learn how data will be collected through new technologies and how this can be tapped to inform PR strategies.
User-generated content (blogs, videos, social media posts, podcasts, etc.) will continue to grow into a source for news and information. Everyone has access to their own broadcast outlet online, and the number of online users is only going up. Statista reports that there were 0.97 billion social network users worldwide in 2010. In 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide – that number is projected to increase to nearly 3.1 billion in 2021.
Influencers and other online content creators are affecting more traditional news outlets and journalists. In 2019, nearly 8,000 people lost their jobs in the media industry, the highest rate since the 2008 recession. As the number of professional journalists shrinks, the number of online influencers – and the demand for their service – becomes larger. Google searches for “influencer marketing” grew 1500% in the last three years.
As we’ve come to discover in recent years, it will be more difficult to pitch stories to media outlets with massive audiences. While bloggers and social media influencers create more outlets, they will likely seek paid opportunities and sponsorships in return. It will continue to be necessary for PR professionals to build solid relationships with credible, respected journalists in the new decade, as well as influencers who attract wider or more appropriate followings.
As far as crisis management goes, it will need to evolve with technology. In the past, crisis management came down to experience and judgment of professionals – little data was available in fast-moving and uncertain situations. Today, predictive search analysis and other tools are allowing for anticipatory crisis prep, informed message development and real-time response measurement. Technology and AI-based solutions can help those responsible by assessing risk, developing training programs, monitoring the development of crises online and continuously improving upon strategies.
It’s no question that PR is always evolving. The new decade will bring an abundance of opportunities to inform strategies by leveraging the changing media landscape and advancements in technology. It will be more important than ever to keep up with these trends and ensure you’re using the right messaging and platforms to connect with your audiences.
The All Points Team Shares Their 2020 New Year’s Resolutions
by All Points Public Relations, December 18, 2019
The All Points team has big plans heading into the new year. From traveling and living healthier to continuing education and keeping up with hobbies, our team is looking forward to a fresh year filled with new opportunities to achieve our goals. Check out our 2020 New Year’s resolutions!
Maddy: …to run a marathon in 2020. I knocked out a half-marathon run in 2019, so I’m doubling up in the new year.
Allie: …to create more balance in my life to help me enjoy the little things more.
Lauren: …to find balance.
Tracey: …to hold myself to my morning routine of working out and eating a good breakfast. To read more. And to utilize the beautiful garden area we have at our new house (which means learning how to garden).
Meredith: …to cook more at home instead of taking out. I’d also like to learn a new skill.
Amanda: …to drink more water, keep a consistent morning workout routine, read one book every month and aim for seven or eight hours of sleep every night. I’d also like to spend less time scrolling on my phone and more time talking to loved ones on the phone, and visiting with them in person. Finally, I aim to run a total of at least 500 miles in 2020.
Annie: …to expand my music library and run a half marathon.
Kate: …to stay off my phone! I find myself scrolling through social media mindlessly not even caring about what I’m looking at, and yet I’m still glued to my phone. I have a lot of family travel coming up in 2020 and less screen time will allow me to be more in the moment and really appreciate my time with them. I’d say my resolution should be to delete Instagram, but let’s be real – I can’t quit cold turkey.
Gautier: …to read more! I enjoy a good page-turner, but never prioritize reading— Netflix always feels easier than starting a new book.
Jessica: …to pursue continued education, read more and travel more.
Cole: …to do a better job of taking care of my physical health through diet and exercise.
Jamie: …to remain clearheaded and fresh. I’m predominantly optimistic, aim for consistent transparency and try to find the best in everyone, yet I’d like to have more wind in my sails everyday. That comes from keeping a clear mind and a fresh start to every day.
Marin: …to use my commute to learn something new. I plan on switching out the same playlist that I listen to every day for some podcasts, both career-related and some fun ones like “Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know.” Any recommendations are welcome!
Jonathan: …to be more positive and optimistic toward any situation I’m faced with. Following the cold season, I also want to spend more time outside every day. It’s important to always get some fresh air.
Rachel: …to make more time for my family throughout the year.
Alex H: …to read at least one book a month and to stop eating Twizzlers every day from the All Points food cabinet.
Jenna: …to make healthier choices, from eating healthier, to getting more exercise and putting more focus on self-care, whatever that means!
Mackenzie: …to grow my professional presentation skills and public speaking skills, drink more water and spend more quality time with loved ones, whether it be making the road trip back home to see family or Facetime dinner dates with friends!
Katie: …to go to bed earlier on a daily basis, travel to new places and worry less!
Spencer: …to learn how to play the banjo. Because I failed to finish my 2019 goal, my resolution to learn how to play the banjo has rolled over to 2020. Hopefully this time around I will be more dedicated and finally be able to pluck a tune.
Bailey: …to keep learning new skills— both personally with continuing tennis lessons and professionally with staying up to date on new trends and best practices related to our everyday work.
Nicole: …to make time for photography projects and get back into music photography. Also, being a more conscious consumer, which for me means not giving into fast fashion and investing money in clothes that are sustainable.
Mia: …to eat healthier by cooking more and to spend more time with family.
Joey: …to wake up earlier to enjoy some morning “me time” — a good cup of coffee and sunshine to fuel my soul.
Alex S: …to spend more time outside! Whether it is through traveling, exercising or changing my usual environment, I want to enjoy more of the outdoors (especially during the few days of nice weather that we have here in Chicago).
Gillian: …to finish the first draft of the novel I am working on and build a small indoor garden this spring.
NIFA Closes Out 2019 With In-Depth Discussion on Restaurant and Real Estate Trends During December Luncheon
by All Points Public Relations, December 12, 2019
The Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA), co-founded by Jamie and Lauren Izaks and Andrew Bleiman, recently hosted its 2019 December Luncheon at Tortoise Supper Club in Chicago.
The December Luncheon featured an in-depth panel discussion on 2020 restaurant and real estate trends, and we had a full house in attendance. Panelists included Andrew Margolick, President of ARM Consulting, LLC and Peter Block, Executive Vice President of Colliers International.
The panelists talked about a variety of topics exploring real estate considerations for 2020, with discussion points such as best practices for negotiating and re-negotiating leases, the impact of delivery services on retail, advice for working with landlords, and much more. Key takeaways from the panelists included being proactive with leases and having the willingness to renegotiate or change them, as well as balancing the rent-to-sales ratio. An audience Q&A followed the panel, allowing members to dive deeper into the need-to-know information on real estate considerations and trends.
In addition to the discussion, panelists and guests of the NIFA 2019 December Luncheon enjoyed time to network and eat a delicious meal, including the choice of the kale and quinoa salad, prime rib sandwich or roast chicken cacciatore, followed by assorted miniature house-made desserts. Free valet parking was sponsored by All Points PR and Marks & Klein.
We want to thank all of the panelists and guests for such a fantastic event to round out 2019, and we look forward to another exciting year in 2020! These events allow NIFA to continue its work educating the Chicagoland community about the most pressing franchise-related topics of the day, and encourage exclusive networking opportunities.
Stay tuned for details on the upcoming NIFA 2020 March Luncheon, and visit www.northernilfranchise.org for more information about the organization.
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All Points PR’s Gillian Losh and Alex Sanchez Share Key Takeaways from the PRSA 2019 International Conference
by All Points Public Relations, November 26, 2019
The All Points PR team is constantly looking for new ways to stay on the forefront of the industry and explore today’s latest and most pressing topics in public relations, social media and content marketing. Director Gillian Losh and Public Relations Associate Alex Sanchez recently attended the Public Relations Society of America 2019 International Conference in San Diego, CA, and the rest of the All Points team had the pleasure of hearing more about their experiences during the November seminar.
Featuring workshops and keynote speakers, including renowned journalists Bob Woodward and Laura Ling, the PRSA conference offered the exclusive opportunity to network with communications professionals and gain practical insights into today’s public relations landscape.
With tailored discussions about digital marketing, crisis management, big data and measurement and more, Gillian and Alex enjoyed the opportunity to hear from industry leaders on today’s best practices, trends and outlooks. Key takeaways included ways to enhance pitching with data, the importance of keeping an updated crisis playbook and the effect of tailoring your language to your audience by avoiding too many buzzwords and industry jargon.
Our monthly seminars serve to promote ongoing education and refinement of skills, motivating and inspiring our employees via relevant topics and out-of-the-box ideas. We thank Gillian and Alex for sharing more about their time at the PRSA 2019 International Conference, and we look forward to implementing and continuing their learnings across the agency.
Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook and Twitter to hear about our latest seminars, and follow along on Instagram to keep up with the office.