I recently had the opportunity to attend the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Counselors Academy in Key West, Fla. I always enjoy the time spent with other PR agency leaders from around the country. This year I learned 10 lessons that I look forward to implementing with our Albers team.
Here are my top 10 takeaways from this year’s event:
- Offline meets online. Call it what you want – integrated PR and digital marketing; PR driven inbound marketing; or converged media – integration is where it’s at. A remarkable 75% of PR firms – including Albers Communications – have incorporated digital marketing into their services.
- The future is mobile. The smartphone is the primary tool for accessing the internet, social media and e-mail, and text messaging is the most powerful way to engage people via mobile. Ninety-seven percent of text messages are read within three minutes.
- Millennials matter. Our virtual work environment gives Albers some distinct advantages when it comes to creating an environment that is attractive to millennials. The millennials are the future of the PR industry, and they want it all – flexibility, a casual environment and an opportunity to have a seat at the table with
- Video still matters. Tools like Vsnap.com make it easy to create short, personal videos. Making video accessible to businesses and brands of all sizes ensures video is a strategy with staying power.
- Mix your message. According to one presenter, 20% of your Facebook content should talk about what you want to address, and 80% should talk about what your industry is doing. In other words, don’t just talk about yourself if you want to provide value to your social audience.
- Fair service for all. Providing stellar client service is the goal of any integrated agency worth its salt, but overworking and under-collecting isn’t fair to anybody. Agencies need to log every hour exactly as it is worked in order to accurately understand staffing needs.
- Survey your clients. While 80% of senior business executives say their companies deliver superior service, only 8% of customers say they are getting excellent service. To fully understand how customers feel about your service, ask them.
- Resources abound. There are countless online resources agencies can integrate into their clients’ plans or use for educational purposes. List.ly, a social list-building site, is one of them.
- 6.6 minutes is enough. Ignite presentations – where the presenter uses a pre-timed slide show in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each – proves that you can effectively communicate a lot of information in 6.6 minutes of time. Conference speakers used ignite presentations to address topics such as Building a Culture for Millennials and the 11 Sins of Public Speaking.
- We’re doing it right. Our longtime tagline, Let Us Tell Your Story, is just as appropriate and relevant today as it was 14 years ago when we began – perhaps even more so. Agencies should rely on the power of telling clients stories through integrated strategies in order to inspire the audience to take action.