Posts tagged with “JDPR Team”

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Media Relations

What My Rabbit Taught Me About PR


By: Emily Clever

Rabbits are prey animals, and they’re hardwired to be elusive. Bonding with a pet rabbit takes intent, patience, energy and a handful of great ideas.

I’m not trying to degrade the wonderful men and women who follow their hearts as journalists by comparing the two, but regardless of species, building trust and a positive, fruitful relationship looks the same: Be purposeful. Be patient, yet dogged. Stay upbeat. Persevere. Think outside the box, which is an ironic statement intrinsically because it’s so clichéd.

I’ve had my rabbit, Moose, for only a few short months, but she has already managed to teach me so much about the world – and the world of PR. She’s taught me how to think like her (and that hiding behind the couch is not always an option). She’s taught me how far a good meal can go. She’s taught me the importance of being expressive, earnest, curious and respectful.

In this industry, when we reach out to media, we tend to sometimes forget these should-be guiding principles. It’s easy to default into the role of “pushy PR exec with an agenda.” It’s harder to engage, to listen, to ask the right questions, to consider what that journalist is working on or trying to accomplish, to actually be a source – a wellspring – of good ideas instead of a “me too”-type burden.

It’s also easy to chase the rabbit around the apartment and try to force it to like me, whereas it’s harder to learn to appreciate the rabbit and meet it on its level.

“I like to imagine my view of the world is always obscured by a tinted box,” writes Nathan Pyle in what I think is the most brilliant Buzzfeed article of all time. “I can’t see clearly because of this box. It is my own self-interest. Additionally, all of my experiences are like filters that fall into place and further obscure my vision. Everything I view is seen through this very unique set of filters.”

Of course, this is true of everyone … and every creature, too.

Next time you find yourself talking with someone – regardless of whether they’re a journalist, a business partner, a long-time friend, your spouse or your dog – try to see the world from their perspective just for a moment. You’ll be amazed at the results.
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Relationships the Classroom Doesn't Teach You About

By: Cary Lynn Nabors

Throughout my public relations classes in college, I’ve constantly heard “PR is about building relationships.” However, one thing the classroom did not teach me is how many relationships there are in a PR firm and what goes into maintaining them. My internship at JDPR has revealed important relationships that I didn’t even know were necessary to keep a PR firm going. How do we go through classes not learning important things like these? I think it speaks to the value of supplementing instruction with internships so you can learn as much as you can.


Vendor Relationships: Sometimes, your client has needs that can’t be met inside the walls of your office, and you have to hire a vendor to assist in areas outside an agency’s core service offerings. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes, especially in a smaller firm, you need to hire artists or videographers to do the best job for your client. When this happens, a PR pro has to take off the vendor hat and wear the client hat, which is a transition I thought PR firms never had to do. Your mentality has to change, the way you talk and how you do your job change because it’s a different relationship. Once you observe these transitions and practice them yourself they make sense, but practice makes perfect and that’s what an internship gives you that the classroom doesn’t.


Nontraditional Media: Who would’ve thought we would be at a point where bloggers can have more of an influence than a media outlet? Blogging has become a huge deal and, at times, PR firms are targeting them as often as news outlets. We briefly mentioned bloggers in my classes, but we never talked about how you have to pitch and approach them differently than traditional media. They do not necessarily view things like a journalist, and you need to pitch them like you would a friend. Once you build those relationships, you can be very candid with them. Should you exclusively pitch nontraditional media? No, but you should not leave them out because they can have a strong influence.


Potential Clients: We never talked in my classes about how PR firms reach new clients. Searching for potential clients is not a one-time deal; it’s an ongoing process that never stops. Interestingly, agencies look for new business without pulling resources away from their existing clients. Hunting for new business is an exciting part of the agency world. There is never a guarantee that you’ll get every client you pitch, but regardless it’s a great way to show the agency’s chops and expand.


Although I learned about these in the workforce and not the classroom, I don’t feel that the classroom isn’t doing a good job. I learned so much in college to help me be a better intern, but the classroom couldn’t teach me everything and I’m thankful for my experience at JDPR to help me grow.

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Photo credit: sysmarketing.co.uk
By: Cary Lynn Nabors

Throughout my public relations classes in college, I’ve constantly heard “PR is about building relationships.” However, one thing the classroom did not teach me is how many relationships there are in a PR firm and what goes into maintaining them. My internship at JDPR has revealed important relationships that I didn’t even know were necessary to keep a PR firm going. How do we go through classes not learning important things like these? I think it speaks to the value of supplementing instruction with internships so you can learn as much as you can.


Vendor Relationships: Sometimes, your client has needs that can’t be met inside the walls of your office, and you have to hire a vendor to assist in areas outside an agency’s core service offerings. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes, especially in a smaller firm, you need to hire artists or videographers to do the best job for your client. When this happens, a PR pro has to take off the vendor hat and wear the client hat, which is a transition I thought PR firms never had to do. Your mentality has to change, the way you talk and how you do your job change because it’s a different relationship. Once you observe these transitions and practice them yourself they make sense, but practice makes perfect and that’s what an internship gives you that the classroom doesn’t.


Nontraditional Media: Who would’ve thought we would be at a point where bloggers can have more of an influence than a media outlet? Blogging has become a huge deal and, at times, PR firms are targeting them as often as news outlets. We briefly mentioned bloggers in my classes, but we never talked about how you have to pitch and approach them differently than traditional media. They do not necessarily view things like a journalist, and you need to pitch them like you would a friend. Once you build those relationships, you can be very candid with them. Should you exclusively pitch nontraditional media? No, but you should not leave them out because they can have a strong influence.


Potential Clients: We never talked in my classes about how PR firms reach new clients. Searching for potential clients is not a one-time deal; it’s an ongoing process that never stops. Interestingly, agencies look for new business without pulling resources away from their existing clients. Hunting for new business is an exciting part of the agency world. There is never a guarantee that you’ll get every client you pitch, but regardless it’s a great way to show the agency’s chops and expand.


Although I learned about these in the workforce and not the classroom, I don’t feel that the classroom isn’t doing a good job. I learned so much in college to help me be a better intern, but the classroom couldn’t teach me everything and I’m thankful for my experience at JDPR to help me grow.

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How To Get the Most Out of Your PR Agency

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By Tiffany Deluccia

We want to exceed your expectations. We really do. It’s why we come to work. It’s why we ask so many questions. It’s why we continually harp on seeming buzzwords like “strategic” and “measurable results.” We value you as a client, and we want you to know your investment in us is an investment in your own success.

We promise to do our part, but what can you do to ensure you’re getting the most out of the relationship? Here are a few ideas:

1) Treat us like an extension of your staff.

Our skills are in finding the story, formulating ideas with an outside perspective and coming up with creative ways to engage your stakeholders. We’re not a press release factory. Get the most for your money by involving us in senior level business discussions.

PR shouldn’t be a vertical function within a company; it should be a horizontal function because there are stories all throughout your company that can be leveraged to accomplish your goals. Introduce us to the marketing team, the HR team, the business analysts, the sales reps, the customer service folks…The better we can understand your environment and how it all ticks and ties, the better we can help you craft your message.

2) Work with us up front to identify your measurable goals.

We geek out a bit around here when we get started talking about how communications methods can influence the business bottom line. However, we recognize the complexity of showing how public relations connects to corporate goals. It helps to clearly hone what we’re trying to measure at the beginning of our relationship and again each year – or even each quarter – as it makes sense. We want you to see how your communications programs are making a difference in your business, and to do that, we need to know how exactly you want to move the needle.

3) Trust our expertise – but don’t be afraid to challenge us.

If we tell you something isn’t pitchable, it’s not a cop out. Remember: We want to exceed your expectations. We talk with the media, pitch ideas and analyze what’s working every single day for clients across a broad spectrum of categories. We have a knack for knowing what will and won’t appeal to the media and your stakeholders.

That being said, we don’t mind a challenge! Here’s a case study to prove it. We love to tackle complex problems with creativity.

Clients who collaborate with an agency in these ways tend to see the best results. And results, are what we want to provide!

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Why Brands Matter

Some rights reserved by Phillie Casablanca

By Matt Lochel

You’ve likely said a very powerful word today. In fact, you’ve probably said it multiple times. Don’t worry, this word wouldn’t garner even the slightest blush from your mother.

Used by itself, it’s innocuous, but wars have been fought over it, and in reality, it’s likely caused most of them.

No matter your profession, you probably use this word hundreds of times each month.

Laws have been enacted to preserve the right to say it. It can be used to vocalize cynicism, or it can ferret out information to improve the public’s safety. It can express shock or innocence as easily as it can prove a valuable rhetorical and agenda-driven tool.

It’s crumbled monarchies. It’s motivated inventions that generations-past never could have imagined.

I even decided it deserved to be in this post’s headline.

The word is why.

Having cut my professional teeth in a newsroom, I recall watching seasoned colleagues elicit unexpected responses by artfully crafting their whys to not appear as questions at all.

And as PR Pros, we find ourselves strategizing ways to preempt this word from being asked. By connecting the dots for the reporters we pitch, we explain why our client’s newest product matters to their readers, viewers or listeners.

After all, every brand has a story that’s bigger than any single product launch, and as PR Pros we help discover the story that lives within the brands we represent.

Brands seek to answer the whys we all ask— brands exist to solve problems.

Take the evolution of coast-to-coast transportation:

Transcontinental railroads resulted from someone asking “why does it take two years to travel from New York to San Francisco on horseback?”

Commercial air travel resulted from someone asking “why does it take three days to travel from New York to San Francisco by train?”

Video teleconferencing capabilities and lightning fast mobile networks resulted from someone asking “why should I be inconvenienced by a five hour flight from New York to San Francisco to talk to someone face-to-face?”

Brands matter because people matter, but in order to connect with the public, brands must tell their story and show why they are relevant for solving today’s problems.

Let’s never forget the power of this little word.

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Simplicity: The Art of Sophistication

By Matt Lochel

Imagine Tolstoy alive in our sound bite obsessed world. Steeped in Twitterdom and its 140-character limit would he have chosen to convey the message of his flagship work in a Tweet?

Rus’n tundra,$people party,desperation,white dog,freezn,borscht,fires in Moscow,Napl’n Bpte retreat,french lose,awful blizzard,boiled cabbage…

Reducing a literary classic to grammatically incorrect tripe is certainly ridiculous, but it does serve as an important example of what makes a message impact its target audience in 2013.

Spoiler alert: It isn’t word count.

To have impact, you must ensure your audience reads your message, and that’s increasingly difficult.

Attention spans are way down as social media use is way up. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube are complicit in reducing the time an average adult pays attention from 12 minutes to 5 minutes.

Think about something you’ve read recently that impacted you in some way. Was it a long and laboriously written technical manual, or was it a snappy ad slogan?

• Lee. The jeans that built America.

Tag Heuer: Success. It’s a mind game.

Dow Chemical: The Human Element.

These examples have impact because they don’t seek to rigidly define the company or its products. They leave their mission open to interpretation. Good messages make you think, but the best inspire you to dream of what could be instead of what is.

Using fewer words allows you to have more impact—not less.

According to Dave Kerpen, New York Times Best-Selling Author, clear and succinct writing is an essential skill every professional must embrace. In fact, Kerpen drives home his point by stating that people judge the value of your ideas by the skill in which you communicate them. This is as true for accountants as it is for copywriters.

Here are some simple tips to improve your writing’s quality.

Mark Twain once described a classic as a book that people praise but don’t read. With all the time you’ll save by keeping your writing succinct, perhaps you’ll have a chance to prove him wrong by dusting off the pre-Twitter version of War and Peace so you can savor each of its 587,287 words.

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5 Tips for Interns

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By Shane Farmer

Wow! It’s hard to believe a whole school year has passed since I started interning at JDPR. It has been a year of learning, a year of growing and a year of fun.

Never rule out an option just because it doesn’t exactly line up with your major or minor. If you think you might like a field try it out because you never know what you will find, and you may stumble into something else you enjoy, like I did.

After landing that awesome internship there are some key things you should always do.

1. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it won’t kill you. ASK QUESTIONS and ask A LOT of questions. Asking questions shows you’re interested and want to learn. Also, it means you don’t waste your time doing something wrong or that you didn’t have to do.

2. Don’t stress about not knowing everything. You’re an intern. While you should have some basic knowledge, professionals would rather not deal with a know-it-all because you can’t teach someone if they already “know” everything. However, if you don’t know something admit that you are unsure.

3. Be open to constructive criticism. In all fields, and definitely the PR field, there are many times when you might be corrected. Don’t take it personally. Whoever made the suggestion probably wanted to help you out, and they most likely saved you from looking like a fool (I’ve been saved many times by my supervisors Robin and Tiffany).

4. Always ask for the deadline of a project, especially if you are juggling multiple tasks (After this year, I’m pretty sure I could juggle chainsaws or grizzlies). This helps you know how to prioritize your work.

5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN. Don’t party, but make sure your time is enjoyable. No one wants to work with a Debbie Downer, and you are much more likely to make positive connections if you yourself are positive. Your internship is an exciting experience/adventure. Treat it like one.

So as Ms. Frizzle said on The Magic School Bus, “Take chances, make mistakes and get messy,” because that’s how you will make the most of your internship.

-- Shane Farmer

Intern Extraordinaire