Some very sad news in today’s PR/PR weekly blog, as it was announced yesterday that Pete Frates, the Boston College athlete who helped make the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a worldwide social media phenomenon, passed away from the disease at the age of 34. Frates was one of the primary drivers of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised more than $200 million for ALS research.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is credited as being one of the most successful social campaigns of all time.
Taking Facebook by storm in 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge encouraged participants to dump freezing cold water on their heads—and also extend a donation to the ALS Association to support research into the progressive and ultimately fatal neurological illness.
Pete Frates was 27 when he was diagnosed, and although this awful disease took him far too soon, his contributions to the area of ALS awareness are immeasurable. Per the ALS Association, since the inception of Ice Bucket Challenge and the boost in funding through social media promotion, five new genes related to the disease have been discovered and over 200 new research projects have begun.
That’s a way to leave a legacy—one that will have a marked impact on others who are dealing with the same debilitating illness.
Russell participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 (with a bucket assist by former Social Media Manager Lindsay Durfee) and gave to the ALS Association on behalf of PR/PR. It was a donation that all of us were thrilled to make and a viral cause that we were happy to take part in. There’s some understandable skepticism when it comes to social media trends, but this was one well worth the flooded timelines.
So rest in peace, Pete Frates. You’ve made an indelible mark on the field of ALS research and awareness, and while your valiant battle may have come to an end, your efforts have provided so much to others in that same fight.
New Year, New You. That’s how that annual cliché goes, right? That’s well-worn and tired by now, so how about we tweak it a bit? New Year, More You. As a professional speaker, non-fiction author, coach or consultant, you should enter 2020 looking to flood the market with your brand.
This year, it’s all about increased visibility. And there’s no better way to enhance the awareness of your expertise than by securing publicity for your upcoming project, speaking tour, book or website launch.
Wait—are those projects targeted for mid-summer, or even Q4 of next year? Then the time to start is right now. One of the biggest misnomers regarding PR campaigns is that they should directly dovetail with the timeline of the project that you’re looking to push. That is, you should begin conducting your publicity and marketing efforts right when you’re ready for your rollout.
That’s one of the bigger myths that we have to dispel from time to time. Effective publicity is all about a gradual scale up to the crescendo of your book’s release or the start of your speaking swing. Without this steady increase of PR, you’re missing prime opportunities to get people excited about that date on the calendar where your book drops, or the weekend that you’ll be holding keynotes in your target audience’s hometown.
If you wait to embark on a publicity campaign, you’re already behind—and if you’re holding off for later in 2020 for a campaign to accompany your project, you’re missing out on the brand-building frequency and repetition of your name and business as the lead up to launch. That can be a true differentiator in your aims for success.
So as we approach the New Year, take heed of your goal to expand your visibility in 2020. Starting publicity prior to the turn of the calendar primes the runway for the project or projects you’re looking to push months after the calendar turns.
We’re two days out from Thanksgiving (also known as the top holiday on the calendar, in my humble opinion), so the holiday season is officially in full swing. It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing another turn of the calendar, but as it seems year after year, the time simply seems to accelerate once summer comes to a close.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and appreciate life’s gifts. Friends, family, health, prosperity—all deserve to be at the forefront of your thoughts as you saddle up to the Thanksgiving spread at the table.
While every year presents its own unique challenges, Thanksgiving is the day to ruminate on the good things you’ve been afforded.
That’s what PR/PR will be doing on Thursday, albeit on different coasts. I’m holding down the fort per usual here in Orlando, while Russell is visiting with family in California. We want to extend our thanks and warmest wishes to our clients and friends, and hope that you have a truly special Thanksgiving.
You’re what makes doing what we do worth it each and every day, and we’re grateful for the relationships that we’ve been able to build over the years.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you on Monday morning!
The holidays evoke many sensory reactions. We’re a bit over a week out from Thanksgiving, but you can already smell the pine and cinnamon, you can imagine the hugs from your family that you have not seen so far this year, and you can taste each and every dish that will grace the table.
This time of year is incredibly special, and it’s also presents a unique opportunity in the public relations space. You see, the run up to New Year’s allows for some direct pitching to newsstand magazines and daily newspapers with a creative tie to the holiday season.
Are you a hiring expert? Conduct some media outreach about the hiring challenges around this time of year, and what HR personnel can do to mitigate it. Inversely, how can job-seekers overcome the scheduling speedbumps that present themselves in the final two months of the year?
Are you a sales trainer? Well, it can be a challenge to push a deal over the finish line when the end-of-year financial crunch comes into play. How can salespeople secure business in the backdrop of Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Perhaps your career focus resides in the IT space. Well, there’s going to be a deluge of new computers, tablets, and phones opened up on Christmas morning. Provide a step-by-step guidebook for potentially clueless or overwhelmed family members to get their loved ones all set-up on their new gadgets stress free.
Those are just a few examples of the ways you can tie your singular expertise to the holiday season when conducting media outreach for interviews. The connection may not appear obvious at first, but usually with a bit of brainstorming the picture becomes clearer—and as do the opportunities to apply your knowledge and capabilities to business situations in the context of the holidays.
The media is constantly seeking creative angles to approach common topics around the holiday season. Do some outside-the-box thinking, identify how your know-how applies, and stretch your topic to secure some valuable press before your carve the turkey or begin to open presents.
The odds are high that there’s a military veteran in your life. We all know someone, be it family or friend, who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and while we’re immensely appreciative of their service each day, Veterans Day is a special mark on the calendar every year to acknowledge their sacrifice to our country.
Speaking personally: I’m honored to call a group of venerated veterans my friends. Today they make their respective livings as emergency medical physicians, marketing executives, and IT technicians, but they’ll always be Army Rangers, Navy Corpsmen, and Marines. They’re the faces you meet daily that you may not know have put their lives on the line to secure the freedoms that you enjoy.
I’ve been privileged to get to know this group, and while we don’t necessarily talk about their individual experiences in combat, it’s abundantly apparent in their personalities that time in the military has been a defining aspect of their character.
It’s understated, but commands respect—as it very well should.
At PR/PR we want to extend our unending thanks to the veterans who have served in defense of this nation. You are what makes America the wonderful country that it is.