2013 New Year’s Resolutions for PR Pros

January 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

By: Casey Schaak

Vollrath Associates is ringing in the New Year as any PR agency should – with some New Year’s resolutions. As we venture into 2013, having survived both the busy holiday season and the supposed Mayan apocalypse, it’s important to look ahead and set both personal goals and professional goals. Keep your career aspirations on track and improve your skills with these four PR resolutions for 2013:

Hone Your Writing Skills

Whether it’s informal employee newsletters, informative customer e-blasts or professional corporate releases, every PR pro knows the importance of developing content and tone to effectively reach the target audience. Don’t lose sight of your audience and don’t get caught up in the monotony of writing projects – develop fresh and unique angles to keep readers interested and informed.daily-writing

Most of us have areas that could be improved – writing style, grammar and spelling, proof reading, you name it! Now is the time to improve weak spots and enhance strengths. Make a list of goals to kick off 2013 as a writing wiz.

Wow with Social Media

Don’t let social media fall flat. Spice up posts with photos, videos, links, and relevant and interesting information that followers will want to see. It’s all about visuals, so start a Pinterest or Instagram account (if you haven’t already) to upload and share photos that will intrigue fans. Above all, keep followers engaged through questions, contests and polls. Social Media followers are your brand advocates – give them something to talk about!

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Keep Up with Networking

While PR pros are no stranger to networking events, it’s easy to fall into the comfort zone of talking with friends and co-workers instead of branching out. Make it a priority to meet new people when enjoying a lunch, dinner or presentation. Not only can you pick up some interesting tips for the trade, but you will enhance your own speaking skills and meet some interesting people along the way… and you never know when a new business or networking opportunity is around the corner.

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Stay on Top of Industry Happenings

We all know the feeling of juggling multiple clients in completely different industries. It isn’t always easy to stack-newspapers-magazineskeep up with everything from food and beverages to technology, transportation, manufacturing and beyond. Kick-off the New Year by refreshing your reading list, daily newsletters and Google alerts. Make sure you have the right clients and the right industries covered – you’re subscribed to the appropriate industry trade magazines and newsletters, the correct daily and weekly papers for your areas and that your Google alerts cover both industry and client keywords. That way you’ll know exactly what is happening when.

With these PR resolutions in mind, along with any additional goals of your own, 2013 is sure to be a success!

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VA To Donate One Hour of PR Consulting Service to 1,000th Twitter Follower

January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

In celebration of reaching 1,000 Twitter followers, our firm will donate one hour of complimentary public relations consulting services to the 1,000th @Vollrath_PR follower! For a chance to win, simply follow @Vollrath_PR on Twitter. If you already follow @Vollrath_PR, invite a friend or company that would be interested in winning to follow @Vollrath_PR.The consultation can be focused on public relations, investor relations, marketing communications or social media, depending on the winner’s preference. If the winner is a student, or does not have a specific interest in the previously mentioned topics, the hour can be dedicated to helping the individual on his or her career path with resume building, networking tips and other areas of interest in the PR industry. 

Make sure to watch our Twitter feed to find out who the winner is, and encourage friends and family to participate. Best of luck to all our followers, and happy tweeting!

Social Media 101

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

WRITTEN BY CASEY SCHAAK

Hello Vollrath Associates Blog followers! Kicking off my first blog post, I want to give you a little background about myself. I graduated from Marquette University with a major in public relations last May and recently joined the VA team as assistant account executive. Outside of working hard at the office, I coach the Marquette Women’s Club Lacrosse team, enjoy traveling and love going to the beach. I’m also from Indianapolis, Indiana, and am a huge fan of the Colts!

As a relative new-comer to the public relations world and not too far from my days as a communications student, I’m constantly aware of the ever-developing importance of social media.  Since activating my Facebook page as a senior in high school, I’ve gone from using social media as a means to keep up a stream of witty banter with my close friends, share pictures or “friend” the cute boy from my history class to using it as a tool for networking, engaging with news stories and products and sharing my own ideas with followers and friends.

Making my own transformation in the social media world, I’ve become familiar with communicating through social media channels. Here are a few important pointers I’ve learned as I’ve become more familiar with social media:

Establish an Objective

From keeping in contact with friends, engaging with consumers, products and places to staying up-to-date on news and events, begin your social media experience with an objective in mind. Whether it is your own personal purpose or the mission of your organization, you should join the conversation with a firm grasp of what you hope to gain from using social media,  as well as what you want to contribute. Also keep in mind that the topics you post, the people or organizations you follow and the groups you are a part of define you or your organization in the social media world.

Understand the Channel of Communication

There are both benefits and detriments to social media as a form of communication. Social media provides an instant, constant two-way flow of information, but lacks the content and context that traditional media allows. When you are posting on Facebook or Twitter, understand these opportunities and limitations and keep your posts timely, to the point and engaging.

Engage Through Your Messages

Combining your objective with the knowledge of the social media platform, you next have to find a way to effectively reach your audience. There are hundreds of other posts popping up in newsfeeds and with busy schedules, time constraints and short attention spans, you have to find a way to stand out. Use shorter words and maintain a unique voice. Also avoid falling into passive tense or using unnecessary language and clichés. Find a way to engage with your followers by being personable and conversational in your dialogue and including a mix of interesting links, photos, videos and hashtags.

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