Monthly Archives: March 2009

Digital World of PR: March Meeting Recap

Last week, YP explored the importance of new media at our March Meeting — where the word friend is used as a verb, tweeting is no longer for the birds and poking people is an accepted behavior.  The program featured three new media experts from around Los Angeles:

  • Siobhan O’Neill, account supervisor for Edelman Digital’s Western U.S. region, is a certified project management professional with extensive experience in online media/marketing production.  At Edelman, she specializes in social media tools and technologies, supporting public relations efforts for clients including Symantec, Shell, HP, AMTRAK, and Nestle.  (Find her on Twitter @angelcityblues.)
  • Marilyn Waters, director of media relations for Walt Disney Imagineering, is responsible for developing and implementing proactive strategic communications strategies.  Over the past year, she has been leading a task force of all Disney Parks to look at social media opportunities from a public affairs perspective. (Find her on Twitter @mjwaters9.)
  • Nick Mendoza, the lead at Zeno Group’s Digital Lifestyle practice, guides clients on marketing communications strategies in a world where 140 characters can be more powerful than a campaign that costs $140 million. Nick has worked with many leading companies in digital entertainment, mobile and consumer technology, including Discovery Communications, EA Sports, HP, Intel, JibJab, Texas Instruments, TiVo, Ustream and Walt Disney Internet Group. (Find him on Twitter @NickMendoza.)

Social Media is a Powerful Tool.

But, before engaging in social and new media strategies online, there are a few things to do first, such as:

  1. Define what you mean by social media with your client and internal teams.   You must all be on the same page before starting a social media campaign.
  2. Make sure to define your search terms and get internal agreement on those terms in order to limit the amount of content you must analyze.
  3. Ensure that there is understanding in the engagement strategy – when to engage online and when not to.  You must make sure that the leaders of the company are comfortable with the open platform that is online and social media.

What is Web 1.0 vs. 2.0 vs. 3.0?

Use the web to tell your story, who cares what you label it.  It’s all about digital.  And everyone is getting into the game.  In fact, Forrester Research shows that 95 % of social media marketers will maintain or increase social media spending this year.
Creating Online Communications Strategies:

  • Do the research. Online communities are a user base for most clients.  Take the time to do the upfront research to find out where you already have communities for influencers in your client’s space (related to the industry or product) and what’s being said online.
  • Answer the strategy questions. What are the business goals of this program? What are the communications goals and objectives for engaging online?  Just like any other strategic communications plan, you need to know what is out there first and do research before you start to engage.  It’s more important than ever to be focused in what you want to do and gain from the strategy, and find a way to measure it in online and social media terms.

Digital Strategy and Tactics Discussion:

  • Be authentic. Be transparent. A marketing video that is used internally or at sales opportunities does not translate into a YouTube video.  YouTube is much more raw, such as a behind-the-scenes video from Disney.
  • Learn from others. Take stock of what other public relations firms and professionals are doing, and learn from their successes and challenges.  For example, Diet Coke took a long time to embrace the user-generated YouTube content experimenting with Diet Coke and Mentos.  Another examples are the early lesson Edelman learned with the Wal-Mart blog.  This often falls into the category of astroturfing, another reason why it is essential to be authentic and transparent online.
  • There will be content that crosses the line. You and your clients need to accept that up front and take the good with the bad.  One negative comment is nothing. But, if it snow balls you need to identify it and correct incorrect facts, but never remove anything.  There tends to be a lot of self policing in online communities, and if it gets out of control someone will say something.
  • Finding the right online space for your client is just like finding the right publication for their story. Match your client’s audience with the online community that is the best fit.  One example to target moms is Twitter Moms.  You need to be narrow and focused in your outreach in order to influence behavior and perception on behalf of your client and brand.
  • Podcasts. Train your spokespeople for a podcast / videocast / v-cast just like any other media opportunity. Go through media and message training and prepare key messages you want to address in the spot.
  • Measurement online is not just about numbers. Its much more than hits.  Your online and social media results should be analyzed for influencers, other media quoting the bloggers / posters, link backs and other metrics to determine if bloggers / posters have influence in the online community.
  • Online and social media is not the same as banner ads. Online and social media engagement goes far beyond banner ads.  Engagement goes beyond the numbers metric — it’s the heart metric.  By looking at the tone, frequency, whose engaging and qualitatively analyzing the information there are far more implications for a company / brand / client beyond quantitative numbers.

Resources, Recommendations and Reactions:

Case studies to take a look at for customer engagement online:

Web sites, resources and idea starters:

Some social media news articles and Web sites from Nick Mendoza:

If you have more questions or yours were not answered at the meeting, you can tweet Nick Mendoza or Siobhan O’Neill who both offered to answer questions via Twitter. Just don’t forget to mark your conversation with the #PRSA-LA tag so that everyone can benefit from the answer.  We will be following and re-tweeting @LAPR.

We hope you can make it to our next meeting in April!   Check back for more details and location information.

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Internships This Week

If you’re thinking about a PR internship in LA this summer, now’s the time to start looking.  This week, we added five new internships to our YP Internship guide!  This week’s featured internships include:

  • The Pollack PR Marketing Group
  • Red Light Public Relations
  • Bear Enthusiast Marketing Group
  • Rogers & Cowan
  • Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

To view full details on each internship, please visit our internships page.  Now, go apply!

-Andrea; PRSA-LA YP Collegiate Outreach Chair

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March Meeting Evaluation – Quick Survey

Did you attend last night’s YP Meeting at Edelman about the Digital World of PR? If you did, please take this quick survey.  Thanks!

Click here to take the survey.

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Three Internships to Check Out!

Hi everyone;

Internships are flowing in, and I wanted to highlight three fabulous new internships!

  • RL Public Relations
  • Bragman Nyman Cafarelli
  • The Levine Communications Office

To view internship details, please visit our internships page.  Good luck, applicants!

-Andrea; PRSA-LA YP Collegiate Outreach Chair

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Tweets from tonight’s event

Check out the live tweets from @ceematt or search for #PRSA-LA on!  Also, check out our three fabulous panelists @angelcityblues, @NickMendoza, and @mjwaters9.

A full recap of tonight’s event will be posted here later this week, but wanted to let you know about the live twittering!  (In responding to the tweets or asking additional questions, don’t forget to put #PRSA-LA in you post.)


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Young Professional Profile #2

Kristin WoodMeet Kristin Wood:

Kristin works “where dreams come true.” As the Communication Specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide Public Affairs, Kristin’s projects include launching and updating the Parks and Resort’s Web site and providing recommendations on how the segment can improve its new media efforts.

Some of Kristin’s most memorable experiences at her dream job with Disney include attending history-making events such as the opening of the Toy Story Mania! attraction and working on the Walt Disney Studios lot where she most recently attended a Lady Gaga performance during a taping of The View.

Prior to joining Disney, Kristin worked for Cook & Schmid, a San Diego-based public relations, marketing and advertising agency where she developed an informational calendar for which Cook & Schmid received a 2008 PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence.

Kristin is a second-generation San Diego State University graduate, and worked in the marketing and public relations department at Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa during school. There she promoted Loews’ Surf Dog Small Wave Competition, a charity event for Coronado, Calif. animal shelters for which Loews gained world-wide attention. She also worked for 944 Magazine where she assisted with coordinating the magazine’s special events at some of San Diego’s hottest night spots.

As Program Co-Chair for The Young Professionals of PRSA-LA, Kristin encourages young PR professionals to take full advantage of the fun and educational, real-life networking opportunities YP provides. Despite having grown up in a family full of educators, Kristin likes to remind her fellow young professionals of a quote from Paul Newman to Lee Iacocca after his car caught fire: “You can get straight A’s in marketing, and still flunk ordinary life.”

When Kristin isn’t working at the happiest place on earth, the San Diego native enjoys exploring the Los Angeles area with friends and family, kickboxing and playing piano.

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Young Professional Profile

Megan AbbottMeet Megan Abbott:

Megan is an Account Executive on the Consumer/Marketing and Brand Strategy Team at GolinHarris.  Having been raised by a professional football player and having played Division 1 collegiate volleyball herself, Megan now brings her athletic background, passion for sports and competitive spirit to the PR industry.

As the sports specialist at GolinHarris in Los Angeles, Megan has significant experience executing media relations programs for major brands surrounding the Super Bowl, NCAA basketball tournament, NCAA football, professional cycling and the Olympic Games. She brings her sports savvy, creative ideas and media relations skills to a variety of consumer accounts, including the California Avocado Commission, Hass Avocado Board, Nestlé confections, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) and the Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race.

Megan moved to Los Angeles and began her career at GolinHarris as a public relations specialist after graduating from Villanova University in 2006. While in school, Megan learned the foundation of her media relations skills while interning at Robinson Packer, a boutique public relations company in Philadelphia.

In 2008, Megan joined the PRSA-LA Young Professionals Board as the Program Co-Chair, helping to organize engaging monthly programs for YP members. In January 2009 Megan took over as president of the YP board, with the vision of expanding the group’s membership and participation, while adding an extra element of fun to all YP events.

For fun, Megan enjoys any and everything active and outdoors. Having grown up in Florida, she loves all things aquatic, and brags about her impressive fishing, scuba diving and aptitude at catching lobsters. As her infamous sense of humor (and 6’3” stature) indicates, she believes the most important thing in life is to laugh, love and be happy.

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YP Internship Guide

Hello PRSA YP-ers!  Allow me the chance to formally introduce myself – My name is Andrea and I am your Collegiate Outreach chair for the 2009 year.  As part of my position, I am responsible for compiling a list of internships and sending out a monthly newsletter to PRSA-LA YP members.  Now, in addition to sending out an e-mail newsletter, I will also be listing these internships directly on the blog on our new internship page so that you can view listings as soon as they come in.  Check out our first available internship with Big Imagination Group, just listed this morning.

If you ever have any questions about internships, or would like to submit an internship, feel free to contact me.  Thanks; I look forward to your feedback and to a great 2009!

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Bad Pitch Blog Tips

Pitch Tip #372:

Save email marketing software for marketing. Don’t use the spam software for sending email pitches to the media! Check out the full pitch tip and more on the Bad Pitch Blog.

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March Meeting: Digital World of PR

Description: In a world where the word friend is used as a verb, tweeting is no longer for the birds and poking people is an accepted behavior, we are reminded of the importance of new media every day. Join us as we explore The Digital World of PR through the eyes of new media experts from Edelman, Disney and Zeno Group.

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Location: Edelman (5900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.)  The meeting will be in Edelman’s large conference room on the 24th floor. Edelman is located on Wilshire, across from LACMA, between La Brea and Fairfax

Parking: Fee parking is available on 8th street, directly behind the building. You can also park for free after 6 p.m. at the meters along Spaulding and Genesee.

Cost: $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $15 for non- members/guests
For your convenience you may now pay online by visiting our PRSA event page. Please note that a $1.50 processing fee applies for online payment.
As always, you can also pay with cash or check at the door.

Marilyn Waters is Director of Media Relations for Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale California, responsible for developing and implementing a proactive strategic communications agenda. Over the past year, she has been leading a task force of all Disney Parks to look at social media opportunities from a public affairs perspective.

Siobhan O’Neill an Account Supervisor for Edelman Digital’s Western U.S. Region. Siobham is a Project Management Professional with extensive experience in online media/marketing production, specializing in social- media tools and technologies. She currently supports public-relations efforts for clients including Symantec, Shell, HP, AMTRAK, and Nestle.

Nick Mendoza is the lead in Zeno Group’s Digital Lifestyle practice with an endless curiosity on the new opportunities through online engagement and social media. Nick guides clients on marketing communications strategies in a world where 140 characters can be more powerful than a campaign that costs $140 million. Nick has worked with many leading companies in digital entertainment, mobile and consumer technology, including: Discovery Communications (Animal Planet, Discovery Channel,, EA Sports, HP, Intel, JibJab, Texas Instruments, QUALCOMM, TiVo, Ustream and Walt Disney Internet Group.

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