Monthly Archives: August 2013
By Kaylee Weatherly, Collegiate Outreach Chair
I looked around the auditorium on the first day of my graduate school orientation to find a women-dominating Master’s program in Strategic Public Relations. No surprise there. The field of PR is pretty female-dominated. I already knew that ratio from my undergraduate courses, where a lone one or two men were enrolled in the same PR classes as I was. But to my astonishment, today’s public relations industry still sees a huge gender wage gap.
In 2012, faculty members from San Diego State University attempted to find out why women earn less than men in the U.S. PR industry. In short, the study uses the history of public relations to explain the phenomenon. Many men dominated the industry when it first came to rise, and researchers thought women would simply “catch up” to men in years of public relations experience. But that hasn’t happened. Men still seem to have more years of experience than women in PR, and that convolutes the gender wage inequity. And those years of experience that women are missing out on is associated to a missed opportunity to excel to a manager position, which obviously is paid more than a PR technician. The survey also demonstrated that women tend to work in lower-paying specializations, such as media and community relations. Third, we come to the old adage we always hear that women experience more income-suppressing career interruptions; i.e., having children. These career interruptions contribute to lower income than men. Finally, women are paid less than men simply because they are women. Gender discrimination in pay is still alive and present in this economy where men typically have higher professional titles than women, not just in the PR industry.
So how much money are women really losing out on? In April, the National Women’s Law Center calculated that a typical full-time working woman stands to miss out on $444,000 over 40 working years than a man.
But don’t fret, ladies. The 2013 Women, Power & Money study by FleishmanHillard shows that a wave of Gen Y women are working hard to even out the odds of gender wage inequality. “The ‘Battle of the Sexes’ is becoming a foreign concept for Gen Y women around the world, who perceive greater gender equality in skills, opportunities and accomplishments.”
Even though it is an uphill battle to receive the same pay as men, women have the aspirations to achieve this result, and I’m interested to see how this gender wage gap decreases over time.
By Dillon Bianchi, PRSA-LA Liaison
Social media has fundamentally altered the way companies think about public relations in order to drive their messages. This paradigm shift has changed the way we define influencers and, more importantly, has transformed the way we reach them. Everybody has an audience with Facebook, Twitter, blogs and the countless digital platforms out there. Moreover, all of these influencers and advocates are far more reachable as they build an online presence. So what do PR pros need to do in order to take advantage of the evolving communications landscape?
Build relationships through social media:
– Follow the journalists and key advocates that you care about on Twitter, their blogs, Facebook etc. See what they are talking about on a day-to-day basis and join the conversation on their terms.
– Generic emails with a press release attached are being ignored more and more. Journalists want to feel like they were targeted for their interests and unique audience instead of being blasted at from a database list.
– Blog, Tweet and publish to social media on your own. Those who interact with your content have their own audiences and can help drive your message. This helps identify new influencers and media markets while giving you inherent credibility in the relationship.
– By investing in relationships you can spend less on paid impressions and utilize earned media connections.
Create exciting content that provides value to your target audience:
– Press releases are boring, dry, and self-promotional in nature. Instead of writing press release after press release, think about ways to make your content and message more exciting. This could be in the form of a three minute YouTube video, an infographic, a whitepaper, webinar, podcast or interactive website.
– Don’t just focus on your company’s message and selling, selling, selling. Instead think about what value you have to provide to your target audience. A company selling video game accessories has a pretty good idea of all the new and exciting things happening in gaming as a whole. Create interactive and exciting content using this information to give gamers the content they are thirsty for. Your brand and products will inherently sell better and journalists will be more receptive to your message with that rousing content hook.
Don’t rely on the traditional media to push your message:
– Once you have created great content, make sure to push it far and wide through your owned social media properties. The concept of attaching a press release has changed to sending/posting a link.
– Social media allows your brand to have a direct channel to reach your audience. Why rely on the gatekeepers of traditional media when you can communicate directly with your end audience?
– Invest in building a social media presence for your brand. That could mean a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, blog or any other channel that is synergetic with your company and audience.
– Remember to listen and use your owned social media properties to have conversations instead of just using it as a broadcast channel. Your audience wants to talk about themselves just as much as you do. Ask how their weekend was and remember to build relationships.
Test a message before it hits “the wire”:
– Social media gives communications professionals the unique opportunity to test their messages in real time. Are you thinking about what piece of content to spend time developing next? Test your top three options by posting to Facebook and Tweeting. See how many likes, comments, retweets, mentions and clicks each message gets and let the data drive your decision. In one day and through a handful of 140 character messages you will know what your audience wants to hear.
– You can also begin to understand how different messages will resonate with different audience segments. You can start to tailor for males versus females or amongst age groups. Facebook advertising will even give you the ability to test a message amongst the audience of a traditional media outlet. Create a Facebook ad targeted at those with Fox News listed as an interest versus MSNBC. You will start to see differences in the way different messages perform amongst the audience and then you can tailor your pitch to those news outlets accordingly.
– Always be gathering data, identifying trends, adjusting strategies and be sure to test new tactics. Social media works in real-time and provides a wealth of feedback. Take advantage of this extra level of insight!
The world of media and communications is changing. Whether you are a PR Agency, a small startup doing in-house work, or a large national brand, you will need to adapt in order to stay relevant. Seek out experts in the field of social media and make it part of your strategy. The results will start to speak for itself!
How have you changed your public relations and communications strategies to adapt to the new world of social media?
PRSA-LA and PRSA’s Entertainment & Sports Section are proud to present this unique panel of the top PR pros of Southern California sports teams! The industry focus is sports, but the take-home value will be universal for all PR pros who deal with the challenges of community relations, branding and forming strategic alliances. Specific case studies and PR strategies will be shared, along with opportunities for connecting with the teams. Lunch and free parking included, plus incredible raffle prizes!
Moderator: Michael Roth, Vice President, Communications, AEG
Dodgers: Joe Jareck, Director of Public Relations
Angels: Tim Mead, Vice President, Communications
Lakers: John Black, Vice President, Public Relations
Clippers: Seth Burton, Director of Communications
Kings/Galaxy: Michael Altieri, Vice President, Communications & Broadcasting, AEG Sports
Ducks: Alex Gilchrist, Director of Media & Communications
Thursday, August 22, 2013 (non-game day)
11:30 a.m. Networking and Lunch (bring plenty of business cards)
12:30 – 2 p.m. Panel Discussion, Q&A
The Stadium Club
1000 Elysian Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Enter Stadium from Elysian Park Avenue entrance and check in with the security gate. Park in Lot L and go to the Stadium Club entrance. Please click here for directions to Dodger Stadium and parking lot maps.
$45 – PRSA LA and HPRA Members
$65 – Non Members
$20 – Students and YP
Advance reservations and payment required for this event. There will be no availability of same-day or walk-in reservations.
SPACE IS LIMITED, RSVP EARLY!!! This program has sold out in the past! Payment must be received by Tuesday, August 20 and no refunds after this date.
By Maritza Cabezas, Membership Chair
Reaching out to people you don’t know or haven’t met through Linkedin can be a little scary and at times intimidating. Various questions are likely to run through your mind such as, how do I introduce myself? Will they accept my invitation?
1. Introductions Counts
Instead of sending a cold invitation to “John” with the hopes he accepts your invite, opt to include a personal message. If you are interested in their current role, past experience or met them at a networking event be sure to mention it. Keep your message short and concise, you don’t want to overwhelm someone with too much information. After all when they accept your invitation they will have the opportunity to view your profile.
2. Stay Current
It’s important to keep all of your profile information current, as your profile is what others see when accepting your invite or looking to expand their own network. Also, a lot of recruiters use Linkedin as their means of finding candidates for open positions. Keeping your profile information current not only grows your network it also strengthens your marketability.
3. Incorporate Social Platforms
If you are active on Twitter or other social platforms and feel they add value to your overall digital profile, make it known! Incorporating social platforms helps your connections that may not know you, on a personal level, get a better idea of who you are. However, proceed with caution. Do not over share or include platforms that could negatively affect your professional profile.
4. Reach out to your connections
Many of have grown through our digital connections. I have learned that people on LinkedIn are generally willing to help. The key is to reach out to the connections you’ve made and communicate with them in a genuine and concise manner in order to build a dialogue and develop a stronger digital relationship. Often mentioning common interests or past experience can open the door to a helping hand.
Virtual connections can go a long way so make them count!
Do you have any tips or tricks for gaining and maintaining your Linkedin contacts?