How to Make the Most of the End Summer

End of summerPeople keep telling me that it’s fall. Or at least that summer is over. I refuse to believe it. I’m just not ready. As far as I’m concerned it’s at least summer through the very last second of August. At least. But even I must admit that summer is coming to a close. It may soon be time to switch gears and get into fall mode. But we still do have a few days left of August and it’s worth taking advantage of each one of them. Here are some things I suggest all PR people do to make the most of the end of summer, both work-related and not.

Run An End Of Summer Promotion– Yes, it makes me sad to even use those words, but this may be the last chance to get your summery products out there before having to switch everything over to pumpkin spice theme. If you have something specifically summer that you didn’t get enough play on yet this summer, put it out there one last time. It’s still applicable, for a few days at least, and everyone is eager to soak in the last bits of summer right now so get it in front of their faces before Labor Day.

Get Outside– If you have a flexible work schedule, work outside in the sun one afternoon this week or next. At the very least, take a walk during lunch or after work. Go to the beach, spend time in the park, or have dinner al fresco on the waterfront. Whatever you have time for, do it outside, because there is not going to be much more opportunity for that.

Get Organized for Fall– I find any time that there is a shift in lifestyle is a great time to get re-organized for the coming months. The transition from summer into fall is a perfect example. Just as you will have to switch out shorts for sweaters in your closet pretty soon, you can take inventory of what you have going on in your work life and start getting prepared for the coming months for each client and thinking up new ways to bring them to the next level this fall.

Have A BBQ– Consider throwing a customer appreciation BBQ with a client. Everyone loves an end of summer BBQ and it’s a great way to show customers you care, while wringing the last bit of summer out. If you don’t have an applicable client (restaurants are easy, less physical brands maybe not), throw one yourself. Invite family and friends and throw some burgers on the grill to send summer out in style.

Get Caught Up With The Trends– Marketing and social media trends are changing and developing every time you blink. Use this transition into fall to get caught up on the newest trends and the projections for what will be big for the rest of this year. It’s easy to get lazy in summer and spend time on reading your summer novels, but now is the time to read anything and everything you can related to your industry and be ahead of the curve going into fall.

What are you end of summer must dos? Are you going to do any of the above, or do you have any other things we should add to the list? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

 

By |August 21st, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Congratulations to Shōjō

2013Today we need to congratulate a wonderful client, Shōjō Asian Bar & Bistro, on the amazing feat of winning a Boston Magazine Boston’s Best award within their first year of business. Shōjō won Boston Magazine’s Best Neighborhood Restaurant, Chinatown and was celebrated last night during a great event held at City Hall Plaza. 

We’re so proud of Shōjō and all the hard work and amazing skill that contributed to this well-deserved recognition. They have been incredibly well received this past year and we are very proud to work with them and get to be a part of it. It’s always great to get to work with clients who are exciting, full of fresh ideas, and motivated to provide the best for their customers, making the job of promoting them so much fun. They are also celebrating their one year anniversary next week so this was a perfect way to round out a wonderful first year.

Congratulations again to the best restaurant in Chinatown!

By |July 31st, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Americans Want to Be Entrepreneurs

entreprenuerAccording to a recent article on Mashable, 48% of Americans want to be entrepreneurs. That’s a very high percentage, considering how many people actually do it. If you think about your friends, are nearly half of them entrepreneurs? Probably not. The truth is, even if people dream about starting their own business or coming out with the latest product, many never end up feeling able to actually take the plunge and do it.

Being an entrepreneur sounds glamorous and fun. You get to act on your great ideas, spend time working on something that truly has meaning and fulfills you, and you get to work for yourself on your own time. It really doesn’t get better than that. Except that there is a lot more to it. There is the stress of having all of the responsibility of the business, the long hours you must put in in order to get it off the ground, the financial requirements and hurdles. It’s easy to see why a lot of people never get started.

But people should always go for their dreams. When people decide to set out on the entrepreneurial path, that is when new ideas come along and changes to the world as we know it begin. An entrepreneurial world provides progress and success. If someone has a great idea they should do whatever they can to go for it.

All you really need is an idea. This is what is a bit unclear – do 49% of Americans actually have a feasible entrepreneurial plan, or they just think it would be fun to be an entrepreneur? Because actually having a useful idea is the important part and also the hard part.

So if you have an idea, run with it! Go for it. Start your business and live your dreams. Yes it may be hard work, but it seems like you want it. It seems like almost half the people in America want it, and it’s not hard to see why. We should support that fact and support all those who want to get out from behind their desk and start a business. Start planning your new business today. 

By |June 26th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Boston Bites Back: Participating For A Cause

Boston Bites Back LogoBoston Bites Back, one of the biggest food events in Boston this year took place this week. It was a fundraiser for The One Fund, the charity set up for the Boston Marathon Bombing victims. Since it was a reactive event for an unexpected tragedy, the event was pulled off very quickly, with the whole thing being planned in about two weeks. It included 100 chefs from around the city, hosted by Ken Oringer and Ming Tsai, two of the most famous, and also included a silent auction component, which took place online and featured hundreds of auction items.

Not only was it a great fundraiser and morale boost, providing a chance for the city to come together to give back as one, but it was great for the chefs and restaurants to have a chance to show their support as well. Having a chance to work for a worthy cause is important and something many businesses like to do. It shows customers and the community that they care about others and that they like to do what they can to help. While taking part can result in positive publicity, it is more about championing the cause and the actual act of giving. This event in particular was so great because many restaurants wanted to do something to help but they do not always have the time, know-how, or opportunity to actually organize something personally. This gave them the chance to easily do what they do best (cook and serve people food) while at the same time contributing. One of pollinaPR’s clients Shojo participated and they were so grateful for the opportunity to do so.

The event was pretty outstanding, considering the time constraints and sheer number of people to organize. In addition, there was such a huge turnout that thought we haven’t yet heard the official numbers announced yet, there was surely a huge amount of money raised.

By |May 15th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

How To Handle PR Stress

The CareerCast report on most stressful jobs for 2013 came out and PR Manager/Executive was number 5 on the list. There has been a lot of talk about this, mainly some confusion as to how something like PR could be ranked right up there with life saving occupations like firefighters and members of the military. These people are faced with life or death situations every day and are forced to make crucial decisions at the drop of a hat.

Most Stressful Jobs 2013

While PR people often feel like they are in similar situations, because of pressure put on them by clients, other people in their agency, and the media, the truth is, their daily critical decisions hardly ever deal with matters of life or death. It’s important to have a healthy sense of drive and feel your work is important, without getting too carried away and feeling like your world is going to end if one thing doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Managing the situations and the stress are important to being successful. There are some things you can do to manage the stress of a PR job, or any job that occasionally causes stress.

Stay on top of everything. If you know what you have to do and how you are going to do it, you are much less likely to feel bogged down and stressed out. This is where lists come in. In addition, keep in regular contact with your clients or other people working on a project with you so that you are always up to speed on what they are doing and what they want from you.

Keep expectations realistic. Make sure that you and your clients are aware of the realistic goals you have set. Don’t let a client get carried away and build unrealistic expectations of something you will not be able to help them achieve. Be honest from the beginning and continuously throughout the relationship so that you don’t find yourself risking disappointment and scrambling to pull off the impossible.

Plan for the worst. Hopefully, a client will always have something exciting and newsworthy going on. But this isn’t always the case. There are always times when you or a client wish to gain some coverage, but just don’t have anything new to promote. Keep a couple of ideas up your sleeve for times like this. A few timeless ideas that will be applicable at any time of year and at any stage in the business’ life, will come in handy if you ever feel pressure for promotion. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have nothing to work with, so writing down a few ideas before the time comes will save some stress later on.

Do everything you can do, as soon as you can do it. Don’t put things off when you have the ability to take care of them. You will feel less stress if you have completed every task that you could each day. If an email comes in during the evening and you are technically not on the clock, just shoot a response back immediately. Not only will people see you as reliable and on top of things, but it’s one less thing to have to worry about later. The less you have to add to your to do list for the morning the more stress-free you will be.

Take a little time for yourself. Sometimes you just need to make sure you are personally relaxed and refreshed. When you feel good and ready to take on the world, little things don’t stress you out so easily. Indulge in a weekly yoga class, take a walk with a friend during lunch, paint on the weekend. Whatever makes you feel relaxed and allows a bit of time for yourself and refreshes your mind.

These are some ways to stay stress free in a stressful job. Whatever works for you is great. What do you do to handle stress in PR or another stressful job?

By |January 9th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Should The Pope Tweet?

Should The Pope Use Twitter?

The Pope’s Twitter Profile

It was announced this week that the Pope has signed up for Twitter and will begin tweeting on December 12. Um, what? Why in the world would the Pope need a Twitter, you may ask. That is a good question, and one I am also asking.

 

It has to do with the fact that everyone thinks that everyone should be on social media these days. They hear about social media and how it’s the thing and the best way to reach people. But the truth is it really isn’t for everyone. Social media is not the be all end all. It’s not a requirement.

 

Yes, it can very much help a company, brand, or person to get out there and spread their word and build community. But it has to make sense for the specific company, brand or person. It’s not right for everyone, and using social media just for the sake of using it can be worse than not having a social media presence at all.

 

There are many things to consider when deciding if social media is the right route to take, and which specific social media outlets to use. These include the time it will take up, the followers you wish to have, the ways you will interact with followers etc. The overall point here is that there needs to be a reason to have the Twitter– it should be serving some purpose that helps achieve your overall goals. I don’t pretend to be religious in the least, but I never thoughts the Pope’s job had anything to do with hashtagging overconnected teens who #askpontifex who would win in a fight between Jesus Christ and Wolverine.

 

As a communications professional, I can almost see where the Pope’s misguided team was coming from. They got caught up in the idea of social media and connecting with people all over the world on another level. They thought it would open up the lines of communication in a way that the Pope never had with his followers before. They just didn’t think about two main things.

 

First of all, while it seems that everyone in the world is on Twitter these days, they’re not. You cannot consider Twitter a viable representation of everyone in the world. For an American brand, maybe—most of your audience probably is on, or has access to Twitter. For Christianity? Nope. Tons of people all over the world don’t even know what Twitter is, much less have access to is, so using it as a way to connect with the Pope’s followers is going to obviously be very skewed toward those areas and age groups in which is is prevalent.

 

Also, in order to use Twitter effectively it is important to engage with followers. After all, that is the whole point. I don’t care how many people are employed on this social media team but there is no way they are going to be able to interact with everyone who tweets at the Pope. There is no way they will want to. The account hasn’t even gone live yet and a quick Google or Twitter search brings up tons of inappropriate tweets to the Pope that they will have to ignore. Even the serious tweets will be coming in so fast that there will be no way to keep up with them in an effective way that helps build the online community or makes people feel heard.

 

This Twitter handle seems like a big waste of time for the Pope, who should have larger issues on his hands. Instead of being a way to connect with and interact with followers, it will inevitably be nothing more than a way for the Pope to spew his thoughts to his followers whenever he sees fit and is able. That just is not the point of Twitter. He may as well start a blog instead.

By |December 5th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

How to Work From Home

Work at Home

You can be productive working from home

With the awful weather (which didn’t actually turn out so bad around here, thankfully) in the area this week there were a lot of business closed and people urged not to leave their houses if at all possible. This meant a lot of working from home for those who could. There have been many articles written about it in the last few days such as this one from The Huffington Post. As one who works from the kitchen table on a regular basis, I felt I had a bit of knowledge to share for those who are not used to it and could suffer a day of total unproductivity if not prepared.

 

Here are some tips:

 

Plan ahead. If at all possible, plan your day the night before. I like to plan whatever possible for the whole upcoming week the Sunday before, though of course many things change or get added as the week goes on. Then each night plan the next day in more detail so I know what needs to be done and what to expect. This helps to designate enough time to each project and make sure you will be able to get everything done each day.

 

Keep a running list. In addition to the days schedule, keep a running list of all the specific tasks you need to get done that day. Update it constantly each time there is an email you will have to get back to later, a phone call to make, or a new task that pops up, so that you won’t forget anything or get off track. Once the list is finished you know you accomplished everything you were meant to do in the day.

 

Start with coffee. Be sure to get up and out of bed at a reasonable time to begin your day at the time you normally would. Working from home is not the same thing as an extended weekend. You still need to work and people will be expecting you to be available at the same time you normally would. Get out of bed, make a cup of coffee, and get settled with your computer, phone, and any other supplies you will need at the kitchen table or a clear workspace (probably not the couch unless you’re very disciplined).

 

Structure your day as normal. Always read the news online before getting started? Take lunch at 12:30 every day for an hour when you’re in the office? A 10 minute coffee break or a 5 minute walk up and down the hallway at a certain time to get your blood flowing? Do it at home too. Stick to normal routines so your day feels much the same and the afternoon wont drag or the day get away from you before you realize. Definitely don’t forget lunch- just because you’re working from home does not mean you don’t need a mid-day break (and nourishment!)

 

Keep out distractions. Don’t turn on the TV. Even if you think you just need some background noise, it will cause a distraction. Listen to some music instead. Don’t tell people you are working from home if it means they will call to chat or drop by. Not everyone understands that this is still a work day and essentially the same as if you were in the office. Don’t let yourself think of household tasks that need to get done. Pretend you are in the office and the household tasks are still out of reach. It’s easy to think you’ll just throw the laundry in or pick up the living room real quick. But unless this is during a scheduled break, it is taking up work time and ends up becoming a larger distraction than you originally think.

 

What do you do to stay focused and get work done from home? Do you like working from home or prefer an office?

 

By |October 31st, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Red Bull Space Jump Publicity Stunt

Red Bull Space Jump Publicity Stunt Surely you have heard of the Space Jump that took place the other day. Everyone has. Everyone has been talking about the fact that Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space, and the fact that he broke the speed of sound, and what this means for science. (If you haven’t seen it, check out the video). Of course I thought immediately about it in terms of what it actually was- a publicity stunt.

This wasn’t just a NASA endeavor, a man jumping from space to gather data or prove a hypothesis. This wasn’t done for science’s sake at all. This was the Red Bull Space Jump. Never mentioned without the Red Bull nametag in front. One big, huge, worldwide, life-risking publicity stunt carried out to gain promotion for the brand.

It worked, of course. Everyone heard about the space jump. It was all over the news and especially all over social media. People posted and re-posted and shared the video itself as well as other links and information. This is exactly what we all hope for with our original content. Of course, Red Bull spent years of work organizing this event and millions of dollars to fund it, but that seems to have paid off with the amount of coverage gained and the associations now connected to Red Bull through this stunt.

Not every company can afford to invest so much in a publicity stunt though. Smaller companies often do similar things on a much smaller scale in order to build awareness of their brand, align it with like causes and garner extra media coverage. They organize their own events, a party benefiting a local organization, a walk to raise money, they participate in charity events by donating money or product to get their name and logo included. There are many ways to do this on a smaller scale that require little or no money. They work almost just as well as jumping from space.

Will you take a page from Red Bull’s book and stage a publicity stunt this year? What did you think of the space jump?

By |October 17th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments