10 Things To Be Thankful For

Posted: November 23, 2011 in PR Connections, Public Relations

As the holiday season approaches, I was searching the web for some fun things to showcase for Thanksgiving. I came across PRDaily.com and saw this article about 10 things to be thankful for and thought it would be perfect for this particular occasion. I hope you enjoy this amusing article as much as I did!

This week, PR Daily readers shared the many reasons they’re giving thanks this year. From family members to good jobs and strong mentors, people working in the public relations and marketing fields are a thankful bunch.

Justin Goldsborough, a digital strategist at Fleishman Hillard, offered his take on this question in apost on his blog. We thought we’d share them with you.

Whatever you do this Thanksgiving, enjoy your time (away from work). — Editor

1. Clients 

Not trying to be a kiss up here. (OK, maybe a little.) But without clients and the opportunity to work with amazing people and brands, we wouldn’t have jobs. So let’s not ignore the obvious No. 1 thing to thankful for.

2. Listening 

Companies have always relied on research, but social media provides the insights we can’t get from focus groups and primary research alone. More importantly, it keeps us from making decisions with blinders on and forces our clients to start breaking down the silos and working together to meet the customer’s needs.

Listening shifts companies’ focus to the customer experience, which is where it always should have been in the first place.

3. Being taken more seriously 

Sure, there are always going to be naysayers. But PR is using customer insights, often through listening, to show how we can deliver a more direct impact on the business.

The data we get from these online conversations can change how our clients position products, show us what angles would make the best stories to pitch, and more.

4. More tangible results 

There are some similarities to No. 2. But I wanted to give a shout out to The Barcelona Principles, which started us down this road toward measuring outcomes and not just outputs.

Every day I hear fewer people talking about simply tracking impressions or website visitors. More are talking about tracking calls to action, click throughs, lead generation, and sales. This is a good thing.

5. Bloggers

There are a variety of opinions out there about how PR should work with bloggers. But one thing is certain: We couldn’t do our job as well without them. In fact, I work with bloggers more these days than reporters.

They are an important group to build relationships with because of the communities they’ve worked to build on their own. And, as you all know, blogging consistently and building community is no easy task.

6. Smart people 

I am always amazed by how many smart people there are in our industry and how willing so many of them are to help with a question or issue, no matter how large or small.

Not only do we count on each other for assistance from time to time, but I also have learned a ton from my industry peers just by connecting with them daily through their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social network where we might meet.

7. Research 

I mentioned listening earlier, but I want to throw a shout out to good ol’ traditional research as well. Surveys, studies and focus groups have not gone by the wayside.

As PR professionals, we should be thankful for the access to this data to frame the approaches we take with clients, so we aren’t just shooting in the dark. Primary research is always the best, but sources like eMarketer and Forrester are great for secondary research.

8. Owned channels 

Nothing is more frustrating than relying on a third party solely to tell your brand’s story. Yes, we need to work with bloggers and journalists. They are an integral piece of the earned media landscape.

But having our own blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, and more makes it easier than ever before to share our clients’ stories and connect with their customers.

9. Ambassadors, not just influencers 
Influencers are often broadcasters for our brand. We benefit from that broadcasting, but also it’s often a short-term benefit. Buzz today, gone tomorrow. Ambassadors are our biggest fans. They stand by their brand today, tomorrow, and the next day. Let’s make sure we’re not ignoring them.
10. Barriers and strategy 

This is what I am most thankful for—besides clients of course—because this is what shows the true value PR can add to the business. Every client has barriers and every client needs a strategic communications plan. It’s up to us to make that happen.

Barriers make it easy because if you can figure out why customers aren’t using a client’s products or services, then you can decide what strategy to embrace to eliminate those barriers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Justin Goldsborough works for Fleishman-Hillard Kansas City, where he specializes in digital strategy and education. He blogs at Justin Case You Were Wondering

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