It's About the Work

28

Oct


Moving Across the Pond and Other Musings


I transferred to the Allison+Partners London office with just seven (rather large) suitcases and my laptop. Nearly two months later, I can’t quite call myself a Londoner but I’ve quickly learned some very important distinctions between London and New York:

  • Public transport etiquette: No matter how crowded the Tube is and how many people are pushing you to the point where you’re unsure where your limbs are, it’s custom to stay quiet and keep your thoughts to yourself. As a native New Yorker, it took me a while to understand this concept, as on the subway it’s rare to go a day without being cursed at for accidentally brushing against someone with your bag.
  • PR lingo: Public relations professionals are simply referred to as “PRs” and media are referred to as “journalists,” no matter what their role is. This feels very formal to me, so I still hesitate when I use it.
  • Sunday hours: When a store says it’s “Open 24hrs,” it actually means it’s sometimes open 24hrs, as larger stores are only permitted to be open for six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm on Sundays. I learned this the hard way when I walked to my local Tesco on a Sunday night to buy dinner and found a very empty store with closed gates.
  • Tipping: Although I’d been to London enough to know that gratuity is almost always included in the cost of whatever service you’re buying, and although I’ve lived in Paris, I still have to fight the urge to tip when I get a mani pedi or take a taxi. It somehow feels wrong even though I know it’s not.
  • TV tax: This is probably the strangest one for an American. You have to pay a yearly tax to use your television, as programming is publicly funded by the BBC. This also applies if you watch TV on your computer and the law is strictly enforced!

I think my most important learning, however, is that my new coworkers are the most helpful, caring, smart, and collaborative team I could have asked for, especially during such a significant transition. Without them, I would still feel like a visitor in a foreign city, but instead I ride the Tube every weekday morning looking forward to going to work at my new office in this new city I now call home.

23

Oct


It’s About the Community


It’s About The Community recounts volunteer efforts by members of the Allison+Partners team.

The Dallas Allison+Partners office has been associated with Reading & Radio Resource for a number of years in a variety of ways. The Dallas-based nonprofit works to create audio recordings of printed materials for those who cannot read due to physical or educational limitations. As with most nonprofits, they rely heavily on the support of their volunteers and community partners. When they were approached last fall by one of their community partners, Harwood International, about the use of the top-rated restaurant and museum space at the Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, they knew there was an opportunity to provide their donors with a unique experience. The museum boasts the largest collection of Samurai art outside of Japan – and with that Sushi, Sake and Samurai was born!

The Dallas A+P team volunteered to take the nonprofit on as a pro-bono client to help them increase their visibility and meet their fundraising goal to not only off-set the event expenses, but raise additional funds for all the great work they do in the North Texas region. The day before the event, Reading & Radio Resource had met their fundraising goal to offset the overall cost of the event, and was on target with ticket sales to reach their goal of 100 attendees. Most of those registered to attend the event were new to Reading & Radio Resource – making it a great opportunity for the organization to introduce new people to their mission and grow their local support. With the combined event ticket and raffle sales, Reading & Radio Resource raised over $47,000 – surpassing their initial goal by almost $10,000.

Great job, A+P Dallas, for all your hard work and coordination on what sounds like an amazing event for a very exceptional pro-bono client!

 

21

Oct


The Bag of a PR Pro


What do you have in that thing?

This is the question I’m asked when someone tries to lift my purse. Women are known for carrying their lives with them, but this is especially true when it comes to the bag of a PR pro. How could it not? As most days involve work, gym and an event of some variety and all without a pit stop at home for a costume change.

Unless you have Mary Poppins’ magical bag, the key is only bringing what’s essential and the right bag that can fit it all while still looking chic:

  • Laptop: More often than not, you have your laptop with you. Instead of becoming BFFs with your chiropractor, ask your employer to upgrade your tech gear to a light model. I genuinely love my Samsung Series 9 which is as light as my notebook.
  • Shoes: On any given day, a PR pro often carries two pairs of shoes in addition to the ones they’re wearing. While not pictured, this bag is carrying my heels and a pair of sneakers in addition to everything else you see here.
  • Cosmetics+: During the week I’ll keep a small but effective make up kit that I can use pre or post gym. I also carry a few essentials that you never know when you’ll need: mini hand sanitizer, mints, chap stick, Band-Aids, Tide to Go, etc.
  • iPad: In order to optimize the never-enough-hours in a day, I make the most of my commute by reading or doing Lumosity  brain games (there may also be an occasional game of 2048 here and there).
  • Take Note: There is something I love about writing things down, making lists, crossing things off my lists, etc., so my agenda and notebook are key.
  • Business Cards: PR pro’s never leave home without them.
  • Flashlight: You never know when a massive black out may occur.

17

Oct



In my last post, I wrote about how a new ‘creator economy’ has emerged, and with it the financial heft afforded to influential online video creators and the jockeying of not only brands but rival social and distribution networks to tie up prized talent. As relevance and authenticity continue to trump the benefits of traditional marketing tactics in an increasingly cluttered purchasing environment, Influencer Marketing has proven incredibly effective at driving meaningful business results for brands. Campaigns for PacSun, Target and Toyota have harnessed the explosion of social media and the diversity of influencers spread out across networks to increase visibility, credibility and sales among critical audience segments. It might not be long until influencer marketing is seen less as a sub-category in the plans of top tier marketers and more as the future of marketing.

Enter the latest proof point. IZEA, a pioneer in the Sponsored Social industry, and a client of Allison+Partners, just released their 5th Annual “State of Sponsored Social” report, partnering with the research firm Halverson Group on the study. In it you’ll see how Sponsored Social – where brands can connect with creators who blog, tweet, pin and post on their behalf – has outpaced traditional media mix options and further boosted the legitimacy of the ‘creator economy.’ The report also touches on the critical nature of understanding and enforcing FTC guidelines. IZEA consulted with the FTC regarding the original disclosure guidelines and continues to emphasize its importance in nurturing trust among brand, creator and consumer.

You can download the full report for free here.

Some highlights:

  • 52% of marketers have a stand-alone Sponsored Social budget
  • Sponsored Social, experiential marketing and online display ads have the most positive momentum, while radio, magazine and newspaper ads have the most negative
  • Creators often form an attachment to sponsoring brands — 88% say they verbally tell friends/family about the brands that sponsor them, 77% are more likely to purchase products/brands from companies that sponsor them, and 72% share additional posts about sponsors, for free, outside of their contractual obligations
  • Creators say that Sponsored Social accounts for 63% of their income
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