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Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

JANUARY 17, 2019 //     

As Americans Drink Less Alcohol, Booze Makers Look Beyond the Barrel

Credit: ZUMAPRESS.COMAmericans are increasingly laying off the booze, prompting the world’s biggest brewers and liquor companies to push beyond their traditional fare and roll out teas, energy drinks and nonalcoholic spirits. READ MORE
JANUARY 16, 2019 //     

YouTube bans dangerous challenges and pranks after Bird Box challenges go viral

Credit: Ryan Tauss/Unsplash]A little more than two weeks after YouTube confirmed it was pulling some “Bird Box Challenge” videos from the site over worries viewers could harm themselves making the videos or recreating what they see in the videos, YouTube has now decided to ban all dangerous challenges and pranks videos. READ MORE
JANUARY 13, 2019 //     

Menswear evolves in new ways at Versace and Marni in Milan

Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty ImagesDaring” is how Donatella Versace describes today’s man – or at least the man who wears Versace. At the brand’s menswear show in Milan on Saturday evening, the designer showed a heady mash-up of textures, prints and palettes to the soundtrack of Supermodel (You Better Work) by drag queen RuPaul – highlighting that in 2019, men have more freedom than ever to express themselves through fashion. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 11, 2019 //     

2019 Trend Forecast: Technology

Credit: Holmes ReportIf 2018 was the year people felt burned by technology, 2019 will be the year the industry is going to have to work hard to get back in their good graces.   READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 11, 2019 //     

From Bird Box to Tide Pods: When your product becomes part of a viral challenge

By: Diana Bradley

Just as the stars of Netflix’s "Bird Box" have to protect themselves from unseen threats, brands must be ready to defend themselves from completely unexpected, and at times unimaginable, scenarios.

The latest hazard brands need to add to the crisis playbook? Being given a starring role in dangerous viral challenge videos.

READ MORE
JANUARY 9, 2019 //     

Effective media relations strategies amid the changing media landscape

By: Alexa Hershy and Ian MacDonald

In the public relations industry, media relationships are important to secure earned media stories that add business value for clients. We consistently take out editors, pitch our clients and build important, lasting relationships. But beyond standard relationship-building practices, how do we elevate our company and relationships in unique ways as editorial staffs continue to shrink and face-to-face time increasingly diminishes?

READ MORE

As the landscape continues to shift rapidly – print editions closing, frequent editor moves, etc. – it’s critical to hear directly from the source on a regular basis to learn how we can most effectively work with our key media contacts.

Cue the launch of Allison+Partners’ Media Maven Panel, an initiative developed in fall 2018 with Allison+Partners’ unique entrepreneurial spirit in mind to offer employees at all levels direct access to coveted media we frequently work with. The first panel’s theme, “Media 101,” presented an incredible opportunity to hear from three top-tier editors about how PR professionals can shine with a strong aptitude of media relations basics.

We hosted the below editors in our NYC office for an engaging discussion:

  • Amy Marturana, SELF senior fitness editor
  • Kerry Flynn, Digiday marketing reporter
  • Mike Murphy, Quartz deputy technology editor

We purposefully recruited editors from three different verticals (lifestyle, marketing, tech) to get a well-rounded perspective on best practices. We covered all things media – from a day-in-the-life, to the stories they’re most passionate about and the qualities they most respect in their favorite PR practitioners.

The Media Maven panel success is two-fold – we learn directly from editors excited to share best practices that, in turn, make our working relationship much stronger. And it’s a fantastic relationship-building opportunity, unique to our company. Hosting editors in our office gives them a special inside look at the Allison+Partners culture – another incredibly special differentiator to our agency and an energy and enthusiasm felt immediately upon entering one of our offices. 

Stemming from the panel, we walked away with three key learnings that can help any PR professional break through the pitching clutter:

Do your research – While this might seem obvious, not everyone does it (especially when on a tight deadline). Know the publication you pitch, what it covers/what it doesn’t and how your client most strategically fits in. Editors appreciate when you pitch them specific sections that prove you’ve done your research and know the publication or call out an article you’ve recently read and liked. Also, if an editor has just covered a topic, don’t pitch them on the same story. Doing your research also means knowing the editors’ beat and if they report for the print or online version – this of course informs their reporting timeframe and deadlines.

When to pitch, when not to and how-to follow-up appropriately –  Editors receive an influx of pitches between the 9-10 a.m. hour. When possible, try to pitch outside this timeframe so your note doesn’t get lost. Also – avoid addressing multiple editors in one email. This often creates a bystander effect, and no one ends up responding. It’s more impactful to address the one editor that’s the best fit. When not to pitch? Right before a holiday (stories are typically already baked, they’re not starting anything new), before a life event (i.e. if an editor is getting married) and avoid the weekends. Regarding follow-up, all editors said: “Do not call!” According to the editors, the only appropriate time to call is when you’re offering a publication an exclusive with a tight deadline. Otherwise, follow-up via email with a maximum of two emails. Pro-tip – when following up, consider reframing the angle of your initial pitch to appeal to the editor in a fresh way.

Relationship building is critical, so invest in it – Again, something that might seem obvious, but it needs to continue to be a top priority for PR practitioners. Relationship building is important beyond securing placements for clients. It makes the editor more comfortable to share candid feedback (which our clients always appreciate!). Some editors might avoid transparency when it comes to candid feedback if they don’t know you. When setting up meetings, ask what’s most convenient for that specific editor – everyone’s schedule and preference is different. Some might only have time for a morning coffee where others are more open to lunch or after work drinks/activities. Not in the same market as a key editor? No worries. Nowadays, editors are often open to building relationships via social media or email. Comment on an Instagram you thought was interesting or flag a story you loved over email. If you notice an editor is visiting in your market, reach out to make plans. Editors will appreciate the effort.

In 2019, we look forward to hosting additional Media Maven panels across the network in different offices and markets – ensuring we’re always up-to-date on our media relations knowledge and putting forward the most thoughtful, and impactful media strategies. Because, ultimately, it’s about the work.

Alexa Hershy and Ian MacDonald are account directors in Allison+Partners’ NYC office, specializing in media relations across the consumer and technology industries.

JANUARY 7, 2019 //     

No luggage, no plastic, no selfies: how travel is set to change in 2019

Credit: AlamyAre you booking no-frills flights, taking more solo trips, and coming home with fewer selfies?

If so, you are on trend for 2019, which also promises to be the year where travellers get more adventurous, ask hoteliers more questions about sustainability, and head to “last chance” destinations that could soon become victims of climate change.
READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 7, 2019 //     

2019 Trend Forecast: Consumer

Credit: Holmes ReportLook out, people. Just when we nailed consumerism 2018, the tides are about to turn, ushering in a whole new wave of what people want and expect from brands — and how to deliver it to them. On the heels of a year in which consumers became activists, were both wowed and burned by technology and would buy into and turn against social media icons with equal vigor, brands are expected to face an even tougher crowd in the next 12 months.  READ MORE
JANUARY 4, 2019 //     

Brands should be sincere and strategic when saying sorry

Credit: PRWeekThere are two prevailing schools of thought on apologies. The first, and most common, is that brands, corporate entities, and public figures should say sorry for just about any real or perceived slight that could have an effect on a bottom line, approval rating, or brand index. READ MORE
JANUARY 3, 2019 //     

Serena Williams Joins Bumble for Its New Ad Campaign Promoting Women's Empowerment

Tennis superstar Serena Williams will be the face of Bumble’s upcoming ad campaign stressing the importance of women’s empowerment. The campaign, called “The Ball is in Her Court,” will launch during this year’s Super Bowl, Reuters reports. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 2, 2019 //     

Best Places to Work 2018

Credit: PRWeek

PRWeek’s annual Best Places to Work initiative honors the top agencies and in-house teams that were ranked a cut above by their associates on important issues including workplace culture and salary.

To see how your organization stacks up against the competition and to gain insights from recruitment pros and industry executives about what they see on the hiring front, check out our Best Places to Work Premium Edition.

READ MORE
Large Agency: Allison+Partners
Location: San Francisco

Judges and staffers alike were impressed with Allison+Partners’ employee improvement and advancement options. 

The globally implemented Allison University program is rated as one of the best by employees.

"I’ve been so impressed with the professional development offerings, including Allison University, the global exchange program, outside training reimbursement, and the leadership academy," said one employee. 

One judge noted that, with high marks for its management and ability to establish a strong morale, Allison+Partners’ staffers clearly feel their leaders listen to them and are receptive to their ideas.

One staffer called the work-life balance at the firm "ideal." Allison+Partners lets employees work from home, offers unlimited paid time off, and allows everyone two hours of work time per week to work out. 

People are also given time off to volunteer and those who are at the company for five years get a one-month paid sabbatical.

"Families are very important to this company," explained one employee. 

The culture is the biggest advantage to working at Allison+Partners. Employees are close, and it is common for them to attend each other’s big life events such as birthdays, weddings, and baby showers.

"The culture here is the best I’ve ever seen," said one employee. "People are happy to be here, to do their work, and to bond with their colleagues."

Originally posted on PRWeek.com.

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