By Emily Blum
Financial Communications is one of the fastest-growing communications specializations, yet many are unfamiliar with its important communication function. At its core, its goal is to communicate a company’s or organization’s valuation and financial story to members of the investment community and the public in general. Many hear the words “finance” or “investors” and immediately become overwhelmed and shy away from anything stemming from these concepts. However, as society continues to develop and sectors converge into one, the need for transparency between financial professionals and the public has only gained importance.
To keep up with this trend, the S.I. Newhouse School of Communication has developed the Financial and Investor Communications Emphasis (FICE) Program to prepare students for the dynamic work environment that they will soon be entering. As one of the students currently in the program, I was fortunate enough to attend the program’s annual benchmark trip earlier this month. Even though it was virtual, my fellow students and I were still able to hear from various leading financial communications companies and network with talented professionals within the field. After two successful days, I was able to reflect on this trip and the impact that it will have on my future career. This was such an enriching experience and I have provided some of the key takeaways from the trip below.
1. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity That you are Given
Most of the companies that spoke to us had at least one Newhouse alum who led the discussion. This does not take into account the many other alumni who work at these companies, a fact that was reinforced by almost all of the head of human resources on the calls. Each made it a point to explain the extremely qualified and experienced talent that comes from Newhouse. This made me realize two things. The first being that, as Newhouse students, we are more than capable of delivering high-quality work and excelling at whatever we decide to pursue. Secondly, it also stressed the importance of networking. I am sure we are all more than aware of the Syracuse and Newhouse networks that exist, so it is up to us to utilize them. It also made me realize that the professors and other professionals that we have access to every day are unmatched. Every departments’ professors and staff members are the best of the best and they can be a very valuable tool in navigating the industry and just great people to have in your corner. This is something that must not be overlooked.
2. Key Trends Impacting Financial Communications
Just like any other industry, financial communications has been greatly impacted by the events of this past year. This has led ESG to grow into the important role that it currently plays. ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance. While it shares many of the same concepts as corporate social responsibility, it takes all of those factors and measures the sustainability and social impact of an investment in a company or business. Therefore, it focuses on “non-financial” performance indicators to help determine the financial performance of the company. This is then of course taken into consideration when it comes time for investors to make the buy/sell decision regarding the company’s stock.
These indicators include how companies have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equality movements that took place over the summer. In terms of the pandemic, many companies have turned to financial communications for help with communicating the company’s outlook to the employees. This includes everything from explaining expected return dates to the office, communicating with furloughed employees and then sharing this information with the financial community and key stakeholders. As society has shifted to this “new normal”, financial communications have also shifted to meet these new demands.
Another indicator relates to the current racial climate. Even before the racial injustices that took place over the summer, many companies had already taken the initiative to create robust diversity and inclusion programs. However, now the focus shifts towards how a company communicates these efforts. A company can lay out an extensive diversity and inclusion plan but if there are no actions to implement it into daily life, it really does not mean much. AXIS Capital, one of the companies that spoke with us, explained that ESG is a balance between moving the needle towards both the company’s goals and the activities currently impacting society. If there is no correlation between the two, the true value behind it is lost. This aspect of financial communications is not going anywhere, so it is important that whatever is communicated with the public is transparent, meaningful and, most importantly, authentic to stick in investors’ minds.
3. Various Avenues Within Financial Communications
I also learned that the opportunities within the financial communications industry are endless. The field of financial communications encompasses everything from investor relations to business journalism and everything in between. There are so many different areas to tap into and this was showcased through the many different companies that my peers and I were able to hear from. We went from hearing from Liz Claman of The Claman Countdown on Fox News Business to learning about private equities with TPG Capital. This dynamic provides a very welcoming environment for students to enter when looking for post-graduation opportunities. Personally, this is something that immediately drew me to the career because I want to work in a space that deals with something new every day. Each company explained a different perspective of the profession which left me excited for what is yet to come!
4. Tips When Tackling the Job Search
As with any networking event, one topic that was constantly brought up revolved around navigating the job search process. Something that I found to be extremely interesting was hearing from the junior-level staff to gain insight into their experiences and how they landed their first jobs out of graduation. With the current work from home environment, it was reassuring to hear that they were not only successful in finding a job but that the on-boarding process was not overlooked. If anything, they explained that it was actually enhanced to ensure that they felt part of the team even if it was through a computer screen.
One major piece of advice given was to stay abreast of the news and happenings within society. This is something that is ingrained in us all from day one at Newhouse, so I was not surprised to hear this from the companies that we “visited.” From a financial communications standpoint, it is important to stay informed on current financial happenings and their relation to the trends currently impacting society as well. For example, understanding the impact that the pandemic has had on the stock market or how the current state of the market has forced private companies to re-think the traditional routes to becoming a public company. Of course, it also important to keep up to date with news about the company’s clients and the type of work that they are currently pursuing to give yourself an edge during interviews. Doing so allows your communication and media skills to shine through at all stages of the job search process.
5. Believe in Yourself
Hearing from these companies solidified that this is a career path that I want to pursue. As I enter my last semester of college, I find myself overwhelmed with what the future has in store for me. We are all facing unprecedented challenges and levels of change which only adds to the pressure that any senior normally feels. However, this trip provided me with an opportunity to focus on ways to allow myself to stick out during this process. All of the individuals who spoke reinforced that, at the end of the day, being confident in yourself will take you the distance. Yes, the technical skills are important; but, it is these personal skills that will set you apart from others. Having a sense of confidence and positivity will be seen throughout the interview process and allow for a much more comfortable process overall. The same goes for working hard and putting your best foot forward with whatever you are undertaking. Some of the best advice I received from this trip came from Liz Claman of Fox News Business. She explained that once you get to the top and where you dreamed of being, you’ll quickly realize that it is not always full of the best. Instead, you will see those who believed in themselves. This is important to keep in mind with whatever goal you are tackling. If you can master this, everything else will fall into place. This left me feeling confident in myself, my future goals and eager to take on my last semester of college!
If you have any questions about financial communications, the FICE Program or anything else that I have touched on please do not hesitate to reach out to me! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on LinkedIn!
By Caroline Casey
It can be quite daunting to be a college or graduate student navigating the current pandemic amidst trying to build networking relationships for post-college plans. With minimal face-to-face interaction with professors and visiting professionals, it’s more crucial now than ever that we make our own efforts to further our knowledge and experience. Despite having the desire to be productive and proactive in our desired fields, many get lost before they begin. Luckily, online resources have made networking and learning much easier for all students and professionals that are ready to further their careers.
LinkedIn was founded in 2003, though it has become much more commonly used among the professional world in the past decade. On this social platform made for networking and promoting ideas, jobs, and more, all users have the chance to create their own profiles while researching the market. As a college student, or any person looking to begin building their online presence, it’s crucial to create a LinkedIn account. From there, you can begin following companies they find interesting, role models in their field, or even job alerts that target their specific demographic. Making the account is not the sole purpose of LinkedIn. Use this platform for becoming more well versed in your career field and interacting with others to network and grow your online presence.
Any active student most likely receives dozens of emails regarding job fairs, roundtable discussions, and more activities that are aimed to help gain insight from professionals in specific fields. During the pandemic, many of these events have become online sessions that consist of black screens and technological issues. However, this can be used to your advantage. No longer do job fairs require in-person presence. Instead, you can attend many of these events from home or housing on campus. With that being said, there are also fewer intimidating factors involved in speaking to professionals through a computer screen. Sign up for any event you might find interesting, do basic research on the speaker or specific company involved, and prepare at least one question for the speaker/speakers. Following the event, find the professional’s LinkedIn page and send them a thank-you note with a basic introduction. With these tactics, your network will continue to grow while gaining insights into potential companies and mentors in your field.
In most public relations courses, professors stress the need to build e-portfolios early on in your college career. While the task itself is tedious, with adding documents and pdfs, categorizing work and extracurricular pieces, and creating a theme that portrays your character in some unique way, the end result is worth it. By using sites such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or WordPress, creating a website has never been made easier. Truthfully, the hardest part of creating an e-portfolio is sitting down to actually do it. However, it’s important to remember that an e-portfolio is a great addition to any resume, as it can showcase all past pieces of work. Furthermore, websites are a great tidbit to include in introduction or networking emails and notes. By allowing a possible employer or mentor to preview your previous pieces of work, they can see first-hand what you could contribute to their team.
Build an Online Presence
At one point, there must be an effort made to become professional online. Employers can find just about everything connected to your name on the internet. Therefore, it’s crucial to realize when accounts should be made private or public. Additionally, many people might decide to create second accounts for the sole purpose of professional networking rather than social pleasure. Many social media platforms allow for a user to utilize the “add account” option, in which users can seamlessly shift from personal to professional accounts with a single swipe. After speaking to several professionals that currently work for agencies or in-house departments, I have found that many believe it’s helpful to have public accounts that depict your interests and character. However, there is such thing as too personal. While building your online presence, take into account what you would want your future boss to see. Furthermore, make sure that you have some information online in order for employers to see that you do, in fact, have interests like any normal human being.
Make the Most of Your Downtime
Right now, we have more downtime than ever. Even as students, we get to complete many assignments and attend various meetings from the comfort of our homes. With that being said, I encourage you to use this time to your advantage.
By Amanda Byrne
A key aspect of creating change and dealing with crises in an organization is establishing and maintaining transparency, especially when it comes to issues dealing with diversity and inclusion. Establishing transparency and communicating honest messages to your consumers helps establish brand loyalty (Faranas, 2018). Transparency is important in communications because it paints a brand as trustworthy, honest, and truthful to its consumers and target market. When dealing with a crisis, transparency is important in gaining forgiveness and understanding from your consumers (Hernandez, 2020). A brand needs to be upfront and admit its mistakes as soon as possible to maintain trust. Instead of ignoring a major scandal and attempting to sweep it under the rug, brands should communicate their accountability, issue an apology, and explain how the organization will adjust, adapt, and change (Faranas, 2018).
An example of a brand being successfully transparent was during Rihanna’s Fenty beauty collaboration fashion show, Savage x Fenty. Savage x Fenty released trailers promoting an upcoming lingerie line featuring girls modeling the lingerie with music in the background. One of the trailers featured the song ‘Doom,’ by Coucou Chloe, a song that features verses from the Islamic Hadith, one of the most sacred Muslim texts. Once the trailer was released there was immediate anger and backlash from members of the Muslim community. This especially received a lot of backlashes because the Muslim religion is very modest, and the video featured women dancing in lingerie, so people viewed it as insensitive and inappropriate. Fenty Beauty claimed that the Savage x Fenty team is editing the video and replacing the song with something more appropriate. The brand continued to say that it has, "nothing but the utmost respect and love for the Muslim community,” and explained that the brand was built on promoting and embracing diversity and inclusion" (Narayanan, 2020).
Rihanna, the face and founder of Fenty Beauty, also issued her apology over the Savage x Fenty show social media pages. Rihanna stated, “I would like to apologize to you [Muslim community] for this honest yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many Muslim brothers and sisters, and I am incredibly disheartened by this” (Narayanan, 2020). She continued to state that she thanks her fans, consumers, and the Muslim community for their forgiveness and understanding and assured that it will not happen again (Narayanan, 2020). Rihanna also replied to direct messages from fans explaining how truly sorry she was for this honest mistake. She engaged in civil discussions with members of the Muslim community to understand how the trailer made them felt. Because of their quick and transparent response to this scandal, the Savage x Fenty show was forgiven by most of its fans and target audience. The brand was honest, communicated its accountability, issued an apology, and explained how the organization will change.
Faranas, L. A. (2018, June 25). The Importance of Transparency in Public Relations Strategy. Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://mill.agency/content/the-importance-of-transparency-in-public-relations-strategy/
Hernandez, M. (2020, August 12). How Communicators Can Help Brands Create Real Change. Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.cision.com/us/2020/08/how-communicators-can-help-brands-create-real-change/
Narayanan, A. (2020, July 10). Rihanna Issues an Apology for Savage x Fenty Scandal. Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.indigomusic.com/whats-up/rihanna-issues-an-apology-for-savage-x-fenty-scandal
By Olivia Cammarata
In order to be effective public relations practitioners, it is important that we develop human connections through storytelling. Stories allow us to convey our message while building a strong relationship with our audience. Good stories make us emotional, show us reality and give us hope for the future.
During this digital era, storytelling has never been more impactful. By creating digital stories, companies can engage their customers, share the story behind their brand and show the world why they matter.
What is digital storytelling?
Digital storytelling is the practice of using multimedia on digital platforms to tell stories. Examples of multimedia include graphics, audio and video. Digital storytelling can be done on a variety of platforms such as through social media, websites and advertisements.
Why is visual content effective?
With the rise of technology and social media, there has been a large shift to visual content. According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visual content is proven to be processed by our brains 60,000 times faster than text. By telling visual stories, we can grab and maintain the attention of our publics.
Elements of digital storytelling
By utilizing the following elements in our stories, we can evoke a response from our audience, keep their attention and create content that tells our brand’s unique narrative.
1.) Point of View
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 92% of people admit to trusting their peers over a traditional advert. By practicing customer-led storytelling and using perspectives from outside of our organization, we can increase our engagement with consumers. People want to choose your brand based on the opinions and stories of their peers.
2.) Use of Voice
With the use of different people’s voices, we can create dimension in our storytelling. Telling a story this way allows us to align voices with our own brand. It’s important that your brand gives a voice to people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
3.) Dramatic Question
Posing a “dramatic question” in digital storytelling allows communicators to express an issue or conflict and hold the audience’s attention. The dramatic question should be answered, or the audience should be able to answer it themselves based on the information presented. The answer to your dramatic question should be a call to action for your audience.
4.) Emotional Content
We can all recall a brand’s digital story that brought us to tears. It’s essential that your digital story connects to the audience on an emotional level. Digital storytelling can bring serious issues to life and evoke emotional responses. Emotions can include humor, empathy, fear, anxiety and others.
Now more than ever, people want brands to be as transparent as possible. To be successful in public relations, we need to tell our brand story authentically. By integrating these components into our digital storytelling, we can give our customers a voice and develop long-lasting relationships with our publics.
By Sarina Sherman
Artificial intelligence is taking over the public relations industry, propelling companies and consumers into a new world of technology. The use of artificial intelligence will enhance all capabilities by public relations practitioners in the future, and it is the new trend to watch. Artificial Intelligence is the usage of machines to perform tasks typically done by humans.
Increased Accountability and Mistrust
Public relations is the practice of transparent two-way communication between a brand and its publics. The foundation is built on trust and honesty. This balancing act requires human emotions and bond between the stakeholders and brand. Replacing human efforts with machines will lead to a lack of necessary “personable interaction” (Galloway & Swiatek, 2018). While artificial intelligence will increase data analysis, algorithms, and overall capabilities, it lacks the human capabilities that are difficulty to replicate through technology.
Human Behavior Change
With increased technological capabilities at everyone’s fingertips, customers have higher technological expectations from brands and decreased patience. Each brand that can tackle the technological difficulties of converting historical forms of communications into modern will have an automatic advantage against those who cannot in targeting its customers. Artificial intelligence will supply consumers with an endless amount of information, causing the consumers to expect greater speeds and never settle for less than seamless omnichannel experiences. From store layouts to purchases of products, customers are seeking out ways to shop in newer fashions than before.
A New Platform of Interaction
Customers now expect brands to interact with them in new formats. Now, advertising and public relations must go beyond the written word. With this new technology, there will be less reliance on billboards and traditional forms of communications and an increase in creative forms of interaction between the brand and publics. The brands that can adapt to this change the fastest and most creative will be the ones to win this race.
Public relations’ progress and tracking relies on data. Through an increased usage of technology, public relations professionals will have better access to data than before, allowing the practitioners to adjust campaigns and efforts accordingly. With increased tracking and data, practitioners can have campaigns with higher target accuracies and pursue realistic goals. Artificial intelligence will also save human capital from developing this necessary data as it can create such reports and analysis.
As a constantly growing technological tool, artificial intelligence will continue to change the way public relations is conducted. An increase in technological advantages will allow consumers to be connected into the world of the brands they follow and hold each brand to a higher level of accountability. With this comes increase in accountability comes a new pressure for brands to evolve and meet the consumer elsewhere. Advertisements will become 3D, store visits will become completely automized, and maybe even press releases will change!
At the end of the day, however, public relations practitioners have emotions and connections that cannot ever be completely automated and replaced by artificial intelligence. As an industry built on bonds and its people, public relations’ change in the future due to artificial intelligence is questionable. How do you see public relations evolving from artificial intelligence?
Galloway, C., & Swiatek, L. (2018). Public relations and artificial intelligence: It’s not (just) about robots. Elsevier.
Kaput, M. (n.d.). 20 Ways AI Could Transform PR and Communications. Retrieved from https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/blog/how-ai-could-transform-pr-and-communications
Mediafrenzyglobal. (2019, July 03). AI in PR: Why Trust and Storytelling Cannot be Automated. Retrieved from https://mediafrenzyglobal.com/ai-in-pr/
By Samantha Cooper
PRSA’s International Conference is a true meeting of the minds. the yearly chance for the best communicators and public relations professionals to come together and expand their knowledge of and appreciation for the industry. As much as SUPRSSA would have loved to have spent the last week exploring Nashville, this year’s digital conference was more relevant than ever before.
Titled “Strategic Communications: Navigating a World Disrupted,” ICON 2020 covered three pandemics: COVID-19, misinformation and social injustice. In case you missed it, here are the main takeaways from ICON 2020:
1. The need for civil discourse has never been more prominent. The current landscape is one full of rage and divisiveness, creating an intolerable environment for civil discourse and truth. Because public relations exists across all industries and can address almost any concern, PR has the ability to become a key actor in improving civil discourse. Communicators, and public relations professionals especially, are on the frontlines of the war on information. This makes them uniquely qualified to inform and engage consumers and citizens to act. PR practitioners have the power and responsibility to prioritize truth, encourage people to develop their ‘cognitive muscles’ and spread media and digital literacy.
2. An effective shift in corporate culture needs to be intrinsic. The Black Lives Matter movement prompted important conversations about corporate values, and it was certainly eye-opening to see what brands put action behind their messages. The overall consensus is a push to “do well by going good.” While this seems obvious to many, for those that need to be convinced, prioritizing purpose is directly tied to the bottom line. At this point, consumers expect businesses to acknowledge diversity and environmental issues, but beyond that, organizations need to determine what is important to their specific audience. The reality is that there is risk in both action and complacency, so it’s determining which is greater.
3. Leaders should ground their policies in humanity. There has never been a time when empathy is more important. The idea of radical candor refers to caring personally and acting directly. Leaders need to listen to understand, not to react. Communication needs to be often and early, all while seeking input and authentically valuing the ideas of others. Make room for everyone at the table, including perspectives that actively disagree. Signs of success are not success in themselves, so leaders must create structures for honest and frequent feedback.
4. Make a commitment to lifelong learning. One of the many qualities that makes Gen Z valuable in the workplace is their excitement for learning. Education can enable people to leave the world better than they found it. With that, be willing to admit when you don’t know something, and use it as an opportunity to expand your perspective. Surround yourself with people who have expertise in areas you don’t, and combine knowledge for the greater benefit of your organization.
Another ICON has passed, and we are so glad we could be involved. Let’s make 2021 a year of transparency, empathy and learning.
By Neeve Prendergast
Let’s be real, 2020 has been one big crisis situation. While our world is simultaneously fighting unprecedented natural disasters, racial inequities, and a global pandemic, we all are feeling constantly on edge, without a plan. As communicators and emerging professionals, we find ourselves at the intersection of all these issues as we pave the way for a greener, more equal, and healthier future. However, long after these issues have left our daily conversations, having the skills to properly handle a crisis will always be needed. All PR gurus should have these crisis plans in their back pockets...just in case.
1. Be Prepared
2020 has truly shown us that when it comes to crises, it’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of when. While it may be hard to brainstorm every possible crisis you may find yourself in, it is so important to have a rough idea of what could land your brand in hot water. When it comes to crisis management, you can never be too prepared. Depending on which industry your brand is located in, questions to consider could be: are we prone to data breaches, how would our brand and its values react to social justice issues, and what harmful impacts could be felt due to our brand. For each potential threat, create a one-size-fits-all strategy that you can tailor with specific details later. Do the heavy lifting now so you can perfect your messaging later.
2. Transparency is Key
When it comes to responding to crisis, honesty is the best policy. Undesirable situations are always made worse when companies try to cover up their blunders rather than own up to them. Admit to mistakes and wrong doings. Detail how you are fixing the situation. Be sincere. By building transparency to your audience, they will transform respect into trust. In a crisis situation,
you will rely on your loyal audience to be your allies. Brands with high transparency before a crisis normally have the best results when weathering an unpredicted storm.
3. Act quickly
After the crisis sets in, the world will be waiting for your statement. While it may be your gut instinct to immediately release a statement, a rash reaction may cause more harm than good. Hopefully, you have already flagged your crisis as a potential risk area so you can use the resources you already prepared. (See I told you being proactive would come in handy!). Immediately monitor social media and the news to see how your audience is reacting to the situation. Incorporate the most popular concerns in your initial statement. It is important to find a balance between a knee-jerk reaction and radio silence. Don’t provide a statement if all the facts aren’t available; however, an unnecessarily later response reflects a lack of care. Listen to your audience because they will tell you when the time is right.
While no one ever wants to be in a crisis, knowing how to properly manage the situation is key to being a successful PR professional. Don’t shy away from the challenge of unpredicted events. We may not get the messaging right on our first try, but over time, we will learn the best ways to reach and sympathize with our audiences. Look at the silver lining, after this year is over, we all will have ample crisis management skills to use in our internships, jobs, and daily lives!
By Karley Warden
For the past seven months, companies across the world have faced unimaginable changes to their business operations, including recruiting interns and full-time employees. With these changes come new strategies and platforms for companies to reach prospective employees and jobseekers to follow suit. Sure, you may be used to web conferencing and instant messaging by now, but how has preparation for virtual recruiting and interviews changed? Here’s a list of ways you can still be an exceptional candidate this year for internships and jobs without practicing your perfect handshake or visiting an office.
Dress for Success from Top to Bottom
You may think your outfit may not be as noticeable to an employer through a computer screen, but dressing professionally and appropriately for virtual interviews and informational interviews are still just as important! While it is tempting to wear your most professional top with sweatpants to match, dressing in a full outfit as if you had an in-person interview can have a positive impact on your preparedness, energy, and professionalism for a meeting.
Punctuality is Still Key
Nowadays, interviews are just a click away rather than a bus, taxi, or car ride. The instantaneousness of connecting with people across the world at our fingertips has made connections faster than ever, but you should still show up to virtual meetings on time to keep someone from waiting on the other line. Make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to sit down in a well-lit, quiet area and get into interview mode! Whatever puts your mind at ease before an interview, take a few minutes to breathe and focus before clicking that Zoom link.
There is no doubt that we have all faced some technical error during a meeting these past few months. As much as we rely on phones, computers, and devices, technology is extremely imperfect, and it could fail even in the most important interviews. First and foremost, ensure you will have a steady Wifi connection the entire time. If you have concerns that roommates and other users might be on during it or you have had a poor connection in the past, try to connect to a hotspot or more stable connection to avoid the hassle of cutting in and out during your perfectly practiced elevator pitch. Additionally, make sure you silence or turn off any nearby devices or notifications on your computer that could distract you from the interview. You never want an employer to think you are looking at a different screen or preoccupied with something during your conversation.
Act Natural...You’re on Camera!
One of the most difficult transitions to meeting employers online is losing the personal touch of meeting someone to gauge their personality, body language, and overall presence. While you cannot portray all of that virtually, you should still act as if this were an in-person conversation. Show your personality in new ways by explaining to employers what you’re passionate about, carefully articulating your responses to questions, and showing extra gratitude for their time to meet with you.
The most important thing to remember is that employers and recruiters on the other side of the call are adapting to this new landscape just as you are, so be patient with the process, but realize that standing out and preparing for every interview is more important now than ever. Be sure to always follow up with people you meet at every company to express your continued interest, and prepare for unexpected technical problems and awkward video call moments. Happy (virtual) job hunting!
By: Sara Caywood
Whether you’re representing a brand, organization, team, or person, reputation management is a crucial part of any sound strategic communications plan. Reputation management plans allow communications teams and public relations professionals to prepare for crises and consistently react to minor issues. This consistency helps to build trust and confidence between the client and it's publics.
When devising a reputation management plan, it is essential to keep the client’s overall goals, values, and objectives in mind. If your client values transparency, your responses in situations where honesty is in question need to emphasize transparency as your primary strategy for handling these crises.
Another critical component to devising reputation management plans is predicting specific challenges that may face your client on an ongoing basis. The ongoing challenges that face Crest Toothpaste will be different than the challenges that face Nike. So, it is vital to use any available research about your client to understand the ongoing problems or issues that face their brand and could lead to reputation crises in the future.
While considering these elements of goals, objectives, values, and ongoing challenges, the next step is to develop your brand management plan. While creating this plan, think about who your client’s audience is, what they want from the client, and what the client wants from them. By keeping these questions in mind, you will shape your reputation management plan to direct your client to respond to crises in specific consideration of their image.
1. Monitor Digital Image
2. Response Management
3. Promote Positives
4. Follow Through
5. Continue to Evolve
Reputation and public perception are vital elements to monitor and know how to efficiently handle as a public relations professional. Keep these key steps in mind when working with your clients in the future!
By: Laura Budwick
This past week, two seasoned PR professionals joined us to speak at our first chapter meeting of 2020. Associate Vice President, Sophie Cikovsky, and Senior Account Executive, Nicole Tackley, gave us an honest look at what life is really like at a firm that has been recognized as the “Best PR Firm” by the National Law Journal—Infinite Global. This first event set the tone for the rest of the semester and showed prospective professionals, like us, the ins and outs of content and digital communication services. But, what really made this event interesting was that their specialization is in the legal sector. The whirlwind of work that comprises their day-to-day lives—from law firms and reporters to media outlets and clients– it truly seems like they are never bored; and if you are like me—where sitting stagnant in a cubicle all day would put you to sleep—this vibrant career should excite you!
As a student interested in public relations, advertising or journalism, listening to these two women had me questioning where I would be in five to ten years. Cikovsky graduated from Bowdoin College with a major in Art History and look at her now...counseling industry leading companies on media relations, internal communication, branding and social media strategies in the legal industry. Ten years out of college, Cikovsky has spent most of her career at Infinite Global and does not seem to have any plans to change. Tackley is just as impressive. She’s only three years out of college, having graduated from Marist College with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration, and she is already an Account Executive at Infinite Global. Tackley connects law firms and professional service organizations with key media contacts who earn them coverage and foster reliable relationships. This is the kind of results navigating students like us STRIVE to see when we graduate and are ready to hit the industry running.
Before I go, I am going to leave you with some simple advice they sprinkled throughout their speech:
Build your voice, your foundation, and most importantly, your network. Our time here at Syracuse is fulfilling, no doubt, but it’s also short-lived and I implore you to take advantage of every aspect before your years here leave you!