Posted by: beckbamberger | March 25, 2013

Meet Our New Intern, Casey!

Name: Casey Egan

Title: Public Relations Intern

Experience: Born and Raised in Long Island, NY, Casey attended college on the east coast at Tufts University in Boston, MA.  She earned her B.A. in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Communications and Media Studies.  The highlight of her college career came in the Fall of 2010 when she attended the University of Barcelona in Spain for a semester.  While completing her undergraduate degree, Casey completed two communications internships for college credit, one at an animation production company and one at a non-profit organization, where she learned valuable information about the industry first-hand. Casey just recently moved to the West Coast and is excited to start her Public Relations career with BAM Communications in sunny San Diego.

When Not Dominating the PR and Marketing World: As a retired college athlete, Casey loves any opportunity to be active and spend time outdoors.  Long bike rides and hanging out on the beach are two of her favorite things.  She also loves meeting new people and spending time with her friends and family. Her guilty pleasures include reality television shows and large glasses of wine.

Posted by: beckbamberger | March 25, 2013

Meet Nicolette, BAM’s newest intern!

From Sunnyvale to San Diego, Nicolette is a true California
girl. Her love of beaches, hot weather and laid-back lifestyle was enough to
convince her to stay in San Diego for college. Nicolette obtained her B.A. from
San Diego State University in Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies and
a minor in English where she strived in her classes learning the basics of
journalism, advertising, and social media. Her hard work and dedication even
landed her on the Dean’s List. During her last semester of college, Nicolette
was hired as an intern for new social media website, Likeability. During her
internship, she helped market the website, create content, and contribute her
ideas for the design and functionality of the website layout. As a recent
college graduate, Nicolette is excited to explore all aspects of media and dive
into the professional world.
 
In her spare time you can catch Nicolette planning a getaway
trip, listening to music, or hanging out with friends and family.

Posted by: beckbamberger | December 18, 2012

Bosslessness: Fluff or Fortune?

Bosslessness: Fluff or Fortune?

Could it actually be? Are we on the verge of a colossal culture change in the workplace? National companies like Morning Star, SEMCO and W.L. Gore have tried and tested this workplace structure with great success but does this model have utility across the board?

How does it work?

As it stands, bosslessness is a seemingly straightforward concept–a workplace in which there is not one seeded head hauncho but rather, a collective governing group comprised of the employees of a company.  Tasks are self-generated and evaluations are left to the group.  Domestically, Morning Star makes this work via a mission that “envisions an organization of self-managing professionals who initiate communication and coordination of their activities with fellow colleagues, customers, suppliers and fellow industry participants, absent of directives from others.” Similarly, W.L Gore, based in Delaware and ranked frequently as company with a great work environment, employs 9,000 people in 50 locations around the world.  When management researcher Gary Hamel visited the company he initially envisioned a bossless company to be a management “cyborg,” devoid of all the traditional trappings of creating success in the workplace.  What he came to realize was that “Gore was deeply human…and [their] management model seemed wacky only because [we have] grown accustomed to the inhuman practices that predominated more in other companies.”  So is this model applicable in all businesses across the board? Many beg to differ.

Featured Flaws

By and large, Americans value individuality but this ideal seems to miss the mark when it comes to the workplace.  Monday through Friday, the majority of employees are arguably zombies pushing paper, ideas and themselves from point A to point B.  The majority of these employees are looking to be led – looking to leave at the end of the day having done the least to garner the most.  The problem isn’t the idea of bosslessness, in theory it seems legitimate.  The problem with bosslessness is our workplace culture of apathy; we are not ready to work hard enough to make this structure successful.

And what about the psychological truism of ‘group think?’  This is another marked flaw of a bossless work environment.  Arguably, the only way to protect against a group thinking and making decisions in a way that discourages creativity and individual responsibility is to have quality control in the form of a boss or CEO.  There is simply too much at stake in business to allow employees to self govern without having it all potentially fall off the deep end.

The Value

The current workplace may be filled with generations of uninspired people who work 9-5 in corporate positions but the younger generations are standing up to this antiquated model.  Locally in San Diego, young people are creating a future that fits their standards, one that has meaning and value and allows them to bring their flare, individuality, leadership and expertise to the table.  At San Diego State University, students created a major for entrepreneurial management. Imagine that. A profession that many imagine as utilizing intrinsic ability rather than a background in higher education, is now finding its place in academia.

A monumental value of a bossless workplace is the creation of unprecedented creativity.  When there is no boss who determines your fate in financial stability, a major part of today’s society, the fear of being wrong and going against the grain is completely removed.  Ken Robinson, a very popular TED talks speaker (www.TED.com) asserts that as we age our creativity lowers as a result of the incredibly structured society we live in.  Children, who have yet to be pegged into a bracket of society, have the highest levels of creativity as outlined in a 1968 longitudinal study. In this study 1500 kindergarteners were tested on their ability to think divergently, a major aspect of creativity.  In their first test, 98% scored in the category of exceptionally creative.  Interestingly, as the test was retaken 5, 10, 15 years later, the level of creativity began to diminish drastically.  Perhaps inviting groups to break out of the hierarchal structure that is so pervasive in our society will bring us back to our roots of creativity.

How do we do it?

  • A major way to allow groups and individuals to succeed under a bossless structure is to increase mutual accountability of individuals to the overarching mission of the company as well as to one another.
  • When information flows freely and more people feel included, productivity grows.  Google for example uses the “snippets system” where employees log what they’ve completed to date and what they plan on tackling as they move forward.  This information is stored in a public place and automatically distributed throughout the company.
  • Look at this as an opportunity for culture change and anticipate gears to turn organically.

Wiggle Room

Not ready to jump ship and scrap it all?  Many successful companies have taken note of the value of removing hierarchal structures in certain aspects of the work place. For example, Netflix, who employs 900 people, allows employees unlimited vacation. Co-founder Reed Hastings says this model requires mature, responsible employees who care about high-quality work. Also, Adobe has scrapped yearly performance reviews in favor of more real-time feedback from managers.

Do you see value in operating in a bossless work environment? Would you adopt this completely or opt for baby steps instead?

Posted by: beckbamberger | October 11, 2012

Facebook’s new ‘want’ button and what it means for brand pages

Facebook dropped some hints last year that its “Like” button would be morphing into a series of more specific descriptions of how a user interacts with content and media on the site and elsewhere. This change is now in full effect with the new feature, “Collections.” Collections is a way for companies to format image posts of products to facilitate easy sales through Facebook. Just think-Pinterest on Facebook.

A Facebook spokeswoman told FoxNews.com that the button is meant to help business engage with customers2. Similar to Pinterest’s Pin Boards, the collect button allows a person to generate a page of cool images of products. The companies currently on board include Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com. Facebook’s latest “Collections” feature, with “Want” and “Collect” buttons for users to add products to wish lists on their Timelines, is definitely a new opportunity for brand pages. For example, brands now have easier tracking of consumer’s interests. Not to mention, should direct-purchasing be pushed by the new Facebook Want button, Facebook will become the largest online social market in the world. The company has recently reached one billion users, and a market this huge is bound to have transactions within and through it via the new Want feature. This feature definitely reflects the social network’s new approach to building marketing products that serve specific brands.

As we saw with the roll out of the new timeline in early 2012, Facebook’s new Collections feature will gradually be offered to 100 percent of its U.S. users. Tell us, what do you think of this new function? Will you be using it?

1. http://circlesocialmedia.com/app/webroot/blog/2012/10/09/facebook-rolls-out-want-button-in-retail-test/

2. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/10/09/facebook-adds-want-button

Posted by: beckbamberger | September 6, 2012

Get Your Message Across: What to Consider Before Hitting Send

Do you ever find yourself skimming through your inbox and firing off one quick reply after another without a second thought? Email has become such a reflexive form of communication that we often type before we think, forgetting the power a single message can carry. Whether it’s a pitch to a potential client or media outlet, an exchange with a current client, or even a conversation between coworkers, the outcome of an email can be pivotal to you and your company. With that said, we’ve sought out the experts for advice on how to pack a punch in each message. Read on for tips to get your emails noticed and get your point across effectively.

Subject matters

You probably know from experience that most people in the professional world receive more emails than they can count. In the few seconds spent reading the subject line, recipients often determine whether or not they will even open a message, so make it count. Personalize the subject if you can, and take the time to write a concise, compelling line rather than tacking it on right before you hit send. Steer clear of spam trigger words to prevent your email from ending up in someone’s junk folder.  One writer recommends checking out the nearest newspaper if you get stuck: “Newspaper headlines do a great job highlighting the most important part of a story in a limited number of characters.” Think of your subject line as a mini-pitch that will compel your recipient to read on.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

You’ve been told a million times and it seems like common sense, but in the daily hustle and bustle, this task is often neglected. It is crucial in all aspects of public relations and marketing. Although most mistakes are tiny, the smallest error can be detrimental. Remember, you are acting as the voice of your company. Incorrect dates, sloppy grammar and the like will immediately diminish the respect and trust of clients, and newer contacts will just write you off permanently. You will rarely get a pat on the back for a terrific job not messing up, but we promise, a few extra minutes spent proofreading are more than worth the time.

Keep it simple

Don’t fluff up your message – write concisely. It will save you time and help your readers get to the point quickly. Always include a brief introduction and organize your email into brief sections – a few short paragraphs are far less daunting then an essay. If you are addressing multiple issues, make sure to bullet or number them accordingly. People tend to skim and you don’t want them missing something important. Use a simple typeface to keep the focus on the message.

Be professional

It all comes down to basic, professional etiquette. Keep your responses punctual and courteous, refrain from using slang or abbreviations, and never assume privacy. Visually, your message should look professional. Again, you are the voice of your company and should write your emails as such.

Pay attention to your reader

Last but not least, write with your audience in mind. While efficiency is important, it doesn’t matter how concise your message is if the reader has no idea what you are talking about. Give them the necessary background info and ask yourself the following questions: What benefits are you offering them? Why have they chosen to read your message and how can you validate that decision? What are the immediate actions for both parties? It may sound petty, but everyone likes to feel like they are special and getting the attention they deserve, so make an effort to convey to the reader that they are your priority.

 Utilize these tips when composing emails and soon they will become secondary nature. Every message is an opportunity, so treat each one as such. Clear, efficient writing will boost your productivity, save tons of time, and strengthen your communication channels. Happy emailing everyone!

 Do you have any more emailing pointers to share?

Posted by: beckbamberger | August 6, 2012

Prioritizing 101 from an Intern’s P.O.V.

No matter where your area of expertise lies, we can guarantee one thing is for certain: In the public relations and marketing industry, time is of the essence, so it is crucial to be organized and efficient. Minimizing stress – a natural side effect of swiftly impending deadlines – is also beneficial. The primary goal is doing a great job and making the client happy. 

When work becomes busy, tasks can to snowball and as deadlines approach, itcan become overwhelming. Our advice: It’s time to prioritize your to-do list. Here at BAM, our interns are well versed in multitasking and have discovered some tricks to help them juggle projects.  We asked our interns how they have learned to manage their to-do lists here at BAM and here’s what they had to say:

Dealing with Monday madness:

If it’s Monday morning and the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, take a deep breath. You should start out each morning by listing everything you have to do for the day. Assess which items are the most urgent and take care of them first, being sure to follow up on any leftover items from the previous week. Having a little routine for yourself when you first come in will help to jumpstart your day and put you in the right mindset to work. There are some great online resources that can help you stay organized. We love Remember The Milk, a task-managing site where users can sign up for free and easily keep track of their to-do lists. The added bonus: Accounts are accessible from any online device so you can check your list anywhere, any time. 

Focusing on work, at work:

Intern or otherwise, it’s important to stay professional. This means coming to work prepared and on time, wearing appropriate office attire, staying off your cell phone, etc. Even if you follow these rules, however, chances are you will be using a computer and therefore facing the thousands of distractions provided by the Internet. Close your other browser windows, avoid entertainment sites and only use the Internet for work purposes. A quick glance at your newsfeed can turn into 15 minutes wasted that you could have spent finishing up a task. Facebook and Twitter aren’t going anywhere! For those of you who have trouble avoiding such temptations, download an app like Cold Turkey, which blocks selected websites for the duration of your choosing.

Taking control of your desktop:

With the constant influx of assignments, press release revisions and other documents, it’s easy for your hard drive to become a jumbled mess of files. To save you a lot of time and effort, give your desktop a little TLC. Get rid of clutter and create a filing system that works for you. The more frequent the maintenance, the less time it takes. Guaranteed to increase efficiency! For group projects, we like to share files using Google Docs. It’s a great way for users to upload and share content so that multiple people can access and edit it and all you need is a Gmail account!

Keeping your goals in mind:

The most important thing to remember is that you are there to learn. Internships are the first step of a future career; so don’t be afraid to ask for work in your particular area of interest. Your boss is your biggest supporter and they hired you because they felt you were right for the position. Show them that they were correct: Be committed to working hard and learning everything you can. If an opportunity presents itself, make the most of it. The more you put into your job, the more you and your company will benefit. Don’t be afraid to have fun either – creativity and originality are always appreciated! 

Whether you’re a seasoned industry vet or a brand new intern, staying organized is the key to success. By prioritizing your to-do list and dealing with the little nuances first, you will be more productive, more efficient, and more successful. After all, in the words of one famously successful figure, “The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.”

Do you have any secrets for staying organized? Tell us your best tips for finishing off a to-do-list!

Posted by: beckbamberger | July 30, 2012

Making the Most of Social Media

Today, social media is constant in all of our lives and let’s be honest, sometimes we spend a little too much time scrolling through our newsfeeds. Of course Facebook, Twitter and the like are good for much more than just procrastination.

BAM attended a social media seminar at Hive Haus recently, and here are a few interesting tidbits we learned from Gayle Falkenthal, owner of the Falcon Valley PR Group.

In San Diego alone, there are more than 1.5 million users on Facebook and .25 million on Twitter. These channels provide marketers with the perfect platform to cater to a wider audience. So, how can you and your clients make the most of these powerful communication tools? 

Here are some tips to help you master social media:

1.)  Listen to your audience. This is the most important rule of social media. Absorb feedback – how are people responding? Pay close attention to what your customers have to say! Keep in mind, reaching people is about a conversation.

2.)  Be on the alert for objections. Use social media as an early warning system for complaints. If someone tells you about an issue, it gives you the opportunity to fix it. If you’re not sure if something works, don’t be afraid to test it out a few times. If a new social media tactic works three times in a row then it’s safe to say the tactic is successful.

3.)  Engage your audience. Contests and offers are a great way to create a community and get audiences involved. Share tips and expert advice or ask users what they think – by creating dialogue, you can interact with your audience and make them feel connected. 

4.)  Determine your goals. What specific actions are you seeking from your audience? Do you want them to buy a product, make a donation, vote, modify their behavior, etc.? Definitive goals will help you establish what you want and how you will get it.

5.)  Take advantage of image sharing. Photos and videos can communicate ideas efficiently and creatively. Use them to create some personality and an identity that audiences will respond to. Include your client’s watermark or logo on pictures of a product so that photos are easily attributed to them.

6.)  Be mindful of your client. Not everyone is eager to use social media, so make sure that the client is aware of the benefits and remind them that the common denominator is about reaching your audience and potential customers.

Try out these tips next time you are using social media and let us know which are the most helpful! Do you have any other pointers for our list?

Posted by: beckbamberger | June 29, 2012

To Pitch or Not to Pitch?

Our firm pitches quite a bit more now since we’ve brought on more clients and being savvy with this skill is a requirement in our trade. So how do you go about pitching successfully? We took a gander at PRDaily’s “Pitching dos and don’ts every PR pro should follow.” First of all, we agree with the beginning sentence – “Media relations is a lot like dating.”

Below are tips pulled together from writers Lauren Bloomberg, Angel Antin and Amy Cao; and editors Jenny Miller (Grub Street/New York Magazine,) Maggie Hoffman (Serious Eats), Andrea Bartz (Whole Living), and Jacqueline Wasilczyk (Zagat.com).

Media relations dos

1. Do understand the types of stories media outlets look for and tailor your pitch.

2. Do send products, if the publication doesn’t have a policy against accepting gifts.

3. Do meet up with media.

4. Do offer exclusives that reflect the publication’s need.

5. Do email instead of call.

6. Do keep emails brief.

7. Do go through connections if you have them.

8. Do include the date on every document you create.

9. Do let a writer know if you pitched her editor.

10. Do consider the types of sources the outlet requires.

11. Do understand a journalist’s obsession with accurate reporting

Media relations don’ts

1. Don’t make the pitch too specific.

2. Don’t send images unless the reporter asks for them.

3. Don’t send packages without checking first.

4. Don’t contact media via Twitter.

5. Don’t include large attachments, period.

6. Don’t suggest a quick meeting before you give information.

7. Don’t be afraid to email the reporter to ask a quick question

8. Don’t pitch made-up holidays

9. Don’t target the same person more than three times.

10. Don’t show up at the writer’s house with a pitch.

Thanks for the great tips, PRDaily!

Of the dos and don’ts listed above, which are you most inclined to do?

Posted by: beckbamberger | June 21, 2012

Tips on How to Relax in the PR Industry

Yesterday, one of the BAM Communications team members shared a PR Daily article that is applicable to every public relations practitioner’s life. So of course we had to blog about it! One idea comes to mind when reading this: relax and everything will be fine.

Lorra M. Brown, assistant professor of public relations/professional communication at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. and internship coordinator and advisor to the Student Public Relations Association shares a few tips about the PR industry.

To succeed, you should:

1. Maintain perspective. Although the work we do is important and meaningful, generally speaking it is not something over which we should be shedding serious tears or stress.

2. Play the “worst case scenario” game. When I am swamped or stressed, I ask myself: “What is the worst thing that can happen if I miss the deadline? Make a mistake? Upset my boss?”

3. Don’t be so sensitive. Learning to take constructive (and even negative) feedback is an essential element to career success and life success. Your ability to take the suggestions or criticisms, learn from them, and not dwell on the negative will serve you well.

4. Put out the hottest fires first. Learn to prioritize and assess what tasks are the most urgent.

5. Speak up. In PR, you’ll be given us much work as you can handle, so handle as much as you can, but learn to tell others what you are doing so the quality of the work doesn’t suffer.

6. Step away. As you feel your stress rising, take a moment before you crash. Get up, get a drink of water, stretch (yes, stretch your body), walk outside for a bit. Taking a few deep breaths away from your desk will help you.

7. Find a mentor. Identify a colleague or a friend whom you respect and trust and can maintain his/her poise even in intense situations. Bouncing ideas or struggles off this person will help you to see things more clearly.

8. Don’t get distracted by stressful colleagues or friends. Rehashing the negative encounter with a colleague or client doesn’t always help, and it makes you look like you cannot handle pressure. Take an hour, or even a day or two, and move on. If you are still bothered by something after a few days, perhaps you should discuss it with a peer or trusted mentor.

9. Turn the phone/computer off. Are you attached to your personal electronic devices? Try not to check work emails or personal texts around the clock. Carve out segments during your workday when you don’t check emails for a half-hour. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll get done.

10. Take time to read a book at night, exercise, or get some sleep. You must do something to shut off your brain each day. Find that thing, and do it religiously.

Finally, laugh. Having a sense of humor about yourself and your business is healthy. Take pride in what you do, but never forget to enjoy it.

Above are shortened versions of her tips, but if you’d like to see the article in detail, visit here.

Thanks for the great tips, Lorra! We’ll surely abide by some if not all tips.

Do you agree with all of her tips? Which have you heard before or already implement into your daily routine?

Posted by: beckbamberger | June 15, 2012

Have You Tried Twitter Chat?

To learn how to engage more readers/customers for your clients and become more involved in the industry, try out new avenues for acquiring information. Being a social media and/or PR pro, you must have at least an inkling of what Twitter chat is. You don’t? Hop on the bandwagon!

PRDaily never ceases to deliver – they mention 16 Twitter chats to start the social media and PR pro on the right foot (if you haven’t already). Below are the top five chats that Keath of PRDaily mentioned.

 

1. #blogchat – Sundays at 9 p.m. ET

This chat helps companies improve corporate and personal blogs. Themes range from SEO to building a team of bloggers. It’s moderated by Mack Collier. 2,119 tweets on May 6, 2012

2. #hcsm – Sundays at 9 p.m. ET

This chat brings together health care professionals to discuss the benefits of social media for health care communication strategies. It’s moderated by @HealthSocMed. 1,619 tweets on May 6, 2012

3. #pinchat – Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET

Chat members discuss best practices, showcase new uses, highlight brand usage, and share a passion for Pinterest. It’s moderated by Kelly Lieberman. 1,112 tweets on May 9, 2012

4. #smmanners – Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET

This chat’s mantra is “bringing back civility and charm to online communications.” Topics range from building business relationships through social media to the appropriate ways of requesting retweets or LinkedIn recommendations. It’s moderated by Dabney Porte. 1,071 tweets on May 8, 2012

5. #brandchat – Wednesdays at 11 a.m. ET

Each week they focus on one of the following themes: big business brands and non-profit brands, small business brands, personal brands, all about brands, and occasionally they run “open chats” about brands. It’s moderated by Maria Duron and David Sandusky. 1,024 tweets on May 9, 2012

To read more, click here.

If you could start a chat, what would its hashtag be and what would it focus on?

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.