Archive of ‘PR’ category

Jameis Winston tells Birmingham students: ‘You are smart.’

No.1 NFL draft pick Jameis Winston made a surprise stop at Birmingham's Ossie Ware Middle School today. (Photo: Chanda Temple)

No.1 NFL draft pick Jameis Winston made a surprise stop at Birmingham’s Ossie Ware Middle School today. (Photo: Chanda Temple)

By Chanda Temple

The gym at Birmingham’s Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School erupted into cheers this afternoon as No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Jameis Winston entered.

Winston, newly recruited to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, first joked about how the students could thank him for getting them out of class. He smiled. So did the students. But then things turned serious as he told students he was there to discuss three things: good grades, the way they carry themselves and confidence.

He asked students how many of them have good grades. Some laughed. He saw it as a teaching moment, encouraging students not to laugh at students making good grades because those students may be president one day.

“Don’t be ashamed about making good grades now,” he said, adding that good grades will lead to scholarships. The Hueytown, Ala. native received a scholarship to play at Florida State University, where he helped the school win a national championship and he was named a Heisman Trophy winner.

“I went to school for free, man!” he said.

Jameis Winston talks to students about the importance of having confidence, staying in school and making good grades. (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

Jameis Winston talks to students about the importance of having confidence, staying in school and making good grades. (Photo by: Chanda Temple)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Want to be better in business in 2015? Have a PR plan

Don't cut corners when you are planning a public relations strategy for your company. Consult experts to make sure your plan meets all of your needs to deliver a message with punch. (Image from Flickr/Creative Commons via Niuton may. )

Don’t cut corners when you are planning a public relations strategy for your company. Consult experts to make sure your plan meets all of your needs to deliver a message with punch. (Image from Flickr/Creative Commons via Niuton may. )

By Chanda Temple

If 2015 is the year you promised to improve your business, it’s not too late to start.

On this second day of February, what are your new year’s resolutions to building a better business? Gaining additional capital? Expanding your product or services? Broadening your consumer reach? While all of these are great goals, don’t forget to do an honest review of what you have and create a list of what you need.

“No company is above a once-over! No matter how well a business is going, there are always ways to improve,” saysKrista Conlin, founder and president of KC Projects PR in Birmingham, Ala. “Employees are much more agreeable to change at the beginning of the year. So if there are moves to be made, now is a great time.”

One thing that you should definitely include is a public relations strategy with new, fresh and creative perspectives, says Conlin. Here, she offers five tips to get you started:

Always be prepared

Expect the worst and hope for the best. If the unthinkable happens, panicking can only make things worse; especially from a public relations perspective. You want to have a broad strategic plan that includes as many scenarios as possible, no matter how improbable the scenarios may seem.

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How Elvis Presley can pump up your pr pitch

By Chanda Temple

An editor with a love for Elvis Presley was impressed  by one pitch that highlighted the singer's hometown and more.  Image by Play-R via Flickr/Creative Commons.

An editor with a love for Elvis Presley was impressed by one pitch that highlighted the singer’s hometown and more.
Image by Play-R via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Test time: You’ve emailed a national magazine’s deputy editor several times to invite her to profile your small Southern town and it’s connection to Elvis Presley. Although the editor has never responded, you don’t give up. The next time, you take a new approach.

Do you:

A) Pitch how Tupelo, Miss., the birthplace of Elvis, is an emerging, energetic Southern city with a lot of history and appeal

B) Provide a list of locals, with contact info, for the editor to use as a resource

C) Ask the editor to be a judge in an Elvis look-a-like contest

D) All of the above

For the woman pitching to Erin Shaw Street, Southern Living magazine’s deputy editor responsible for managing the publication’s travel and culture content, all three approaches worked. Why? It had a lot to do with timing.

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Why PR pros need a YouTube account

By Chanda Temple

YouTube logo

I live in Birmingham, Ala., where tornadoes rumble across the region every spring. On a recent spring night, I huddled in my hallway closet, put on a bicycle helmet and rode out  severe weather until the storms passed. I used my BlackBerry to tweet about the experience. Luckily, there was no damage in my area.

A reporter from Mobile, Ala. saw my tweets and tweeted me the next day, saying he wanted to talk to me about how I wore my helmet during the storm. (It’s pretty common that people wear some type of helmet during a tornado as a precaution against possible head injuries.) He wanted to use my comments for a story.

Since Mobile is about four hours from Birmingham, I figured we’d do a telephone interview. He had something else in mind.

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How to get ready for a television interview

Alabama 13's Ashley Roberts and I took a selfie in the NBC studio before my on-air interview. I decided to wear green because it popped for me. Ashley wore green, too, totally by accident. What a way to usher in spring!

Alabama 13’s Ashley Roberts and I took a selfie in the NBC studio before my on-air interview. I decided to wear green because it popped for me. Ashley wore green, too, totally by accident. What a way to usher in spring!

By Chanda Temple

You’ve booked a live, on-air interview for television. But are you truly ready for the lights, camera and action? Here are some tips to help prepare you:

  • Don’t say, “Um”  
  • Do you know what you sound like when you are talking? Do you have a tendency to say , “um?’’ If you don’t know, record yourself with a  smartphone, video recorder or tape recorder. If you say, “Um’’ more than twice, chances are that you say it a lot. One quick way to kill the “ums’’ is that when you feel it coming on, take a pause and then start talking again. When we say, ‘’um,’’ it’s because we are thinking about what to say next or we are looking for a transition. When we say it a lot, people focus more on our “ums,’’ rather than our message.

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Six more tips on writing a good press release

By Chanda Temple

Image by Search Influence via Flickr/CreativeCommons

Image by Search Influence via Flickr/CreativeCommons

On March 26, 2014, I wrote about six ways to write a good press release. Here are six more tips.

  • Personalize your releases

If you are having an event with a lot of vendors, pick one or two to highlight their special skill, product, etc. If they are selling a product they developed because it helped make life easier for them and their family, push that personal story. Reporters like people stories.

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Six tips to writing a better press release

By Chanda Temple

Image by Jeffrey James Pacres via Flickr/CreativeCommons

Do you know how to capture a reporter’s attention with an engaging press release? Keep it simple. Image by Jeffrey James Pacres via Flickr/CreativeCommons

I worked as a reporter for 20 years before starting a career in public relations in 2012. And I can tell you that not all press releases are created equally.

When I was a reporter, some releases went on forever before I found the news. Others offered no news value at all and left me wondering, “Why did they send this to me?” Still others tried to be cute and funny but totally turned me off. I’m sure the sender thought they had just sent a masterpiece, when in reality, it was a master fail.

Writing press releases is hard. Here are some tips to help sharpen your skills.

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