My loser award entry and six things I learned from it

I entered my own work for a Silver Spike last year for the first time. It was the only entry in its category, and it didn’t place. Not even an honorable mention. Thankfully, as Full House taught me, the only mistakes are the ones you don’t learn from. Here are a few things I learned from losing against no one (or myself, if I’m feeling introspective about it). Hopefully these help you, too! 1. Get close to the process Read the rules and scoring guidelines thoroughly. Our chapter has high standards (this is a good thing!) and it’s best to familiarize yourself with the judging process. I SERIOUSLY CAN’T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. Get comfy with the judging criteria to know what judges have been asked to look for. Another quick way to get familiar is through being on the judging committee and/or serving as a judge when we judge our reciprocal chapter’s entries in the spring (you did know our entries are judged by another PRSA chapter, right?). So, see you at the committee meeting next year? 2. Reflecting on what I can do better I got to take a look at what I would do or handle differently next time. Sometimes this thing we call a job can move so quickly, we forget to check our work. This evaluation process is so important – and not just in terms of ROI or client invoices. Evaluating helps us become better professionals. It helps us keep the goals and objectives top of mind. It helps serve the mission or our organization. 3. Reflecting on how badass I am Writing my...

Four Local Public Relations Professionals Earn Accreditation

The Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America announces its newest accredited professionals in northern Nevada: Dan Davis, APR Tiffany East, APR Jackie Shelton, APR Dean Schermerhorn, APR The Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential represents the highest standards of performance and ethical practice in the field. The APR asserts professional competence; communicates professional expertise, plus personal and professional dedication and values and reflects progressive public relations industry practices and high ethical standards. “Earning the APR demonstrates these professionals’ mastery of today’s strategic communications practice and their commitment to lifelong learning and ethical standards,” said Anne McMillin, APR, vice president of professional development for the Sierra Nevada Chapter. To earn their accreditation, these professionals, over the course of a year, prepared and presented a case study demonstrating their understanding of the public relations planning process and then took an exam to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to excel in the profession. Dan Davis, APR is the marketing manager at Bayer Properties (The Summit Mall); Tiffany East, APR is the owner of her own firm, Tiffany East PR; Jackie Shelton, APR is vice president of public relations at The Estipona Group and Dean Schermerhorn, APR owns Concise Communications. All are based in Reno/Sparks. With the addition of these four new APRs, the Sierra Nevada Chapter boasts 19 of its 88 members, or 21 percent, who have attained their...

Public Relations Tips For Bolstering Your Brand’s Reputation

This blog has been previously posted at NCET.org            Public relations(PR) is far more than just sending a press release. Communicators skate blurred lines between marketers, advertisers, digital divas, community engagers, reputation managers, publicists, brand advisers, social media strategists, and terms we haven’t created yet. Bottom line: in a fast moving entrepreneurial world, the power of PR has never been more relevant. While it takes far more than one article to delve into, here are a few solid PR tips to leverage when working to earn coverage in the same way that Reno recently has: Know Your Media. Knowing which outlet and which reporter to talk to goes a long way in helping get your story out to the public. Learn the nuances between what an editor does on a day-to-day basis versus what a beat reporter covers, distinguish which broadcast reporter might like to focus on the arts beat over another. Refining the media contact’s focus will help ensure you route the information to the right folks for the best odds of getting your story covered. Timeliness: Let’s say you’re hosting an event in April. Sending information out two days before cuts things a little close, but sending things out in the first of January may mean the outlet has no interest in helping publicize. Who Is The End User? Who’s reading the article? Listening to the radio station? Watching the news broadcast? Put yourself in their shoes and craft a compelling reason why that audience member would want to know your information. Will it save them money, or provide them information, give them an edge? Keep the outlet’s audience in mind to give yourself the best chance for coverage. As entrepreneurs,...

PRSA Judging

PRSA Sierra Nevada chapter reciprocates judging PRSA Wisconsin’s annual awards applications for the best of the best in campaigns or strategies and tactics. We judge their entries in April; they’ll judge our entries in October.   If you’ve hesitated submitting awards in the past because you don’t make a plan-you’re probably not alone. Come judge to learn what makes a great entry. Not sure if you’re qualified to judge? Join a mix of long time pros and new-to-the-industry judges for a judging jam, so you can have experienced sounding-boards. Maybe you can learn a cool tactic you can modify for your own work. Sometimes it’s affirming to see how much further along your skills really are. Long term chapter members often use this as a one of many ways to give back to the chapter and the profession. We expect 60-75 entries that require two judges, with APRs third review for ties or giant discrepancies. PRSSA Nevada is hosting the Judging Jam Night. Entries are all digital (the age-old binders are dead). Tuesday, April 19 5:30-8:30 p.m. The Reynolds School of Journalism, Room 216. There will be tunes, a baller playlist, great work from our sister chapter, and an inside look at the entry process. We’ll even feed you. Maybe we’ll go for a celebratory cocktail after party for work well done. Please RSVP to algaulden@gmail.com so we can count on your expertise and willingness to have...

In Defense of Accreditation

Publicists. Event Planners. Spin Doctors. For years, those were the perceptions of the public relations practitioner. In the early days of the 20th century, there was some truth to those perceptions. Lack of training and ethical standards on the part of some practitioners perpetuated the negative perception of individuals who claimed to be public relations “professionals.” In today’s world, the emergence of Accreditation has helped to bring stronger credibility to the public relations profession, especially by practitioners who have chosen to complete the strenuous process that leads to Accreditation. Being able to use APR (Accredited in Public Relations) is a mark of distinction for public relations practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgment, strategic perspectives, knowledge of best practices, and the use of the research-planning-implementation-evaluation process. Accreditation supports the maturation of the field of public relations, helping it move toward becoming a true profession similar to other professions that require certification or other credentialing. Ethics are and have been a central part of the Accreditation process. Once professionals are Accredited in Public Relations, they are required to follow a strict code of ethical standards. Hiring managers and clients who choose Accredited public relations professionals know that they have chosen strategic thinkers who have demonstrated skills and abilities necessary to advise executives or managers on how best to establish and maintain the relationship necessary to meet organizational objectives. These professionals have completed the Accreditation process and are committed to maintaining that Accreditation through professional and personal development. That sets Accredited professionals apart from other practitioners. If the APR distinction sounds like something you wish to...

Ethically Speaking

Welcome to the inaugural issue of ethics communications from the PRSA Sierra Nevada chapter vice president of ethics. Through this forum PRSA Sierra Nevada aims to keep ethical considerations on the minds of public relations professionals. PRSA members already have a wealth of ethical resources available to them through the PRSA national website. Visit https://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/index.html#.VuwyJtIrK70. The starting point is the PRSA Code of Ethics, which you can view online and download at https://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/index.html#.Vuwym9IrK70. These resources offer ethical guidance on issues that you might face as a public relations professional, such as the following. In this political season you will no doubt see advertisements for candidates or causes that are sponsored by a front group. The ethical issue arises when a front group uses a name that obscures or misrepresents the actual interest of the people that make up the front group. To illustrate, these are a few hypothetical examples of front group names and the actual interests that they represent: Citizens for Tougher Tobacco Laws (committed to passing legislation in every state that pre-empts all local smoking legislation resulting in lighter state standards) Citizens for Justice in the Workplace (advocacy group committed to a raise in the minimum wage) Sustainable Earth (coalition of business organizations and interests committed to fighting tougher environmental legislation)PRSA Sierra Nevada chapter wants this to be an interactive forum for the discussion of ethical issues such as the following raised by PRSA members. Striking a balance in some of the following questions could well be topics for further discussion. PRSA recommends against assisting front groups and people such as these. These examples relate to four...