The idea of public education in America is older than the nation itself, with the first school, the Boston Latin School, opening in 1635. John Hancock and Samuel Adams went there. Benjamin Franklin dropped out.
Today, there are more than 98-thousand public schools in the U.S. with almost 51 million students attending. Private schools are busy too. There’s more than 34-thousand private schools open now, teaching nearly six million kids.
Robert celebrates the start of another school year with two communicators, Rich Bagin, the Executive Director of the National School Public Relations Association, and Cody Kennedy Communications and Media Manager for the Olathe School District, in Olathe, Kansas.
Also, we get a crash course in education style courtesy of the AP Stylebook, in two rounds of America’s favorite PR podcast quiz show, the Buzzer Beater.
Today, we pause to remember an event that changed the world forever, the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Next week, Americans, and our allies around the globe, will reflect on the attacks against four flights full of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, business executives, parents, students, and children.
Speeches will be delivered. Wreaths will be laid. Survivors will be profiled. And security protocols will be revisited. Media coverage will remind society of the horrors many remember and educate those too young to recall.
In this very special conversation, Robert visits with two veteran communicators, Brian Turmail and Nico Melendez, asking them to share their memories, not just from the day of the attacks, but also of the PR work that resulted once Congress created the Transportation Security Administration.
Brian and Nico were hired to handle TSA’s media relations and eventually became Robert’s trusted deputies as the three of them worked long days and nights to explain the changes to transportation security at a time of extreme concern that the September attacks might not be the last.
The trio reflects on what happened, how they handled the crush of media inquiries and criticism, and the crisis management lessons learned then that still apply today.
Labor Day is here! It’s the perfect time to talk about finding your next, or first, PR job. On this bonus holiday episode of the Flack Pack, Robert wraps up the PR Summer School series with Stephanie Ranno, a recruitment expert working for TorchLight Hire, a firm that helps companies find marketing and communications talent. She offers tips for finding the next job, and confirms that this fall’s job market will be white hot!
Our games and features get the day off, but they’ll return in a couple of weeks.
The Internet is full of data about the PR Industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says more PR people work in Washington, D.C. than any other city in the U.S., including New York City! If you happen to be one of those already employed, but are looking to change jobs, this fall will be a good time to do it. The same goes for those, including students, who still are looking for the perfect position. With a recession predicted by the end of next year, employers are rushing to build teams now.
In recognition of Labor Day, we’re talking about PR jobs with two recruiters. One today, and one on Monday. Robert’s guest today is Brian Phifer, CEO of Phifer and Company, based in New York. But a word of warning: If you can’t handle the truth, you may want to download a podcast about gardening, because Brian’s advice might sting a little.
Also we dub Shalon Roth the latest contributor to the Flack Pack by testing her knowledge of AP Style in a royal competition you won’t want to miss!
the-recession-of-2020-could-happen.html">How the Recession of 2020 Could Happen
Responding to a PR request for proposals (RFP) can be stressful, time consuming, and sometimes futile. But it’s also necessary, as RFPs are a staple of agency business development efforts.
So how can PR pros engage the RFP process and live to tell about it? Robert spends some quality time this week with two experts on RFPs: Robert Udowitz and Steve Drake, principals of RFP Associates, based here in the Washington, D.C. metro area. They examine the pitfalls of the process and share some tips that will help us master our next RFP response.
Social media is the beast that never stops eating. No matter how much content we create, there’s always more we could do. Platforms have different rules, audiences, and needs. Producing social media content, even for a small business or client, is a full time job.
Given that, is there enough time in the day to write good copy and still get the rest of your work done? Or does the pressure to get posts online cause you to cut corners, rushing through the process? Jason Mollica, a communications professor at American University and a Flack Pack contributor, joins Robert in the Flack Pack studio to share his tips for writing better social media copy.
As PR legend has it, early pitchman Ivy Lee pioneered the news release when he sent the story of a train wreck to the New York Times, and the newspaper printed it. Little did he know that millions more news releases would be issued by those that followed in his footsteps. It’s this crushing volume of digital paper that, today, more than a hundred years later, has many journalists crying “enough!”
Is the news release dead or alive? If more and more reporters don’t want them, does it make sense to write and send them anyway? Robert talks with PR pro Shalon Roth, an agency veteran who runs her own shop in London, called PR-it, to get her take on the past, present, and future of the humble, but loveable, news release.
Writing a speech might be the biggest test you’ll ever face as a PR pro. It’s a task not suited for the rhetorically challenged. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of speeches are given in the U.S. each year. But how many of them connect with their audience? Do they accomplish anything? Are you staring at a laptop right now, wringing your hands over a speechwriting assignment?
Robert sits down with Bob Lehrman and Eric Schnure to talk speechwriting, and about the new second edition of their book, “The Political Speechwriter’s Companion,” coming July 30th . They’ll share from the book some of their best tips for writing an effective speech, and stories about the speechwriting process that may leave you laughing out loud.
Lehrman was chief speechwriter to former Vice President Al Gore, while Schnure is founding partner of Washington, D.C.’s Humor Cabinet and has written speeches for Gore and led Executive Communications at GE.
Fifty years ago tomorrow night, America put a man on the Moon. It was an engineering and scientific feat, but it also was a PR success. Eagle’s historic landing didn’t just happen because of the work taking place in Apollo’s labs or on its workbenches.
It also happened because of efforts in media briefing rooms and during press tours. It was sold in news releases and press kits, product endorsements, and magazine articles. Corporate PR people joined with their NASA counterparts to push the idea of space exploration. Many believe the Apollo 11 program was the first to leverage today’s version of brand journalism driving media interest and support.
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, Robert interviews author and marketing expert David Meerman Scott about the PR campaign that sold the Apollo lunar program, and his book, “Marketing the Moon.”
Our Buzzer Beater player maneuvers the galaxy of grammar and usage rules that is AP Style, while Jason visits the studio with a review of NASA’s current social media program. Kathleen ventures outside, braving the excessive heat, to find out what people know about America’s men who went to the Moon and back.
It’s tougher than ever these days to get a journalist to pay attention to a story pitch. PR pros outnumber reporters, so the volume of ideas flooding their way is no doubt too much to manage. Given that, what should you do?
Robert interviews Greg Galant, the CEO and Founder of Muck Rack, a software platform that aims to make your work with journalists more effective. Their conversation is packed with tips to remember the next time you have to sell a reporter your story idea.
Also, Flack Pack contributor Gina Luttrell braves the Buzzer Beater. What grade does she get for her knowledge of AP Style? Listen to find out!
This podcast could use a review! Have anything to say about it? Share your thoughts using the button below.Submit Review