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APR

APR Resources for APR Month

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APR Resources for APR Month

At LPR, we believe that accreditation sets a public relations professional apart in a sea of party planners, publicists and purely strategic players. Accredited in Public Relations, or APR, is the public relations credentialing process that validates a professional's strategic thinking, understanding of emerging techniques and commitment to ethical practice.

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LPR's Top Social Moments of 2015

It’s been a busy year at Lewis Public Relations. This year, we updated our website, revamped our content and social strategies, streamed our first Periscope and survived mobilegeddon. Here’s a look back at the best of 2015 for LPR:  Most Popular Blog Posts

  • Born For Public Relations - A look at Amanda Hill's path to LPR on her second work anniversary.
  • Dear PR Graduates - Advice for new public relations graduates as they enter in the workforce.
  • Goodbye, Steve Blow - In the changing media landscape, The Dallas Morning News bid farewell to many great reporters in 2015.
  • Going Back to School with APR - LPR's Director of Account Service Christi Chesner shared her story on pursuing her APR. (Spoiler: she succeeded!)
  • A New Brand Takes Flight - Dallas Fort Worth International Airport launches a new brand built on strategic international growth and excellent customer experience.

Top Tweets

Recode Tweet

AA Dreamliner tweet

Facebook Favorites

  • Amanda's Second Workiversary at LPR

AH FB post

  • Christi receives her APR

CC FB post

 

We’d love to hear what your favorite was. Comment below or connect with us on Twitter. Thanks for stopping by, and we hope to see you back next year!

 

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Favorite Things of 2015

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost here.  While it’s easy to keep your focus forward-looking, it is equally important to remember where you came from. Take stock of your team’s successes and challenges. What has been hard to overcome, and what has been easy? Benchmarking is important for growth and measuring success, and celebrating wins is key to keeping your momentum going. Over the next month, you’ll start seeing “Top 10” and “Best of” lists and articles chronicling everything you can remember from 2015, including some things you probably wish you could forget. It started just this morning. Apple named Periscope app of the year. This one we love! Live-streaming is everywhere now. My family even shared over Periscope during the Thanksgiving holiday, and some of my cousins in South Carolina even tuned in. Mashable’s Christina Warren puts it best, “Periscope really captured the zeitgeist.”

If you follow @LPRDallas on social media, you’ve seen us get in on the Periscope action over the past few months, too. Earlier this week, our team took some time to reflect back and share our some of our favorite things of 2015.  In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap:

Amanda says her favorite memories as Lewis Public Relations being named one of the top PR firms in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal and also being named finalist for the Texas Family Business of the Year by Baylor University’s Institute for Family Business.

Baylor Award photo

 

It’s been a full year for Christi. Her top two highlights are earning her Accreditation in Public Relations and getting engaged to her best friend!CC Engagement Pic

Jennifer celebrated her first work anniversary with LPR in October. She also really enjoyed organizing a book donation drive and getting to read with the kiddos at Vogel AlcoveVogel Alcove-donation box, JK

Shelby, LPR’s newest hire, marks her highlight as graduating from Baylor University. She had been interning with us during her senior year, and we’re so excited she joined the team full-time this summer. Sic 'Em Bears!ST Baylor graduation

Blake recounted his trip to Dubai for a PRGN conference as something that will be hard to top next year. He rode a camel for the first, and possibly the last, time with other PRGN leaders from across the world.

My favorite memory was helping out with DFW Airport’s Sunny Service Days campaign. Over the summer months, the Airport used social media to connect and engage with travelers to surprise and delight them in the terminals. It was coordinated effort with their marketing, corporate communications and customer service teams, and I was glad to have the opportunity to help support them with our other agency partners. Bonus highlight: Hosting LPR's Favorite Things of 2015 Periscope! (See full video in all its glory below.)AB at DFW

It was a good year here at LPR, and we know 2016 is going to be even better. We’d love to hear some of your favorite things. Comment here or connect with us on Twitter to share some of your 2015 favorites. Don't forget to watch our Periscope below!

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Born for Public Relations

When public relations is in your blood, there are two paths you could take in life. You either run far, far away or you embrace it. As we celebrate Amanda Lewis Hill’s second anniversary at LPR today, I just want to say that we’re VERY glad she decided to embrace her public relations roots…and we’re particularly thankful she finally came to work with her dad here at LPR. AH-officeYes, LPR Principal and Founder Blake Lewis is Amanda’s dad. We don’t usually make a big deal about it because Amanda made a point to gain experience outside of the family business before joining the team. She’d been learning from her dad her entire life, and she wanted to expand her experiences and learn from other public relations mentors, too.

With that in mind, Amanda started her career at FleishmanHillard and spent several years in corporate communications at Texas Farm Bureau. In her spare time, she earned her MBA from The University of Texas and became accredited in public relations…all before joining the LPR team in 2013. Did I mention she’s also taught as an adjunct professor at Baylor and currently serves as president of the PRSA Central Texas Chapter?

The point is…Amanda is not your average boss’ daughter. She didn’t take the easy route to get here, and we’re all better for it!

Happy LPR anniversary, AH. Thanks for letting me share your story, even if you won’t let me share the old photos. ; )

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Going “Back to School” with the APR

CC APR StudyDoes anyone else want to go buy some school supplies and head back to class after seeing all the cute back-to-school photos flying around social media today? This summer, I embarked on my own, personal version of back-to-school by pursuing my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), which involves presenting a portfolio of work to a panel of accredited professionals, studying and sitting for the APR examination.

While everyone else was laying out clothes and packing lunches yesterday, I was sitting in a testing center taking a comprehensive exam on public relations, business, law, communications theory and ethics.

Now that the presentation and exam are both behind me, I just have to say that it has been the most valuable professional development investment I’ve ever made. I thought this whole process would be more of an exercise in demonstrating my knowledge, skills and abilities, rather than actually improving them.

Since I got my degree in public relations and have been practicing in the field since 2008, I didn’t think I was the type of candidate that would have a lot to learn from the process. Boy, was I wrong!

With real-world experience under my belt, the material I studied in college has so much more meaning and relevance. Reviewing best practices and core concepts (and even re-reading my PR textbooks) has been extremely valuable to my day-to-day work, and the whole process has truly helped me up my game in strategic planning, research and evaluation of the PR programs we deliver for our clients.

I still have to wait a few more weeks to get my results, but no matter what happens, I’ve never felt more empowered and equipped to practice public relations.

For those of you considering going back to school or participating in continuing education in your field, the timing will never be perfect…so you might as well bite the bullet and take advantage of the school supply clearance sales next week.

Photo credit: Tamara (ThingsPondered).

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Professional Development: Make the investment.

Last Friday, two team members from Lewis Public Relations attended the PRSA Dallas Pitching Boot Camp with renowned speaker Michael Smart. While PRSA offers its members many options for professional development, we have to say this was one of the best so far. Michael Smart is a former journalist turned independent communications trainer. This wasn’t our team’s first interaction with Michael. While we choose to participate in a variety of professional development offerings, all of us have benefited from Michael's weekly emails, past conferences and webinars...and our latest encounter did not disappoint.

Michael Smart Pitching Boot CampAt the PRSA Dallas Pitching Boot Camp, participants ranged from university students studying public relations to seasoned media and high-level spokespeople from around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Michael talked through the pitching basics, nuances of pitching today’s influencers, bloggers and overworked journalists, and the breakdown of your story. Without giving away the recipe to his secret sauce, we’d like to share some of the tried and true tips even the most tenured PR gurus can find useful.

 

Newsworthiness of the Pitch – Consider all aspects of your pitch.

What makes it relevant? Why now? Who should know about this? What side of the story can you tell to connect to your audience?

Targeted Outreach – Using mail merge? Survey says, “Don’t!”

Don’t waste your time or your media contact’s time unless it’s the right fit. Think about it: Journalists want to feel special, just like you and your clients. You’re more likely to make contact if you put some thought into who and why you are pitching.

Follow-up – Don’t be discouraged.

If you know it’s a good story, do make timely, appropriate follow-ups. If you don’t push for the coverage, who else will? During the Pitching Boot Camp, Michael also cautioned not to discredit the value of a cold call.

ThinkstockMost professional organizations offer a plethora of development training options throughout the year. While we don’t recommend signing up for every opportunity out there, it would behoove you to take note of what is offered. Investing in yourself directly correlates to your professional growth and client successes. Other LPR team members have made notable investments, such as pursuing Accreditation in Public Relations and earning an executive M.B.A. from University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

We recommend keeping an open mind and watching for worthwhile opportunities coming up, whether that means pursuing additional education or participating in seminars and conferences, especially if Michael Smart is headed to your area soon. Reading the quality content from respected industry professionals’ blogs can sometimes function as a quick way to receive condensed advice or tips on the latest how-to. We’ve curated a list of the best blogs for public relations and marketing here.

Do you have any suggestions on quality training or professional organizations? Comment below or engage with us on Twitter at @LPRDallas.

For more information on joining a Public Relations Society of America chapter, look hereFor more information about Michael Smart, we encourage you to visit his website and be on the watch for his upcoming blog.

(Photo Credits: Michael Smart PR, LLC; @LPRDallas Twitter Feed; Thinkstock via CBS DFW)

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Public Relations & Marketing Blogs We Love

Blogs have sprung open the gates traditionally guarded by reporters and editors, but it can be hard to wade through the clutter to find quality content. LPR has been generating our own content for the past five years, and we’re avid followers of other public relations thought leaders, too. In the billions pages of internet, we wanted to share some of our recommendations for the best public relations blogs out there.

Best PR pro blogs:

Peter Shankman - TweetBrian Solis – Defining the impact of technology, culture and business

- May 2015: “When You Share Experiences You Help Strangers Make Decisions

Peter Shankman – Founder of Help A Reporter Out

- May 2015: “Lessons about cynical Facebook followers, raising the bar, and LensCrafters

Michael Smart – Former journalist, independent communications trainer

- February 2015: “5 Ways to React to a Journalist on Twitter Beyond a Compliment

Note: Michael Smart doesn’t have a blog, but his content is well worth signing up to receive his e-mail newsletters and to hear his insight in webinars and conferences.

 

Best industry blogs:

PR Dailyperiscope-meerkat-twitter-reporting Daily news site that delivers news, advice and opinions on public relations, marketing, social media and media

- June 2015: “5 reasons PR and marketing pros should curate content

Jounralistics – A nifty little blog about digital communications

- March 2015: “Periscope and Meerkat: The New ‘Twitter’ for Reporters

Millennial Marketing – Insight and commentary on the latest millennial consumer and marketing trends

- May 2015: “Three Ways to Use Content to Fuel Your Social Media Engagement

Spin Sucks – Professional Development for PR and Marketing Pros

- May 2015: “Five Tips for Effective Marketing Collateral

 

Blogs from the Public Relations Global Network:

PRGN-Logo-13-RGB-2-300x150

Reed Public Relations, based in Nashville, TN

The Fearey Group, based in Seattle, WA

Ground Floor Media, based in Denver, CO

Landis Communications, Inc., based in San Francisco, CA

Buchanan Public Relations, based in Philadelphia, PA

HMA Public Relations, based in Phoenix, AZ

 

For length’s sake, we know we left some great ones off this list. If you see one we missed or want us to check out your blog, please comment below with the link or tweet us at @LPRDallas!

 

(We hope you count our blog as one of your go-to sources for public relations news and insights. While you’re here, check out some of our recent blogs highlighting client success and public relations insight.)

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Peter Shankman’s Twitter feed; Jounralistcs; Public Relations Global Network

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APR: More than a bowl of alphabet soup

This year marks 50 years of the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential, and April is Accreditation Month. It’s a time for us to celebrate the thousands of public relations professionals who have made the personal and professional investment and demonstrated their mastery of essential knowledge, skills and abilities of the public relations profession.