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It's easy to get swept up on the holidays and busy wrapping up 2015 activities without giving much thought to next year's PR and marketing strategy. But now is the time to set some goals for the coming year. Here are four strategies for setting effective goals. 1) Align goals with business objectives. The mistake most organizations make when dreaming up public relations and marketing goals is not aligning them with specific business objectives. Sure, it would be great to increase your social media audience or get covered by the local paper, but how will that serve your company's larger goal to increase sales by 20 percent?

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2) Understand the function of each channel. Every activity has its purpose. Earned media can raise brand awareness... read more

As marketing and public relations professionals, we rely on demographic information to make strategic decisions. But, for many reasons, consumers aren’t behaving like they once did. POST-DEMOGRAPHIC CONSUMERISM: People—of all ages and in all markets—are constructing their own identities more freely than ever. As a result, consumption patterns are no longer solely defined by “traditional” demographic segments such as age, gender, location, income, family status and more. Several factors are fueling the trend: The availability of information that makes it easier for consumers to discover and avail themselves of new products and services New (non-material) status symbols How social influence has changed the way people interact with brands This means the assumptions we once made based on demographics like age, education, gender and income, are no longer universally... read more

Data breaches are becoming more common with breaches this year in the healthcare, financial, and higher-education industries. With a profusion of sensitive data, healthcare organizations are a prime target for data breaches, and 2015 has seen its fair share with major players like Anthem and Blue Cross among the violated. Aside from working with your IT department to take measures to minimize your organization’s risk, you should be ready with a crisis communications plan specific to this type of situation. Step 1: Get prepared.

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Knowing how your organization will react to a data breach is essential and will expedite your response. Make sure you can answer the following questions to get the ball rolling. How will the public and stakeholders be informed? What other key... read more

Crisis Communications Social Media Strategy

Social media can be a very fast and effective way to communicate with key stakeholders in the event of a crisis. However, it adds a level of complexity to crisis communication that can be overwhelming to PR practitioners. The public now expects a higher degree of transparency and speed, and organizations struggle to understand the role social media can play. Here are three ways you can use social media in a crisis. Provide resources and accessibility.

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With 71 percent of online adults using Facebook and 23 percent using Twitter, social media seems like the channel to reach the masses. However, Facebook’s organic Page reach is just 2.6 percent. And only about two percent of your Twitter followers actually see your Tweets. So what’s the... read more

Content Marketing Public Relations

As public relations professionals, we know that storytelling is a powerful way to connect with our audiences. Brand journalism is, in essence, a type of storytelling with the goal of gaining your audience's trust by publishing content that is credible and informative. At its most basic, a corporate blog is a form of brand journalism. Instead of writing a press release, a company might write a blog post and share the content on its social channels. However, brand journalism goes beyond blogging about company news. But before you make your foray into brand journalism, you need a plan.

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Step 1: Define your goals. Why do you want to begin creating content? Organizations are creating content to build brand awareness, educate the media on industry topics,... read more

Denver is brimming with public relations firms vying for your business. It's great for organizations looking to outsource their PR, but it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right agency. Even though we always welcome new prospects, we want to be sure we can deliver results before we accept a contract. We want to be sure that Pushkin PR is the right fit. These are some of the things we tell would-be clients to consider before hiring us—or any—PR firm. Areas of Expertise Not all public relations agencies are created equal. Generally, firms have a handful of specialties—industries or activities with which they have the most experience. It's important to ask any PR firm you are considering if they have experience in your... read more

As of the first quarter of this year, Facebook had 1.44 billion monthly active users—more people than live in China. So it makes sense that it is the site most organizations prioritize when developing a social media strategy. It’s not a bad approach considering you’ll certainly find some portion of your target audience there. According to the Pew Research Center, the 74 percent of online adults using social media are divvied up like this, with 52 percent using two or more sites. 71% use Facebook 23% use Twitter 26% use Instagram 28% use Pinterest 28% use LinkedIn

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Those five social channels are the major players and the ones we always consider. But depending on your product or service and target audience, there are a... read more

Think about the brands you admire. Those brands worked hard to earn your respect. But as hard as they are to build up, even strong reputations can be torn down in the blink of an eye. That’s why reputation management requires constant vigilance and attention. For the past couple weeks, we've been spending a lot of our time in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at Cheyenne Frontier Days, an iconic Western brand built over 119 years with an approach we like to call Cowboy PR. That means it’s founded on trust and authentic communication. The people who run Cheyenne are straight shooters. They believe in getting directly to the heart of the matter and not wasting your time with a lot of bull. When we began working with... read more

As public relations professionals, we wear a lot of hats. We run branding sessions and work our contacts to get media placements that include our clients’ key messages. We hold trainings on topics from social media management to interviewing skills. We create crisis communications plans and messaging platforms. But, first and foremost, we are communicators. No matter the project, our goal is always to help clients communicate more effectively. This is especially important for our healthcare clients who are tasked with delivering complex information to a variety of audiences.

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According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of U.S. adults have proficient health literacy. The Institute of Medicine defines health literacy as "the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain,... read more

For many organizations, the tendency is to be everything to everyone for fear of missing out on customers, opportunities or revenue. The result: a lack of a cohesive brand. Without a strong brand promise, potential customers, clients or donors won't know what your organization is about. Throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks may land you a few new prospects, some sales or donations. But it will not give you the staying power necessary to compete in this crowded, noisy marketplace. We use a specific process to help our clients determine their brand promise, so they can answer the three most important questions in public relations. What is your story? To whom do you want to tell it? What is the best way... read more

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