The world of public relations is jam packed with terms that can sometimes be a tad bit confusing. But don’t worry, we’re back with a sequel of “Decoding Public Relations” to further demystify some of the top phrases we see floating around in our world constantly, and what they really mean!
In this post, we will focus on ten terms specifically used in the public relations industry, carefully defining how they are used in the context of PR.
Contrary to popular belief, Op-Ed does not stand for “opinion editorial.” Surprised? We were, too!
Short for “opposite the editorial,” an op-ed is an opinion piece that appears in a newspaper. This content is commonly written by a subject-matter expert, a person with a unique perspective on an issue, or a regular columnist employed by the paper. It is called “opposite the editorial” because newspapers typically place op-eds on the opposite side of an editorial page.
Ever wonder how some websites pop up on the first page of your Google search, while others are hidden in the endless scroll of later pages? That’s (SEO) magic at work. By optimizing website content with relevant keywords, tags, and backlinks, brands can increase their visibility and rank higher in search results. Consider it the behind-the-scenes work to make your website the star of the Google show.
Social listening allows businesses to track mentions of their brand, competitors, or their general industry online through social media, without the consumer interacting with the brands owned channels. These mentions help brands understand what consumers are saying online organically. Once a brand has this information, they can use it to tailor content, address concerns, and engage with the audience in meaningful ways.
For example: a consumer posts on Facebook asking if anyone has a recommendation for a good running shoe. One of their friends might comment “Adidas” or “Nike,” without tagging the brand. If multiple people are having a similar conversation, i.e. associating Adidas or Nike with good running shoes, this will come up as a spike in Nike / Adidas social listening. They can see that they (or their competitor) were included in numerous conversations about running shoes, which might help them better target their strategy.
At the end of a press release, you often see a paragraph that seems to repeat across different releases from the same company. That’s the boilerplate. It’s a standardized text that provides a brief overview of the company, including its mission, achievements, and services.
Have you ever noticed a name right below the headline of an article? In the media world, that is called a byline. It gives credit to the author of the article.
Geotargeting is a strategy that pushes content or advertisements to users based on their geographic locations. It is most commonly used by businesses who are trying to reach people in a specific area. For example, a restaurant might use geotargeting to reach people within a certain radius of their location. Anyone outside that radius might not find the ad relevant.
Influencer marketing is when a brand taps trusted influential partners to promote a product, bridging the gap between the consumer and the brand. Influencers—ranging from content creators, micro or macro influencers, to revenue driving influencers and celebrities—are carefully selected based on the brand’s specific goals. No surprise here: the content they produce is also reflective of these goals. For example, if your goal is to sell more product, you would want to partner with an influencer who is known for driving revenue, and ask them to create a piece of content specifically encouraging their followers to buy your product.
Whitelisting is an up-and-coming topic within influencer marketing. It is when a brand is given access to an influencers account and has the green light to run ads on their behalf from their channel. This arrangement tends to be a win-win: the brand gets to tap into an audience already receptive to similar content, while the influencer enjoys the perk of increased exposure through the brand’s targeted social ads.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate tells you the percentage of people who click on a link or ad after seeing it. High CTR? Your ad is working! Low CTR? It might be time to try a new approach.
An editorial calendar is a list of topics that will be discussed monthly in a magazine. It is often intended for potential advertisers; However, PR teams can also leverage this information! Many public relations professionals will use an EdCal as a strategic planning tool to help align their pitches with the media’s scheduled focus areas.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement (also referred to as an NDA) is not specific to the PR industry. However, in the realms of public relations, a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) acts as a confidentiality safeguard. It legally binds all parties involved—agencies, consultants, clients, and freelancers—not to disclose proprietary insights or creative ideas until a certain date, usually the launch or release date. Having an NDA in place ensures that any sensitive information related to PR strategies, campaign specifics, client details, or product launches remains under wraps.
Whether you’re crafting your next Op-Ed or analyzing your latest campaign’s CTR, knowing these terms will help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of public relations with ease. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our first blog post on this topic: https://pivot-pr.com/decodingpublicrelations/
In the ever-evolving world of public relations, keeping up with the latest trends is crucial. As part of our commitment to staying at the forefront of this discipline, PIVOT PR Director Lana West recently had the opportunity to share her insights with Prowly, a leading PR software platform, on the projected PR trends for 2024.
Her insights were featured in Prowly’s much-anticipated annual trends report, contributing thought-leadership to the dialogue around the industry’s future. We’re thrilled by the reception and eager to share the complete spectrum of her predictions with you, right here on our blog.
So, what’s in store for the industry in 2024, and how should businesses prepare to take advantage of these trends? Read on to discover what we believe will shape the narrative in the world of PR for the coming year!
What will be the biggest challenge for PR Pros in 2024?
In 2024, one of the most significant challenges for PR professionals will be navigating the ever-changing digital landscape. As tools such as AI become more commonplace, and shifts in consumer behavior continue to accelerate, it is crucial for PR pros to stay ahead of the curve. Successfully adapting to emerging platforms, changing algorithms, and digital trends all while ensuring a client’s messaging remains on brand and resonates with the target audience will continue to be a juggling act.
What are outdated or ineffective PR trends that professionals should move away from in the coming year?
There are three outdated trends PR pros should leave behind in 2023. In 2024, never will we ever:
- Rely solely on press releases as a primary means of communication. In today’s dynamic media landscape, there’s a need for more personalized and targeted messaging. We strongly recommend adding a more tailored, relationship-focused approach to both media and influencer outreach.
- Use stale content on social media. It will become even more important for brands to have fresh, dynamic content to use on their social media channels. To truly stand out and connect with an audience, it’s essential to create content that is engaging, authentic, and interactive.
- Prioritize vanity metrics. The outdated practice of chasing vanity metrics, such as high follower counts, should be replaced with a focus on metrics that genuinely reflect engagement, brand loyalty, and conversions.
What will the biggest PR trend be in 2024?
We anticipate seeing a lot of brands “doing more with less” in 2024. In simple terms: amping up creativity, and getting scrappy.
Success in PR this upcoming year will rely on a blend of creativity, adaptability, and the ability to recognize and harness the power of existing trends to craft compelling narratives with little additional budget. For example, Panera Bread’s approach to the Roman Empire trend demonstrates how they creatively restructured their existing menu, to tap into a timely theme.
We had the privilege of sitting down with Megan Pintell of Magnolia Megan (@MagnoliaMegan, 175k followers on Instagram), and asking her some questions about how brands and agencies can best work with influencers just like her.
PIVOT recently collaborated with Megan on behalf of our client Piada Italian Street Food. Megan’s content reached over a million people, helping spread awareness of their new location opening in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did the name Magnolia Megan come from? What inspired you to start your journey as an influencer?
The name Magnolia Megan came from a branding project in college. I have always loved magnolia flowers and so I created a logo of a hand drawn magnolia flower for my brand. It was first used for my resume, cover letter, and portfolio website and later used for my name on social media!
I’ve always been a creative person and went to school for graphic design. I grew up doing photography and first learned on film from my Grandpa. I then did plenty of art classes like ceramics, acrylic painting, oil painting, and more.
I first started thinking about social media in college around 2017/2018. It was always a thought in the back of my mind but at the time I didn’t know how to pursue it. I was too busy with school and working three jobs at the time as well as pursuing a freelance business for graphic design, mainly focusing on logos and t-shirt designs.
When I graduated, I got a job at Dick’s Sporting Good’s Inc. in their corporate office on the signage team creating signs and graphics for their stores. The job was exciting at first and I learned a lot, however, I knew I didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 my whole life.
Six months after graduating, my husband (fiancé at the time) found out he had the opportunity to relocate to Houston, TX for his job. So, we moved across the country to a massive city.
I found a job at a boutique and started working as a helper in the store running errands, organizing clothes, and helping design graphics for social media and their website. I worked my way up in a short time to then start managing their social media and that’s when my interest in social media that I had in college began again.
I loved the creativity that went into social media and I saw a lot of potential in it. I then decided to start a blog website using my Magnolia Megan name and begin posting some content on my own personal Instagram. I had no idea what I was doing with my blog at the time and after a few months, I shut it down.
Around this time, Covid happened and I also got laid off from my job at the boutique. I began to start posting things to do and food on TikTok and Instagram during Covid, and my TikTok began to gain some traction.
Another content creator who was very big in Houston reached out to me and so I began working under her creating videos for 10+ restaurant accounts, managing their social media, creating viral videos, and going on content shoots.
I learned very quickly how to create consistent viral videos and kept improving my content for these restaurants. This also helped me have content for my own account to post and I began to love social media even more because of what I saw it do for the businesses I worked for.
After two years of living in Houston, we moved on a whim to Raleigh, NC in December of 2021. With all of the experience I gained in Houston and my creative skills that I have had, I grew my own Instagram account focusing on North Carolina content from 5,000 followers in December 2021 to 170,000 in January of 2024!
How would you describe your personal brand, and how has it evolved over time?
I would consider myself a lifestyle content creator that focuses on experiences, whether it is in North Carolina, a surrounding state, or at home.
I first started focusing on food in North Carolina because I knew it was the easiest to grow with. I then expanded from there to start to include interesting places, experiences, and more.
I wanted to keep my content broad enough that I wasn’t just considered a food blogger or locked in a specific city. That is also why I used the branding I created in college and chose the name Magnolia Megan because I wanted to have a personal brand and provide value to others with the things that my husband and I were doing.
Can you share some do’s and don’ts for brands or PR professionals when they want to collaborate with influencers?
Always have a budget in mind, especially for larger influencers.
It takes a lot of hard work, time, and creativity to create social media content and it is just as effective or even more effective than traditional marketing when you work with the right person. I have worked very hard to learn what I have and to get to where I am, all while building an organic following and building trust between my followers over content I post.
It can be disheartening when larger brands want to work with you, and they don’t have a budget set aside for this type of marketing. This type of marketing is growing, so it will be exciting to see how brands and PR agencies respond in the coming years!
Before accepting a collaboration, what kind of research or due diligence do you do about the brand or team?
I look into the brand or PR agency to make sure that they are credible, and their collaboration offer is something that would work with my audience. Then, I will think of a creative concept that will work organically for my page and will resonate with my audience. I don’t want to just accept any collaboration, you have to make sure it aligns with your brand!
Also, always make sure that you read over the contract before accepting and/or send a contract for them to sign! There have been instances where I was excited about a collaboration and was emailing the agency, we had a great conversation, approved the concept, and negotiated payment. They wanted the turnaround to be quick so I went through a platform to accept their proposal, spent hours creating the content, sent it for approval, only to have a delayed response from the agency working with the brand after sending the content for approval. After a few weeks with no response and several follow ups, they told me that the brand decided they were no longer doing the collaboration.
I had already done all of the work except for posting only to be told they are no longer doing it and I won’t be compensated for my work. When I went to the platform I accepted the approval on, I realized there was no contract signed. Of course you don’t expect these things to happen and for scams to be real, but they are and it is better to take all precautions. Read over contracts and do your research. Don’t rush into a collaboration even if it seems legit.
In your opinion, what are some common mistakes brands make when reaching out to influencers?
I believe a common mistake is not doing enough research on the influencer and on payment structure for social media.
Each influencer is different – the type of content they create, the engagement rate, demographics, location, payment expectations, and more. It’s always important to also do your research into an influencer so you know who you’re working with. Will they provide the results your client is looking for? Or is their page mostly engagement groups, bots, or the wrong demographic completely?
Everyone is different and working with the right influencer can provide amazing results. Be sure to reach out to influencers that will provide the type of content you’re looking for and send a thought-out proposal so they know what kind of collaboration it is.
Be open with the pricing structure and the concept so they can create something that will resonate with their audience.
As the industry continues to change and evolve, how do you plan to adapt, and what changes do you foresee in the influencer landscape?
I am always studying analytics of my content and analyzing trends.
It is important to keep updated on how your content is performing, what your audience is reacting to, and what social media is doing at that time. The algorithms are changing constantly and the psychology behind why posts perform well is very important. If you don’t change your content or improve, it will get overlooked very quickly.
Social media is a very competitive space and that can be a good and bad thing. If influencers become complacent with how their posts are performing or with their content quality, why would brands want to use them for marketing?
Just like any other job, it is important to keep on top of your work and on all the ins and outs of social media.
What’s one thing that you want all the PR professionals to understand about working with influencers?
Influencers became influencers for a reason – because they provided useful content with value, they are creative, good at storytelling, and more. They also know their followers best and how they would react to different concepts or types of content.
Let them be creative and have room for that with the collaboration. This is not a brand’s way of pushing an ad that you would typically see in a magazine or on TV onto social media because it will most likely not get good engagement or response on their account.
When using an influencer, the best thing you can do is let them be creative and make the collaboration feel as authentic as possible toward their audience. A great creator will be able to do this and that is where the beauty of social media comes into play!
It’s no secret that in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, content is king. Many brands are struggling to keep up with the increased demand for new and dynamic content, which has not slowed down even as budgets continue to tighten. However, while content might be king, repurposing content is queen.
Let’s explore five creative ways to make your content work harder for you and your budget across the digital landscape.
- Transform Static Images into Slideshow Videos
Your stunning images deserve more than a single static performance! Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and even LinkedIn embrace visual storytelling, so transform your static brand images into dynamic, eye-catching slideshow videos. You can also add subtle animations, music, and text overlays for an immersive experience that brings your brand, product, or service to life.
- Breathe New Life into Blog Posts with Micro-Content
Your blog posts are a goldmine of valuable insights. Break them down into bite-sized pieces for social media consumption. Create visually appealing quote graphics, infographics, or short video snippets to best fit the platform. Share these micro-content pieces across platforms to drive traffic back to your blog, catering to different audience preferences.
- Repurpose Long-Form Videos for Short-Form Platforms
Long-form videos don’t have to live in isolation on YouTube or a campaign landing page. Extract the most engaging snippets from the long-form content to share on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. Craft teaser videos or highlight reels to generate interest and direct viewers to watch the full video on your YouTube channel or website. Catering to varying attention spans across platforms ensures you reach a broader audience.
- Give Influencer Content a Second Life
Influencer partnerships are valuable assets, so extend their impact by repurposing influencer-created content across your channels. Share snippets on your social media, feature influencer testimonials on your website, and incorporate their content into your email campaigns. This not only maximizes their efforts but also strengthens the authenticity of your brand.
- Create Branded Visuals for Paid Ads
Ensure consistency across your paid advertising efforts by repurposing existing visuals. The images from your latest photoshoot can become the focal point of digital ads, social media campaigns, display ads, and even public relations efforts. A cohesive visual identity reinforces brand recognition and trust, making your campaigns more impactful.
Have questions or need assistance with your content repurposing strategy? Reach out to us at [email protected]!
Let us help craft a plan that resonates across the digital landscape.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Samuel Berger, and I’m a Long Island native who found his way to the Queen City.
How did you end up in Charlotte?
I went to school at SUNY Geneseo and studied communication and political science. Honestly, I did not think broadcast news was where I would find my calling. Aside from eating great food, including some of the best wings ever, I spent my time beat reporting on the Buffalo Bills, or working for government officials. From there I went to Rochester, where I worked at Spectrum News and WHEC, surviving Rochester winters like a champ. If you can handle lake-effect snow, you can handle anything, right?
After that, Kansas City became my home for three years. I was the lead morning show producer and the producer behind the Kansas City Chiefs’ pre-game festivities for the CBS affiliate. That included a highlight of my career, producing a Super Bowl pre-game show with my best friend serving as host, it doesn’t get better than that.
Now, here I am in Charlotte, serving as the Senior Producer at Queen City News. In the Queen City I have truly gotten the best of both worlds: being back near the coast and in a bustling news environment. With Charlotte continuing to grow, no two days are ever alike.
What made you interested in journalism?
That’s an easy question; I have always been interested in people. I believe everyone has a story, and those stories are what make us unique. Through journalism, I have the ability to tell those stories and shine a light on the people that make our communities what they are. It’s that ability to make a difference that drives me.
Each and every day as a journalist, you start with a blank slate, a story, and a deadline, and it’s up to you to make it work, make it interesting, and make a difference.
What kind of news do you find most interesting to report on?
I have a keen interest in human interest stories—they have this incredible ability to connect people on a personal level. Whether it’s exploring unique life experiences, triumphs, or challenges, these stories showcase the diversity of a person. If I can do so through a vehicle like food or sports, both things I am passionate about, it allows me to buy-in that much more.
I am also drawn to complicated issues that deserve a breakdown. There’s a sense of satisfaction in unraveling complex subjects and presenting them in a way that resonates with viewers. At the end of the day it is making sure the viewer gets the information they need and answers to questions. When I can put a challenging subject in layman’s terms and make it digestible for everyone I feel as if I provided a valuable service.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far while working in the journalism industry?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned while working in the journalism industry is the importance of connections and teamwork. The people you meet and collaborate with are instrumental to success. While I may excel in writing and producing a show, the collaborative effort of editors, directors, anchors, reporters, and the entire newsroom is essential. In other words, the strength of the team directly correlates with the quality of the final product. In journalism, it’s not just about individual skills; it’s about the collective synergy that brings stories to life and delivers impactful content to our audience.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I envision myself leading a team of creatives in the dynamic world of media. As my longtime news director wisely puts it, I aim to “do interesting stuff” — engaging in innovative and impactful storytelling that captures the audience’s attention. My goal is to make a difference through the stories I tell, ensuring that I am contributing to narratives that truly deserve to be shared. I see myself at the forefront of meaningful projects, utilizing my skills to not only inform but also captivate and connect with viewers on a deeper level.
How can PR pros like us work better with local media?
PR professionals can foster stronger collaboration with local media by immersing themselves in the nuances of a newsroom. Understanding the delicate balance and synergies at play within a news environment is key. By gaining insight into the intricacies of how everything functions together, PR pros can tailor their pitches to align seamlessly with the preferences and requirements of local media.
Moreover, a deep understanding of the angles and story elements needed by local media. This not only gives PR professionals a leg up in effectively communicating their messages but also assists local media outlets in producing compelling and relevant stories.