Tag Archives: Public relations

Pitching When You’re in a State of Emergency

What a week it has been. We got through Hurricane Irma, but the Mugsy team spent several days with no power, no internet, and no cable, however, we got really good at Scattergories! This storm drained our energy, physically, mentally and literally.

Luckily with this storm we had cell phone service and some internet on the phones as well, but of course they couldn’t be charged, so we had to live by back-up batteries after the 2nd day of no power until public venues opened that had power and we could plug-in. Charging by car just wasn’t cutting it.

None of this would be a big deal if all our clients were in Florida, but our International clients, as understanding as they were about the storm overall, still had breaking news that needed to get out to the national media. So Sarah and I “hunkered down” and started pitching, and without being asked (we believe in family first), our team jumped in and got press releases out by phone (luckily previously drafted and approved by the client in anticipation for this news), and had updated Cision media lists sent to us by a sister firm that we partner with often. Our team pitched in the heat, the dark, and used their remaining battery power to get the news out there, while still making time to go out and help neighbors move branches, take down shutters, and check on family members.

We are beyond proud of our little Mugsy PR fam, and media has been incredible as well, responding with not just media hits, but honest offers of help and assistance as needed for hurricane relief.

Our hearts grew ten sizes this week, even if our tree count dwindled a bit.

Here’s to lower electric bills this September, and a hope of a clear end to hurricane season!

Talking About PR

Saffy: ‘I’m sorry, Mum, but I’ve never seen what you actually do’
Eddy: ‘PR!’
Saffy: ‘Yes, but…’
Eddy: ‘PR! I PR things! People. Places. Concepts.

I have always loved Eddy’s quote on public relations in Ab Fab. It cracks me up every time because it feels so true to life. How many times have those of you in PR tried to explain to your family or friends what you do. The answer is EVERYTHING. So in a nutshell – we PR things!

Do you have a favorite quote about PR? A few more favorites from the Mugsy team are below. Comment so we can add your fave to the list!

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” – Daniel J. Boorstein

“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is letting people know you’re doing the right thing.” – John D. Rockefeller

“People do not buy good and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” – Seth Godin

It’s Like Having One Arm Tied Behind Your Back

PR is a tricky profession. You have to have a plan, know how to execute it and be ready for any eventuality that comes along. I have over 10 years of experience in PR (ugh…that hurt) with multiple industry experience. While you can always be prepared for any eventuality, you can still get hurt…just like in life.

Recently (well in February), I broke my arm…my right arm…my dominate arm. Needless to say, it sucked big time. I broke my arm in such a precarious location that it was misdiagnosed the first time. It also sucked (pardon my language) that it was at the very tip-top of my humorous bone (near the shoulder). What that means is that it couldn’t be put in a cast…just a sling. It was literally like having one arm tied behind my back. Only, it was more like having it sewn to my stomach.

Everything changed for about 3 months. Any way I used to do things had to change. I learned how to sign my name with my left hand. I learned how to type with one hand. I definitely utilized dictation more on my iPhone. Don’t get me wrong…there were still a lot of things I couldn’t do. I couldn’t drive my manual transmission car. I wasn’t allowed to walk my dog (for safety purposes obviously) and I honestly couldn’t really cook for myself – no chopping veggies, sautéing or baking a big meal…all of which requires two arms.

Fortunately, I was still able to adapt to this eventuality that I never saw coming. I hated it…but I adapted. And I realized it could have been much worse.

PR is somewhat similar to having one arm tied behind your back (or sewn to your stomach). Just when you get comfortable with how things work, something happens. You then have to figure out how to do everything you know in a different way. I won’t go as far to say, “It makes you stronger in the end.” But I will say that shit happens, and if you figure it out, you won.

 

The News Blues

No one ever said that working in PR was going to be easy. As a matter of fact, it has been listed as one of the most stressful jobs to have. We live on no sleep, consistent pressure to produce for our clients, and a ton of coffee (or in Sarah’s case, water and tea!).

I of course knew that part of working in PR was keeping up on the news – in print, on tv and on the radio, online, etc. The part I did not see coming was how incredibly depressing the news was going to become.

Don’t get me wrong, it has ALWAYS been a lot of car accidents, crime, depressing world news, sad local stories, and so on, but it feels like day after day, week after week the news is getting harder to hear.  On shows that used to feature celebrity news and cooking segments and fashion, there are now hard news segments, politics slinking into the segments and more.

The flip side to technology and of-the-moment broadcasting is that we know so much. And if knowing is half the battle, the other half is forgetting.

This morning I woke up and  I just couldn’t do it. I had the news blues. Instead of turning on I went outside, I talked to neighbors, I had a cup of coffee looking at the clouds instead of my phone, and I didn’t follow a single thing that was going on.

I just now logged on at 1:30pm and there is an active shooter in Dallas at North Lake College. There are coal workers trapped in a mine in Iran. And more people care that you could see Kendall Jenner’s bare butt cheeks at the Met Gala.

What do you do when you get the “News Blues”? How do you shake the funk when your job is to know what is going on in the world, and to create MORE stories to add to it? I love my job, but we could all use some advice now and then, and I need to know – how do you keep your happy?

#Mugshot: Mugsy PR on HelloTesla.com

If being proud of your company and your team could really, truly be shown by our heads growing, Sarah and I would look like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons right now. We are beaming over the article on Mugsy PR on Hello Tesla today. We put a screenshot below, but if you’d like to read the whole thing (and you should because, you know, we would totally read your entire article too!) just click here.

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When Talking Turkey Pays Off

There has been a lot of media lately about the stores that are closing for Thanksgiving and even Black Friday this year. I love that families will have more time together, but one can’t help but wonder if it is a genuine, from-the-heart movement from these retailers, or if they want the publicity behind the sentiment. Either way they are getting buzz, which is sure to convert to some strong holiday sales. Below are 5 of our favorite Thanksgiving time marketing / PR campaigns from the last few years. Can’t wait to see what else pops up this year as we draw closer to Turkey Day!

1. In 2012 Pinterest, Allrecipes and Better Homes & Gardens teamed up for the “Best Thanksgiving Ever”. Participants could win $5,000 if they posted five or more Thanksgiving recipes from Allrecipes or BH&G to their own “Best Thanksgiving Ever” board on Pinterest. Not only did the campaign drive traffic to all sponsoring websites, but it put Allrecipes on the map as a top recipe site.

2. 2013 brought us the “Turkey Bowl”, a Thanksgiving campaign from Nike that used the SessionM mobile app network to award users points for in-app interactions that could be redeemed for gift cards. When customers used their points, the Nike Turkey Bowl ads would pop up creating a full circle campaign.

3. With only a few days in between the holidays this year, it was a brilliant idea for Manischewitz (Kosher food store) to merge Hanukkah and Thanksgiving to create their own “Thanksgivukah”. With an entire website dedicated to the “holiday”, funny videos, recipes, ecards and more, the social media exposure for the brand has been HUGE.

4. True Turkey Talk is the name of the game with the Butterball Turkey-Talk-Line. For 29 years now Butterball has run a hotline in November and December to encourage consumers to call 1-800-Butterball (and in more recent years to visit Butterball on the Go) to ask their turkey related questions.

5. Finally, we can’t talk about Thanksgiving marketing without talking about Macy’s. The parade is marketing brilliance in itself, but the engaging website and social media they created to go along with it is nothing short but amazing. With a countdown to the parade, a ton of useful into and even uniquely created games, the site adds an extra level of engagement to the Thanksgiving Tradition.

 

 What is YOUR favorite Thanksgiving campaign?

What We Can Not Guarantee

PR is tricky. We are sales people, but we do not sell product, we sell stories and words. In today’s media environment, there is a limited demand for words. Newspapers are getting smaller, magazines thinner, TV news shorter and filled with hard hitting news and less fluff. Not to mention there are more businesses than ever with new startups entering the market every day online, so the fight for that limited word space is tougher than ever. Now add to that more and more PR firms popping up every day, with access to Cision and other databases, reaching out to the same producer at The Today Show, the same editor at Vogue and the same photo desk at the local news outlet.

That means that as a PR rep, you have more of an opportunity to shine…and more of an opportunity to fail. While we all want to craft the perfect pitch, we have to all admit – sometimes you have a client whose product, service or event just doesn’t connect with the media like you thought it would. Sometimes you can pull a comprehensive media list, write a phenomenal pitch, press release or media alert, have b-roll and high res images up the wazoo, media train your spokespeople to perfection, and execute a supreme campaign – and no one really cares.

It is disappointing to the client and disappointing to the PR rep, leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth over the situation. However, the one thing we have learned over the last 16 years of PR (3 years with Mugsy, but we have been doing this a long time) is that certain things can not be guaranteed in public relations.

In every new client meeting we stress the following statements. And as much as we hate to have to say this to clients, it has become a mantra of ours to make sure they understand. Of course, we still have a disappointed client from time to time, but overall, we find that setting realistic expectations is key to a happy relationship.

What We Can and CANNOT Guarantee:

As PR professionals we have contacts in the media. We guarantee we will contact them. We guarantee we will tell them about you, your brand and your story. We guarantee we will share with them photos, video and news. We guarantee to research the media contacts relevant to you. We guarantee we will learn their outlet, their niche, their interests and how to best pitch a story to them. We do not and CANNOT in any way, shape or form, guarantee that they will cover your story. We guarantee that even upon confirmation that an outlet says they will cover your story, that nothing in PR is actually guaranteed until it prints or plays. We guarantee that we will work every angle of your story, but we do not guarantee that the media will have the space or staff to cover it. We guarantee that if your story IS covered, it is still not a guarantee that it will translate to sales. However, we would not work with you if we did not believe in what you are selling, and we will represent you with as much passion as we would if we were selling our own story – and THAT we guarantee.