Empathy at Heart of Co-Mentoring Programs

Several years ago I worked at an online media production company whose aspirations unfortunately exceeded its budget. Nonetheless, I was eager to get more experience producing online video content. I was assigned to work with Susan (her name has been changed), a millennial. She seemed to be a real whiz with video equipment and knew…
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PR Profession Rides Some Rough Waves 

It’s not a pretty picture for the PR industry. Among a wide swath of firms, growth is down and profitability is flat.  Adding insult to injury, PR  firm owners are failing to boost their billing rates in order to compensate for increases in salaries and other expenses. Whether it’s the large holding companies or smaller…
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Canadian PR Firms Best U.S. Firms on Revenue, Profitability     

Canada is celebrated for many things. Maple Syrup, Niagara Falls, and Wayne Gretzky quickly come to mind. Now you can add profitable PR agencies to the list, particularly when stacked up against their U.S counterparts. Net revenue for Canadian-based firms grew a total of 21.8 percent in 2016, according to Gould+Partners 2017 PR Firm Net…
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VIDEO: The ‘Build to Sell’ Mindset

Clients are satisfied with your firm’s work. You’re on the short list to land a new (and prestigious) account. The staff is growing nicely. They’re all positive indices for creative services firm owners. But, in order to maximize the profitability and overall value of their firm, owners need to adopt a ‘Build to Sell‘ mentality….
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Brain Training for Better PR Writing 

Influencer marketing. Gamification. Online video. The list of relatively new PR channels goes on and on, with little room for PR firm owners to catch their breath before they have to consider the next investment. Even the most seasoned PR executives—who possess total recall and a photographic memory—may be hard-pressed to keep up with all…
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Online Video: Take Your Best Shot

PR firm owners know the scene. They land a new account and sit down with the buyer(s) for an initial strategy session. After exchanging niceties PR firm owners reach into their portfolio and offer a package of services that would best align with the client’s goals and/or financial objectives. Assuming budget is available PR executives…
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Agency M&A: Big Decision, Vital Questions

I had the privilege of speaking at the Public Relations Global Network‘s (PRGN) annual conference, which took place in Dallas, in late April. The presentation, titled “Agency Mergers and Acquisitions: What Works, What Doesn’t,” was well-received among the PR firm owners and C-level communications executives attending. During my presentation and afterward—when I had the opportunity…
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How to Integrate the Seller With the Buyer, Post-Sale

I am often asked why some mergers and/or acquisitions don’t go the way a buyer and/or seller originally thought. There are multiple reasons why a transaction may go awry, of course. For instance, the seller may have a different corporate philosophy from the buyer. Or there may be friction between the two sides regarding how…
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5 Employee Retention Strategies

(This blog post is excerpted from an article that originally ran on ZoomShift.com.) Do you have an employee turnover problem? Nearly 70 percent of organizations report that staff turnover has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring and training a replacement employee, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Adding insult…
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Common Ground with Millennial PR Pros?

Oh, that pesky generation gap. It never fails to rear its complicated head. Take a recent survey revealing sharp differences between millennial communicators and the baby boomer/Gen X PR executives who manage them regarding a slew of workplace issues, including the willingness to take risks, grooming for management and leadership. The online survey, which was…
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PR Predictions for 2017

We were having drinks with a PR firm owner when we started talking about long-term planning. “It’s an oxymoron,” said the owner, stressing that the marketplace is so fluid these days that if PR firms get too far ahead of themselves planning-wise it could be downright counterproductive. The point is well taken. We can’t recall…
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PR in the Not-Too-Distant Future

For agency owners and C-suite executives for creative services firms, it’s the best of times and the worst of times (apologies to Mr. Dickens). PR executives from both the agency and client sides are optimistic about the industry’s future and believe that within the next five years they’ll be expected to deliver more strategic communications,…
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