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A Letter from the Editor

The Summer Olympics have wrapped up and there were lots of stories about the good, the bad and the just plain crazy stuff happening in Rio. Each of these stories reminds us that these athletes are human beings, just like us, each with a unique personal story and a reason for their journey.

It’s easy to forget how important personal stories are — but they help define us and how the world views us. Are you someone who overcame immense struggle to get to the games? Are you a collaborator, a practical doer or a fighter-against-all-odds? The answers to these questions create our public image, or persona.

But these images aren’t created in permanent ink — they can change quickly based on information available to the public. One minute, you can be a revered gold medalist and the next, you’re a “possibly victimized over-exaggerator” at best, and a liar and petty criminal at worst. Yep, we’re looking at you Ryan Lochte.

Since the “convenience store” incident, Lochte’s branding team has been in overdrive, trying to manage his image. He’s already lost endorsement deals and he’s sliding backwards on the reputation meter.

As a brand, endorsements are tricky because you never know when the “celebrity face” of your brand will fall out of favor. When this happens, brands need to move quickly — decide whether to stay or go. Rather than get tied up in the emotional turmoil of the situation, brands should evaluate whether or not the endorser’s image and reputation still reflect the brand’s desired image. Will your buyers be aware of, or impacted by, the endorser’s actions and align your brand persona with your endorser’s actions?

If yes, it’s completely fair for a brand to distance itself from a persona that no longer represents the brand’s desired image. Just do it quickly to limit fallout. While there’s no way to predict how an endorser’s public image might change over time, brands with endorsement deals should always have a crisis plan in place to deal with situations like the Lochte incident, so no matter what happens, you can focus on building your brand persona rather than fixing the damage done by a poor endorser.

Amy Fisher, APR

Passionate about Social Media? Help Serve Your Section

The PRSA Technology Section is seeking members interested in a volunteer position on the Executive Committee leading the Social Media subcommittee. This position is in charge of managing the Technology Section’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter posts, conversations and communities.

As a member of the Technology Section Executive Committee, you will serve with a team of volunteer professionals representing PR agencies, corporations, nonprofits and educational organizations. Being involved is a great way to make connections and can lead to a number of opportunities including meeting new friends, discovering new career and business possibilities, and staying on top of the ever-changing public relations industry.

If you are interested or have any questions about joining the Executive Committee as the lead for the Social Media subcommittee, please email Alyssa Eggum, PRSA Technology Section chair: alyssa.eggum@platformcg.com.

Member News
Meet our new members and learn what is going on
in our Section!
New Members
Welcome New Members

The PRSA Technology Section is pleased to welcome the 50 new members who joined the Section from May 13–Sept. 8, 2016.

View the full list and post a welcome message of your own! 

Click here to view our newest members and welcome them to the Section →
Featured Member: Kristin Miller, Webroot

By Jenna Borrelli, Public Relations Intern – Manufacturing and Technology, PadillaCRT

From intern to director of public relations – Kristin Miller’s career path demonstrates the power of connection, inspiration and perseverance. Learn more about Miller’s background with SSPR and Webroot, and the reason why Leslie Knope is one of her idols.

Click here to continue reading

Is Video the Next Evolution in Brand Journalism?

By Meredith L. Eaton, @MeredithLEaton

The media landscape is constantly evolving. And over the last few years, we’ve seen major shifts as media outlets trim their staffs, leaving fewer and fewer journalists to pick up increasingly varied beats. While this may have left a gap at some publications for reporters who are true experts in their field, it also has brought on a need for more content coming from outside experts.

Now, there’s ample opportunity for byline placements, op-ed pieces and contributed commentary. Being able to control the message and still have your piece published in a credible, third-party outlet has escalated content creation, professions and best practices — all under the new guise of “brand journalism.”

Taking that concept a step further though, individual companies have started to launch their own media outlets. Look at Dell’s Power More, HP’s TechBeacon, Kaspersky’s ThreatPost and Adobe’s CMO.com. These organizations are producing reliable, industry thought leadership through owned platforms. They’ve hired editorial teams and even separated their brands from the platforms to maintain vendor neutrality as a trusted news source. PR pros can pitch these outlets, securing interviews and coverage for their clients and, as such, these new brand publications are being counted among media lists and campaign outreach efforts.

But what’s next?

Click here to continue reading 

Public Relations Tools
Recovering From Negative Online Reviews

By Daniel Lemin, @daniellemin

Regardless of industry or vertical, every business will, at some point, suffer from bad online reviews. It might be employees on Glassdoor or customers spouting off on a software review site like G2Crowd, but it will happen. So what do you do when a bad review hits, and how can you make the most of the opportunity?

Click here to continue reading

Professional Development
"I'm Not Dead Yet!" – The Media (While Changing) Still Plays a Role
By Leah Kondes, @lkondes

While traditional news outlets look for new ways to deliver their content and improve user experience, digital-first channels are looking for ways to catch up with traditional media channels when it comes to original reporting and writing.

Click here to continue reading

Professional Development
Marketing Tips Tech Companies Must Follow to Survive 

Portia M. E. Mills, @portiamills

For those pursuing the dream of technology disruption, here are a few guidelines from the front lines of marketing for startup technology brands. Execution (and experience) matters. A successful framework for marketing doesn’t emerge from advertising or press coverage but from answering two sets of key questions.

Click here to continue reading

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