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Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

August 15th, 2017

Voce Takeaways: PRSA #MediaTalkTech Panel

Recently, a crew of San Francisco-based Vocians got together after work to attend the “Inside the Newsroom” panel hosted by our local PRSA chapter. Featuring a lineup of top-notch reporters from some of our favorite publications, the discussion provided Bay Area tech PR professionals with journalists’ perspectives on crafting a strong pitch, the state of the media, and emerging trends like artificial intelligence.

Here are some of the key takeaways from our teammates who attended the event:

I found it interesting that when asked what he’s looking for in a source, Fast Company’s Sean Captain explained that often, he finds it most helpful when a PR person acts as a meeting orchestrator rather than pitching him hard news right off the bat. “When reporters take the time to actually speak with companies off the record for casual introduction meetings, often times, ideas for stories originate as a result.”

Ariel Rothbard, Senior Client Executive

When discussing the elements of a strong story, WIRED’s David Pierce noted that the first question his editor asks in response to a pitch is, who’s the main character? “It might be uncomfortable to talk about individuals, but that’s the stuff we – and more importantly, our readers – really love getting into,” he told us. As an example, David referred to his former colleague Cade Metz’s article about Dropbox’s departure from Amazon Web Services. By focusing on the personalities behind the news – the innovators making it happen – Cade turned a cloud announcement into one of the magazine’s most popular pieces in recent memory. Something for all of us PR pros to keep in mind when crafting company narratives and pitching new products: How can we humanize our news?

Leonora Fleming, Senior Client Executive

During a time when the media has never been more important in the world, it’s important to remember that publications are still figuring out and experimenting new formats and ways of delivering journalism to a digital-first audience. David Pierce shared that the outlet recently launched Snapchat Discover and will populate it weekly with breaking news, smart analysis, conceptual breakthroughs, engaging videos and more. This sparked an important reminder for PR pros: when you’re pitching a story – always ask yourself what the reporter would ask, how can I make this story idea relevant across all channels (social media, videos, etc.)?

Samantha Van Gent, Senior Client Executive

From your friends at Voce, many thanks to Sean, David, and panelist Jason Wilson of VentureBeat for sharing your thoughts with us, and to PRSA Silicon Valley & PRSA San Francisco for organizing an insightful conversation!

Filed in Events

January 31st, 2017

Upcoming February Webinars: Data-Driven PR & Employee Advocacy

Our February virtual event calendar is turning out to be a great one! We have confirmed the following two webinars that we hope you can join:

  1. Feb 9 at 10am PST / 1pm EST: How to Drive PR Decisions with Data
  2. February 6 – 10: Content Summit 2017 with session titled Mastering Employee Advocacy with Content

Details are below and make sure to register to attend live or to be notified when the recording is available. See you then!

 

Driving PR Decisions with Data

What: Porter Novelli + AirPR Present: How to Drive PR Decisions with Data

When: February 9, 2017 at 10am PST / 1pm EST

Event Details: How do you show how your PR strategies and tactics led to, or will lead to, valuable outcomes? To support you through this process, Porter Novelli and AirPR have created an easy-to-follow framework that will help your team and stakeholders understand the full impact of your work.

Join us February 9th at 10:00 am PST for a 30-minute webinar on how data improves PR decisions and empowers you to showcase your success. We’ll use a measurement framework, which includes:

  • Audience
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Tags and Implementation
  • Measurement (KPIs and Metrics)
  • Optimization

This webinar will be co-presented by AirPR, providers of PR measurement and reporting software, and will help you start to gain more powerful insights through data. Vocian John Gillooly, VP Analytics, will be one of the speakers and will be sharing his data-driven techniques and answering your questions.

Register Today!

 

Mastering Employee Advocacy with Content

What: Content Summit 2017 – A Virtual Conference for B2B Marketers

Session: Mastering Employee Advocacy with Content

When:  February 6 – 10, 2017

Event Details: Content Summit is a 5-day virtual conference, dedicated to sharing the most effective B2B content marketing strategies & tactics.

Each day will be made up of engaging video presentations, delivered via email, from B2B marketing executives & thought leaders.

In one of the sessions, Vocian Randy Ksar, VP Digital, will be sharing best practices on content strategies for employee advocacy programs.

Register Today!

 

Filed in Events

November 29th, 2016

Giving Tuesday – Will the global community raise over $116 million?

Today is #givingtuesday which everyone around the world comes together to give back in the form of $, time, gifts or the power of voice in their local community. In 2015 (according to givingtuesday.org), $116 million dollars were donated by 700,000 people in order 70 countries – wow! I wonder what the numbers in 2016 will be?

Of course, Voce and our employees have given back to local communities throughout 2016. Whether it is serving meals at Glide church or donating to our favorite charity, we care deeply about our local community. One of the cool perks we get at Voce is 8 hours per year in paid time off to volunteer!  As you know, there is never a good time to step away from the desk (and the emails always keep coming) but we have to make it a priority to give back either in dollars, time, gifts or our voice in spreading awareness.

This year for #givingtuesday our employees gave back in numerous ways. Here are a few highlights and hope this post gets you thinking what you can not only do during the month of December but all year around.

Stephanie Moore:

I donated to Planned Parenthood and all throughout the year using smile.amazon.com where a portion of all my purchases go to St. Jude’s.

Tiffany Curci:

I donated to Shoes 4 Kidz which was started by my high-school classmate Myriah. I played softball and other sports with her growing up and as a “sports/active” household love what she’s trying to do to keep kids in good shoes. 

Leonora Fleming:

I’m donating to She’s the First – I actually serve on the Junior Board so am a bit biased, but we’re a nonprofit that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries so that they can be the first in their families to graduate. 

Comment below how you gave or are giving back this year.

-Randy Ksar

 

Filed in Voce Culture, Voce People

November 10th, 2016

Then & Now: Stephanie Cohen, Digital Strategy & Social Media

Stephanie is a rock-star when it comes to social and digital strategy working for such clients as E8 Security, WhiteHat Security, Taylor Farms, and the Almond Board of California.  We asked her a few questions as it relates to her background, what she wanted to be growing up and her favorite quote… Name: Stephanie Cohen

Role at Voce: Account Supervisor

Expertise in: Digital strategy and social media

What she wanted to be growing up: Magazine editor

Favorite Class: English

Favorite Teacher: I loved so many of my teachers, but favorites were Ms. Gregori and Mrs. Stevens (both high school english teachers), and Mrs. Dowd — my 6th grade teacher (and they are all Facebook friends of mine now)

Inspirational Quote:  “Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path — unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.” – Ellen Degeneres

 

 

Interested in chatting more on digital and social strategy? Email us.

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Culture

November 1st, 2016

Then & Now: Heather Brinckerhoff, Live Event & Social Media Expert

Then & Now - Heather Brinckerhoff

Heather is one of our stars out in Florida focused on live events and content strategy. If you need someone to come up with a strategy around live streaming your next product launch and how it fits into your overall content strategy, or help developing a new social media campaign for your brand, Heather is your point person. To get to know Heather a little more we asked about her past and favorite inspirational quote.

-Randy

Name: Heather Brinckerhoff

Role at Voce: Senior Client Executive

Expertise in: Social media, live events, strategy

What you wanted to be growing up: Actress

Favorite Teacher: Mr. Gillan (11th grade Math), Mrs. Sandlas (7th-8th grade), Mr. Minns (Social Studies)

Favorite Class: Public Speaking

Favorite Inspirational Quote:

Filed in Voce Culture

October 25th, 2016

Then & Now: Jennifer Laker, Senior Project Manager

Then & Now - Jennifer LakerIn continuation of our Then & Now series, we interviewed senior project manager Jennifer Laker from our Winter Haven, Florida office. Enjoy getting to know her a little more, ask your account manager to have her on your team and make sure to “double-tap” on her favorite inspirational quote from Jimmy V.

Name: Jennifer Laker

Role at Voce: Senior Project Manager

Expertise in: Project Planning, Risk Assessment and Management, Change Management, Project Scheduling, Process Management, Project and Scope Estimation, and Milestones and Dependencies Tracking

What she wanted to be growing up: Fashion Designer or Lawyer

Favorite Class: Shakespeare and Chemistry

Favorite Teacher: Miss Garner. I had her for both 1st grade and then again for 2nd grade. She played “Feeling Groovy” (by Simon and Garfunkel) for us on her guitar between lessons and was just THE best.

Inspirational Quote:

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Culture

October 18th, 2016

Then & Now: Vanessa George, Client Executive

Then & Now - Vanessa George

On Tuesdays, between now and the end of 2016 (oh my gosh – already!) we are going to feature one of our employees in a series called “Then and Now”. We’ll ask a few questions to get to learn what they do at Voce, a little about their past and one of their favorite inspirational quotes.  This week is my favorite co-worker from Chicago – Vanessa George.

Name: Vanessa George 

Role at Voce: Client Executive 

Expertise in: Traditional media 

What she wanted to be growing up: Elementary school teacher

Favorite Class: English 

Favorite Teacher: Retta London, 5th grade 

Inspirational Quote:

About the Author
Randy Ksar is VP of Digital at Voce Communications. You can follow him at @djksar on Twitter.

Filed in Voce Culture

September 19th, 2016

Breaking Down Diversity with PRSA

Diversity is one of those hot button topics right now in Silicon Valley and across corporate America. For too many companies today, in many ways diversity seems to be what corporate social responsibility was 3-4 years ago – something they need to do to “check the box.” It’s been about 3 years since the first diversity reports were released and the lack of progress since has left some skeptical of what companies – particularly in the tech industry – are doing to address the issue. 19757691424_3e4379e4cb_m

This was the center of the discussion at a recent PRSA event in San Francisco with leading journalists including Michelle Quinn, Mercury News; Salvador Rodriguez, Inc. Magazine; Caroline Fairchild, LinkedIn; Connie Guglielmo, CNET and moderator Ramon Ray, Smart Hustle. For those in communications, their insights were helpful in understanding where the diversity issue and conversation stands now, where it’s heading in the next few years, and how successful diversity programs require far more than PR sugarcoating.

Since I mostly work on corporate communications programs, diversity, culture and workplace issues are top of mind when thinking about how a company positions itself to current and future employees, investors and influencers. Diversity in particular is not one of those issues you can invest money into to make it go away – it requires real strategies, programming and commitment at the executive level (i.e. practice what you preach).

It’s also not one that’s easily defined – in addition to race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation, diversity is also about having different ideas and schools of thought. The pressure is on for companies to commit to diversity at all levels – from hiring to training and development.

Below are the key takeaways from some of the most influential reporters covering diversity issues today. These may be helpful for anyone pitching these folks or considering how to tackle their company’s diversity strategy.

Michelle Quinn, Mercury News: Diversity coverage has gotten better partly because people are asking the right questions. In the past, we would never have seen first person discussions about what it’s like to be in the newsroom as a women/minority, but now we’re getting more voices. It would be great to see diversity best practices or industry standards put in place in the near future.

Caroline Fairchild, LinkedIn: We are no longer in media age where you have to rely on traditional gatekeepers to get your perspective out there – platforms like LinkedIn give everyone a voice. The diversity conversation needs to evolve past asking women what it’s like to be a woman in business.

Connie Guglielmo, CNET: The data shows diversity means more successful teams and more money for the bottom line, but companies don’t listen and there are no repercussions. Companies should start tying diversity to business/money, like Intel did with bonuses. Diversity is a management problem and it begins from the top down.

Salvador Rodriguez, Inc. Magazine: Pinterest, Yelp and PayPal seem to be doing some things right when it comes to diversity. They’re being realistic, focusing on ethnicity or women first, or engineering first. PayPal recognized that there was a huge pool of women who put careers on pause for some reason so they launched a “returnship” program to get started back at PayPal or at another company.

Filed in Events

August 23rd, 2016

What Does Client Service Excellence Mean to … Anne Trapasso

At Voce/Porter Novelli, client service excellence is foundational to everything we do. It’s our most important product. It’s how we grow our business and measure our success.

With client expectations higher, competition fiercer and budgets tighter, the room for error is marginal. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard in order to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients.

That’s why four times a year we celebrate the Client Service Star Awards as an opportunity to recognize 10 outstanding Voce/Porter Novellians around the globe each quarter who exemplify the principles of Client Service Excellence. Winners of the Client Service Star Award have been recognized by both colleagues and clients alike for their dedication to: building long-term relationships, deepening their knowledge of the business, creating value in their daily role and keeping promises.

In this second installment of the client service excellence blog series, we spoke with Voce’s very own Q2 Client Service Star – Account Manager, Anne Trapasso.

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What do you do at Voce/Porter Novelli?

 I’ve been with Voce/Porter Novelli since the summer of 2010 and over the last six years I’ve worked on various accounts from social media publishing for a consumer brand to driving media programs for B2B clients. For the past 2+ years, I’ve really focused on helping build the Security Practice at Voce while simultaneously running the media relations programs for Palo Alto Networks and Micro Focus. As an Account Manager who’s worked my way up from an intern, it’s been so exciting to grow at the company and understand what it means to be a great Voce employee at each level.

What does client service excellence mean to you?

Client service excellence is all about going above and beyond for the customer. That involves really getting to know your client, and that helps forecast asks before they even come in. Client service excellence goes far beyond baseline account activities – it’s about digging in deep with your client to determine what will make them (and their entire department) look good to their boss and how you can help them achieve that level of excellence. You know you’ve succeeded when your client regards you and the PR team as a true partner vs. an outside entity present only to help push specific campaigns forward.

How have you come to learn successful client service? 

During my time at Voce, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly smart, dedicated and kind colleagues. It’s through watching and listening to their interactions with clients, organizing weekly check-ins to talk through program strategies and always being open to feedback that has really taught me what it means to deliver the highest level of client service.

Do you have any role models who you look up to in this regard?

There are so many facets that fall under the term “public relations.” It’s why I still have a hard time explaining to people exactly what is it that I do each day. And because we must wear so many different “hats” for our clients, that has allowed me to cross paths and learn from so many wonderful professionals. Those that I really look up to the most are supervisors and clients that can extend beyond the actual work to build relationships. It’s during those times and interactions that we’re able to learn about each other, the client and their imperatives. In my opinion, this is how excellent client service can be achieved.

What advice would you give to others looking to mirror those client service excellence principles?

  • Don’t ever stop working hard – some days it will feel like you aren’t making any progress. It’s during those times especially that you need to push forward, and you’ll come out as a stronger and more resilient professional.
  • Don’t work harder, work smarter – this may seem to go against my advice shared directly above, but as you’re honing skills in a particular area, always ask yourself, “What can I do to make this [task or program] easier, faster, and smarter to achieve greater results for my client in the end?”
  • Be open to learning from anyone who is willing to share knowledge with you – we are not in an easy business. Beyond the strategy aspect, we must remain aware of client and teammate personalities, limitations and not to mention the ongoing news cycle! Always have an eye out for colleagues and supervisors who are willing to take the time and teach you – no matter their specialty. This is an ever-changing business – you never know what new opportunities may arise!

Filed in Voce People

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