12 PR Blogs Your Competitors Are Reading (And 3 They Don’t Yet Know About)

As busy as PR pros are, they’ve got to stay current on the latest trends, tools, and best practices for the comms industry. Since everyone’s to-do list is a mile long, we’ve put together the top PR blogs to help keep your reading on point—with smart insights, do’s and don’ts, and examples of the best and worst PR campaigns in the industry. From big media properties like AdWeek to small niche agency blogs like Talking Points Blog and live Twitter Chats like #ContentChat, it’s everything a PR pro could want—and what we read on the regular.

Top PR Blogs

RaganPRDaily Best PR Blogs

Ragan’s PR Daily

@PRDaily followers: 114k

Ragan’s PR Daily bills itself as a “one-stop shop for news on PR, marketing, social media & more.” The site serves as an industry hub with content that runs the gamut of how-tos, videos, ebooks, career development, and think pieces. Recent posts include: How to use chatbots to expand your Facebook following and a study about PR pros optimism about the future. Carlin Twedt, who runs comms for Ragan, also hosts a weekly Twitter chat on Tuesday at #RaganChat on hot topics in PR.

PRSay Best PR Blogs

PRSay Content Connection

@prsa followers: 106k

PRSA, the largest PR organization in the US, publishes PRSay, subtitled “The Voice of Public Relations.” The blog’s goal is provide professional development to those looking to succeed in the field. Recent posts include Question of the Month: What Does Acting Ethically as a Communicator Mean to You? And  Understanding the 8 Media Influencer Buckets, and How to Reach Them. We like PRSA so much, we never miss their annual international conference.

Best PR Blogs Influence&Co

Influence and Co.

@InfluenceandCo followers: 96.3K

Influence and Co. have bridged the gulf that often exists between PR and content marketing. Known for their PR work, they’ve shifted gears are now a Content Marketing agency that also does PR. Their posts reflect this new strategy and now focus on SEO, content for the sales team, and Content Marketing ROI. Since their strategic reframing (from PR-focused to Content Marketing), we think this may be a harbinger of the shifting public relations industry to come. If you’re interested in how the canary in the coal mine is doing, keep updated by reading what they’re writing on a near-daily basis.

Best PR Blogs Edelman

Edelman PR

@EdelmanPR followers: 91.3k

This international award-winning agency shares their experience steering the world’s top brands to communications glory. They invest considerable resources to uncover the trends shaping the industry. For instance, the recent 2018 Edelman Earned Brand report shows that the market is being transformed by the rise of the “belief-driven buyer” and provides pointers on how to leverage this trend in future campaigns. They also offer great insights on building a comms career plus behind-the-scenes observations on what it takes to run a global agency.

Gartner L2 best pr blogs

Gartner L2 Daily Insights

@l2_digital followers: 89.8k

Gartner L2 Daily Insights covers PR by highlighting news on specific brands and their PR campaigns. Punchy titles like Snap and Tesla Are Losers and Luxury Goes to the Street Side tee up PR lessons we can all learn from. Content particularly shines when the editors compare consumer campaigns and assess the success and failure with verifiable data. The biting tone and well-researched posts make this an essential read for comms pros hoping to up their game.

PR Week Best PR Blogs

PR Week blog

@PRWeekUS followers: 80.6k

The PR Week blog covers breaking news, crises, memes, and their take on the success of current PR and marketing campaigns. Since they’re two decades old, they have a long tail vision of the PR industry and a good eye for the developments you’ve got to stay on top of. They recently covered the crisis timeline of the Elon Musk tweet: “Social media outbursts from Tesla CEO Elon Musk have cost the company in terms of fines, market value, and executive Twitter privileges.” To read PR Week is to understand the comms ecosystem.

Adweek Best PR Blogs

Social Pro Daily – Adweek

@SocialProDaily followers: 66.3K

Social Pro Daily covers the ins-and-outs of social media. Since the editors are on top of feature announcements, keeping an eye on their updates might be all you need to do. They post 3 new articles per day and cover practical topics such as Instagram: Instagram Rolled Out Nametag: Customizable, Scannable Codes That Lead to Users’ ProfilesTwitter’s Data Saver Feature Was Added to Its iOS, Android Apps, and WhatsApp: Here’s How to Delete a Message. After all these years, they’ve proven to still be the best coverage of the social media channels we use every day.

Best PR Blogs Stratechery

Stratechery

@stratechery followers: 63.1k

Ben Thompson pedigree includes Apple, Microsoft, and Automattic. Not too shabby as brand names go. He now writes Stratechery, offering jam-packed analytical posts and daily updates (delivered via emails) that will make you the smartest person both at the water cooler AND happy hour. Check out his recent post about Instagram’s founders, the evolution of the platform, and how they beat Snapchat with Facebook’s backing. He explains: “Probably the pinnacle of Systrom and Zuckerberg’s collaboration — extraordinary product leader and ruthless CEO — was Instagram Stories. Systrom freely admitted that the concept was copied from Snapchat; as I noted at the time, that would certainly be good enough given Instagram’s larger network.”

pr-couture-logo-horizontal.png

PR Couture

@prcouture followers: 43.7K

PR Couture aims to be a resource for fashion and lifestyle communicators, no matter where they are in their career trajectory. The site reports daily on news, PR strategies, career opportunities, and noteworthy community members. In their own words: “PR Couture is the industry-leading platform and sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communication professionals.” Recent posts include “10 Pitch Angles and Social Media Content for October” and “Solo Publicist Tips for Success.”

holmes report logo Best PR Blogs

The Holmes Report

@holmesreport followers: 24.6K

The Holmes Report features long-form articles, interviews, podcasts, videos, and reports, such as The Global Communications Report with “…unique research into the trends, opportunities, and challenges that define the global PR industry.” Their Agency Playbook is the PR industry’s most comprehensive listing of firms from every region and specialty; it’s an invaluable guide for keeping up on partnerships and researching PR verticals.

Best PR Blogs SpinSucks

SpinSucks

@SpinSucks followers: 16.7k

SpinSucks is for an audience of both PR students and professionals. The majority of posts are penned by Gini Dietrich, founder, and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. There are also posts from guest bloggers, who share perspectives on topics such as using hashtags, social media, or competition within the PR space. Spin Sucks wins awards due to fun sections like Gin and Topics with the weekly meme-able videos from around the Internet; and the Spin Sucks Inquisition, which interviews marketing and PR professionals from across the industry.

ACH logo Best PR Blogs

ACH Communications: Talking Points Blog

@arikhanson followers: 15.9k

Arik Hanson of ACH Communications writes this engaging and frequently updated blog about PR-related current events, adding his own brand of secret spice to the takeaways. For example, he recently pondered how comms teams are trying brand-humanizing tactics that aren’t scalable and seem a bit off. “I’ve long felt that ‘surprise and delight’ tactics have been vastly overblown. The majority of brands purely do them to drum up the hype machine…” Since he posts at a fast clip, there is always something new to read. If you’re looking for a hot take on a recent social or PR-phenom, you’ll be able to find it here.

Insights from Unexpected Places

Best PR Blogs

Entrepreneur

@entrepreneur followers: 3.39m

Sure, it’s a magazine you remember from Airport lounges, but have you taken a peek at the digital version? Well-written articles showcase how brands can increase their impact on the modern business landscape. Given that it’s written for the C-Suite, takeaways are meant to be high-level and immediately actionable. Recent articles include Nike Made $6 Billion from That Colin Kaepernick Ad. Here’s What All Brands Can Learn and Nothing to See Here? Social Media Marketing for Businesses That Aren’t Photogenic. Beyond the written word, you’ll find videos, podcasts, and for those looking for deeper insights, books on entrepreneurship.

Best PR Blogs

Public Relations on Reddit

@reddit followers: 576k

This subreddit is dedicated to questions about the PR industry. Submissions consist of software recommendations and shifting best practices to questions about breaking into the industry or connecting with practitioners. While there’s a no self-promotion rule, it’s a solid resource for solo pros or those starting out in their careers. This public forum is the best crowdsourced PR advice from an online community. Recent topics include: Student looking for a Public Relations Practitioner to Answer a Few Questions About the Business, Tools to Evaluate Influencers and Is Pitching Contributed Content Still Relevant in 2018?

contentchat_logo.png

ContentChat

@SFerika followers: 10.6k

Erika Heald, former Head of Content at Anaplan and Highwire PR, holds her weekly Twitter #ContentChat On Mondays at 12noon PT.  Recent topics have included: overcoming the perils of ghostwriting and ways to organize and share curated content. Heald stacks the decks by having PR and marketing industry insiders on hand to take part in the conversation. You might recognize names such as Jason Schemmel at @JasonSchemmel and Michelle Garrett at @PRisUS. Heald is herself an award-winning content marketer, community builder, and Gluten Free social media influencer.

Being a modern PR pro means keeping up with current technology for the industry and tracking KPIs that matter to your team and colleagues. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive PR platform to address the needs of the modern comms pro, we can help.

 

This post was originally published on this site on June 24, 2016. It was updated for 2017 and now 2018.

Infographic: Trick or Treating on Social Media—A Halloween Data Story

The grown-ups aren’t only in charge of stocking up on candy anymore. This Halloween data story shows that they’re having plenty of their own fun, both IRL and on social. More and more adults are dressing up, some drawing from the classics and some looking for a new twist. This autumn, were you hoping to share a Pumpkin Spice beer with a friendly witch or trade a Hershey bar with your favorite character from Stranger Things?

Social Media Halloween Highlights

Your favorite chocolate in miniature. Despite the fact that the ingredients for Milky Bar and Snickers are identical, save for the nuts—we’re still of the opinion that one mini Snickers is worth two mini Milky Bars in trade. But which chocolate treats are worth more on social?

Pumpkins. While jack-o’-lanterns are still ubiquitous, pumpkin spice can now stake its claim as a true Halloween standard. Since the pioneer in the category, Starbucks, launched their Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, its presence still dominates the on and offline pumpkin spice discussions. Where else is everyone’s favorite fall flavor making a mark? It seems that many microbreweries have Pumpkin Spice beer, but not enough volume for a clear brand leader, the same can be said for Pumpkin Spice ice cream. Unfortunately, neither of those categories made the cut, considering none of the associated brands dominated their vertical. We also learned that there are a lot of brands attempting to merge their core flavors with pumpkin spice, possibly to use the trend to convert devotees to their brand, year-round. If anything, that’s an interesting strategy to employ even if the Franken-flavors seem questionable.

Being scared. Of course, a good fright at some point during the Halloween season is a must, so watching a horror movie in addition to attending a haunted attraction needs to be on the agenda. A quick online search indicates that what is considered a “horror” film can vary widely. That’s why we decided to come up with some parameters for Halloween appropriate horror films to track. We decided that a film is eligible if it contains slashers/murderers, supernatural monsters, ghosts/spirits, and medical experiments (but no aliens, sci-fi, or straight thrillers).

So, without further delay, check out our handy infographic. We hope you’re as pumped as we are to discover the most-buzzed-about Halloween candy, the scariest attractions, the horror films people are watching, and the most consumed Pumpkin Spice products.

Happy Halloween: Be Safe Out There!

halloween data story

If you’re interested in seeing how you can use internal data to create infographics like this one, we can help.

This article was originally published on October 31, 2017. We republish timely posts on Staurdays for our readers who may have missed them the first time.

5 Examples of the Top Social Media Content of 2018 (So Far)

Where has 2018 gone? It seems like only yesterday that Tide PODS were being used for more than just laundry, and Instagram Stories announced more than 400 million daily users.

But even with everything that has happened online in 2018, there’s still plenty of time for your brand to end on a high note this year. Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) is just around the corner!

Today we’re gearing you up for the end of the year by looking at 5 examples of the top social media content of 2018 (so far).

5 Examples of the Top Social Media Content of 2018 (So Far)

1. Nike’s World Cup Ad Remake

Nostalgia can be an extremely powerful tactic when it comes to social media content and for soccer fans around the world, there are very few ads that we would be happy to watch over and over again. Nike’s World Cup 1998 ad is one of those ads.

Turn the clock forward 20 years and you have what is one of the best examples of social media content in 2018. Nike teamed up with Seleção to produce another brilliant video ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

This video is a perfect example of storytelling done well – generating more than 20 million views in the last few months.

2. LinkedIn’s “We’re In It Together” Campaign

Community is one of the things that makes social media such an integral part of life today. People from around the world can connect, share ideas, and even start a movement, without ever meeting in person.

LinkedIn kicked off the year by creating a social media campaign that shifted the focus from the websites’ professional capabilities to their community by asking one simple question: “What are you in it for?

LinkedIn created social media posts, blog posts, videos, and the hashtag #InItTogether to amplify the impact of the campaign, which has garnered hundreds of mentions in the media since its launch (according to our Meltwater analysis).

In It Together.png

They also incorporated user-generated content (UGC) into the social media strategy – allowing LinkedIn to tap into their massive community of more than 500 million members.

3. Weight Watchers Recruits DJ Khaled

By now you’ve probably heard that, when done right, influencer marketing can have a major impact.

At the beginning of 2018, global social media icon (more than 6 million social media followers) DJ Khaled teamed up with Weight Watchers’ to become their official social media ambassador.

With this brilliant social media campaign, fans of both WW and Khaled can follow along on social (Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) as the superstar participates in the WW Freestyle program.

If you’re looking to tap into new markets or for a way to strengthen your brand image, find an influencer that can help take you to the next level.

4. Casper’s Internet Pillow Fight

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or a mattress) for the last few years, you’ve likely seen that the direct-to-consumer mattress industry has exploded onto the scene.

Which is great for consumers (us) for two reasons. One, we get quality mattresses at a great price, and two, mattress companies like Casper have more money to spend on marketing and social media content.

One of my favorite pieces of content in 2018 so far is Casper’s Internet Pillow Fight:

Casper’s Internet Pillow Fight is a great example of taking something from a boring industry—mattresses—and making it fun.

top social meia content

Whatever industry you’re in, try to push the limits of what’s possible online and with social media content.

5. Intuit’s “A Giant Story”

You might have heard of Intuit, a massive Silicon Valley SaaS superstar, but do you know what their product actually does? No? Neither do most of us!

To help solve that problem and bring their suite of products together, they worked alongside an animation team to create “A Giant Story”. This social media ad campaign uses an animated robot as a metaphor for the complex way Intuit’s services tap into data using new technologies and how its products are best when used as a group.

Genius.

Generating more than 20 million views on YouTube alone, “A Giant Story” is a great example of how effective taking complex ideas and making them simple can be for your brand.

To create the absolute best social media content for your audience, you don’t have to spend millions of dollars or stumble upon the next viral video sensation.

You need to understand your target audience on a deep level to create content that is perfectly tailored for them.

The Best Days and Times for PR Content

We’re producing A LOT of content these days.

But is anyone consuming that content that we work so hard to create?

Chances are that unless we’re posting it at optimal times, the answer could be – no.

Living in the age of Content Shock

Research says that each minute, there are:

  • 448,800 tweets sent
  • 65,972 photos posted on Instagram
  • 1,440 WordPress posts created

No wonder we now live in the age of “Content Shock.”

So, what are the best times to schedule content?

To increase the chances of our audiences tuning into our content, let’s take a closer look at the best days and times to schedule and share.

PR Pitches

While journalists might argue that there’s NEVER a good time to pitch them, some PR pros have determined there may be times that are better than others.

“Try any time before 11 a.m. to noon local time for any morning pitching you’re doing,” says Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO, Crenshaw Communications. “Then, I’ve read that statistically speaking, the next highest concentration peak for getting journalists’ attention is around 2:00 p.m.”

Former journalist Sam Colt adds, ‘Some reporters have a lull on Friday mornings during which pitches can get more attention.”

Blog Posts

What’s the best time to publish blog posts? CoSchedule says it depends on your goals.

To drive the most traffic, the best publishing day is Monday at 11 am EST. For the most comments, the best publishing day is Saturday at 9 am EST. To earn the most inbound links, the best publishing days are Monday and Thursday at 7 am EST.

While this is based on research, it’s important to remember, “Sometimes you will write an amazing post and publish it on a Friday and still see it go viral. Sometimes your posts published at the optimal time will do nothing. Posting at the best times is like giving the article a helping hand, it’s not an actual traffic strategy,” advises BlogTyrant.

“I use Google analytics to find where my audience is and create custom reports for the best day and time to post on my blog,” Peg Fitzpatrick, co-author of, “The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users” and blogger at Peg Fitzpatricksays. 

Webinars

Tuesdays are the best day to host a webinar, according to research, followed by Wednesdays and Thursdays. The day to avoid? Friday. 

Timing-wise, 1 or 2 p.m. EST seems to work best for a U.S.-based audience.

But, consider your audience when choosing a day and time to host your webinar. What’s the best timing for them?

Twitter

Ah, Twitter – great for real-time engagement, but the life of a tweet is fleeting. To be exact, it’s 18 minutes. That means you probably need to post A LOT to make headway on Twitter—or at least a lot more than on other social media platforms.

SproutSocial says Fridays are the best days to post on Twitter, while the “safest” times are 10 a.m. to noon. Sunday morning tweets get the least amount of engagement.

Instagram

Instagram now has 800 million monthly active users. So, what are the best times to post on this increasingly popular platform?

“Surprisingly, Instagram user activity peaks at 3-4 a.m. EST on Sundays, yet Instagram posts on Tuesdays received the best engagement,” says a report published by MarketingProfs.

“For Instagram, I use Tailwind to give me best times to post,” says Peg Fitzpatrick, “It creates a schedule based on your past Instagram posts, and you can choose how many posts by day.”

Linkedin

LinkedIn is known as the world’s largest professional network. When do posts there garner the most engagement?

The best time to post on LinkedIn is Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m., according to SproutSocial.

Posts shared on Friday through Monday receive the least amount of engagement.

The Bottom Line on Best Times to Post

“It’s very hard to determine the ‘best’ times to post on social media or for blogging but using your own account’s past data is the best indicator,” Fitzpatrick says. 

She also recommends using a tool like CoSchedule. “They use data and intelligence to help you build your social schedule.”

For more on optimal posting times, see CoSchedule’s comprehensive report based on 23 studies that cover the major social media platforms. And beyond knowing the best days and times for PR content, make sure you have the data within your stories to support a unique narrative.

5 Ideas to Create Holiday PR Buzz

As we get deeper into the holidays, we in public relations may be in the midst of trying to secure related coverage and create holiday PR buzz for our clients.

We know the holidays can pose their own challenges for securing earned media wins, there’s always increased competition for limited space on editorial calendars. After all, the holiday season is fairly short. This can cause a PR pro to panic – what can we do to win that coveted media coverage for our clients? What are some other ways to create holiday-related buzz?

Here are five ideas that have worked for public relations professionals and their clients:

1) Charitable Campaigns Are (Usually) a Win-Win

Charity-related campaigns are one approach that can win the media’s attention.

“If your client has an active corporate social responsibility program and/or charitable partners, connect with their holiday giving activities,” says Beth Swanson, managing director at Swanson Communications Consulting. “This can bring coverage for both your client and a good organization that needs the PR.”

One example of this is The Greene Turtle’s “Tips for Tots” campaign. While the campaign is going into its 13th year, The Greene Turtle, a sports bar and grill, brought Maroon PR on board in 2016 to help generate awareness through an integrated media relations and social media campaign to push its fundraising to a new level. 2016’s campaign broke a record, raising $90,000 to benefit Toys for Tots.

“We achieved media coverage across the state of Maryland and into Washington, DC and West Virginia, appearing both in print and on broadcast media,” said Chris Daley, director of brand and business development, Maroon PR. “The client was thrilled and the charity benefitted. We’re working with them again this year, with the goal of raising even more.”

2) Include Employees in Holiday Campaigns

Another way to appeal to your audience during the holiday season is to use your employees to get the message out.

For example, Diana Villegas, previous international PR manager of Innogames, says the company successfully used its employees in a campaign in 2016 to appeal to the 30+ nationalities represented in its gaming community.

“We made videos with holiday greetings from various employees in their native languages,” said Villegas. “We shared these on social media and made a Christmas edition of our monthly video podcast highlighting our employees. This strengthened our image as an international employer. It worked during the holiday season because it’s a time of unity and thankfulness.”

3) Use Products to Earn Holiday Coverage

This time of year, journalists and bloggers are looking for ideas for holiday gift guides. If you have a product that could be a fit, Swanson suggests trying that approach.

“If you have a product that’s particularly suitable to give as a gift, reporters often group multiple products or services together under these categories for holiday stories.”

When you pitch, she also suggests mentioning if a portion of the sales will benefit charity, which can be an additional hook for media.

4) Create Engaging Festive Content

When looking beyond traditional PR, some turn to content creation to engage their audiences.

Jon Butler, managing director at customer engagement agency Big Brand Ideas, says holiday seasons are a perfect springboard to use games to drive deeper connections.

“For one of our clients looking to engage potential new customers over the festive period, we developed a highly addictive memory game set in a Christmas environment. Customers were encouraged to play the game and share their results with friends socially.”

The average time on site was 5 minutes, with 87% of visits coming from Facebook. This represented a significant increase in visits to the client’s site and an uptick in inquiries from prospects.

5) Feel-Good Features Can Win the Season

If your client has helped a group or family, that can be turned into a feature story, Swanson mentions. Before pitching, be sure the beneficiary is willing to work with you on it, meaning they’re OK with you sharing the information and are open to talking with reporters, if asked.

“If you can highlight ways a client has given back to the community or spread cheer in the lives of people they serve, this can grab the attention of local media,” says Alison Carville, principal of Carville Communications.

If you’re looking for a robust media database to get your stories in front of receptive journalists, we can help.

This post was originally published on this site on November 3, 2017. We republish timely posts on Saturdays for those who may have missed them the first time around.