PR Connections

Floridians Have Answers for BPs Problems!

June 1, 2010 by publicrelationswriter | Edit

It seems as though BP isn’t working fast enough to solve the oil spill problem, and has turned a deaf ear to the 36,000 suggestions Florida residents have offered.  The oil spill is now considered “the nation’s worst environmental disaster” as it continues to spill into the waters.

One Florida resident, Ron Mowrey, says his company sells a natural product called Bio-Matrix, which is made of peat moss roots.  He describes it as an absorptive product, which he believes would be effective in solving the problem without delay because of its fast-acting effect.  He, along with the 36,000 other concerned citizens  stands by, waiting for a response from BP. Meanwhile,  the oil continues to pour out into the waters, causing damage to the environment, wildlife and natural habitats, not to mention the contamination that will continue long after the spill is contained.

This is a critical situation that would seem to require expedient intervention, not only between BP and the public, but also, and more importantly, stopping the oil spill and the contamination and harm it is causing wildlife and the ecosystem. Shouldn’t there be a law against this?  Against oil spills and against the number of days it is allowed to continue while we all stand by helplessly wondering how it is going to affect us all.

The publics need to hear what is being done to correct this situation, how long  before it will be resolved, and why they have not been successful thus far. Don’t you think they should be more concerned about actually fixing the problem and communicating the truth and less concerned about cover-up?



Advertising Age – The PR Factor (October 28, 2009 – Page S12-S13 )

May 28, 2010 by publicrelationswriter | Edit

Roxanne Taylor, chief marketing and communications officer of Accenture says in her straight-forward style, that she is a firm believer that authentic communication, done in a full and compelling manner, without hype or spin is the best policy.

Taylor states “As communicators, we must engage both clients and employees seriously, intelligently, and honestly. Regardless of what it is called, that is the kind of communication in which I think we can all believe.”

Jeffrey Hayzlett, vice president and CMO of Eastman Kodak Co. believes social media has changed the landscape of public relations. “Running my own public relations firm helped me understand and champion PR’s role in marketing. Companies need to be straight-shooters and considerate of what people really want.”

Each of these public relations professionals exhibits the kinds of open, honest and straight-forward thinking, attitudes, philosophies, and policies that I aspire to and that I would hope to be in partnership with, as an employee.  I believe it takes integrity, some grit and personal commitment to high moral and ethical standards, not to compromise your principles in the face of temptation–in whatever form they may present themselves, to present the public with compelling and truthful communication, at all times.

Source: Advertising Age – The PR Factor October 28, 2009 – Page S12-S13.


How Stuff Works is an endless site for information of all kinds. The home page offers tabs across the top of the page, from which you can choose information on: autos, adventure, animals, communication, computers, electronics, entertainment, food, geography, health, history, home & garden, money, people and science.

If that is not enough of a choice for you, the body of the page offers video play lists, and podcasts and blogs to view. Additionally, there are quotes of the day, trivia questions, polls and random facts one can explore.

And finally, there is a place where you can type in questions to receive your answer, and a search box to find other things on the site which may not be front-page visible.  I chose to type in ‘public relations’ in the search box.

Another whole page came up with topics all related to public relations. For example, I found links to technology and public relations, handling public relations crises, careers in public relations, links to the Public Relations Society of America, and public relations and the press.  There are also links for more information describing the role of public relations professionals and a working definition of public relations.

Browse to your heart’s content–this is a site where you can have fun and learn something at the same time.



Public Relations Resources

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” – Robert SchullerSociology was never really my thing, but I do like to study people in the workplace. What makes some people successful and some failures? What allows some people to climb to the highest levels, only to tumble. There are those who will never be satisfied until they are CEO and others who are content to work in the mail room their entire careers.

The same is true for companies, those that endure no matter how difficult the times, those that crash and burn and those that survive but will always be second rate. Being a “most admired company” does not guarantee long term success but it is certainly one of the required ingredients to ensuring long term success. Finding your job is much the same, although it might be hard to find the connection. So, in Robert Schuller’s words, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail”? Only one way to find out. (Career Alley)

Why is it that some people have multiple job offers to evaluate, while others struggle to get in for a first interview? Learn strategies you can implement immediately in your job search to gain results. Acquire useful insight in to the mind of hiring managers so that you know how to be the shining star among your competition.
Christina Archer says you can ‘Land your dream job in any economy.’

Here is a list of some websites listed for public relations related employment:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Each of the above websites offers information, job listings, trends, employment stats, and/or wage comparisons.

Additionally, provides links to other search engines such as, Go-staff,, Local careers and the Frygroup for easy access to job searches.  It provides the convenience of having several search engines available to you at the touch of a button.

The site also provides links to public relations connections, organizations and trade papers.  Perusing this site allows one to look for jobs, read the latest news, subscribe to public relations trade papers or just scan interesting articles.  Based in New York City, The Frygroup can provide ‘big city’ flavor.

And, provides almost everything you need to know about the public relations field–from trends, to wages.



Vocus? Who is Vocus?

June 1, 2010 by publicrelationswriter |

It all began with a word in the PR textbook  – Vocus.  Vocus, according to the textbook, is a software company especially for PR people, to help manage the media relations process, such as developing media contact databases, track mail and telephone pitches, and record news coverage.  Interesting, but not exactly extensive information.

And so,  my curious, need-to-know nature got the best of me.  Who are these people and what do they do exactly?  I went to the source.

After Frank Strong, Vocus Director of Public Relations,  responded to my mention of Vocus in my ‘Reading Notes’ I invited him to allow me to interview him, to which he graciously and kindly agreed.  I also went to the Vocus website to see for myself, what the company had to say, which yielded the following results:

“Founded in 1991, Vocus began providing database services for PR professionals in 1997. They went public in 2005. Their clients are mainly PR people within organizations but they have some agency clients. They added functionality over the years beginning with CRM capabilities, then collaboration, and now social media monitoring to go with their traditional media monitoring.

The Vocus suite now provides all the tools to help an internal PR person carry out their job. Tabs on the home page include media contacts, media outlets, distribution, news, projects, analysis and administration. The dashboard can be customized with drag and drop capabilities to add and arrange components. As we went through a demo it became clear than a lot of the value comes from their content, as well as the software features. For example, they offer 270,000 US media contacts and 500,000 on a global basis. Vocus has a research team of about 75 people constantly updating their PR content.  Individual users can also update these resources and chose to share them with other users. Vocus then validates any of these additions. There is also an opportunities database for awards, events, etc. for the year with more than 12,500 entries covering 194 countries and 365 days

The social Web opens up new opportunities for analytics and Vocus has stepped up to this opening.  Research by others has shown that ROI is big concern for marketing professionals. Kye gave the example, of an internal PR person who used Vocus analytics to look at the relationship of media coverage for her firm and their competitors. In each case there was a positive correlation between media coverage and sales. These results enabled her to get a larger PR budget from senior management.”

Stay tuned for the Frank Strong interview, which is currently in the planning stage.



Frank Strong, PR Director Vocus, Interview

June 11, 2010 by publicrelationswriter | Edit      By Linda Silfies

On the very day that Vocus acquired HARO, and amid the user conference, and all of the ensuing excitement of the acquisition, Frank Strong, Vocus’ PR director, graciously and enthusiastically agreed to an interview.

Help A Reporter Out (HARO), Strong explained, is a free online service that links 30,000 reporters and bloggers together with more than 100,000 small businesses and public relations professionals.  HARO is free and available to everyone. Reporters and bloggers using the HARO platform can submit requests or queries, for sources for news stories they are writing.  With over 102,000 active available subscriber sources, HARO is able to provide answers to queries.  Additional information can be found at  Peter Shankman, founded HARO in 2007 as a FaceBook group, which quickly became a mailing list with 100,000 members. Shankman is a veteran PR practitioner, serial entrepreneur, author, and social media consultant for NASA, Disney and Snapple.

Vocus, Inc. is the leading provider of on-demand software for PR Management. Their web-based software helps organizations change the way they communicate with both the media and the public to optimize public relations and increase their ability to measure its impact.  Vocus is used by more than 6,800 organizations worldwide, and is available in seven languages.  For example, Vocus’ social media software would allow an organization to monitor Twitter in near-real time to discover what people are saying, track retweets and identify the originating tweet.  Mentions on YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Delicious and FaceBook can also be monitored and tracked.  Visit for more information.

Given the option to discuss some of his achievements or the PR industry, Strong modestly chose the PR industry, for which he says he lives, eats and breathes. He was told by his father many years ago to do something that he really loves—he loves public relations. When asked to expound on what it is he loves about public relations he expressed his love of communication—the dialog, feedback, and conversation coupled with good writing skills and being able to put things into context—the overall skill and art of being able to use words effectively. As he spoke, I envisioned his love of words as a creative energy such as those of an artist with the stroke of his brush on a canvas—so effortless, yet so beautiful.

Strong is not only the PR director for Vocus, but also for PRWeb, the online news distribution service of Vocus. He champions PR programs, including media relations and social media efforts for the company in the US and the UK.

Strong has served in the military more than 17 years.  He currently serves as a reserve Army officer.

He holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State College, an MA in Public Communications from American University and an MBA from Marymount University. Some of his specialties include marketing communications, public relations, social media, corporate blogging and professional writing and editing.

His advice for newcomers in the PR field is:

Learn by doing—get involved.

  • Be a voracious reader; a jack of all trades; well versed and understand communication and how it impacts social media.
  • Most critical—develop excellent writing skills; develop it by doing it.
    • Blogging is a great place to start
    • RSS feed
    • Social media
    • Understand what it means to have ReTweets and how viral communication is.

Strong emphasized the most important thing to know about public relations is –relating to the public. It is not media relations, or content marketing, although they are part of it, but simply put, it is how you relate to the public.  What people say about you holds more credibility than what you say about yourself; a concept that can be applied in any venue or area of life.

In closing, Strong suggested keeping an eye on the larger picture. Learn all you can about multi- media usage, content marketing, and Web oriented communication. Public relations is undergoing tremendous change, keep abreast of the advancements and grow with it.

Thank you Frank, for your time, and wealth of information.

Helpful Vocus web sites :  Profile: , Case study:,  In Real Life: ,


Public Relations Study Site for Students –  This site provides a variety of tools to help you get the most out of your Public Relations course. Some of the study aids you’ll find on this site include Practice Tests (True/False, Multiple Choice and Essay questions), Weblinks and Flashcards.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

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  4. ryankeesee
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 00:39:36

    I definitely have to agree with you on this one Linda. I am happy you took the opportunity to post a blog regarding the oil spill crisis because it has become way out of hand. Unfortunately, efforts such as Ron Mowrey’s are not being recognized by executives and progress has continued to fail. Even Kevin Costner had a swing at a solution and was rejected, yet we are still resorting back to plugging the fuel line with a cap, which as of yesterday, failed.

    I also agree with the state of concern you voiced. I have watched updates on the issue day after day, and I feel more effort has been focused on placing blame rather than doing the right thing first. If you have not already, definitely check out the session between congress and Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP. This along with many other acts by executive figures have caused a great deal of disturbance.

    Hopefully they’ll find a solution here soon because millions are being affected by this tragic incident.



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