Dear GiGi: My company is expanding; we’re opening a new Midwest office. We’re interested in using PR to get the word out – is it better to retain a PR firm in the local market or where our HQ is (East Coast)?

April 8, 2011

Hi Erin, Great question – geography is often a factor in public reactions, whether it’s identifying your target audiences or, as you suggest, figuring out which office should interact with an outside PR agency. In my experience, the location of the PR firm doesn’t impact the quality of the communications effort; an experienced firm that […]

read more

Dear GiGi: I work on business development for a law firm, and I’d like to figure out how to utilize PR more effectively for sourcing new clients. One issue is that our current clients rely on us for discretion, so we can’t publish the details of our work much. What can PR do for us without compromising our clients?

March 25, 2011

Dear Joe, As you suggest, many law firms can’t talk about client work in detail. While that’s a challenge, it doesn’t mean you should neglect external communications as an integral tool. There many ways that public relations can help your firm, and I’ll outline just a couple here. The key is to always think about […]

read more

Dear GiGi: There have been so many blunders involving social media lately. Is there an example of someone who has done it right?

March 18, 2011

Dear Ann, A social media strategy is an important component of many public relations campaigns, and it’s also often critical in crisis response. (Or it can be part of a personal meltdown, see #winning). But as you suggest, social media is frequently mishandled! One recent and particularly good use of social media was the American […]

read more

Dear GiGi: Does direct mail work?

March 4, 2011

Today, email has just about replaced regular mail. Everything from advertisements to bills to holiday cards are sent electronically. In that sense, direct mail may seem archaic. However, your item may stand out more among a smaller pile of envelopes and flyers. Who are you trying to reach and what are your goals? Direct mail […]

read more

Dear GiGi: One blogger has been writing nasty posts about my company. How do I handle this without soliciting more negative publicity or giving the blogger more attention than is due?

February 1, 2011

First off, don’t panic! There’s a robust toolkit for these situations, so let’s take a moment to strategize and discuss just a couple of best practices. The overarching principle for dealing with negative publicity is to keep it contained as best you can. You shouldn’t give the negative post any more light, particularly if the […]

read more

Dear GiGi: We are a nonprofit working in Africa in an area that is getting a lot of attention. We need more of that attention to come our way to help with fundraising. Can public relations help?

January 31, 2011

Dear Nonprofit in Africa, Great question. Yes, public relations can absolutely help. That said, think of PR beyond purely transactional terms. An article about your organization in today’s New York Times won’t necessarily result in a $100,000 donation tomorrow (though it could!). What it will do, certainly, is raise the profile of your group so […]

read more