Here’s how PR pros are innovating now

Whether you’re still swamped with COVID-19 crisis comms, or you’re sitting on your hands because you have nothing to do, it’s time to start innovating.

The world will never be the same, and doors are closing that won’t open again. But there are also doors swinging open that you never knew existed. Don’t sit and wait, go create.

Here are some examples I’m seeing of PR pros innovating to earn new attention or create new business:

When you know 10 percent more than your audience, you’re an expert

Mark Bernheimer (who happens to be my favorite media trainer in the world) is usually sitting across from executives or celebrities coaching them on interviewing skills. But he saw a need and delivered on it. And now his “Watch My Terrible Video” about how to correct video conferencing mistakes is going semi-viral in the PR community.

Susan Dosier of DK Communications serves restaurants and growers affected by the crisis, so she put together a quick IG video to teach them how to use video themselves to enhance their marketing.

Serve your community (and prospects)

Josh Inglis at Propllr serves tech startups. So he created a popular blog post listing startups in Chicago (his core market) that are still hiring.

Paloma Concordia runs the PapaLoDown agency, providing PR services for family-owned businesses. So she put together a “Homeschool Hustle” webinar with tips for parents trying to run businesses at the same time they school their kids.

Pivot to where the action is

Jenna Cason of Hi Oak typically builds thought leadership for businesses from her Houston HQ. But when a friend who owns a fitness center in Salt Lake City executed on an innovative idea, Jenna jumped on board and landed him media coverage. (He rented out his exercise bikes – sold out in two days.)

Members of my Inner Circle who work in online education and video conferencing are swamped and are scaling up their PR outreach. “This is our Super Bowl,” one of them wrote me sheepishly, conscious that it’s such a tough time for so many others. I’m helping connect these super-busy pros with other IC members who are under capacity right now.

Sharpen the saw

Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks authored the now-legendary PESO model. And she recently came out with an updated graphic for it and a significant new resource for the PR community: She’s partnering with Syracuse University, one of the top communications programs in the country, to offer the PESO Model Certification. With so much upheaval in the comms world, there’s never been a better time to master the integration among paid, earned, shared, and owned media.

ICYMI, here are my free resources to help you advance your skills and value even during a challenging time:

Key takeaways from my “sold out” Confronting the Crisis webinar

– My take on what you should and shouldn’t pitch during the COVID-19 Crisis

This article was originally published on April 1, 2020

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