Detroit Chapter Public Relations Society of America | June 2009
FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK
Have you ever stopped to think about the impression you make on others? Wouldn’t it be invaluable if you could employ some tips to maximize your personal presence? This and more was the topic of conversation at our April PRSA program with Denise Anne Taylor, who taught “skills for life – how to build your personal brand.”
And who doesn’t need a little fine-tuning every now and then? I hadn’t quite thought before that program about what kind of impression we make on others through physical cues as simple as a handshake, posture and eye contact. Interestingly, you only have about 2.8 seconds to make an impression before someone draws a conclusion about you. And 93 percent of your communication is nonverbal; only 7 percent is about what you say.
So why do we need to focus on something as basic as perfecting a handshake in a fast-paced world where everyone is busy trying to sell a product or idea? Isn’t it a bit parochial to go back to these basics?
These basics are the fundamentals of our business. Denise Anne stated that the most coveted skills in the workplace now are social skills. This is especially true today, when you conceivably could conduct all your business through phone and e-mail without physically talking to someone in person. Even the wonderful social networking tools that we recommend to our companies and clients can obscure the chance to build personal relationships if they are the only tactics used. The word “friend” has actually become a verb thanks to Facebook – yet if you look up the definition (“one attached to another by affection or esteem”), can you really do that without talking to a person?
Consider another interesting point that Denise Anne shared – phone calls and e-mails should be saved for confirming ideas only – face-to-face conversations are for decision-making. And it only makes sense – would you want to make a decision to hire, say, a personal trainer based on an e-mail without meeting the person? Even the U.S. Army is taking that face-to-face, grassroots approach with its recruiting efforts, as we learned in our May 12 program “Grassroots and the U.S. Army: How to find influential voices in your community to carry your message.”
In the end, when you strip away all of the communications devices, we have our brand and reputation. And PRSA is a great place for us to build our personal brand and network with each other. I would encourage you to take advantage of all of the networking opportunities and make the most of them. Even if a particular monthly program isn’t a topic you need for your job, you might want to attend anyway because of the people you will meet.
And what do you do when you get there? Denise Anne recommends great tips like learning one new thing from each person you meet to polish up on active listening skills. Asking “how” and “what” questions to create a dialogue. And forcing yourself to circulate and introduce yourself to new people.
We’ve got some events coming up that are strictly social so you can take advantage of the time to network. A new networking event I’m pleased to announce is a PRSA Cocktail Hour at ROAST restaurant, Thursday, June 25, 5-7 p.m. at the newly restored Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit. Come enjoy excellent ambiance at Detroit’s newest after-work hotspot – and the first drink is on the house. Also, don’t forget to reserve a seat at the July 22 Detroit Tigers vs. the Seattle Mariners game at Comerica Park.
It’s not too late! You can still reserve your place among PRSA’s top supporters as a 2009-2010 PRSA-Detroit sponsor. Don’t miss your chance to gain key visibility for your company through high-value, economical marketing and promotional opportunities online, in print and at key industry events. This year’s packages feature enhanced marketing benefits and price reductions of 25 to 30 percent from last year! If you’ve been a sponsor in the past, you are familiar with our many opportunities for positive exposure for your staff and organization. If you haven’t sponsored in the past, this year’s prices will make you want to come on board.
PRSA-Detroit has recently expanded its social networking activities to Twitter, to provide up-to-the-minute updates on news, events, jobs and more. And in just three weeks, we already have more than 150 followers!
Twitter is a social network that enables users to send and receive 140-character updates, known as “tweets” – think of it as a miniature blog. Its primary purpose is to keep others, also known as your “followers,” informed of what you’re interested in, where you’re going or what you’re doing. It’s also a great tool for receiving breaking news updates from top-tier media organizations like CNN or Bloomberg. Not to mention all of the journalists who hang out on Twitter, making it a great way to build relationships. It’s also one of the best places to learn new and exciting aspects of social media and PR 2.0.
See what we’re talking about by visiting the PRSA-Detroit Twitter page, or by clicking on the Twitter logo to the right. You can also see a feed of our tweets on the PRSA-Detroit Web site. You’ll also see links to our Facebook and LinkedIn groups. If you don’t have an account on any of these social networks yet, you can create one in a few seconds.
Come out on June 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. for an evening of socializing and networking at PRSA’s first 2009 Cocktail Hour at Michael Symon’s Roast restaurant in the newly restored Westin Book Cadillac. Enjoy discounted cocktails and $3 “small bites” until 6:30 p.m., while enjoying a fun evening with your PRSA colleagues in a beautiful and hip setting. And the first drink is on the house! Roast is located at 1128 Washington Blvd. in Detroit, 313.961.2500. Valet and street parking are available. Contact Nancy Skidmore if you have questions or would like to plan an upcoming cocktail hour for PRSA-Detroit.
Time is fast approaching to register for a premier public relations conference, “Strategic Communications Planning, Execution & Measurement,” June 23-25, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. Hosted by PRSA-Detroit and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the seminar will explore the full scope of developing a successful strategic communications plan from conception to implementation to analysis of results. Participate in either the full 2 ½-day seminar (June 23-25/$765; $400 for PRSSA members) or the half-day strategic plan writing workshop (June 25/$150). To register and for more information, click PRSA-Detroit/AAPA Strategic Planning Conference or call AAPA’s Aaron Ellis, APR, 703.706.4714. Seminar and workshop participation eligible for APR maintenance credits.
Tamara Neal has joined Identity Marketing & Public Relations as the production coordinator for the Identity graphics team. As production coordinator, Neal is responsible for processing graphics jobs, tracking the status of jobs, managing projects with vendors and tracking graphics time. Prior to joining Identity, she served as the print production coordinator for Ford Motor Company, handling projects including sustainability reports, the printing and distribution of Ford World Magazine and the North American International Auto Show media kits.
Sara Furtwaengler has been named an account manager at AutoCom Associates. A native of Heidelberg, Germany, Furtwaengler joined AutoCom as an account assistant last summer. She provided AutoCom clients with international media relations, translation services and special-event planning. As an account manager, Furtwaengler will manage a number of client teams, including groups working with Gibbs Technologies, Karmann USA, ecarlist and Thetford Corporation. She also will manage several of the agency’s award-winning special-event programs, including AutoCom’s annual Detroit Tech Crawl.
Stratacomm has expanded its client roster with the addition of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education and the Department of Energy as clients. The firm was retained by the Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education to promote its unique model of thought leadership and action-based learning, managing media relations to raise awareness of the world-class programs Ross offers to executives worldwide. In addition, Stratacomm will execute a communications campaign with the Department of Energy to promote its Solar Decathlon program in October 2009, a biannual competition in which 20 teams of college students from around the world compete to design, build and operate the most attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house on the National Mall.
Community 1st Development, a real estate company focused on urban residential development, neighborhood rehabilitation, “green built” homes and commercial redevelopment, chose Tanner Friedman to promote the company’s construction of Detroit’s first affordable, green home on May 13.
The house marked the first dwelling for Community 1st’s Alter Commons neighborhood, located on Detroit’s far east side. Discovery’s Planet Green documented the monumental event for its “Renovation Nation” television series, scheduled to air in early 2010. The show will feature unique efforts in green home building, renovation or construction projects and is hosted by Steve Thomas, formerly known for his work with “This Old House.” Community 1st homes
X Team, a national alliance of retail advisors with expertise in more than 45 major markets throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, has retained Identity Marketing & Public Relations to provide public relations support and counsel. X Team specializes in tenant representation, developer/landlord representation, retailer property dispositions and retail investments, offering services that include competition, market penetration and demographic analyses; site selection; transaction negotiation; site plan consulting; portfolio analysis; lease valuations; acquisitions; asset assessment and valuation; and due diligence support.
Karmann USA, a leading supplier of automotive convertible tops, has selected AutoCom Associates as its North American public relations agency of record. Karmann USA is based in Plymouth Township, Mich., and is a subsidiary of the Karmann Group, the world’s leading Tier-1 supplier of convertible tops. Karmann Group also has served as the contract manufacturer of several complete vehicles, including the VW Karmann Ghia, the VW Beetle convertible and the Mercedes-Benz CLK convertible. Karmann USA supplies many of the world’s major automakers, including Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and VW. With a 2008 sales volume of $1.8 billion, the Karmann Group also operates facilities in Germany, Poland, Portugal, Mexico and Japan.
June 23 – 25 – Joint PRSA-Detroit/American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) “Strategic Communications Planning, Execution & Measurement” seminar – Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center -
June 25 – PRSA Cocktail Hour, 5 – 7 p.m. at Michael Symon’s ROAST, inside the newly renovated Westin Book Cadillac. ROAST is located at 1128 Washington Blvd. in Detroit, 313. 961.2500. Valet and street parking are available. No RSVP necessary, but contact Nancy Skidmore if you have questions.
July 22 – Detroit Tigers game – 7:05 p.m. vs. the Seattle Mariners. Limited number of outfield box tickets available to PRSA-Detroit members for $32. For more information, contact Nancy Skidmore or at 248.545.6499.
June Bulletin 2009
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