27&MORE FORMS STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH PINNACLE WORLDWIDE

Kronberg/Frankfurt, Germany & Wayazata, MN, USA, June 2010 – 27&More, a leading international network of independent public relations agencies based in Europe and covering 44 countries, has formed a strategic alliance with Pinnacle Worldwide, a global network based in the US with more than 50 offices.

Established in September 2007 in Frankfurt, 27&More began as a partnership of prominent European PR agencies which all had one main focus — to provide strategic communication services with flexibility, effectiveness and an integrated approach to worldwide clients.

Individual members of both Pinnacle Worldwide and 27&More have long-standing business relationships. Ruud Bijl, President of Bijl partners in public relations in the Netherlands, and President and Co-founder of 27&More: “The strength of our new alliance lies in the fact that we have hand-picked the best consultancies in each country rather than relying on ‘outposts’ of a big brand to deliver. That means quality consulting delivered by experts wherever the need, and for brands seeking sound strategic support and quality delivery regardless of location. That’s a very strong offer indeed.”

“With our combined strength providing access to highly-respected offices around the world, this partnership expands the reach for our clients and members alike,” said Donna Vandiver, President and CEO of The Vandiver Group, Inc., in St. Louis, Mo., and President of Pinnacle Worldwide.

For more information on 27&More, please visit http://www.27andMore.com. For more information on Pinnacle Worldwide, please visit http://www.pinnacleww.com.

ABOUT 27&MORE

Founded just three years ago, 27&More is already one of the leading networks of independent pr consultancies in Europe. Launching with 21 agencies in Europe and Asia covering 29 countries in total, today, the network has forged close relationships with partner agencies in Miami as well as 17 additional countries in Latin America. The network has a strong business development and support focus which is shown by the number of pan-European campaigns won so far and the many referrals between the partner agencies.

Contact:           Isabelle Stitz, Managing Director, 27&More e.V.

+49 (0)6173-9267-50, istitz@prpkronberg.com

 

Ruud Bijl, President & Co-Founder, 27&More,

+31 (-10)-2842929, r.bijl@bijlpr.nl

ABOUT PINNACLE WORLDWIDE

Founded in 1976, Pinnacle Worldwide, Inc. is an international corporation of independently owned public relations firms with offices in more than 50 major cities around the globe. Its members develop and implement strategic communications plans that influence audiences on both a regional and global scale.

Contact:           Johanna Mouton, Executive Director, Pinnacle Worldwide

+1 952-475-9000; johanna@pinnacleww.com

Donna Vandiver, President, Pinnacle Worldwide; 314-991-4641; tvg@vandivergroup.com

 

For further information please contact:

 

27&More e.V.

Isabelle Stitz, Managing Director 27&More (HQ)

c/o PUBLIC RELATIONS PARTNERS GmbH

Bleichstraße 5, 61476 Kronberg, / Frankfurt a. M.

Germany

Phone: +49 (0)6173 9267-50

Fax: +49 (0)6173 9267-67

E-Mail: istitz@prpkronberg.com

http://www.prpkronberg.com

Turin, 11th December 2009 – Mailander, the Italian partner of 27&More as well as founding member of the network, has been awarded the Best Event Award 2009 (BEA), in the section Best Cultural Event of the year, thanks to its specialization in institutional communication, local area and cultural marketing at both national and international level.

The BEA, created in 2004 by the magazine Advexpress.it, e20express.it and by the Adc group – http://www.e20express.it, awarded the prize to the local area promotion project “Settimana del Minas Gerais in Piemonte” (Minas Gerais week in Piedmont), the initiative with which the Brazilian state introduced itself to the Italian public in November 2008 that was managed by Mailander, within the collaboration between the Brazilian state and the Piedmont region. The panel, made up of specialized journalists and professionals of the field, ascertained that the event organized by Mailander was “the cultural event having greatest impact, originality and participation as well as being the most spectacular for the innovative communication means”.

As Agency President Monica Mailander affirmed on the occasion of the awarding ceremony “this appreciation is important in many respects. First of all, it has been an extraordinary human experience that has also brought a great challenge: that of accomplishing a cultural transfer – that is far from being immediate – between two extremely different worlds. Challenge that was won thanks also to our ability to manage international projects. Secondly, the prestige of the prize itself, awarded by a panel of high profile experts, certainly values and underlines our 20 year experience in the field of cultural marketing. Thirdly, it highlights our ability to select an innovative and effective communication mix, well suited for valuing and fully communicating such a demanding and complex event. Indeed, the cultural part was absolutely crucial for giving an immediate feel and an understanding of the mineiro system”.

Mailander – that in collaboration with the Piedmont Region has been the organizing contact in Italy for the state of Minas Gerais – handled the entire event’s promotion and communication. It also organized the exhibition Viver Minas and a very intense programme of initiatives – which also included an economic section with B2B meetings and country presentations – that saw the participation of significant figures. For the event 600 entrepreneurs and over 100 journalists were involved; the cultural events were attended by over 1,000 participants and the exhibition had 5,000 visitors.

In a recent post about the Social Media revolution in the always interesting blog by Brian Solis, we are introduced to this concept of “distributed participation”. The post echoes the results of a Forrester Research study about the use of social technologies in 2009. Not surprisingly the growth of usage is not stopping with only 18% of US adults not taking part in the social game.

But the real interest lies in the qualitative conclusion that “now is the time to build social marketing applications and that Interactive marketers should influence social network chatter, master social communication, and develop social assets – even if their customers are older”. That’s distributed participation.

As Solis states, it’s about strategic engagement focused on listening and research. We have to listen to the conversations because they take place even if we don’t listen or take part. “We are either part of or absent from the decision making process”.

In the PR world we have always prouded ourselves for “knowing” the media. We should embrace, engage and take part in the new media because it will empower our services, our capabilities and our results.

27&More Meeting

27&More Meeting

The 27& More network met for the 4th Membership Meeting last week in the beautiful Delvaux premises in Brussels, an original venue arranged by host agency MindShake. The meeting included new member Christian Lenhardt from Menedetter PR in Austria who gave an excellent presentation on CMS II Quality ASsurance Models for PR Agencies. Other items discussed during the two day meeting included cross border campaigns, international agency integration and sharing of best practices.

Twitter have been a well kept secret among journalists in Europe. Not that the media haven’t been writing about it. They have. But not many journalists have openly been using the micro-blogging service Twitter to get news and stories. This is no longer the case.

More and more media are now refering to Twitter as the source for news stories. Some of the best know examples are the terror in Mumbai and several plain crashes – e.g. the crash in the Hudson River.
In Denmark the best know example was when another newspaper, Nyhedsavisen, was declared bankroupt. The owner, Morten Lund, annonced it on Twitter also, and a lot of media began to refer to the owners tweets as quotations instead of making actual interviews with him.

And the Danish media have taken the next step and are now using Twitter as a place to launch news stories. Last example was when a danish sports newspaper “Tipsbladet” made a “Breaking News” on Twitter about a soccer player who allegedly have been involved in a violent act.

The Online manager Kristoffer Friis from Tipsbladet explained why with this statement (translated from Danish):

We were pretty sure that the story was true, but we couldn’t write it on our website, so we choose Twitter….

But is that really the right way to use micro-blogging as a news source? As a media where to place rumours and and a place to collect quick statements which can go instead of real interviews?

I personally hope not.

Micro-blogs such as Twitter is a very interesting way of communications. And it’s already a place where news are first launched and the Danish media are also present there with Twitter-profiles such as EkstraBladet, Politiken, Berlingske Tidende etc. but the number of followers are typical below 100 so it’s not yet a success. Perhaps because the media needs to learn how Twitter works.

More interessting are the journalists who are more active than the media themselves. More and more journalists can be found at Twitter. It’s learning by doing as it’s the case with most social media. So in the near future we can probably see the media evolve on Twitter and other social media.

It’s possible to see a list of journalists and media using Twitter here. A few Danish journalists are listed – if some are missing (and I’m sure there are) you can update the wiki yourself or just write a comment here and I will update the wiki with your information.

Thank you all – readers, friends, colleagues and business partners – for a interesseting year.

christmas_banner

We will be back next year with more interesting things to tell, share and debate.

[Translated version of my Danish blog post]

Being part of the PR-business is not always easy. And certainly not in the United States. And if you are working with online media, then you could really be at risk.

But IMO, it is sometimes entirely self-inflicted. The cases are listed below are so horrible that the involved PR agencies/persons had it coming.

But the cases are also important so that others do not follow in their footsteps.

In short, there are two cases which have really been in the focus of attention in the States.

1. PR agencies way to pitch
2. Embargo of press releases

1. PR agencies way to pitch
To pitch a story to a media is one of the many tasks we have as part of the PR business. Sometimes it can be a hard job when the story is not just for the frontpage and other times it is a great pleasure when the story is very good. But no matter what, a pitch requires equal parts professionalism and courtesy. But that is not always the case …

In the U.S., the director of a New York-based public relations agency HWH Public Relations , Lois Whitman, just showed how NOT to act when making a pitch. When she could not get her story through to a website and the editor of the site nicely asked not to be pitched again because he didn’t write about the products she represented – he was the yelled at in a mail which of course now is on the internet. See it here in its full length .

A short excerpt:

I do not need you to tell me what is right or what is wrong.

I have been in the CE business for 42 years

I have seen nasty people like you melt away faster than a snowball going up hill in the rain

This mail and her blog posts which also includes a conversation about how she spams journalists via mail and phone calls are worth looking at – just so you know what NOT to do. Read more here .

Of course, to make PR like this is totally nuts. And it has also created a lot of attention – for example, read Tech Crunch and Crunch Gear ‘s coverage of the case here and here .

All the fuss has apparently been a wake-up call for Lois Whitman, and she has written a apology on her blog , but I do not think it is enough. Her behavior has apparently been such for a long time and I don’t think she is going to change in the near future. A good example of her way to do PR can be read at her blog when she last year tried to tell why it’s perfectly acceptable to spam journalists .

I do not understand journalists (thank goodness there are only a handful of them) who get on this spam kick. They ask to be deleted from mailing because they do not want to be spammed. The time it took them to ask me to remove them from our mailing lists certainly took 100 percent more time than what it would have been to just “delete”.
I wonder what their bosses would think if they knew that their writers / editors did not want to receive information.

By asking to be cut from lists, you only cut yourself off in this world of digital communications.

Sure, you may not be interested in this particular news item, but who knows, the next one could be exactly what you need.

She ends with

Junk mail is a necessary evil. Get over it

Well… I do not quite agree …

Well, enough about Lois Whitman …

2. Embargo of press releases
Most public relations people and journalists knows of embargo of a press release – in other words, it may not be published until a certain time.

In the U.S., it has apparently gone fashion to break these embargo, in order to be first with the news. One of the reasons is that public relations agencies mindlessly send unique “solo-stories” to all media and not just a few. It water down the “solo-concept” and when the PR-agencies do not take the consequences and “punish” them in violation of the embargo (e.g. by not sending them the news in a period, as Google and Microsoft are doing according to Tech Crunch ), then there is really no reason why the media should keep such agreements.

This has gotten Tech Crunch to make public that they in the future will break all embargo as a kind of revolt and thereby they hope that both media and PR agencies finds a solution. Read the story here.

Of course the media should stick to an agreement of a embargo, if one is agreed upon. And of course PR agencies shall do not send solo pitches to everybody…

You would think that both of the above examples could not take place – after all it is obvious that it is wrong or is it? Because if you read the Bad Pitch Blog it is apparently not so rare that public relations agencies working with the head under their arm.

Fortunately, it is not so bad here in Europe – or ….?

Well – if your answer is a PR agency. Then you’re probably wrong!

That’s the result of a new British report Econsultancy – Online PR Industry Benchmarking Report. The report contains answers from 300 UK marketers and PR professionals, working for both in-house company teams and for agencies.

The results show that when companies outsource Online PR to agencies or specialists, 49 % of them use some other type of agency than a PR agency, like search agencies, web development agencies, full-service digital agencies or advertising agencies.

These results seems to indicate that companies dosen’t trust PR agencies to handle their Online PR strategy. In regards to that the report also have a another interessting finding. Only 48% of the companies are satisfied with their agency’s level of Online PR knowledge.

When you compare those two findings it could be an obvious conclusion that the companies perhaps have made a mistake not to trust PR agencies with their Online PR strategy.

PR strategies – both online and traditional – demands experience and knowledge of public relations. And here a PR professional have a big advantage, but that also demands that the PR professional educates himself continuously on social media and other online media. When you combine experience from the offline and online world with great knowledge of how public relations works – then it’s a powerfull combination, which can give the client many advantages.

Challenge
But the report also indicates that we as PR professionals have a big challenge ahead. We need to educate ourselves and we need to draw attention to the fact that we have the knowledge needed to handle Online PR strategies.

I’m ready – are you?

With all these new social media what are the future like for the PR business?

Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication + Technology and author of the book “Public Relations on the Net” has gathered some interessting thoughts about this topic at his blog.

He also posted this small video which contains some very good advice for PR companies all over the world.

I tend to agree. We need to know more about the new social media – and we continuous need to educate our clients and our employees so we are on top of things.

Not the end…
Social media is not the end of Public Relations but it is the beginning of a new era which contains new markets and a lot of positive opporttunities for us as PR professionals. But we have to dare to take some chances and just try some ting new in order to develop us as PR companies and to develop our clients.

When you are in the PR business one of your goal is to get best possible publicity both online and offline. And when you talk about online media you have to think about blogs also. They are becomming more and more important.

If you live in the US you already know what I’m talking about. Blogs are as important as traditional media – sometimes even more important. It depends on the topic. But how do you pitch a blogger?

Simple advice

Well, if you want to pitch Sarah Lacy – journalist and author – you should read her advice on how to pitch her here.

Here she write down some simple advice on how to pitch a blogger. Some of the advice seems very very simple and obvious but then again – so does most things when you read about them. Her advices are therefore very good reading and it should be basic reading for all PR professionals.

Here are a short list of the most important advice:

- know the name of the blogger and use it corretly
- only pitch a blogger with material the blogger actual writes and cares about
- don’t contact the blogger as BCC in a mail you send to serveral others
- be part of the blogosphere for some time before you pitch bloggers
- research, research and research…

An unprofessional pitch can backfire
A blogger shall be treated as a professional and if you don’t the result can be more devastating than you think.

If you pitch without respect for the individual blogger, you run several risks:

- risk of getting no mention (very likely)
- risk of getting bad press yourself i.e. the blogger could write a blog post about how unprofessional you and your company are (very likely)
- risk of getting bad press for your client i.e. the blogger could write a blog post about your client stating that they are very unprofessional (very likely)
- risk of never being able to contact the blogger again and thereby minimize the chance of getting good reviews etc. (likely)
- risk of getting a bad reputation among bloggers i.e. bloggers are closely connected within the same topics (likely)
etc.

All risks you can avoid if you treat bloggers with respect!

If you want to read more about pitches which have gone wrong – you could try reading the Bad Pitch Blog – it’s both funny, educational and sometimes a bit scaring to see how unprofessional some professionals can be.

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