As a profession, Public Relations has been around for nearly 100 years. Though its origins are debatable, Edward Bernays or Ivy Lee? (We may never come to an agreement.) However, there is one factor of the profession that is undeniable… it’s always evolving. Advancement intrinsically prompts skepticism and concern, especially when the pressure to progress is pushed by technology. Sometimes innovation hits us like a tornado. While some of us get swept away in the funnel of apps and websites, others are left behind in debris of confusion and sudden disconnect. As one of the top PR firms in Nevada, it’s imperative we have one foot spinning in the virtual world with the other foot planted firmly on the ground. As an early adopter of the realms of ‘new school’ PR, Neon PR is consciously bringing the timeless aspects of the old school with us.
- Face-to-Face interactions. No matter how convenient technology is making it to communicate, nothing is more impactful than talking face-to-face. It might be time efficient to send an e-mail or use Google Docs, but showing a client they are worth your time will guarantee long-term loyalty. Close the laptop, grab a coffee, and give your clients the undivided attention that they deserve.
- Personalization. This one is for all the blast-email addicts. Are blasts necessary at times? Yes. Are they often skimmed or just overlooked? Also, yes. Remember on the other end of whatever device you are using, there is a human, and as humans, we like our individual identities. Use names (correct spellings and all) as frequently as possible. Only send e-mails that are truly in the interest of whoever you are sending it to. You wouldn’t send a pitch about a client’s new ice cream flavors to a fitness magazine, would you?
- Timeliness. Now we can send and receive information faster than ever. Sometimes because of that, we procrastinate and don’t prepare properly. We rely on easy fixes. We’ve all forgotten to get back to someone and then had to do the hasty e-mail on the run. No matter how human this is, it still can look unprofessional and careless. Make sure to set aside the right amount of time to complete each project and respond in a timely manner.
- Build a relationship organically. Personally, I’ve always had an issue with the term “networking” because it makes forming personal connections feel ingenuine. As if there has to be some sort of prize at the end, otherwise the interaction is deemed useless. Really get to know who you are working with and work with people who interest you personally. This dips into ethics, but as a firm we make sure we are the best fit for our clients. If we don’t think we can do the job they a looking for, we aren’t afraid to point people in the right direction. Building a trusting and honest relationship will yield more effective results than just temporary monetary gain.
We’ve all seen this scenario play out; you sit down to a nice dinner out surrounded by friends and when your food comes, it turns into a Vogue photoshoot starring your plate of hot lasagna. I get it. Food posts are trendy and who doesn’t want to show off their fabulous ordering skills? The problem comes in when that camera transforms back into phone and the notifications start pouring in. Pretty soon we’re all sitting at a table, transfixed on a screen rather than making conversation with those friends we were just so excited to meet up with. The first step to changing these bad phone habits, just like in any recovery process, is admitting you have a problem. Hi, my name is millennial, and I’m addicted to my phone.
Here’s our five-step program to getting away from your screen:
- Don’t start your mornings on your phone. It’s so easy to turn off your alarm clock and turn right onto Instagram and e-mails. However, this can create a lot of instant anxiety. Being bombarded with work, people trying to sell you things, and all the gossip from the previous day does not make for a productive mindset. Try spending the first 45 minutes of the day off of your phone. Drink your coffee or celery juice, write down a to-do list for the day, get mentally and physically ready, and then tackle the outside world on your terms.
- Schedule out posting times. For those of us who use social media for work, it can seem like we always need to be on it. Thanks to apps like Planoly, Hootsuit, and Unum, you can designate certain times of the day to planning out your socials. Some of the apps will even post on your behalf at set times. Once those are set up, you have no excuse to be constantly scrolling.
- Use Instagram for influence, but not comparison. At any given time, you’re going to have one friend in Bali, one friend becoming the next Martha Stewart, and one friend performing open-heart surgery with one hand. Meanwhile, you’re one your 7thepisode of a docuseries about Parmesan cheese and Netflix is asking you if you’re still there…and you are. We all have our non-newsworthy days and that’s perfectly fine! Remember, Instagram is a highlighted version of someone’s life and is in no way reality. Use the influencers you follow for exactly that, influence. Let them motivate you to possibly get off the couch or to work towards a goal but don’t dwell on comparing every post to your own life.
- Set Breaks.Whenever you are involved in an activity that takes your full attention, give it your full attention. How many times a week do you actually turn your phone fully off? Try it. When completing a task, turn your phone all the way off. For example, cleaning your house. No touching your phone until your done. You’ll notice not only is your screen time decreasing, but you’re probably performing whatever task is at hand a lot more efficiently.
- Charge across the room.Not only does phone light disrupt your natural circadian rhythms (those things that help you sleep on time), but the blue light actually causes skin damage. So not only will you look haggard the next morning from letting your phone keep you awake, but your skin will also age more quickly. All around, we’re not a fan of blue light. At least 30 minutes before bed, charge your phone across the room. This way, you don’t have the temptation to look at it if you can’t fall asleep right away and physically having to get up will help you stop hitting the snooze button in the morning.
In the midst of the hype around the Oscar Nominees being announced earlier this week, we were motivated to compile our own list of favorites. Here’s some of the most inspirational people, most helpful apps, and motivating books and podcasts that we nominate to (our) office.
- DressUpButtercup (nominated by Megan) MAJOR outfit inspo. Don’t know what to wear? Give this babe’s feed a scroll and you’ll be able to pull something to immolate from your own closet if you’re feeling uninspired. And, as a fellow Houstonian who also cares about looking polished and put-together, this is a must-read.
- The Skimm or The Hustle (nominated by Chelsea) Both are great for news geared towards millennials.
- The Skinny Confidential (nominated by Brie) Lauryn Evarts is just a branding genius.
- Cision (nominated by Sierra) It’s actually a website but their articles help keep up-to-date with current media trends.
- Planoly (nominated by Megan) makes my social media post scheduling so much easier. Seeing the grid makes ALL the difference.
- Twitter (nominated by Chelsea) Everything hits Twitter first.
- VSCO (nominated by Brie) Still learning, but so far sticking with one filter really helps the congruency of your grid.
- Snapseed (nominated by Sierra) One of the best apps for editing pictures.
- Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Conversations(nominated by Megan) Feeling in a slump? These feel good convos with self-help and spiritual authors provides 40 min commute inspirational interviews and gives me book ideas to download on Audible for later listening
- Girlboss radio (nominated by Chelsea) All about Women Business owners/positions of influence
- This American Life (nominated by Brie) the narratives can help you look at news from a completely different angle.
“Bringing out your Best Self” Books:
- The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson (nominated by Megan) Because sometimes letting go of the small stuff is the answer for a less stressful life!
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (nominated by Brie)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie(nominated by Sierra)
Most Motivational Moguls:
- Megan Telles (nominated by Megan)
Megan used to be an anchor here in Las Vegas and is now an anchor at KTLA. Her BTS insta-stories give people a reason to follow her and her feel-good attitude and charisma, even when she’s reporting on something not-so-fun to report. Give her a follow! @megantelles
- Alison Brod(nominated by Brie)
Alison runs her own PR firm out of New York. Her perspective on work, life, and technology is really unique and interesting. One of the most inspiring things she said was that people underestimate the importance of having a natural sense of curiosity. As someone who loves to travel and read, that hit home with me.
- Alyssa Girardi (nominated by Sierra)
Alyssa is the Senior Manager of Communications and Content for the Vegas Golden Knights. She has to balance the job of working with the players, managing local media, all while maintaining a majority of the Knights social media accounts. Alyssa has taught me a lot about working with composure and taking your job and goals seriously. It’s not easy to be a female in the sports industry, and she has set a standard for other women with similar ambitions to follow.
In an era of continual accusations of “fake news,” facts can now be alternative, and with an erosion of trust in some media, it’s crucial for PR firms to know how help their clients communicate with apprehensive consumers. Though it may seem overwhelming to have to control a brand’s image in a time when content is so easily produced and spread, here are five simple things you can do to increase your clients’ credibility with their audiences:
1. Be honest. This may seem obvious, but a lot of companies post things online that are seemingly harmless that end up costing them customers. Visuals sell more than anything, so be very mindful when editing photography. Bad photoshop fails go viral all the time. It’s always disappointing to go somewhere that “looked completely different online.” When working with influencers, always have them disclose when they are being sponsored. And when you or your client do make a mistake, take responsibility and apologize quickly.
2. Show your humanity. Showing the more human side of a company is extremely effective when it comes to gaining the trust of the consumer. What is the real human impact your company has? Is your establishment engaging positively with the local community? Show it! Posting about your regular customers as well highlighting your staff will add faces to your brand rather than just products. Posting “get to know” and fun facts about the people in your company is a fun way to express your brand’s personality. People are more likely to trust other people than larger entities.
3. Go overboard with fact-checking. We don’t want any fact to be alternative. When publishing stories with statistics and numbers: Check, check, and check again. It only takes one person finding a different number on the internet to discredit an entire story. Content is quick to be created, but we should never get lazy with the journalistic aspect of publishing. Also, avoid publishing stories with big hyperboles – everywhere has the best burger in town, we’ve all heard it, focus on what really makes yours different.
4. Never engage with internet trolls. As long as there is online content, there are going to be trolls. Trolls escalate situations and can distort information, usually completely anonymously. As frustrating as this may get, never become a keyboard warrior and react to them. Reacting can appear to be giving their information credibility, much like the concept of only getting defensive when you’re guilty. If there are criticisms your client would like to reply to, it should be in a general statement and never in response to one specific comment or message. Leave the clap backs to Wendy’s Twitter account.
5. Monitor. It is our job to be aware of everything that is published about our clients. Though we always try our best, false information can be leaked through legitimate and illegitimate news sources. Putting out the fire once this occurs needs to be done quickly. Every firm should have a crisis communication plan in place. Know who to contact to get information pulled or corrected and have content ready that counteracts false claims.
- PR stunts in 2019 will involve GIVING BACK in big ways. Think a year ahead for next holiday season and partner with a local charity to have a mixer or event to raise funds (any reason is a good reason) or think of ways to donate your employees’ time to that charity – you’ll feel good about doing it, shed a positive light on your company and have feel-good content for your social media channels!
- Taking a stance. As politics see more partisanship than ever, personified brand identities will continue to face empowered consumers. Think gun control, LGBTQ rights, climate change. Often the stance of a company is reflected as the voice of the CEO, instead, take into account your entire workforce and craft a position that represents the brand as a whole.
Social Media Trends for 2019:
- The team at Neon PR all agree that focusing on bringing in influencers that match your business’ demographic to build more awareness via social media followers outside of your sphere of influence will continue to prevail in 2019. This is a trend that really amp’d up in 2018, and there is no end in sight with even more content creators working as demonstrative human advertisements with real peer to peer interaction via social platforms. These influencers often times engage a new or complimentary audience for your business AND give you content for existing followers on your platforms.
- AUTHENTICITY. People now know and understand that social media is 90% staged, and it’s the other 10% that will help define your brand and allow followers to feel “in” on brand jokes or get to know the people behind the posts!
- Brand engagement is going to play an even larger role in 2019. Now that you have consumers attention, you’ll need to interact with them. Customer service in the form of communication are key factors in maintaining brand loyalty. This includes not only sharing user generated content, but commenting on photos of fans, liking photos even messaging followers for being customers. It’s these tiny interactions that are going to convert your customer base into lifelong consumers.
‘Sunday Scaries’. We’ve all had them. That dread that sets in the day before the start of your work week… but the term doesn’t always mean that you don’t love what you do for a living. In fact, often times it’s the end of the relaxing weekend and the anxieties about the busy work week ahead for the work you love and want to stay on top of…a to-do list that unfurls at a faster and faster speed until it’s just a blur of “should” and “need to” and “don’t forget.”
Here’s a shortlist of solutions our team came up with on how to deal:
- Write a Check List on Friday. Write down your mental checklist before kicking back for the weekend. While ‘to-do’ lists can oppress as much as assist us, it’s often helpful on Friday to jot down a brief list of tasks for Monday morning so that you commence your weekday experience feeling organized and purposeful. Sunday you will thank Friday you.
- Self-Care Sundays. Book a massage, un-wind with a Netflix series or meal prep! Meal-prepping is a great way to know what you’re eating for the week in the office and makes you feel accomplished on Sunday night.
- Schedule workweek fun. The solution could be scheduling some good old-fashioned self-care—on Sunday, sure, but also throughout your week. Peppering your weekdays wherever you can with more ease and enjoyment is a great antidote for dreading them. Schedule a yoga class on Monday evening so that you know in advance that you have a plan in place to unwind. Wednesday happy hour is a great outlet to blow off steam with some friends and break up the week.
If it feels like there’s an unofficial national, international, or world holiday almost every single day…that’s because there is. As nutty as some of them are, niche observations like Bathtub Party Day or National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day can help break up the monotony of everyday social media posts and inspire us to celebrate the little things every day of the year!
In the PR realm, identifying key holidays for your clients and their consumers is an easy move that adds an advantage to your overall marketing strategy (hello press release for National Donut Day – free donuts!) and social media tactics. Curating content around a (relevant) national holiday is a great opportunity to highlight specific items or products that may need a little extra TLC. Holiday hashtags allow consumers to connect with a click, creating viral exposure to anyone who may be following the trend. Another great way to utilize these holidays is to suggest how your followers should celebrate, either through social stories or a permanent feed post! By encouraging your consumers to interact with hashtags, specials and your products, you’re facilitating a grander exposure, drawing their friends and followers into the trend.
Fun and quirky un-official celebrations are an easy way to engage fans of a variety of industries or products, and an even better way to call those fans to action! Restaurant specials or holiday shout-outs bring in foot traffic that might have otherwise not considered your brand that day. But who can resist participating in a holiday like National Donut Day?! Bars can utilize holidays to test out creative beverage ideas, in turn displaying their staff’s knowledge and mastery of mixology.
Already feel like a pro at National Hotdog Day posts? Accounts that really want to get creative with national holidays should embrace the outlandish and obscure days by using innovative captions, photo content or making an event out of it. For example, if your restaurant specializes in brunch, puns on National Soup Day can glorify your bottomless mimosas. FREEBIE: Figure out a way to incorporate National Unicorn Day in your business feed!
PR Experts should make an effort to check into websites such as nationaldaycalendar.com on a monthly basis. Other holiday accurate pages to utilize include:
So mark your calendars for upcoming days like National Small Business Saturday and National World Kindness Day– what is your staff doing to help? Should you make donating time to a local charity a new team building “thing”? …but don’t shy away from creative genius such as Tongue Twister Day ☺ And please, don’t forget to hashtag it.
Neon Public Relations is currently looking for Fall/Winter interns. We’re looking for team players and want to really contribute to this growing company! As an intern with Neon PR, you will report to and work directly under the CEO and Founder of Neon PR for a fully-immersive and hands-on experience with some of Las Vegas’ most exciting clients in the hospitality and adventure industry.
A PR intern at Neon Public Relations should have experience and be interested in learning more about the field of public relations. This role will include building and maintaining media lists, editorial calendar monitoring, chronicling client coverage, editing pitches and press releases, researching additional media and event opportunities, attending industry events, assisting in overall running of client accounts, and much more.
This is a 10-week, unpaid internship. Alternatively, Neon PR will also give college credit for this position. The hours of each internship are flexible and can vary depending upon school schedule.
-Candidates should be able to commit to the time schedule determined for the duration of the program
-Must possess excellent communication and organizational skills with the ability to multi-task and prioritize
-Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel strongly desired
-Must have reliable transportation
Ideal Candidates Are:
-Passionate about their desire to work in the communication industry in their specified field of interest
-Creative thinkers – able to generate new and innovative ideas that are relevant to our clients
-Organized and able to prioritize tasks
-Prepared to be flexible and take on additional roles as situations arise
-Must currently be a college student or have some college education
Neon Public Relations is an open-office environment where all hands are on deck at all times! Gone are the days of being limited to a tiny cubicle or being sectioned off in the “intern” area or superiors being quarantined to a corner office with the door closed. We’re a tight-knit group of 4 hard-working PR superstars who regularly order lunch in the office and put on music videos on the office projector for lunch breaks. Since we’re located in the bustling downtown Vegas (#DTLV) area, we encourage 2-min coffee shop walks to Makers & Finders or Vesta down the street and encourage rental of our company camera for content creation!
If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and you are interested in gaining exciting and valuable work experience in Public Relations, submit your application and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNPAID INTERNSHIPS MUST EARN UNLV ACADEMIC CREDIT; CREDIT TO BE APPROVED BY ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT. PLEASE CONTACT CAREER SERVICES AT 702-895-3495 WITH QUESTIONS.
We asked some of our social media gurus how they perfect their Insta-Image.
On the surface, Instagram is a fairly simple media channel that allows businesses and individuals to connect with various demographics through enticing visuals. However, Instagram isn’t just another form of advertising for a business, it is a way to tell a story and develop a relationship. The difference between an account with a large, active following and a majorly unnoticed account can come down to very simple elements. We’ve honed in on a few key factors that can drastically impact your social media channels, as well as shared what we think has made the difference in our personal social media accounts!
- Photo Quality: Improvements in cell phone technology means that professional-looking photos are now in the palms of our hands, and more accessible than ever before. Taking the time to learn about different settings on your phone can unlock even more methods to get that perfect shot. Still looking to fix those minor details? We use the photo editing apps VSCO and Snapseed to give us an arsenal of advanced editing settings. Paying attention to image sharpness and light exposure can give pictures the added touch they may need. These apps also provide more options for filters to utilize. Focusing on color schemes or specific colors can add that story-telling feel that goes with the change in seasons.
Our Pick: #withGalaxy or #shotoniphone
We’re not going to get into the politics of Samsung vs Apple, especially with both companies constantly improving their photo shooting quality. However, if you’re looking for a little photography motivation, checking out these hashtags are sure to inspire you to embrace the device in your pockets.
- Image Diversity: As much as everyone enjoys a well-angled selfie, it’s important to include a variety of styles of picture. Whether they are pictures with friends, family, or even changing up your poses, the variety of images can make your profile appear more genuine and relatable. Businesses are able to showcase more of what they have to offer with a variance in imagery. Embrace more than just what’s on the surface and expand your arsenal of imagery to show the big picture!
Our Pick: @Teslamotors
Yes, the car company. While it would be easy for Tesla to succumb to images of just their cars (that is what they sell after all), their Instagram is extremely diverse. A quick glance at their grid and there are pictures of cars at different angles, videos of its performance, a variety of locations and scenery. There are focuses on specific details in the cars, as well as information on the company as a whole.
- Captivating Caption: An emoji filled caption may occasionally fit the bill, but “no caption needed” typically alludes to the necessity of a caption. We get it! Coming up with a caption can be the hardest part of creating a social media post! Captions are a great way to create a voice for your social media page. Whether your captions include sassy remarks, “punny” play on words, or genuine commentary, embrace the dialect that feels comfortable for you.
Our Pick: @Nike
The primary function of Nike is as a retail business selling footwear, apparel and equipment. Their social media page, however, focuses on connecting with athletes on a personal level rather than just marketing their clothing. Instead, Nike sells their support of professionals. As a business their captions are motivational and relatable, just as they intend their products to be.
- Hashtags: Use them! Not only are they a sly way to be comedic, they are also a great way to engage in related networks and encourage a bigger following. Businesses can create key hashtags for consumers to reuse, tying together business and product, while individuals can find other followers with shared interests based on those hashtags.
Our Pick: @airbnb
Air BnB utilizes the hashtage #AirbnbExperiences for a majority of their posts. While their account only has about 2,000 pictures posted, there are over 20k posts that share that hashtag! This creates a massive network of both people who have utilized the hashtag, but also places that Airbnb are mentioned as a business!
- Activity: Instagram was designed to be a social networking site, so be social! In truth, it is fun to look back and appreciate the memories that come paired up with each photo. However, it’s important to put effort in if you expect to get appreciation in return. Following other accounts with mutual followers or similar styled pictures are an easy way to get followers in response.
- Developing an Aesthetic: Social media is one of the primary methods consumers choose what businesses to purchase from. Because of this increase in activity, your Instagram profile is now as important as your website homepage. Take inspiration from some of your favorite accounts and focus on what aesthetic represents you and your brand. A great way to identify the vibe you’re trying to create is with a mood board. Pinterest is a great tool for expanding your mood board. Colors, textures, patterns, and even quotes can help you establish the aesthetic you want to create. We utilize apps like Planoly and UNUM to preplan how we want our Instagram grids to look, and then pre-schedule different posts with Hootsuite when we get our look JUST RIGHT!
Both of these accounts have created a profile page that is uniquely them. Their aesthetics are not only appealing to the eye, they are noteworthy and somewhat unforgettable. Not to mention how well planned out every post has to be in order to have such a cohesive appearance.
At NEON PR, we aren’t just visual artists for our clients, we are infinite re-creators of our own social media identities. Any artist would be hesitant to share all their tricks and talents, but just this once we are willing to share some of our secrets. In essence, we put our work into practice daily with our own accounts. We focus on the little details without overlooking the big picture. Whether it is with a client’s page or our own feed, we know that our social media appearance is just another way of presenting ourselves to the world, and we want to make sure we put our best posts forward.
- The Gift of Gab 🗣
- Snapchat and Score a Baseball game at the same time📲
- Running all Day in High Heels👠
- Amateur ballroom dancer that specialized in Latin Dance styles
- Train horses in my free time🦄
- Has a dog named Bruce Wayne Gretzky🐕