Zombies = $, or PR in the heartland

This afternoon I was fortunate to attend two sessions of the PRSA Midwest District Conference in Omaha, thanks to Lovgren Marketing Group, the best place to be an intern! (PRSA = Public Relations Society of America.)

Thanks for the Ice Cream! (One was for my friend Anna, I swear!)
Thanks for the Ice Cream! (One was for my friend Anna, I swear!)

The first session was presented by Beth Weiss, APR. Beth is the Corporate Communications Director at Omaha Steaks. In April of 2011, Omaha Steaks was the featured sponsor in an episode of The Celebrity Apprentice. This means that the celebrity competitors had to complete a challenge with Omaha Steaks. It was a fascinating speech by a wonderfully funny woman. Here are some takeaway points, some new ideas and some time-proven facts:

  • PR is all about relationship building
  • Employee ownership is often greatly underestimated
  • When offered an amazing opportunity, don’t automatically assume NO (too expensive, too difficult, etc.)
  • You CAN make it work with strategic planning and an optimistic attitude
  • Leave no stone unturned…Make the most of every opportunity
  • The singer Meatloaf goes by “Meat.”

The second session was led by “the Scotts”– Scott Bishop and Scott Rowe (a UNK Loper!) of Bozell. It was titled “The Evolution of Content: Communicating with More than Words.”  Some takeaways from this one:

Crowd outside of the Vatican, waiting for the papal selection announcement in 2005 and 2013. Notice anything different? via NBC news.
Crowd outside of the Vatican, waiting for the papal selection announcement in 2005 and 2013. via NBC news.
  • There are male PR and Marketing professionals!
  • Content is “essentially stuff to build an empty space with.” Experiences shape a target audience’s perceptions of a brand. Experiences can be content.
  • Ever since the creation of the printing press, humans have been training their brains to think linearly. In today’s age, we aren’t so liner–we rapidly jump from content to content, because it gives us a visceral reaction. Example: in 2000, the average human attention span was 12 seconds. In 2012, it was 8 seconds. To put that in perspective, a goldfish can pay attention to something for 9 seconds. (Does this mean that in 2024, we will only get 4 seconds?)
  • We experience life through lenses we create ourselves…the news we want to know about, the music we listen to, the television we watch, etc. (Sounds similar to the curation post I wrote yesterday.)
  • The screen is everything. Don’t believe me? Scott shared this picture of the papal selection announcement in both 2005 and 2013. Notice anything different?
  • Zombies equal money. (Bozell did a fantastic zombie-based campaign for Westlake Ace Hardware. I remember seeing it in stores!) Don’t be afraid to incorporate pop culture trends into a campaign. Just be sure to do your research first.

One final lesson: broke college students, such as my friend Anna Shymanski and I, love free ice cream bars!

Want to follow along with the discussion during tomorrow’s sessions? Search the Twitter hashtag #PRSAMDC.

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