Angela Smith

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    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
      Communications Professional
    • Title:Assistant Account Executive
    • Organization:InkHouse Media + Marketing
    • Area of Expertise:Public relations
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    • Member:ProfNet

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    Tips for Women in the Workplace

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 4:28 PM [Event Recaps]
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    On Sept. 16 we hosted a #ConnectChat with Lori Greene, a senior partner and director of content for Maxus and vice president of programming for New York Women in Communications. During the chat Greene provided tips for women in all stages of their careers. To view the chat in its entirety, check out the #ConnectChat hashtag on Twitter. 

    What are some of the challenges that women nowadays are facing in the workplace?

    Everyone faces challenges keeping up with technology and balancing demands. Women outpace men in social media need to use that

    How have you found success in your career?

    Flexibility is key to my success. Looking at what's new and what will be impacting content marketing, social media and future.

    Who are some leaders that you admire?

    I admire @HilaryClinton for grit and guts, @BarbaraCorcoran who rose from nothing using ingenuity, and Irene Rosenfeld @kraftfoods 

    What are the three main traits for successful women today?

    Three traits for women to be successful today are flexibility, transparency, and ingenuity. A sense of humor always helps. 

    In your opinion, what does “having it all” mean to the career woman?

    Having it all means being satisfied with where you are in life and where you're going. It’s the ability to do one thing awesomely at a time.  

    Work-life balance can often be an issue for women. Do you have tips for unwinding after a long day?

    Everybody has to create the work-life balance that works best for them. Don't waste time with negativity in people or media.

    How would you suggest women reinvent themselves to keep up with the ever-changing media industry?

    Reinvent yourself, be on social media platforms, check out mobile apps, familiarize yourself with technology, and don't be afraid.

    It’s great that you have harnessed the power of social media. Any tips for those getting started?

    Get started with social media by *listening* and learning. Watch first then act. Take a class: recreational.ice.edu/Courses/Detail/1450... 

    What is your best advice for women entering the workplace post-college?

    Recent college grads need to network using all contacts, start a blog in their field, gain a social media following, and add value.

    How about women returning to work after some time away?

    When returning to work, women need to translate their skills to the job they want. They're event planners, organized, and patient.  

    Whether it’s a first job or a raise, do you have negation tips for women in the workplace?

    When negotiating take a lawyer approach: Lay out the case clearly with evidence to back up your request. Take all emotion out.

    Do you have any suggestions for women who are interested in finding a mentor?

    To find a mentor, join organizations like @NYWICI develop relationships with important people, learn who helps others and ask.

    Besides joining organizations related to your industry, any other tips for networking?

    One of the best ways to network is through @Meetup -- they have events for every industry imaginable and. Also, alumni organizations are good too.

    I often hear “dress for the job you want.” How important is a woman’s wardrobe?

    Women should always dress appropriately for the job/industry they're in. Often, that's more important than dressing up.  

    Is there a piece of advice you can give women starting their careers that you wish you knew when you were getting started?

    I wish I knew the importance of confidence and that it's not crucial to meet every qualification of a role to be successful.

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

    Journalism and the Web@25

    Thursday, July 31, 2014, 2:59 PM [Event Recaps]
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    It’s hard to believe that the World Wide Web has been around for a quarter century. Many industries have been impacted in the 25 years since the birth of the Web, and the media industry is surely no exception.

    “The Web has rocked our world and we’re still feeling the aftershock today,” said Barbara Raab, program officer at the Ford Foundation.

    On July 29 I took a trip to the Ford Center for Poynter’s “Journalism and the Web@25” event. The audience, which was packed with media and communications professionals in all stages of their career, listened intently as an all-star panel of journalists provided their insight into the past, present and future of media.    

    The panel, which was moderated by the president of Poynter, Tim Franklin, consisted of:

    Sam Kirkland, Poynter's digital media fellow, provided an in-depth look into the topics discussed during Wednesday’s lively discussion. You can read Kirkland’s full recap as well as watch a replay of the discussion here: 8 digital media lessons from Poynter’s ‘Journalism and the Web@25’ panel

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

    Technology and the Human Experience: The Future of Communications

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 3:56 PM [Event Recaps]
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    Technology: it’s everywhere we turn. We use it to communicate with clients, family and even newly acquired Internet friends. But what does this mean for our personal lives, especially our interpersonal relationships? Are we missing out on what lies beyond our iPhone screens?

    At a June 11 New York Women in Communications Cocktails & Conversations event held at AOL, a panel of experts gave their take on what they think is in store for the future in terms of how we communicate.

    Liz Kaplow, president and CEO of Kaplow Communications, kicked off the conversation by stating that, “Communications at its very best can be life changing.” She then went on to point out what many of us know to be true: With the constant stream of technology, there is a pressure and expectation to be always-on. 

    Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO of BlogHer cited a recent study stating that a common theme regarding technology is how it is habit-forming. For many women, the ability to work from home has made technology a blessing, while the feeling of it being out of our control has simultaneously made it feel like a curse.

    The ease of which we have access to tech 24/7 can come with consequences, one being that there is always an opportunity to be contacted or even photographed by anyone at any time. Dana Points, editor-in-chief of Parents and American Baby, points out how these days you are an extension of your employer, and that this constant documentation could possibly tarnish your reputation.

    Sarah Davanzo, chief cultural strategy officer at Sparks & Honey, brought up how some restaurants are even starting to ask patrons to leave their phones at the door. This is part of what everyone needs from time to time: a digital detox. “You have to disconnect in order to be creative,” she says. 

    Points went on to express her concern for kids who are growing up amidst the digital age, saying that there’s a fear of children growing up deficient in empathy. Since nowadays kids know how to text even as early as six or eight years old, they are starting to have virtual conversations without the ability to see true emotions.

    This is not just a problem for children developing communication skills. Stone again cites her survey, saying that 28 percent of people claim to be listening to a conversation while playing on their phone, yet 79 percent claim they don’t feel listened to when someone else is doing so. So what does this all mean for real, one-on-one conversations?

    We are turning into a visual world -- filled with emojis, Snapchat and selfies – but it’s not a precise way of communicating. Davanzo foresees the future of communications to include speaking in visuals, saying that if you want to get your idea across, you’ve got to be able to do it visually.

    What do you think? Is it possible to use what’s great about technology without compromising the human experience?

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com

    What to Do When 'It' Hits the Fan: Crisis Communications in the Digital Age

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 3:33 PM [Event Recaps]
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    On May 27 we hosted a #ConnectChat with Gerard Braud, a media training and crisis communications expert, and the CEO of Braud Communications. During the chat he provided how to prepare for a crisis before it occurs, as well as tips for what to do when “it” hits the fan – especially now that we live in a digital age. To view the chat in its entirety, check out the #ConnectChat hashtag on Twitter. 

    What should all companies be doing now to help themselves *before* a crisis occurs?

    Crisis communication in the age of social media requires a five-step process:

    Step 1 – Conduct a Crisis Communications Vulnerability Assessment. A Vulnerability Assessment identifies your potential “it” when “it” hits the fan. Here is an article: bit.ly/1wfOG2W

    Step 2 – Write the heart of your Crisis Communications Plan.

    How long is your average crisis communications plan?

    My average Crisis Communication Plan is about 50 pages long.

    Step 3 – Create a library of pre-written news releases. In my plans, the addendum usually has 100-150 pre-written news releases. Most #PR people start with a blank computer screen on the day of the crisis. That leads to delayed responses from the corporation. Meanwhile social media is share to info – true and false. Usually there is no official corporate response for many hours. A PR person and corporation should be able to respond in one hour or less. Most delays result from executives proof reading the news. Yet in a social media world that is still 59 minutes too long. The traditional proof reading and edits take too much time. But a pre-written news release can be proof read years before it is needed. Use fill-in-the-blanks and multiple choice in these pre-written releases. Write in the facts that you know are always true for a crisis. Answer questions you know reporters will ask. The pre-written release can be used for all audiences. Use in this order:

    • Media who are on-site first -- read it to them news conference-style
    • Post to Web second
    • Email link to employees third
    • Email Web link to other stakeholders fourth
    • Post Links to website on social media fifth

    Step 4 -- Crisis communications annual media training for all spokespeople.

    Step 5 -- Crisis communications drill annually with mock news conferences.

    Read more on crisis communications plan writing here: bit.ly/1jXY9aZ

    How should a company go about developing a crisis communications plan, and how often should it be updated?

    First – stop copying what other PR people have written. Most crisis communications plans are six pages long and useless. A crisis communications plan should not be just standard operating procedures. It should be clear and have sequential directions. It should be held and read while executed. Reading a crisis communications plan during crisis means nothing is forgotten. A crisis communications plan must be a living document and should be updated at least once a quarter and after any crisis event. When updated, it should include social media. A crisis communications plan must be tested at least once a year with a drill. During your #drill, use the pre-written news releases for you mock news conference.

    What if your company has few followers and rarely utilizes social media? How should they approach using it in a crisis?

    Many brands and companies are not attractive to a social media audience. I have no desire to follow my

    bank, gas station, or electric company on a normal day. But during a crisis, I may check out their social media sites for updates. Many electric companies I work with are great examples. On a normal day, the electric company may have very few followers. But if there are tornadoes, snow storms, hurricanes, etc. and the power goes out, people turn to their cell phones. Most customers migrate to Facebook for information when the power goes out. Hence, a social media presence is important during a crisis, even if it is useless on a sunny day. Read more about social media when you are a small part of a bigger crisis: bit.ly/1huDypl

    What are some ways that a company can respond to negative messages from their customers/audience?

    Take the discussion offline if possible. Reach out with a person-to-person phone call. An online response cannot communicate the empathy and concern that a voice can on the phone. An online response moves the negative discussion up in news feeds, leading to more negative comments.

    I do, however, like using YouTube to respond to other YouTube videos. YouTube is great for matching SEO if you respond quickly with identical title. Read more about SEO in a crisis here: bit.ly/1h9nVZX

    How has social media made it more difficult to deal with a crisis? What are some examples?

    BP spent a fortune on social media during their Gulf oil spill. BP’s social media was useless because it was self-center and promotional. It showed too many pictures of the CEO congratulating workers. BP failed to show the reality and had very few followers. Read more about BP blunders here: bit.ly/1mlnMzM. Meanwhile, social media bashed BP with #oilspill & #BP.

    When Domino’s Pizza had a YouTube video posted, they responded slowly. The video showed a worker putting cheese in his nose. Domino’s waited 2-3 days to respond on YouTube. Using a pre-written news release like I suggested earlier, the response could have been faster. Domino’s could have used a smartphone and posted a video in minutes. They could have maximized SEO using the identical title but instead, they posted a bad, angry rant with the CEO reading a cue card. Read more on Domino’s here: bit.ly/1puX8qj.

    Burger King had their Twitter account hacked, but then failed to acknowledge the hack on their own Facebook page. BK customers were talking about it on the Facebook page, while BK was still promoting $25 coffee. BK told the media they would issue a statement later in the day. That’s crazy! Issue the statement now. Use a pre-written news release. Read more about Burger King here: bit.ly/1mzm2og.

    Social Media lights up when there is a school shooting. Schools send out text alerts, which are notification, not communications. Parents don’t get actionable information and texts to parents in a school shooting cause panic. Schools fail to have a crisis communications plan and are slow with official information. Sadly, social media adds to confusion in a school crisis. A school may issue an all-clear, yet retweets are posting old information. Read more about social media confusion here: bit.ly/1ioneXi.

    When Chobani had a food recall last year, they thanked people on Facebook who supported them. Each time a positive thank you was posted it generated hundreds of negative comments. Each positive and negative post pushed the discussion higher in everyone’s news feeds. Sometimes in social media less is more in a crisis.

    How has social made it easier during a crisis? Are there examples?

    Direct tweets to reporters are highly effective. I’ve used direct tweets in many of the crises I’ve managed. Reporters often respond faster to a direct tweet than to a call, text or email. Weather events for electric companies are a good time to use social media. When the electricity goes out, people turn to their phones and to Facebook for info, so weather and power outages present a perfect time to communicate on Facebook. YouTube videos are a great way to convey empathy and concern in a crisis. YouTube videos are a great way to respond to a negative YouTube video. I often use social media to report on hurricanes in New Orleans. My social media posts lead to me to doing live reports on CNN and Weather Channel. Combine social media and technology and you have a complete package. Check out these tutorials: bit.ly/1jqvyFv.

    Now that we know how social media has made crisis comms easier/more difficult, what do you do if it *is* the cause of your crisis?

    Respond in kind through the same channels. We talked about Dominos earlier -- they should have responded on YouTube within one hour: bit.ly/1jqvyFv.

    We talked about Burger King earlier – they took down their hacked Twitter feed, but failed to respond on their Facebook: bit.ly/1jqvyFv.

    Sometimes there is just social media stupidity – for example Anthony Weiner. You can’t undo a crisis on social media that you caused on social media. You can’t Tweet your way out of a crisis. Social media can be a crisis communications tool, but you must still use traditional communications. Tried and true still beats shiny and new. News conferences and websites are critical: bit.ly/TQEcZ7.  

    People sometimes post unverified info in order to be first (instead of ensuring accuracy). What are your thoughts on this?

    I hate that. It happens in mainstream media and social media. Social media spreads lies and rumors faster than anything that has ever come before it. Journalists need to stop reporting unconfirmed information from social media. When I was a reporter we confirmed everything with multiple sources. During Water Gate, everything was confirmed with three sources before it was reported. I miss the old days when it comes to integrity and confirmation of information. Being first and wrong has no virtue.

    During a crisis, computer/Internet access can be limited. What are some ways to get the message out?

    Smartphone technology is our best weapon when the electricity goes out. During Hurricane Isaac in 2012 I did five days of live reports to CNN and Weather Channel. I had no electricity for five days and no Internet, yet I filed live reports via iPhone and Skype. Here are 23 tutorials: bit.ly/1jqvyFv. Also mobile apps should allow you to update your official website. Smartphones make it easier than ever before to communicate during a crisis.

    How should SEO play a part in writing an effective crisis communication plan?

    Each crisis communications plan should have pre-written news releases. Call the event what it is. A fire is a fire, not an incendiary event. Corporate lawyers are notorious for trying to sterilize language. That’s stupid. Title your website news release with the words people will search.

    What are some of the key words to use – and ones to avoid – in your crisis tweets?

    As with any crisis you want to avoid repeating the negatives. You must remain honest. You must avoid spin in a crisis. Title things with the words people would type into Google to find you. Read more about SEO in a crisis here: bit.ly/1h9nVZX.

    Is it ever appropriate for a company to use humor when communicating a negative situation to their audience?

    Humor can be dangerous. The written word does not communicate voice inflection or facial expressions. If the crisis was caused buy something humorous, ironic or silly, self-deprecating humor might work, but most crises are too serious to use humor.

    When it comes time to speak to the media directly, who should do the talking, and how should a company choose?

    First hour -- PR spokesperson should use a First Critical Statement. Download a free Frist Critical Statement if you don’t have: bit.ly/1jXY9aZ.

    Second hour -- Subject matter expert: If fatalities are involved, the CEO should speak after the crisis is under control. CEO should run company and manage crisis management team before running mouth. All spokespeople should go through media training at least once a year. All spokespeople should conduct mock news conferences during crisis communications drills. One of my most popular blog artilces is about picking the right spokesperson: bit.ly/1kc6cv8

    To keep up with all of Braud’s timely blog posts, bookmark his page here: blog.braudcommunications.com

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at mailto:profnet@profnet.com  

    Pitching to the Medical/Health Beat

    Thursday, April 3, 2014, 12:00 PM [Event Recaps]
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    At a March 26 Publicity Club of New York (#PCNY) luncheon we heard from a panel of health and medical reporters and editors about what they are looking to cover in each of their outlets. Here are some things to keep in mind when pitching your clients to these publications:

    Marty Munson – Deputy Editor, Dr. Oz The Good Life

    • Demographic for the magazine is the 40-something woman
    • The first issue came out in February and it has since gone to reprint.
    • The Good Life is a lively, info-packed wellness magazine.
    • Headlines are not going to be traditional exercises – it’s more of an “I spent the weekend hiking with my family at a maple syrup expo,” type of publication.
    • The focus is not diseases/conditions.
    • They want interesting, wellness-based content. For example, an oatmeal buffet with beautiful toppings would fit in the magazine.
    • Covers topics such as health, happiness, love, family, friends, beauty (with the angle of how great you look/feel), and money. All of these things together lead to happiness.
    • Munson called the magazine the “fraternal twin” of the Dr. Oz Show. Same DNA, yet completely different.
    • The team is always communicating with each other. Munson overseas health, fitness, and achieving an ideal weight (topics such as allergies, Zumba, etc.).
    • Brian Underwood covers beauty, lifestyle products (i.e., best pillows for better sleep, etc.).
    • Marisa Cohen covers family and relationships.
    • hey like to receive trend stories, in a creative way such as, “What would your derm tell you if you had dinner together?”
    • Looks for studies, products, stories from people, etc.

    Peggy Peck – Vice President/Editor-in-Chief, MedPage Today

    • Most of the writers for MedPage today are on staff. The staff is organized into 10 categories, including cardiology, oncology, primary care.
    • Content is published seven days/week.
    • “News rules” is their mantra. They want to know what’s going on before everyone else knows. Their goal is to be first and to be right.
    • The news they are looking for is in medicine (not health).
    • They seek in-depth coverage of medical conferences.
    • They start each day with a bureau meeting then have a call with editors.
    • For pitching, emails are preferred. If there is some big news, send an email saying “call me” and Peck will likely call you.
    • They are not really looking to promote doctor books.
    • Won’t break embargos, but does want you to let her know about studies first.
    • The site is moving into more features, since they’re finding that they are more engaging.
    • They have a “hot topics” type of feature, as well as a video feature.
    • April is “all neurology all the time” – including Alzheimer’s, migraines, Parkinson’s.
    • May is “all rheumatology all the time”.
    • MedPage Today is part of Everyday Health.
    • Email: firstinitial.lastname@medpagetoday.com

    Ed Silverman – Special Writer, Wall Street Journal

    • WSJ hopes to launch daily pharma blog next month.
    • Used to write for Pharmalot, where he was a one-man newsroom.
    • Silverman says he “will zig when others zag”.
    • He’s looking for stuff on marketing, FDA, legislation, litigation, etc., and is open to ideas. He wants what no one else has.
    • Don’t send him an email saying, “you may have seen this story in the NYT…”
    • Interested in surveys, study results, interview opportunities.
    • If the news is already out there, he wants to move the ball forward with new info and new context.
    • Does Q&A features (although selectively).
    • When pitching, justify why others should care (not just why it’s important to your coverage).
    • Email: ed.silverman@dowjones.com

    George Davilas – Executive Producer, Veria Living Live

    • The show covers health, wellness and lifestyle topics.
    • There is a mix of celebrity interviews, cooking, fitness, beauty and health.
    • Their hosts specialize in different topics (check their website to see who fits best).
    • Every episode starts with a hot topics segment.
    • Also have a segment called “News In :90” which is a look at health, wellness, food, fashion, fitness, beauty and pop culture stories all in 90 seconds.
    • They do a lot of food content, including meal makeovers showing how to cut calories/fat from the foods we love.
    • They also have a cooking segment and have $10, 10-minute meals.
    • For the Veria Living Fit Club they have features showing how to dance, themed exercise, etc.
    • They’re interested in alternative medicine stories (acupuncture, etc.).
    • Veria Living Beauty Lab will feature anti-aging products, for example.
    • Their fashion feature is called Rock It or Wreck It.
    • Feature celeb guests, such as the Supernanny, who shared parenting secrets.
    • When pitching, ask 1) why do I care? 2) Why Veria Living? 3) What’s the takeaway?
    • They are visual, graphic-driven, and tip-driven.
    • Health/wellness topics affect everyone. Davilas describes the show as a one-stop shop where you can laugh a little as well as learn a little.
    • Email: George.davila@veria.com

    Whether you're a reporter, blogger, author or other content creator, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. You can send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely experts and story ideas by email -- all for free! Need help getting started? Email us at profnet@profnet.com


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