Event Recap: Pitch Perfect

PRSA/SENE Pitch Perfect Event  PRSA/SENE Pitch Perfect Event - Tracy and Brooke Providence Moms Blog  PRSA/SENE Pitch Perfect event - Elyse Major, Providence Media

On August 7th, we hosted our “Pitch Perfect” event at AQUA at the Providence Marriott Hotel. Kimberly Fraser, our fearless Chapter President, led an informal Q&A session with local media professionals sharing their backgrounds and advice on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of pitching.

The night welcomed five presenters:

Key takeaways:

  • It’s all about relationships – strongly emphasized by Scott MacKay, all presenters agreed that building relationships with reporters is key to knowing how each of them likes to be pitched and what their core interested are.
  • There are no “golden rules” of pitching – all five of the speakers preferred to receive their pitches in different ways. The better you know individual preferences, the better your chances of success (see above “relationships”).
  • Photos or no photos?Elyse Major shared that she is a visual thinker and likes to write stories when she can picture it told through a photograph. While Whitman Littlefield relayed that the Providence Journal endeavors to take its own photos whenever possible. Overall, it was agreed that photos can help sell your pitch, even if they are not used in the end.
  • And what about attachments? – no surprise here with some yes, some no. Kate Nagle suggested the most popular compromise, which was to provide your press release in the body of your email and also as an attachment. This way, the reporter can opt for whichever approach is best for them.
  • Phone or email? – in an increasingly digital world and extremely tight deadlines, all reporters except for Scott MacKay preferred emails. (Note: you can still email your pitch to Scott, just expect he will likely be calling, not emailing, you back!)
  • Know your audience – as Tracy Slater and Brooke Rainville reminded us, always know the target audience of the reporter/media professional you are pitching; and make sure your topic fits with the reporter’s area of expertise and the nature of the publication as a whole.

Special thanks to our attendees, presenters, and AQUA for hosting us!

Event Recap: Lightning Round Session

PRSA/SENE Lightning Round Event  PRSA/SENE Lightning Round Event - Paul Grimaldi - RI DORPRSA/SENE Lightning Round Event - Melanie Coon BCBSRI

On April 10th, we welcomed our PRSA community to a second of our “Lightning Round” sessions.

Our seasoned professionals spoke about what they’ve learned along the way in their careers and offered a few pieces of advice for our audience. Each 10-minute presentation covered content in internal communications, media relations, and programmatic display.

PRSA/SENE President, Kim Fraser welcomed the group to the beautiful Red DWG Library, and we were inspired as their team discussed the passion and guidance behind all of their efforts. Our speakers then took the stage – Paul Grimaldi, Melanie Coon, and Jess Bachman – and left us wanting more until the very end!

Here’s a look at what folks were talking about:

  • @gailcarvelli – “Discretion is your brand” .. words of wisdom for communications professionals from @mcoonri at the @prsasene Lightning Round Event held @reddwglibrary @BCBSRI
  • @prsasene – .@mcoonri “The basics are critical. We shouldn’t make mistakes with the basics. [ex.] Proofread everything you write.”
  • @prsasene – .@mcoonri “Public trust is probably the most important prize we can win. It takes years to build up, but it can disappear in a minute.”
  • @prsasene – .@PaulEGrimaldi‘s social media principles: – it’s not the end all, be all – have a protocol – choose channel to fit your audience – be consistent with messages, topics and tone – engage your communities

Special Thanks to our attendees, Red DWG, and our Lightning Round Speakers!

  • Melanie Coon – Managing Director, Internal Communications, Corporate Affairs Division, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (internal communications)
  • Paul Grimaldi – Chief of Information and Public Relations, Rhode Island Department of Revenue (media relations)
  • Jess Bachman – Strategist, NAIL Communications, LLC (programmatic display)

Successful Annual Excellence Awards & Summer Social

PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017    PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017    PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017        

We were excited to celebrate our annual Excellence Awards event at the Hotel Providence on June 13. Congratulations to all of our award winners and honorees! Each year, we are continually inspired by the work of our peers, and so proud to showcase some of the impactful work being done right here in Rhode Island. Also a big thank you to our presenting sponsor, Providence Business News and thier PBN Connect service!

Excellence Award Winners:

Excellence Awards Honorees:

Learn more about our PRSA SENE 2017 Excellence Award winners and their campaigns, and check out our event photos on Facebook.

Event Re-Cap: Member-Exclusive with Jane Dvorak, APR

PRSA/SENE Members meet with Jane Dvorak
Some of the attendees gather for a photo with Jane following the session. Check out all photos on our Facebook page!

On Wednesday, April 13, members of our chapter spent the morning with PRSA National Chair, Jane Dvorak, APR at FM Global in Johnston, RI. As her first-stop on a day-long tour of Rhode Island, which also included visits to local university PRSSA chapters, this event was the first time our Southeastern New England PRSA chapter has had this exciting, unique opportunity to meet with the PRSA National Chair.

PRSA members participated in an intimate discussion with Jane about her insights on the PR field, ways the industry is evolving, and exciting news and updates from PRSA headquarters.

Jane discussed the importance of communicators understanding their roles as leaders, analysts, and strategists, with an ultimate influence on an organization’s bottom line. She discussed the challenges of measurement vs. “counting” when understanding the results of a PR effort, and the importance of prioritizing the leadership role PR practitioners must embrace.

Jane shared a look into exciting work of PRSA, from the upcoming PRSA Northeast District and International Conferences, to the anticipated launch of a Leadership Academy and the countless resources at the fingertips of PRSA members, like MyPRSA, a tool connecting thousands of members across the country to answer questions and share resources.

Jane took over as PRSA National Chair in January 2017, and has driven communications programs for some of the largest nonprofits and garnered multiple local and national awards. She brings together 30 years of experience to her practice to help organizations gain new focus and direction through integrated communications with energy, creativity and impact.

Thank you, Jane, for your visit and open discussion with our chapter, as well as your ongoing leadership and commitment to the public relations field.

PRSA/SENE Announces 2015 Excellence Awards Recipients

Industry group recognizes the best in Public Relations in Southeastern New England

Providence, R.I. – The Southeastern New England Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA/SENE) announced its 2015 Excellence Awards, which recognize the area’s best public relations work in the past year. The awards were presented on April 15, at the Park Theatre in Cranston, R.I. Read more