Woman of Year Nominee: Women in Insurance & Financial Services

WIFSCONF17 Woman of Year Nominee Pam Abrahamsson

If there is an exciting and rewarding moment to be had in the field of public relations; its when our communications skills helps others.

This was the case when our co-founder Pam Abrahamsson was nominated as woman of the year by a fellow member of Women in Insurance and Financial Services (www.WIFS.org); an organization focused on the growth and development of women in the FinServ field.

The nomination was for the public relations, marketing and communications coaching offered up through WIFS extraordinary mentoring program.  The experience was remarkable, as were all of the women in that program.

If there is a constant theme to be recognized here, it is that being of service is one of the most rewarding activities we can do as professionals, women, and simply fellow human beings.  The great thing about the field of communications and public relations is that it's not simply a vehicle for earning an "award winning" or nomination nod.  It's a valuable tool that can help any individual, cause or organization connect with their marketplace, supporters and colleagues.

This has been an honor, and the PRA Public Relations team is honored to have own of its own recognized for their public relations contributions - as a "Woman of the Year" finalist!

The Halo Effect: Is Your Company Earning its Wings?

EARNED MEDIA ANGELS:  PUBLIC RELATIONS IN THE ENTERPRISE

I have to tell you about an interesting business proposal we received last week.  Interesting not for the complexity of the project, but fascinating in terms of the proposed terms.  Fascinating, yet not unique, which leads me to this conversation.

Intrigued?  Hmmm...yes.

Top Tech PR: Agency Musings

The Three Stage Public Relations Messaging Strategy

Have you synched your messaging strategy to your growth cycle?

First:  A Little Secret from Inside the Tech PR Agency World

I'm  going to let you in on a little secret; if all the top tech pr agencies in the world were to  get together for a three minutes with a mission of agreeing on ONE thing, it could be done.   There is one conversation point everyone would be in complete alignment on:

WORLD PRESS DAY: SOME POWERFUL STATS

World Press Freedom Day PRA Public Relations

One day a year, the world takes a deep-dive look at the power of the press.  But why not make the case for checking in on the health of the fourth estate on a daily basis?

Media trends, transparency, tools and access to intelligence are the bread and butter of the trade, and journalists face an every-day battle to do the work they were born to do:  cover the key features and breaking news of the world and industry, and apply needed context.  Attention to this critical mission should be on the minds, and the reading radar, of all of us, every day, right along with the journalists struggling to deliver credibility, vital news and relevance to our inboxes, devices and doorsteps.

Powerful Statistics, Sobering Reality

As citizens and residents of the United States, we take the First Amendment and its guarantee of freedom of the press as a given.  However, there are some sobering statistics we should look at.

The "didn't see that coming" statistic?  This country does not lead the way in freedom of press rights; we don't even rank in the top three.  Or even the top twenty:

According to Reporters without Borders, the United States ranks 43rd out of 180 countries for press freedom.

Across several political administrations, the fourth estate has dealt with suppression of information, attempts to reveal sources, intimidation and other factors.  And, in a sobering call to reality, journalists deal with much more than simple repression. As of today, over 13 journalists in 2017 alone have been killed in the pursuit of news.

Yes, journalists are the gatekeepers of information for our society, and they can pay a steep price for their commitment. 

What can we do, not just on World Press Day, but everyday, to help them in their mission, while guaranteeing our continued access to free and unfettered press?  Here are some simple steps:

  • Stay informed:  Not just from your favorite news sources, but a cross-section of media.  Understanding what's being shared, whether it's "true news," and being on top of media issues and trends is half the battle.  Rights and freedoms, whether press or otherwise, are often lost simply because people aren't paying attention.
  • Support legitimate news sources:  Yes, dive in behind the paywall, and pay up.  Quality news coverage costs money to produce.  We as a society have gotten used to the incredibly rich stream of information and content available to us.  Let's be grateful for this access, and put our money where are reading eyes are.  Some top media sites charge less than the cost of a cup of coffee for digital access, so sign up!
  • Question content:  There's a wealth of good guidance out in the digital world, providing guidance on whether news and reporting is truly independent and legitimate, or a paid-content attempt to influence.  The International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions has created this helpful infographic to provide context:  How to Spot Fake News

There's Hope in the Next Generation

There's a bright spot in all of this, however; and it's called the next generation. 

The Washington Post sponsored a student essay competition, which caught my eye. Designed for students in grades four - eight, it's an extraordinary "from the mouth of babes" look at what it means to have freedom of the press, here and abroad.

This year's winner is Jahnavi Dave, an eighth-grader, and her take-away was impressive:

Free press and technology go hand in hand. - Jahnavi, Dave, 8th Grader

Individuals and entities may use technology to chip away at the transparency and credibility of the press; but savvy media consumers, and tech-conversant next-generation readers also understand that technology is a powerful tool for protecting and accessing a free and independent press.

So, make every day World Press Day, and use both your rational judgment and the tools of technology to read, share and elevate the best efforts of the journalists committed to reporting on the news, trends and issues that so impact our lives.

By Pam Abrahamsson, founder, PRA Public Relations

pam@prapublicrelations.com | @Pam_A