Tips and information for effective public relations - Fall 2013   

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Name Dropping

Here's a sampling of what's going on with our clients and staff:

Leonard & Finco has been working with the Berlin Area School District to educate residents about the details of an $18.7 million project for the district and 'get out the vote' efforts. We are happy to say that the Berlin community voted YES to the referendum! Congrats to Berlin School District!


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's

Madison Beltline Study is underway and recently held a series of public information meetings to share the details of the study and gather public feedback. In North Central Wisconsin, we're working with the I-39 Stevens Point Area Corridor Study team to get the word out about this important assessment of current and future transportation needs in the greater Stevens Point area.


Automated Records Management Systems, Inc. was featured in Storage & Destruction Business Magazine.


Congratulations to

Stevens & Stevens Business Records Management

on receiving the oneilPartner Record Center of the Year Award from O'Neil Software. SSBRM was recognized for going above and beyond in the use of O'Neil's software for more than 20 years and continuing to support the company's growth efforts. 



Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary's Walk for Wildlife raised $10,000, a first for the annual event. Money raised will go toward the wildlife rehabilitation program at the Sanctuary. Congrats!  



Brown County Port & Resource Recovery

has renewed its contract with Leonard & Finco! We are looking forward to continue working with the great staff for another three years! 


We are proud to be working with Fabio Perini on the development of a quarterly electronic newsletter! 


Will you help #FeedTheNeed this Christmas? It won't be long and those familiar Red Kettles will reappear with bell ringers beside them for The Salvation Army of Brown County's Christmas Campaign. The Campaign kick-off is set for November 12. You'll still be able to help The Salvation Army programs by donating to the Red Kettles, but also look for a number of new social media features this year.


Quick Quote

 "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson   

Measurement's Biggest Challenge  


Measuring the results of your PR efforts is one of the most important things you can do to show the value of your efforts. That's easier said than done, but it's not impossible.


One of the biggest challenges we often face comes at the very beginning of a program or project. Nearly all of us can quickly state the results we want from a PR, marketing or advertising campaign. But, when asked what the current situation is, oftentimes the answer is based on anecdotal stories or a gut feeling. 


That's when doing a baseline assessment or measurement can be extremely valuable. However, there tends to be resistance to that concept. Yes, it does add to the time and cost of an effort but, as we often ask clients, how can you know how far you moved the needle on your efforts if you don't know where you started? That measurement/assessment needs to document things like current PR and marketing efforts and results, website visits, social media statistics and interaction, as well as other related items. It should also include some stakeholder/target audience meetings or focus groups. In some cases you may want to do a phone or Internet survey. Getting your target audience/stakeholder's feedback is important because what a company or organization thinks about itself or its products isn't necessarily what its target audience/stakeholders think.


There have been more than a few instances where, after an initial measurement or assessment was completed, there's been a change or tweak to the approach for a campaign or outreach effort. It's well worth the investment to get it right before you launch a campaign.

How Best to Handle a Crisis: Prepare

Imagine this scenario: One of your employees was on an all-night binge with friends and, while at work the next morning, ran into a school bus full of children with a company vehicle. Fortunately none of the children were seriously hurt but several were taken to a local hospital for observation. The media is going live from the scene, displaying the accident including your company's logo on the side of the truck and reporting that the driver is suspected of being intoxicated. Adding to your troubles, all the media are bombarding your office with calls to set up interviews and one television station has just pulled into your parking lot.


Don't think it can happen to you? Think again. A crisis can happen at any time and the best way to handle it is to prepare in advance. That's why it's important to take the time now to develop a crisis management plan that will give you the framework that can be applied for any situation. 


The best way to get started is to create a core crisis team that will help you develop the plan's framework as well as be members of the crisis team in the event something happens. Depending upon the size of your company, your team may include the company president or CEO, the CFO, members of your leadership team and a member from your PR team. Smaller companies may not have all of these positions but should still assemble a team of trusted advisors. It's always a good idea to have a communications expert, experienced in crisis situations, on the team as well.  


To develop the plan, your team should meet to discuss various scenarios, how to best handle them and who will be doing what. Items to consider include:  


  • What are the possible worst-case scenarios?
  • If a crisis does happen, who needs to be contacted immediately?
  • Who will be the media spokesperson (It's not always appropriate to have it be the company president)?
  • Who will field media calls and what should they say?
  • What should you be saying to the media, if anything? Hint: Never say, "No comment." No matter the situation, these two words make it look like your hiding something.
  • How will you communicate to your employees, your vendors and customers, and to the public?
  • Does an emergency phone number or website page need to be established?

A solid crisis plan should address the first 24 to 48 hours of a crisis and should also include a longer term communication strategy. Serious crisis situations don't go away in one day. Depending upon the situation, it may take weeks, months or even years to resolve.


Think back to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.That happened in April 2010 and BP continues to deal with the fallout more than three years later.

Equally important, is that once a plan is developed, it should be reviewed by the team at least once a year for possible updates or revisions. Things change over time. Make sure your plan reflects those changes


The key to achieving the best possible outcome is to prepare in advance and hope you never have to use it. 

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