Photo by Brian TietzPublic Relations is defined as the strategic communication process of building mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. So it is inevitable that as technology and human behavior shift over time, the marketers’ strategy on how to reach those audiences must also shift.

So what trends should you be preparing for?

1. Customer-Centric Communication

Consumers are becoming more selective about the products they buy, the organizations they support and the channels they’re using to communicate. Your audience is no longer one large group, but a large collection of smaller audiences. So your communications with them must be segmented and specifically tailored to each.

How is this accomplished?

  • Listen to your customers and make them feel valued (on and offline)
  • Continually improve customer experiences and products
  • Acknowledge and address potential product and employee issues

Gaining testimonials from your customers and responding to reviews not only builds trust in your brand, but also plays a key role in search engine optimization (SEO). A recent BrightLocal survey found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. While around 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than any other form of marketing.

2. Integration of Marketing Communication Efforts

Consumers today are inundated with advertisements and information everywhere they go. So you cannot depend anymore on one channel or promotional method to sustain your brand messaging anymore. Integrated Marketing Communication involves applying brand messaging across traditional and non-traditional channels, while implementing a variety of methods to reinforce the messages.

How is this accomplished?

  • Be consistent with brand messaging and customize for each audience
  • Use a combination of public relations, marketing and advertising strategy
  • Refine your internal communications to create ambassadors for your brand

In conclusion, the main takeaway is that mass marketing and messaging has fallen by the wayside. Brands now have to create messages specific to individual audiences to make your customers feel valued. It also helps build long-standing relationships with them so that they may also become brand ambassadors.



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Photo By Brian TietzNew ideas and value-added programs. That’s what ‘pushing the envelope’ means to us. How can we continue to enhance our knowledge and that of our clients to positively impact their businesses? With this thought in mind, PTE recently launched another aspect to our ‘Rise Up’ initiative called, Power Hour. The concept was simple; to develop an after hours, educational program that would interest our clients and feature a variety of speakers and topics related to communication. For only one hour each quarter we would invite clients, select colleagues and influencers to come to our office for networking and professional development.

Our first Power Hour launched on July 22.  We opened our doors at 4:30 p.m., welcoming guests with food, beverages and a brief networking session. Our topic was ‘Understanding the Hispanic Market’ and our guest speaker was Adriana Buitrago, director of the Hispanic Institute and aide to the president at Hodges University. Adriana spoke for approximately 45 minutes and answered questions related to Hispanic culture, preferred communication channels to use to engage the Latino market, regional differences among Latinos and overall best practices.

As a result of the positive feedback, we are excited to host our next session in October. The topic will be ‘National Trends in Marketing on a Local Scale’. Stay tuned for more information!

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20150519_120803By: Jessica McAffee

I can’t believe that my internship at Pushing the Envelope is almost complete. Not having any prior marketing or PR experience before this internship, I was at first a little afraid of what I was going to get myself into. But as the internship went on, I found myself learning new skills that I know will benefit me in my future career.

One skill I really found useful that I learned this summer was writing a news release. Before this internship, I knew very little about writing and posting news releases. But, on one of my first days at PTE I was told to draft a news release about an upcoming event. At first I was really nervous about writing one because I knew it was going to be sent to various media and posted to media websites, but Chelsea and my project manager, Kate, helped me through the process- teaching me what information to include, how to format the release and even a little about AP style writing. Now I feel like I can write a news release with ease. I love looking back at the releases I’ve written and seeing which ones have gotten the most views by journalists (it’s a great feeling and makes me pretty happy.)

Another thing I have really enjoyed so far is brainstorming social media campaign ideas. Developing a social media campaign has to be one of the most interesting things I’ve done so far in my internship. It gives me the chance to let my creativity flow and to conceptualize different ways a client can interact with their followers on different social media platforms.

Despite only having a few weeks left at PTE, I know I am going to learn even more and I can’t wait!

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ChristinaBy: Christina Garcia

Since starting at PTE, I have learned so much about working at a mixed marketing communications firm that I can’t comprehend everything that I needed to learn when I began this internship. I have learned about important writing styles and PTE preferences that have become habitual to me as well as important marketing concepts to understand when working at a communications firm.

Before I begin anything, I always set my margins to 1” and change my font to Century Gothic, which is the correct format for most documents we write at PTE. While this may not be the same at each firm, it is always important to know the company’s style to keep consistency and remember proper branding. I also have learned AP style, which the preferred writing style for public relations and journalism. AP style includes omitting the oxford comma, putting periods after a.m. and p.m. and not including ordinal numbers when listing dates. Although one may think these details are just minutiae, they can make a huge difference when submitting a news release to the media and getting media coverage. I am 100% in favor of the oxford comma (we have friendly in-office debates about this), so I have had to break out of my typical writing style to become a better writer.

In addition to breaking my habit of the oxford comma, I’ve also had to break my habit of always writing for advertising. As an advertising minor, I automatically gravitate toward trying to persuade or sell when I am writing documents. This has made writing for public relations a challenge for me. I have had to learn to adjust my word choices, consider my target audience and alter my writing style to remain informative when I am writing news releases.  So far, I have worked on many different PR projects, which has given me a tremendous amount of experience outside of my advertising studies.

I have had many experiences working on class projects create ads, copywriting and analyzing a brand or market, but that does not compare to the hands-on learning I have received at PTE. If there was any question in my mind if I could do marketing, PTE has taught me what I need to know to go into my career and be successful. If there was one tip I could pass on to future interns, it would be to always ask questions, but trust your instincts if you have a good idea.

I have learned so much at PTE and I am excited for these last few weeks to gain even more experience before my internship ends!

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20150519_120839By: Natalie Bollt

It is safe to say that I have learned more in these past weeks interning at Pushing the Envelope than I could have ever imagined. While the courses I take at the University of Miami are educational and provide textbook information on the industry, this internship has truly shown me how an actual agency operates and how much the fields of marketing, advertising and public relations work together to provide the best comprehensive communications services possible.

When picking a major, you choose one field of study that is your focus throughout your years in college. For most communications or business students that means marketing, advertising or public relations. Sure, as an advertising student I’ve taken a couple of marketing and PR classes here and there, but for the most part these programs are separate and my classes are focused strictly on advertising. Because of this, I was under the impression that whatever major I chose would be my path for life. If I chose advertising, I would be stuck in an agency with no marketing opportunities and if I chose marketing I would be stuck in a firm with no chance to experience advertising. Pushing the Envelope has shown me that I can have my cake and eat it too when it comes to these fields.

Marketing, advertising and PR all have to do with a company’s image, making it essential that they all work together to help the brand grow. I’ve gotten to see just how much marketing plans, campaigns, news releases, advertisements and social media rely on each other to get the job done. Watching this amazing team at Pushing the Envelope work, as well as being able to work on a variety of projects with them has given me so much insight into this industry. I can’t wait to continue to learn even more in these last couple of weeks.

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