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marcus harvey at AM:PM PR speakeasy

Beyond Pavlovian Behaviors: Social media Owns You

What if you spent hours, days, weeks, months curating a perfectly branded social media profile, and one day it just disappeared with no explanation?

That was an intriguing story shared earlier this month at our Speakeasy event with Portland entrepreneur Marcus Harvey.

You may recognize Harvey as the successful entrepreneur behind Portland Gear and Creative|35 and curator of the @Portland Instagram handle. His fascinating story was first reported in detail at The Oregonian and the article inspired us to invite him in for the Speakeasy event.

marcus harvey at AM:PM PR's Speakeasy

Weeks after the event our team found we were still discussing the one story he shared that wasn’t an example of his remarkable success – his acquisition of the @LasVegas Instagram handle.

Harvey said that he followed the same strategy curating the Las Vegas account that he did in growing the @Portland handle (now with 102k followers). Once he identified and acquired @LasVegas, he began a regimented effort populating the account with carefully curated, branded content – exactly as he’d done with the Portland account.

Then one day he woke up and the @LasVegas account was gone.

He tried contacting customer service at Instagram, of which there is none. After various creative attempts to reclaim the account, including the use of an attorney, he gave up and resigned himself to the reality that @LasVegas was gone. He still doesn’t know exactly what happened, but surmised that it may have resulted from his effort to operate the account from a Portland IP address.

Regardless, it was a startling reminder that when it comes to social media, as professional content curators, we own nothing.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – all of them. They brought our social profiles into this world, and they can take us out of it.

Have you, dear reader, had any similar experiences with social media?

Marcus Harvey wearing Portland hat on bridge

Brilliance, luck, or both? Meet Portland clothing designer, entrepreneur and … genius?

 

May 6th Speakeasy to Feature Marcus Harvey

AM:PM PR Speakeasy graphic featuring Marcus Harvey

Marcus Harvey surely hit a stroke of social media marketing genius when he snagged the @Portland handle on Instagram from its original owner, a man on the East Coast who used it to share the occasional photo of his daughter.

Recognizing Instagram’s increasing popularity among the millennial generation, Marcus then began systematically populating the account with popular imagery of Portland. He grew its following to 60,000 people before using it to launch his own Portland-themed clothing brand, Portland Gear. He generated $5,000 in sales from the account on its first day.

Please join us Wednesday, May 6th at 4 p.m. for our next Speakeasy featuring local Portland entrepreneur and clothing designer, Marcus Harvey.

Marcus will share tales from his experience developing a social media-based community centered around Portland, plus how he recognized the opportunity with Instagram and how he’s continued to use the account to successfully promote Portland Gear.

Portland gear models against a spray painted wall

Marcus’s other project is Creative|35, a Portland apparel business offering private labeling for clothing brands and related creative services including design, production and marketing. Marcus graduated from the University of Oregon in 2012 with a degree in Digital Arts and Business, and is a 2008 graduate of Century High School in Hillsboro. Marcus’s story was featured by The Oregonian earlier this month.

Is your news newsworthy?

How to Successfully Pitch Media

 

Media pitch tips from a veteran-TV reporter

 

KGW's Pat Dooris spoke to am:pm PR's Speakeasy

KGW’s Pat Dooris spoke at AM:PM PR’s Speakeasy about what to expect if you have a story to pitch. These were his tips.

 

Only Pitch What’s Current.

“I don’t care about something happening in August when it’s February,” Pat says. “I need to fill a news hole today and tomorrow. Much farther out and it better be really good.”

Be Available Now.

“If you pitch me and I bite, you’d better be ready to go in 30 minutes,” Pat warns.  ”I’m not kidding. You have a short shelf life. If I can’t lock you in with that time amount I’m moving on to the next potential source or story. I have no time to waste and no option for no story tonight.”

Offer Compelling Humans.

“Every story needs real people that are affected by the issue we’re talking about. Whether it’s sewers or acupuncture or taxes or a mission to Mars, we need real people that will talk with us for our story – and yes, that means on camera!”

Make the Humans Available!

“I once had someone pitch me a ‘C’ level story. But on this particular day we were short of story ideas so a ‘C’ looked like an ‘A.’ I called back quickly, but they didn’t have anyone…not ANYONE who would go on camera,” Pat shared. “Not only did we dump that story and move to the next – I was pissed and never took another pitch from that person.”

 

 

Be available for interviews when you are pitching a story.

 

What Gets Through

  • The number of people affected – Is it significant?
  • New news – Is this the first we’ve heard about it?
  • Stories with people willing to talk openly.
  • Good visuals i.e. video, compelling photos, infographics.
  • Compelling sounds.
  • Media trained experts.
  • The “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) translation.
  • Something that runs counter to prevailing conceptions.
  • Something that reveals truth about ourselves.
  • Stories that involve emotion.
  • Stories that involve animals.

 

The 5 Biggest Influences.

    1. Emotion
    2. Number of people affected
    3. Visuals
    4. Sources available to go on camera
    5. Good talkers

 

About Pat Dooris

Pat Dooris has worked in TV News for 29 years. He’s interviewed more than 29,000 people and done at least 17,000 live shots. He’s won awards including two Northwest Emmys along with awards from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters and even a National UPI award. Yep, United Press International. He’s been reporting that long. Pat is a reporter at KGW TV and a media coach who trains people and companies on how to respond to the press. Rather than ducking the media, he believes people and companies should embrace the chance to tell their story in powerful ways. Find out more about his services at PatDoorisMedia.com

 

am:pm pr tips

Editor’s Note: While Pat’s tips are focused on pitching TV media, much of his advice works well for pitching any kind of media. So be wise, think ahead, and put yourself in the reporter’s shoes.

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Professional With An Edge: A Lunch Break Haircut at Rudy’s Barbershop

- by Dustin Nelson

The world of PR can be pretty busy, and so can a social life in Portland.

The combination of these two things made it difficult for me to find time for a haircut. This left me with the option of racing against the clock during my lunch break. Per the recommendation of our co-ringleader Allison McCormick, I ran up Division St. to Rudy’s Barbershop.

RudyPic5-300x183The first thing to know about Rudy’s is that it’s cool.

If you’re looking for a serene, spa-like, salon where they serve bottles of Evian and play music by Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Swift, this is the wrong place for you.

However, if you’re looking to get your hair cut in a garage with mismatched, vintage barber chairs, and an ancient Pac Man arcade game, by a group of hip, rockabilly, tattooed Southeast Portlanders then run, don’t walk to Rudy’s Barbershop 3015 SE Division St.

RudyPic2-300x300Actually, you may not have to bother with running, because these barbers are FAST. As I mentioned, I was in a bit of a hurry, so when I sat down with Sam and she got right to work with precision and speed worthy of a superhero, I was impressed. What’s even better, we had a great chat. We talked about some of the different neighborhoods in Portland, the Pride events that we did or did not attend the previous weekend, and the fact that thanks to Nicole Richie, blue hair is going to be the new lavender this year (sorry Kelly Osbourne.) Pretty impressive for the twenty minutes I was in her chair.

On top of that, she gave me one of the best haircuts I’ve had in recent memory. I always want to look professional, but I’m young and I’d like to think hip (hold your comments on that please) so I need a hairstyle that’s professional with an edge. Sam achieved these results even after I stammered a string of adjectives to semi-describe what I wanted. I guess it’s possible that mind reading may also be in her arsenal of super powers.

RudyPic4-300x300If you need to change up your look and want an all Portland experience that results in a bouffant Elvis would be jealous of, I can highly recommend Rudy’s Barbershop.

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P.S. their Instagram is pretty rad http://instagram.com/rudysbarbershop

And if you haven’t followed our new Instagram account yet, make a life choice and check it out http://instagram.com/ampm_pr

papa gs

Papa G’s: All Organic, All Vegan, All Delicious

- by Dustin Nelson

Lunch is something we take very seriously here at AM:PM, and our neighborhood is full of some of the best food in town.

Today we took a walk up to Division Street to stop into an old favorite of Alexis’, Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli. Regarded as “the most organic vegan” restaurant in Portland, it’s easy for an out of towner like myself to assume that may be the equivalent of chewing on grass. Happily I could not have been more wrong.

We caught up with Grant Dixon, the owner of Papa G’s who gave us some background on his small, but significant business. Papa G’s began in 1999 as an offshoot of the Daily Grind, an independent natural food store in Portland with an impressive 35 year history, and eventually transitioned to the small vegan cafe on Southeast Division.

papa gs chalkboardGrant told us about  the popularity of their tempeh reuben with scratch made sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing and their variety of seasonal, rotating specials. For vegan newbies like myself who may be scared off by the likes of tempeh, he recommended their burrito special, which I gladly indulged in. Full of corn, beans, flavorful cilantro, and a sauce made of something I can’t pronounce, this burrito rivaled any I’ve had. And I’ve had a lot of burritos. Grant also kindly advised that a nice transition dish for my next visit would be the popular potato salad and BBQ tofu.

It was refreshing to hear Grant talk about his commitment to keeping organic, vegan options affordable, “we never want to be elitist,” he said. It was also nice to learn that he takes organic cooking so seriously that his dishes are organic down to the oil they’re cooked with.

papa gs vegan meal 1

At Papa G’s it was easy to forget about my carnivorous ways and truly enjoy one of the best lunches in a long time.

Alexis went with her old stand-by of the Epic Nocho taco salad while Mike had the garden plate which he described as “tasting like Thanksgiving.”

papa gs vegan meal 2

While we may disagree on what Thanksgiving is supposed to taste like, I’m sure it was delicious. 

I’m not considering becoming vegan anytime soon, but Papa G’s is a great place for herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores alike to dine together and set aside their dietary differences and it’s most definitely a place our team will be grazing again.

BeerPic

The Beer Chaser: A Tour of Pubs in Portland – Bar None!

 

Portland is the city with the most breweries and beer choices in the world, so it’s no shock that someone took it upon themselves to try them all. Luckily for us, that someone is a friend of our owner Pat McCormick’s. Don “Dirt” Williams is the man using his retirement for the good of beer drinkers everywhere. We highly recommend reading Dirt’s entertaining stories of his commitment to leaving no keg untapped on http://thebeerchaser.com/

Here are some other interesting facts about the Oregon beer industry, and Portland’s more specifically:

  • Oregon’s brewing companies employ 6,400 full and part-time employees-up 900 jobs over 2011.
  • Total economic impact from the beer industry is $2.83 billion for Oregon’s economy.
  • It’s estimated that 47% Percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon.
  • There are currently 54 breweries in Portland, 74 in the Portland metro area, 21 in Bend and 30 in Central Oregon and 12 in Eugene.
  • Portland currently has the most breweries per capita of any city in the world.
letter-pile

Having A Hard Time Earning Media Coverage? Take a simple stress test!

young mike phillips

hasn’t written any letters

I recall, as a kid, watching expectantly as the postman marched down the hill to dump copious amounts of letters into our mailbox. After rifling through the stack I was consistently disappointed that none were addressed to me. Whenever I expressed my dismay, my Mom retorted this unwelcome refrain: “You have to write letters to receive letters.”

I think back to this every time I hear someone befuddled with unrealistic expectations for media coverage. After more than a decade in this business I’ve come up with my own smarmy refrain: “You have to create news to receive news coverage.”

To those with great hopes of earning media coverage, and to prevent earned-media hopefuls from having their dreams crushed like an 8-year-old without a pen pal, I offer a simple stress test for newsworthiness.

The three-step test:

1.  Scrutinize: What are you doing that is actually newsworthy? Be hard on yourself.

*  Is your story or product timely?
*  Is it related to a current hot topic or trend?
*  Is it NEW?
*  Will a significant number of readers/viewers be affected by or interested in this news story?

2.  Research: Who will be most interested in your story?

*  Who is your target audience?
*  What media does your target audience consume?
*  Who do you want to cover your story? Have they covered it before? Do you know what types of news they are most interested in covering?

3.  Reality Check: Are you putting a fresh coat of paint on an old idea in a desperate attempt to fabricate a new story angle?

If you’re perplexed by any of these questions, you have some work to do. Don’t despair. Just shift your efforts, do your homework, come up with a plan and make some news.

Easy, right?

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Spielman: Our Team Stops in for Coffee, Bagels, and Second Breakfast

by Dustin Nelson

In a town like Portland, where it can feel like there are more eateries per capita than anywhere else in America, food is frequently on the mind. The AM:PM team found ourselves in such a state this morning during a hump day office pow-wow. What began as complaints about the parking on Division street due to constant construction quickly turned into us lamenting the decline in business for many of our favorite neighborhood eateries due to the constant city projects.

As we rattled off our favorite neighborhood spots, we worked up a frenzy of appetite and decided to take an impromptu office field trip a few blocks to Spielman Bagels and Coffee Roasters. A beautiful, perfectly temperate Portland morning and the promise of a variety of bagels and hot coffee made the short walk a perfect mid-week break.

spielman bagel sign

mike and alexis at spielman bagelsHaving already eaten my 7 a.m. bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, I wasn’t about to let that stop me when I saw the   highly recommended salt & herb bagel in the display case. It was a perfect time for second breakfast, as the Hobbits would say.

I must say the service was much friendlier than I expected considering I was busy Instagramming the shop instead of listening to the cashier or heaven forbid deciding what I actually wanted. I settled on a skinny vanilla latte (afterall, I needed to off-set my second breakfast) and the coveted salt & herb bagel with…wait for it…lox, cream cheese, capers, red onion, and thick slices of tomato. #heaven.

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Back at the office, Alexis and I swapped our food finds while we got back to work. She also enjoyed the salt & herb bagel, but switched it up with white cheddar, eggs, and vegetarian sausage (I’m from Montana so don’t ask me what that means.) She swears it was delicious and I’ve come to trust her taste.

Overall, we got a much needed break, got to walk the Southeast Portland neighborhood we’re lucky enough to call home, and found a new favorite coffee shop to add to our neighborhood favorites.

If you want to see more of our neighborhood favorites, check out the new AM:PM Instagram:  ampm_pr

P.S. Spielman’s has a pretty slick website for a bagel shop. Check it out here and have a great rest of your week.

downtownportland

7 Tips for Landing an Out-of-State Job

 by Dustin Nelson

I’ve been no stranger to change this last year. My two biggest changes were graduating from college, and trading a small Montana town for Portland, Oregon.

Anyone who has graduated from college can probably attest to the fact that trying not to fail your last semester of college, while also navigating your first grown-up job search is no small task. Trying to move to another state for said job adds to the overwhelming sensation of tug of war over your impending future.

Luckily, in our modern age, the marvels of the internet allow us to project ourselves into a conference room hundreds or even thousands of miles away via Skype and other video conferencing software. However, there are still several factors to consider when searching for a job or internship out of state. Which is why I now bring you, 7 Tips for Landing an Out-of-State Job.

 

1.) Be Open Minded

It’s easy to get tunnel vision when thinking about the future, but don’t let it happen. It’s important to be willing to say “yes” to opportunities and career paths you may not have considered. In the modern world of communications, it’s difficult to know exactly what communications and public relations jobs entail. Trust that your job may evolve and that you may be best for something you never considered.

2.) Do Your Homework

This is essential. When communicating from far away, the company you are interested in working for needs to know how badly you want it. Research the company so that when the time comes for an interview you can answer the questions in the context of the specific work that company does. It also doesn’t hurt to take notes on potential interview questions beforehand.

3.) Show Your Personality

From first contact, through the last interview, be yourself. I know it’s a cliche, but seriously, do it. Your credentials will speak for themselves and as long as being yourself is the best, most professional version of yourself you’re going to fare much better than just trying to be what you think they want. Most professional jobs and internships require close contact with co-workers and it’s crucial that they like you as a person, not just for the work you do.

4.) Be Available

When looking for a job from afar, staying in contact is key. Companies have a lot of candidates to screen, many of which they are meeting in person. You cannot run the risk of being invisible. Check back early and often. If they send you an email, respond as quickly as humanly possible. And let’s be honest, in the age of the smart phone, there’s no excuse.

5.) Shine in a Video Interview

It’s likely that as a poor college student you won’t be able to travel for an interview. No problem! Skype to the rescue. However, the video interview presents a new set of challenges. Energy and “vibes” are very real, and they’re much easier to communicate in person. Smile and dress the way you would if the interview was in person, this helps keep you in the right mindset for the interview. Just because you don’t have to wear pants, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I’m not kidding, put on pants. Preferably nice ones.

6.) Bring Something New to the Table

In a professional field, most of the candidates for a job have the same qualifications. It’s important to remember that the things that make you different, the skills that may not seem to apply to this job, may actually land you the position. It’s important to find how all of your skills are applicable. For example, I have a background in journalism with a strong focus on writing and editing as well as some event planning experience. When applying for public relations positions, my writing and editing skills were what I sold. These different skills are what set me apart and landed me my job at AM:PM PR.

7.) Have Confidence

This seems like a no-brainer, but there’s a reason the term “fake it till you make it” exists. However, faking will only get you so far. The bottom line is that if you know you’re right for the job, then you are right for the job. If you know it, make sure your future employer knows it.