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AM:PM and 7/Apps Summer 2019 Picks

As writers, communicators, readers, editors, and creatives, we find inspiration in a lot of different areas. Good books and awesome music included. Are you curious about what our team is listening to and reading this summer? Here are our picks.

Pat – AM:PM PR Co-founder:

“I’m currently re-reading I’m Right and You’re an Idiot, by James Hoggan. He’s a friend and great PR pro who’s written several books. But this one is my favorite. It’s now in its second edition, but the first edition came out in early 2016. The book’s subtitle, The toxic state of public discourse and how to clean it up, shows how well-timed the topic was. In a series of interviews with communications leaders and theoreticians, the book outlines the challenge and urgent need to drain the poison from our civic debate.

When I actually listen to music and not just use it for background noise, it’s usually showtunes. Hamilton is a favorite. So are Les Misérables and Wicked. But my intentional listening is more frequently to podcasts. Favorites: The Daily, On the Media, Post Reports, Sci Fri, Radiolab, This American Life.”

Allison – AM:PM PR Co-founder:

Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Beastie Boys Book are a few of my favorite books.

My daughter controls the stereo whenever she’s in the car, so it’s a lot of Billie Eilish, Cardi B and, Childish Gambino and John Denver is what we listen to. I like a mix of things, depending on what I’m doing. But pretty much anything by Headphone Activist. I also love the song ‘Sunflower’ by Post Malone…I just wish it was longer. And, finally, I’ve been re-listening to this at least once a day every day lately: ‘Help One Another,’  a mixtape.”

Sophie – Intern at AM:PM PR:

“I’m reading two books right now. The first is called The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy. It’s a drama/mystery. The other book is I Hate Myself and Want to Die by Tom Reynolds, which is about ‘the 52 most depressing songs you’ve ever heard.’

I’m really into the new album by Clairo, Immunity. That’s been on repeat for the past few days. In addition, I discovered an artist called Jealous of the Birds a few weeks ago, and I’ve been listening to her stuff non-stop. Yesterday, I listened to most of The Cure’s discography all day. I’m all over the place with my music.”

Connor – Intern at 7/Apps:

“I’ve been listening to a lot of Father John Misty & Doctor Dog lately. It reminds me of when I first started working at 7/Apps, because I actually discovered Father John Misty on the car ride over!”

 

What are your Summer 2019 picks? Tweet us!

Public Relations Is Not “Spin”

A Brief History of Public Relations

In the 1920s, Edward Bernays and Ivy Lee coined the word “public relations” in America. Back then, PR was considered to be propaganda, as it was used to promote both sides of the First World War and other controversial efforts. During the second half of the 20th century, however, the concept of PR expanded as various principles were established and it developed into a legitimate profession. According to Wikipedia, “In the early 2000s, press release services began offering social media press releases. The Cluetrain Manifesto, which predicted the impact of social media in 1999, was controversial in its time. But by 2006, the effect of social media and new internet technologies became broadly accepted.”

PR’s Many Titles

PR has had many different titles since the turn of the century. To name a few: damage control, image/reputation management, publicity, and the most hated, “spin.” This a dated word that gives the profession a negative connotation, its roots stemming in PR’s past in propaganda. But this no longer aligns with PR’s role in society.

What Is “Spin?”

Spin (noun): a particular way of representing an event or situation to the public so that it will be understood in a way that you want it to be understood. –Cambridge Dictionary

AKA…a way to save face and alter a story in order to avoid a negative audience reaction.

Why PR Isn’t “Spin”

“Spin is too simple a term for the work PR practitioners do. Sure, they seek to influence, but also counsel, market, promote, and advocate for their brands and clients. Simply put, PR is much more than spin.”

PR Weekly

In our current political climate, unfortunately, “the only time the average person sees a public relations professional is when they are advising a politician or celebrity or apologizing for a corporate screw-up.” (e-releases) But PR is so much more than that. It is brand development and building an image that showcases personality, values and talent. It is connecting with your audience and giving back to the organizations that improve our lives. It is remaining accountable, transparent and honest when something doesn’t go to plan. It is engaging users and producing excellent content. It is building lasting relationships.

Sp*n is a gross word. Let’s get rid of it for good.

The AM:PM PR Hall of Fame: 1D World

As a new member of the team at AM:PM, I’ve been reading up on the agency’s past clients and projects. I recently came across this fun 2013 campaign, and I was so impressed by it! So, without further ado, I hereby conduct AM:PM’s 2013 1D World Campaign into the agency’s official Hall of Fame. 🙂

In 2013, one of the most popular boy bands in the world, One Direction, embarked on a massive tour around the U.S. and Europe. Although hitting many major cities along the way, naturally the guys couldn’t stop everywhere. To satisfy disappointed “Directioners,” the 1D pop-up shop, known as “1D World,” was born. With this temporary store, super fans would have the opportunity to snag an array of  merch and immerse themselves in the 1D experience, even without the band there to perform.

Because Portland was one of the skipped cities, it was chosen as a test market for the pop-up shop that would open in June of 2013. The 1D World store hired AM:PM PR to generate local buzz among fans leading up to the opening, plus maintain interest during the two weeks the store ran.

The Band

One Direction were an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik. Simon Cowell formed and signed the group in 2010 after the guys competed on the British singing show, The X Factor. 1D has won around 200 awards over the years, completed four world tours, and ranked as the second highest-earning celebrities in the world. When the band announced their hiatus in 2015, they broke millions of teenage girl hearts.

In short, they’re a pretty big deal.

Photo by The Daily Mail

1D World: The PR Plan

AM:PM used a combination of media relations, social networking engagement and strategic advertising to execute this campaign.

Location: Pioneer Place Mall, downtown Portland.

Date: June 8th, 2013.

Target audience: Young females, (“Directioners”) ages 9-17.

Objectives:

  • Attract fans to wait in line on opening day.
  • Generate fan buzz on social networks before the store’s opening and through the duration.
  • Increase followers on Facebook and Twitter for 1D World.
  • Earn media coverage for the store opening.
  • Encourage fans/customers to share their experiences online.

Goal: Show fans that this pop-up store offered a special experience provided by the band itself.

Media Coverage

AM:PM invited media to attend the grand opening of 1D World to witness the remarkable reaction of fans. The Oregonian covered the announcement of the pop-up shop and interviewed fans outside of the store on opening day. AM:PM also partnered with Portland’s Top 40 radio stations to provide tickets to the 1D concert in Seattle and gift certificates to the pop-up shop. Fangirls across Twitter freaked.

Social Media

AM:PM interacted with Portland’s 1D fans on Twitter, offering early entry store passes to five dedicated Directioners with the most followers. They also mentioned the prizes fans could win while in the store, like signed merch.

In order to maintain excitement through out the two weeks the store was open, AM:PM created in-store posters inviting customers to share pictures online of their shopping experiences at 1D World. AM:PM also created a FB/YouTube contest encouraging fans to create music videos using the band’s tunes. This increased online buzz significantly as video entries flooded YouTube.

Research

  • Facebook and Twitter were the most popular social media platforms at the time of this campaign.
  • 1D regional fans on Twitter were hungry for any 1D-related news, gossip and tidbits, and were eager for 1D to visit Portland. (There were a ton of videos on YouTube of young girls begging for the boys to visit.)
  • The main radio stations in Portland for 1D fans were Radio Disney, Z100, and The Buzz.

The Challenges

  • AM:PM was contacted about this campaign in May of 2013 with a plan to open the pop-up shop the following month. This gave just 15 days of planning.
  • The opening day of 1D World was the same morning as Portland’s annual Rose Festival Parade. Media would be preoccupied, and the street in front of the mall would be closed off. Crowds would be difficult to draw.
  • Much of the merchandise sold at 1D World would be available at other stores and online for half the price.

The Outcome

The morning of June 3rd 2013 was insane. More than 100 screaming fans lined up for the store’s grand opening beginning at 7 a.m. The Rose Festival wasn’t going to stop them. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all blew up, resulting in an increase of Facebook interactions by 5-fold for the client. 1D world flooded with teens and tweens through out the day, all ecstatic to pose with life-size cutouts of the boys and buy a variety of 1D themed jewelry, hats, calendars and t-shirts. The campaign was a success.

“Being older than the demographic, I completely underestimated the draw of a 1D pop-up store. When our first tweet announcing the  store spread like wildfire, I started to remember what I was like as a super fan of Duran Duran. Engaging with these fans ended up being one of the most rewarding efforts we’ve undertaken. Their excitement was contagious, and when I saw the line of kids and their parents who arrived hours before the opening, I couldn’t help, but to adore them even more.”

-Allison McCormick, AM:PM Co-Founder

The Spotlight Award

AM:PM PR received an award for this campaign at the 2013 PRSA Spotlight Awards! PRSA recognizes skillfully executed PR campaigns locally and internationally each year. AM:PM’s viral social networking/ media outreach campaign, executed just fifteen days before the store’s opening, earned them this award.

9 Things AM:PM PR Loves

Happy Monday!

What gets you up in the morning? What inspires you? For us here at AM:PM PR, it’s our location, our office, and our awesome team. We are so lucky to work in such a fun, buzzing neighborhood at our headquarters on Clinton Street. Here are 9 things we love about it.

 

1. Our Lego Models

Co-founder Pat McCormick is talented in many areas, one being his ability to piece together some impressive Lego sets. If you’ve walked by our office before, you’re probably familiar with the abundance of Lego displays on our window sills. While providing a fun distraction, I mean break, 😉 from our work from time to time, we also love to see kiddos stop and admire the models. It’s so cute to see them ooh and aah over the Disney Castle, Statue of Liberty, and most notable, Millennium Falcon model.

2. Nossa Familia Coffee

A two-minute walk from our office, Nossa Familia Coffee on Division Street is one of our favorite spots to chill and refuel. They’re deeply committed to ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and social responsibility, plus their coffee and tea is so yummy!

3. Dogs, dogs, dogs

Clinton and Division Streets are dog central, and we’re dog people. If there’s ever a shortage of pups trotting by our office windows though, no worries–our pals at EENW next door have two sweet labradoodles that we love to cuddle. Their names are Nova & Echo!

4. Our Glass Whiteboards

Designed by 7/Apps founder Juan Fernandez and built by a local welder, the glass whiteboards that divide up our work spaces in the office are one of our most favorite things. Typically covered in sticky notes and doodles, our whiteboards are a great place for us to draw cartoons or map out a project.

5. New Seasons Market

Our favorite spot for a quick snack or lunch with friends during the work day. This cozy place doesn’t feel like your typical grocery store. The staff are friendly, the food is fresh, and the vibes are good. Plus, it’s a 30-second stroll from our office!

6. The Cyrk Building

We are privileged to work in the coolest building ever. 90% of our building’s power comes from solar panels on the roof, and the indoor temperature is controlled by an underground water-source heat pump. The Cyrk Building is eco-friendly, welcoming and bright with its many windows, and decked out in cool art.

7. Our Team

We are a family-owned PR agency with a passion for what we do. Our team is driven and inspired by each other, and that’s what results in our success. Long hours aren’t a problem for us — we are motivated by our client’s victories and willing to do whatever it takes. We are a close-knit team of creative, socks-with-sandals-wearing goofballs.

8. Fifty Licks Ice Cream

Fun fact! I’m an ice cream addict.

Fifty Licks, the ice cream shop across the street, is my favorite place in Portland. They have unique flavors (better than Salt & Straw, in my opinion) and a super cute space. I go quite often, and it was during one of my frequent stops there that I discovered AM:PM!

9. Our Clients

We work with clients we believe in and on projects we enjoy, and our goal is to build long-term relationships with the people we assist. We take our clients’ goals on as our own and love seeing them flourish.

 

-Sophie

 

Finding Your Creative Niche

What Is It?

Niche (noun): a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted.Merriam-Webster Dictionary

You’ve probably heard this word before. It’s commonly used in the world of ad, business and PR…but what can it mean for you?

A niche is what you do best, what you’re passionate about, and what sets you apart from the crowd.  These days, uniqueness is essential when it comes to promoting a product, business or brand successfully. A niche brand targets a specific audience or group of people, and offers what other brands don’t.

“Niche branding, also called narrow branding, is connecting with your audience (customers and prospects) in a targeted way that focuses on their needs and circumstances, not on you or your product.” Your Brand Inc

Successful Niche Brands and Products

Finding Your Niche

What do you enjoy doing? Do you write about music? Vlog while shopping for clothes? Film your own cooking show? Whatever it is you may enjoy, you can likely make a brand out of it. Want to learn how? Check out this article on Wordstream for these tips and more:

  • Know your target niche inside out
  • Solve your audience’s problems
  • Listen to your audience

My Niche

As a music blogger, I have a lot of competition. There are countless music blogs all over the internet, so it’s often difficult to produce content that no one has seen before. So, when I first started my blog in 2014, I targeted a very specific audience: teenage music/concert fangirls. I chose this audience because at the time, I was one too! I was always looking for blogs and websites that catered to my specific interests, and never found one that fit. So I launched my own.

My first few, niche posts (please keep in mind that I wrote these posts more than five years ago, haha):

Although my blog’s content has changed a lot since my fangirl days, one thing has stayed the same: I strive to produce music-related content that readers/music fans can’t find anywhere else. That’s my niche.

AM:PM PR’s Niche

Strategy is our niche. Good communicators are first good listeners. No two clients are the same. We work with your objectives in mind and build strategies focused on results. Whether you want to position your organization, connect with your audiences, sell a new product or need help managing a crisis, we believe effective communications are rooted in such timeless principles.

-Sophie

Meet AM:PM PR’s Newest Intern!

Hello!

Sophie Cettina here, AM:PM’s newest intern. I’ll be managing the agency’s blog and social media over the next few months. I’m thrilled to be here! 🙂

Bio

I graduated from the University of Oregon last month, where I earned a B.A. in Journalism/PR. When I wasn’t studying, I spent my time as a DJ at KWVA, UO’s college radio station. On the air, I played my favorite music and then discussed it as my alter ego, “DJ Vu.” (It’s a spin on the word “déjà vu”…haha, so punny!) My show, The Half Moon Tavern, was live every Thursday afternoon. My favorite part of being a DJ was receiving phone calls from listeners–sometimes, people would call to let me know how much they enjoyed the music I’d picked, or they’d call just to chat about artists and records. It’s pretty fun to share your music with the world in that way.

4 Fun Facts About Me

  1. I have a pet cockatiel named Quincy and two backyard chickens. (#PutaBirdOnIt!)
  2. My favorite movie is School of Rock starring Jack Black. (Stick it to the man, dude.)
  3. I write poetry and short stories.
  4. I have a tattoo of a chicken (that I drew myself) on my left ankle.

My Personal Blog

I’m a huge music nerd, and I love to write. My music blog, A Perfect Playlist, launched five years ago, and it’s grown so much since then! I post interviews with artists from around the world, concert and album reviews, tips and tricks on how to meet your favorite artists, and other music-related content. (Follow A Perfect Playlist on Instagram to stay up to date!)

Why PR?

I’m a storyteller with a passion for public relations, content development and music. I’m often asked, “you’re so excited about both music and PR. How do those two connect for you?” The answer is easy: I believe in the idea that songs are stories. As an avid storyteller, I know the power of words and connecting with an audience, just as songs do.

I’m so excited to help AM:PM tell their story.

-Sophie

Connect with me:

Twitter

Instagram

LinkedIn

PR intern candidates

Want To Be An AM:PM PR Intern?

AM:PM PR is seeking an ace intern interested in real-world, hands-on public relations responsibilities. From day 1, we include interns as part of our team. We offer meaningful work and value the diverse talents and skills new professionals bring to the table.

We are looking for students or graduates who share our core values, are smart and creative, good researchers and excellent writers. Interns need to take direction well and thrive with individual assignments.

Our ideal candidate has:

  • An understanding of the fundamentals of public relations
  • Strong writing and communications skills
  • Familiarity with social network platforms and review sites
  • Ability to multi-task, manage under pressure
  • The ability to think creatively
  • Have an interest in corporate communications
  • A desire to learn, work hard and take constructive criticism
  • The ability to self-manage and work independently or as part of a team

This is a paid internship and your responsibilities may include:

  • Media relations – drafting and pitching press releases
  • Tracking and analyzing media and blog coverage
  • Drafting blog posts and updating WordPress sites
  • Social media analysis and engagement
  • Reviewing and translating social and website analytics
  • Conducting qualitative research
  • Attending client meetings and coordinating projects
  • Administrative tasks

If you would like to be considered for the internship position at AM:PM PR, please email your resume and writing samples to info@ampmpr.com

Digital Detox Time

My Self Prescribed Digital Detox

Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. Instagram. Pinterest. Facebook. Snapchat… This is the endless cycle I find myself repeating for hours every day. At 24 I am CONSUMED by media. If I’m not on my phone looking something up then I’m on my laptop scrolling through endless content. I can’t escape cyberspace. More often than not social media is flooded with either horribly painful news that makes me question the state of humanity or doctored up photos that makes me question what I’m doing with my life and how I look. It’s exhausting and draining to be consumed by such a beast, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. I need a digital detox.

“To remove social media from my life would be like cutting off a appendage that is poisoning me, I know I should do it, but I can’t bring myself to.”

I grew up in the early 90’s, which means as I emerged into adolescence and adulthood so did the monster of the internet and the boom of social media. At this point for me and my generation, social media is an extension of us and our personal brands. To remove social media from my life would be like cutting off an appendage that is poisoning me, I know I should do it, but I can’t bring myself to.

So how do you not let the internet consume your life? Digital detox.

It would be foolish to tell you to completely cut yourself off from your phone. But detoxing can be another solution. Like we detox toxins from our bodies we also need to digitally detox and clear our minds from the constant stream of information. Why? The average person spends four hours a day on their phones. Along with that shocking statistic another is that the average American checks their phone over 150 TIMES A DAY unconsciously! As someone who works in media and loves to be in the know detoxing seems like a near impossible task for me. It led me to wonder, how do you start to consciously unwind yourself from the constant need to know what is going on while still maintaining your online presence?

Some ways I try to detox social media from my life:

  • Delete negative people. Like spring cleaning your house, cleaning out your social media gives you a chance to take into stock what you really want to see and eliminate accounts that cause negative feelings.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode. By doing this your phone is still on but the need to check your notification disappears by not allowing any notifications to pop-up until you turn this mode off. This takes away the sometimes constant nagging need people have to check their phones.
  • Turn your phone off for an hour a day. By turning off your phone it becomes more of a hassle to turn it back on and check social media than to just scroll through your notifications with it on. Try doing this a few times a week and see if it makes a difference for you.

By the end of your digital detox you should be feeling refreshed and a little more at ease!