President’s Letter: May 2020

Resilience. Reconnection. Reinvention.

Among all the negativity and “noise” in the world, I continue to be inspired by the selfless acts of kindness and coming together (virtually). There is resilience, reconnection and reinvention.

Despite the pain and loss, altered lives, fear and uncertainties of what’s to come, we are coming out of this not only changed, but also stronger. Life will not be normal as we once knew it. It will be a “different normal.” What did we discover (or re-discover)? What have we learned? What will we do differently going forward?

As communicators, the coronavirus has continued to put the spotlight on communications, albeit taking different forms than what we might have been accustomed to. But we are resilient and know how to reinvent ourselves, since we are used to the only constant: change. 

Some of you have noted how you now have earned a seat at the C-suite table. Your value has been there, but now it’s front and center and getting accolades. You should be proud of continuing to make a difference for your companies, organizations, clients and communities despite the uncertainty. I look forward to seeing your award-winning programs and learning from them.

Do you know a member who deserves kudos? Share them with us. Do you have good news to share? Share them on Good News Fridays on our Facebook page!

Thank you to those who completed our Communicating in Crisis survey. See this newsletter, our website and social media channels for other upcoming programs, professional development and networking opportunities. Be sure to register for our upcoming virtual programs:

  • May 12, 4 p.m.“Afternoon Coffee Break Idea Swap” is a chance for members and non-members to grab a cup of coffee and join us for a virtual conversation (FREE). We had so much fun and received positive feedback from our first one last month that we’re doing it again. We will be moderating the Zoom conversation, sharing pro-tips and exchanging ideas for solutions on hot topics.
  • May 21, 8:30 a.m. –  “Coming Together for Good in the Midst of Crisis,” with presenter Heather Morgan, APR, VP of Brand & Communications at Children’s Home Society of Florida. Learn practical tips to help your own organization or clients prepare for and respond to crises, motivate and engage staff at all levels, reach audiences with the right message during pivotal times, and appropriately position your organization. Free for members; $15 for non-members.

Thank you for all you do! Stay healthy. Stay safe! If you have questions or ideas, please contact me directly.

Rich Donley, APR

2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter

The Importance Of Translating & Transcreating Your Marketing Campaigns

By: Veronica Figueroa Fernandez, PRSA Orlando Diversity & Inclusion Chair

We live in a globalized society, and while it feels like we are all interconnected, it is easy to forget that cultures and traditions vary from place to place. When developing a multicultural marketing strategy, it is important to have content properly adapted into the language being used in the target markets because content that resonates with readers in one market may miss the mark in another. 

Spanish is the second most common language in the United States, with around 20 percent of the population in Florida speaking Spanish at home. That is an estimated three million people. After Spanish, Haitian Creole is the third most commonly spoken language in the state of Florida. The United States has a growing Hispanic population of more than 59 million people who are projected to reach a collective buying power of $1.7 trillion in 2020. Investing in quality translations for marketing to the U.S. Hispanic market is not just smart; it makes good business sense. Do you really want to leave that much of the population untouched by your messaging? 

Poor translations can hurt your business and can potentially hurt the integrity of your brand, or cause a loss of revenue. In 2009, HSBC Bank invested millions of dollars in an advertising campaign in which they translated their tagline “Assume nothing” in their target countries. However, the translation came across as “Do Nothing,” and it cost HSBC $10 million to fix the issue. They eventually changed their slogan to “The World’s Private Bank.” 

Avoid Machine Translation

While services such as Google Translate and Babel Fish are easy and simple to use, their results are often inaccurate. Sure, using the service while on an overseas adventure might help you have a simple conversation with someone, but because machine translation is literal, it translates text without applying any human intelligence to the translation. For many marketers on a budget, Google Translate is an attractive translation tool because there isn’t a cost attached to use it. And while machine translation can save you money upfront, the resulting lack of engagement on campaigns and social media posts with potential and existing customers coupled with the drops in conversion creates a false economy.

Your audience can tell you’ve used Google Translate. According to an analysis by Politico in early 2019, every Democratic candidate for U.S. president had significant spelling mistakes on their Spanish websites and some of the pages even read as if they were directly plugged into Google Translate. Despite their good intentions to represent and resonate with the Latino electorate, the errors produced the opposite effect, prompting Spanish speakers to question how seriously the candidates were vying for their vote. 

Know Your Audience and Their Culture

When translating content, it is important to understand your audience, their values and their culture. As an example, there will be distinct variations in vocabulary and speech between Spanish-speaking countries. Because there are about 10 major Spanish dialects, and that Spanish is the main language spoken in 20 sovereign states, one territory, and a common language in the U.S., messaging tailored to a Mexican audience might not necessarily make sense to a Puerto Rican or a U.S. Hispanic market. It is crucial to your campaign’s success to knowing exactly who you are producing the translation for. 

Translate VS. Transcreate

Very often, marketers use the words “translate” and “transcreate” interchangeably, and while both are common language service options, there is a subtle variation between the terms. Rather than a word-for-word translation, some of your marketing campaigns will need transcreation – the adaption of content while maintaining the existing tone, intent, essence and style of the original message to resonate with the intended international audience. In order for your campaign to find success, it must be tackled by a linguist who can inject their own creativity, authenticity, and cultural knowledge.

Increasing your sales strategically through transcreated content and campaigns can drive brand recognition in new markets. Back in the 1980s, car manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors launched the Mitsubishi Pajero SUV, named after the Pampas cat, but it had to swiftly change the name of the model to the less suggestive Mitsubishi Montero for Spanish-speaking markets. 

When introducing urBeats to the French market, headphone manufacturer Beats by Dre hired a translation service to develop a French slogan for the product. The literal translation of its English slogan, “Made to take a beating,” did not make sense to French consumers. The team came up with the slogan, “Conçus pour résister à tous les tempos” (“Made to resist all tempos”), a play on the French phrase, “Conçus pour résister à tous les temps” (“Made to resist all weather conditions”), which resonated with the market. 

Final Thoughts

At the simplest level, businesses and brands taking educated risks are often the ones attracting the attention and resonating with a wider audience. Whether you’re looking to translate or transcreate an upcoming marketing campaign, keep in mind the tips discussed and remember that being daring and creative can play an important part in your multicultural marketing strategy. If adapting your content to Spanish or another language is not something you have the ability to do in-house, please visit our chapter directory on the MyPRSA portal to connect with local agencies with those capabilities. 

Resources for COVID-19

As COVID-19 presents new challenges for communication professionals, we have compiled a collection of local and national resources to assist during this time. This collection includes online learning tools, informative research and communications tips. 

News and Updates: 

Free On-Demand Webinars: 

Virtual Events and Live Webinars: 

Articles and More: 

You can also find helpful resources on PRSA’s Crisis Communications Resources page.

APR Spring Workshop 2020 Starting Soon

Considering earning your APR accreditation?

Earning the APR credential is a mark of distinction and demonstrates your commitment to the public relations profession and ethical practice. Practitioners who have earned their APR say the process helped them develop both their skills and professionalism, receive bonuses or salary increases and even has been the deciding factor between two similar job candidates. Military public affairs practitioners planning to earn their APR+M may also benefit from attending the workshop.

Spring APR Workshop Series:

Join the Orlando area chapters of PRSA and FPRA for this year’s Spring Workshop series presented as a mix of in-person and WebEx meetings. Meetings begin March 2, mock panel presentations will be April 13, and panel presentations the week of April 27.

Click here to view the full Spring Workshop schedule.

If you’re interested in joining the Spring Workshop, contact our PRSA APR coaches by March 2, to learn more about the process and decide if you want to take your professional development to the next level.

For more information, contact our PRSA APR coaches:
Laura Lord-Blackwell, APR: 407-257-4781
Mimi Flatley, APR: 407-885-1405,

Membership Promotion

JANUARY – FEBRUARY PROMO: FREE Chapter PLUS waived initiation or reinstatement fee (up to a $165 value)

New and returning members will have their initiation or reinstatement fee waived, when they join National as a Regular member ($260 annual dues) and receive a:

FREE 1-yr Chapter Membership (up to $100 value)

Use promo code: JAN2020 or FEB2020

RESTRICTIONS:
N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer to http://www.prsa.org/joinus/howtojoin for details.

NOTE: Anyone who would like to be billed quarterly needs to call our Member Services Team at 212.460.1400.

Afternoon Coffee Break Idea Swap Recap

We held our second “Coffee Break Idea Swap” on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. We had nearly 20 members on the virtual meeting and discussed a variety of topics. Here’s a summary of what was covered.

Media Relations 

Question: What advice do you have for explaining to the CEO that some stories are still media worthy during this COVID-19 era? 

  • The media is hungry for feel-good and community stories to counteract negative headlines. An example is the success Joe Culotta has had highlighting volunteers during this time with their virtual luminary campaign
  • Continue to use tried and true techniques—regular pitching works if it is timely. 
  • Newsrooms were already slim, but are now even more so. Remember to let your newsroom contacts know you understand their needs (and pain) and become a resource to help them better do their job. One way to do so is to pitch relevant topics or tailor your pitch to current issues. 
  • Keep in mind, many papers are furloughing or significantly reducing hours, so some reporters may not be working a regular schedule. Timeliness is key and have source availability ready when you pitch so you can schedule interviews on the spot.
  • Because they are already stretched so thin, when you pitch a story to a journalist or broadcast outlet make sure to provide video and image assets. 
  • Monitor what is happening and build trust with your CEO (and external clients). “Be the umbilical cord for the client” and feed them the types of stories that are being covered and what types of stories would be appropriate for the corporation or client.  
  • When communicating during a crisis, you need to have options for different scenarios and situations because things change quickly, so don’t rely on one scenario and be ready to update your pitch based on the latest information. 
  • While email is still the preferred method for reaching journalists and many agree that it has been successful, social media is another tool to reach out to media contacts. Many are overwhelmed with email or aren’t getting calls to their office numbers, so social media is a great way to build a relationship with media contacts. One great tool is Twitter Messaging. Facebook Groups is another tool to look for building relationships with media contacts. Reporters are on social media as much as the rest of us and picking up their ideas there, too. One practitioner has had success reaching journalists through discussion threads on mommy groups and another posted content in three or four “farm to table” Facebook groups which popped up as a result of the media. 

Webinar Marketing

Questions: What advice do practitioners have for marketing webinars to key audiences and charging for them?  Rosen College is offering a webinar to alumni, but wondering if it makes sense to broaden the audience? What are others charging for webinars? 

  • Depending on the purpose of the webinar, if it is for retraining, then focusing on offering to alumni for free is an excellent benefit to alumni who may be in need right now. If it is meant for branding or lead generation, it might be good to open it up to a wider audience of potential students. 
  • Consider charging for non-alumni or non-members and consider giving discounts to target groups. 

Working from Home Tips

  • Block the bottom of glass doors so your dog doesn’t bark whenever somebody walks or drives by.
  • When doing phone meetings, consider taking a walk. Some have found walking meetings very helpful. 
  • Take a break at lunch and get some fresh air!
  • Don’t neglect your self-care. Work out, spend time with your family, eat well. Find your simple joys. It’s too easy to become “on” 24/7 right now, working before sun up and well past sundown… but don’t.
  • Build in some discipline to leave your phone and computer behind after the work day, get enough sleep. Take care of yourself, go outside and walk with your dog.
  • Be intentional about when to turn on and off; when your priorities aren’t in order everything suffers. 
  • Manage expectations of your family, bosses and clients. Be sure to let them all know when you are available… and when you aren’t. Set up some boundaries and let your colleague know that you will be unavailable after a certain time. 

Job Search Support

  • Check PRSA Orlando job board and PRSA National JobCenter.
  • Keep networking. 
  • Stay as flexible as you can, if that means you sidestep into a job that isn’t QUITE PR, or take advantage of this time to update your resume, learn some new technology and fill in the blanks with things you haven’t had time to do. 
  • Consider writing some articles on LinkedIn to be top of mind. Recruiters are still  very active on LinkedIn right now and your keywords will help their search. 
  • UCF is offering a few free basic classes right now – like “creating WordPress sites” that could help add to your skillset.
  • Create a website and/or blog showcasing your work and writing.

Internal Communications/Transitioning Back to the Office

Question: How are others managing internal COVID-19 communications when we are getting mixed messages from political leaders and scientists? What does going back to work look like (provide face masks, hand sanitizer, what’s crossing the line)? And, we have to consider the environment where kids are not going back to school and don’t have access to summer camps…

  • The biggest challenge is making sure our workspace is safe and avoid lawsuits in the future. When is or isn’t it safe to come back to work and can employees continue to work from home if they wish? 
  • Twitter announced they’re allowing their team members to work from home forever! Well, the employees that are able to do their jobs remotely. Which really helps with parents with kids who aren’t in school. Perhaps this will influence many other companies. 
  • Stefanie Macfarlane, who works with attorneys at RumbergerKirk, noted that there are protections for workers with health conditions and parents who lack childcare that those employees can be accommodated to work from home, or in cases where they cannot, qualify for unemployment, but if an employee refuses to go back to work because they are afraid, they may lose their job. According to Employment and Labor Attorney Linda Bond Edwards, “Most importantly, workplaces should pay particular attention to guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other entities that regulate workplace issues. The EEOC has prepared a question and answer document (“What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws”) that answers most employer questions.

PRSA Coffee Break Idea Swap

We held our first Coffee Break Idea Swap on Thursday, April 23. There were about 20 members who joined the virtual meeting and we covered a number of topics. Here’s a recap of what we discussed.

Media Interviews/Press Conference Tips: 

  • When using Zoom or other video conferencing for a press conference or large group, begin the meeting with everyone on mute and have them send questions through chat. You can call on people and unmute them for question/discussion. It’s helpful to have someone moderate the chat to point out things to the moderator (via text or whatever is efficient) that he/she may miss due to hosting. 
  • Facebook Live is a great tool for interacting with audiences. 

Translation of Important Information: 

  • Remember to translate, especially during a crisis. It’s important to communicate in all of the languages of your audience. 

Video Chat Tips:

  • Camera/Blocking: Make sure the lens is as close to eye level as possible. Background should be relevant or interesting, but not distracting. 
  • Lighting: Have light on the subject’s face, not the back. Can be window light or lamp (but don’t sit in front of a window). Light on the eyes is important in how the subject will be viewed. 
  • Mic: use a mic, can be a headset, or your headphones from iphone, just don’t broadcast from the laptop. 
  • Remember to speak to the camera rather than the screen.

Making a Quick Video for Social? Here Are Some Free Tools: 

  • Adobe Spark and Camtasia

Event Cancelations: 

  • Many are moving events to the fall, October/November, but even still there is no definitive point when we can be certain that it is safe or people will feel comfortable with large crowds. 
  • As we plan for events in late summer or fall, many are looking at physical changes that may need to be made to accommodate social distancing measures or consider virtual options. 

Work From Home Tips: 

Decompress at the end of the day – step away from your work station –here are some ideas that were shared: 

  • Take a walk to clear your mind and get fresh air.
  • Enjoy some afternoon tea or coffee break. 
  • Change your view and work on your patio if you can. 
  • Go outside to play with your dog.
  • Put on your calendar the things you are doing that takes you away from work, like schedule your yoga, etc. With WFH, everyone thinks you’re always available. 
  • Cooking can be therapeutic and a nice way to take a break from work. 
  • Take shifts with your spouse with the kids.
  • Make a schedule for the kids (and yourself too).
  • Remind yourself and your team that you still need to take vacation time, even if you have nowhere to go. You need to find opportunities to break away.

Communicating/Handling Email While Working From Home: 

  • Email Management – email is out of control for some of us. While you may just want to delete a lot of them, many offices have moved to tools (chat and project management) for quick questions and conversations: Slack, Trello, Microsoft Teams (internal communications), Monday.com and Wrike. 
  • One participant says she prefers Slack over email to communicate with organizations and welcomes Microsoft Teams over more email. 
  • Look for unique ways to reach out to people as email may not be the best way to reach people right now.
  • Monday.com is easy to tag people with tasks and keep projects separated. One participant said she uses it for freelance clients and projects and it cuts down on email. 

Communicating with Compassion and Standing Out from the Clutter During a Pandemic: 

  • Produce thought leadership content to break through the clutter. 
  • Host Virtual Roundtables for our clients with others in their industry so they can discuss best practices with peers. 
  • Remember that client/brand contacts are human beings, too. Don’t make every communication about work. Check on how they and their families are doing.
  • Consider video requests or send fun e-cards. 
  • Bring clients together and facilitate the conversation as we talk to a variety of organizations and hear more than they may be hearing. 
  • Omni Productions (Orlando) will be offering a free recording session in their studios during the month of May for Central Florida organizations as their way of giving back to the community.

Going Back to Work (in the office)—What are your companies planning at this time? 

While there are still a lot of unknowns about when or how we are going back to work, here’s what some shared: 

  • Be part of the conversation about bringing employees back to work to ensure we are helping communicate concerns and processes. 
  • Going “back to work” will be very gradual and different depending on the organization. Many are looking at what changes will need to be done in the office environment and how many people will be in the office at one time. 
  • Properties are looking at downsizing scenarios as many companies may choose to keep employees remote as it saves money for less office space and is good for the environment. 
  • On the flip side, some employees will want to go back to the office as many extroverts thrive in that environment. 
  • For all the advances in technology we’ve made and by becoming more accepting of WFH, in-person communication is still so important. Though our new world will be much different in the coming months, a return to in-person engagement will be important.

April is APR Month

April is APR Month — but APR Month has nothing to do with Annual Percentage Rates. A second, less recognized, definition for APR is Accreditation in Public Relations.

In the world of communication professionals, Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is a credential earned by public relations practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgment, strategic perspectives, knowledge of best practices and the use of the research planning-implementation-evaluation (RPIE) process.

Unlike other professions (e.g., physicians and attorneys), the field of public relations does not require licensure or certification to practice the craft. But it does require expertise, knowledge and training to be a successful and strategic public relations professional and counselor. The decision to pursue the APR is both personal and professional.

So why should a company or organization care if its public relations employees have earned their APR?

Accreditation is a mark of distinction. The APR is earned through a rigorous process. Practitioners are required to present their knowledge to Accredited peers for review. This is followed by a comprehensive examination that tests candidates’ knowledge of the field. Perhaps most importantly, the credential signifies an understanding and commitment to a Code of Ethics, and ability to think and plan at the strategic level.

In today’s business climate, it is critical that an organization’s public relations function adheres to ethics. The complexities associated with technology, societal change and instantaneous news make ethics more important than ever as the profession matures.

As evidenced in a recent study completed by faculty at Baylor University*, Accredited public relations practitioners possess more confidence in providing ethical counsel to senior leadership than their non-Accredited peers. In today’s business climate, a solid understanding of ethics is critical to an organization’s success.

The public relations field has moved far beyond the stereotype of spin doctors and press agents of the 20th century. Today’s PR practitioners play a vital role in reputation management, crisis communications and issues management. A seasoned public relations pro operates at the strategic level, focusing on target audiences and measurable results, not just flashy media coverage and publicity tactics.

But how do companies and organizations know they are hiring the right person? The APR credential signifies that a professional possesses the competence necessary to operate at a strategic and ethical level in an increasingly complex communications world. Hiring managers and clients who choose Accredited public relations professionals know that they have chosen competent individuals committed to providing strategic and insightful advice and counsel.

Questions about APR? Mimi Flatley, APR — mflatley@tcco.com and Laura Lord-Blackwell, APR — laura.lord@ocfl.net are here to help.

President’s Letter: April 2020

We’re All in this Together

 

I hope this finds you healthy and safe. We all have been personally impacted by COVID-19. 

We have experienced lost lives, sickness, unemployment, pay cuts, business loss, increased workloads and stress. And the list, unfortunately, goes on. But we have also seen numerous heroes, including first responders, nurses, doctors, military personnel, grocery workers, truck drivers and more.

We also have witnessed businesses recreating themselves to assist, people leveraging their talents to sew masks, teachers reaching out virtually to their students, people doing random acts of kindness, and, of course, public relations/communicators providing crisis counsel and keeping their publics informed. And this list, fortunately, goes on.

Our thoughts go out to all of you as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times. It will change our lives forever. However, we’re #orlandostrong. We’re all in this together. 

Your PRSA Orlando Board has come together, virtually of course, to discuss creative ways to continue serving our members, including networking (virtual mixers/socials and idea swaps) and professional development (webinars, resource sharing, tips/advice, mentoring, etc.). Watch for our member survey to gauge your interests and needs. See this newsletter, our website and social media channels for updates.

I’m very proud of our board, members and sponsors that have stepped up during this uncertain time. Thank you for your continued support.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. We will get through this!

If you have questions or ideas, please contact me directly.

Rich Donley, APR

2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter

PRSA Orlando Update Amid COVID-19; March and April PRSA Orlando Programs Canceled

Our thoughts go out to those who are front lines with addressing COVID-19 and all those affected as together we navigate these unprecedented times. 

We have been closely monitoring COVID-19 and keeping up on the recommendations of the CDC and health care professionals about what is in the best interest to protect your health and safety.

As a result, we have canceled our in-person March 19 monthly program, “A Conversation about Corporate Social Responsibility” with Wyndham Destinations and sponsored by The Sunshine Group and our in-person April 16 program, “Redefining Our Region: The Evolution of the Orlando Brand” with the Orlando Economic Partnership.

We plan to reschedule these programs at a later date (TBD). Refunds will be issued. Follow us on social media for additional updates @PRSAOrlando. 

Please be safe! If you have questions or concerns, please contact me.

Rich Donley, APR
2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter

3 things we learned from Netflix’s Strong Black Lead on how to engage a captive audience

By: Veronica Figueroa Fernandez, PRSA Orlando Diversity & Inclusion Chair

“…We’re not a genre, because there’s no one way to be black. […] This is not a moment. This is a movement. We are Strong Black Leads. Today is A Great Day in Hollywood.”

Two years ago, Netflix debuted a commercial spot during the 2018 BET Awards celebrating black actors, directives and the creatives who work for the streaming giant. Directed by Lacey Duke, the video was titled “A Great Day in Hollywood,” taking inspiration from the 1958 photo “A Great Day In Harlem,” a black-and-white photograph of 58 jazz musicians in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

Narrated by “Stranger Things” star Caleb McLaughlin, the video features 47 artists including Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Ava DuVernay, Lena Waithe, Spike Lee, and Alfre Woodard, among others. The video spot launched Netflix’s Strong Black Lead campaign, designed to foster an “ongoing, intentional focus to talk authentically with the black audience.”

Enriching conversations about race and identity are occupying a vital place in today’s culture. In honor of Black History Month, PRSA Orlando would like to celebrate the pioneers leading the charge in creating original content with a strong black identity that reflects its viewers by discussing the lessons we learned from Netflix’s Strong Black Lead campaign.

1. Give black creatives a seat at the table.

When Myles Worthington, manager of brand and editorial at Netflix, first arrived at Netflix in 2016, he noticed that the company’s black stories were not being significantly promoted. He then began connecting with African American media outlets and journalists through a monthly newsletter to build a network. He quickly began to see an increase in coverage of these Netflix features and the campaign grew from there.

If your team is looking to attract and engage today’s black consumers without including their voice in the room, your campaign won’t resonate culturally or experientially.

Based on research conducted by Cloverpop, inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87 percent of the time. And according to Nielsen, black consumer brand loyalty is contingent upon a brand’s perception as authentic and culturally relevant. And with African Americans spending $1.2 trillion annually, brands have a lot to lose when they are not authentic or inclusive in their decision-making.

2. Use social media to engage with your audience.

Netflix’s Strong Black Lead Twitter account is overseen by Maya Watson Banks, Netflix’s director of brand and editorial, and a team of black creatives who share a passion for Netflix’s stories and content. The Twitter account has amassed over 119,000 followers because of the authentic language in which they engage with their followers, from sharing excitement over a character or a new series to celebrating the importance of representation during award shows.

Research from Nielsen shows us that black consumers are speaking directly to brands in unprecedented ways and achieving headline-making results. It reads that throughout 2017, popular brands witnessed the power of “Black Twitter” and the brand impact of socially conscious black consumers.

For those unfamiliar with Black Twitter, it is a virtual community and movement that consists of a diverse group of black Twitter users connecting on a variety of issues related to the experience of being black.

3. Focus on your audience’s social footprint.

Strong Black Lead has expanded its presence beyond its Twitter feed to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even a branded podcast series. The first season of Strong Black Lead launched in February 2019, focused on Strong Black Legends, honoring and showcasing Hollywood icons such as Ruth Carter, Loretta Devine, and Jason Weaver. The second season, Strong Black Laughs, premiered in November 2019 bringing together the black champions of comedy, including Mike Epps, Marlon Wayans, and Nicole Byer.

4. Connecting with your audience authentically takes time.

Should your brand have a presence on every platform? What is the most popular social network for your audience?

Building a successful marketing campaign that authentically connects with black audiences takes time, but it is possible. Focus your marketing dollars on where your audience is and do not sacrifice quality for uninspired content that does not resonate. Marketers must be willing to do the research, understand and embrace their audience, and most importantly, ensure there is enough representation and inclusion at the decision-making level.

International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference

The University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media is hosting the annual International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference and announces a new Ph.D. program in Strategic Communication. 

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ICRCC features presentations, workshops and panel discussions on strategic crisis communication issues, case studies, best practices and emerging trends, presented by a unique combined lineup of top practitioner professionals and prominent academics from around the world. The event will be held in downtown Orlando on March 9-11, 2020. Learn more.

Strategic Communication Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Strategic Communication offers advanced instruction in health communication, instructional emergency risk communication, and crisis communication; it prepares students with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a successful, advanced career in communication and related fields in both academic and applied settings.

The applied nature of research and theory in the program concentrations prepares students for career success in non-academic and professional settings. For example, the instructional communication courses provide students with strategies to communicate with the public on issues of health and crisis-related topics. Much of health, risk, and crisis communication involves instructing the public on issues such as safer-sex, disease management, preparedness for natural disasters, and other important issues related to the health and well-being of Florida residents, as well as national and international publics.  For more information, visit UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media, or or contact Kelsey Loftus.