It’s the Novitas Book List!

It’s the Novitas Book List!

Today we’re taking you on a tour of our top ten books for the summer. From leadership to communications advice to beach reads, hopefully we’ve unearthed a little something for everyone. Some of these are old, some of these are new, but we’re excited to offer our recommendations. Read on and let us know if you have any suggestions or additions! We’re voracious readers and want to hear from you! Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance Hillbilly Elegy is a remarkable and personal memoir about growing up in flyover country and the social and regional experiences of America’s white working class. For many, President Trump’s election was a wake-up call. If you’re still looking for answers on why it happened and the deeper cultural shifts taking place in America, here’s where you should start. “As a cultural emigrant from one group to the other, I am acutely aware of their differences. Sometimes I view members of the elite with an almost primal scorn—recently, an acquaintance used the word “confabulate” in a sentence, and I just wanted to scream. But I have to give it to them: Their children are happier and healthier, their divorce rates lower, their church attendance higher, their lives longer. These people are beating us at our own damned game.”   Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito The world is changing faster than it ever has at any other point in human history. All the rules that we’ve lived and worked by for the past 50 years, much less the past millennia, are being overturned....
The Changing Landscape of Strategic Communications

The Changing Landscape of Strategic Communications

Where is the communications industry headed? And how can PR professionals and businesses stay ahead of the curve? We’ve laid out the top four changes in strategic communications. Industry Consolidation Like the rest of the global economy, the public relations and communications industry is consolidating. The rise of the solopreneur, virtual firms, and firms comprised of freelancers mean there are more firms than ever to choose from. PR professionals are being pushed more and more to quantify the value of public relations. This is a huge value-add for any company seeking out a PR or communications firm. A high-quality firm can – and should – be able to differentiate itself from the pack through clear deliverables and tangible results. PESO model The introduction of social media and access to better data has led to wide-scale adaptation of the PESO model. If you aren’t already aware, PESO stands for Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media. Quality PR practitioners, especially senior leadership, float effortlessly through these four content channels. As newsrooms are being further decimated by dwindling bottom lines, industry networks and interest groups are creating their own media channels for niche audiences. In the past few years, these niches have narrowed even more through the use of influencer marketing. A public relations expert knows to aim for the channels that will drive the most sales, not just the ones that reach the most people. Cause Marketing A growing number of companies are engaging in cause marketing, aligning themselves for or against a cause. Benefits include greater publicity and improved customer relations which in turn lands more sales. However, depending on...
Reputation Management – What Is It and Why You Should Do It

Reputation Management – What Is It and Why You Should Do It

Technology has made the world a much smaller place than it used to be. Before social media and the invention of the Internet, a company’s reputation was based on primarily local reception and word-of-mouth within the community. Now, a 24/7 media cycle and fast-paced social media environment have raised the stakes. This is a double-edged sword. Terrible, unethical companies can finally get the boot. But good companies also can have their reputation dragged through the mud. And once you’re in the mud, it’s an uphill battle to get clean again in the eyes of the public. Take a great example from Taco Bell back in 2011. The fast food joint faced heavy scrutiny over claims that their “seasoned beef” was actually only 35% real beef. It went public and the backlash was severe. Even though the suit was dropped soon after, the company was still left reeling in the aftermath of such negative coverage. Their reputation had taken a serious hit. Kudos to the PR professionals over at Taco Bell who devised this ad campaign as a response. The “Would it kill you to say you’re sorry?” campaign included full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and other local papers. Few companies can afford such a huge paid media push, however, and often it’s not worth the effort to draw so much attention to negative news. Instead, companies need to think strategically about how they manage their reputation. Have a stockpile of goodwill Reputation management isn’t just responding to bad publicity when it happens. It’s preventing it in the first place. Build up your company reputation as...
Best Practices in Community Engagement

Best Practices in Community Engagement

As a firm, Novitas is experienced and adept at building community engagement campaigns, especially surrounding issues facing the energy industry. Novitas founder Michelle Lyng was recently asked to present best practices for community engagement for other PR professionals at the Public Relations Society of America’s 2018 Western Regional Conference along with Janice Rooney from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lee Boughey from Tri-State, and Rick Curtsinger from Cloud Peak Energy. This blog is adapted from her presentation. Although this presentation originally focused on the energy industry (our home base of Colorado employs over 200,000 people in energy!), these best practices for community engagement apply across all industries. — Industry innovation means that companies around the world are growing faster than ever before and community engagement offers powerful opportunities to empathize, educate, and engage with key stakeholders. Energy production – or any other big industry project or effort  – can sometimes seem sudden and startling to communities. With appropriate communication and preparation, entering a new community can present an opportunity to forge new relationships and deepen existing relationships. Over the past four years, Novitas has worked to encourage community engagement from David vs. Goliath grassroots initiatives here in Colorado to sustainable energy efforts in Puerto Rico.  We’ve built our company around the belief that, regardless of the industry, positive engagement with communities helps to establish trust, build respect and understanding, and open lines of communication. So, what does community engagement look like? At the highest level, any communication framework should identify, involve, and inform the community about ongoing projects. Companies can start by: Building or identifying their group of key...
I Don’t Need PR (and Other Misconceptions)

I Don’t Need PR (and Other Misconceptions)

  Occasionally, we are brought into a crisis communications situation. Some are minor, but others are pretty major and threaten a business’ ability to operate. Once the dust settles, too often the CEO or communications leader reflects and says, “We were keeping our head down, performing well for our clients and, then, we were blindsided by this issue. I didn’t think we needed public relations.” The truth is that almost every business needs public relations before they need public relations. Here are five misconceptions about public relations that we hear – and our response. We have nothing to spin. Hold up. Stop right there. There is a misconception that public relations professionals “spin” information. That’s false. If you’re doing it right, it’s really about radical transparency and showing your audiences who you really are and what you stand for. It should never be about pretending to be something you’re not simply because you think that’s what people want to hear. The public sees through spin and they’re looking for companies and their executives to be human and to walk the walk. If your actions don’t align with the messaging you’re distributing to the public, you will lose credibility. United Airlines is a great example. Need we say more? People who need to know, know we’re great. At some point, your company must expand beyond your network, beyond your clients, beyond your friends. It’s critical to create new communications channels. That’s where public relations can play a role. A quote attributed to a former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee sums up PR as “…PR is getting someone else to say you’re...