Need Help Growing your Tech Start Up?

 

SourceCode Featured in Small Business Daily

Small Business Daily singled out SourceCode Communications as agency to check out if you're looking for growth communications strategies for your technology start up. See the full piece at the link below. Thanks for the love, Rieva!

https://www.smallbizdaily.com/focus-best-practices-content-marketing-businesses/


SourceCode's Becky Honeyman Featured in The Observer

 

Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo’s Apology Ads Don’t Get the Job Done

The Observer spoke with Managing Partner Becky Honeyman about the effectiveness of companies releasing apology ads to make amends with consumers from a PR crisis communications perspective.

https://observer.com/2018/05/facebook-uber-wells-fargo-ad-campaigns-apologies/


PRC Diversity & Inclusion Action Pledge

 

SourceCode signs PRC Diversity & Inclusion Action Pledge

At SourceCode, near and dear to our hearts is the value of diversity of our team, the way we think and the experiences we all have. We believe a diverse team and an open and welcoming culture is not only the right thing to do, but the way to provide better client service. From this position, we assure you we'll never waiver. Thus, we're excited to sign the Diversity and Inclusion Pledge by our friends at the PR Council. The full pledge we signed is below.

-Greg & Becky

Diversity and Inclusion is a priority of the PR Council (PRC) and its Member agencies. The PRC, along with our Member agencies pledge that in 2018, we will continue to increase our efforts in building and promoting greater diversity and inclusion in our industry. We aim to create cultures of inclusivity where professionals of all backgrounds— race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or age —are supported and encouraged.

The PRC has been and remains committed to creating resources, providing tools and holding informative seminars like unconscious bias trainings to foster productive and inclusive conversations around these issues. With this pledge, we encourage agencies to learn from and work together through one another’s accomplishments and missteps, by sharing best practices.

Outlined below is our Member Agencies’ commitment to the industry.

  1. We will make our organizations a place where all employees feel safe, valued, welcomed and included. We will celebrate our employees’ differences, and create open dialogue and foster environments to encourage trust and inclusion among peers. We will encourage collaboration and shared learning among our employees.

  2. We will inform our employees about our company’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategies through ongoing communication, and encouraged participation in events and initiatives.

  3. We will strive to provide mandatory D&I and/or unconscious bias trainings (webinars, workshops, e-learning, etc.) to educate our employees. This can include free webinar trainings that the PR Council and other industry bodies, including the Arthur Paige Society and the PRSA Foundation, have provided.

  4. We will work collaboratively with other agencies to share our experiences and will participate in the PRC Diversity Census to track industry progress. We will provide details on our successes and our missteps, to keep the conversations honest and relevant.

  5. We will strive to recruit and retain diverse talent within our organizations at each level. We will work with and proactively engage outside organizations and programs, including higher education institutions, affinity groups, professional organizations, etc., to foster diverse talent. We will strive to widen our networks and continue to diversify the outside sources we tap into.

  6. We will commit to having our agency leadership teams (SVP and above) establish targets to make meaningful change on an annual basis.


National Stress Awareness Month in PR

 

National Stress Awareness Month: Remember that it's PR Not ER

This year, the role of PR executive was, once again, ranked in the nine most stressful jobs in the US. To industry professionals this is no surprise. With the stress brought on by unrealistic client demands, tight deadlines, press rejection and long hours, it’s a job the practitioner really needs to love in order to find happiness and be successful.

As someone who loves PR, and in honor of National Stress Awareness Month, here are some tips for finding happiness and managing stress in PR:

Work-life balance. Arguably the most important tip is to maintain your work-life balance as best possible. Between urgent deadlines and needy clients, public relations can be very time-consuming. With clients located all over the world, your to-do list can easily consume your nights and weekends if you let it. Continuous work with no breaks or vacations can make people feel blocked and distracted, leading to having problems concentrating. Surveys show almost three-quarters of people who vacation regularly feel energized and more ready to tackle the tasks at hand. The data shows giving your brain a rest will help prevent burning out and increase the effectiveness of your working hours. Even better, more than 70% of people reported feeling more satisfied with their jobs when they took regular vacations.

Unlimited PTO is another trend that I’ve seen cause internal turmoil among my peers. Many are afraid to take PTO as they feel they may be judged or they aren’t sure how much is considered acceptable by their company. No one is going to object to you taking a long weekend every so often to spend time with family and friends. But please do not check email! When you’re off, you’re off or you’ll never achieve the balance!

We are all guilty of working through lunch, but we really need to eat with the computer closed. I am a huge fan of taking the time to surf social media during lunch but some might find it more stress relieving to get out of the office for a walk or coffee. Spring is almost here which makes for a great outside lunch break with coworkers--people who get the stress!

At SourceCode, we clearly state our working hours in all our client contracts. This sets the tone from the beginning that we’re at your service between 9:00am and 5:00pm. This burnout prevention also means taking breaks during the day and taking time off!

Don’t sweat the small stuff and highlight the great. As my previous boss used to say, it’s PR not ER. If we miss a deadline or a reporter moves a meeting, no one dies. The client might be angry, but that can be remedied.  Do your best, learn from your mistake and keep moving forward.

While it’s easy to focus on the negative, you should also pay attention to the positive. Keep things that make you happy and store them in a folder--positive client feedback, stellar media hits or even funny things your coworkers say. My former colleague used to keep a document of the funniest moments from work and it always made me smile and reminded me why I do PR.

At SourceCode, we have a Slack channel specifically created for bragging rights. This dual-purpose channel keeps everyone apprised of the good work their colleagues are doing while also gives team members a little recognition. We all like a little pat on the back, don’t we?

Find an industry that you love. The best thing about PR is that every industry brand needs communication, so I strongly recommend that you find a PR firm that works within a field you’re interested in. For instance, I am in love with the advertising technology industry--I read the trades, even on the weekends. It’s the most fascinating topic to me, and therefore, that’s where the majority of my clients live. Choosing a specialty keeps you happy AND makes you an expert, which makes you more valuable. Don't be a jack of all trades, master of none. Find a sector that makes you want to get up in the morning.

Although public relations can be stressful, with some days are tougher than others, it can also be a really fun and rewarding career path. You can work with global brands, senior level brand marketers and top tier journalists - a surefire path to becoming a stone cold PR warrior!

Fellow practitioners, please share with us some ways that you manage stress!


SourceCode's Becky Honeyman Quoted in Adweek

 

Why WPP’s Cryptic Handling of Martin Sorrell’s Resignation Is the Wrong Move

SourceCode co-founder and managing partner, Becky Honeyman, was quoted in Patrick Coffee's piece around WPP handling of Martin Sorrell’s resignation on Adweek. Her excerpt below!

“Given the circumstances, there was no ‘good outcome’ here for WPP,” said PR consultant Becky Honeyman, managing partner at New York’s SourceCode Communications. “From the perspective of an outside observer, WPP operated very much by the book from the moment the allegations were made public.”

Honeyman added that there were “clear attempts at transparency during the investigation” as evidenced “by sharing client and employee communications.” But that’s where the attempts ended. “The statement, ‘the allegation did not involve amounts that are material,’ at its conclusion has exposed them to attack from some in the U.K. for a lack of transparency,” Honeyman said.

To read the full piece please visit Adweek at https://www.adweek.com/agencies/why-wpps-cryptic-handling-of-martin-sorrells-resignation-is-the-wrong-move/


A Plea to The Next PR Generation

 

3 skills the next generation of PR pros must cultivate

As the media landscape changes, PR pros must adapt.

Client’s communication desires are progressing meaning that agencies are starting to expand services for broader communication value.

The typical skills of a PR practitioner range from content creation and executive coaching to media relations and research. However, the days of relying on earned media relations are gone. While press releases and SEO are, of course, still relevant, incorporating creative images and video have proven to greatly increase engagement. It’s imperative for entry level candidates to develop these assets to see success with their clients.

To read the full piece from SourceCode's Senior Account Executive Caroline Yodice, please visit PR Daily here.


The times, they are a changing…

 

SourceCode co-founder Becky Honeyman on Brands Taking a Political Stance

Just over a year ago I was at a PR Council debate about the outcome of the 2016 election, the rise of ‘fake news’ and the role of brands in trying to grab back some of the trust that had been eroded throughout. One data point in particular struck me as odd back then - a consumer survey showed that the majority of Americans did not want their most loved brands getting involved in politically charged debates. As a comms professional I found this strange - we talk a great deal with our clients about the importance of brand values and identity, and we counsel them to take a stand on debates that truly matter to them.

Anyone who knows me knows that brand purpose and standing for things we believe (as citizens and corporations) is incredibly close to my heart, so this discussion rattled around in my mind for months afterwards. Were we missing the point when it came to all things politics? And how were consumers deciding what constituted ‘political’ when it seemed almost everything could be up for debate?

Just a few weeks ago, I attended the reprise of the PR Council’s debate - keen to see one year on what had changed. The data point that had so engaged me over a year ago had swung significantly in the opposite direction. Rather than the traditional American ‘let’s keep politics out of this’, consumers were clamoring for the brands they love to take a stand on the issues close to their heart. More than this, it became very clear that brands were increasingly pulled into social and political debates whether they like it or not, and those that try to sidestep the debate are no longer applauded. And organizations that do take a stand are seeing immediate brand equity improvements, and importantly, a positive impact to revenue. The risk/benefit equation of saying nothing is changing. Research from Sprout Social last month confirmed this shift - finding that two thirds of consumers no longer want the brands they use and identify with to stay silent on social and political issues.

The times do indeed feel like they’re changing. We’ve long seen purpose-driven brands like the wonderful Ben & Jerry’s marching, campaigning, donating and supporting the causes they hold dear but we’re seeing this phenomenon spread before our eyes. Last night I watched with (I’m not going to deny it) a tear in my eye, as brands that I would have placed on the conservative edge of the corporate world, began to take a stand on a highly divisive issue. First, the First National Bank of Omaha announced it was cutting ties with the NRA. Within the hour I saw tweets from Enterprise, Alamo and National confirming they too were ending their NRA member discount.

Social media reacted immediately. Some people commented that they would take their business elsewhere but statements from the businesses announcing the decision each explained that it was driven by and in response to their own customer feedback. In what can only have been the tensest of boardroom discussions, each of these brands took a stand to side with their existing customers at the risk of losing others. I hope and expect this trend to continue as we see consumer dollars increasingly spent with social impact in mind, and brands responding in kind. As they say, with great power come great responsibility - but we’re finally seeing consumers demand to understand who they’re purchasing from as people. Bring it on.


Highlights from Growth Marketing Conference

 

Check out the highlights of December's Global Growth Marketing Conference 2017 with SourceCode co-founder Greg Mondshein

Please see the full video here. 


Preparing for Entrepreneurship

 

Key Takeaways from SourceCode co-founder Becky Honeyman's Interview with Marlow

Last week, I participated in a Facebook Live interview with Marlow, a career design platform, about launching SourceCode Communications earlier this year with Greg.  Entrepreneurism can be a scary undertaking but we’ve been surrounded with endless support. During this process we’ve discovered what an amazing community of entrepreneurs and supporters we have in our network. Because of this experience, I want to give back by sharing the lessons I’ve learned in my career, how I knew it was time to launch a business, and how I prepared for the entrepreneurial leap of faith.

Here are some key takeaways I highlighted in the interview for professionals thinking about taking the leap:

Do your homework. Make sure you really know what you’re getting into, and make sure you have the support - emotional and financial - to be able to do it. There are some many other things to worry about - whether you can pay your rent is not one that should be clouding your judgement. When we decided to start the company, we began by looking at the commercial data - worked out our vision, our commercial goals and really what we wanted to do differently to every other agency. We spent a lot of time working through the financials,the operational stuff, the resourcing as well as the more exciting, creative things like working with designers on logos and websites. And then, we worked out our own financials. Everything we knew about starting your own business told us the fairly decent salaries we had been used to were unlikely in the near term at least so we had to make sure we had enough saved, squirreled away to help us through the early days.

Consider a partner. With my partner, we have a ying/yang thing going on which serves us incredibly well. We’re both enormously ambitious and driven but our skill sets are different and complementary. Where i tend to overthink and overly analytical - always wanting to consider a challenge from every perspective, my partner is much more keen to take a leap. Between us we have a good combination of considered and confident.  Even when we drive each other mad, and as opposites we do, it’s so much better to have someone to share your concerns.

Outsource what you can so you can focus on what’s important. When you’re starting a business, you’re not going to want to spend time looking at spreadsheets to determine taxes, experiences, benefits, etc. One of the things I’m most thankful for is finding platforms to help us with accounting and HR functions. Taking those things off our plate has allowed us to concentrate on the business while not having to worry that the business isn’t being taxes correctly or that our first employee isn’t being paid this week.

When Greg and I were first thinking about doing this we spoke with a guy who had set up his own business a year or so ago and I remember asking him at what point you stop worrying. He deadpanned me and said, “You know, it’s a bit like breaking your leg. You heal, but the pain never really goes away.”

At the time I laughed but it’s true. When we talk to industry peers about where we are just a few months in, we are regularly told that we are doing brilliantly but for us it will never be quite good enough. We can always do better.

Starting SourceCode always feels like a good decision especially with our quick growth and early industry recognition.. Even on the crappiest days, I am glad it’s our crappy day.

To see the whole interview, visit Marlow’s video here.


The Art of Contributed Content

 

How to promote your organization without drawing editorial ire

It’s very tempting to try and get promotional content into your thought leadership piece.

However, whether it’s data from your platform or a plug for your service, editors will cut it—or worse—it will cause the publication to reject the piece completely.

To read the full piece from SourceCode's Senior Account Executive Caroline Yodice please visit PR Daily here.