Why Coaching Is More Important Than Ever for Clients and Agencies

Gotham PR Principal, Courtney Lukitsch talks the importance of having a coach.

With coaching assuming such a prominent position alongside mentoring within the realm of public relations and strategic media consulting, the relevance of on-the-job education is an important topic. The fact that Millennial teams want a coach at work—not a boss—is well documented.

Read the full article, here.

A Triple Public Relations Crisis Draws Attention to Navigating Avoidable Blunders

prcrisis.jpgThe Public Relations community was on fire last week, and not necessarily in a positive way. Both industry giants and public figures, Pepsi, United Airlines and White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, committed cardinal PR sins of epic proportion.

The Guardian spotlights these perfectly avoidable blunders. In the world of social media, there is no mistake that goes unnoticed. Everything is documented, posted, shared and studied. For each case, though all quite different, every instance gave way to missteps that were not only absurd, but absolutely avoidable.

Gotham PR  principal, Courtney Lukitsch, illuminates the golden rule of PR; do not say or do anything that you don’t want broadcasted, and if by some reason there is a slip up, take immediate responsibility. Additionally, Lukitsch emphasizes that you must have the emotional intelligence to understand how your audience will feel and react to each unique situation. Something all three entities would have been wise to remember.

Lukitsch continues to warn against the possible troubles that come with “jumping on the band wagon” and the errors that can occur when a company misjudges their audience, or at least their reaction.

In moving forward, it is imperative to remember that communication is 24/7 and attention must be paid to every detail. The best way to course correct for the future, is to prevent issues from ever materializing.

Read the full article, here.

Relative Space – a Reinvention

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An industry leader in the flooring business, Relative Space, and Gotham PR client, is ready for the New Year. As an exciting brand relaunch takes off, the eco-friendly flooring company is ready to share their impeccable work via a new website and updated social media outlets.

With the reintroduction of the company newsletter and a genius reinvention of Relative Space branding, it is clear that expectations are high for 2017.

Visit Relative Space on facebook as well as their new site, here for a glimpse into the sustainable company’s news updates and revolutionizing work.

A+I Designs New Squarespace Headquarters with Productivity at the Forefront

sqA+I, Gotham PR client and mastermind behind Squarespace’s new Manhattan headquarters, have dared to create a space that will foster both innovation and collaboration.

By designing an office that encourages open communication as well as productivity, the sophisticated space revolutionizes the way day-to-day work is done. By bringing to light the importance of the environment you spend your work day in, the headquarters may be paving the way for what’s to come.

Read the full article at Entrepreneur, here.

PR Pros as Compelling Content Providers in 2017

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As we dive into 2017 at Gotham PR, it becomes apparent that we as an industry are becoming more selective of the content we share. Whether tweeting, posting or blasting, the need for meaningful information and compelling content is greater than ever before.

We are in the midst of transformation within the PR industry globally, where leading practitioners are not just a brand’s primary storyteller and distiller of data—but essential business drivers through compelling content creation and distribution.

By planning ahead and harnessing new technologies, strategies, networks, multidisciplinary practices and quantifiable reporting formats—PR will effectively lead the global business change in 2017.

View the complete article, published in Bulldog Reporter, here.

Client Relationship Perspectives: How to Hire and Fire a PR Client

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By Courtney Lukitsch, Founder and Principal, Gotham PR

September represents new beginnings in the world of PR and marketing around the globe, an exciting time for repositioning brands, launching new ventures and kicking off seasonal event series.

Many an annual retainer campaign is initiated in the month of September, for obvious, quarterly fiscal planning reasons. Leading up to and in tandem with this exciting timeframe, is the need to advance assess how and when to hire or fire an agency client.

This may be conducted through a system of reverse engineering and analysis based on desired outcomes for both the agency and the client and can be broken down into the following considerations:

  • Monthly Planning
  • Daily Communication
  • Weekly Parameters for Success
  • Tools to Achieve Goals
  • Defining Results

The smartest firms will budget accordingly—based upon billable hours and the inevitable over-servicing that goes into making most campaigns successful from a Marketing, PR, and new business development standpoint.

According to Growth Force, it is more cost effective to hire an agency, client-side. Likewise, it is most cost effective for an agency to fire a client rather than hire a new team member to carry the added workload.

The relationship is 100% correlated. The benefits can be measured on a 1:1 ratio. In fact, the impact a good PR partner will make can drive the business client-side for years, through high profile press coverage and marketing and partnership introductions, not to mention leads pre-identified toward new business development that result in contracts.

Conversely, when communication begins to deteriorate between client and agency, usually around the 6-month mark, it is time to evaluate what each team wishes to accomplish beyond that juncture—assuming there is an annual contract in place. It is important to frankly open the dialogue in meetings, rather than try to manage it over email communication. Given the intense pace of most workplaces, nuance, meaning, and tonality are often lost, unless the agency sits down with C-level executives or Principals client-side.

According to experts at both Entrepreneur and PR Daily, the 7 reasons PR professionals should fire a client include:

  • Micromanagement by a client that results in reductive agency outcomes
  • The PR team develops a visceral reaction to a mention of the client’s name
  • Clients never ask your professional opinion, even though that’s why they hired an agency
  • The agency-client relationship is not based in a mutual respect
  • Playing the blame game when it relates to budget when the issue usually stems from the client over spending, or not having a viable PR budget to begin with
  • The client is unresponsive for weeks, even up to a month, and then claims— via email rather than in person or by telephone—that the agency is “checked out” of their responsibilities or deliverables
  • Agency begins to hesitate when promoting the client’s service, product, or point of view with national media—due to lack of belief in client’s integrity or actual ability to deliver on results

As many agencies wisely plan their annual calendars long in advance, prospective clients are often surprised to learn, for example, that the following year’s roster is already confirmed four months before the new year. The smartest PR firms are highly selective in the manner they interview, pre-qualify and hire, or sign new client contracts. Clients are vetted in advance by an agency in the same way the agency must prove its merits, beyond reputation, for offering the highest level of service, value-add network of professional contacts, and global media coverage to the perspective clients.

It also comes as news to clients that they will need to dedicate a serious number of hours conducting positioning audits to help drive new business and storytelling strategies, hiring in-house talent, as well as undergoing media training and lengthy editorial interviews, photo shoots, and video work on camera.

This is to underscore that the Marketing PR relationship is a full time job, not an outsourced vendor relationship. A red flag scenario is one where a prospective client, that has not pre-researched a given agency’s specialization, calls to say, “We need your media contacts and will do the rest.” That is never true. If the skill set is already there, why would they have need of an agency in the first place?

Interesting insight is offered by First Round Review and an entrepreneur that heralds experience with 50 PR firms throughout her career. She hones in on the pressing PR concerns of today’s client looking for an agency partnership: finding the right firm and strategy to tell your story and drive the perception of the overall business.

Her knowledge and experience denotes criteria to consider when identifying and prospectively hiring a PR agency might include the following:

  • They are the right size for where you are today as an organization
  • The firm knows your industry and are deeply passionate about it
  • They have the ability to secure specific types of press
  • The firm’s locality is right (city, state, country, time zone)
  • The firm’s overall temperament and team personalities are a fit (this cannot be emphasized enough)
  • You both know what success looks like first (this goes back to reverse engineering)
  • Once you narrow your decision, client and media references support your decision
  • You are willing and able to collaborate with your PR team to establish metrics for success

An established and emerging mix of global clients on roster for 15 years allows us to offer the above insights from both the agency and client perspective. The art, or real “magic,” of the collaboration emerges when the relationship is healthy. Getting results is the easy part, the people management that happens in between is where the communication skills and educational value-add, truly reside.

View the complete article via Bulldog Reporter, here.

This piece was contributed by Courtney Lukitsch, founder and principal at Gotham PR in New York and London with clients in 25 cities globally. In 2017, the agency celebrates its 15th year in business. It represents Gotham Public Relations’ ongoing published series of articles and forthcoming book focused on Client and Agency-side challenges to provide evolving solutions inside the global workplace.

Gotham PR: PR Professionals as Leading Entrepreneurs

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PR pros’ jobs today are both multidisciplinary and business oriented; thus requiring essential entrepreneurial skills.

To grow as an entrepreneur, PR pros need to learn business development strategies, including cultivating a culture of innovation, fostering decision-making acumen, mastering client-side negotiating and sophisticated communication skills, training emerging PR pros through mentorship, and promoting the industry as a whole.

A boutique PR agency located in SOHO, Manhattan, Gotham PR has developed some insight as to how PR professionals should think strategically as entrepreneurs in 2016 and beyond.

To see the full article about how to succeed as a PR entrepreneur, please visit PR News here.

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