Talks for PR professonals

UNTJ4460- PR Communication

SXSW is this week and I wish with everything in my heart that I was there. Not for the music or the movies or the parties, but for all of the interactive sessions. There are so many great brands and professionals in all industries that a speaking on their successes and insights in industries from beauty, to film, to P.R. to technology. This year SXSW will live-stream a lot more of their keynotes addresses. Until then, I decided to take a look at some TED talks that are meant to inspire public relations professionals.

The article 5 TED talks to inspire the PR and marketing professional, Rowley Cubitt lists five talks that do just that.

I chose to watch Tim Leberetch’s talk on how brands can give up some control in order to have better relationships with employees and customers. The Occupy movement showed us how easy it is for a company to lose control of its message.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.24.05 PM
Credit: Slideshare by Karianne Stinson, social media manager at

With Bezos’ quote in mind Leberetch offers advice on how brands can take control of their message:

  1. Giving employees and customers more control
  2. Giving people less control, and therefore more meaningful experiences
  3. Staying true to themselves

Examples of giving others more control can be news organizations giving views the opportunity to be citizen journalists like CNN’s iReport. The same can be said for Radiohead’s album In Rainbows, which they allowed, fans to decide how much they wanted to pay for the album. Patagonia told customers not to buy new products, and instead encouraged them to buy their products used.

An example of giving people less control can be seen in the company Nextpedition, which takes customers on a journey, but doesn’t tell them where they are going until the last minute. Frog, Leberetch’s company puts on employee speed meeting events to encourage employees to meet new and old colleges and develop relationships with people that they otherwise would not meet cooped up in their cubicles.

In giving up control, companies still need to understand that they need to be true to themselves. Being open is good, but being too open is not good. If everyone can see all your vulnerabilities, then it would be hard for you to get anything done.

Public relations professionals can take Leberetch’s advice to heart when thinking of when coming up with ideas on how to connect with different publics, whether that be employees or customers.


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