25 Years of Change: Stephenson Group Public Relations Silver Anniversary
PR agency shares five tips for success based on quarter century of innovation
NATIONAL (October – 2012) Twenty five years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the end of the Cold War, the average cost of a new house was $92,000, the Atari 7800 game station was the rage, “The Simpsons” debuted on television, and a new public relations agency, Stephenson Group, was launched.
While the cold war and $92,000 new-construction homes are largely memories, Stephenson Group continues to thrive, with a network of three nationally-focused offices in the East Coast, West Coast and Pacific Northwest regions. Under the leadership of founder and CEO Ann Stephenson and President and CIO Richard Strasburg, the communications agency has served some of the leading names in the financial services, technology, energy, and not-for-profit sectors.
“As much as the tools of the trade in public relations have changed over the past twenty five years, the core principles of strategic communications and two-way interaction for our clients are as vital as ever,” Ann Stephenson commented. “While top public relations agencies today may have replaced typewriters and rolodexes with laptops and smart phones, and social media dialogue has done away with paper news releases, effective communications counsel will never become outdated.”
“We specialize in delivering critically useful media and market intelligence and while research tools have changed dramatically over the past quarter century, the call for thought leadership and strategic data has not,” Richard Strasburg added. “Old research techniques involved filtering endless pages of print; today we utilize leading web, social media and related research, tracking and measurement tools to provide fast, actionable information for our clients.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Stephenson Group, the agency’s team has put together a silver edition list of key communications tips that will stand the test of time for another quarter century of smart public relations strategies. These tips are designed to look beyond flavor-of-the-month how-to’s, and encourage executives and entrepreneurs to think strategically about their business and supporting long-term media relations efforts.
THE SILVER LIST: TODAY’S PR TIPS FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS
- Think like your constituents
Good communication isn’t about your product, service or company; it’s about your marketplace, investors, partners, or other key audience. Your communications should address their concerns, not tout yours. Communicate from the perspective of how their problem will be solved, their productivity increased, and other key concerns.
- The medium is not the message
To paraphrase the great communications philosopher, Marshall Luhan: don’t rely on new technology or bells and whistles to make your message compelling. Content is what matters. Whether it’s today’s infographic or tomorrow’s nuclear-propelled content device, if the information isn’t valuable, don’t bother delivering it.
- Have a dime ready
So you’ll always be ready to stop and turn on that little coin. Communications, like business and life, is a matter of constant change. Your public relations plan should be written in malleable material, ready for adaptation at a moment’s notice. If you haven’t changed your business model or public relations tactics, then you are probably missing opportunities.
- Details matter
Communicating a big-picture idea is exciting, but a wary marketplace wants to see a steady stream of success, progress, issues addressed and details well-detailed, before they start to assign credibility and trust to you. It is not an overnight process, but once you have credibility with your marketplace, you have a foundation for success.
- Ideas are everywhere
Just as penicillin was discovered from inelegant mold, so do new ways of communicating appear right under your nose; sometimes in disguise, other times in plain view. Don’t get stuck in a rut; spend a part of each day reading and looking at your marketplace, competitors—indeed, the world—to discover fresh ways of communicating.
ABOUT STEPHENSON GROUP
Founded in 1987, Stephenson Group is a national, full-service public relations firm with global affiliates and US offices in Oregon, California and the Greater New York City area. Stephenson Group works with Fortune 500 companies, and the emerging stars of tomorrow’s global economy. It has a proven track record of business and media results for its clients, helping to secure market attention, partnership and acquisition offers, and coverage from the leading media outlets: Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, CBS, Worth and others. Stephenson Group serves companies across industries, both trade and consumer, with a roster that includes Western Union, Oracle, SAP, Cisco, Palisades Technology Partners/IBM, K/P Corporation, New Jersey Port Authority, Orchestra Software, and more.
Stephenson Group is also affiliated with partner agency PayPerClip, a pay-for-performance resource serving companies seeking media placement services based exclusively on results delivered. For more information, visit: www.payperclip.com