Pokemon Go: Poke-Marketing?


Do you want to be the very best, like no one ever was? If so, then you’re probably one of the 7.5 million people who have downloaded the Pokemon Go app since its recent launch.

The app, a location-based augmented reality game that enables you to catch virtual Pokemon in the real world, has experienced a tremendous start since its release in the United States. Pokemon Go has captivated mobile users of all ages worldwide, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Within weeks, the game generated an estimated $1.6 million in revenue per day. Benefiting from this instant success is Nintendo, parent to Pokemon Co., which has already seen a 25 percent increase in stock shares and added nearly $11 billion to its market value.

The popularity of Pokemon Go and its clear potential for profit not only have opened the door for Nintendo’s success, but also have become a tool for Pokemon-inspired marketing by food and retail businesses.

The game format encourages users to explore their real-world cities to find in-game Pokemon , PokeStops or Gyms, which can be found at actual landmarks and local businesses. This alone is a valuable marketing tool that can result in rising visits and an increase in foot traffic for any organization hoping to convert locals who want to play into customers willing to pay.

Real-world marketing value

Some establishments have already realized the marketing potential of the virtual Pokemon in the real world. By flaunting ties with the game, Main Street businesses have been able to set themselves up for an increase in recognition, popularity or profit.

Storefronts have found a number of ways to engage with the traveling hordes of Pokemon trainers. One of the most popular methods of capitalizing on the app’s hype is to place Lure Modules at Poketops at or near a business’ location.

A Lure Module is a well-recognized in-game feature that enables users to attract Pokemon to a certain area. Although the Lure Modules were designed to bring in Pokemon, they’re also bringing in a slew of gamers.


Pokemon Go has become a great way for retail business to attract potential customers to its location. Once gamers are lured in, stores have taken “Poke-marketing” a step further by offering tailored discounts and promotions.

These strategies are just the start of what is sure to become a more prevalent marketing approach as the app rolls out in more countries, evolves and inspires copycats. Bringing an entire generation’s childhood nostalgia into the modern age of augmented reality gaming is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Although this level of popularity can be fleeting, Pokemon has retained its status as a recognizable and well-loved brand since 1996. With the game’s technological sophistication and promise of added, advanced features—in-game chat functions, head-to-head battles, Pokemon trading, and so on—there doesn’t seem to be an end to Pokemon Go’s success anytime soon.

Kelly Holcombe is an account coordinator at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelly_holcombe . This article was reposted from http://bit.ly/29WN08c (PR Daily)


Few Things Highly Confident People Don’t Do

Highly confident people believe in their ability to achieve. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else put their faith in you? To walk with swagger and improve your self-confidence, watch out for these fifteen things highly confident people don’t do.

They don’t make excuses.

Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.

They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.

Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.

They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.

Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.

They don’t put things off until next week.

Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.

They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.

Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.

They don’t judge people.

Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.

They don’t let lack of resources stop them.

Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.

They don’t make comparisons.

Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.

They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.

Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.

They don’t need constant reassurance.

Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.

They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.

Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.

They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.

Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).

They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.

Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”

They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.

Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.

Written by Gaurav Kamboj. Gaurav is an analyst at eClerx. Visit LinkedIn for the first version of this excerpt.

3 Keys to Anger Management

Anger is never what it seems.

Even Tom would admit that he is easily irritable; his wife would say there are days when she is walking on eggshells and knows to stay out of his way. He never explodes directly at anyone, but when things go awry – when he realizes he left one of his tools at the jobsite, when Saturday plans get rained out – he’s rattled, upset and slamming doors. Sara, unlike Tom, is rarely angry. She’s the easy-going kind of person who is always pleasant, always willing to help others out, always the first to volunteer to for a project or event. But… occasionally she blows and when she does it’s big – rages, huge WWIII arguments over something seemingly small. Those close to her have learned that this is the time you duck for cover.

Anger is one our primary emotions –young children who bite another child over a toy or stomp their feet when they don’t want to go home; teens who flare up when you mention “homework” or “last night,” adults who go from 0-60 in nanoseconds when someone cuts them off in traffic. Though it’s the boldest of emotions, it’s also never what it seems. Many therapists describe it as a “cover” emotion, one that masks some other emotion beneath.

Anxiety usually heads the list of possible underlying emotions, and is a common driver of anger. Those, for example, who grew up in chaotic environments – alcoholism, abuse, volatile parents – they have fewchildhood coping skills except to become hypervigilant – always on guard, always externally focused on others, always on edge waiting to see what is going to happen next. With their brains wired in this way, even as adults in more stable environments, they are still on duty, ready to react, coping in the same childhood way.

For others anger gets linked to depression – this is Freud’s definition of depression as anger turned inward. Here we see the agitated depression of some adults, usually men, and young children, who seem irritable and easily angered but inside are as depressed as the person who refuses to get out of bed – the why bother, the hopelessness, the self criticism.

And finally there are those where anger is essentially their only emotion – when they get sad the get angry, when stressed get angry, when horny get angry – it doesn’t matter, every emotion gets translated into varying forms of anger. They lack an emotional range.

We can also look at anger from the perspective of personality and the role we take with others, the way we run our lives. Here are some common overlapping personality patterns and their relationship to anger:

Control freaks: These folks run a tight ship with themselves and others all the time. They know on Tuesday what they are going to be doing on Saturday. Underneath the control is anxiety, and when control is in command the anxiety stays at bay. But when things happen outside their control or their plans – their wife suggesting on Saturday that her mother come over for dinner – anxiety and anger bubble up. They get rattled and snap. And this is where Tom gets into trouble – the guy who is always on edge now becomes derailed and upset.

Martyrs: This is Sara. She is over-responsible and nice. She goes and goes, does and does and periodically blows up because she eventually gets fed up. Fed up with doing it all, fed up with being nice, fed up with others not appreciating her or pulling their weight. It’s all unfair, and she feels that she deserves to be so angry. But after it’s all over, her good-girlconscience kicks in, she feels guilty. She makes up and starts the cycle all over again.

Victims: If you are always under someone else’s control, if you feel abused in some way, that you can never please the other person, that you can never win, your pent-up resentment, like Sara’s, can periodically come to the head. While it may come out as a emotional blow-up, because of the one-down nature of the relationship, it often takes the form of passive-aggressive acting out – the partner who angry at the other goes on a shopping spree, the guy who feels taken advantage of on the job steals supplies from the company. Again, there is a sense of deserving, but the source of the problem, the dysfunctional relationship, never gets addressed.

Bullies: Bullies are actually a group unto themselves. While it’s easy to see them as always angry people (and many are) or the 0-60 types, there is a different psychological dynamic at work. Their modus operandi is less about spraying pent up emotion around the room and more about resorting to anger, aggression and power to get those to do what they want or get them before they do. Often these unfortunate souls were abused, learned to psychologically identify with the aggressor, and are replicating their own histories. In severe cases they have grown so hardened that they lack conscience, are manipulative, and see a world with themselves as predators, everyone else as prey. They do so much need anger management as the ability to connect and empathize with others.

Internalizers: Internalizers well…internalize. We’re back to Freud. It’s easy for these folks to automatically assume that whatever happened is undoubtedly their fault, not the other guys; they mentally beat up on themselves, leading to depression. Or they may actually feel the sting of anger but feelings so emotionally overwhelmed and fearful of confrontation they hold it, often coping through self abuse – cutting,drugs, alcohol, food.


So how to manage anger? Three steps. We’ll take them one-by-one: 

#1. Prevention. If you are a type of person who goes from 0-60 or who periodically explodes, who has a difficult catching anger, resentment, even anxiety as it builds, then you need to slow it down and become more self-aware. Here are the steps:

  • Check in with yourself once an hour. Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 with 1 flat-lined, 10 enraged or extremely anxious, where am I in terms of mood, emotion? By asking the question you are stopping yourself from going on autopilot; you gradually become more aware of your emotional life.
  • Solve the problem. When you find yourself getting up to a 4 or 5 ask yourself: Is there a problem I need to fix? This is about using anger for information rather than release. Maybe your supervisor scheduled you for the weekend and you realize it’s bothering you – go talk to your supervisor or send him an email. Maybe Sara volunteered to help out at the church but now regrets giving up the weekend. She needs to back out or commit to less time. Do something different rather than sucking it up.
  • Ask yourself: What else am I feeling? Because those prone to anger tend to be emotionally limited in range, this question begins to reset the brain. The first 350 times you ask yourself that question your response is likely to be, Don’t know, I’m just feeling pissed. That’s fine. However, whenever you do notice something else – you’re worried, you’re sad – label it – I’m worried – and again do something with it – actively address the worry, write down or tell someone what you are sad about and see if you can sink into those feelings.

Ongoing stress reduction. These are daily prevention tips. The other prevention path is reducing your overall anger / anxiety threshold. This is about engaging in regular exercise, meditation, or medication to lower your reactiveness and making it easier to catch yourself when emotions start to build.

#2. Act in the moment.

When anger gets up to the 8-10 range and begins to flare out of control you need to have first-aide techniques to put out the emotional fire. When you’re angry, your anger makes it easy for you to blame others for making you feel that way, and to expect them to do something to make you feel better (like do what you want). But you’re responsible for your emotions. If you are getting overwhelmed, you, not someone else, needs to be able to calm yourself down.

This is where first-aide, in-the-moment techniques come into play: Deep breathing, Emotional Freedom Technique (there is plenty of info on this online), mindfulness, distraction, exercise, journaling. Again, there are plenty of tools and techniques out there to use and a number of articles on this website. Your goal is to recognize your anger level, label it, own it, and take some concrete action there and then to lower the emotional fire.

While your angry brain may say that you need to fix the problem now in order to calm down – get the other person to do what you want, quit your job, etc. – this is a bad idea. Your rational brain is offline. The emotions are the immediate problem, not what you’re thinking. Put out the fire.

When you’re feeling more calm, when your rational brain is back, use your anger as information, assess the problem, and take action in an adult way.

#3. Reshape your personality.

Steps 1 & 2 are about managing anger. This step is about seeing anger as a bad solution to another problem you’re having in running your life and relationships. It’s about stepping out of the dysfunctional roles and out-moded, ineffective coping styles that you’ve relied upon.

Control Freaks: So if you are like Tom, you need to address your anxiety directly rather than relying solely on control to manage it. You may need medication or meditation or therapy. Most of all you want to resist themagical thinking that if you could just run a tighter ship you’ll feel better. Actually, the opposite is the case. Your goal is to learn to recognize anxiety, tolerate it better, and when necessary have more effective tools to rein it in.

Martyrs: If, like Sara, you are one of these folks, you need to stop running your life solely on “shoulds” and making everyone happy, but instead learn to focus on you, what you want. This doesn’t mean becoming insensitive to others, but rather becoming more sensitive to yourself.

Victims: Victims feel trapped and are often easily overwhelmed by emotions. The way out is two-pronged: Having ways of calming the emotions so your own rational thinking can replace relying on the other’s control; having a way of escaping the relationship or rebalancing it so you don’t feel so unempowered. This can be tough to do or figure out, and you will likely need support from community, family, friends to develop a plan and take the necessary steps to break free.

Bullies: Most bullies don’t see themselves as bullies. If they did they probably wouldn’t be one. What often has the best chance of changing their behavior is bottom-lines – getting disciplinary action at school, on the job, their spouse threatening to divorce, trouble with the law. Their biggest challenge is learning to take responsibility for their behavior and emotions rather than blaming others.

Internalizers: This is about learning to speak up when you’re inclination is to shut down and pull back; to not believe the self-critical voice in your head all the time, to build self-confidence by solving problems. Therapy can help a lot, medication can reduce the anxiety of taking acceptable risks.

So there you have it, a combination of tools, action, new ways of thinking. Since a lot of these behaviors and emotions are so hot-wired, it’s about having a goal, a plan, about taking baby-steps to handle emotions, relationships differently.

Be patient, be kind to yourself, take it one step at a time.

Written by Robert Taibbi, L.C.S.W. Bob is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina, and has served as adjunct professor at several universities. He provides trainings nationally and internationally in the areas of couple therapy, family therapy, brief therapy and clinical supervision. He is currently in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Author of 6 books and published over 300 magazines and journal articles. Bob can be reached through his website at bobtaibbi.com. Visit Psychology Today where this excerpt originally appeared.

17 Things Happy People Say Every Day

Are you as happy as you wish you were today? If not, try saying a few of these simple, inspiring things to other people. They won’t just improve your mood; they’ll trigger positive reactions that will legitimately make you feel happier, too.

There’s an easy-to-articulate, hard-to-implement best practice when it comes to how to teach yourself to be happy. It stems from the recognition that the positive things you do for other people often reverberate back to create positivity in your own life. In effect, doing little things to make other people happy can greatly improve your happiness.

Make sense? There are two theories at work. The first is that focusing on others creates joy of its own accord. The second is that as you succeed in improving others’ happiness, you’ll wind up with happier, more grateful people around you. They’ll find you likable and charismatic, which in turn can lead them to treat you in a manner that produces even more happiness.

It’s easier said than done, but fortunately, there’s a compelling shortcut. Your words are among your greatest tools, so you can have an outsize effect on others simply by thinking about what you say every day and making an effort to be both positive and sincere. There are certain inspiring things that truly happy people find themselves saying to others all the time. Try making an effort to say a few of these every day for a week. You’ll be amazed at how the positivity you create improves your happiness.

1. “I’m happy to see you.”

This is the most basic and attractive sentiment you can express to another human being–that simply being in the person’s presence creates a positive feeling. Whether you’re telling an employee that you need his skills, that you value his opinions, or just that you think he’s good company, you’ve begun an interaction on a very high note. How can that not produce some level of happiness in the other person?

2. “I’m always happy to see you.”

Take the previous remark a step further. This is the opposite of most relationship advice–that you should never take a specific negative action and suggest that it’s indicative of someone’s entire way of acting. Well, turn that on its head, by expressing that it’s not just this interaction that has produced positive feelings but basically all interactions with this person. It’s an amazingly gratifying thing to hear.

3. “Remember when you…”

Surprise someone by bringing up a positive thing that she did in the past, and you’re almost guaranteed to induce a positive response. Maybe it’s a joke the person told that you’re still laughing about; maybe it’s a small act of heroism she performed. Regardless, if it’s something she thought was long forgotten, learning that something she did made a positive, lasting impression on someone else is an amazing experience.

4. “You might not realize this, but…”

This an even more potent version of the previous suggestion, provided you finish the sentence with a description of how the person’s actions led to a positive outcome. It’s one thing to learn that other people recognize the favorable things you’ve done; it’s another thing entirely to learn that you’re having a positive effect on other people without even realizing it.

5. “You really impress me.”

This is similar to “I’m happy to see you” and “I’m always happy to see you,” except that it focuses on things that the person does, rather than his or her existential being. Other variations include “You are really great at…” or “People love that you…” Simply be sincere and specific. “You’re really great at calming stressful situations” or “People love that you always have the best music.” It can be anything, as long as it’s authentic and truly positive, and it’s guaranteed to elicit positive reactions.

6. “You really impressed me when…”

Focusing on specific actions or events can be even more powerful. It means that you’re not only thinking abstractly but offering proof that things the other person does provoke positive reactions. It’s the difference between saying that a comedian was really funny and quoting one of his or her best jokes. (Other versions: “You handled that well when you turned that client’s objection into an opportunity” or “It was really cool to see how you parallel-parked that car into that tiny spot.”)

7. “I believe in you.”

People have self-doubts. You do, I do, we all do. (Heck, every time I write a column here–and this is number 167, by the way–I wonder how people will react.) When others simply say they believe in you, however, it becomes easier to believe in yourself.

Here’s an analogy. Have you ever gotten into lifting weights, or simply watched people do it? It’s amazing how the slightest bit of assistance from a spotter–with force equal to the weight of a pencil–can help someone lift far more weight than he could on his own. It’s the same concept here–just that small expression of confidence can push people to achieve more–and then to be thankful for the help.

8. “Look how far you’ve come!”

It is so important to celebrate achievements. This doesn’t mean you have to throw a party, but even acknowledging that someone’s efforts have achieved results can be extremely gratifying for the person.

Of course, heck, if you want to take things to the extreme, throw a party. Just be sure that you’re the one buying the first round and singing the loudest.

9. “I know you’re capable of more.”

Everyone needs to be pushed at times, especially when we fall short. If you care about people, you’re going to be called on sometimes to be a bit of a coach, or maybe to employ a bit of tough love. Even the most steadfast and confident among us sometimes need a friend to guide them to a better way of acting.

The late, great NFL coach Vince Lombardi put this best: “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Nobody does anything great alone, so be the one standing by to help, and you’ll inspire positivity and gratitude.

10. “I’d like to hear your thoughts about…”

Everyone likes to think that his or her opinions matter, and of course they do–sometimes. However, this kind of invitation to share what someone thinks can’t help making the person feel just a tiny bit more self-worth, which in turns creates both happiness and positive feelings toward you. Just be sure to be sincere; don’t just say this for the sake of saying it. Make sure that you are truly interested in whatever subject you’re asking about and listen actively.

11. “Tell me more.”

This is the best follow-up to the last item. It tells the other person that you’re listening, and that you find value in what he or she is saying. The actor and writer Peter Ustinov once said that the greatest compliment he ever received took place when he was afraid he had gone on too long in a conversation with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, only to have her tell him, “Please continue.”

12. “I took your suggestion.”

OK, it’s almost too easy at this point. Combine asking someone’s opinion and demonstrating that the person has had impact on your life and you’ve provided him with two of the most gratifying, basic experiences of the human condition.

It doesn’t matter really whether you tried a new restaurant on the other person’s advice, followed his suggestion on how to begin an important conversation, or started getting up 15 minutes earlier for a week because he said it was a good idea. Simply being listened to and having impact makes people feel better. Bonus points if his suggestion created a positive result, but you’ll get credit regardless. (Related: “You were right.”)

13. “I’m sorry.”

Say this when you mean it–when you’ve done something worth expressing regret for or the other person deserves sympathy. However, don’t water it down by using it when you don’t mean it. In fact, one writer made a compelling argument recently that the phrase is so overused that it ought to be retired. That would be a shame, but it underscores how people appreciate this phrase when it’s sincere, and how it annoys them when it isn’t.

14. “I’d like to be more like you.”

Now you’ve got it–you’re expressing positivity toward other people almost naturally, pointing out not only things that they do well but maybe even things they do better than you do.

If you want to see a sentiment similar to this work very effectively, watch the 1997 movie As Good As It Gets. Or else, just read this short bit of dialogue in which Jack Nicholson’s character offers Helen Hunt’s character the ultimate compliment: “You make me want to be a better man.

15. “Thank you.”

It’s not that much of a stretch to suggest that every other item on this list is in fact a form of “thank you.” This is truly one of the most powerful, underrated phrases in the English language. It packs a heck of a punch, encompassing positivity and impact in two little syllables. (By the way, thanks for reading this far into this column. Maybe if you share it with others, they’ll thank you, too.)

16. “You’re welcome.”

Not “yep.” Not “no problem” or “no worries.” Say “You’re welcome.”

Instead of deflecting another person’s thanks, as some of these other phrases do, saying “you’re welcome” dignifies the person’s gratitude. It acknowledges that yes, you did do something worthy, or nice, or positive for someone–because you believe that she’s worth it.

17. “No.”

There’s one small risk in this entire mode of expression, and this word is your fail-safe. The danger is that sometimes people who make other people’s happiness their priority can wind up doing so at the cost of their own happiness. We all know some people who take advantage, or who simply aren’t going to be happy no matter what your efforts amount to.

Two little letters, and yet they can be so powerful. Most important, they demonstrate that you care for yourself, which is a key prerequisite to caring truly for other people. Carry this one in your back pocket; use it when necessary. You’ll find that the most positive and happy people you interact with respect you for doing so–and that can make you happy, too.


About the author: Bill Murphy Jr. writes about leadership, entrepreneurship, and how ordinary people achieve extraordinary things. He has written and collaborated on several books, and he is the founder of Nonfiction Partners, which helps people with great stories find a ghostwriter. Previously, he reported for The Washington Post. You can reach him at contact.billmurphyjr.com@BillMurphyJr. Visit Inc for the first version of this story.

20 Job Openings in The PR and Marketing World

PR and Marketing path

Though every workplace has its share of characters, they might not be as recognizable as those atPBS

For one thing, you’ll never find an accounting department quite as enthusiastic about numbers. Sure, some co-workers can seem cliquey, and others are downright grouchy. But even the brutish exterior of the office monster quickly crumbles. If anything, most staffers are probably too friendly(that’s HR’s problem, though). 

Meanwhile, the characters on the PBS KIDS public relations and social media team are experienced in both fields, a professional precedent its newest associate director will need to uphold. 

Supporting the network’s PBS LearningMedia initiatives, this person will work with its corporate communications team on projects ranging from managing media contacts and developing editorial calendars to assisting with PR and crisis communication efforts. 

Click here to read the full job description, and then find out even more about the characters working at PBS

Not the job for you? See what else we have in our weekly professional pickings: 

About the author:

Alan PearcyAlan doesn’t like when people refer to themselves in third-person, so he will henceforth, stop it, now. Born and raised in Springfield, Ill., I’ve had my fill of all-things Abe Lincoln. Inching upstate on the map little by little, I attended Bradley University in Peoria, where I graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in communications and advertising. I kept moving on up until I reached sweet home Chicago a couple years ago. After a stint at Leo Burnett in the Windy City, I freelanced as a writer and advertising pro of sorts, along with a few other odd-jobs, until joining forces as an editorial assistant with Ragan Communications. Things you should note: I am a Gemini, I am blonde, single, I bruise like a peach, I have webbed-toes, I will stop at nothing to wear flip-flops, and that aside from writing, I sustain sickly obsessions with popular culture, exercise, coffee, and amazingly poor choice in both film and TV. I also fall a lot.

If you have a job you would like to see highlighted on PR Daily, please email me or send me a message on Twitter @iquotesometimes

Visit PRDaily where this excerpt originally appeared.

Journalism Ethics that PR Should Consider Adopting

Successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners. Like journalists, PR practitioners often face challenging ethical issues that are best solved by adhering to the industry’s code of ethics.

The biggest difference between public relations and journalism’s adopted ethics codes are the people each code serves. While journalists serve the public and its right to know, PR professionals primarily answer to their clients and companies. 

PRSA’s ethical guidelines are perhaps the industry’s most widely recognized code for ethics. They cover the necessity for honesty, accuracy, integrity and confidentiality.

The Professional Standards Advisories (PSAs), designed to keep the PRSA code timely, address PR-specific areas and modern practices, including recording conversations, use of interns, video news releases, pay-for-play journalism and disclosure guidelines.

Both codes are quite comprehensive and benefit PR agencies and companies when followed. But are they comprehensive enough? Perhaps it’s time for PR to adopt some of journalism’s ethical guidelines. PR inherently serves the public (it’s in the name), and PR practitioners are functioning more as journalists; more PR content is now reaching the public directly without review and editing by the press or other independent journalists.

With this in mind, we’ve examined some principles from The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, not (yet) covered in PRSA’s code, that may be worth adopting by PR.

Give both sides the opportunity to respond to allegations. Support the open exchange of views, even views found “repugnant.”

To follow their promise of being “fair and balanced,” reporters must always get all sides of the story. This is why you’ll often see statements like, “Mr. so-and-so did not answer calls for comment.” The mention is proof that the reporter attempted to get the other side’s point of view.

Even recognizing that PR is an advocacy profession, the inclusion of some balance would likely enhance the credibility of PR-produced communications materials. That balance is especially important in the appropriate use and interpretation of facts and statistical data. Suitable balance can be achieved by including the viewpoints of independent experts.

Adding the layer of credibility can gain trust of PR practitioners and the businesses they represent from both journalists and consumers.

Make certain that headlines and content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or take incidents out of context.

Public relations specialists should never choose a witty or mysterious headline over one that tells the truth. Make it a principle never to mislead your audience, especially on social media when creating clever messages to attract more attention.

Out-of-context messages can also backfire, as The Colbert Report’s PR team recently learned through this social media post.

Avoid misleading reenactments or staged news events. If reenactment is necessary, label it.

This guideline pertains mostly to photographs and videos used in news articles. Staged photographs have gotten journalists fired because they don’t accurately represent the scene.

When you stage a product demonstration, the demo must accurately and precisely portray the capabilities of the product or service as it exists at that time – not as you expect or hope it will exist in the future.

Up until 2011, the White House would often reenact speeches and photo-ops for the press. For example, when President Barack Obama finished his on-air address about the death of Osama bin Laden, he then re-enacted his walkout and the first 30 seconds of the statement for the press. The White House has since stopped its practice of staging photos, but until that point, the public could not be sure whether footage of the president’s speeches was real or fake.

Never distort the content of news photos or videos.

Similar to the guideline above, PR should take all steps necessary to be honest with their audience. When using photographs, it is inappropriate to distort them through editing.

Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

Stereotyping is not always deliberate, but can sometimes show up in PR materials. Prohibit it and always look out for it.

Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

Stifling dissent and criticism, once a standard responsibility of PR, is no longer an effective PR tactic given the all-permeating presence of social media.

On social media, anyone can be a witness, everyone has a story to tell and, eventually, everything gets out; covering up dissent or criticism is now nearly impossible.  Like journalists who are bound to present all sides of the story, PR can successfully embrace open discussion by encouraging fans and critics to share content.  Companies that are “good guys” and do the right thing ultimately win the battle of minds. Other important journalism ethical guidelines to consider:

  • Recognize that the process of gathering and reporting news may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news and defense of published materials does not give  license for rudeness or arrogance.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money. Avoid bidding for news.
  • Accept, work with and even encourage the public’s ability to voice grievances against the news media (or in this case, your company or PR agency).

Bottom line: PR is best served by adhering to both PR and journalism ethics. Some journalism guidelines are not entirely appropriate for the PR industry, but  may provide guidance on behavior not addressed in PRSA’s code of ethics.

Which journalism guideline(s) do you think PR should follow? Share in the comments below.

William J. Comcowich is the editor of Media Monitoring News and the CyberAlert Blog, where a version of the story originally appeared. He is also founder, president and CEO of CyberAlert, Inc.