Posts Tagged ‘Peter Himler


Interview with Keynote Speaker, Peter Himler


Public Relations: What has and hasn’t changed

Peter Himler was our keynote speaker at the Connect dinner last tonight at the Foundry Park Inn.  He talked about his thoughts on Public Relations explaining that many are using social media but there is still a need for using the PR basics as well as traditional media.  Some of the points he made are:

  • The challenge with mainstream media is it’s so fragmented, but companies still want it.  That is how they measure results.
  • Public Relations is still measured by the amount of print and air time we get.
  • Clients must be online so that they are searchable.
  • We are in a kind of “ying yang situation” according to Himler. We are trying to move forward with social media but are getting pulled back with the continued need for traditional PR.

Himler also stated that Public Relations has a great future because practitioners don’t have to filter through journalists anymore.  They can finally speak directly to the audience and create a more authentic message. 

Many examples were given on how companies are listening to online conversations.  One company was Comcast.  They responded to a customer who was complaining on Twitter about how Comcast kept not showing up for their appointment.  Nice job Comcast!

Once the bad pitching topic came up, Himler had his opinion on the important things to remember when creating a pitch: Keep pitches short, sweet, relevant and CONVERSATIONAL.

Himler really feels like Public Relations touches all media and everything we do. This is why he focuses his blog, The Flack, on that topic.  Thanks for speaking Peter!


first day at uga connect: social media roundtable

We’ve just wrapped up our first session of the day at UGA Connect, a roundtable discussion of current issues in social media. With so many educators and professionals present with such diverse backgrounds, the conversation stayed lively and interesting! Both the educators and professionals at the roundtable had some great suggestions for organizations looking to engage through social media. One of the most engaging social media discussions brought up by Dr. Karen Russell was “Stupid Things PR People Do,” which is briefly summarized below.

1. Sending Spam

  • Many organizations think “opt-in” e-mail lists are an invitation to send spam; they aren’t.
  • Bloggers usually don’t appreciate being sent press releases (the Chris Anderson incident, of course, was mentioned). Don’t send them press releases unless you have engaged them personally and they have granted you permission.

2. Spam commenting

  • e.g. “I loved your post! Now check out this [irrelevant] link!
  • It’s easy for bloggers to see when comments are not authentic. To appear legitimate, it might be best to e-mail the blogger instead of posting this type of comment.
  • Josh Hallett warned against using the cliche ice breaker “I’ve been following your blog for a long time…”, as many bloggers can easily tell if a person is lying.

3. Bad Pitches

  • Don’t send a pitch that’s not pertinent to the blogger or his/her audience. Period.
  • Hallett argued that there is very little difference in pitching bloggers and traditional media gatekeepers; relationship-building is a must.
  • Besides, social media makes it easier for ticked off bloggers to call out people/organizations using lazy PR tactics.

4. Using irrelevant social media tools

  • Some clients want the “bright, shiny” new social media tools regardless of how relevant it is to their audience. Avoid client pressure, and only use the tools you need.

I had the opportunity to pick Josh Hallett’s brain about some of the current ethical concerns over social media in journalism, and here’s what he had to say.

More UGA Connect attendees with be joining us tonight for dinner at the Foundry Park Inn, and the rest of the Connect team and I are looking forward meeting everyone and getting some great insight on new media from keynote speaker Peter Himler.


Meet Peter Himler: Connect’s keynote speaker

Peter Himler, founder and principal of Flatiron Communications in New York, is this year’s Connect keynote speaker. He has extensive agency experience, having previously worked for Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Cohn and Wolfe, and Hill and Knowlton.

We asked Peter a few questions to help you get to know him before the conference. Here’s what he had to say:

Q. What are three things that someone considering attending Connect should know about you?

  1.  I don’t consider myself a social media guru, but rather a public relations professional who knows a little something about social media.
  2. After nearly 30 years in the business, I still enjoy the practice of PR in all its incarnations — traditional, digital, social….
  3. Having worked across so many industries in my career, I happen to be a good person to sit next to on an airplane.
Q. What single piece of advice would you give to a PR educator? A PR pro?
PR educators: Advise your students to keep fresh on the tools of the trade with time on the Internet, book reading (what a concept!), industry meet-ups, and most importantly, experimenting. Also, teach through case studies — good and bad.
PR pros: Try to choose a job (or client) in which you also have a strong interest or are passionate about. Since the practice of PR is applicable to pretty much anything, the possibilities are endless.
Q. Can you reveal any information about your keynote speech?
A. I hope to talk about the (digital) forces that have changed the modern practice of PR, and the core competencies that remain valid, in spite of these changes.
A few more things you should know about Peter:
  • His blog, The Flack, won a 2006 PR News Platinum Award as the year’s best blog
  • He was named the PR Professional/Media Relations Executive of the Year by PR News in 2005
  • PR Week awarded the PR program he led to build the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.  as its Public Sector Campaign of the Year in 2005
  • He is president of the Publicity Club of New York
Happily, you don’t have to try to find the seat next to Peter on airplane, you can just register for Connect to hear what he has to say about PR and social media.

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