The holidays are here and, just like Santa, PR Pros are checking their lists and checking them twice. If you purchase client gifts (and know that it is ok if you don’t), listen to this episode where we discuss our favorite ways to show our clients our appreciation at the holidays and throughout the year.
As solo business owners, Karen and Michelle are grateful for a landscape and technology that allows for making a living as Michelle puts it, “with Wi-Fi and a dream.” In this episode of That Solo Life, Karen and Michelle focus on this week of the Thanksgiving holiday with a conversation about gratitude.
The holidays bring an extra set of pressures, personally and professionally. How can you experience this holiday season with joy? Listen to this episode, where we discuss managing expectations (Isn’t it always about managing expectations?) and creating a mindset where we maintain our productivity in our business and allow room for the joy of the season.
In today’s episode, we cover two new updates in the digital marketing world.
Google’s Zero Click Searches
This Forbes article, Why You Can’t Neglect Your Google Presence Anymore, talks about how so many of us never leave the Search Engine Results Page: “In the first quarter of 2019, nearly 49% of all U.S. Google searches ended without a click. And, over 60% of mobile searches are zero-click searches. People are finding what they need right there on the Search Engine Results Page ( SERP).”
This presents two challenges: make sure your Google presence is built out, so the engaging information is included on the SERP and that you give more consideration to your brand story and long-form content, making it worth the click-through.
Google BERT Algorithm
Google calls this their most important update in five years. What does it mean for us as PR pros and marketers? Content is joined by context as the reigning factors in search results rankings. The context aspect is a nod to an increase in voice search and the use of AI.
“The BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It helps a machine to understand what words in a sentence mean, but with all the nuances of context.”
As writers and communicators, we are heartened that good writing and clear communication still matters most in our online efforts.
What Do You Think?
Today’s episode comes to you fresh from the PRSA 2019 International Conference, the annual gathering of public relations and communications professionals from across the globe. This year’s conference took place in San Diego, California, much to the delight of Karen, who will always be a SoCal girl at heart.
Highlights of the three-day conference featured a keynote from Bob Woodward and a powerful session hearing the story of Laura Ling’s North Korean experience firsthand.
Three main takeaways:
METRICS: Measurement continues to dominate. If you haven’t already begun to do this, now is the time to tie metrics to bottom-line results.
CREATIVITY: It still matters. PR pros, we need to make sure we give ourselves space to be creative.
INSPIRATION: People are looking to have their souls fed, to connect with our humanity, with something that matters. As PR professionals, we are indeed doing important work.
Solo PR Pro was well-represented, with member Mary Barber receiving two awards – the Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA and the PRSA Chair’s Award for Exceptional Service to the Society. Kristie Aylett programmed a non-profit section for the conference, which featured another Solo, Dan Farkas, who spoke multiple times. (Editor’s Note: Karen Swim is too modest to say that she too spoke at the conference.)
A great way to catch up on all that went on at the PRSA International Conference, search the official hashtag: #prsaicon2019
Modern life moves fast. It’s a simple fact that you loathe, love, or tolerate. This is especially true for PR pros as we seek to serve our clients well, looking out for them and keeping their projects moving forward while working on our own innovative thinking and professional development.
Part of the cause is an increase of incoming messaging from a variety of sources – text, instant messaging, project management platforms, and the like. We can let the open fire hose of information knock us over or we can choose to take a moment at the start of each day to decide what takes priority, acknowledging the reality of interruption and the likelihood that another item may take precedence throughout the day but starting with a stance of taking each element of the day on its own. And then the next, and the next.
Start with the morning journal exercise of emptying your mind on paper and see where it takes you.
Seeking to “unbusy” our lives does not mean we’re not leaving it all on the floor for our clients. It means we want to work hard with a focused productivity.
In today’s episode of That Solo Life we ask the question, “Where Do You Work?” Not in what field or for which company but, where do you work? From a home office, a coffee shop, a co-working space, or perhaps you rent your own office space. The beauty of working independently means we have the option to choose the locations where we do our best work.
P.S. Here’s the link to Coffitivity, the website providing coffee house-themed ambient noise.
“...codifies, clarifies and grants exemptions to a 2018 California Supreme Court decision called Dynamex. Both AB5 and Dynamex make it harder for companies to label workers as independent contractors. They use an ‘ABC’ test that says workers are employees if (A) they perform tasks under a company’s control, (B) their work is integral to the company’s business and (C) they do not have independent enterprises in that trade. It takes effect Jan. 1.”(2020)
The intent of this legislation is to protect people working as independent contractors from being taken advantage of. It is based on situations where an independent contractor’s work may match that of an employee but due to their worker status, they are not receiving the same level of pay and benefits as an employee. This is a good thing. The downside, however, is placing limitations on certain classifications of work that causes hardship. For instance, under this new law California-based publications can only allow freelance journalists to write 35 articles for them per year. This is a big hit to a freelance journalist’s income.
According to the MBO Partners State of Independence in America 2019 report, there are “41 million Americans working work as consultants, freelancers, contractors, temporary, or on-call workers.” These workers deserve fair compensation and this legislation serves to right some of those wrongs. We hope that the California legislature – and any other government body seeking to make similar changes – considers that the nature of work itself is changing.
We all hit bumps in the road, no matter what profession we are in. In this episode we discuss ways to handle disappointments in our businesses and how we can learn from them and gain a fresh, motivating perspective.
Like many of you who work hard in your professions, sometimes PR pros need a little levity. We need brain candy like Real Housewives, Property Brothers, or catching up on the latest chatter about the Royal Family. Sometimes, these pop culture moments dovetail with our work.
Listen to this episode to find out what helps us stay in the know about pop culture and how it relates to the PR world.