Social Media for Local Governments

Twitter Image: twitter.com
Twitter
Image: twitter.com

The president of Riverside, California-based OPR Communications, Patrick O’Reilly has established a long career assisting clients with their public relations strategies. PR assistance for local governments constitutes an area of focus for Patrick O’Reilly and the other seasoned professionals of his Riverside firm.

As increasing numbers of people use social media for news and communication, local government agencies have begun to rely on these tools to engage with their constituencies and provide information in a timely manner. Some agencies are using Twitter to communicate imminent extreme weather events and other types of emergencies, as the platform provides an effective and a low-cost means of spreading information.

Facebook and Twitter also provide ways to engage with community members who may not have the time or inclination to attend community events. When local governments maintain a social media presence, they increase the avenues through which they can interact with the people they serve. Posting videos of town events on YouTube can be a simple way to share events with people who couldn’t attend and may even boost attendance at future events.

Using Holding Statements in Crisis Communications

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public relations

 

Seasoned public relations professional Patrick O’Reilly serves as the president of OPR Communications, a public relations firm in Riverside, California. Patrick O’Reilly and other members of his Riverside-based company offer a wide variety of PR services, including crisis communications. When a crisis occurs, a rapid, thoughtful response is often necessary, and an experienced PR professional can help an organization get through what might initially seem like a disaster.

At the outset of a crisis, an organization must assess what has happened and consider how to proceed. But in the process of making this assessment, the public and stakeholders in the organization may clamor for information. In the immediate aftermath of a crisis, it is helpful to have a “holding statement” prepared until the company can decide on a longer-term response.

Such statements should focus on what has been and will be done. For example, if a company has begun to investigate what occurred, its holding statement could emphasize that it is still determining what happened and will take action based on the results of its investigation.

While organizations can undertake some crisis management on their own, professional assistance like that offered by OPR Communications can be very helpful in many situations.

OPR Communications Wins a 2015 PRSA Polaris Award

OPR
OPR
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A highly-skilled public relations professional with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Southern California, Patrick O’Reilly serves at the president of Riverside, California-based OPR Communications, which values accountability, respect, and results. In 2015, Patrick O’Reilly’s Riverside company won the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA’s) Polaris Award for the BVES Holiday Light Exchange campaign.

PRSA hosts a variety of awards events that recognize outstanding public relations professionals and their work in numerous categories. At the national level, these include the Silver Anvil Awards, which are very prestigious and are known as “the Oscars of the public relations profession.” The Silver Anvil Awards are announced each spring at a show in Manhattan, New York. PRSA also gives out the Bronze Anvil Awards for individual campaign components as well as a variety of individual awards and the section awards, which are made to practitioners on the basis of industry expertise.

Handling Tough Media Interviews

Patrick O'Reilly

As the president of Riverside, California’s OPR Communications, Patrick O’Reilly has provided well-crafted public relations services to clients for more than a decade. OPR is particularly noted for its ability to advise clients on media relations and crisis communication, two vital aspects of any public relations plan. Patrick O’Reilly and OPR have delivered high-quality work to educational institutions, energy companies, and a variety of small businesses and major corporations in Riverside and elsewhere.

All public relations professionals understand that preparing a client to deal with a difficult or sensitive media interview can represent a significant challenge. Helping a client avoid being ambushed with aggressive or insinuating questions from journalists involves a number of factors.

In general, anyone facing a tough interviewer should spend time practicing answers to the kinds of questions likely to be asked, as well as reinforcing core messages. Rehearsal can help even the most nervous individual feel more in command of his or her responses.

It’s important not to dodge leading questions. Answer without appearing defensive, then close with a truthful and positive statement.

Be careful with hypothetical questions. Concentrate on the facts without indulging in speculation. You can say, “While I can’t comment on something that hasn’t happened, I can say . . .”

One time-honored way to address tough questions involves “bridging”—using the question as a lead-in to delivering a core positive message. Phrases that come in handy here include “We need to remember,” “It’s important to,” and the like.

Chipotle Reaches Out to Customers with New PR Plan

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OPR Group
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OPR president Patrick O’Reilly is a Riverside, California, public relations professional with varied experience in corporate communications and crisis management. Since 2001, Patrick O’Reilly has led the Riverside-based firm to develop public relations strategies for organizations in a variety of sectors ranging from higher education to food production.

Popular fast-casual restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill recently experienced declining sales and negative press following an outbreak of E. coli and norovirus that affected customers across the United States, and its efforts in the wake of this incident provide an admirable example of a focused PR strategy developed to manage a corporate crisis. Chipotle is confident that it will overcome this roadblock with a combination of food safety improvements and consumer trust. According to founder and co-CEO Steve Ells, the company will implement new practices, such as pre-chopping tomatoes before they reach the restaurants and bolstering produce testing methods, to greatly reduce the possibility of any future health concerns.

Chipotle will also implement a multifaceted marketing strategy to communicate to customers that the restaurant is a safe place to eat. This will include detailed correspondence explaining the incident, as well as coupons to welcome customers back, all underscored by a tone of humility.

Copy that Increases Sharing on Social Media

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OPR
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President of OPR Communications in Riverside, California, Patrick O’Reilly possesses more than two decades of public relations experience. Patrick O’Reilly and his Riverside team deliver numerous services, including copywriting.

Copywriting is among the most important pieces to creating and delivering sound content. In terms social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, quality content not only engages a person to follow a company, but it also encourages them to take action, thus converting a fan into a customer.

To increase conversion rates, a company should craft messages that persuade people to share. Copy must include a unique selling proposition (USP) that helps a business or product stand out from competitors. A USP should be concise and summed up in a single sentence that is clearly understood by targeted audiences.

Likewise, effective copy that promotes sharing uses PAS, which stands for “problem, agitate, and solution.” Copy that identifies a problem and explains how it impacts a person, and then follows it up with a resolution is more likely to go viral. Using strong action verbs and incorporating a cliffhanger element also can increase sharing.

Elements of Good Speeches

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OPR
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Riverside, California-area resident Patrick O’Reilly has over a decade of experience in public relations. Steering strategic communication campaigns in the western United States, Patrick O’Reilly’s Riverside company OPR Communications offers its clients a wide variety of communication assistance, including speech writing services.

Effective speeches are written with meticulous care. A methodical approach to speech writing will involve awareness of:

1. Your audience. Before writing a speech, ensure you understand the audience, their needs, expectations, and attitudes. Find out what they already know and do not know, their attitude toward the speaker, and any prevailing interests they may have.

2. The core message. Focus your speech on the core message of interest to the audience. Make it simple and understandable. Too little substance spurs disinterest, while too many ideas will have the audience confused about your priorities.

3. Structure. Start by setting the expectation and identifying a path, and follow it through to the destination. Do not include extraneous, irrelevant, or contradictory information.

4. The opening. Grab the audience’s attention from the beginning. Ask a question or share a startling statistic or humorous short story. Start with momentum and capitalize on it to the end.