This post might look familiar – last year we posted The Official List of PR Pro’s Favorite Things. Well, a lot has happened in the past year, and while everything in last year’s post sounds like a pretty good gift (never did get my Vera Bradley very berry garment bag, Santa) this year brought us and new and exciting products to tickle our fancy.
So, without further ado, here are PR Pro’s Favorite Things, 2012 edition.
1. Facebook Promotion Money– Shape-shifting Facebook has gone through a variety of looks and analytical processes this year. While purchasing ads has been around for a while (in social media terms – so, like, three years) this year they introduced the option to “promote” posts individually. Believed to have been established to drive ad sales, Facebook’s algorithms make for only a fracture of your fans to actually see your posts. Now you can pay a small fee ($5-$15) to expand your reach.
2. Digital News Subscriptions - Many news sites turned to paid subscription this year: According to Mashable, new websites with pay walls doubled this year. Nearly 20 percent of all one-time traditional, print born news websites are now subscription based, including the LA Times (starting March 2012) and 49 of Gannett’s 80 publications including azcentral.com. Sure, you can have a peak, but even limited access has been reduced. The New York Times switched to pay wall in March 2011, but this year reduced the number of free views from 20 per month to 10. Sites with pay walls average only 11 free articles per month, and that adds up to a lot of missed news (not to mention client clips and story ideas.)
3. Dropbox Data Space – Dropbox is a file hosting service that synchs documents on all your devices. Similar to the cloud, we can never use “oh it’s on my home computer” excuse again. Better than the cloud, you have the options to share files with other Dropbox users. However, having all your documents, photos, music, videos, and applications omnipresent at all times is not free. Like the limited article views on news sites with pay walls, you only get a little bitty box – 2 GB, up to 18 GB with referrals - to hold your things unless you pay up. Giving the gift of 100, 200 0r 500 GBs will ensure your PR buddy is never without, and starts at the low price of $9.99 per month.
4. Social DSLR - Photos are HUGE part of PR – from sharing on social media to shots that accompany clients’ stories. No doubt cell phones with 5+ mega pixels have helped, especially with the instant mobile uploads. But here’s a little secret – you can have all the mega pixels in the world on your camera and it’s still not going to be a great photo with that dinky little lens. Despite Instangram’s greatest efforts, taking a really good picture can be difficult Enter – the next generation of DSLR– professional grade cameras with built in Wi-Fi, allowing you to upload your shots to Facebook just like you would from your phone. Now you can keep your fans up-to-the-minute with beautiful, high res photos.
5. Instagram Chotskies – I know I just dogged on phone pictures, but having a super-cool camera won’t totally replace the convenience of the all-in-one smart phone. Besides, do you really need a high-quality photo when taking pictures of your breakfast? Give the oh-so-artistic-wannabe-photographer in your life a gift they will undoubtedly love – a picture they took with their own keen hipster eye and skillfully manipulated with a one-step filter. Tons of businesses have popped up banking on the easy-peasy photo art trend – Instacanvas, Stickygram and Printstagram are just a few examples. From canvases to magnets, stickers to phone covers, their high-brow art can be turned into products for the masses. Or just for them, because an Instagrammer’s favorite photographer is typically himself.
6. Coffee – Starbucks gift card, espresso maker, Keurig pods, French press, pallets of bottled Frappuccinos, own coffee bean farm or instant dissolvable packets, give it. Give a lot of it. To me.
7. Extended battery pack– Last year I mentioned a car adapter, which is a lovely gift indeed. I actually have a few, if anyone is in need. But the downside of a car adapter is, well, a car is required. More specifically, a car that is running. This is great when
toting to and fro client meetings, events, news stations and coffee shops, but there are plenty of times us PR pros are out on the field with nothing but our phone and a rapidly depleting cell battery. Luckily, the MacGyvers in the world heard our prayers and created many different types of on-the-go phone chargers. Many are stylishly hidden in your phone’s case, but my personal favorite is the solar powered charger.
8. Social Media headshot – Not to be confused with a business headshot or corporate portrait, the social media headshot is one that expresses creativity and personality. They usually involve props, angles, bold colors and a twitter handle.
9. Vacation to remote destination – It’s not that a PR pro never gets time off. We get a few precious moments that may require months of notice and should be made through refundable services, but they are vacation days nonetheless. The problem is, with our extended battery, access to our files at all times and a camera that has instant uploads, how are we expected to really relax? To successfully have a non-working vacation, we need to be sent to a far-off, remote land with little or no technological features or modern conveniences (other than coffee.) My recommendation is deep in the Costa Rican rain forest. Or rehab.
10. FinderBinderAZ & PRSA membership – Aha so there is a repeat offender! (See 2011’s list.) Actually, these are just so darn necessary that they had to be included again. Also, a PR Pro needs to renew their subscriptions every year anyway, so these are the gifts that keep on giving…again!