Written by Smoak PR

How Can PR Help Your Brand?

Understanding the difference between Public Relations and Marketing can be very helpful when it comes to strategizing effective ways to build brand awareness, increase revenue, drive web traffic or simply create a buzz. As PR professionals, we also appreciate how both marketing initiatives and traditional public relations efforts can work in tandem with one another to drive results. The “marketing umbrella” contains powerful promotional tools, one of which is PR. At times, PR is difficult to define because it can be a challenge to associate a specific “return on investment”, whereas with a paid advertising campaign, dollars spent can be tracked back to direct sales or return. That said there is absolutely no denying that effective and strategic public relations initiatives can launch a brand to great success or continue building momentum. Here are three free things that fall within the world of PR that you can start executing today...Read More
Written by Smoak PR

How to Make Instagram Work For You and Not Against You

Social media is everchanging and it is critical to stay up to speed with new features, algorithms and more. Most recently, Instagram has proven to take over the social media market from both a personal and business standpoint. How can you ensure that your brand is working with the flow of the feed, and not against it? Due to the fast-paced nature of social media and its effectiveness of sharing information, it is imperative to have a few strategies up your sleeve to attract and engage with quality followers that help elevate your brand. 1. Captivating Imagery You have probably heard this many times, but imagery is everything with social media, especially Instagram. It is key to post unique photographs that attract people to your account and establish an online presence to keep followers, both new and old, loyal to you. The average user spends about three seconds viewing your...Read More
Written by Smoak PR

Trends in Digital Media Communications

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the world we live in has become reliant on digital communication. It is easy to become overwhelmed with information being thrown at us from an overabundance of platforms, people, and outlets. As a leader in our industry, it is critical to navigate the swarm of digital communications and engage appropriately on a variety of platforms, while continuing to discover new trends that ultimately encourage our client’s success. Below are a few digital communication trends we expect to see grow in popularity in 2021. Enhanced User Generated Content: User Generated Content (UGC) is any type of content (reviews, images, videos, audio, etc.) that users publish themselves on online platforms stemming interactions and information shares that develop thought leaders. The onslaught of invasive online advertising techniques quickly lowered consumers’ ad tolerance. The rise in popularity of ad blockers and search engines like DuckDuckGo are indicators...Read More
Written by Smoak PR

Meet Our Spring Interns!

Smoak PR is thrilled to welcome three new Spring interns: Irene, Lizzie, and Lindsey. As college students interested in improving their communications skills, Smoak PR will prepare them with knowledge and experience in the public relations industry. To kick off the semester, each intern introduces herself and her goals for this time with Smoak PR: My name is Irene Biganzoli and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina Upstate, majoring in Communications Mass Media, with double minor in Business & Entrepreneurship and French. I chose to follow this career path because I am fascinated by how words and effective messages can change how one’s story or passion is perceived. Communication is an everchanging field which amazes me, bringing to light modern platforms and utilizing them in the most efficient way. This fresh and dynamic side of communication is what brought me to choose it as a career. While studying and researching mass media and marketing tactics in the classroom, I hope that this amazing opportunity at Smoak PR will show me how these tactics are applied in the real world, teaching me...Read More
Written by Smoak PR

PR During a Crisis

Utilizing media to distribute information is critical during a crisis. As a PR agency, if we’ve learned anything during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it is that communities rely on receiving information and important updates from the media outlets they trust. Similar to how consumers rely on trustworthy news, it is crucial to share your company news and updates to ultimately benefit your brand during this unique time. Below are a few reasons why PR is beneficial for your company during a crisis. You are able to position yourself as a thought leader – When unfortunate circumstances occur in business, it may be important for you to right the wrong, or set the record straight to inform the community at large with honesty and transparency.  Sharing your story with the local media allows you to become the primary source of information that an audience receives. It can also be very beneficial to leverage...Read More
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Written by Smoak PR

Internship Reflection

As the fall semester comes to a close, we are reflecting upon what we have learned during our time at Smoak. We are all very thankful for the experiences we have gained, despite any setbacks that may have occurred due to the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, we have learned how to adapt to working remotely both academically and professionally, and we would like to thank everyone at Smoak PR for the opportunities we have been presented to learn about and work in a PR environment. Madison G: As I reflect on my time spent at Smoak PR, I have nothing but wonderful thoughts and memories. I remember starting as a doe eyed senior who thought a job in PR was nothing but glamorous. Now, having been an intern for the semester I can confidently say I was not too far off with my original thought. It is just a...Read More
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Written by Smoak PR

How to Make Virtual Events Unique and Interactive for All

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, technology has proven to become everyone’s new best friend. Our typical in-person meetings, events and activities have completely shifted to rely on today’s advanced technology and virtual platforms to get the job done. Whether it is classrooms for students or celebrations to honor milestones in proper social distancing fashion, 2020 has proven to be a year where all of us, young and old, have pivoted to learn the ins and outs of remaining connected through a screen. In the public relations industry, event management is a huge part of our typical year-round business and as we know, in-person events were non-existent this year. In a time where we had no idea what three months down the road would bring, we ultimately had to learn how to plan and manage events that were no longer in-person, but 100% virtual. Learning the nuances of virtual...Read More
Written by Smoak PR

Fall 2020 Intern Blog

As students interested in the communication and public relations field, we are thrilled to be interning with Smoak PR this fall. While the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping us from interning in the office for the majority of the semester, we have already started communicating remotely with each other as well as the Smoak team. This uncertain time is giving us a new perspective on public relations and we look forward to collaborating more and helping each other as fellow interns.  My name is Madison Drake, and I’m a senior at Furman University majoring in psychology. I chose to pursue a career in Public Relations and Communications when I realized I wanted to combine my analytical mind with my creative side. Thankfully, there is still psychology in every aspect of public relations. At Smoak PR, I am eager to improve my knowledge of public relations and marketing strategy. I also hope to gain experience in the virtual event...Read More
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Written by Smoak PR

Summer Internship Reflection

As the summer comes to a close, we have individually taken the time to reflect on our experience as interns at Smoak PR. Collectively, we have not only gained unique hands-on experience in the workforce, but have fostered relationships among each other and our new mentors that will carry us through our future career paths. As a group, we want to publicly thank the ladies of Smoak PR for investing in us and teaching us more than we could have imagined in just a few short months. Here is what each of us personally have reflected on: Meg Einstein, University of Alabama: During my time at Smoak PR, especially given the obscure circumstances in relation to COVID-19, I learned more about the public relations industry than I could have ever expected. Not only did I learn about a constantly evolving industry, but I also learned a lot about myself. While...Read More
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Written by Smoak PR

Social Influencers 101

A common buzzword you may be familiar with is “influencer”. What exactly defines a social influencer? Is it the number of followers someone has, the brands represented or how “known” they are throughout the digital world? Believe it or not, social influencers are considered one of today’s strongest social media marketing tools. Through partnerships with influential accounts, brand awareness ultimately increases, and companies enter into a community built upon communication between brands, consumers, and market leaders. Influencer marketing is a strategy used to promote products and services through partnerships with popular social media users who have a large, highly engaged audience. Companies and brands partner with users to build product and service credibility to drive sales and it is important to take advantage of social influencers within your target market. By collaborating with influencers, you will maximize your digital presence which will directly affect your brand awareness and sales. Check...Read More
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