Public meetings announced for WIS 19 Study

Posted by Taylor Thomas on November 16, 2015 in Client news

Nov. 16, 2015

Franco Marcos, WisDOT Study Manager
(608) 246-3860

Public Meetings Announced for WIS 19 Study

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Southwest Region will hold two public involvement meetings to discuss the WIS 19 Safety and Operations Study in Dane and Jefferson County. The WIS 19 study corridor extends 30.5 miles between US 12 in Springfield to WIS 89 in Waterloo.

This is a planning-level preservation study to document existing and projected corridor conditions along WIS 19. The study is developing a long-range plan to manage, preserve, and extend the useful life of the WIS 19 corridor. The study has evaluated the existing roadway conditions, identified deficiencies and concerns, and analyzed conceptual roadway improvements to improve safety and mobility.

The focus of the public meetings is to gather additional public input on potential improvement strategies throughout the study limits. The meetings will be held:

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
5 to 7 p.m.
Prairie View Middle School, 400 North Thompson Road, Sun Prairie

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
5 to 7 p.m.
Waunakee Middle School, 1001 South Street, Waunakee

The public is invited to attend the open house meetings to review displays and other study materials, ask questions, and provide comments. Study staff will be available to explain the study process and gather input. A brief presentation will be made at 5:45 p.m. at each location.

Additional information about the WIS 19 Safety and Operations Study can be found at: http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/191289/

If unable to attend the meetings, or for more information, contact Franco Marcos, WisDOT Study Manager, (608) 246-3860; Franklin.Marcos@dot.wi.gov; or 2101 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53704.




Choosing the right spokesperson when crisis srikes

Posted by Tom Gavin on November 4, 2015 in Public relations

SpokespersonSooner or later every organization is going to have to deal with a crisis. Choosing the right spokesperson and making sure they have the proper training will help your organization weather the situation. Here are three different types of spokespeople that could be used in crisis situations.

The first and most used option is having the CEO as the spokesperson. The CEO is often the face of the organization and can help to reassure that the company is taking the issue seriously. However, using the CEO can backfire, as it may make a small crisis seem more important than it is.  In that scenario, a VP is a suitable substitute.

The next option is using the organization’s PR person. They understand how to act in front of the press and are usually the ones who formulated the crisis plan. Typically though, organizations should only use them during the first hours of the crisis and replace them with a permanent spokesperson. At that point, the PR team can simply be responsible for providing facts to the media.

The third option is to use a variety of different people. Having several people trained to be a spokesperson is best because the organization can pick the right person for the crisis. In the first hour of the crisis you may have the PR person speaking, then during in the next hours have a subject matter expert step in and finally have the CEO or VP take over as permanent spokesperson for the crisis. Think of the process like a sports team. You have your star players and other strong players ready to back them up on the bench.

All of these are logical options to use during a crisis, but every crisis is different and may require something different. As mentioned, the severity of the crisis will help you determine who should be the spokesperson. Generally, the bigger the crisis, the higher up in the hierarchy the spokesperson should be.



Twitter to lend hand in Democratic debate

Posted by Taylor Thomas on October 26, 2015 in Politics, Social media

TwitterIn an attempt to become the world’s real-time source for information, Twitter announced today it will partner with CBS News for the second Democratic debate, which takes place on Nov. 14.

The app will provide real-time data on viewer insights, live reactions and questions that will then be relayed to CBS and used in its live coverage of the debate.

Twitter has set the official hashtag to #DemDebate and provided the handles of each candidate for users to follow.

This is a smart move from Twitter as it’s capitalizing on a very high-profile U.S. political event. In fact, the idea of partnering or using a significant event to help promote your product/service is great for any business regardless of industry. Not only will your target market be watching, but millions of potential viewers as well.

I look forward to seeing and using Twitter during the next debate.





2015 PRSA-Madison Alchemy Awards

Posted by Brian Lee on October 16, 2015 in PR and ad industry

WP_20151015_001Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media won a PRSA-Madison Award of Excellence in the category of PR campaigns in last night’s annual Alchemy Awards.

Our entry was for our Cabela’s grand opening project that took place in April. We had so much fun working with the local and national staff, and the payoff was seeing more than 3,000 people in line for the grand opening.

Judging this year’s entries was the Tulsa chapter. Feedback on our entry included “the entry demonstrates solid planning and research” and “good understanding of local market … initial goals were surpassed.”



Twist Bar & Grill Adds New Chef, Soccer Focus

Posted by Brian Lee on October 14, 2015 in Client news

Oct. 14, 2015

Jason Salus, General Manager

Twist Bar & Grill Adds New Chef, Soccer Focus

(MADISON, Wis.)—To further enhance its customer experience, Twist Bar & Grill has hired Dennis Matteson as its new executive chef and will play soccer on its TVs all day.

Chef Dennis, who launched recently a new menu that puts a Wisconsin twist on American cuisine, previously worked at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. He also had his own cooking show in the late 1990s.

“Chef Dennis’ reputation and skills will certainly make Twist Bar & Grill a destination in Madison,” General Manager Jason Salus said. “I’m confident that patrons will enjoy a twist on their dining experience.”

To fill a void in Madison, Twist Bar & Grill has added all the premium soccer channels and will show matches from all major leagues, including La Liga, Premier League and Budesliga, around the clock on its numerous TVs.

“Twist Bar & Grill is your soccer headquarters,” Salus said. “From morning to night, we’re dedicating ourselves to meet the viewing needs of the numerous soccer fans in the Madison area.”

About Twist
Twist Bar & Grill (www.twistbarandgrill.com) is located at 6617 Odana Rd. in Madison next to the Radisson Hotel. It is open daily from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. The restaurant offers nightly food and drink specials as well as a large selection of tap beers. For reservations or more information, please call 608-833-0110.



Entrepreneurship: What to Prioritize

Posted by Brian Lee on October 8, 2015 in Doing business

This is part one of a five-part series looking at the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make.


Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s a given that everyone is busy these days, but to what degree? The phrase “I’m too busy” usually means you’re not making the right priorities.

Limit Your Daily Distractions
I know this seems obvious, but let me give you an example. I have a friend that routinely worked 12 hours/day, and it wasn’t because he had 12 hours’ worth of work, it was because he wasn’t good at prioritizing and would get distracted by less important tasks.

Yes, it’s super easy to get distracted during the day by emails, texts, Facebook, whatever. Obviously, do what you can to eliminate those distractions. For example, check your email only at designated times during the day, and keep personal Facebook usage to your lunch hour.

Here’s another tip that I’ve heard numerous entrepreneurs say. Create three priorities each day, get those accomplished, and everything else you can do on top of that is gravy.

Focus on What’s Truly Important
What are some reasons entrepreneurs work so hard, aka, so many hours, late nights and weekends? One reason you commonly hear is to provide a better life for their family. I hate to admit how many entrepreneurs I know who are now divorced because they ignored their spouse. Also, the time you miss watching your kids grow up is time you’ll never get back. Remember what really matters.

One more thing: it’s not just your family that should be a priority. Don’t forget to take care of you. Is fame or fortune worth the ulcers, heart attacks, extreme weight gain/loss or overall poor health? Take care of your body and mind. Exercise. Eat right. Get enough sleep.



Monitoring your brand mentions

Posted by Tom Gavin on October 2, 2015 in Branding, Social media

MentionRecently, Eveready’s marketing team was criticized for not seizing the opportunity when their company’s name was mentioned during a live presidential debate. Knowing what people are saying about your brand is important, but expecting marketing teams to monitor and respond to live TV the same way they respond to mentions on social media is just not possible.

Regarding the latter, there are a number of different tools marketers can use to make monitoring and responding to mentions on social media much easier.

One of the simplest things marketers can do is just remember to always check their social media accounts. All platforms have notification options that let marketing teams know what their brand is mentioned almost instantly (e.g. via email or text message).

Perhaps the best tool for monitoring mentions is the aptly named Mention. This is a paid service that allows users to monitor brand keywords across the Internet. The service will notify you when someone is talking about your brand in real-time, allowing you to take action and interact with your brand base. Mention makes it easy to see where conversations are happening and what people are saying about your brand.

Keeping up with what people say about your brand online is key to understanding your customers and responding to any mentions.



Uber’s unethical behavior

Posted by Taylor Thomas on September 23, 2015 in Public relations

new-uber-logoSince it is PRSA’s Ethics Month, I thought I’d share an example of how a national company violated its business ethics.

Uber, the mobile app that instantly connects customers with drivers, knows how to use aggressive tactics (while taking it too far) against its competitor Lyft. According to CNN, since 2013, Uber employees ordered and then cancelled 5,000 Lyft rides, forcing customers to subsequently use Uber’s services. This not only hinders the company but hurts Lyft drivers’ income and time.

Also, in the same article by CNN, Uber employees in New York are being told it’s against city regulations to work for both companies, even receiving text messages forbidding the action. However, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, this is false.

Whether you’re a part of a startup or a company with a net worth of $3 billion, one of the first things that needs addressing is providing your employees (and management, in this case) with a compliance/ethics training program. That’s because your credibility is directly tied to your ethics.



Ethics Month

Posted by Brian Lee on September 21, 2015 in Public relations

RaganChatThis year, I’m serving as the PRSA liaison to the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). September is Ethics Month, and as part of the long lineup of activities, I co-hosted a #RaganChat on the topic.

Here’s a transcript of my answers:

Q1 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: Why are ethics important to the public relations industry? #RaganChat

A1 We at @PRSA believe the success of the PR profession relies on the ethics of its practitioners. #RaganChat

Q2 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: How have PRSA ethics guidelines changed throughout the years? #RaganChat

A2 @PRSA ethics guidelines evolved from enforcement to inspiration. U r in charge of ur “ethical destiny” #RaganChat

Q3 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What are some common ethics violations PR pros have committed, and how has it affected them? #RaganChat

A3 I’ll answer it this way: some big issues today are native advertising, sponsored content, use of interns and social media. #RaganChat

Q4 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What should PR pros be aware of re: native advertising, “pay to play” campaigns and “influencer” marketing? #RaganChat 

A4 Disclosure is crucial! Here’s an Ethical Standards Advisory on the topic: http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/EthicalStandardsAdvisories/Documents/PSA-09.pdf #RaganChat

Q5 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: Where’s the line for a conflict of interest, and how can PR pros avoid them? #RaganChat

A5 Again, disclosure is key, in this case to avoid conflicts of interest and even *perceived* conflicts of interest. #RaganChat

Q6 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What are the guidelines for reporting unethical behavior? How can one avoid “looking the other way?” #RaganChat

A6 Please report to @PRSA’s BEPS group. beps [at] prsa [dot] org. #RaganChat

Q7 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What should PR pros keep in mind when using images or videos in brand campaigns? #RaganChat

A7 Always seek approval in using images and videos. When in doubt, don’t use it. #RaganChat

Q8 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What is a “phantom experience,” what can it do to reputations, and how can PR pros avoid it? #RaganChat

A8 Phantom experiences will give u a new rep, and it won’t be a good one. Find outside sources that can corroborate your story. #RaganChat

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Utilities companies and social media

Posted by Brian Lee on September 15, 2015 in Social media

NG&EI have a published article titled, “Utility Use of Social Media in Siting” in the October 2015 issue of Natural Gas & Electricity. In addition to siting for public projects such as wind farms and generating plants, I also discuss how utility companies can use social media in day-to-day PR, marketing and community relations.

Want to learn more? Contact me anytime for a friendly chat about social media usage.


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