Is your Team Moving in the Right Direction? Understanding the similarities between sailing and PR & the Meaning behind “Ballast”

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Lessons, PR Methodology, Sailing | 0 comments

As another Chicago summer sets the tone for humid heat and warm winds, public relations firms and sailing teams prepare for a busy season. America’s Cup fanatics are watching the 35th Cup this week from Bermuda as Lake Michigan sailors get ready for Chicago Yacht Club’s 109th Race to Mackinac, taking off July 15 east of Navy Pier. Similarly, PR professionals are gearing up for a season of outdoor events, new seasonal products and holidays that celebrate the excitement of summer fun. Though it may seem strange to liken business to sailing, when you break it down, and look at how each team...

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The Importance of Internships: How to Get a Jump-Start on Your Confidence and Your Career

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in General, Lessons | 0 comments

At the start of senior year, most college students begin contemplating what the ‘real world’ will look like. They prepare for that ever-so daunting job search and stress over securing their first post-graduation position.   As college seniors everywhere are graduating, there are a few helpful tips for freshmen, sophomores and juniors on how to get a jump start on your career and bypass most of the senior stress. The first, and arguably most important tip, is securing not only one but two or three internships during college. When I was in my junior year at DePaul University, I had the chance...

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How Entrepreneurship Fuels Job Growth

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Entrepreneur Thoughts, General, Lessons | 0 comments

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” For those of you who know The Ballast Group or our founder, Kellee Johnson, it is likely that you have seen or heard these words — especially around college graduation time. This quote, from Steve Jobs’s 2005 Stanford University commencement address, is the inspiration behind Kellee Johnson’s entrepreneurial spirit and the force behind her drive to continue finding best storytelling practices for The Ballast Group everyday. In 2005, Kellee founded The Ballast Group after working for Tropicana, Abbott Labs and several medical technology start-up companies....

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12 Leads in 12 Minutes: Now What? Never Assume Your Client Defines PR the Same Way You Do

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Client Talk, General, Lessons, PR Methodology | 0 comments

Every public relations professional and many CEOs know the power of earned media. A lead in a major metropolitan newspaper or an interview on a network station that gets syndicated — this type of exposure can lead to millions of impressions that increase a business’s revenue and reputation. While PR contributes to sales goals, sometimes different levels of leaders can misinterpret the role and responsibility of the PR function. Typically business leaders dictate the strategy for building the internal structure necessary for managing an influx in prospects and leads due to great PR...

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Built to Last: Why Honesty and Transparency Matter between Public Relations Professionals and Journalists

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in General, Lessons, PR Methodology | 0 comments

Behind every great story is a journalist. And behind every great journalist is a public relations professional offering ideas and sources for those stories. With increasing access to stories breaking around the globe, journalists no longer have time to develop a story the way they used to. When a PR professional does his or her job well, journalists are brought good stories to consider. Once these stories are told, PR professionals and journalists are launched into relationships built on mutual trust. According to The Ballast Group founder, Kellee Johnson, these symbiotic relationships are...

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Define Success before a PR Engagement Begins

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in General, Lessons, PR Methodology | 0 comments

A question that I like to ask CEOs or sponsors at the beginning of any new project is: “How will you define success at the end of this project? If your definition was a news headline, what would it say?” A former Baxter executive founded a medical education start-up company that taught physicians how to practice a simulated procedure instead of practicing on a real patient. He answered my question with a commanding: “I want to be on the cover of Fortune magazine as the most feared man in medicine.” Alrighty I thought — a very articulate and focused leader. He continued, “If hospital...

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