Did I Meet the Arment Dietrich Challenge?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Back in late December, I agreed to take on a new challenge. No, not announce that I’m in training for the 2017 Chicago Marathon, although I hope to build the stamina needed to run a 5K this year.

There's many graphic depictions of the PESO model. This one is courtesy of Mashable.

There’s many graphic depictions of the PESO model. This one is courtesy of Spin Sucks.

As noted in this December 15 post, I accepted the 30-Day Communications Challenge hosted by Arment Dietrich.  The goal was to complete tasks daily in order to develop a PESO Communications Plan.

What an opportunity: Learn through a structured, online, at-my-own-pace program how to incorporate the PESO model — an acknowledged standard for modern public relations and marketing — into my work.

I was inspired! I was dedicated! I faithfully completed my assignments! I learned a lot!

Then, I got bogged down. Then, I got busy. Then, I made excuses.

One “legitimate” excuse of sorts: In mid January I did start a new

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Studies into works from Russian master Vladimir Nabokov occupied time this semester. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

literature course in my quest for a Master’s degree. Lots of reading — 10 novels this semester with the focus on works by Vladimir Nabokov.

By Day 14, halfway through the Challenge, I failed to do my daily “homework.” Yes, I did not complete the Challenge on time. But, I did revisit all the messages, found time to analyze the content and want to share the following thoughts and observations.

First, some parameters.

  1. The site I employed for the Challenge is this one — The PRDude blog. It’s not really a website, but a forum for my thoughts on public relations and other stuff.
  2. Consequently, some of the homework tasks were not applicable, although I did learn something valuable and may incorporate newfound knowledge in the future.

Now, as promised, three takeaways.

Strategy Drives Everything. Challenge content and tasks drove home the message that effective, modern public relations starts with a sound strategy. Wholeheartedly concur.

Tactics Within Reach. The homework from Day 9 inspired potential tactics that could help build the PESO plan. Yes, I can reach objectives of building more awareness and visits to The PRDude through simple tactics like visiting leading PR blogs more often to gain insight on the industry.

Grow That Content Hub. With 333 posts published since September 4, 2009, The PRDude is a repository of content related to public relations, politics, Chicago, popular culture and more. Perhaps I could strengthen the blog by adding categories.

Other lessons from the Challenge — analyzing the site’s domain authority through Moz and launching an email drip campaign — were fascinating and informative; but I think these lessons will have to wait until I complete my paper on Nabokov in May.

One more thing: If you read this, please don’t share with my friend — the one, the only Gini Dietrich.  Don’t want her mad at me.





Sometimes You Just Need to Take on a (Communications) Challenge

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

So, now in the fleeting days of 2016, a time of year perhaps overwhelmed by holiday merriment and mayhem, one can take a deep breath, look back and reflect. Reflect on the good and the bad, of course, but also delve into what summoned something extra or engaging from within.

Actually, I have no plans to repel down mountains in 2017, just learn -- in the classroom.

Actually, I have no plans to repel down mountains in 2017, just learn — in the classroom.

More plainly spoken, the year-end provides the opportunity to remember and hopefully savor challenges taken on, met and overcome.

For me, there’s no question on the topic of the biggest challenge of 2016: Enrolling in graduate school and completing my first formal college course in (gulp!) 40 years.

In this July post, I sort of gave notice that I was beginning what will surely be four years of study to earn a Master’s of Arts degree in English. And, in a future post, I’ll share what some thoughts on the class I took this semester — but after I learn my grades.

(Professor: If you read this I’m yearning to know.)

I am enrolled in another English class, which will start in early January. But I need another challenge now, so I decided to take on the 2017 Spin Sucks 30-Day Communications Challenge.  This program provides “everything you need to document and implement an integrated PESO-communications plan to drive business results.”

To get the disclosure stuff out of the way, this initiative is hosted by Arment Dietrich, the Chicago-based public relations firm founded by my friend Gini Dietrich, who was profiled in this space with a rousing Q&A post in early 2015.

And, just to prove I’m in step with integrated digital communications today, I know that

This PESO graphic is courtesy of Arment Dietrich.

This PESO graphic is courtesy of Arment Dietrich.

PESO is the acronym for the “paid-earned-shared-owned” concept of building awareness, acceptance and action on behalf of your client. In fact, this Mashable post from late 2014 even heralds Ms. Dietrich as a champion of the PESO model.

But back to this challenge: What I hope to gain is a better understanding of the PESO concept as well as what technologies, practices and strategies are driving modern communications.  Perhaps I’ll be able to incorporate newfound knowledge into my work for the university; without question I’ll learn and be challenged.

Just in case Gini reads this post, I did do my “homework” for today. In fact, the PRDude blog has a domain authority ranking of 97/100.

Is that good?