Sep 12 2011

Joanne Taylor of Boise: Why allow comments to go unchecked?


Joanne Taylor of Boise takes on rogue commentators and those who give them license to operate.

People who have nothing to do, no originality, and no ability to think and express themselves rationally can be found online, lurking in the comment section of your local newspaper.

Most of them are faceless because they lack the courage to show themselves or identify who they really are. They complain about the world’s ills, about the way people are doing their jobs, about government injustice. They make false accusations, and speak hurtful untruths. Yet, they have no solutions or meaningful suggestions. Most likely, they rarely even leave the house.

So why is it that we and, worse yet, online news editors allow them to persist? It’s not that difficult to monitor comments and filter them out. News sources that view themselves as credible, and want others to do the same, should either monitor their comment sections or turn them off.

Feb 21 2011

Boise-based Joanne Taylor PR, writes winning grant for Children’s Home Society


I recently got word that the very first grant I wrote received funding–$25,000 from The Lightfoot Foundation to the Children’s Home Society of Idaho for its Pre-Doctoral Internship Program at the Warm Springs Training Institute.

With this grant, the Lightfoot Foundation makes a significant impact on the ability of the Children’s Home Society to provide valuable, hands-on training to pre-doctoral interns that fosters the development of skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to provide competent and ethical psychological services to children, adolescents, adults, and families. The Children’s Home offers these services to low-income children and the families that care for them regardless of their ability to pay, thus giving hope to people in our community who traditionally have had few choices in obtaining counseling and assessment services due to overwhelming costs.

So, a note of thanks to The Lightfoot Foundation for its dedication to The Children’s Home Society and its unwavering devotion to the well-being of students, children and families in Idaho. It is a privilege to work with organizations like Lightfoot, and the champions of the causes they support.

Joanne Taylor of Boise at a recent Children's Home Society fundraiser, along with another CHS supporter, Mary Anne Pace

Nov 18 2010

Joanne Taylor PR: Solid public relations pros think like journalists


 George Packer, The New Yorker

I just read “George Packer’s 5 Tips for Reporting on Anything,” from Steve Myers at Poynter. George Packer is a reporter for The New Yorker—a favorite weekly read at boise-based Joanne Taylor PR. Meyers asked Packer how he enters unfamiliar territory to report on complex subjects. I couldn’t help but liken this to the approach public relations pros take when preparing to launch a new product or service.

I’ve long thought that former journalists, or those who have trained themselves to think like journalists, are the best PR people. This article helps demonstrates why. We are familiar with Packer’s methodology, and we use it when we take on a new client, company, product or service.

I listed Packer’s five tips below and added to each one a similar practice that PR pros use on a regular basis. See if you agree with my analogies. If not, or if you have something to add, please leave a comment.

Don’t go in cold
We research the companies we plan to represent, as well as its products and/or services, its business objectives and sales goals, the competitive landscape, industry landscape, industry trends, related news and anything else that is relevant.

Find a guide to show you around
We ask product managers and sales guys to give us their pitch. We ask about target markets and the messages used for each one. We look at demos of the product and/or service, and ask questions. If there’s a manufacturing or shipping facility, we ask to see it. We also ask to be introduced to the people who work there. We talk to them and ask questions. Guides give us story angles.

Go in with a guiding question
What is it about this company, product or service that sets it apart from its competitors? Is it the first? The best? Is there something different/trendy about the way the company does business or the product is made? Who are the employees? What are their stories? Any of these can serve as guiding questions. We use them all the time, and often the answers provide news hooks.

Capitalize on your outsider status
As outsiders, we see fresh what insiders have been studying for weeks or months. We’re not tainted by company politics or hierarchy, emotional idea attachment or any of the other things that can sometimes turn a good communications plan to bad. We get paid to tell company executives what we think, so we do.

Capture those fleeting thoughts
Like journalists, we carry a notebook—a practice that is good for much more than capturing fleeting thoughts.

Jan 28 2010

And now for something completely off topic from Joanne Taylor PR


Where do dreams take us?

I woke from a dead sleep yesterday morning at 3:45. I had just dreamed I was seated at a table with three things on a plate in front of me. The surroundings were unfamiliar. I understood the three things in front of me to represent people but then they were simply food—a chicken-fried steak, a pancake, and a solid gold bar of something topped with candy diamonds. The only thing I would actually eat is the pancake, I thought to myself in the dream, but my children were saying, from somewhere off in the distance, that they would eat all three.

Then, there was some sort of reward for these things, advertised in a magazine. The rewards were displayed in a photo taken of my mom’s house in the ‘50s. I thought this was cool because I was able to get a glimpse of what her house and the things inside it looked like before I was born.

The rewards included three things (again 3). All of them were jewelry. A locket her grandmother gave her, a horseshoe shaped diamond ring, and something else that I can’t remember now. But I do recall that it was something she had extracted gold from after finding out its value and weight, and this information was included in the advertisement.

My mom never owned any of these things but the father of a childhood friend of mine owned the ring. He was a pit boss in Vegas.

All the while this is going on, I’m thinking I have to remember it and write it down. So, that’s what I was doing at 3:55 a.m. Somehow, today, I was able to read my notes and tell the tale.

So, what’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?