By Tara Anastasoff

NEBO agency’s president Kimm Lincoln gathered with PRSSA members on Tuesday, March 3 in MLC. Founded in 2004, NEBO prides itself on being the largest independently-owned agency in the Southeast and taking a human-centered approach to public relations. After starting as an intern for NEBO in 2006, Lincoln now leads the company as president. 

Lincoln’s presentation, titled “How to Navigate Disruption in the Industry, Do Great Work, and Stay True to Yourself,” covered topics ranging from campaigns to press releases. She shared how, at its heart, PR is about storytelling, and that people’s process of making decisions is changing. 

“For PR professionals, the goal should be authenticity. It’s not about just telling authentic stories, it’s about creating them. People care about brand transparency now more than ever,” Lincoln said.

As an example of a brand that challenged the norm, Lincoln played a video from shave and body care brand, Billie, explaining that their authenticity shocked people while still gaining support. Lincoln stressed the importance of making people care about a brand’s story through experiential campaigns. A brand may say no to creative ideas, but these ideas are what keep people interested and engaged in the brand. She highlighted the value of working for a company that is open and willing to take creative chances.

“We need to create experiences that match the world and the way consumers see it. We can do that by creating these experiential campaigns that leverage not just digital efforts, but also larger, human experiences,” Lincoln said.

Lincoln also noted that the skill sets many employers are looking for have shifted, with data analytics and video production being at the top of that list. In addition to this shift, she explained that press releases are no longer as vital as they used to be, telling members to instead focus on reaching out to specific contacts before placing a story on the wire.

Lincoln then addressed how different tools are crucial for measuring a campaign’s success, but to not solely rely on technology for this outreach. She also mentioned that “78% of Americans believe it is no longer acceptable for companies to just make money; they must also positively impact society.”

She finished her presentation by encouraging members to use PR as a force of good. 

“You should look for a job that you can find meaning in the work you are doing. Use your creativity and fight for your beliefs,” Lincoln said. 

After the meeting, members gathered at Clarke’s Standard for a percentage night. The next PRSSA general body meeting will be on Tuesday, March 31 in Studio 100.