Face-to-Face Time with Clients Still Matters

It’s no secret that our world is technologically-driven. Long gone are the days where face-to-face—and even telephone—interaction was the preferred way to communicate with others. Now we email, text, tweet or send Facebook messages to coworkers (even if they’re sitting a few feet away), clients, reporters and other contacts we might need to speak to.

Communicating this way is convenient; it makes it easier for you to keep written records or to refer back to older messages; and a lot of times, it’s the best way to get a hold of someone who has a really busy schedule or isn’t in town.

The public relations industry is based on communication, engagement and relationship building. While emailing or texting have become more popular, face-to-face communication is still crucial in the industry for quite a few reasons:

  • You make deeper connections: Having a face-to-face meeting allows you to connect with clients or reporters on a more personal level because you’re taking the time to have a conversation outside of a superficial email setting. It gives you the opportunity to get to know the people you are working with, and on the flip side, they get to know you. Meetings like these have the potential to create lasting relationships with clients or other contacts because you’re working with someone beyond the computer/phone screen.
  • You come to quicker solutions: While it’s true that sending an email/text is convenient and fast, that’s often not the case when you’re dealing with a complex issue that needs a solution. There’s a bit of disconnect when you’re communicating via email. Nonverbal cues and tone are absent, so there’s more room for miscommunication or misinterpretation. Going back and forth to explain an issue or a solution to that issue in an email chain often is more difficult and more time consuming than talking about it in person. If speaking face-to-face isn’t possible, talk on the phone or have a FaceTime session! You’ll be on your way to a solution in no time.
  • You stay focused: If your client is going to work with you on a big project, invite them to an in-person meeting. In this instance, email would be fine for sending important documents and information that are essential to the project, but go over those documents in person to make sure that everything is covered and all of your questions are answered before you begin working on it. Email and telephone follow-ups are inevitable, but the initial communication about an important project should be more focused and personal.

Meeting with someone in person is definitely worth the effort. To make the process a little easier, talk with your clients about getting together in person once a month or every few weeks. Try to schedule the next meeting at the end of each one. Other plans and projects come up, of course, but penciling in that face time is a step in the right direction.

Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things: Summer 2015 Events

Memorial Day weekend is almost here! Can you believe it? While you may have picnics and family gatherings in the plans for the weekend—which many consider as a kickoff to summer—we’ve gathered a list of local outdoor activities to keep you busy all season.


  • The Three Rivers Arts Festival remains a great celebration of the arts throughout the city, featuring performing and visual arts exhibits from June 5-14.
  • The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta is back again this year, July 3-5, with the addition of Formula One Power Boat races and the Wheel of Lights, a nine-story tall Ferris Wheel that is sure to give a fantastic view of the city. The event will of course include a fireworks display for the Fourth of July.
  • New to the city in 2015 is Picklesburgh – a free festival surrounding all foods pickled taking place July 17-18 on the Rachel Carson Bridge. The giant flying Heinz pickle balloon is sure to be an extra highlight, though.


  • Heinz Field plays hosts to some major concerts this summer, including Kenny Chesney (May 30), Taylor Swift (June 6), The Rolling Stones (June 20), Luke Bryan (July 31), and One Direction (August 2).
  • Other outdoor venues like Stage AE and First Niagara Pavilion continue to host a variety of old and new acts.
  • Don’t forget the free concerts taking place throughout the Three Rivers Arts Festival, too.

Movies in the Park:

  • Free movies are offered in the city’s parks throughout June, July and August.

Summer Food:

  • Farmers’ Markets are already in full swing and typically last throughout the fall months. Check out the local neighborhood markets for anything from produce to flowers, all at great prices.
  • During Oakland Restaurant Week, June 22-27, participating restaurants feature $6 lunches.
  • Pittsburgh Restaurant Week comes up on August 10-16, highlighting deals on summer menus of local city and suburban restaurants.

What are some of your favorite summer activities and traditions throughout the city? We hope you have a summer full of fun in the sun!

Should it be Capitalized?

Proper capitalization is an important component of well-written content, but are you confident you’re capitalizing words correctly? For the most part, we all know to capitalize proper nouns, such as names, cities, and titles, but as always, there are rules to follow. Here are some quick tips:

The First Word of a Sentence

This is a simple one, but there are some instances where you may be questioning if the first word should be capitalized. For example, capitalize the first word of a quotation that is a complete sentence, but not a sentence fragment.

The football coach said, “We need to go out there and compete.” At times, he said the team “took plays off.”

Family Relationships

Words that designate family relationships should be capitalized when they are used as proper nouns.

I’m taking Dad to a baseball game this weekend. You should bring your dad.

Professional Titles

Professional titles should be capitalized when they precede an individual’s name or when referring to the person without mentioning his or her name. Titles should always be lowercase if they follow a name.

Tom Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania, held a Twitter town hall last month. During the session, people could tweet questions to the Governor. One user asked if a hot dog is a sandwich, to which Governor Wolf replied, “Yes, and a good one, too.”

Days, Months, and Holidays, but not Always Seasons

Days of the week, months, and holidays should always be capitalized because they are proper nouns. However, seasons should remain lowercase, unless they are part of a proper name or title.

Do you have any plans on Memorial Day? It’s on a Monday, right?

It’s going to be summer soon, which makes me wonder, when is the next Summer Olympics?


Directions can be tricky. Compass directions—north, south, east, and west—aren’t capitalized. Regions, such as Western Pennsylvania, are capitalized.

I drove west for a few hours, but still haven’t reached the Midwest.


Do you have any other questions for us to explore that’ll help improve your writing?

Spring & Summer Grammar Tips

We’re a full week into May and right in between the spring and summer. Seasonal press releases, ads, blogs, etc. are being published, so here are a few spring- and summer-related grammar tips to help you while you write your content:

  • This Sunday, we will be celebrating Mother’s Day (not Mothers Day or Mothers’ Day).
  • All seasons—spring, summer, fall and winter—are lowercase. Equinox or spring equinox also are lowercase.
  • Memorial Day is a holiday, so the first letter in both words should be capitalized. If you have the day off, you might go to a barbecue (not barbeque, Bar-B-Q or BBQ).
  • Daylight saving time already has passed for the season, but when it comes again in the fall, the written style remains the same—no capitalization, no hyphens and no plurals (it’s “saving,” not “savings”).
  • Graduation season is here, so remember to use apostrophes in the general terms bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc. (no capitalization). However, the proper form is capitalized and does not have an apostrophe. For example, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science.
  • If you’re going on a vacation, you’re a traveler who is traveling (one L, not two).

What are some other good seasonal writing tips! Share them with us in the comments!

Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things: Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend

The 2015 Dick’s Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon weekend is here!

Runners and walkers will be celebrating as they cross the race’s finish line, just two blocks from the Yearick-Millea office.

About 30,000 people are participating in the weekend’s different events—5K, kid races, and a pet walk on Saturday, May 2, and the marathon, half marathon, and marathon relay on Sunday, May 3. Race participants get to experience Pittsburgh in an amazing way—running across the city’s numerous bridges and diverse neighborhoods.

Runners take the opportunity to give it all they have and achieve their goals after months of training, while the streets will come alive with thousands of spectators and volunteers cheering on their loved ones and strangers alike. The family-friendly Eat’n Park Finish Line Festival at Point State Park also is a great way to unwind after the races.

The GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health and Fitness Expo, held Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, is another event that everyone can enjoy. Focusing on all aspects of health and wellness for people of all ages, the expo offers Pittsburgh-themed gear and apparel for those who want to show off their Pittsburgh pride.

Are you participating in any of the marathon weekend events? Tell us in the comments!

2014 Pittsburgh Marathon

2014 Pittsburgh Marathon

Generate Ideas With These Brainstorming Techniques

Public relations, marketing and advertising professionals do quite a bit of brainstorming to generate ideas for content, campaigns, events and media pitches. Some ideas come easier than others, so here are a few tips to help you brainstorm when you get stuck (or even just as general practice):

  1. Think Like Someone Else—Put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you’re trying to come up with ideas. Whether you’re working on a project that would appeal to someone who is from a different generation than you are, or someone in a different profession, take the time to think like someone else. For example, if you’re brainstorming ideas for a media pitch, outline what you think a reporter would want to know about your client and frame your story idea/pitch around that. Or if you have a product that you need to market to a specific audience, talk to someone within that audience to get some informal thoughts.
  1. Brain Writing—Just as with writer’s block, writing freely about whatever comes to mind can help you generate ideas. Set aside 10 minutes and write down every idea you have, whether or not you like it. Take a step back and revisit your list after a few minutes. Looking at it with a fresh set of eyes might help you expand on some of the ideas.
  1. Reverse Thinking—Rather than trying to come up with solutions for your clients, thinking about potential problems could be a good way to brainstorm. For example, instead of asking, “How can I make my client’s website more user-friendly?” ask “How can I create a horrible user experience?” and make a list. Once you have your list of ways to create a bad client website, generate solutions for all the items.
  1. Group Sessions—As they say, “Two heads are better than one.” Sometimes, individual brainstorming leads to a dead end, so it’s a good idea to enlist some help from your colleagues and coworkers. Bounce ideas off of each other and don’t be afraid to vocalize your thoughts. A little bit of teamwork can take an incomplete thought and turn it into something great.

What techniques do you try when you’re brainstorming? Let us know in the comments!

How to Advertise on Twitter

We covered advertising on Facebook in an earlier blog post, but today we’ll be discussing the basics of advertising on Twitter.

There are three basic types of Twitter advertising:

  • Promoted accounts that show up in the “who to follow” section
  • Promoted tweets that show up in a user’s timeline
  • Promoted trends that are listed in the “trends” section

The most commonly used type of ad is a promoted tweet. These ads can target Twitter users based on a multitude of factors depending on what you’re looking for, including keyword targeting, interest targeting, location targeting and gender targeting.

Pricing for Twitter advertising is based on accomplishing your chosen “objectives.” Objectives can include followers, web clicks and conversions, engagement, app installs, and engagement and leads. Under the current “objectives” structure, you’re only charged for your ad when your objective has been met. For example, if your goal is to get followers, you’ll be charged for each follower you gain from your ad. You can still use the old structure that is not based on objectives; however, using the objective-based advertising method is generally the best way to get optimal results for your campaign.

Twitter objectives

Similar to Facebook ads, promoted tweets should use clear, concise ad copy and intriguing creative. Twitter’s advertising platform will help guide you through creating your ad based on your chosen objective. Twitter ads have both the advantage and disadvantage of blending in better with a user’s timeline than an ad on a Facebook newsfeed. This can be advantageous because users may not realize it’s an ad, therefore, they will be more likely to interact with it. On the other hand, it can be a disadvantage because it is more likely to be scrolled over, as lots of tweets are.

To achieve success with a Twitter promoted tweet ad campaign, we recommend running a different mix of copy and creative to determine what works best for you and attracts customers.

Contact Yearick-Millea to learn more about how we can help with your social media strategy. 

The Ever-Evolving Marketing Industry

“Whatever happened to traditional marketing?”

If you’ve been working in marketing and advertising for more than a decade, you’ve probably asked yourself that question once or twice. The simple answer: data sophistication. Several decades ago, businesses and organizations had access to a short-list of techniques that could help them promote their businesses. However, today’s marketing industry is constantly evolving with data sophistication, and in order for clients to achieve success, individual agencies must do the same.

There was an era when advertising agencies merely matched a radio or TV station’s ratings with their demographics and then placed the ad schedule for their clients. As the industry evolved, media buying became super-categorized by market share, programming, demographics and more. With buyer profiles and habits, household incomes, and so much more, marketing professionals began to have the capability to tally quantitative and qualitative data for use in their clients’ marketing plans, strategies and campaigns.

The industry is currently experiencing the power of the internet, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which can help marketing professionals target a diverse audience for clients. We now can learn about our audience’s online searching and buying habits, as well as social and engagement trends. These outlets have opened communication channels between brands and their audiences, keeping them totally connected 24/7.

Compared to all the data and statistics available these days, marketing research back then could be considered “cut-and-dried.” And over the next decade, even our current marketing strategies and techniques may seem ancient. That could seem a little intimidating, but there’s a reason why agencies like Yearick-Millea offer services to help businesses and brands make sense of this information in order to craft a successful marketing or public relations campaign. The industry is changing by the minute, and we are responsible for changing along with it.

5 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

It’s no secret that public relations, marketing, advertising and other communications professionals write a lot. Here at Yearick-Millea, we work on a variety of writing assignments for clients, whether it’s in the form of press releases, social media posts, proposals, website content, blogs or slogans.

However, a writing assignment for a client could turn into a stressful experience if writer’s block hits. Instead of panicking, follow these five tips to help your ideas flow:

  1. Write down ideas—Carry a small notepad and pen with you so you can jot down notes and ideas as they come to you throughout the day, and be as detailed as possible. If you don’t want to carry anything extra, type ideas into your phone. When you’re ready to start writing, you can reference them. You might think an idea is too good to forget, but don’t risk it.
  1. Step away or sleep on it—If you don’t have an immediate deadline for the assignment, set it aside for a little bit. Eat your lunch or take a short walk break to clear your mind, or go to bed and start fresh in the morning (don’t forget to take note of ideas you might have during this time). The concept of stepping away should not be used as an excuse to procrastinate, though. Remember you’re taking a small break to help propel you in the writing process rather than simply trying to put it off until later.
  1. Organize your thoughts/ideas—Make an outline of the thoughts and ideas you’ve managed to compile. You might find that some are more cohesive while others don’t seem to fit. Focus on those that mesh well and start to build on them. However, you shouldn’t immediately discard the ideas that aren’t blending well. They might come in handy later on in the planning process when you have a better grasp on what you’re going to write about, or they might even be something you can work off of for a future project/assignment.
  1. Write—It might seem silly to tell someone to write when they’re having trouble writing, but this step can help get you into the practice of it. Start by writing freely about whatever comes to mind. Because these words aren’t intended for a client or publication, don’t worry about a specific topic or your grammar. You can also find other writing exercises online that can help get you in a creative mindset.
  1. Unplug—When you start writing, put your phone away, shut off email notifications and close all other tabs on your computer. A good writing streak could easily be broken by a minor distraction, which could bring back that writer’s block. WordPress and other applications have “distraction-free” features that block everything but your written words from the computer screen. Take advantage of similar functions if you find that you have a hard time focusing.

 What do you do when you have writer’s block? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

Our Favorite Pittsburgh Things: Downtown

The City of Pittsburgh is no stranger to receiving accolades—whether it’s being named the most livable city, one of the most affordable cities or one of the best cities for recreation.

This week, Livability’s 2015 list of the top 10 best downtowns in America revealed what we at Yearick-Millea already know—Pittsburgh is No. 1. Livability applauds Pittsburgh’s low vacancy rates, its walkable neighborhoods and its high concentration of cultural amenities, including many that have made our own favorites list:

We’re proud to work in this city! As always, continue to check back for more posts highlighting our favorite Pittsburgh things.