Blake Lewis, Guest Speaker
Founding Principal and COO, Three Box Strategic Communications
BLAKE LEWIS is a veteran public, community, media, and relations professional with a focus on reputation management, serving as Chief Operating Officer of Three Box Strategic Communications, where he works with clients in agriculture, critical infrastructure, energy, engineering, transportation, and technology sectors.
Prior to founding Lewis Public Relations – expanded and rebranded as Three Box in 2000 – Blake worked as a global communications counselor at Electronic Data Systems (EDS), a worldwide leader in information technology. His career also includes leadership positions at Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm, and in the American Heart Association at national and state-wide venues. Blake also has served as a leader in the Public Relations Global Network, a group of more than 50 communications consultancies operating on five continents.
Blake has served the Public Relations Society of America as a leader at the local chapter, district, and national level, where he rose to chair several national PRSA committees and task forces, followed by national board service as a director, treasurer, and secretary. He earned the Accredited in Public Relations credential and was admitted into the Society’s College of Fellows in recognition of his contributions to the public relations and strategic communications profession.
Growing up around horses in southeastern Pennsylvania, Blake “learned” basic western riding abilities and can clean a stall with the stable hand. He is married to a health care clinician turned retired health science teacher, has two adult children and lives in Richardson, Texas.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2021
Deep Dive Reputation Management Series
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Part 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Ask someone about SEO, and you’re liable to either get a bit of a blank stare or a seemingly endless stream of technospeak in return.
Whether you’re a newcomer to website performance or a highly experienced site developer, SEO doesn’t start with bits and bytes. Instead, it realistically begins with a journalist-styled approach to telling your story digitally. Viewing your stakeholders through the typical Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How lenses can best equip you to identify what will make your organization easier to find, provide a better-differentiated product, service, or organization, and make it a more competitive player in your marketplace.
In this session, participants will learn key steps to creating a compelling connection between the information your site visitors are seeking, the content you provide, and the actions you want them to take to develop or expand your relationships. We’ll use the intersection of art, science, and intentionalism as our reference point in discussing the opportunities, challenges, and avoidable pitfalls of optimizing websites for high-performance engagement with key audiences.
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Deep Dive: Reputation Management, Part 2 – Data Analytics
Once your website has become an intentionally focused, value-adding resource for your readers, listeners, viewers, clients, or any other interested groups, action… and productivity… can kick into high gear. Simply put, a website that’s properly designed and developed to engage and drive actions from key audiences often creates a pathway to learning, understanding, and then knowing what these constituents are seeking and how you can maximize your response to these opportunities.
However, leveraging specific learnings from results yielded by the SEO process often may not be relevant or may be the starting point of data analytics. An amazing amount of data is often accessible, with various levels of ready availability. Knowing where to start putting the obvious and not so obvious pieces together, efficiently and effectively, to improve relationships and performance is the target of data analytics.
In discussing Data Analytics, Blake talks about converting a stream of data points from a variety of sources – often just waiting to be accessed – into information that can increase the breadth and depth of relationships between an organization and its readers, listeners, viewers, clients, and other valuable stakeholders. Creating a hierarchy of valuable information and how it informs decisions you and others in your organization make can be the difference between great success… and, oftentimes… mediocre (at best) performance. Much of the information assembled may come from the SEO-guided website discussed in the previous session. Still, it just as often may come from mineable data sources elsewhere in your organization or from out in the marketplace. Guidance will be provided in identifying and implementing key drivers of success in assessing and using the information to improve your organization’s performance in an increasingly challenging, complex marketplace. At the end of the day, the goal is to take data – raw material, often compared to individual bricks in a building – and create a process that serves as the mortar needed to connect a load of bricks into a highly functional wall of information.
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Deep Dive: Part 3 – Reputation Management
It’s often said that a good defense is a strong offense. In the area of creating and maintaining reputation, actively using the information to know where you stand is important in accomplishing this goal.
If SEO and Data Analytics operate in the present tense, how those who look to you or your clients for news and information feel about your “brand” speak in both present and future tenses. Many wait to “fix” a reputation issue when it becomes a public matter. In reality, the real process looks more like going to a bank, opening a savings account, and then working to deposit funds for a rainy day. When storm clouds start approaching your organization – whether you’re a freelance writer, editor, or producer, or you consult with or operate a media organization – the “resources” you’ve deposited into your “reputation bank” become what’s needed to reverse the impact of an issue, both with those directly involved and others who are watching how you respond.
In this session, Blake goes through processes and various tools that are critical to knowing your reputational “bank balance,” then being able to apply this information against goals or targets to determine what action or actions need to be taken when – not “if” – trouble rises, from immediately to somewhat out into the future. Measuring the seriousness and extent of an issue, knowing how to leverage past performance in addressing a current issue, and prioritizing speed to market by taking action are all a part of the process of having and, where necessary, using a positive reputational “bank balance.”