A Blueprint to a Better Online Newsroom

Photo of Mike Lesczinski, public relations manager for Excelsior College. In October 2012, Excelsior College launched the Empire Award-winning Excelsior Life, an online newsroom dedicated to showcasing a vibrant campus and academic life – characteristics not readily associated with a distance learning institution. This week, I had the distinct honor to join PRSA Capital Region to discuss the development of Excelsior Life and offer a blueprint to local practitioners for building an engaging online newsroom that can deliver dynamic written, audio and visual content.

For a quick recap, visit PRSA Capital Region’s website. The Prezi is also online.

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Podcast: “Telling Our Story, Our Way”

I had the opportunity to join Ryan Hanley’s fantastic “Content Warfare” podcast this past week to discuss Excelsior Life, in particular the challenges and opportunities afforded to those who create their own online media platform. We had a great conversation and I loved the opportunity to share Excelsior’s unique story.

Listen to the full interview on RyanHanley.com: Telling Our Story, Our Way with Mike Lesczinski or download the episode on iTunes.

On this week’s episode of the Content Warfare Podcast, we’re joined by Mike Lesczinski, Manager of Media Relations for Excelsior College, to explain how we tell our story, our way.

In this episode Mike gives us two very specific case studies where reaching out to support and highlight their audience, (the students, professors and alumni of Excelsior College) paid huge dividends in terms of branding and exposure.

Strategy wise, Mike discusses his decision to create Excelsior Life, the media arm of Excelsior College. Mike realized that in order to Excelsior to succeed in spreading their message they needed to become a media company.

This a lesson we all need to leave no matter what business we’re running.


Excelsior Life Wins Empire Award

In late 2012, I helped spearhead the development and subsequent launch of Excelsior Life, Excelsior College’s online newsroom and magazine. On November 6, 2013, Excelsior Life was awarded an Empire Award in the online media category by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Capital Region Chapter.

In order to increase brand awareness and showcase a vibrant campus and academic life – characteristics not normally associated with a distance learning institution – Excelsior College’s Office of Institutional Advancement launched Excelsior Life, a robust online newsroom and a podcast interview series that has increased web traffic by 791 percent from the previous year and resulted in a substantial boost in earned media.

Full story at Excelsior Life.



PRSA ‘State of the Chapter’

I’ve had a few emails asking why the blog has gone silent over the past six months. Well, teaching a college class and taking over as president of the local Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter will do that.


Developing and Maintaining a Social Brand

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to give a presentation on “social branding” to a local chamber of commerce. I’ve embedded the slides below. I discussed developing a “social persona,” branding, Facebook, Twitter, and how to optimize content to reach your target audiences, among other topics.

P.S. What are the best apps for networking? I game my opinion to U.S. News. Which are your favorite?


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