Tag Archives: PR

Social Media … Too Much of a Good Thing?

Remember Fax blasts? OK, I may be a little older than some, but this was the main way of reaching ‘the media’ if you were a Public Relations professional. A Fax blast or broadcast was where a “carefully crafted” press release would go out to hundreds of media outlets using up paper in an obscene amount on the other end. Without any follow-up you would never know if it reached the intended recipient or not.  Some folks still use them, we no longer have a fax machine.Now, the ease to contact media professionals is many and varied: Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Seeks & Shouts, and more! unfortunately what this means is media is being bombarded with massive amounts of pitches and no one is listening. I had one journalist recently tell me, she had so many emails, it was too much to read them, and so she would delete them all without even reading one. Great! So much for carefully crafted messages.

I like email – more space to write my pitch – and I use the old-fashioned method of calling journalists and pitching my story. But before I send anything or phone anyone, I research my target – read the reporter’s last three articles and/or watch a week of shows on a targeted program. DVR is a wonderful thing. The major complaint from the media is that no one tries to get to know them before pitching the story idea. So I try.

This  little video by Adam Shirk SEO and PR Consultant was picked up by The Mud Rack Blog, a site for the media to vent, pick up information and generally discuss their craft. Seems Adam hit a note within the journalist community. Where I didn’t agree with Mud Rack that it was hilarious, it was interesting to watch.

Media Relations Mistakes …
Or What Not to Do With Journalists

I found the video fascinating as it was the written word turned into a video cartoon. So where the message was not new, the format was a new way of delivery. And, as a new way of saying something we all have heard before, it made one think and that is a good thing.

I like being personal so I still address my messages to the journalist by name. No. I don’t do Mail Merge. I follow-up my emails, Twitter or Facebook with a phone call. Most importantly, before I start sending anything, I complete a thorough research for my clients in order to target the proper media professional for the correct pitch that fits. If I am wrong, I apologize and move on.

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Top Ten of the Top 100 PR Tips for Media Rockstar Status

Got a post today via one of my PR newsletters that featured Sakita Holley’s top 100 Tips for becoming a Rockstar with the Media. The information is awesome and is actually 111 tips.  But, Sakita’s list was so thorough (and long) that one of the comments posted said it all “… Now how am I going to remember all of that?”

 The number one rule in PR to remember is that less is more. Media wants all of your information in ‘sound bites’, leading with ‘hooks’ and don’t forget to keep your message ‘short and concise.’ So how do you get your story across without sounding like a tweet?

‘Media training’ was mentioned twice in Sakita’s list. Good advice especially for the novice. ‘Practice’ was also mentioned more than once and I can remember from my piano teacher that indeed ‘practice makes perfect’ (or at least better). I think the other strong tip is ‘be comfortable with silence.’ So many of my clients feel that instead of letting the quiet rest for a second, they fill the air with “you knows.”

So my list of the Top Ten of the Top 100 Tips, with some editorial license and in the order of importance as I see it, is as follows:

  1. Prepare – Practice, practice, practice – List your points of information in order of importance to get them out in the interview.
  2. Never lie – Be honest and straight forward with your information.
  3. Focus – Stay on topic and don’t let the reporter distract or lead you astray.
  4. Listen – to the reporter’s questions and comments and keep eye contact with them.
  5. Assume Nothing – Including that the reporter has even read any pre-interview information about you.
  6. Respect Deadlines – Arrive on time, call back quickly once contacted by media and don’t drag on with your contact.
  7. Silence is OK – don’t let it go on for too long, but better while you gather your thoughts to keep quiet instead of “you knows”.
  8. No such thing as “off the record” – A reporter can never ignore what you’ve given them, and even if they are your friend, they’ll report it.
  9. Smile – It will help you look relaxed, and will make you feel better. Honest!
  10. Expect a final question that may allow you to conclude the interview with a recap of your message. But, cover it early to be safe.

So there you have it. If you can remember these ten items, you will be able to become that Media Rockstar you dream about!

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Good Twitter Grades?

Did you know you’re being graded on Twitter? On how many followers you have … On who follows you (their “power”) … On how the number of times you post and how often … On your follower/following ratio and on how many of your tweets are re-tweeted (Engagement). Whew! Who knew? I must admit, that I didn’t know until recently that grading  is part of what helps build your followers.

The good news (at least to me)  is that not every one using Twitter  is graded. However, there are a lot of  users that are graded. According to Dhash at Grader.com over 2.1 million users have been graded on Twitter Grader. Dhash explains

  What Twitter Grader is trying to measure is the power, reach and authority of a twitter account.  In other words, when you tweet, what kind of an impact does it have? (Full article http://tinyurl.com/ye6d2ks )

I first learned about Twitter Grader when following a tweet to an article from Edward Boches,who was touted as being rated 99.95 (out of 100) as part of his credentialsre where this fits into markteting or how I use Twitter for my clients. It seems more useful for an Opra or Ashton to worry about rather than those of us using twitter for our clients or our own business. Am I wrong?

So what’s your Twitter Grade? Well, there are tools to help you with finding your twitter grade.  And there are sites, twitter and web, that have their own agendas as to you using them.  One site I found helpful is a free tool to measure your power and reach on twitter: http://twitter.com/grader


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HD Video – A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

The old adage of “A picture is worth a thousand words” is still a worthy one, especially when you want to tell your own story. And where a static photo is good, a video is even better … and HD-video is the best!

With the constant growth and increasing availability of broadband, websites such as YouTube, make it even easier to broadcast your message and reach audiences on both a national and international scale. 

Whether raising money or raising awareness, a well thought out video campaign can spread your message and strengthen the profile of your company or services.

Many of our clients now tell their stories with videos. Instead of a press release, it is better to have your CEO talk about where the company is headed on a video. We find an interview where our client chats with me works well rather than having to speak into the camera alone. Hard to face that blinking red light and not come down with a good case of stage fright!

A good example of using a professional in an interview is on our website. You can view samples of videos we’ve completed for clients at http://tiny.cc/LbU1x

But the great thing about video today is that you can film your own, or for a fee have a professional company assist you to script, film and edit your video. Usually price is based on a cost per finished minute of video. Well written messages can tell your story in less time than you think.

DM Productions LLC has been producing videos for our clients since 1994 when cameras were the size of a small toddler, so contact us if you like more details.

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New to Twitter? … “I Don’t Get it!” … I do, Listen!

I heard a often repeated comment today from a someone who is new to Twitter, but has to “tweet” for her job: “I don’t get it!” She went on to add that Twitter is only marketing since she only gets tweets that say “check this out” with a URL attached. What that tells me is that she has a lot of “newbees” sending her tweets, because that’s not how you do it in a communication community. It is rude and if you were in a face-to-face situation, you would be told that is the case.

The rule of thumb is that you should tweet about yourself, business, product or whatever about every 10 to 15 tweets. In other words, only talking about yourself is boring whether in real life or on Twitter.  A conversation is suposed to be a two-way process.

Chris Brogan posted a recent blog (ChrisBrogan.com) tweeted to me by @GuyKawasaki about Twitter Etiquitte based on his and friends’ thoughts about things that shouldn’t be done.

“The thing is, it’s (Twitter) also a place where newcomers might often make some mistakes in their choices that will likely be taken in a negative manner, and will likely result in an unfollow or a block from other Twitter users. The idea to write a brief and informal twitter etiquette guide …”

Complete article http://om.ly/?DSlD

Got that? Confusing I know to new users, but the important thing to remember is that Twitter is a conversation.  You can be the loud mouth talking non-stop. Or, you can listen for a while and then join the conversation. You decide … but your mother would tell you which one you should choose, be polite!

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I’m Back … Looking for a Job? Use Social Media to Help!

Hey! Like the rest of the world, I have been busy. So I’ve not posted here. But today I was tweeted a re-tweet (we’ll get to explaining those on another day) that may help those out there looking for work. Whether or not you intend to use Social Media in your job, you may indeed need to discover how to “tweet” and use Facebook in order to stand out in your job interviews.

I found this article by Alyse Knorr in the Atlanta Journal- Constitution about this subject. 

The landscape of today’s job market is shifting, and the shift favors individuals who are savvy in social media.

“If you’re in advertising, marketing or communications, the more information you can put out to people where they want to see it, the better,” said Bob Van Rossum, president of MarketPro, a marketing recruitment company. “If you’re in one of those fields, it’s now required for you to be pretty savvy in the social media area, even if it’s not your primary focus.”

Atlanta job postings on a number of Web sites include Twitter and Facebook requirements for applicants.

http://bit.ly/RvGhE  For complete article.

It seems now these are becoming a “standard” item on a job application. Next there will be a university course on this subject. Mark my words. Till the next time.

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Look at me, I’m blogging!

I have been looking forward to this day. I now have my own blog. Stay tuned for thoughts on PR solutions in today’s social media world. We’re not alone anymore and isn’t it grand!

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