Tag Archives: communications

10 Clues Your PR Pro is Nothing But Show

masks

I’ve read several posts recently on distinguishing the smart social media marketing professionals from the wannabes. It’s great to have guides likes these in a space that is relatively new in the grand scheme of things.

The social media sphere isn’t the only place where this is needed, though. PR more generally has a long list of fine folks who help move the industry forward and, unfortunately, a long list of those who help move the industry a step backward.

So I’m passing along 10 clues that your PR pro may be nothing but show. If you’re experiencing any of these from someone on your internal team or from an outside consultant, it may be time to cut ties.

1. They never bring new ideas to the table.
2. Their answer for everything is “let’s put a press release on the newswire.”
3. They think every story idea you want them to pitch is brilliant.
4. They never push back or challenge you. They just take marching orders.
5. They wouldn’t know a measurable goal if it slapped them in the face – hard.
6. They only e-pitch reporters and their phones are collecting dust.
7. Their clever social media strategy starts and stops at “we should get a Facebook page.”
8. Their reason for being in the PR field is “I’m a people person.”
9. They define PR mistakenly by one of its tools (PR is bigger than media relations or events, like social media is bigger than blogs.)
10. They don’t ask you what your business goals are so they can work to align PR goals against them.

What did I miss? What clues you in that the person across the table is a sub-par PR professional?

*Image from Brian Snelson.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed, either by reader or by e-mail.


TweetIt from HubSpot

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

The One Thing I Would Change About Marketing

sunrise

You have the power to change the status quo in marketing. It’s true. Even if you’re not in a position to direct much change today, you will be soon enough. Which leads me to wonder about your answer to this question.

“What if you could change one thing about our industry. What would it be?”

What would I change? I often wonder why marketers and media don’t wield our powers for good more often. Don’t get me wrong. Most agencies take on a few pro-bono clients and our ranks our chock full of good-hearted people who make the world a better place. But there are times when I see work across every marketing channel that makes me feel like we as an industry are playing a major role in the growth of our hyper-selfish, imperfection-obsessed, fear-charged society. And, to be honest, I don’t always know what to do with that thought.

Sorry if that’s a bit heavy. There are other things I’d change that would not make me sound like a Debbie Downer. (Really, I’m not!) But I’m interested in your thoughts.

If you could change anything about our industry as a whole or your day-to-day work, what would it be? After you get it off your chest, let’s start working toward changing it.

*Image by Indy Kethdy.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed, either by reader or by e-mail.

TweetIt from HubSpot

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Why Both Obama and McCain Failed to Woo Me

election-pumpkin

According to everything I’ve heard and read for the past two months, myself and people like me are the Holy Grail for both presidential candidate’s campaign – the independent swing voter. So if that’s the case, I’m wondering why neither Barack Obama nor John McCain did anything to woo me leading up to today.

The swing voter should be getting barraged with information based on this general PR truth:

  • Don’t spend much time or energy trying to convert those strongly opposed to your brand.
  • Spend good time and energy keeping your brand’s evangelists loyal.
  • Spend most of your time and energy trying to convert those in the middle who can be swayed to your brand.

My wife is registered with a particular party, while I’m a registered independent. She’s been getting direct mail from that candidate’s campaign regularly for the past month. A colleague has been getting phone calls from her party daily for weeks now. One friend even got a recorded call from Stevie Wonder. Stevie “I just called to say I love you” Wonder!

Me? I got a postcard-sized mailer from the McCain camp on Friday and three Obama supporters canvassing our neighborhood stopped by my house Saturday as I played with my oldest daughter in our front yard.

I’m not being presumptuous. I don’t think either should have reached out to me because it’s me. But I am wondering how either could overlook ANY registered independent this election, especially one who’s still going back and forth between both candidates – even this morning as I get ready to head out to the polls.

What has been your experience with direct communications this election cycle? Has either candidate’s campaign purposefully reached out to you?

*Image by Brandi Tressler.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed, either by reader or by e-mail.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Five Things Your Brand Must Embrace for Social Media Success: Part 5

Transparency is important in social media efforts.

This week, I’m passing along the five things your brand or client must embrace to increase its chances of executing a successful social media strategy, based on Geoff Livingston’s book Now is Gone with my own take and additions.

1. Give Up Control of the Message (click here to read)
2. Participate Within the Communities (click here to read)
3. Stakeholders Who are Social Media Savvy (click here to read)
4. Dedicate the Resources (click here to read)
5. Ethics and Transparency

People want to participate within communities with people they can trust. That also applies to your company or the community relations managers who lead your social media efforts. Social media communities have little patience – if any – for unethical actions or smoke and mirrors.

Ethics Schmethics?
The first part of that equation is conducting your business in an ethical way. This isn’t about what you tell your audience. This is about how you operate as a company. Making mistakes is acceptable – depending on the mistake, of course – as long as you own them and make changes to lessen the chance of it happening again. Having a positive corporate reputation about the way you do business will help soften the beach for your social media effort.

Increased Transparency
Likewise, the social media community expects more transparency than you may be used to providing. The one-to-one relationships that these networks provide empower everyday consumers to ask direct questions and receive direct replies. You don’t have to give away total access to your business, but if you have a reputation for hiding issues, spinning facts and skirting responsibility, then you’re online outreach will most likely fail.

As Geoff says, “If your company has not traditionally been open in its dialogue with consumers, this should be a red flag for you. The company may not be new media ready.”

What’s missing from this series? What other important ideas should a brand embrace before planning and executing a social media strategy? What would you add to the list and why?

*Image by Scott Feldstein and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed, either by reader or by e-mail.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Five Things Your Brand Must Embrace for Social Media Success: Part 4

 

This week, I’m passing along the five things your brand or client must embrace to increase its chances of executing a successful social media strategy, based on Geoff Livingston’s book Now is Gone with my own take and additions.

1. Give Up Control of the Message (click here to read)
2. Participate Within the Communities (click here to read)
3. Stakeholders Who are Social Media Savvy (click here to read)
4. Dedicate the Resources

People often underestimate the amount of time and energy that is required to execute a social media strategy well. Whether we’re talking about posting regularly to a corporate blog or creating a engaging Facebook group, it takes large doses of both to keep the efforts going. Remember Part 2 in this series? It’s all about participating and being a good neighbor.

If your brand sets up a Twitter account but never makes an update, your company gets a bum rap for that. (Or at least a few laughs among those in the Twitterverse) Likewise, no one will visit your blog if the last post was two months ago. Social media guru Mack Collier says that corporate blogs should have at least two new posts each week. In order to reap the benefits of social media, you have to participate regularly. And that takes time.

When planning your social media strategy, consider realistically how much time, energy and dollars it will take to implement it. If you’re not sure, ask someone who specializes in it for help. If your company can’t dedicate the resources needed to pull it off successfully, scale back or set it aside until you can.

Or approach the efforts differently. If your CEO can’t commit to posting regularly to a blog, make it a team effort and assemble a cross-functional group from marketing, sales, engineering, product development, customer service and other areas to post once a week or every two weeks.

Do you have other ideas for ways to share the load that would allow more companies to jump into social media?

*Image by Bart Hiddink and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed, either by reader or by e-mail.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Five Things Your Brand Must Embrace for Social Media Success: Part 3

 

This week, I’m passing along the five things your brand or client must embrace to increase its chances of executing a successful social media strategy, based on Geoff Livingston’s book Now is Gone with my own take and additions.

1. Give Up Control of the Message (click here to read)
2. Participate Within the Communities (click here to read)
3. Stakeholders Who are Social Media Savvy

Who are you trying to connect with through social media? Customers, analysts, employees? Does the group you’re attempting to create community with engage in social media? Depending on whom you’re targeting, the answer may be “no.” If so, social media activities are probably not the most efficient way to reach them.

However, Geoff suggests that if at least 15 percent of your targeted community is participating in social media, then it’s time for your brand to participate, too. He goes so far to say, and I agree, that the business value of engaging with your community in the type of conversational relationships that social media provides is invaluable. If nothing else – and this is reason enough, I believe – the least you get out of building relationships this way is qualitative focus group-type insights.

Do you agree that 15 percent of your target being social media savvy is enough to dedicate time and resources against reaching them in those communities? If not, how large a percentage would you need to be convinced it was worthwhile?

*Image by Brian Solis and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed, either by reader or by e-mail.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine