Browsing articles in "Marketing"
Jan 14, 2008
csalomonlee

PR Pitching 101: Is Personalization Gone?

Pitch ReviewLast week, I noticed a tweet from Andy Beal about Google PR sending an email on masses to a list of reporters and a few bloggers. His tweets were: Open Quote

Google PR just sent me an email. the CCd instead of BCC – I know have email addys for all major journalists! Woohoohaha  

Open Quote

Wow, this journalist email list is GOLD, shame I’m too ethical to do anything with it  

I was surprised that Google PR didn’t personalize the emails based on the reporter/blogger and beat. Andy’s response was that this was typical depending on the PR person within Google. 

Don’t get me wrong, Google is obviously doing something right. I barely read any negative articles about Google. But this non-personalized approach surprised me. I was always taught to personalize my pitches. Here are my top don’ts for pitching reporters: 

  1. Don’t Misspell Names – Misspelling names turns off the reporter before he or she even reads your pitch. 
  2. Don’t Use Nicknames – unless you’re absolutely sure, I would err on using the reporter’s full name. Make sure you remember point 1.
  3. Don’t Generalize Pitches – research the reporter to make sure that you target your pitch to his/her beat. Using a general pitch can backfire as it’s obviously a mass emailing.
  4. Don’t Mass CC Reporters – this one refers to what Google PR did. If you have to mass email reporters, at least use the BCC line. Otherwise, you’re advertising who you’re pitching and possible competitors in the email.

 Any thoughts or other recommendations for PR Pitching?

Dec 27, 2007
csalomonlee

PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: December 20, 2007

OOPS – forgot to publish this last week =)

This will be my last summary until the New Year. Come back next week for my post reflecting on my first 6 months of blogging and popular posts. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed: 

Pitched Into a Coma -  Ok – I shouldn’t be pointing to this but I did find Ken Magill’s of DIRECT Magazine description of a bad PR pitch quite amusing. Here’s an excerpt of his “rant”:

Open QuoteOr maybe the reason we didn’t call back is because the pitch put us into a catatonic state. Such was the case with a pitch received here several weeks back.

It was so buzzword laden that before it put me into a catatonic state, it made me cock my head to the side like a confused dog.

Remedial Social Media GuideMichael Pick wrote a great primer for social media at MasterNewMedia. For those just starting out, this is a must read, while it may seem simplistic for those already implementing social media.

Social Networking for B2B PR – Tom Pick provides some interesting tips on how to use social networking for B2B PR. I highly recommend points 1 and 3 for any PR practitioner. 

Oh No Spock! – Alec Saunders typically writes about VoIP type of issues. He occasionally looks at things that impact him, such as this interesting practice from Spock – the people search engine. Alex highlights how Spock is using interesting ways to send invites to people for your trusted network 

SEOd Blog Drives Sales ResultsBtoB Magazine highlights how a company leveraged SEO to increase blog traffic which in turn drove sales leads. As more and more B2B companies begin experimenting with social media applications and tools, there will be more case studies of this type.
 

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Dec 15, 2007
csalomonlee

PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: December 14, 2007

Better late than never – here is this week’s of interesting articles. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed: 

What Consumers Really Use Media – Via KD Paine’s blog, I saw this tidbit about Ketchum’s new survey. The survey highlights where consumers turn to for information and advice. Here’s the gist of the results: “Despite the strong evidence that friends, family and experts play a key role in influencing decisions, only 24 percent of communicators report having a word-of-mouth program in place.” 

Refresher Course for Blogging – Robin Good posts this primer from Joshua Porter. Joshua provides his nine tips for blogging. As communicators/practitioners/marketers, I think it’s key to understand how bloggers are constantly seeking to improve their blogs. And personally, I liked Joshua’s tips! 

To Astroturf, Is to Be? – Now is Gone is fast becoming one of my favorite PR related blogs. In this post, Ike highlights that astroturfing is just part of our human DNA. In the great words of the Borg “Resistance is futile” – or is it?  

Take a Community to Build a Social Network – Toby Bloomberg shares 12 tips for creating a social networking community. Very solid tips for any company wanting to create a community.  

The Great Twitter Experiment – As many may have heard by now, Jeremiah Owyang started an interesting experiment earlier this week. Jeremiah’s twitter post helped many people find each other, including yours truly. Check out my post about this as well. 

When Blogging Isn’t for Everyone – This comes courtesy of the Influential Interactive Marketing blog. Seems like Scott Adams of Dilbert fame is realizing that a blog may not be the best outlet for achieving his goals. In this case, Adams had some goals for his blog. As Rohit states: “Free or not free, if your blog ends up having a different voice than what your audience expects, then you may need to come to a similar realization about your blog.”  

Social Media in China – Da Jia Hao! (Hello Everyone!) – I will always have a soft spot for China and Taiwan. Buzz Bin brings us an interview with Debbie Weil and the growth of social media in China. Don’t underestimate China. Just because the media and information is supervised doesn’t mean it will curtail participation by individuals. People have learned to adapt within the unsaid rules of the culture.  

An Evolved CMO I found this interesting CMO research from Forrester interesting as it may help to understand what a CMO’s ultimate goal is. And heck, maybe we can help with this as well! 

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Dec 6, 2007
csalomonlee

PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: December 6

Here is this week’s of interesting articles. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed: 

Online Video Kill the TV Star –Blip.TV interviews Vivian Schiller, general manager of the NYTimes.com about the differences between online and TV video. To paraphrase that iconic song, “will online video kill the TV star?” 

Or Did ROI Kill Marketing? Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Tech makes a good point about ROI. His point is, if everything is measured against an ROI, then there are probably some campaigns/initiatives that wouldn’t be done because it wasn’t measurable. 

Does the Long Tail Work for PR? – Now Is Gone does a great job at highlighting the Long Tail for PR.  I’m in the middle of reading the book so this posting will help me to position PR/marketing as I read through the book. Also included as part of my 2008 trends piece 

WPP Lands a Big WhaleDell selected WPP to create an integrated marketing agency that will serve Dell’s business over the next three years.  It’ll be interesting to see how WPP organizes this new entity before March 2008. Will key individuals throughout the WPP group be hand picked to lead the charge? Will smaller (less profitable?) agencies be merged together to create this new agency with instant staff? Or will WPP create an entirely new entity and poach talent from the competition? Only time will tell. 

Social Media Reaches Into Your Lives – I’ve started reading the Lonely Marketer, which provides ideas for small business marketers. In this post, he writes about how social media can be used to find target customers, thereby increasing touchpoints for increased engagement/participation.  

Video’s Political Influence? – Granite Slate posted an article about how KD Paine & Partners is measuring the impact of online videos on a candidate’s influence and surge in the media. This is an interesting concept and would love to see how accurate this is as the caucuses approach. I could envision this having a larger impact on younger people who normally may not go to the polls to take action and participate. And isn’t that what it’s all about in the end?? 

Bribes Aren’t Conversation StartersMike Volpe of Small Business Hub highlights how Vocus tried to follow up on a “sales lead” from a white paper download. Love the cookie idea, but no connection to the value that Vocus provides to Mike’s company. As Mike pointed out, you need to start a conversation with the person which can be started via phone follow up or email with links to valuable information. Provide value, not tchokes. 

Note to NYT – Keep up with the times… – Read Kate Swisher’s post on BoomTown about a recent speech by Bill Keller of the New York Times. Keller bashes on bloggers and the quality of reporting. Does this mean I should stop reading the Bits blog? The issue isn’t about quality of reporting but how blogging augments the information flow out there. You can’t tell me that all “traditional” media have excellent standards. Keep up with the times Mr. Keller. 

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Dec 5, 2007
csalomonlee

Let the 2008 Trend Lists Begin

Crystal BallIt’s that time of year when reporters, bloggers and companies take out their crystal ball to predict trends for 2008. Here are my top three trends that will impact the PR industry:

1.   Let a 100 Blogomerates Bloom: With the relaunch of Industry Standard (I believe as a blog) and the popularity of GigaOm, VentureBeat and TechCrunch, I envision more blogomerates gaining prominence and influence on the media landscape. “Traditional media” have already started creating blogs in specific topic areas but this will need to branch out more in terms of open comment policies and having dedicated bloggers versus reporters who blog. 

2.       Social Media Connections: I envision savvy PR departments/agencies leveraging social media networks to keep key reporters, bloggers, analysts and other influencers up to date on announcements. Facebook is probably the best default for this as you can maintain the invites and funnel interesting tidbits related to a specific industry/company for story ideas. Will news be broken via Facebook or other similar tool, that will be interesting to see. 

3.       Long Tail PR: Chris Anderson described the concept of the Long Tail and Now Is Gone did a great review of this for PR. The question is how does this truly impact PR? Top media coverage now extends from traditional media (i.e. WSJ, BusinessWeek, etc.) to top bloggers (i.g. GigaOm, TechCrunch, Read/Write, etc.). As PR has the opportunity to manage social media relationships, then how do you balance and measure the impact of “long tail” relations will be key in 2008. 

Tom Pick of Web Market Central also provided me with his predictions for 2008. My husband would be happy with number 4:

1. The social networking space will begin to implode. There are far too many players currently competing for too few eyeballs. The biggest and strongest (e.g. Digg, MySpace, FaceBook) will survive as general purpose social sites, but smaller players will need to specialize in order to remain viable. Specialization will revolve around affinity groups and demographics.

2. As a follow-on to prediction #1, businesses (at least a few forward-thinking ones) will begin to figure out how to capitalize on the popularity of social networks. It’s not about running ads on YouTube, it’s about participation: if a CEO or anyone else can bring value to a particular community (e.g. through great content and tags, and spending the time for back-and-forth dialog that adds value), then that person’s company and product/service will benefit from indirect association with that expertise.

3. PR professionals will reach out to bloggers in different ways, beyond just pitching press releases. For example, the blog community can bring value as – pardon the language, but it’s the clearest way to say this – bullsh*t detectors, as in “we think we’ve got something really hot on our hands here. We’d like to make this claim. Will that stand up to scrutiny?” and then let the dialog of the blog help determine the answer.

4. Realizing that none of its teams has a prayer of beating New England in the Super Bowl, the NFC sends its All-Pro team to Arizona. The Patriots still win by three touchdowns.

Here are links to other Top Trends for 2008:

 

  1. Top Marketing Trends via CRM Blog
  2. Jon Fine of Business Week via blip.tv
  3. Consumer Internet Trends via VentureBeat
  4. The Year of Business Networking from Read/Write Web
  5. What’s Hot or Not PRSA Panel with top reporters: Wall Street Journal‘s Kara Swisher and Don Clark; Business Week‘s Rob Hof; Forbes‘ Victoria Murphy Barrett; and Scobleizer‘s Robert Scoble. Ann Winblad of venture capital firm Hummer Winblad moderating.
  6. BtoB’s “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey
  7. 2008 IT trends from IDG 
  8. Year of LinkedIn from Anne Zelenka of GigaOm  – Personal comment – this truly depends how LinkedIn maneuvers to “catch-up” to the other social networks. Advantage – seen by most as a professional site. Disadvantage – first move advantage taken over by Facebook and slow response to changes for the site.
  9. O’Reilly’s 2008 Stories they would like to see
  10. WebWorkerDaily’s 2008 Predictions
  11. AdAge came out with some interesting 2008 trends: marketers & micro trends, another interesting list, and CMO issues
  12. David Armano states that 2008 will be the Year of Mobile - what does this mean for PR and marketing opportunities?
  13. Micropersuasion’s Digital Trends for 2008 – Part I - this is just the first of several that will be posted, so tune in to the Micropersuasion blog for updates.
  14. Interesting SaaS Trends to watch for 2008
  15. BtoB Magazine presents their 2008 Trends for Email Marketing – By the way, my company actually did point 4 for a client =)

     

  16. An Eentrepreneur’s US Tech Trends for 2008 - note – this is via VentureBeat and written by Bernard Moon.

     

  17. GigaOm Panel Discussion with Dan Farber and Rafe Needleman about 2008 Tech Trends (video)

     

  18. Jeremiah Owyang interviews Guy Kawasaki about his predictions for marketing and tech in 2008. Interesting point, Guy says 2008 will be key for marketers. Demonstrating key value of programs is important for programs.
  19. B.L. Ochman’s 2008 Marketing Trends - personally, I think privacy has been an issue. It just comes back every few years depending on the technological landscape.
  20. Judith Hurwitz provides her 2008 Tech Trends

     

  21. MediaPost provides insight for Media Trends for 2008.

     

  22. Merril Lynch Internet Trends 2008

     

  23. Raghav Gupta’s 2008 Trends and Themes to Watch via GigaOm

     

  24. John Battelle’s 2008 Predictions - hmmm, I’m actually curious to see if these company predictions come true. I’m wondering if Microsoft can regain that magic and if Yahoo! can make the turnaround happen.

     

  25. George Dearing writes his trends for enterprise content management (ECM) in InformationWeek.Adding this because has tangential relevancy to my current company. I’m curious to hear more about platform-as-a-service.

     

     

 Am I missing any compilations? Do you have any recommendations of other trends for 2008? Let me know in the comments.

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Dec 3, 2007
csalomonlee

PR's role in new media podcast

Paul DunayPaul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology interviewed me a few weeks ago on how new media is impacting PR. Check out the podcast here. Even in these short few weeks, I’ve learned so much more from everyone, such as Jeremiah Owyang, Todd Defren, CK, Mack Collier and others. Update: Bad me, I forgot Tom Pick!

 Let me know what you think of the podcast.

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Dec 3, 2007
csalomonlee

PR Pitch Review: Advanta’s Ideablob Part 2

Ideablob Home PageI previously posted about the PR pitch and program around Advanta’s Ideablob.com site. As part of the email I received, Advanta representative Erick also asked for my opinion about the site.

Ideablob is a site where entrepreneurs can submit business ideas for review. The unique aspect is that $10,000 is awarded to the idea that receives the most number of votes by registered users. Each user is allowed only one vote per month and once during the final monthly showdown.

I think this is a good concept to help entrepreneurs, small businesses or desk jockeys kick start their ideas.

User Profiles

Ideablob User Profile

Like most social networks now, Ideablob has user profiles. In just a quick spot check of some users; however, most don’t seem to have added much personal info. The info is spotty at best and may improve as more people participate.

This will be key as another aspect of the site is for seasoned business professionals to provide mentoring.

Explore

Ideablob Explore

This section lets you “explore” submitted ideas. I like the tag cloud on the side to demonstrate the popularity of industries. Not sure if I understand the use of the pop-up thumbnails as your scroll over.  I thought they were descriptions of the industry and realized it brings up a submitted idea. And that helps me because??

Overall, you get a quick look at an idea, how it ranks overall and any comments on the idea. If you’re interested, you just click on the idea to get more info.

Besides changing the pop-up thumbnails over the tag clouds, I think this is fine.

Advise

Ideablob Mentor

Aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners can get advice from seasoned professionals by clicking on “advise” in the nav bar. The questions are filtered by different categories. From what I can tell, this section is very sparse – plenty of questions but few responses.

At first, I thought it was because I couldn’t find the responses. I finally realized that the answers were to be listed below the question. The problem is that the “see all answers” and “add an answer” were clickable. I would make these buttons to differentiate this.

There is also a right-hand section to highlight other questions, a question of the day and top advisors. I’m not sure how this helps me.

My recommendations:

1.       Most popular questions: Questions that have received most number of responses

2.       Take a page from LinkedIn: Have the asker rate the responses, which reflect back on the mentors. This way, I would know the value of a mentor’s response as valued by other users.

3.       Tag Cloud Categories: The tag cloud would help me to visually see which categories have more questions or are more active.

4.       Search for Questions: There is only one search function for the whole site. I would’ve preferred a way to just search the questions.

5.       Order of questions: Right now, you see one main question on the category with other category (?) questions on the right hand side. Then you have to click on additional questions across. I think it would have been easier to list 5 or 10 questions down and then I can browse a list and click in to view the answer.

6.       Question of the day: I don’t know how a question becomes a question of the day. Problem – no answers to question of the day.

7.       Mimic Explore section: I don’t know why the format for Advise is different from Explore, but having the same organization structure across the site would minimize confusion.

Final Analysis

I like the concept beyond Ideablob. It fits nicely with Advanta’s business model.

As I mentioned previously I would like to see something that will pull me in deeper on a personal level. A blog, videos of winners, a page of thanks from winners – something that is easily seen or spotlighted on the home page is needed.

Will this site succeed? Probably

Will this site attract people? Probably

The question is, can the site sustain itself and fulfill the promise of promoting entrepreneurship and mentorship? Maybe.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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