Browsing articles tagged with " Public Relations"
Nov 20, 2008
csalomonlee

Social Media Club – Glimpse of how PR can use Social Media?

Last night, I went to my first Social Media Club organized by the San Francisco/Silicon Valley chapter. Larrissa of Livingston Communications mentioned it to me – while she wasn’t able to attend, I’m glad she told me about it. Yes – I know what you’re thinking – you ONLY just heard about the SMC? Well, I AM getting old =)

The event was held in San Mateo and was surprisingly well attended – about 40-50 people. There were 6 social media case studies being presented, highlighting not only program strategies but also how these campaigns contributed to increased awareness in the marketplace.

Last night’s event was Ustreamed and my understanding is that presentations will be available. I’ll update when I find out more. Briefly, they included:

  • My Starbuck’s Ideas – Execution and results to date

  • Sutter Health Castro Valley – Using a blog to reach your community and how to counsel your client on the steps

  • Nero Product Launch – Blogger outreach program and how this increased conversations about Nero

  • Dwell Conference – How to use social media to drive attendance to a physical event and create a self-sustaining community until the next event

  • Network Solutions‘ Social Media Efforts – Discussed how the program began, getting executive buy-in and results

  • Get Out the Vote Video – Driving views and comments for a YouTube video

Key Takeaways

Time – Doh! It takes time and these case studies demonstrated this once again. Set proper expectations with your client or executives.

Comment – Take time to respond to people’s comments. It signals that you’re listening and helps to continue the conversation. And it seems to be an underutilized strategy for YouTube videos.

Measure – Each of these case studies had key objectives and success was measured against these objectives, such as achieving 3 million views on YouTube, selling a number of registrations to an event, or reach of postings to key audience.

Update – Be VisualDavid Peck was frustrated by PowerPoint for his preso, which lead to a quick chat before he left for the evening. I concur with him – Shashi presented a photo of Geoff Livingston with boxes of Motrin in his hands. No words but everyone in the room instantly knew what that meant. While I couldn’t provide this feedback to David, I would have recommended doing a flickr stream intead – upload his images to a dedicated folder and set to a slide presentation or just manually forward. I don’t know – that was an initial thought but getting out of PowerPoint or not using it at all was the key takeaway.  

Conclusion: Social Media IS an Opportunity for PR

Per my last post about Will Social Media Kill PR panel summary, this meeting demonstrates the opportunity for PR to leverage social media for higher value to clients, while providing demonstrable results. It’s about more than blogger relations (though Mike McGrath did present on this), it’s about how to reach your client’s core audience and achieving key marketing objectives. Social media is just one of the ways to achieve this.

What do you think?

Other Social Media Posts

 Will Social Media Kill PR Panel

Additional Twitter Tricks – Twhirl

Brave New World of Media Pitching: Facebook

 

Nov 13, 2008
csalomonlee

Recap: "Will Social Media Kill PR" Panel

Susan Etlinger, Jeremiah Owyang, Kara Swisher, Sam Whitmore

Susan Etlinger, Jeremiah Owyang, Kara Swisher, Sam Whitmore

 

Last night, I went to a panel discussion hosted by the Horn Group and Girls In Tech. There was a star line-up of panelists: Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research and Web Strategist Blog, Kara Swisher of WSJ and All Things D, Susan Etlinger, VP of Horn Group and Sam Whitmore of Media Survey as moderator. 

 

The topic provided attractive with over 200 people packed in the Horn Group offices on Howard St. Considering the economic news swirling around me, the event reminded me a bit of the heady dot.com days – yes, I really am that old Virginia! Twitter tag #prblog.

 

Sam took a quick poll of the audience before commencing with the Q&A. It seemed the audience was 60% PR folks, 20-25% Horn Group clients and other people interested in the topic from marketing/social media backgrounds.

 

 

PR is not dead. It’s being reborn” – Sabrina Horn

To summarize some key quotes from the evening (may not be verbatim quotes but gives you a gist of the meaning):

 

Jeremiah:

“Join community to reach audience regardless of your client. Has the relationship with person I want. It’s the influencer model”

“Opportunity for PR is to listen. People will tell you what they’re interested in”

“Extend the value of PR – currently don’t have the key skills to do that”

“Big opportunity to use these tools to grow beyond corporate communications”

“Use the tools to repair the PR reputation”

 

Kara Swisher – I’ve read her blog and hearing her in person was definitely more amusing!

“PR people are so easy to get upset. Stop being reactive to the bloggers who are doing this to be trafic whores”

“War with PR is not important. There are more important things to fight over like Proposition 8”

“Focus on people with amazing relationship with people”

“Give me news and trends that your company represents. Trends with interesting products. Needs real news. Interesting figures and thought leaders. Cool interesting products that people are using. Weird stories will also get me too.”

“Nothing new – it’s about how good is the product. Don’t PR crap products”

 

Susan

“PR is about creating replicable processes, but replicable process can get you in trouble.”

 

Audience Comments

“Relationship economy. Release is so narrow”

[PR's] obligation is to not put out shit out there. If it has value, then yes. Otherwise, no.” Charlie Cooper, CNET

“How to leverage important bloggers to help with news” – Razorfish

“How does PR practitioner leverage these tools to help business”

“Performance based payment and measurement like a media buy – will an agency risk this?”

Deja Vu – Didn’t we see this 10 years ago?

For a panel discussion that promised to be titillating, I found that it was bogged down by semantics of PR’s role in the social media landscape versus how the industry, as a whole, can better address this as a core competency. These were the same discussions that occurred 10 years ago with the rise of the Internet, which ironically was referenced when Sabrina pulled out a big, black binder about the impact of the Internet on PR.

 

 To paraphrase one audience member, what we’re referring to – Twitter, blogs, wikis, etc. – are just communications tools. In 5-10 years, these may be commonplace ways to communicate with your audience. While the panel was informational for those new to PR or currently struggling with PR’s value within the larger marketing and social media landscape, I think the panel didn’t truly delve into the question of the evening – Will Social Media Kill PR.

My Perspective?

I was sitting in the balcony where most of the social media folks were sitting. When Sam turned to us and asked if our issues were being addressed, frankly they weren’t and I said so (yes, that was me voicing the need to get beyond PR and talk about how this fits into the larger marketing arena). Unfortunately the discussion turned back to the basics of PR 101 meeting social media.

 

In the end, I agree with Jeremiah. PR has a window of opportunity to leverage social media to build higher business value with customers and companies beyond a corporate communications capability. When the discussion evolves from which outlet can you get me in to one of what audiences do you want to influence, then PR will have a seat at the table.

 

But hasn’t this always been the crux of the problem for PR from the beginning? Does social media really change that conversation? I don’t think so. What do you think?

 

Update:

- Jeremiah’s post about four biz opportunities for PR agencies

- Kara Swisher’s post about the panel

- Sam Whitmore’s summary

- Charles Cooper’s take – PR is Killing PR, not Social Media.

- While Lewis Green wasn’t at the panel, he brings up a good point about the value of social media in PR.

- Horn Group’s summary about their Is Social Media Killing PR panel.

- Jennifer Leggio’s post at ZDNet. I think she summarized it perfectly: ” too much focus on dialing for dollars and not enough focus on making PR stretch to support real business initiatives.”

 

Nov 2, 2008
csalomonlee

A Hidden Rule of PR – If you don’t ask, how do you know you won’t get it?

Since my first PR job with Ogilvy & Mather PR Taiwan, I’ve discovered this “hidden rule” the hard way. When you’re just starting out, you’re taught to do what you can to please the journalist – and now extending to bloggers. Most practitioners start by asking what the journalist wants but now asking questions that you want to ask on behalf of your client or company.

I understand not wanting to anger a reporter, but if you don’t ask the question, then how do you know? We assume that we’ll be bothering the reporter/blogger but you never know what the answer will be if you don’t ask.

So here are some questions that you should ask:

What’s the timing for the story?

People err on thinking that because you’ve just hung up the phone with a journalist that you have to immediately work on what the reporter is seeking. Agency folks – for your client’s sanity, determine what the time line is. This way, if the reporter needs it in a week, you can build cushion with your client. I used to say I needed something in 3 days because I KNEW it would take my client 5 days to turnaround.

This also sets expectations with the reporter. Otherwise, the reporter may want it tomorrow and you’ll never know.

What is the angle for the story?

I know, I know. This should be apparent from the conversation, editorial opportunity or email pitch. But you should reconfirm as the reporter may have a specific angle that she’s seeking to write about. It’s your job to pull this out if possible.

Do you have specific questions in mind that you would like to ask?

Most briefing sheets include a section where we, as practitioners write questions that we believe that the reporter will ask based on the conversation or previous articles. Why not just ask and see if the reporter is willing to give you a few questions. Better yet…

Provide some sample questions

I file this as being a “helpful” PR person. I include a couple of questions to better identify the focus of the interview. However, you have to be careful about this. While the previous question asks the reporter for her questions, this one inserts your positioning into the process.

I will pose some questions if you’re doing an email Q&A or if there is limited time for the phone interview. This way, the questions help to maximize everyone’s time.

Offer to provide screenshots

As they say, a photo says a 1000 words. Screenshots help to visually augment the story, while reinforcing your company’s visual brand. Regardless of the story, I always ask about providing screenshots. More often than not, the publication will use the screenshot. And if several competitors are interviewed, this helps to visually position your company as the “thought leader” in that space.

Conclusion: Being Polite Won’t Get You Anywhere

Let’s be clear, I’m not advocating rude or clueless practitioners. I’m just recommending that you don’t be afraid to ask questions. Each situation will dictate the type of questions you can and should ask.

What other questions did I miss?

Oct 23, 2008
csalomonlee

My Top 5 Blogging Outreach Mistakes

The posts that I learn the most from are by those who are willing to show their mistakes and what they’ve learned. This not only humanizes them but also makes us feel just a little bit less stupid!

 

While there are a lot of posts about how to pitch a blogger, I thought it would be an interesting twist to list the top five mistakes I’ve made a la Letterman style:

 

My Top 5 Pitching Blogger Mistakes

 

Number 5: Oops – I thought that was MISS Blogger, not MISTER Blogger

 

Number 4: Spellcheck is a wonderful technology…when you USE it

 

Number 3: I’m not stalking you honestly. Could you just puhleeze respond to me?

 

Number 2: Sorry – didn’t realize you just wrote about this… yesterday!

 

And the number 1 mistake that I’ve made pitching a blogger:

Who cares about YOUR interests, it’s all about ME

 

What mistakes have you made? Bonus points for your Letterman style list!

 

But if you’re interested in more information about how to pitch, check out my page about pitching bloggers and 8 Practical Tips for PR and Blogging Outreach.

 

technorati tags: blogging social media pr marketing public relations pitching bloggers media relations
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blogging social media pr marketing public relations pitching bloggers media relations
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blogging social media pr marketing public relations pitching bloggers media relations

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Oct 17, 2008
csalomonlee

That Isn't an Elevator Pitch!

The other day, I met someone the ferry, and we started chatting about our jobs. Inevitably, the question was asked, “What does your company do?” My initial reaction was to respond with the two sentence description that was developed via a messaging session. “My company is a webcasting and …”

 

She immediately stopped me, saying “No, what’s your 30 second elevator pitch?”

 

I suddenly realized, while a company boilerplate may be great for positioning your company, it isn’t great for explaining what your company does to others.

 

In public relations, I constantly have to remember this as I speak to new reporters unfamiliar with my company, the products and services. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about HOW to create a pitch to secure interest from a reporter. It’s about clearly stating what your company is in just one sentence.

 

Here are my tips for crafting that “elevator pitch”:

 

Explain it to me like a 6 year old

If you’ve ever seen Philadelphia, you’ll remember that Denzel Washington’s character always repeated this phrase when he wanted to break down something to the basics. It’s the same thing with an elevator pitch.

 

Break down what your company does step by step and try not to use multi-syllabic words. I know – it’s hard, but try it.

 

Once you’ve done that, delete EVERYTHING that is irrelevant to your company. Delete the adjectives that don’t add anything. Delete phrases that describe secondary aspects of your company.

 

With what’s left, you can create 1 sentence that explains what your company does.

 

So how did I respond?

 

My company helps you with all your online events – online seminars, trade shows, conferences, summits.

 

So what do you think?

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Oct 14, 2008
csalomonlee

Recent Guest Posts on Virtual Events

I was honored to guest post on a few blogs regarding virtual events and trade shows. If you’re interested in learning more about virtual events, check out these posts:

 

 

technorati tags: Virtual Trade Show Virtual Event Public Relations Marketing
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icerocket tags: Virtual Trade Show Virtual Event Public Relations Marketing

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Oct 6, 2008
csalomonlee

Sarah Palin and Media Training 201!

Vice Presidential Debate

Vice Presidential Debate

Disclosure, while I lean toward Democrats/Independent, this post purely provides insight on Palin’s performance, not the content.

 

Last week, I wrote about the one-on-one interviews Sarah Palin had conducted. I highlighted her weaknesses and provided some media recommendations before the vice presidential debate. Her interviews singlehandedly increased the attention that the VP debate would receive.

 

How Did She Do?

While I watched the debate to educate myself about the candidates, I kept in mind the weaknesses I highlighted previously. To summarize:

- She responded with canned messages to EVERY question
- She allowed herself to be cornered on questions which led to
- Her answering questions she shouldn’t had
- She was
visibly uncomfortable with the speed and style of questions

Based on this, here is where she improved:

 

Visible Presence: I think this format played to Palin’s strengths. She demonstrated confidence and charisma that electrified Republicans, and took Democrats off guard, at the RNC. Palin seemed more comfortable as she could focus on the audience, not just an interviewer.

 

Bridging Responses: The other benefit was the debate format. It seemed that each veep candidate had notes behind his/her podium, which can be reassuring to a person. Furthermore, the 5 minute limit on each question prevented the moderator from digging into each person’s response.

 

While Palin was considerably better with her responses, I think she can improve on how to bridge her responses. In fact, she overtly stated that she would not answer questions that she felt the media wanted, but rather the viewer. Not great, but from a communications perspective, she did what we always counsel – respond to the question that you want asked, not the one that was asked.

 

Preparation: I give Palin 4 gold stars. She was clearly MORE prepared than her interviews. She had 3-4 key points that she highlighted throughout the debate. I only detected 2-3 questions when she seemed to struggle, but she recovered quickly.

 

 

Conclusions

With political pundits and prospective voters watching her closely, Palin did a great job to nullify the concerns that her interviews had raised. I recognize that the expectations may not have been high to begin with but you can’t deny that she provided a great performance.

 

She does have room for improvement regarding how to bridge her response with the question asked. Future interviews won’t be like the debate. But in just one and half hours, she definitely responded to her skeptics.

 

Do you think this debate is enough? Or are the doubts still around?

 

technorati tags: Sarah Palin PR Public Relations Media Relations Media Training
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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

 

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, 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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