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Inside PR Podcast 2/23/2011
The Ten Commandment of Positivity

Martin Waxman of Inside PR

This podcast included hosts Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley.  The majority of the podcast centered on a recent blog by Martin Waxman with the above mentioned title.  Waxman’s top ten were:
  1. Don’t lie
  2. Don’t Spam
  3. Don’t over promise
  4. Don’t pretend something is what it isn’t
  5. Be creative and tell a story as good as you can
  6. Remember that yours isn’t the only story out there and others may have a better and/or more important story.
  7. Know where you stand in the grand scheme of things (tragedy trumps product every time)
  8. Do what you say and as quickly as you can
  9. Smile when you’re talking or reaching out to people
  10. Say thanks.

The conversation progressed and Gini relayed the fact that she heard Terry Fallis say that “Your mood is as contagious as the common cold.”  This brought up the conversation concerning the writing of angry or critical emails.

People tend to take their bad mood out on someone in an email because they can avoid conflict.  People will say things in an email that they’d never say face to face.  Gini Dietrich commented that for a while her company banned internal emails. If someone needed to have a discussion like that, they had to do it person to person. Sometimes a late night email can be devastating and cause someone a sleepless night.

The discussion concluded with all being in agreement that one on one conversation about conflicting issues is more professional and better on the working environment.

Inside PR Podcast 3/23/11

Happy Birthday Twitter

Gini Dietrich for Inside PR

The podcast began with Gini talking about her new E-book.  Apparently she asked 32 business leaders to contribute by writing letters, which is what the book is comprised of.  This book is now available at Spin Sucks.

The discussion then moved on to wish Twitter a Happy Birthday.  It seems that on March the 21st Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday.  Some of the statistics that were given concerning Twitter were:

  1. It took Twitter three years, two months and a day to get to its billioneth tweet.  Now, it take one week for Twitter to get a billion tweets.
  2. When Michael Jackson died in 2009, there were 456 TPS (tweets per second).  Currently, there is 6,939 TPS.

The statement was made that Twitter has established itself as a news source. However, Twitter is making some changes that have a few people upset. They are starting to “tighten up” download and store Twitter results.  Last week they really made those in their developer community angry by suggesting that many of the functions will be core to Twitter and that the developer community that helped them to get these large numbers really is “circumscribed” as to what it will do.

 

 The other side of the coin is that Dave Winer, considered by many to be the father of podcasting and RSS feeds, is still developing a simple new blogging tool that will “keep an archive of our content on our servers but will push it out to wherever we want.” In this way it will get around “the problem of the guys at Twitter actually owning your content and being able to change it with its terms of service.”

 

Inside PR Podcast 3/30/11

 

We Ask Facebook a Question

Joseph Thornley of Inside PR

Gini begins the podcast talking about Twitter and Facebook.  She starts off by saying that Twitter is cutting down on Spam, and this will affect the Follow Friday for many people.  She goes on to inform us that if you use the has tag and Follow Friday, then include a bunch of Twitter handles on Friday, that will be looked upon as Spam.  However, putting just one person each week will not be seen as Spam.

The panel decided that it’s probably better coverage and that it is a good idea to cut down on the spam on Twitter.  Gini says that Twitter has not officially announced it yet, but that it definitely is going to happen.

The next topic is a discussion of a new app on Facebook. It allows you the ability to ask questions.  You can ask a question and answer it yourself, or you can let others answer it.  You can also close off the ability for people to add to their own answers.

Martin didn’t get the app, and so Joe goes on Facebook to try his hand at asking a question and he gets 11 hits very quickly.  It is mentioned that Quora has a similar feature, except that it can change your question and your answer.  Facebook has it so that no one can edit your question and answer. 

You can find the information about getting the app at Facebook.Joe brings up a recent blog of Martin Waxman‘s called “Is Your AgencySitting on the Sidelines?”  It lists agencies in the two categories: What You Need and What You Can Do Without. It gives tips about how to have overall effective communication.

 

The Long Tail Of Fans by ojkelly

In essence, infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics introduce complicated information in a clear and quick way.

They are commonly used to show the weather, as well as maps and site plans for events and graphs for statistical information.

Infographics have been branching out.  They are now used in signs, journlism, technical writing and education.  It is another way to communicate concepts concisely and in many cases in a way that is more easily understood.

Actually, making infographics is a certain discipline within the information design world.

The visual devices used to communicate in infographics include but are not limited to charts, diagrams, graphs, tables, maps and lists.  Common devices  are horizontal bar charts, vertical column charts, and round/oval pie charts.  Modern interactive maps and bulleted numbers are also infographic devices.

USA Today, which debuted in 1982, established the practice of using graphics to make informaton easier to understand.  The paper has been criticized in the past for “oversimplifying news” and “creating infographics that focus on entertainment.  They are charged with disrespect for content and data, which is referred to as chartjunk.

As the popularity of infographics grows and its use intensifies, many internet marketing companies will use them to produce viral content that web users will freely share.

Click here to view my Infographic for Band Promotion Tactics.  

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At a recent South By Southwest conference held in Austin, Texas, Becky Johns picked up a few vibes on what may become the next trends affecting PR Pro’s. Here are four that seemed to be creating a buzz at the conference.

1. Group texting. Johns says this is the most widespread phenomenon that she and many others were participating in. Small groups were sharing with each other via texting. In this setting where travel wasn’t an issue, it was mostly used to set up places to meet, etc. Prominent apps for group messaging included GroupMe and Beluga. Johns foresees these apps as possibly replacing email and Facebook in the future.

2.  Hashable. Many people use this app to network.  It bills itself as “a way to exchange business cards, make easy intro’s and ‘check in’ with people to track meetings and calls.”

3. Name your price deals. There was a lot of talk about Zaarly. The company describes it as “a proximity based, real-time buyer-powered market. Buyers make an offer for an immediate need, and sellers cash in on an infinite marketplace for items and services they never knew were for sale.” Basically, it’s a place where a “buyer” lists what they’re willing to pay for something and the “sellers” seek out the business.

4.  Smaller is better. No one was “into” the big events, preferring the smaller conversations groups and panels that were set up for RSVP’ed people only. The trend towards reaching larger groups seems to be lessening as people are beginning to look for keeping communities “niche-focused and active.”

twitter: AP Style

On Ragan’s PR Daily, I saw a recent article from Kevin Allen who suggested AP Stylebook on Twitter as a great resource for improving PR writing. It includes daily tips that are helpful to any writer.  Ten tips are included in his post from the Twitter stream.

Today’s tip: It’s daylight saving time. Not savings, and no hyphen. #APStyle

Singular proper names ending in ‘s’: Use only an apostrophe. Achilles’ heel; Dickens’ theme. #APStyle @Jaybee_eats

@whuddafugger Yes, the verb is to tweet: AP Stylebook tweeted an answer to your question. #APStyleChat

@RaoulFOX5 An event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years. #APStyleChat

An AP Stylebook pronunciation tip: Qatar, which will host the World Cup in 2022, is pronounced GUH’-tur. #apstyle

A reminder: While website is lowercase, the Web is capitalized. #apstyle @markdubya @JamesEBriggs

New to the Stylebook: Names of most websites and apps are capitalized. Use quotes only for game titles. #APStyleChat

New to the Stylebook: It’s handheld as a noun but hand-held as an adjective. #APStyleChatless than a minute ago via CoTweet

The entry on the Great Recession has been updated to say NBER economists declared that it ended in June 2009. #apstyle

@Mandersat It’s OK, OK’d, OK’ing, OKs. Do not use okay. #APStyle

These are his tips. The last one was news to me.  I thought it was better to spell it out…..okay. I guess that’s not OK.

For the entire article, click here.

Quick Press Release

In our PR Writing class at Southeastern University, we in Barbara Nixon’s class have an assignment due this week to write a PR Press Release. I thought it would be timely to use this topic as a PR Connection. Mickie Kennedy recently addressed this topic and here is a condensed version of her advice.

1. Keep a List of ideas.  I have done this in the past for fiction writing, but I see how it can be useful for any writer in any genre’.

2. Stay on Point.  Be clear with as few words as possible.

3. Outline your press release. Creating a basic outline of the main points that need to be covered will help you to stay focused.

4. Write when you’re inspired. I’ve also found this to be true with any type of writing.

5. Recycle old information when possible. Don’t rehash, but some standard information about your client should go into each press release.

6.  Edit later.  Don’t kill your writing flow! If time permits, it’s good to walk away and then come back and reread it.  It helps you to catch typo’s, which you DO NOT want to make, especially when dealing with other professionals!

For the article in its entirety, click here.

HARO (Help a reporter out) is one of a small group of services for reporters.  Peter Shankman, a public relations pro started this site last year on Facebook as a group to connect reporters with sources.  He’d been doing this himself up until the Facebook group. According to Shankman, it has grown to over $1 million in yearly revenue with almost no overhead.

After the Facebook hit the limit of 1,200 users, Shankman changed the service by making available a 200 member e-mail list in March of 2008.  It has since grown to a resource used by over 30,000 reporters and other news gatherers.  The service has 150 to 200 questions per day which is sent out to its 80,000 or more network members.

Shankman makes money by selling carefully chosen clients who advertise on the site.  His demographic includes 75 to 80 percent who open each e-mail they receive every day.

Unlike other sites providing a similar service, HARO is free.  It is totally supported by advertising dollars.  Although public relations professionals make up the highest group to use HARO, Shankman says the fastest-growing group on the site is small business owners.  This is because they desire to be quoted as an authority on a subject but cannot afford to hire a PR firm to do this for them.

There’s many subjects covered and the site can be useful to those  who are not in some kind of PR job area.  You should check it out.  HARO also has a Twitter site for you tweeters out there.  For more information you can click on Epicenter or HARO.

Grammar: goof vs. guru February 27, 2011

Filed under: Topics of the Week — asghaly @ 8:31 PM

I have always prided myself on my ability to understand and use proper grammar. I even won the English award at my high school graduation. Where math and science failed to compute, English made sense to me. Despite my natural inclination to excel in the language arts, I still have a lot to learn as Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More taught me.

The main thing I learned is that I am not quite as talented in my English ability as I once thought. I learned just how big of a deal that spelling is. The course said that people will not notice how fantastic and spot-on one’s spelling in. They will, however, definitely notice if one’s spelling is atrocious. Spelling is a relatively small thing, but it greatly affects the way one’s work is received by the professional public.

I was surprised by the amount of grammatical topics this course covered. Grammar (of course), style, punctuation, and spelling were discussed. This is useful because someone might excel in spelling but need help in style or punctuation. The way this course was presented was comprehensive and helpful.

I want to learn more about can and may. I have a ongoing debate with a friend of mine. The question is: Does one use can or may when one asks someone else for something or to do something for him? For instance is it, “Can you pass me the remote?” Or is it, “May you pass me the remote?” I always was told can is the right word in this case, but that is one pair of words that this course did not address.

This course is perfect for journalists, novelists, and students. Almost anyone who takes this course will learn something new. Some aspect of one’s writing capability will be enhanced through this course, and I highly recommend it.