Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to Basics

If you're a baby boomer, you probably remember heading back to school AFTER Labor Day, as I do.  Why is it that out here in California, where you have no "snows days", they make everyone start in August before summer is rightfully over?  Can someone out there please explain this to me?

While you're thinking of that or researching it or whatever my little rant has spurred you to do, I'll be getting back to basics in the writing department by purchasing a new copy of the Holy Book for Journalists and Others who Want to Write in a Clear and Consise Style - "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White.

I was listening to NPR the other day as they were discussing the "Wiki Leaks" business that you're probably sick of  hearing about by now - I know I am!  One of the women who called in started complaining about the misuse of language among our citizens and even members of the 4th Estate!  Yes, Virginia, back in the day when reporters actually developed stories and dug for information instead of turning a news-cast into an entertainment-cast, this is how members of the media described themselves!

This woman started to bad mouth the editors of the paper of record - The New York Times - where the editors apparently don't know when to use who or whom!  (Clue for NTY editors, simply substitute the word he for who and him for whom and you should be able to figure this out easily.)

Misuse of  language is one of my pet peeves.  I remember once asking a young grocery clerk why he used the word ain't.  He looked at me and just shrugged like a teenage boy would do in that circumstance.  I told him that I didn't think he looked like a dummy, but if he continued to misuse language that way he would be taken for one!  I'll never forget the shocked look that came over his face, as if either:  no one had ever been that honest with him or he couldn't believe some old broad was mouthing off to him.  Although I'd like to think I made a difference in a young person's life, I'm thinking he was probably thinking of the latter. 

"The Elements of Style" isn't just a book for journalists, but a book for everyone who writes.  Go on, go get yourself a copy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Social Media Deja Vu

If you're a reader of this blog, you know that I've been hammering away at social media since I started writing.  I'm doing this because I think we have to change the ways we think about PR and media presence.  I'm not the only one either.  More and more consultants and businesses are realizing that having an effective presence on line via social media is almost more important (unless you sell things) than a website!

Case is point is HERE- where one of my favorite hotel chains (Joie De Vivre) is a test case for improved marketing using social media.  Last week while at a photography workshop (need any editorial or product photography?  give me a call!) some of the participants who run portrait studios and the like started talking about the time that it takes to keep up on social media.  This is when I pipped up and told them that they could hire a consultant such as myself to take that off their hands.

It even makes financial sense when you consider that someone who is doing this a great deal will spend less time doing it than you would. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Corporate Biz Goes Gaga over Social Media

Thanks to my Tweep on Twitter who posted this link about corporations jumping all over the social media bandwagon - without truly knowing why!


Have a good weekend everyone and hope it's going to be cooler than here in the Sacramento Valley where today's expected 104 will beat yesterday's 100!

Back in the Saddle

After a short hiatus, we are back here at PR Insights.  The time that we have taken off has not been squandered, but spent in service to the arts and to education - traveling in Italy, art shows in Reno and here in Sacramento as well as a photographic workshop with the world-famous Elizabeth Opalenik in Santa Fe! 

What has inspired me to post again is the Apple iPhone 4 flap.  Apparently the device has an antennae built into the metal band around the phone.  The only problem is that when you hold the phone, you block the antennae.  One 2nd  hand news report has Apple chief Steve Jobs just telling people to hold it differently!??!.  Here's but one other reason I have for not joining the cult group of Apple fanatics, even though the iPhone looks pretty cool and I thought by now all the bugs would be dealt with.

So after a major mainstream media outlet like Consumer Reports gave it the thumbs down, the PR staff at Apple is FINALLY swinging into gear, but in their own selective way.  "Selected" media have been invited to a special news conference that is just getting underway now in Cupertino. 

Apple has gone through a transformation from the little David of the first Macs to the Goliath that it is today having a value bigger than Microshaft Microsoft.  The giant is now beginning to feel the pinch with Wired reporting that stock shares tumbled significantly on Wednesday morning. 

All because of neglecting a PR problem.  This would have turned out far differently I'm sure if the Apple executives had actually listened to consumer feedback.  Could this arrogance be caused by Apple getting a bit too big for it's britches?  If they had held a news conference open to ALL media IMMEDIATELY after getting several reports, this tale could have had a different ending. 

Let this be a warning to all businesses big and small - you will be in a good place in consumers minds if you immediately own up to a product's flaws.  Just remember the Toyota debacle.