Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Must be Official

Once something hits the Harvard Business Review (HBR), does that make it official?  If so, social media as a new platform for PR and Marketing is now official.  Read the article HERE.  Special thanks to Tony Gates from the Sacramento Chapter Social Media Club for alerting me to this.

However, like all marketing and PR efforts, I think much depends upon where you are and who you are promoting.  Although maybe I will try it on my art page on Facebook !

Of course there are always tight ropes to balance on in the social world of cyberspace.  Another article in the HBR, also spelled out why I'm leery of getting anywhere near Google's latest stab in the social media marketplace called Buzz. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Non profit Media

If you are still one of the dinosaurs (like me) that subscribes to a daily newspaper, it’s no news to you that papers have changed, especially over the last five years.  Not only has the internet and social media been responsible for many of the changes, but there’s now something called Citizen Journalism – which to my mind is either a field day for PR folks like me or an excuse to get someone to write something and not to have to pay them.  OK, maybe I’m cynical.

But now we have another twist to the picture thanks to It's a site where folks can go to offer up some money in exchange for trying to get someone to cover a certain story.  Maybe you can call it Capitalistic Journalism? 

Actually it might be a very good idea for folks who want to suggest stories that are important to them that the media is currently ignoring.  For the community, the best part is that since they are non profit, you can deduct your donations to get a story funded.

Of course they are new and it looks as if only San Francisco and Los Angeles are covered by the site right now.  Here's hoping that they begin to spread their coverage to at least California's capital!  Actually what were they thinking about not including Sacramento? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New PR Tools?

I just found out about a new resource for PR folks and for reporters - HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out.  It was created by Peter Shankman, who is not only a PR guy, but also a social media expert and a very respected dude who isn't bothered by having a photo taken of him with an elephant's trunk around his neck!  Looks like he could be fun to sit down and chat with over cocktails.  This free PR site originated as a FaceBook group.  It's devilishly simple:  reporters log on with queries on subjects they write about, then that info is put into an email which the folks that are members of HARO receive.  If anyone can offer information, they go to the HARO site and make their pitch to the reporters. 

Shankman will be the featured speaker for the Sacramento Public Relations Association or SPRA on February 25th at Sofia restaurant downtown.  I just hope the quality of the food has improved there.  Last time we went there a few years ago, it was dreadful.  But can anyone screw up Chicken Parmesean?  Details after the lunch, on both Shankman and the food quality.

The other breaking news is that Google is entering the social media field.  Now I could re-write the report from, just like the old days of re-writing AP wire copy, but have too much on my plate presently, so read all about it HERE.

Now time for you to chime in my friends.  Do you think that Google will surpass Facebook with this new Buzz?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to Write a Bad News Release

When I was in J School - journalism that is - we were taught a very formulaic way to write.  You are supposed to get the who, what, where, when and why all into the first paragraph.  Then each descending paragraph can expand upon each of the five Ws.  The reason being that editors cut from the bottom of stories to make sure that everything fits in the newspaper.  Of course radio writing is a different animal, but what's the sense of even talking about it now since the FCC has gutted the news business.

When I left the world of radio and print news to become a PR consultant, I decided that news releases would follow the same format.  In some of the small towns I sent the releases to, they ran them as is.  I wanted to make it easy for someone to just plug it in.

In radio, I saw some of the worst news releases, some of which even included photos!  Yeah, like we were going to describe the photos on the air.  What were they thinking?  Or perhaps it was they weren't thinking in the first place.

There really should be a news release hall of shame and now there is something of that ilk on the internet.  Paddy Johnson of the wonderful art blog Art Fag City, has risen to the challenge on the Hyperallergic blog !  Go on over there and vote for your take on the worst.  They are both pretty dreadful, full of silly art speak and other hyperbolic language.