Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Meaning of Definitions

Sometimes I think there's a little too much  'blah, blah, blah" in our world.  People talking or writing just to hear/see their voices.  Looks like the PR Society of America is also guilty of that according to an article in the New York Times.

I'm not sure that trying to crowd source a definition of  PR is the best of ideas.   Seriously if those at the helm of the only existing national group for PR professionals doesn't even know what they're supposed to be doing because of the influence of social media, maybe it's time for them to go into advertising?  what do you think?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Social Schedules

Mea Culpa my friends for ignoring my PR blog, but I've been in an art frenzy!  Since the end of September, I've been working on art for the Windows show at E Street Gallery in October and for the Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento's satellite gallery at Lumens Design for Living on K Street at 21st Street.  I've been hereat in Sacramento for the closing reception at E Street plus the opening and 2nd Saturday receptions at Lumens.

Now that the heavy lifting is over, time to refocus on other interests - namely PR Insights.  One of the most important things about a good PR campaign is to develop a good schedule and to stay on track.  Not only does that apply to the traditional PR outlets, but to social media as well.  However you really should revamp your schedule to include social media sites as described in this article from entrepreneur. com.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Social Media Branding Nirvana: Transparency

When I come across a phrase like that I have to steal it,  use it with attribution (Thanks ).  I ran across it in an article from one of my most consistent sources - Mashable.  I think we all remember the Toyota snafu when millions of cars had to be recalled.  This shows a high level of awareness of remembering that a company must communicate, especially during bad times.  I never saw the interview mentioned in the article and it seems as if they engineered it to look more "transparent".

But that said, it shows that when bad things happen, one must be on the spot with releasing news to the public as much as one does when good things happen.  It's all about communication and being honest.  There's a new buzz word for honesty these days - authenticity.   You'll hear business folks go on ad nauseam about it.  If one is being authentic, one is being honest, right? 

But when good things do happen to you or your business, or you're involved in innovative projects, there's nothing like a good, old-fashioned news release sent out to media to draw interest in an article, in addition to getting your message out with social media.

Here are a couple of places where you too might be able to reach a small, but targeted audience in this article.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My, What Lovely Fox Paws !

Yes, here I am committing a faux pas, or committing bad humor.  Which do you think dear reader?  Nonetheless, the PR blunder is the topic for this month's second post.  For most groups, organizations and companies, it's a question of when rather than ever having committed a PR blunder.  A small slip of the tongue near an open microphone, a mis-Tweet or what someone thought was a funny post on Facebook can turn around to slap you right in the face.  Cheap Shot Alert - Unless of course you're Charlie Sheen.

So is dealing with those kinds of mistakes any different in cyber space than in the physical world?  In a word, no.  The same things you would do here, you carry over to the social media sphere.  As a matter of fact, I think it's easier to react quickly, honestly and with humor in social media.

Thanks to my friends at Mashable for sharing this link to AMEX's forum for small businesses about recovering from a social media fox paw.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Future for Google+?

It was interesting to start a small conversation on Facebook yesterday about Google+.  While some of my more adventuresome friends are there, others who are very tech savvy are not.  This surprised me until I asked why.  The response was to wait until more people go there.  But if the tech savvy folks are waiting, then who will be there?

This is the dilemma for PR and Marketing folks as well.  Especially since there is no advertising on Google+ right now.  But just because there aren't any ads now, doesn't mean that will always be the case, so say the folks over at Mashable.

For PR purposes, I can see Google+ as being a place where you can post links to news releases that have made it on other websites.  I just did that with a small release I got out there for a group art show I'm in later this month.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Google Plus ?

Do you get it?  I'm not sure I do.  But I'm there, having been thrown in certain circles by my good meaning gmail friends.  Guess I'm what you could call an early adopter.  I even got a new Android phone last week that I'm still trying to figure out.  But I will persevere and conquer it as I did the Blackberry before it.

But back to Google+, right now I only have 6 people in circles, but 14 have me in their circles.  The one thing was bothers me a bit about it is that I have my "real" email address attached to it.  On the FB side, I use a different email address so my inbox isn't clogged with stuff and to to that FB email every few days to clear things out of it.

But thanks to           I've have access to some information on Google+ that might be of use to you PR types out here.  But I couldn't have done it wthout the help of the good folks over at A Photo Editor.  Thanks for that link t his morning.  I knew that I needed to post here and was a trifle at sea about what to post.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Pro Bono Work

Maybe I'm just a crazy lady, but I feel that everyone needs to help others - be it donating money to worthy causes, delivering meals on wheels to the elderly or in my case, helping groups and organizations with PR. 

Two years ago I was helping the artists who do the NadaDada Motel Art Festival in Reno, Nevada when I asked to see the news release so I could send it to my contacts.  Remember yesterday's post about going back to the basics - the 5 Ws?  That's what I did with the "release" that one of the artists sent me.  I just re-wrote in a more conventional journalistic style.  Then I thought, why not send it to the NY Times?  So I did and this time Fortuna smiled in my direction and we got a reporter out to the event and got a hit.

I don't know if I'll be as lucky (because really PR is just a toss of the die), but  hope I will for my next Pro Bono project for the Professional Women Photographers (PWP)  (http://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalWomenPhotographers) who is hosting a very interesting panel discussion at the School of Visual Arts in New York City that I hope I can attend.  I can't tell you much now, but some BIG name folks from the New Yorker magazine and the Yale School of Art are on tap.

If you're amazed that I've posted three times in one week, I'm flabbergasted!  But this post was triggered by an email from PWP trying to figure out a time for me to consult with them via speaker phone in the meeting.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Basics to Remember

At many times in one's professional life, it's always good to go back to the basics.  I think this is especially true in Public Relations.  There are times when even I first write out the Who, What, Where, When and Why of a release.  The Five Ws are really the place where PR and Journalism meet.

I'll never forget the several times that I would receive a photo from a PR agency when I was a radio journalist.  It gave me a few laughs and was great as an on air joke, but that release was headed straight for the round file. 

Seth Godin, a guru of marketing advice, has touched on some really good email etiquette in his latest blog post.  He also deals with some common sense basics that all PR folks need to keep remembering.  Thanks Seth for this community service.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Doing the Right Thing.

Sometimes PR professionals get too wrapped up in long range plans and promotions that they can't see the forest for the trees.  Sometimes the best PR is just to do the right thing.  Such was the case with a group of soldiers who had recently served in Afghanistan and were heading back home to their base camp. 

It's too bad the baggage person at Delta did not do the right thing, but clung rigidly to what they thought were the rules.  Come to find out they were wrong.  After all these men has just risked life and limb! 

Thanks to the folks at Mashable for bringing this to my attention.  The video has gone viral so you might have seen it by now.  Here's your link.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


We all like to get rewards don't we?  Whether it's a coupon for something we buy on a regular basis or a discount or even sometimes just plain recognition as a human being!  Rewards can also be a big part of a PR campaign, especially to build awareness for new products and services.
I think this is especailly true on social media platforms like Facebook, and so do the folks over at American Express, as you can tell by reading this LINK.

While the first two tips are probably more appropriate for larger businesses, the other two seem like they would work for smaller organizations.  As a matter of fact, I'm going to test this out on the Ann Tracy Fine Art & Photography page on Facebook.  I'll report back in a few weeks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another View Point

I think this woman has something to say to those of us who work in PR.  What do you think?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Memory Lane

I interviewed Arnaud de Borchgrave while I worked for WQFM, when he was Newsweek's Chief Foreign Correspondent, after his novel "The Spike" was published.  He was very surprised that I had actually read the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It was a dashing spy novel.  This simple thank you impressed me enough to keep it all these years.  Currently deBorchgrave  is Editor-at-Large of The Washington Times and United Press International, as well as Project Director for Transnational Threats (TNT) and Senior Advisor for The Center for Strategic and International Studies.[4][5]

The other "best" interview I did while doing news and public affairs for WQFM was with Steven King.  He was a hoot and a half and even improvised some Maine Humor with me - Bert & I style.  He did autograph a copy of his novel "Fire Starter" for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Waxing Nostalgic

You must forgive the next few posts as I'm tripping down memory lane a bit.  The hubby and I are moving back to the clams of my childhood - specifically Portland Maine.  I'm been trying to clean out filing cabinets etc so we won't be moving a ton of junk. and I've come across some news clippings from the old days in media.

I didn't work at WOKY very long, in fact it was the only media job I was "laid off" from.  Part of the problem was the sexist attitude of the news director - let's just leave it at that, OK?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Using Social Media for PR

 There are probably many different ways to use social media for public relations depending upon the type of business you are promoting.  Mashable.com recently ran an article showing what they considered some smart ways that different companies are doing this.  Since it's always instructive to see how others are doing it, let's take a closer look at these examples.

For the Rayovac snowball fight, yes it's a cute idea but perhaps too cute?  Would you have participated?  I know I wouldn't  have.  But it was effective!

In these days of tight budgets and rising food costs, the Healthy Choice campaign seems like a good one, but only if you are a coupon person.  I have tried to be in the past but the coupons never made it to the store until they were expired.  But this effort did have a demonstrable effect in gaining new fans for the FB page.

 The Breeders Cup campaign also successful but it looks as if they needed a whole army of people to pull it off.  The Balsams Resort campaign takes a page from my buddy Chad Sorg and his Artist Fishbowl project where he would live a week at a time in different storefront windows in Reno and LA.  You were ahead of your time Sorg!  The KFC scholarship campaign got turned on it's head with substituting a single tweet for a long essay.

In looking at these, you'll notice that they are all corporations using agencies.  How can the smaller business or nonprofit benefit from these examples?  I think the answer is by thinking out of the box.   If your nonprofit is planning a benefit, maybe taking a cue from some of these examples to use either FB or Twitter to not only publicize the event, but perhaps give away free tickets to the event.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's All in the Timing

Not only is our title today a very funny series of vignettes for theatre written by David Ives, but it's about PR as well.  I know that when I'm trying to get interest in a story, I had better respect the media's deadlines.  But what about social media which is not so deadline oriented?

Seems that there are some times that are better than others to post to Facebook.  On this marketing site they have the details.  I understand that more people probably go to Facebook on the weekends, so a Friday afternoon might be an ideal time to post.  But I'm not quite sure I buy the fact that more things are shared at 8 am than any time. 

Many of the folks that I know are on FB late at night.  What's  your experience been?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Media vs. Bloggers

A big shout out to my friend Chad Sorg of Artist Fishbowl fame who inspired this week's post on PR Insights.  In my other life as a visual artist, we both belong to an artist's group in Reno that holds an annual art festival - Nada Dada Motel - where artist rent rooms in low end motels to show their work.  I became involved with the group about three years ago and helped with the PR which ended up with the NY Times covering the event two years ago.

OK, enough back story, here's the meat of the message - that approaching bloggers is very different than sending out news releases to media.  Since much of PR is luck and timing, I'd have to say that I agree with PressKing.com with most of its advice. 

But from personal experience working with a client who had developed a new toy for toddlers and was taking it to a showcase, I'd have to say that I did the regular "hack" job for her - that is sending out a regular release to bloggers and did get plenty of response and offers to do stories on her and her product. 

However this is just one incidence.  Actually the hardest part of the aforementioned project was to research and develop a list of bloggers who would have an interest in the story.  Although I do agree totally about not being a nag when following up after sending out a pitch!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

40 More Things

One of my Twitter friends has the meat of the story for this blog post - thanks Pete at Mashable!  This looks like a very inclusive article dealing with all current social media portals.

Me?  I'm still waiting for my jet pack!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year

Sorry it's been so long since the last post, but you know what the holidays will do to the most thoughtful plans - turn them into mincemeat pie!  But here we are again thinking about social media and public relations. 

On thing that might be helpful to you whether you do PR for other people or for your own endeavors, is to pick up a couple of copies of your local newspapers, daily and weekly.  Now, get out your laptop or just a chunk of paper and list the headlines of the feature articles, the reporter's name and a short synopsis of the story.  This is a great way to keep track of what people are writing about in the print world. 

You can also do this with your local news stations - TV of course since the news on radio is nonexistent these days due the FCC  having no power anymore.  But don't let me get up on that soapbox.