Who Can Resist Firemen & Kittens?

Who Can Resist Firemen & Kittens?

Okay, I’m a softie. I fully admit it.

If you follow me on Facebook, I probably drive you nuts with all the posts of Farty Pants Phoebe, my own little feline furball of attitude and aggravation.

My home is a mecca for rescue animals of all shapes and sizes, canine and feline. I have a snaggle-tooth, one-fanged white cat with one blue eye and one yellow who likes to roll in the dirt, a golden retriever that is perpetually happy but dumb as a rock, a kitten (Phoebe) thrown out a window then rescued by my daughter, and a border collie who hides under the bed every time someone coughs or the wind blows.  My heart is wide open to all who dare enter.

So how am I supposed to resist this video of a fireman rescuing a kitten? A KITTEN! And an unconscious one, for crying out loud! It’s too much. I’m completely won over.

I have to say, this video is a brilliant piece of marketing. It might be staged, instead of authentic – it’s really hard to tell – but with over 20 million hits, either way, clearly it’s working.

[Read more...]

Look Smarter Than Your Colleagues at Digital PR

Look Smarter Than Your Colleagues at Digital PR

You don’t really have time to learn everything there is to know about digital public relations, but you do have time to learn three SIMPLE ways to look smarter than your colleagues, right?

I gave a webinar for IABC yesterday and I’d like to share a few of the important bits with you, because they focus on how to ramp up your digital PR skills quickly with a few simple tactics.

(Here is the PowerPoint via SlideShare.)

If you want to see a video of the full presentation (the above deck plus sound), it’s available for $100 on the IABC website.  If you don’t want to invest in that, well, this article will give you a mini-snapshot of some of the discussion…   [Read more...]

Why Haven’t You Subscribed To My Blog?

Why Haven’t You Subscribed
To My Blog?

Are you reluctant to add to your already-glutted inbox?
Or has content aggregation on social media eliminated the need?

I vote for #2. Why should someone subscribe if they already see everything you write cross their Facebook wall, Twitter stream or other social channels?

Perhaps email subscribers are a dying breed. I don’t think I’m alone in my frustrations about building an email database; all bloggers are increasingly challenged with building email lists.

I believe it’s directly related to shifts in how people digest information and decreased loyalty towards WHERE they get that information.

[Read more...]

Are The Days of PR Spin Doctors Dead & Gone?  Ask Gini Dietrich.

Are The Days of PR Spin Doctors Dead & Gone? Ask Gini Dietrich.

Her New Book, Spin Sucks, Launches Today.
Grab A Copy, Already! Move it!

If you know me at all, you probably know that I’m a voracious reader. A complete bookaholic that can consume upwards of a dozen books each month. Sometimes in a week.

As a teen, I burned through the school library inventory by the time I hit sixteen – at least the parts of it that interested me. I was known by first name at the used bookstore down the street, schlepping in books to trade by the box full and reading all those romance books I probably should NOT have been allowed to read. Even today, I favor the kind of “trash” reading that acts like a pressure valve – a mini escape – right before bedtime. It’s how I relax.

But, as the responsible adult whom I pretend to be, I make the effort to mix in a business book every now and then.

So when Gini opened the gates to a book ambassador program and offered an advance copy of her new book, Spin Sucks, I jumped at it. Fodder for the reading machine from one of my favorite people! SOLD.

I’m also reading an advance copy of Chris Brogan’s new book, The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth. How did I get so lucky! Stay tuned next week for a post on that one! 

Her book is a short one, only 164 pages long, so it’s a quick read for those with short attention spans or little time to spare. If you head over to Amazon and grab a copy, you won’t regret it. It’s an interesting read.

[Read more...]

3 Things Marketing & Teenagers Have In Common

3 Things Marketing & Teenagers Have In Common

I came across an Inc. article by Abigail Tracy this morning with a brilliant Seth Godin quote in it.

When asked how companies can become more effective at marketing, he said,”Start by understanding that no one cares about them. People care about themselves.

Anyone who tweets about a brand or favorites a brand is doing it because it is a symbol of who they are–it is a token, it is a badge.

It’s about them, it’s not about the brand.

I love that. It’s completely, utterly the truth in one perfect little sound bite.

I’m a single parent of two teens. And since my mind is jumping around like a deranged kitten, thanks to only having one cup of coffee so far this morning – this quote instantly made me think of teenagers and their built-in narcissism. If it is true that nobody cares about anything but themselves, perhaps we haven’t come far from our high school days. I don’t think it’s a universal truth about people in general, but it definitely resonates with brands and how people feel about them. They. Just. Don’t. Care.

Your brand means absolutely nothing to anyone. Unless we give them a reason to care.

This morning, just for fun, I’m connecting what marketing and teenagers have in common. It’s hilarious just how similar they are.

[Read more...]

Malaysia Airlines – Are You Completely Heartless? Do You Deserve The Looming Firestorm?

Malaysia Airlines – Are You Completely Heartless? Do You Deserve The Looming Firestorm?

UPDATES BELOW AS BREAKING NEWS OCCURS.

Imagine your mother is missing. En route to her dream vacation or coming home from visiting you, her plane went missing. She is gone, along with hundreds of other people.

Days of frantic, desperate effort reveals nothing. Each day seems like a year. It’s a complete nightmare and limbo of the absolute worst kind.

Then, from out of the blue, you get a TEXT notifying you that she is dead. Her plane went down in the ocean with no survivors.

You might have already known it was coming, with signals from your broken heart screaming there would have been news if everything was okay. No news wasn’t good. Dwindling hope by the hour.

BUT THIS! It’s real! She’s gone! And you found out by text.   [Read more...]

The Art of the Perfect Press Release Follow-Up

The Art of the Perfect Press Release Follow-Up

(Hint: it’s not stalking.)

You hit send on your press release, emailing it out to your list of targeted journalists…. Not mass-blasted (bite your tongue, evil temptation of the past!), but sent to a carefully built list of only those who would find this particular release news relevant and of interest.

But since your news is obviously the best thing since sliced bread(!), you are baffled why they aren’t rocked to their core in amazement and knocking your (virtual) door down in their haste to cover your story!

What the heck? Now what?

According to this complete embarrassment of a blog post on PR Daily, a co-author of the book Guerrilla Publicity actually recommends the “Rule of Seven” – following up seven times. Horrors! That is a great way to be permanently blocked by that reporter! Yikes. I’m guessing that author is not actually a PR professional. Maybe an entrepreneur?

How to effectively follow up with journalists once you’ve distributed a press release is something most of us learn via trial by fire and many, many errors.

It is a skill rarely taught in-house at agencies or employers. So we learn via chirping crickets (as Shonali says below), by getting blasted with journalist ire for screwing up and, for the more progressive thinkers, by asking for help from our peers, by reading about best practices and constant testing to see what drives improvement.

  • Should I pick up the phone and call?
  • How many times should I send an email?
  • Would sending the press release again help?
  • How can I do my job and maximize pick-ups of the news without going over the line and being a TOTAL pain in the ass?

I can tell you how many times I usually follow up –> I don’t. 

[Read more...]

Excuse Me, But You Wearin’ My Shoes? I Dinna Think So.

Excuse Me, But You Wearin’ My Shoes? I Dinna Think So.

(AKA – Storytelling For Public Relations)

Tell stories with your brand.
Be visual.
Have a unique voice.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But holy smokes, is it ever harder than it sounds!! Since most of us weren’t fiction authors in another life, or song writers who beautifully string words together that sing to the soul, it’s a bit more challenging.

But read on. I’m convinced it’s doable.

Storytelling with public relations isn’t just finding the right images, creating infographics and using a fab graphic designer. It’s about creating words that resonate. It’s about understanding your customer. Using words to inspire, captivate, even explode an emotional response. PUTTING YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES.

[Read more...]

Begone, Evil AVEs! There are Better Ways to Measure Public Relations.

Begone, Evil AVEs! There are Better Ways to Measure Public Relations.

Digital PR has forever disrupted how we measure and track public relations. leaving many PR pros scratching their head in confusion.

Advertising value equivalency (AVEs) are going the way of the dinosaur and for those struggling to put a value on their PR visibility, it’s time to take a fresh look at the possibilities.

The fundamental question that should come before ANY action is taken: what is your goal and how can you measure success in reaching that goal?  It doesn’t matter if it is your annual strategy, a short-term campaign or a single piece of content – without a goal and a metric connected to that goal, it’s just a shot in the dark.

Deep breath! It’s not as bad as you think.   [Read more...]

How to Create Fabulous Videos From PowerPoint (For Under $50!)

How to Create Fabulous Videos From PowerPoint (For Under $50!)

If you already invest time in creating slide decks (PowerPoint, anyone?) for presentations, SlideShare, whatever – and you’ve been thinking about how to make videos out of them by wrapping in audio voice-overs – don’t miss this post.

Women Entrepreneurs' Small Business Boot Camp

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to speak at the 10th Annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp in Scottsdale.  The topic was how to leverage Twitter to build influence and visibility (hoorah!), presenting in front of about 400 women.

Since I try to make the most of my time and, like any efficient PR pro, re-purpose content where possible – I decided to create a video of my practice run, which I could then post on YouTube. [Read more...]

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