PR Campaigns – The blog

April 12, 2009

More “good” presentations

Filed under: Prof. Gilpin — drgilpin @ 7:34 pm
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Here’s another potential source of inspiration for your final project pitches: the latest post at Presentation Zen shows some examples of visuals from Good Magazine. As Gar Reynolds points out, these are probably not great for full presentations, but they do combine high-impact images and text (such as a short phrase in white text on a black background, or a quick movie montage) that could greatly enhance a slide show and oral narration.

My favorite is the last one, but they all have some good ideas in them.

April 6, 2009

Blending social media and CSR

Filed under: Spirals — Patty Lepkowski @ 10:55 pm
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I have to be honest, I normally skip over any blog that even mentions Twitter, as I feel it has become an over-talked about topic recently. However, when the blog titled Social Media Provides the Tools to Make Positive Change popped up on my Google Reader last week, I had to take note.

The blog posted on the Communications Overtones blog page discusses how Michelle Greer, a web marketing strategist and blogger from Austin, recently won a social media award for a Twestival she organized to coordinate blood drives for Burmese refugees.

Although the blog never directly mentions anything public relations-related, I was immediately drawn to this topic as a potential tactic for a corporate social responsibly campaign (CSR), a campaign through which companies participate in activities related to public interests, while improving the company image. Corporations are constantly looking for ways to form mutually beneficial relationships with their communities, and what better way than through everyone’s new favorite medium – the Internet.

Using social media to power a CSR campaign is a strategically sound decision for a number of reasons. For one, social media is a quick and effective way for organizations to reach their publics. Currently, many companies discuss their CSR efforts on the company blog, but why not take that a step further and use the social media Web site as a platform for the campaign, rather than just a medium to discuss it? Also, social media Web sites are effective because they allow public relations professionals to disseminate controlled information that will reach target publics, those that are already loyal readers of the company’s blogs.

In my opinion, companies have a lot to gain by conducting CSR campaigns on social media Web sites. However, some may believe that social media Web sites would not be appropriate for some CSR efforts. What is your opinion? Do you think social media and CSR are mutually exclusive topics or that we can find a way to blend the two, so as to create communications results? If you disagree with using social media for CSR, what do you think is the best way for companies to conduct and report on CSR efforts?

Twitter: The next big thing?

Filed under: 3's Company PR — Nicholas Smith @ 10:27 pm

I recently came across this article in the state press by  Matt Culbertson that discusses the use (or uselessness) of Twitter.  Among other things, the author critisizes Twitter for being “mediocritydefined”, and says that it amounts to little more than a stupider version of a facebook feed.

I have to admit that my first impressions of Twitter gave me the same impression. I remember Dr. Gilpin showing us an example of a Twitter post that said “running late for work”, and thinking: “if you were running late for work, why would you take the time to log onto your Twitter account and let the whole world know something that they probably don’t care about?”

However, after the presentations in class and witht he guest video speaker, my opinon quickly changed. For unexperienced people who have not been educated to the benefits of Twitter, I can easily see how it would appear to be a useless waste of time. However, even the littest amount of experience with it proves it to be a useful tool for any media professional.

I came across a blog that discusses the many benefits of Twitter and how to successfully “game” it. The author talks about how one of his collegues amassed thousands of Twitter followers in a matter of days, and how that has affected their careers. If nothing else, it definitly proves to be one of the easiest ways to get a short message out to a mass audience, fast. The blog also gives four helpful hints on how to gain a mass audience using Twitter, and how it can better your career.

So, with that said, and the presenations behind us, that leads me to ask: Does anyone in class believe in Twitter now, or do they agree with Culbertsons assessment that it is “mediocrity defined”?

“Toxic Talk” in Social Media

Filed under: Fidelis — mlmyers @ 8:50 pm
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While surfing around the blogosphere I came across a post by Crisisblogger Gerald Baron  about “toxic talk” in social media and whether its effects should be taken as seriously as they have in the past. The example brought to light was how reputation management dealt with the backlash of a Motrin Ad that struck sour with mommy communities across the web. Did they respond well to the situation?

We’ve talked about this case in PR class a couple times, but the notion that Johnson & Johnson (the distributor of Motrin) may have overreacted hadn’t really crossed my mind. The post by Baron referenced an article in Advertising Age that suggested we shouldn’t be so worried about viral outrage online. It is clear to us that social media matters, so what is trying to be said here? Well…there is definite controversy.

The article on Advertising Age suggested:

  • Internet and conversations don’t directly impact everyone.
  • For those who aren’t exposed to the message, it is more likely the controversy will drive them to seek answers and go check out what the fuss is about. (which is positive)
  • The overall impression of a company won’t necessarily have dramatic altercations.

Crisis management is extremely important, but are cases where company’s overreact becoming more apparent?

Another blogger, Shel Holtz, pointed out that people don’t have to see the message to get caught up with the outrage. He also noted that small issues online can blow up into mainstream coverage like well-known newspaper publications leaving company reputations extremely vulnerable.

These two perspectives got me thinking. I have come to the conclusion that each situation should be evaluated individually to determine and develop proper methods of solving the problem. Any thoughts on what may be a better way of dealing with crisis in social media?

A picture is worth a thousand clients

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 7:24 pm
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I was reading through a few PR blogs when I ran across Seth Godin’s ( a marketing expert and author) blog entitled The Power of a Tiny Picture. In this blog he discusses how you picture can either make or break  your first impression you leave on people.  He says after browsing through many photos he developed suggestions for how to make you photograph into a great first impression. He has a few suggestions for what your picture should look like.

Here are a few:

  • Use a professional looking photo
  • Have normal background
  • Don’t wear a hat (and if you do make it a good hat)
  • Avoid having significant others in the photo. People are looking for you and not for them.
  • Look Happy
  • Don’t have a weird picture that is not of you (like a cartoon or object)
  • Cropping makes a photo look professional

Since this class I have been really focusing on my social media knowledge because the importance of the knowledge is growing. I was interviewing for internships last week, and all the potential employers wanted to hear about my social media skills.

This whole facebook picture idea shocked me. My first reaction was, “who cares.” But then I thought about how some of the pretty weird facebook profile pictures I  have seen.  I laugh at some of them because they are clever, but others I am confused or shocked. Imagine you are a potential client. You are thinking about hiring a new PR agent and you google their name and their facebook picture shows up. What if their picture is weird, unprofessional or risque? Would you second guess your decision of hiring them? I think I might.

I must be honest my profile picture on both facebook and twitter do not fit some Seth’s points. (I don’t think I will change it any time soon.)

I posted this blog to see what you guys think. How important do you think a facebook picture is? Would your opinion change if you owned your own PR firm, or knew your potential employers and clients were checking out your page?

“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

Filed under: Mission Public Relations — kbergeron44 @ 7:17 pm
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Social media is the new popular kid at school.  The one whose dad just got a big promotion prompting his family to move in a couple houses down.  He has the coolest bike, the newest video games, the nicest clothes and a trampoline! All the girls love him and all the guys want to hang out with him.  Except brands.

When it comes to the world of social media, brands are the cool kids who have been dethroned by the new kid at school.  They used to run the show through means of traditional marketing and brand management, but have lost the spotlight to the internet and social media.

In his post, “A Control Freak’s Guide to Social Media Influence,” found on Mashable, Paul Worthington talks about the inability for brands to fully utilize social media as a means of influence because they are unable to relinquish their illusion of control.

Worthington explains that brands have always sought to control the thoughts of the perspective audiences when the key has always been influence.  This false belief is what has a lot of branding managers jealous of the new kid on the block and reluctant to embrace social media.

In these new times where social media is reigning supreme in the world of online influence, brands need to change their strategy and give up the ideal of control.  Worthington tries to help them by providing three principles that good influencers demonstrate:

1. Listen then respond– “Before engaging with the conversation it’s important to first listen to it, see what is being said and interpret what this means.”

2. Be comfortable with ambiguity– “Conversation is messy, real time, and often capricious. At first what you see will appear chaotic, unmanageable and intimidating. The reality is that it isn’t your job to manage or control it – but to respond to it.”

3. Filter through your purpose– ” Here, having a strong brand purpose is a crucial tool – it becomes the tangible filter through which you listen and respond.”

I think that all companies would be wise to apply these suggestions to any social media influence that they hope to attain.  I am an active user of social media and, to me, it seems like too many brands are trying to use social media for marketing and public relations means, but are doing so ineffectively.  They are too stuck in their old ways to fully embrace the new kid and try out his trampoline.  Times are changing quickly with new social media applications coming out daily and I think for any company to be successful they need to quickly change their attitudes about social media and dive in head first or they will be left behind.

What do you think?  Are brands not applying themselves enough when it comes to social media?  Is this trend going to be around enough for companies to invest a lot of attention into?  What are some successful branding techniques that companies have been using on social media?

Don’t tweet and drive, tweetcall.

Filed under: LAM Creative,Uncategorized — lehanson @ 4:44 pm

New applications continue to evolve for the Twitterverse. When doing a bit of research for this blog post I was surprised and impressed with the amount of apps I came across on the Twitter Fan Wikipage. The latest app being tweetcall. Yes, you guessed it. This app allows you to call in your tweets to avoid multi-tasking and driving. A post on gadgetell.com by JG Mason gives a run down of how it works.

Tweetcall is directed toward non-technical tweeters and users that don’t want to pay for text message tweets. It works in the same way, call in and state “What’s on your mind” in 140 characters or less. But as  Mason states in Twitter without all that annoying typing: Tweetcall, what if your Tweet isn’t translated correctly? The example he gives:

What if I say, “I am booking in Times Square on my wheels,” but what gets transcribed from voice to text is “I am hooking in Times Square in high heels.”  Embarrassing, right?  Worry not, TweetCall uses voice recognition technology developed by Quicktate which is a “highly accurate transcription service, which uses humans to proofread all messages for proper syntax, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation before they are submitted.”

A good idea that opens Twitter up to a different demographic. I’m curious to see if this app is utilized. What are your thoughts and is this something you would try out? The other aspect of Tweetcall is how it adds audio to your Twitter feed.  The phone number is toll free but it makes me wonder how the creator of Tweetcall profits. So if you have answers let me know.

Let’s be realistic…

Filed under: Step Up Communications — cafuller @ 12:24 pm

The topic of conversation among us seniors now is graduation.  I can’t tell you how many times in the past few months I’ve sat around with friends and classmates concocting our quest to become successfully important contributors to society.  How exactly are we supposed to transform from the messy college kids, stumbling to class into the suited up, important business men and women hustling and bustling on the New York City sidewalks? What exactly is the next step?

It seems to me that most of us are focusing on where we hope to be in the next ten or 20 years.  Our expectation is to land our dream job and begin conquering the world right away.  Well, while some of us may get lucky, it’s a little far fetched for most of us.  It’s important to take a step back and view our future careers as investments.  As unglamorous as it sounds, working from the bottom up can actually be the most rewarding approach.  Todd Defren narrows in on the importance of committing to one employer in his blog post Careerism vs. Stickitoitiveness.

Defren discusses common practice in the PR industry to jump from job to job.  The cut-throat and competitive nature of the industry forces some to jump around.  In other cases, firms compete and recruit each other’s employees.  Either way, there seems to be a large turn-over rate in the industry.  Defren speaks from a PR agency owner’s perspective when he advises young “PR pros” to make a committment to a place they like, and stick to it.  Apparently, he already secretly knows who of his young employees will grow to be future Vice Presidents of the firm…potentially.  He knows they have the work ethic, but it all depends on the committment they decide to make to the agency.

This really left me with a lasting impression.  Our generation has the mindset that if we aren’t satisfied with what we’re doing, we’ll just go find something better.  Committment and loyalty aren’t the highest on our list of importance.  So, how many professionals out there, in any area, are still trying to land their dream job?  How many of them could be working that dream job right now if they had just stuck it out through less glamorous positions?

What do you think? Do you think loyalty to one employer and working from the bottom up is an outdated idea? What kind of mindset do you have as you’re getting ready to step off of the university campus and enter “the real world?”

April 5, 2009

Agencies should be like our mates… attractive

Filed under: Precision PR — gbohulan @ 1:46 am

Falling in love with the right mate is something most people dream of.   There are many to choose from and competition is fierce.   They have to be strong, dependable and most importantly, attractive.  Right?   With the Law of Attraction,  this same theory applies in clients choosing their PR agencies.   George Rosenberg writes an article on prcoachblogspot.com that digs deeper into this theory.

He writes that if you think of abundance and prosperity, you will attract abundance and prosperity.  Conversely, if you focus on the negative, that is what you shall get.  Now when you think of someone in your life you find attractive,  he or she  are the ones who drive us towards them.  They give off a magnetic energy and a feeling of euphoria without striving.  Rosenberg writes that there is such a thing as an “attractive” agency.  An agency that attracts their ideal clients and their ideal reputation is an agency that succeeds without striving, even in tough times.

This is what he believes to be an attractive agency:

  • Over-responds to every problem and turns every event into an opportunity
  • Under-promises and over delivers – always
  • Masters its craft, innovates for sheer joy, invents new ways to work
  • Derives its strength from who it is rather than what it does
  • Is unconditionally constructive and sees perfection not problems in staff and client

I think Rosenberg forgot to mention confidence because  PR agencies should be a reflection of yourself.  When you consider opposites attracting,  it makes sense.  Most clients who need help  have traits opposite that of an agency, like being unorganized or not innovative.  At the same time, similarities bring people closer together too.  Maybe Rosenberg’s theory is just a lame excuse to write a blog.

What do you think?

April 3, 2009

When text is a good thing in a presentation

Filed under: Prof. Gilpin — drgilpin @ 7:46 am
Tags: , ,

(Since some have asked: yes, commenting on this post counts for your weekly quota.)

I’m always advocating for minimal text on slides, which really comes down to wanting everything on the slide to have maximum impact. Usually there is a tendency for people to simply fill screens with ugly bullet points and meaningless clip art, neither of which enhance a presentation. My view is that it’s usually best to use the screen for strong images and the occasional key phrase, like a title or important data point, leaving the bulk of the argument for the oral portion of the presentation.

Sometimes, though, the text is the art. Although I wouldn’t recommend using these typographical techniques for an entire campaign presentation, they can be effective for certain portions, or for any video messages that you might want to make for your client proposals.

A couple of my favorites from the above link:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ana Ng Typographic video on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “78RPM – MP3 | 70 Years of Revolutiona…“, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “DJ shadow – The Outsider (Typographic…“, posted with vodpod

In any case, it’s worth checking out. And as we near the end of the semester (and your team presentations), I strongly encourage you to visit Presentation Zen (where a recent post shows another fantastic text-based presentation) for tips and examples, and Ted for more inspiration.

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