Engage with the Hate

I recently began that much-maligned exercise of apartment hunting with my wife in Minneapolis and if I learned anything from the pursuit (other than a realtor’s idea of ‘spacious’ is from the point of view of the cockroaches) it is that businesses need to engage with hate online.

Much of our hunting utilized social media – we searched ads and sites and used accompanying blogs, tweets and reviews to assess where best to rest our hats. It is safe to say that there is a lot of hate in the social media sphere – from security deposit battles to strange-smelling hallways, the dramas of rental life in the Twin Cities were laid bare online. Continue reading

NetApp Financial Release Debacle Offers Lesson in Protecting Online News

I’m sure it was an honest mistake, and it was one done in an effort to allow the company to be fully prepared for the ensuing onslaught of media queries, commentary and trading that was to come. But the  recent debacle that saw NetApp’s quarterly earnings results slip out earlier than expected offered a timely lesson to all PR pros, whether you’re representing a consumer-focused client or working in-house in the highly-regulated field of financial PR:

Watch what you put online. Continue reading

Good PR is Good PR. Period.

If you had asked me three years ago what type of work I was in, I would have told you something along the lines of, “Oh, I work in social media PR,” or, “I’m in digital PR.” Like many others, I, too, was caught up in the catchphrases of the day to describe a new line of thinking for our profession.

But I’m starting to shift my thinking back to a simpler, more clear thought on the profession: Good PR is good PR. No matter how you slice it or dice it.

I was reminded of this the other day while reading yet another “This is how we can save PR”-type blog post. You know the type –10 tips for saving the profession, or five ways that social media is transforming PR. Continue reading

An Introvert’s Guide to Standing Out at Conferences

Networking events and conferences can be stressful for introverts, like myself.  I admit there have been times that I’ve skipped a couple or put off meeting some new people because I was afraid of that social awkwardness. You know, the kind where you just want to throw a blanket over your head and hide in the supply closet.

But, the more conferences and networking events I attend, the more I realize that there are several things I can do to alleviate the initial anxiety. I’ve compiled four tips to help you get the most from these events and avoid the initial social awkwardness. Continue reading

PR Lessons from the Apple-Beatles Launch

On Tuesday, November 16, Apple made an announcement music fans had been waiting years to hear– The Beatles were coming to iTunes. Steve Jobs, a Beatles fan, said it fulfills a dream he’s had since the iTunes store launched ten years ago.

From a PR perspective, the announcement offers three simple, effective lessons in “buzz” marketing; techniques reviewed in my new book, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Although the book was published prior to the Beatles release, Apple’s 3-step PR launch remains remarkably consistent—whether Apple is unveiling new iTunes music, a new computer, iPods, or iPads. Continue reading

Don’t You Love a New Toy

Earlier this month, Facebook dropped a bomb on the geolocation space by introducing deals via their Places mobile application. This move was a power play for the largest social network and a potential boon for advertisers looking to tap into the 100 million users of the Facebook mobile application.

In the initial roll-out, there were a number of merchants that partnered with Facebook to roll out the new deals feature, including Gap. Now along with the partnership, these companies gained the cache of being innovative in the social space. Continue reading

How Do You Plan for Measurement?

Now that PR measurement (and social media measurement) have become buzzwords, I would hope that all of us are measuring at least to some extent. I know that it’s still going to be a while before every single campaign includes measurement, but it’s about time you start planning for it.

While it’s encouraging to know more folks are starting to think about it, sometimes measurement is just assumed, but not logically thought through. This only leads to last minute scrambling and lower quality work. Just like the best campaigns, the best and most accurate measurement requires planning.

If data collection and analysis is something you’ve never had to worry about before, working it into your schedule can mean a lot of guesswork. Take it from someone who knows, it will take more time than you might initially think. Continue reading

Failure is a Learning Success

In our work, and personal lives, we’re constantly confronted with the question – whether stated or merely implied – will this work (or be good)?

This applies to marketing strategies, finding a favorite lunch spot, choosing a job, choosing an employee, deciding which route to take home, etc.  It’s pretty much the question you get across the board whenever trying (or reconsidering) something.

We can hedge our bets on these items to varying degrees.  It’s unlikely a very indirect route will be faster than shortest distance between points A and B – but will the interstate really be faster at rush hour?  Is the subway worthwhile if you’re only going 20 blocks and need to walk 8 to get to and from the stations (provided you walk at a decent clip and the weather’s nice)? Continue reading

Clique-happy Social Media

Cliques have always had a negative connotation, beginning with what we remember from our high school days. The “power elite” popular kids excluded us from the underage drinking parties on weekends, and even worse, caused us to be the brunt of many bad jokes as we attempted to be initiated into the in-crowd.

If you compare this type of group and the cliques or niche groups one can find in social networks, it’s a night and day difference. You might have thought this post was going to turn into a rant revealing striking similarities between being a popular kid in high school and a similar position on Twitter, but it’s not. Instead, I’d like to point out how cliques are a natural progression in social media in order to weed out the noise rather than those unwanted based on their looks. Continue reading