All posts by Jeff Esposito

Why talk unicorns and rainbows?

weather-vane of unicornMy near 10 years in the public relations industry has taught me a lot. Despite these constant new lessons, there is one exercise that needs a refresher every now and then – overcoming skepticism. People in corporate hierarchies are used to dealing in dollars and cents, not equated ad value or having a clip book thud.

The looks of disbelief and folks asking what we do all day is irksome. So it baffles me when I read posts and hear people talking/positioning social media in a way that will only open it up to skepticism.  Things like “engagement,” “understanding the community,” “we need to be in the space” and “if we’re not there we lose ground with the competition,” are common statements. While I agree with many of them, without substance they breed skepticism. Continue reading

Selling Ourselves Short with Social Media

Hands countingOne of the core functions of the public relations profession is publicity. It’s why we chat up reporters, pitch, spin, network, etc. We build stories and buzz around products that are not always sexy. So it is funny to me, that we sell ourselves short when it comes to social media.

How many times have you said/heard “Social media is easy” or “It’s not rocket science?”

If you are like me, you don’t have enough fingers and toes to count. These phrases and similar ones that we commonly state belittle the work that we do in social media. Continue reading

What are you measuring?

Thinkstock Single Image SetOver the past year social media has taken up valuable real estate in the toolboxes of many a PR pro. However, many pros still face hurdles selling the utility of social media to their company or clients.  Managers and clients want to know why it’s worth paying an employee to Tweet away all day. For the most part, there is a struggle to pull relevant numbers that reflect the value of social media.

There are many metrics that can be tracked to show success, but the total number of fans and followers is not one of them. The main reason is that any bot can attain large numbers of followers for a small amount of money. These followers are often other bots, not potential customers. Then what should you track? Continue reading

What a Great Move

The introduction for this post can be found here

Tiger Woods apologizes for irresponsible and selfish behavior in FloridaStacked Deck – Every flack likes controlling an interview situation as much as they can. The course is private and the only folks to get in will be credentialed or have tickets. According to the PGA’s site: the Masters is more restrictive of media credentials than any other major, and it is the one tournament where the media is not allowed inside the ropes, so chances are that the TMZ’s and Talk Soups of the world will not be granted access to the course. In a sense, the PGA can pull out a wild card and only offer press passes to the regular golf writers making the event pretty sterile. Continue reading

The fuss about Who Dat…

REUBEN MAYES RUNNING BACK NEW ORLEANS SAINTSAs a sports fan, you always want to see your team make it to the championship. Just getting to the game is good for community morale as well as local businesses. For fans of the New Orleans Saints, some of this goodwill and joy has lost its luster as the NFL and some members of Louisiana are locked in an ugly PR battle over two words – Who Dat. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the phrase, it has been the rallying cry of the Saints and their fans.  It was also prominently displayed in the Super Dome following their NFC championship win.

Yes, there are other two-word phrases that are much worse, so why the focus on these two? One word answer – trademark – read merchandising. Continue reading

Trading Passion for Pleasure

Businessman Crossing Finish Line

Choosing a profession is one of those things in life that everyone does, some taking longer than others, for one reason or another. The journey from point A to B is what makes us stand out from every other mammal standing in line at the coffee shop. Most PR folks I’ve spoken with have jumped into the field after college or transferred from a marketing or journalistic role. I took a different route and fell into the field during my sophomore year in college.

That year I landed a spot as a marketing intern with the Jersey Devils.  Next, I interviewed with the New York Knicks, where the hiring manager let me know that I was a great communicator and that the skill would be wasted in marketing. Continue reading

Why PR Should Run Your Company’s Social Media Efforts

Jeff Esposito mug-smA short while back, Keith Trivitt wrote a thought-provoking post entitled Are Your Clients Ready for PR 2.0? We had an interesting conversation that started in the comments and worked its way offline to an agreement that whether a company liked it or not, they needed social media. I would love to be able to say that I am omniscient, but who am I kidding? So instead, I’ll simply speak from experience.

Now that that’s out of the way, we’ll start with how social media fell into my lap and turned me into an evangelist for keeping it clean and in the hands of the company’s communications team (PR, MarComm, agencies, etc.). About two years ago, our team was pulled into a meeting and told that the search team was going to use and manage Facebook and LinkedIn, and that it fell under Web 2.0 (remember that term), so we were to leave those sites alone. Continue reading