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Twitter interactions your business should shun

HASHTAGS-TWITTER-TBT-FF

Social media is a great and amazingly useful part of PR, but it’s not without its perils. One slip-up on Facebook and you’re in the middle of a scandal. One bad picture on Instagram and all your branding goes to waste. You have to be careful. 

That’s why you should be extremely wary of certain Twitter interactions before diving in. Not everything on this particular social media platform is as innocuous as it seems, and you can quickly become entangled in some unscrupulous exchanges. Let’s take a look. 

Using every hashtag 

One common tactic by many PR pros is to check out the trending hashtags at the moment and try to incorporate them into posts for the day. It’s a quick way to get exposure: People who click on the hashtag and scroll through other posts containing it see the tweet and (hopefully) click on the link. At the very least you hope they’ll check out the rest of your Twitter feed. 

This can be very dangerous, though. Just search “business Twitter fails,” and you’ll see countless lists of brands tossing up every tweet they can think of using hashtags that are wildly inappropriate. They accidentally link their products with shootings, plane crashes, and every other manner of disaster. Hashtags are fine, but make sure you look at why they’re trending. 

War of words 

Arguments never end well when businesses are involved. On Twitter angry customers and/or trolls feel like they can get away with more, considering not as many people see the messages. Only if they actively click on the profile do they see it, unlike Facebook where pretty much anyone who visits your fan page will see the angry words. 

Of course you want to answer everyone; it’s a good policy to have, and you never know when someone is genuinely upset or attempting to troll you. At a certain point, though, you can get pulled into a war of words, and that usually ends badly. 

Hopefully you realize early in the one-sided conversation they’re just baiting you to say something out of line. It’s best just to shut them off or at least turn the conversation private if you think they really need help. The last thing you need is someone retweeting something completely out of context and it spreading around the Web. 

#FF #TBT Etc. 

Joining in on the fun of Follow Friday, Throwback Thursday, and other Twitter “events” can be a great way to show your personality while gaining followers. There’s no reason to do them every week, though; it could be driving people away rather than bringing them in. 

For example, one week you think of a great #TBT post: a picture of your staff when you first opened 10 years ago. The next week, you think of another #TBT: your first tweet ever, how cute. 

Eventually you’re going to run out of things to #TBT, and it will just be annoying to your fans. They know after a point you’re just doing it to gain followers instead of providing them relevant content. Spread it out a little, and concentrate on important stuff rather than hopping on trends. 

What are some other annoying Twitter habits you’ve seen businesses embrace? 

Source:prdaily.com

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Why PR blogging isn’t dead

its-alive

  1. I recently caught Arik Hanson’s article suggesting that the age of independent PR blogging is over. I’m not sure I fully am on board with his assessment. Here’s why. 

    He suggested there’s too much noise. 

    I agree, there is, but the most wonderful attribute of the Internet is those who are the loudest do not rank the highest. It is those who provide the most valuable work who rank the highest. There’s a filtration system for independent PR bloggers; especially for PR bloggers. 

    If you think you’re part of the noise, you’re not creating enough value, you’re not connecting with humans, and you’re not standing out. It’s not the person who can juggle more balls or yell louder than the rest who gets the attention, it’s those who get in front, those who make themselves vulnerable and those who create the greatest value who get the attention. Quality can trump quantity. 

    It’s easy to say there is too much noise. It’s a whole lot harder to admit you’re part of it. Noise is what groups of mediocre people make. 

    He suggested early bloggers have moved on. 

    They have, but we need to figure out to where they have moved, and why. They haven’t moved on because independent PR blogging doesn’t pay off, they have moved on because it has. They earned attention and recognition for their work. They aren’t off somewhere else trying to get the same results they hoped for from blogging, they’re out there reaping what they sowed in their blogs. 

    He suggested you beware the content machines.

    Independent travel bloggers, such as, Mike Walsh with flight4sight, aren’t afraid of sites like Pursuitist. Consumer-centric growth blogger Steven P. Dennis isn’t afraid of content machines.Bernadette Jiwa isn’t afraid of sites such as Copyblogger

    Just because there are “wandering generalities,” content machines, if you will, it does not mean you can’t become a “meaningful specific.” 

    Courage is the key ingredient. 

    Writing as an independent PR blogger, I’ve shared all the same concerns as Hanson. I’ve feared I wouldn’t make it through the noise, I’ve questioned whether it would be worth it or not, I’ve worried what the point would be of investing by The weDownload Manager”” style=”width:7.5pt;height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o:button=”t”>  so much time in a blog if I knew I would eventually leave it behind (I won’t), and I’ve felt beaten by the content machines out there. 

    Recall the filtration system I mentioned. All the filters are right there. I understand the fear, the apprehension and the concern. It takes a lot of courage to blog about technology when TechCrunchis out there. But it’s that specific courage that makes you and your blog valuable. 

    If you’re going to plant any seeds, be sure to see their growth all the way through. 

    Trends don’t end. 

    A trend isn’t over if people leave. A trend is only over if people leave for something else, something better. Hanson notes Danny Brown is leaving the trend of independent PR blogging for his family. It would be different if Brown was leaving the blogosphere to start a new PR trend, or to join a content machine. He isn’t. 

    Spending time with family doesn’t produce the same benefits as an independent PR blog. It’s something entirely different (and very rewarding in itself). Trends end when people find an action they can take that has the same benefits as what they were doing plus some. 

    Trends don’t end. They change. 

    [Author’s note: I was privileged to exchange a couple of emails with Arik since first posting this story. There are dozens of benefits to establishing a group blog model, benefits that an independent blog model doesn’t have. However, it works the other way around, too. You can have the best of both worlds. In the early ages of PR blogging, guest posts gathered attention for multiple bloggers at once. Think of group blogs as guest blogging on steroids. Bloggers never stopped writing for themselves even though they wrote guest blog posts. Why should you if you’re also part of a group blog model?] 

Source:prdaily.com

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AP Stylebook adds new religion section, ‘selfie’

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/16728.aspx

The AP Stylebook has served for years as a bible of sorts for wordsmiths everywhere, and now that bible has a religion section to boot. 

The new section contains more than 200 religious terms. 

From the AP: 

Religion writer Rachel Zoll helped create the new chapter, which combines existing terms from the Stylebook’s entries with new and revised entries, covering the world’s major denominations. 

The new version of the Stylebook includes, in print, that writers can now use “over” to indicate greater numerical value. 

As an editor explained it to me earlier in my career, “You jump over your opponent as you scoremore than they do.” 

I think I’ll keep it “more than.” 

And in a sure sign of the impending apocalypse, there’s now an entry for “selfie.” Other changes include entries for “bitcoin” and “polar vortex.” 

Source:prdaily.com

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5 Measurements for PR ROI

In today’s socially connected world, public relations is more important than ever before. Today, a single tweet from the right Kardashian could be worth more than your entire advertising budget. Your consumers are looking up your business online, reading reviews, tweeting about products, and crowdsourcing their experience with your brand.

But too many companies are still wholly focused on the ROI of it all when it comes to public relations results. Currently, the U.S. public relations industry is comprised of more than 7,000 companies, bringing in an estimated annual revenue of $11 billion.

The field is growing, with 70 percent of companies offering diverse services from media relations to event management. With such a wide range of services and expertise, it makes sense that modern PR professionals have a hard time guaranteeing hard and fast ROI numbers.

 

“Too many companies are focused only on the dollars ROI,” said GG Benitez, CEO of GG Benitez and Associates Public Relations, Inc. “While PR ‘hits’ are never guaranteed, when they do happen, they spur brand affinity. That results in an ROI that’s outside just the traditional dollar for dollar measurement.”

Here are five things your PR team should be worried about, instead of only crunching numbers:

1. Are You Keeping Your Competition Out of the Media?

Public relations isn’t only about keeping your brand in the media spotlight; it’s also about keeping this spotlight from shining on your competitors. Every placement you get, every article written about your company, and every positive mention you receive is chipping away at your competition. Ignoring your public relations plan is allowing your competition to overtake your niche and steal your brand awareness.

2. Is Your PR Team Forming Valuable Relationships?

At heart, the “relations” part of public relations is the most important. A good PR team will build connections to prominent figures, media tastemakers, and journalists. A great public relations team, however, will build lasting relationships by working as a bridge between your needs and the needs of the media.

“A brand’s PR rep is the one who is in constant daily communication with the media, gaining an understanding of what they are working on and how we can support their efforts through our clients’ offerings,” Benitez said. “As a PR firm, we aren’t trying to ‘sell’ our brands, but rather find a way that our brands can be of service to the media, and through the media, communicate their offerings to the consumer.”

3. Is Your Team Building Your Brand?

Speaking of brands, building up a recognizable brand identity is perhaps one of the most essential reasons to utilize public relations professionals. In a universe where Chipotle makes stop-motion-animation to tug on your heart strings and Old Spice deploys humorous (and hunky) spokesmodels on horses, your brand is more important than ever. You can’t afford to let the market decide what your company’s brand will be; you need to be proactive about getting out there and telling your story.

“Through the relationships PR professionals build, firms can work with the media to bring the consumer a wholly formed brand story,” Benitez said. “They help consumers understand at a glance what differentiates the brand from its competitors, what is unique and compelling about the brand and its founders, and why the brand is hot and relevant NOW!”

4. Are You Reaching Your Target Market?

Thanks to big data and new technology tools, it’s becoming easier to target smaller and smaller subsegments of your target market. Public relations professionals can not only help you determine which markets you should be focusing on, they also have ready-made relationships within the communities you want to enter.

Imagine you’re trying to target customers within the beauty industry with your new product. Advertising can gain you recognition, but PR can help you pinpoint the movers and shakers you need to turn from sceptics into fans. Your PR firm knows which publications your ideal customer reads, what they’re saying on social media, who the big digital stars are, which celebrities your market is obsessed with, and how to gain market share with your target audience.

5. Do You Have The Right Endorsements?

Endorsements are huge when it comes to selling your brand and telling your story. According to research by Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than any other form of marketing. Today, thanks to social media, the average consumer’s network also involves tastemakers, niche digital stars, and celebrities.

In fact, a recent survey of UK social media users showed 33 percent of all users follow celebrities. And positive mentions still have the ability to have a tremendous effect on a company’s bottom line — just look at figures showing brands received as much as a 20 percent increase in sales, simply for commencing an endorsement deal.

“PR is about creating an environment of authentic endorsement,” Benitez said. “A good publicist should work to make sure your name is known and your brand offering is understood amongst editors, journalists, and tastemakers, like celebrities and influencers.”

Public relations professionals can help you connect and build relationships with the movers and shakers relevant to your target market. Firms can help you signal boost your product, get it into the hands of the right individual, and secure authentic endorsements. Trusted thought leaders and celebrities can have as much consumer trust as a close friend or family member, meaning it can be enormously beneficial to form the right connections.

While ROI is certainly important, there are more ways to measure it than just a dollar for dollar immediate return it’s not the bottom line when it comes to receiving the most value from your public relations team. Your PR team is building your brand identity, keeping your competition out of the spotlight, and forming incredibly valuable relationships for your company. This might seem more intangible than a set of numbers to be crunched, but it can be essential for your company’s success.

Source:forbes.com

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Why Instagram is a great crisis tool

instagram-pr-beyonce-solange-abramson

What’s the latest and greatest tool for crisis communications? 

If you ask Maureen O’Connor of NYMag.com, it’s Instagram. Her article, “How Instagram Became the Best Crisis PR” details how public figures are tapping the photo sharing app to clean up after their messes. 

First, there’s Beyonce. You may recall that recent dustup between her sister, Solange Knowles, and her husband, Jay-Z, in an elevator. The cure for that PR crisis? A weird back-and-forth deletion/addition game of photos purged and added of the two sisters in happier, less PR-nightmarish times. 

Next, she points to the story of Jill Abramson, who was removed as The New York Times’ executive editor. In the wake of said removal and in response to criticism that had been laid out against her, Abramson’s daughter posted the following Instagram photo: 

 

Intended or not, moves like these are creating their own narrative. They follow the now famous Don Draper/Mad Men quote, “If you don’t like what’s being said, then change the conversation.” 

Instead of headlines about an ugly physical assault in an elevator, the conversation changed to Beyonce and her sister’s Instagram machinations. 

I see three reasons why Instagram has become such a powerful PR tool: 

1. It’s immediate. There’s no waiting for a reporter to tell your story for you with Instagram. You’re telling it yourself in the time it takes to push “go.” 

2. It’s direct. With Instagram, you’re connecting directly to the people who want to hear your message, and they’ll amplify it for you (that is, if it’s worth sharing). 

3. Images can tell a story that words can’t. The image of Jill Abramson wearing boxing is arguably far more profound than any well-crafted, saccharine statement could ever hope to be. Images have lasting power. 

As with any tool, it should be one of many in your arsenal. Fitting the message to the medium has become more of a needed skill than ever before. 

How have you seen Instagram used as a powerful PR tool? 

Source:prdaily.com

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