Category ArchiveMedia



Blogging &Business of PR &Electronic PR &market positioning &Marketing &Marketing Communications &Media &Public Relations Tools &Social Media 18 Feb 2009 04:38 pm

What Does Twitter Do For My Business?

What Does Twitter Do For My Business?

According to the IDC (Premier Global Marketing Survey Company)Internet users spend an average of 32.7 hours online each week. That’s close to half the time they spend on any media (70.6 hours), twice the time they spend watching TV (16.4 hours) and close to eight times as much time as they spend reading magazines and newspapers (3.9 hours). The two fastest growing categories are video and social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Wikipedia, Blogs, YouTube, etc).

Clearly, attention is shifting on-line for all of our social and business needs.

Abrams Research recently asked over 200 social media leaders at the Social Media Week 2009 conference, what social media site would you recommend your business to pay for
(if they had to)? Twitter beat Facebook by more than two to one. Why? One of the most typical responses was, “ It is the quickest way I’ve seen to spread information virally to a wide scope of people attached in a lot of random ways.”

So, what is Twitter?

Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time and is one of the fastest growing communities online. It allows people to send public or private messages in 140 characters or less via the web or mobile phone. Think of it as a Facebook status update on steroids. The idea is to sign up and find people that you want to follow. Once you follow them, you receive updates minute by minute on whatever they “tweet”. A “tweet” is a 140 character or less statement or link to information.

For instance, I follow people that are relevant to my business. By sharing quick bits of information, I can stay connected to them, know their interests and appeal to them for my professional or personal needs. The key is to “tweet” about relevant topics. No one cares if you are having coffee (unless of course you own a coffee business and are sharing your favorite brew). As a Twitter courtesy, if you follow someone they usually follow you back so, get out there and start following and watch your site grow! Think about this. If you send out one “tweet” that directs your followers to relevant news about your business, which directs them to you or your website- you can reach thousands of Twitter followers by the minute.

The key: No one likes a constant sales pitch. Twitter about relevant issues that pertain to your business or your interests. This will position you as an expert and drive traffic to your site.

Jennifer

Business of PR &Electronic PR &market positioning &Marketing &Media &Public Relations Tools &Social Media 16 Feb 2009 10:51 am

Sports Page PR

It’s hard to turn on ESPN these days without a report on Michael Phelps or Alex Rodriguez. Both superstar athletes have suffered massive blows to their public image in the past few weeks, but each has taken a different approach to managing their respective crisis.

Various media personalities heralded Phelps as the greatest athlete in Olympics history (a modern history dating back to 1896) after he swam to eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. Equally captivating was the recently released picture of Michael holding a bong at a college party in November. The Phelps camp has been frantically trying to save the swimmer’s reputation ever since the picture hit the internet. Strategically, Phelps management agency, International Management Group (IMG) is playing the “youthful spirit” PR card, asking for understanding and forgiveness…a very sound strategy. But the drawn out saga that has unfolded probably wasn’t in their plans. Every additional apology Phelps’ issues goes straight to the front page; every informal poolside press conference has Phelps out of breath and un-groomed. Phelps needs his character and integrity reaffirmed, but neither his coaches nor friends have displayed support to the media. More proactive PR tactics are needed in times of crisis management.

Alex Rodriguez and his PR staff were far more aggressive in handling his recent admission to steroid use in Major League Baseball (MLB). Sports Illustrated broke the story on Sunday and Rodriguez disclosed all in an interview with ESPN’s Peter Gammons on Tuesday. He attacked the allegations and tried to minimize the damage by giving answers to questions sports fans were asking. Pulling a page from Phelps’ book, Rodriguez blamed his humanity for “making a mistake”. While Rodriguez’s image will never be the same, he was able to control the story, instead of letting the story control him.

These two sport-related cases offer lessons in crisis management. While the public will never forget these two incidents, savvy PR practices can minimize the damage to their respective reputations. Basketball’s Michael Jordan was able to stay in the public’s favor for years despite gambling allegations. Many businesses, company leaders, athletes, celebrities, etc. make mistakes because they are human. PR specialists must realize this fact and build a plan to emphasize the way individuals learn from mistakes.

Case Ernsting

Business and Economy &Business of PR &Clean Tech &Ecofriendly &Environment &Leadership &Marketing &Media &Michigan Public Relations Firm &Thinking Green 05 Feb 2009 05:41 pm

Bailout Fallout

Last week I wrote about including “Going Green” in business plans of the future, not only to help the environment, but also to sustain company coffers. This strategy is readily apparent following General Motors (GM), Chrysler and Ford’s visit to Congress last month and their subsequent unveilings at last week’s North American International Auto-show (NAIA).

In December, the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three trekked out to Congress on the wheels of their newest hybrid vehicles in search of a Bailout. Although the CEOs were successful in acquiring a $17.4 Billion loan, the trip cost the automakers a great deal of credibility and public perception. GM CEO Richard Wagoner defended the decisions of the last few years as “right for the time”. GM’s resolute decision-making resulted in sluggish development of fuel-efficient vehicles; a disparaging trend given the nimble (and successful) movements of Toyota and Honda. The U.S. auto leaders needed to become relevant and responsible once again. Like many businesses both in Michigan and around the world, they turned their focus to environmental issues.

The Big Three were able to secure the congressional loan on the merits of their plan to go green and produce hybrid vehicles; an act that will benefit all three companies financially and in the public’s eye. A report in the Michigan Business Review identifies the mission ahead:
“[Chrysler, Ford and GM] face the challenge of introducing new products while convincing the public that they’ll be around to build those products.”

These new products include a more fuel-efficient, direct-inject turbocharged engine called Ecoboost from Ford…which sounds cool enough to be in a Batman movie. GM is looking for big returns on their E-Flex platform in which vehicles are battery dominant and plug-in capable. Chrysler is making the most of its new bailout bounty by promising three electric vehicles by 2010, shocking to some. Until these new innovations reach the market, PR opportunities such as the NAIA and news reports must be considered deftly. Going Green isn’t enough anymore to sway the American consumer. Companies now must to show purpose with environmental measures, especially when they are receiving our tax dollars.

Case Ernsting

Blogging &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Electronic PR &Marketing &Media &Social Media &Technology PR Insights 26 Jan 2009 06:00 pm

Women Bloggers? A new demograhic in social media/tech?

I was recently reading an article in Fast Company magazine about the most influential women in technology. The article was the second in a series that was originally called,
“ The Most Influential Women in Web 2.0.” The first article became a heated debate on many social media networks, including Digg because some readers felt the article was sexist. Sexist? Come on.

This lead me to think about what a disadvantage that women have had in the technology department by any metric: average salary, top-management representation, board memberships and many geographic areas like Silicon Valley are still just a boys club. In fact, most of technology seems to be a “boys club.”

The fact of the matter is now that social media has taken off with such rapid fire, women are becoming very influential and making a dent in the technology world. For instance, look at some of the executives of large social media and technology firms. Susan Decker, President of Yahoo, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook, Megan Smith VP, New Business Development of Google.

What about some of the fastest growing social networking sites? Caterina Fake
Co-founded the photo-sharing elephant Flickr and then sold it to Yahoo for a reported $35 million. Everyone is buzzing about her highly anticipated project called Hunch, which is in development.

Women Bloggers? Look at the site http://www.blogher.com/ and you will find over
2,200 women bloggers and counting. This site has become its own community that even has its own blogging conference. Anyone can sign up and have your blog posted. There are even large advertisers on the site such as Cover Girl and Oil of Olay. Wonder what Eilsa, Jory and Lisa (the founders of Blogher.com) made on that contract?

It’s not just about money, although that is a great perk. Blogging allows us the freedom to write and discuss things that are relevant to us and to have them published. Anyone can blog and anyone can use blogging to drive traffic to his or her site, develop their own company or just have an opinion. It has become the way of communicating these days and it would be a shame to not take advantage of this great tool in marketing and PR.

Jennifer L Peak

Marketing &Media &Uncategorized 26 Jan 2009 05:45 pm

President Obama & His BlackBerry

Last week I wrote about President Obama and the debate over whether or not he was able to keep his BlackBerry now that he has been officially sworn in as President. As of Friday, the decision had been made and it was publicly announced that President Obama is going to be the first to email while living in the White House.

It only made sense that he would be able to keep it. He had just run the most technologically sophisticated presidential campaign in our nation’s history. Then, as soon as he won, he was asked to give up what helped get him into office in the first place. The rest of the White House has email and Obama’s aids all have a BlackBerry. Members of Congress were all given the device after 9/11 when it was realized that even after cell service had failed, BlackBerrys still continued to work. If everyone else is able to communicate online, the President certainly should be able to do the same.

In order for him to keep the device, he made a deal that it would only be used on a limited basis and to communicate with friends and some senior staff members. He will mainly use the device to read incoming messages and then later respond to them once he has access to a computer. Security has also been increased on the device to prevent others from hacking into his account and information from being leaked to the public.

Now that the president can officially communicate using the technology that the rest of the country depends on, it made me think about how this could increase the popularity of the already popular communication device. The device has been mentioned a great deal lately in the media nationwide; from a Public Relations perspective, this is good marketing. All of this exposure could interest the public to get a BlackBerry of their own. I mean, who is a better individual to create interest in the device than the President of the United States?

Amanda Deluca

Blogging &Media &Social Media 22 Jan 2009 06:28 pm

President Obama & Technology

It’s no question that Barack Obama is our most technologically savvy President. From his campaign to planning the first few days of his presidency, he has used more technology than any President in our nation’s past.

President Obama raised $750 million for his campaign mainly by using the Internet; this is six times more money than any prior presidential candidate has raised.

The most effective way that the Obama campaign used the Internet was through Social Media. Many believe that his victory over John McCain in November was partly due to the use of social media. The Obama campaign was far more effective of the two presidential candidates in terms of using social media as a way to engage and motivate voters.

Start with blogs. There were close to 500 million blog postings that mentioned President Obama since the end of August while McCain was mentioned about 150 million times.

On MySpace, Obama had 844,927 friends compared to McCain’s 219,404. Between November 3rd and 4th, Obama gained over 10,000 new friends while McCain gained 964.

President Obama also held the lead on Twitter with 118,107 followers while McCain had 4,942.

Even with the campaign finished, President Obama is still using the same means of communicating that helped lead to his presidential victory. The website change.gov has the Obama administration asking the US public to share its stories and goals.

A big issue in the media is whether or not he was going to be able to keep his beloved BlackBerry. It is believed that he should not be able to use the device due to security issues. The messages he sends and receives could be intercepted; his account could easily be hacked into, no matter how strongly it is protected. The decision is not yet decided.

Obama is not the first President to question whether or not to communicate via email. Eight years ago, George W. Bush debated over the issue. He chose to stop communicating over cyberspace with the fear of his private conversations being looked at by the public.

We also have to consider when Bush made the decision to give up communicating online. Since then, the use of email has dramatically increased and BlackBerrys have become a necessity for many due to their convenience. During his campaign, President Obama’s memorandums and briefing books were rarely printed out and delivered to his home or hotel room, they were simply sent to his BlackBerry for him to review.

Even with all the controversy surrounding his use of technology, President Obama still hopes to be the first e-mailing President. He also hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office; he would be the first American President to do so.
President Obama is all about change, whether or not he is able to keep his BlackBerry or have a computer in the Oval Office, he is very intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century.

Amanda Deluca

Business of PR &Electronic PR &Leadership &market positioning &Marketing &Marketing Communications &Media &Public Relations Tools &Social Media 11 Nov 2008 10:11 am

Social Media Marketing and the success of Barack Obama

More than ever political candidates nowadays are seeing the huge advantages of market positioning and high tech PR via social media. Once in a while a candidate comes along and is a breath of fresh air. There was no better time for Barack Obama than now. With the 2008 election finally over, to the relief of many, we can sit back and assess the impact this positioning and PR had on candidates and nominees.
We are a society of pop culture and instant downloads where information is accessed at astonishing rates. News an hour ago is not news anymore and we are constantly searching for updates.
President-elect Barack Obama is an incredibly charismatic individual and plays well into this culture. Here is my thinking: I don’t think that policy and issue play as large a role as it should have and did in previous presidential elections. Although unfortunate, I feel image is a larger determining factor for the voting population.
Using these ideas, media relations and market positioning are just a couple of ways to build a fan base that can promote a candidates influence in multiple venues. Examples of this type of social marketing would include viral videos on YouTube, vlogs, internet forums, podcasts, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Flickr, just to name a few. Videos seen on YouTube of campaign rallies were free PR on a national scale. In fact on his home website, there is a link to “Obama Everywhere”, which lists all the above and a handful more of places where you can learn and discuss Obama. His campaign took advantage of this social market positioning and used it in their strategic plan for success. He reached out to the numerous constituents and gained their attention and respect by understanding that technology is continuous and evolving.
It was in this sense that Obama was able to fundraise from micro donors (and in return allowed him to disclaim lobbyist influences in government). Furthermore, according to a CNN.com exit poll, 66% of all 18-29 year-olds and 52% of 30-44 year-olds voted for Obama. These are the same typical demographics that are familiar with and use social media as both an outlet for discussion and information seeking; the so-called “internet generation”.
The reason this is relevant in politics today is because you will not find a single candidate out there who does not have a website and/or numerous spin off sites. For example, Obama teamed up with Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes to create My.BarackObama.com, in which users could join an online community that boasted over a million members. Using these high tech venues one can find local events, contact undecided voters near you, and share stories via blogs. The thinking is this: candidates, especially at the presidential level, can be, and oftentimes are, impersonal. My.BarackObama.com removes that a little bit and makes him and his campaign feel more about you.
Obama positioned himself as a beacon for change. He spoke with an intelligence that articulated respect. He symbolized a new beginning or at the very least a fresh start from the turmoil of the last 8 years. Obama had a strong grasp of the power public relations and high tech devices to campaign in new ways. From my viewpoint, someone who understands the way people think and seems to have a direction definitely gets my vote.

Christian

About Eiler Communications &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Media &Michigan Public Relations Firm &PR Firm for Economic Development 10 Nov 2008 01:05 pm

Experts in the field?

A few weeks ago on our blog, the question was asked why is public relations important, especially in our poor economy today? Jenny was dead on when she rhetorically asked how are you supposed to attract new business if you get rid of the people that are in charge of bringing it in? Her first point in having a public relations company was to target in on the marketing position. Agreed, no doubt. Unpaid advertising and marketing is extremely important to companies nowadays. Many cannot afford to spend the money when it is needed elsewhere to make a successful business run smoothly. That is where the PR firm plays its role.

I think there is something else however that it can do to enable its market positioning strategy further for success and that is position the company to be an expert in its respective field. Eiler Communications is a case in point. It specializes in high tech PR and has the experience and track record to prove that.

Proving to an audience that the company is an expert in hi tech is a type of brand equity. An organization with strong brand equity will enjoy visibility and a reputation that makes them stand out from their competitors. It also becomes relevant when people believe the organization, or its services, add value to their life. Therefore, by strategically placing the company through a public relations agency that specializes in market positioning (especially in high tech areas), they can relax knowing that clients will become interested based on their expert services with little money spent on paid advertising.

Christian

Life with Cancer &Media 18 Sep 2007 04:07 pm

How I actualized my control in dealing with cancer

In many recent TV interviews the subject of patients needing to take control of their destinies regarding their proper diagnosis and subsequent treatments has been addressed.

How does one go about getting all of the information that one needs when faced with a life threatening illness?

One day you are in control of your life and in a nano-second someone tells you that you have cancer and you could die.

We are somewhat an unusual couple to have both experienced a cancer diagnosis. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 years ago the Internet did not exist. There were only two books that I could buy to learn about my disease. It was at this point that I discovered that I was an activist. I researched, talked with anyone who treated the disease, knew of folks with the disease. I felt totally out of control. I could not complete a sentence without the word breast cancer in it. After many consultations with various practitioners, I decided on a modified radical mastectomy with TRAM Flap reconstruction.

While I was in the hospital I filmed a video talking about “self-actualization,” a phrase I had coined during this process. I sent it to The Oprah Winfrey Show in hopes that she would reach out to the millions of women that religiously watch her show and show them the importance of knowing their bodies and taking control of their illnesses with knowledge.

My doctors told me that because my tumor was so small I would not need chemotherapy. Lymph node report was so significant they all stood out in the hall, drawing straws as to who would tell me. Six months of big guns, losing my hair, trying to run our newly-formed PR business and care for seven children ages 6 through 23 took all of my energy.

It was years before I would ever plan anything longer than three months. My oncology visits were every three months and those would determine my life span. Every time that I would have my blood drawn I would be conscious that my destiny was in that vial of blood. I fully recovered and at this point considered “cured.” My husband, Larry wrote a book, When the Woman You Love Has Breast Cancer. It is an emotional support book for men who are dealing with wives or lovers with the disease.

In 2000 Larry was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His diagnosis sent me into a memory tailspin dredging up all of my old emotions and not being able to look at his cancer clearly. I was able to gain the control I need and went to work on research.

Because of the Internet, I was able find boundless helpful information for us. The physician who had diagnosed him was far too cavalier in his approach. Surgery was his only option, which could leave him incontinent and impotent. We had both done far too much research to not go forward with consults to determine other avenues of treatment.

Two consults in Michigan, one in California, one in Miami and one in Seattle. His choice was to go with the physician who had pioneered Brachytherapy in the United States.

Prostate cancer I found to be a much more political arena. Depending on the doctor’s expertise and experience is what they recommend. Many new treatment modalities are there for men. Larry’s experience with his prostate cancer led him to write his second cancer book, Prostate Cancer’s Emotional Maze: Forging Your Way.

Unlike for women the age-old “Slash, Poison and Burn,” advancements in the treatment of prostate cancer continue. In 18 years I have said goodbye to far many women dying with breast cancer.

This is just meant to be a starter discussion. Everyday people are diagnosed with heart disease, rare disorders, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and others. This is your life, not a dress rehearsal and you have to take control of it as best you can. Information is out there and although your treatment provider might not like it, he/she will respect the fact that you are an active participant in your disease treatment. As hard as it is to do, try to put your life in perspective. There are diseases that are far worse to deal with then yours

Be self-actualized and always have an advocate to clarify what is said to you.

Posted by Sandy

Marketing &Media &Public Relations Tools &Technology PR Insights 05 Sep 2007 01:06 pm

The Newsroom 2.0

Does your PR/marketing person drone on about the upkeep of your company’s Web site newsroom opportunity? That’s likely because they know the majority of journalists research their articles and search for press releases nowadays. According to DMNews, “Corporate Web sites are a key source of information when reporting breaking news when no other primary source is available.” On a news deadline, the company with the most accessible information gets the coverage.

Web site newsrooms are commonplace by now, but you can separate yours from the masses by making it better. Here are five ways to do it:

1. Make sure the newsroom link is obvious from the homepage. If the link to your newsroom is subtle, or worse yet, inaccessible from your homepage, change it. If you were a reporter, how much trouble would you go to for your press release?

The likelihood of media visiting your site is high, especially if preparing for an interview with one of your executives. Approach your newsroom with that in mind. Does your content meet the needs of someone doing quick research about your company? Avoid the temptation to “track” media by requiring a username and password set-up to access your newsroom. It’s annoying, and if information is confidential or sensitive it doesn’t belong in the newsroom.

2. A newsroom is more than your online press release archive. Newsletters, executive speech transcripts, event photos and abstracts from recent media coverage are all appropriate additions. Think creatively about how to keep content fresh.

Post an online media kit to your newsroom for easy downloading. Include the same materials you would in a media folder: executive bios and photos, your latest company news release, a backgrounder or fact sheet about your business and a high-res logo.

3. Remember to date all posted press releases and newsroom items—readers need context. This will also force you to keep content up-to-date. Neglecting to post news as it is released wastes everyone’s time and defeats the purpose of the newsroom. Content should also be easy to navigate. Consider making your content searchable by multiple fields, like date, topic or headline, and available in multiple formats like Word and PDF.

4. Set up an RSS feed so media (and others) can subscribe to your site’s updates. An RSS (Really Simple Syndication), like Feedburner, is free and downloadable as an icon to your Web site. RSS feeds “read” the sites their users subscribe to and send an update when new content is posted. In other words, journalists can subscribe to your RSS and receive a prompt on their homepage when you post a new press release.

Many journalists actually prefer RSS subscriptions to receiving press releases via e-mail, because it allows them to “opt-in” to your news and provides real-time updates. In 2005, Robert Scoble (Microsoft tech evangelist) notoriously blogged that any marketing person who did not add an RSS feed to their Web site should be fired. Harsh. But it’s a valuable tool we should all be using.

5. Identify one media contact in your newsroom and provide his/her contact information on the Web page, not just within press releases. Generic “info@” e-mail addresses or request-for-information survey pages are disconcerting for journalists who may be on deadline and want to contact the right person in a timely fashion.

The moral of the story is to evaluate your newsroom from a journalist’s perspective: someone unfamiliar with your company’s history, leadership and chain of command. Does your site paint a clear picture of your corporate identity? If not, it may be a good idea to do some housekeeping; statistically it is the most popular place people go to learn about your company.

Posted by Rebecca

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