public relations

Flacky Goodness

Finished reading this by CNET blogger Charles Cooper. He takes a look at how press releases, especially those that are stacked with easily searchable words, are showing up higher and higher in online searches. It’s a great story, I highly recommend giving it a once over when you have time.  One of the ideas I liked to mull throughout the article is the idea that the mainstream media is becoming increasingly marginalized, and how organizations can take advantage of that.

Cooper starts the article with a scenario familiar to many public relations professionals.

A few years back, representatives from the Industry Standard, Wired, and Upside were invited to a public-relations gathering to talk about how they decide what to cover. After they finished their prepared remarks, a young woman in the audience stood up to ask a question.

“You talk a lot about tricks and tips on what we should do,” she said. “But I’ve done all that and I still can’t get you to cover my clients.”

The reporter from Upside recognized the opening and rammed a Mack Truck right through it. “Ma’am,” he replied, “you need better clients.”

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Management Consulting, public relations, Strategy

“We have met the enemy…”

.. “and s/he is us”

I was talking with a co-worker a couple of days ago about all of the great stuff I learned at the PRSA and CASE conferences. Our conversation, as it does sometimes, veered into the number of alumni/a/ae/aeiou/eieio who start trashing the university upon graduation, and how that has been affecting our brand. It’s almost as if, in addition to the degree, we give them a card that tells them they can start talking about all of the stuff they didn’t like about the institution.

I could have, and have at various times, gone into “evangelist mode” talking about the great things going on around campus, or the really cool research our profs are doing. My view is, when talking about the university, I tend to talk about good people (students, staff, etc.) doing good work at a good school. My co-worker said that I was one of the rare exceptions, I graduated from the college I work at now, and I’m fired up about the school in general. (although not this fired up…)

Instead I started taking time to think about what our grads are saying. There’s the usual talk about the food or the facilities around campus (computer labs are always full, library’s not open 24-7) or that some of our faculty aren’t available at the necessary times or aren’t receptive to student concerns. These are all factors which have hurt the university’s brand, especially since we are not holding up our end of the bargain and addressing these students complaints when brought up. In the past we’ve tended to “shield up” when these concerns come to light and that is being reflected in the response of our alumni when they graduate. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of alumni out there who are proud graduates, and maybe this is nothing more than an expected percentage of students who were not happy with their experience in college.

Our uni. president mentioned this during his webcast last week to present his strategic plan for the next five years. One of the first things he addressed was openness and transparency with the public, our students and employees. This might be the opening our office is looking for to add blogging and more podcast/video work to our efforts. The key is going to be transparency, and if we can get everyone on board with facing our detractors and telling them what we are doing to improve the university, we might be able to reverse some of the negative feelings people have towards our university.

True? False? Indifferent? What do y’all think?

public relations

“We have met the enemy…”

.. “and s/he is us”

I was talking with a co-worker a couple of days ago about all of the great stuff I learned at the PRSA and CASE conferences. Our conversation, as it does sometimes, veered into the number of alumni/a/ae/aeiou/eieio who start trashing the university upon graduation, and how that has been affecting our brand. It’s almost as if, in addition to the degree, we give them a card that tells them they can start talking about all of the stuff they didn’t like about the institution.

I could have, and have at various times, gone into “evangelist mode” talking about the great things going on around campus, or the really cool research our profs are doing. My view is, when talking about the university, I tend to talk about good people (students, staff, etc.) doing good work at a good school. My co-worker said that I was one of the rare exceptions, I graduated from the college I work at now, and I’m fired up about the school in general. (although not this fired up…)

Instead I started taking time to think about what our grads are saying. There’s the usual talk about the food or the facilities around campus (computer labs are always full, library’s not open 24-7) or that some of our faculty aren’t available at the necessary times or aren’t receptive to student concerns. These are all factors which have hurt the university’s brand, especially since we are not holding up our end of the bargain and addressing these students complaints when brought up. In the past we’ve tended to “shield up” when these concerns come to light and that is being reflected in the response of our alumni when they graduate. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of alumni out there who are proud graduates, and maybe this is nothing more than an expected percentage of students who were not happy with their experience in college.

Our uni. president mentioned this during his webcast last week to present his strategic plan for the next five years. One of the first things he addressed was openness and transparency with the public, our students and employees. This might be the opening our office is looking for to add blogging and more podcast/video work to our efforts. The key is going to be transparency, and if we can get everyone on board with facing our detractors and telling them what we are doing to improve the university, we might be able to reverse some of the negative feelings people have towards our university.

True? False? Indifferent? What do y’all think?

public relations

Little Rockin’ and Rollin’

Got back from Little Rock on Friday. The conferences were amazing! At PRSA I got to listen to Chris Brogan, Adam Denison from GM Blogs, David Neff from the American Cancer Society – the two of them are doing some amazing things in social media, check out http://www.sharinghope.tv/ right now! (All three of you reading this! 😉 ) it’s amazing! There is some great work going on in the PR Social Media-sphere! And some of the speakers, like Adam Broitman and C.C. Chapman, that I really wanted to but didn’t get to see.

Plus I got to hang out with the Marketing Diva herself, Toby Bloomberg was speaking at the conference as well! Talked with her quite a bit about how to introduce social media to my organization, and hopefully will see some of the fruits of that labor come to pass sooner rather than later.

And, just as an aside, I got to listen to Duncan Wardle, VP of Walt Disney World and Global PR for Disney Parks talk about branding and social media and a lot of the cool stuff that Disney was doing in that sphere. Oh yeah, and there was Richard Edelman, one of the godfathers of PR and Social Media, discussing Authentic Communications. It was an amazing discussion, and one that I’m glad I have the PPT to – since there is a lot to digest in that presentation.

Then there was me.

As the three of you 😉 who read me regularly know, I was a little nervous about speaking at the conference. But the Arkansas PRSA and a lot of the other speakers I was hanging out with were great and helped put my mind at ease that I knew what I was talking about. And Adam and David (and Chris Brogan bounced in and out a few times) were in the audience and I saw them nodding in agreement a few times so I figured I was making sense. 😉

There’s more to talk about, like the hotel we were staying in – the Peabody – and the twice daily duck march (which I have pictures of and will post more on later) and the Clinton Library. But I’ll get to that in a bit, now it’s off for some coffee and taking the dog outside for a run around the yard.

public relations

Little Rockin' and Rollin'

Got back from Little Rock on Friday. The conferences were amazing! At PRSA I got to listen to Chris Brogan, Adam Denison from GM Blogs, David Neff from the American Cancer Society – the two of them are doing some amazing things in social media, check out http://www.sharinghope.tv/ right now! (All three of you reading this! 😉 ) it’s amazing! There is some great work going on in the PR Social Media-sphere! And some of the speakers, like Adam Broitman and C.C. Chapman, that I really wanted to but didn’t get to see.

Plus I got to hang out with the Marketing Diva herself, Toby Bloomberg was speaking at the conference as well! Talked with her quite a bit about how to introduce social media to my organization, and hopefully will see some of the fruits of that labor come to pass sooner rather than later.

And, just as an aside, I got to listen to Duncan Wardle, VP of Walt Disney World and Global PR for Disney Parks talk about branding and social media and a lot of the cool stuff that Disney was doing in that sphere. Oh yeah, and there was Richard Edelman, one of the godfathers of PR and Social Media, discussing Authentic Communications. It was an amazing discussion, and one that I’m glad I have the PPT to – since there is a lot to digest in that presentation.

Then there was me.

As the three of you 😉 who read me regularly know, I was a little nervous about speaking at the conference. But the Arkansas PRSA and a lot of the other speakers I was hanging out with were great and helped put my mind at ease that I knew what I was talking about. And Adam and David (and Chris Brogan bounced in and out a few times) were in the audience and I saw them nodding in agreement a few times so I figured I was making sense. 😉

There’s more to talk about, like the hotel we were staying in – the Peabody – and the twice daily duck march (which I have pictures of and will post more on later) and the Clinton Library. But I’ll get to that in a bit, now it’s off for some coffee and taking the dog outside for a run around the yard.

public relations

“Left Like a War Zone”

Should I be concerned about this?  I’m flying out to Little Rock on Sunday for those conferences.  The first paragraph says it all…

A tornado caused “quite a bit of damage” near Little Rock, Arkansas on Thursday night, a local government spokesman said.

I’ll be sure to take the video camera for this one.

public relations

*Gulp* No Pressure

Practiced my Social Media presentation for the upcoming Nxt.Pr PRSA Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.  To put it nicely, it went over like a pregnant polevaulter. (actually, that might be an insult to polevaulters of the pregnant persuasion… 😉 )

I’ve looked at the speaker list for the conference, and there are all of these experts and executives… and then there’s me.  I think that’s what’s got me intimidated.  So I need to step up my mad skillz a little bit.

Plus, I’ll be liveblogging most of the conference, so that should be fun!  I just need to whittle 35 minutes off of my presentation to make it work. (and not be so intimidated)