Thursday, May 27, 2010

PR News Round Up - May 27, 2010

From SmartBrief on Social Media
Facebook launches new privacy controls
Facebook has introduced a set of privacy controls that it hopes will finally lay to rest lingering anger regarding its use of user data. The tools replace the site's old privacy controls, which had about 150 different options, with the option of using a single switch to restrict access to personal information to a user's immediate network. "We probably should have been more sensitive to this issue beforehand," says CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

From The Measurement Standard by Katie Delahaye Paine
I'm 100% Convinced that 50% of PR and Social Media Metrics Are Wrong
...and if this was accounting, you'd be in jail.
I’m convinced that most marketers and communications professionals are cheerfully going through life with blinders on. Those blinders are made out of a flimsy gauze of questionable accuracy, incomplete variables, and general apathy. Today’s marketers have taken “fuzzy math” to an all new level. No one seems to mind about this sloppy work because it’s “just PR” or “just marketing.” Well I'm here to tell you it's your job and our industry, and our credibility is on the line. The only way we in PR and communications can be credible is to at least attempt to base our decisions on reliable, complete, and accurate data. Click here to read more.

From Copyblogger
73 ways to become a better writer
Here are some quick tips to help you become a better writer. For instance, tip No. 22 says, “Go back and cut 10 percent of your word count”; tip No. 60 says, “Read Zinsser’s On Writing Well at least once a year.” Good advice. More

From PRSA (Voice of Public Relations)
Silver Anvil Awards Podcast Series: Creating a World with More Birthdays
The PRSA 2010 Silver Anvil Awards podcast series features finalists from this year's program… Listen in as Deb Radman, APR, PRSA Fellow, speaks with the American Cancer Society’s Amy Swygert, vice president of strategic communications planning and Greg Donaldson, national vice president of corporate communications, about the “Create a World with More Birthdays” campaign. More


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Diversity: It's a Humanity Thing

By Melissa Vela-Williamson, Diversity Specialist, H-E-B (and PRSA San Antonio board member)
Originally posted recently on an internal H-E-B blog

“So....what do you do?”

We’ve all been asked this question at one event or another. When I worked in Public Relations, most people understood what I did. Sort of. For those who didn’t, I’d drop key words like “event planning” or “media relations” and I would see the light bulb switch on. Since I’ve joined a Diversity department, the explanation has been a little more complex.

The confusion starts with the various ways people have heard “diversity” used. Is it related to Affirmative Action or celebrating cultural months? Is it how we’re different or how we’re the same? Is it a department to fear or to befriend?

What is “diversity”? It seems to depend on who you ask. The term is as diverse as the populations it refers to!

Merriam-Webster defines it as “the condition of being diverse” and "the inclusion of diverse (as people of different races and cultures) people in a group or organization.”

The simplest way I’ve heard it defined was by Dr. Cornell West. Members of the Corporate Diversity Leadership Council and I were fortunate to hear him speak (preach really) at the recent Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference.

To Dr. West, “diversity is about humanity.” It’s about love. “When you love people, you loathe that they’re being treated unfairly.” He urged us “not to be well adapted to injustice” and to remember to have a life task in addition to our day jobs.

Here’s my definition: it’s about mutual respect. Diversity represents the acknowledgement that what is truly the same about us all is that we’re all different. All people deserve love, respect and a chance to succeed at their goals. Bringing the outsiders in; giving all kids a shot on the team; growing talent wherever there’s potential...that’s how I see it. It’s the key to innovation and creativity in any aspect of life and business. So... how do you define diversity?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Washington Post, Don't confuse PR with Propaganda

Dear Washington Post,

I read with interest your story “Toyota had attack plan against congressional testimony, documents show” on May 15. In it, your lead sentence states: “Toyota officials sought to develop a public relations campaign to attack the credibility of key witnesses who have testified before Congress about acceleration problems…” Setting aside for a moment whether or not the accusations made in your article are true, I must call your attention to your description of such activities as a “public relations campaign.”

By definition public relations involves maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics. In addition, PR ethical standards support protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information. So the type of campaign your story claims was considered by Toyota was not, by definition, a public relations campaign, even if PR people were involved.

It's like saying an organization set up a “nutrition project” by feeding children chips and sodas.

Rather, the kind of campaign that you were talking about would have been a “propaganda” campaign or, as Reagan Communications called it, a “smear campaign.”

While it may sound like I’m word-smithing a bit, that is after-all your business as a premier newspaper.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PR News Round Up - May 18, 2010

From Brian Solis
Report: Top 20 Brands on Twitter – April 2010
Brands are consistently among the most discussed subjects on Twitter and as such, studying the activity transpiring on Twitter gives us insight into size, scope, and scale. Once again, I partnered with PeopleBrowsr, the data mining, analytics, and brand engagement company, to mine and analyze the conversations defining the most discussed brands on Twitter. Read report.

From culpwrit (Cathleen Johnson)
Things I Wish I’d Known in College
Cathleen Johnson contributes the third part of a series stemming from a panel discussion involving successful women graduates of Northern Illinois University who were assembled by Denise Schoenbachler, Dean of the Business School, on the topic of: Lessons from the Front: If We’d Only Known this Back Then. Read story.

From Social Media Examiner
3 Ways to Use Facebook Insights to Your Advantage
As a business owner or marketer, knowing the profile of your target audience is extremely important. That’s step one, and all good marketing campaigns rely on the fact that you’ve got this figured out. If you’re using Facebook for business, there are some powerful tools at your disposal. Read story.

From chewitt's Blog (via
Tips for naming your white paper
You put so much effort into writing and designing that white paper, so why cheat on the title? A MyRagan-ite offers advice on how to write a snazzy title for your premium content. Read story.

From Lindsey Miller (via
3 ways nonprofits use Flip video for a wide array of topics
Academic and government communicators tout the camcorders’ ease of use and low cost. Read story.

From "Moving at the Speed of Creativity" (Wesley Fryer)
Web-based, Open Source Project Management Software Options
I'm looking for a free and possibly open source web-based, project management software solution Storychasers can run on our own server with a mySQL database backend, to coordinate the assorted details associated with Celebrate Oklahoma Voices 2.5 day digital storytelling workshops. The solution I'm looking or is web-based / cross-platform, permits project "templates" to be created and shared with multiple users, and has a shallow learning curve… WikiPedia has a helpful comparative matrix of project management solution options, and includes 7 open source choices which appear to meet our requirements. Read story.

Monday, May 17, 2010

PR News Round Up - May 17, 2010

From Scobelizer (Robert Scoble)
An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg
It’s clear you are having some PR issues with the changes you’ve made to Facebook. Read story.

From Ragan’s PR Daily
Toyota considered smear campaign against its critics
Remember Toyota's mishap with the faulty accelerators, the ones that led to massive recalls a few months back? Well, it turns out the company had plans to develop a PR campaign “to attack the credibility of key witnesses who have testified before Congress about acceleration problems with the company's cars,” The Washington Post reported. As part of the effort, Toyota tapped President Obama’s chief pollster Joel Benenson, who questioned the public about the integrity of top witnesses against the automaker, according to the Post. The company said it never produced advertisements based on the poll data. Read Washington Post story.

From (By Sandra Fathi)
5 tips for Foursquare success
The social media site is already radically changing the way customers interact with businesses. The burgeoning social media network Foursquare is a location-based platform that allows users to alert friends in real-time of their exact whereabouts by “checking in” to businesses on mobile phones. While this tool provides plenty of perks and fun for users, many businesses are also finding value in Foursquare. Read story.

From Hubspot
Free Hubspot Webinar: Small Business Guide to Social Media Marketing on May 20, 1 PM ET
Facebook, Twitter and other social media buzz words have become present in everyday professional life. Join us to learn the real-life applications of these tools. During this free live webinar, Kipp Bodnar, Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot, will present real small business case studies demonstrating successful social media marketing strategies that have helped generate leads and revenue. Get details.

Friday, May 14, 2010

PR News Round Up - May 14, 2010

A simple way to measure social media
Can't figure out how to measure your stupendous social media campaign? Don't worry, it's not because you're a Cro-Magnon. Difficulty and confusion over measurement is commonplace. But the debate misses the point, says Danny Brown, who insists that “social media can offer some of the best metrics for ROI around.” He's got a real simple list that even early versions of homo sapiens can understand and execute.--Jackson Wightman Read story.

From The Wall Street Journal
New campaign proclaims: Adobe hearts Apple
How sweet. In an ad campaign running in newspaper and websites, Adobe declares in bold letters that it “loves” Apple. Could this really be true? Are Apple and Adobe sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G? Not really. “Make no mistake,” reports The Wall Street Journal, “it’s not a make-nice ad campaign by Adobe. In the ads … Adobe also says it loves Flash — the Adobe software at the heart of the dispute with Apple. And Adobe makes it clear that it is unhappy with Apple’s decision to limit the software that can run on its iPhone system, which Adobe alludes to as ‘anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it, and what you experience on the web.’” As they say: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes … SYNERGY. You never know. Read story.

From The New York Times
In NYT interview, Facebook PR chief admits to lousy communications
With all the negative publicity about Facebook and its privacy breaches, it was only natural that someone was going to fall on a sword. And that person happens to be the company’s vice president of public policy, Elliot Schrage. “It’s clear that despite our efforts, we are not doing a good enough job communicating the changes that we’re making,” he told The New York Times. “Even worse, our extensive efforts to provide users greater control over what and how they share appear to be too confusing for some of our more than 400 million users. That’s not acceptable or sustainable. But it’s certainly fixable. You’re pointing out things we need to fix.” (Image via.) Read story.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

PR News Round Up - May 13, 2010

From Hispanic PR Blog
Hispanic PR Census results reveal strong feelings about PR discipline being best suited to lead social media marketing
DALLAS, TX – The results of the four-month long Hispanic PR Census, an initiative that garnered responses to eight questions from more than 319 marketing professionals who work in Latino PR and/or social media, shows a large percentage feel PR or other fields are better suited to lead social media initiatives in comparison to advertising. A surprising 76% also said that they have worked on a Hispanic social media-related campaign in the past year. Read story.

From Augie Ray’s Blog (Forrester Research)
Seven Things Your Organization Must Do Because Of Social Media
In the mid- to late-90s, many business leaders observed the advent of the Web and asked the wrong question: “What will the Internet do for us?” Instead, they should have been asking, “What will the Internet do to us?”… What can we can learn from the NestlĂ© and United occurrences? Here are seven "musts" that smart companies will adopt in the age of social media. Read story.

From Mashable
Top 5 Social Media Tips for C-Suite Execs
For the rank and file at companies big and small, social media is infiltrating the workplace and fast becoming an important part of day-to-day activities. When it comes to executives and upper management, though, social media mostly remains an art unpracticed. We gathered up expert advice from Tim Bray of Google, Guy Kawasaki of Alltop (formerly Apple), Doug Ulman of Livestrong, John Battelle of Federated Media and Steve Rubel of Edelman on the why and the how when it comes to C-level executives and social media. Their tips and advice range from practice to crucial and point to the need for C-suite executives of this generation to heed social media. Read story.

From Altitude Branding
No time for social media?
“We're too busy for that crap” is a common refrain used by dinosaur organizations when talking about social media. But now that social media is ubiquitous on the Web (it has surpassed porn as the No. 1 activity online), can you afford this attitude? Only if you intend to go the way of the brontosaurus (read: newspapers). Amber Naslund, the director of community at Radian6, has some thoughts on making time for evolution. “Social media often starts off as an ‘and,’ something we need to tack on,” she wrote. “So, too, with most new and unfamiliar things. We have to do a little more now [so] we can look at everything together later, and decide what to keep.” Be sure to share this post with any colleagues and pterodactyls who are simply “too hectic” to bother with social channels.—JW Read story.

From Texas Public Relations Association
Webinar: PR & Social Media: Incorporating Facebook, Twitter, etc. into your PR strategy (May 25, noon)
This session will go over methods and reasons to incorporate social media tools into your overall PR strategy, with specific examples of both proactive and reactive PR campaigns from Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market is widely recognized as one of the leaders in its use of social media with stakeholders, has one of the largest Twitter following of any brick-and-mortar business, and currently has more than 400 individual social media accounts. Lead by Libba Letton of the media relations team and Winnie Hsia of the integrated media team at Whole Foods Market. Register for this webinar online today!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PR News Round-Up - May 12, 2010

From: PR Daily
How to produce a social media press release
Are you using social media press releases? Research shows that reporters and editors like them and that they get picked up more frequently than traditional releases do. The next PR Daily webinar is all about the social media press release. In it, veteran communications consultant Shel Holtz will introduce you to the origins of the social media release, explain its components, and offer tips on how to get these releases in front of the eyes of online reporters and bloggers. Read more about this event.

From: PR 2.0 by Brian Solis
7 Scientific Ways to Promote Sharing on Facebook
With a view from the top, we can see that Facebook sharing is enhanced by simple language and thus modernizes the old adage KISS to now represent Keep it Simple and “Shareable.” Read story.

From: Authentic PR Counsel by Tom Gable
New Research Shows Positive Reputations Enhance Corporate Results
The Reputation Institute just released its annual Reputation Pulse, which measures the corporate reputations of the largest U.S. companies based on consumers’ trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling about a company while also gauging perceptions across seven rational dimensions of reputation. Read story.

From: Ad Age
The Right Way to Make Your Social-Media Mea Culpa
Boeing's rebound after letter gaffe provides lessons for Twitter apologies. Read story.

From: Forbes
The Underground Art of PowerPoint
Microsoft's presentation program is evolving from boring bullet points into an entirely new art form. Read story.