Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Does your crisis communications plan include social media?

Last month, research came out indicating that web users increasingly rely on social media to seek help in a disaster. A survey by the Red Cross shows that 74 percent expect response agencies to answer social media calls for help within an hour.
According to the news release, if web users knew of someone else who needed help, 44 percent would ask other people in their social network to contact authorities, 35 percent would post a request for help directly on a response agency’s Facebook page and 28 percent would send a direct Twitter message to responders (couldn’t reach 9-1-1).

Also, 69 percent said that emergency responders should be monitoring social media sites in order to quickly send help. And nearly half believe a response agency is probably already responding to any urgent request they might see.

Does your crisis communications plan include social media for dissemination and response?

One thing that can guide you is our chapter’s upcoming crisis communications professional development seminar next week on October 7. Our speaker will be the leading industry expert, James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA.

Here are the topics we’ll cover…
  • Crisis-proofing Your Organization – How to Avoid the Crucial Mistakes that Cause Most Responses to Fail (Morning session)
  • Getting Your Boss to Listen to You – The Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor (Luncheon presentation, during our regular chapter monthly luncheon)
  • When You Are the Target – Coping With Activists, Antagonists and New Media Attacks (Afternoon session)
Hurry! Registration closes this Friday!
Get details online.
Download the flier
Register for the full day 
Register for the luncheon only

Thursday, September 09, 2010

PR News Round Up ~ September 9, 2010

From PR Tactics
In Memoriam: John R. Beardsley, APR, Past PRSA President
John R. Beardsley, APR, retired CEO of Minneapolis-based communications firm Padilla Speer Beardsley, died Thursday night from complications following heart surgery. He was 73. Read story.

From The Lead Blog by Matt Kucharski
Everything's Dead But The Future -- Fitting Epitaph for John Beardsley
My mentor, inspiration and friend John Beardsley, Padilla Speer Beardsley's former CEO, died Thursday evening after complications from heart surgery. He was 73, and he wasn't ready to go. Too many truths left to discover, too many ideas left to share. It was an honor to be one he shared them with, and like the others, I'm a better professional and person for it. Read story.

From The Next Web via PR Daily Newsfeed
AP begins crediting bloggers as news sources
It’s a huge step with huge implications, although Lauren Fisher writes on The Next Web that it’s too soon to tell how bloggers will affect the news agenda. “We’ve already seen some developments in this area, such as publishers employing bloggers on the ground, but I think this goes one further than that,” she writes. “The announcement has served to recognize the work that bloggers put into breaking and reporting stories.” It’s also not clear what the blogger attribution will look like. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one. — Susan Young Read story.

From PR Fuel via PR Daily Newsfeed
Tips for including video in your press releases
A PRWeb study last year found that 94 percent of PR pros see value in including videos in press releases; however, only a handful of respondents had actually tried it. Want to join this exclusive crew? PR Fuel offered tips for including video in your next press release. Read story.

From MarketingProfs via PR Daily Newsfeed
4 reasons content can help build relationships
We all know that content is king. When you come across great content, do you share it? I do through my contributions to PR Daily, Twitter, and my blog, and I bet you do, too. Maria Pegolino, director of marketing at Marketo, shares four reasons why content is one of the most important factors in building relationships. — Matthew Royse Read story.

From MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily via SmartBrief on Social Media
Study: Social networks change the way people behave
Researchers at MIT have found evidence that social networks can have a profound effect on the way people live their lives. The study showed that the structure of networks influenced the way people signed up for a health forum, offering insights that could also hold hints for marketers. "It's easy to see how a cluster of connected networks or communities could facilitate the spread of a new product adoption," notes Laurie Sullivan. (9/7) Read story.

From HubSpot.com via SmartBrief on Social Media
60 ways to become more influential online
At a recent event, 60 social-media experts tried to condense all they knew about boosting digital influence into a one-minute-long talk. Their top tips included the importance of picking the right partners, listening before speaking, and mapping your social-media strategy onto your business' existing goals. (9/8) Read story.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

And the Winner Is….Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City School District

Last in the series on Award Winning Programs from the 2010 PRSA Del Oro Awards
Award Recipient of a La Plata Award of Merit in the Category: Crisis Communications

When swine flu hit the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District in April 2009, they had no idea how large the public health matter would become over the course of two weeks. When the Health Department ordered a school to be closed indefinitely, followed by the entire school district, the communications team had to move into crisis mode. The crisis communication plan for these events was fluid and challenged repeatedly due to the changing circumstances. With the help of social and traditional media, the school district was able to relay timely and accurate information to its target audiences.
“I actually had no idea a crisis like the Swine Flu would explode into such a large scale,” said Rebecca Villareal, Communications Officer. “I truly became my superintendent’s press agent for those two weeks. When NPR called to interview her, she was so excited. I think for both of us it was one of those experiences we never imagined we would experience in our careers.”

Public relations in school districts is by no means uneventful, but Villareal reported that this crisis was the extreme. “We had swarms of media - day and night. I mean 24/7. I had the early morning guys calling me at 1:30 a.m. and wanting interviews between 3 and 5 a.m. I did not even know the media was out on the street at that time,” she said. “I am just glad they were okay with call-in interviews for those.”

Villareal reports that the organizations had some key learnings after the crisis, which resulted in strategic changes. The district purchased a Content Management System (CMS) for the website for quicker updates. The Tumblr blogging platform is now used to post cancellations and schedule changes and is linked to the Twitter account for instant updates. As well, electronic marquees that can be managed from one remote site were installed at all district facilities.

Randy Escamilla, APR, is a member of the PRSA San Antonio board and Director of Communications for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, September 03, 2010

PR News Round Up ~ September 3, 2010

AP announces editorial guidelines for credit and attribution

From The Power of Presence via PR Daily Newsfeed
13-point checklist for social media releases
Social media press releases are becoming more commonplace. To make sure that you have all the elements needed to create one, Dna13’s Amanda Laird put together this 13-point checklist. — Matthew Royse Related PR Daily Want more? Check out the audio recording of a best-selling PR Daily webinar, How to produce a social media news release. Read story.

From Brooke Nolan's Blog via PR Daily Newsfeed
8 tips for using photography in your PR campaigns
PR pro Brook Nolan shares her thoughts on how you could double your coverage via photography, including this nugget: Do you even need a press release? “Perhaps you don’t even need to bother writing a story to go along with images,” she says. “Great exposure can be [won] through an image alone. Without sounding too corny ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ and all that. Send pictures with a simple photo caption and short paragraph outlining the story — this works especially well for the ‘social’ pages in magazines. Read more.

Don't confuse traffic with engagement
Viral content can generate huge traffic boosts -- but that's not necessarily the same as generating real engagement, writes Matt Owen. Many visitors are simply surfing aimlessly without any real interest in your offerings, Owen argues, and it's only by actively participating in conversations that you'll be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. "Rather than monitoring how many customers you have, watch what they are saying," he adds. eConsultancy.com (8/26) Read more.

From Webbiquity via PR Daily Newsfeed
The best social media and PR resources of the year
Get your bookmark button ready. Online marketing exec Tom Pick selected a batch of useful posts that PR pros will cherish. Included in his 2010 “best of” compilation is some great advice from Chris Brogan about blogger outreach. These are resources you'll come back to again and again. Read more.

From If Only Blog via PR Daily Newsfeed
9 tools to help understand your audience's social media behavior
We're all trying to find ways to prove to clients that we really do know what we're talking about. Richard Pentin at If Only Blog pulled together the latest stats to provide an overview of the essential tools for understanding customers’ social media behavior. At the very least you can wow your co-workers with your statistical knowledge. — Beth Carroll, contributor to PR Daily Europe Read more.

From Social Media Monitoring Wiki via PR Daily Newsfeed
Check out this collection of social media monitoring solutions
Are you looking to find the one-stop shop for monitoring social media conversations? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist yet. However, there is a one-stop shop for the overwhelming high number of social media monitoring solutions. Based on your organization’s budget or specific goals, hopefully this wiki will help you find one that works for you. — Matthew Royse Read more.