Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Thoughts, Your Questions

Only seven more shopping days till Xmas, kiddos, if you haven't bought all the goodies yet, wait until Christmas Eve.  It's what I do, and it's not nearly as crazy as you might think...seriously.  But onto more pertinent issues.

Your Feedback:

I have a ton of ideas that will keep this blog going forever, and I really enjoy it.  But I'm conflicted  a little.  On one hand, I started this blog to give small business owners and non-profit staffs tips on how to do their own public relations.  This means dealing with a lot of traditional media strategies, as well as some more general PR tips and thoughts.  I really want to give the basics of quality public relations so you can go forth and pitch your organization with confidence and success. 

But clearly, social media is also a big part of getting the message out about your organization.  I want to include all of that information as well. 

So in the spirit of the holiday, I'm asking for gifts (what?  That's not the spirit?  Bah Humbug, then).  I want to hear from you about what you want from me.  Is there a burning question that you have about pitching your organization?  Are there issues you are having trouble with?  Is there a specific aspect of PR and marketing that you want to know about?  Are you more interested in the social media angle than traditional media? 

Send me your questions, your scenarios, your complaints.  This blog is for you and it should reflect that.  I will answer all questions, either here in this forum, or privately in an email.  I will also address any organization-specific questions with privacy in mind. 

So get your questions ready and send them to me, either in the comments section, or to my email at cdgallegos01@earthlink.net  I look forward to hearing from you all.

Speaking of social media vs. traditional media, I received a lot of great feedback on my last entry, so thatnk you.  Which leads me to the next item on the itinerary.  As is the case with every December, writers are all busy putting together lists and breaking out their crystal balls, in an effort to put out their most finely crafted end-of-year stories (in contrast, we'll be getting a ton of end-of-decade stories next year, although a few will pop up this year as well).

In keeping with that time honored tradition, here are a couple of fine reads that look back at the past year, and also look ahead at what might come.

Social Media in 2010:

The first is a great article  courtesy of Judy Shapiro from Advertising Age, looking at the possible impact of social media in 2010.  Frankly, while reading it, I was surprised at the overall generall impression of social media as it stands RIGHT NOW.  To think that there are still major PR and marketing firms that use social media simply as a sideline tool, well, it simply stuns me.  I think it's because a lot of professionals out there still haven't been able to figure out how to use the tools effectively, or they may just be waiting to see how social media continues to develop.  Either way, in my humble opinion, they need to get on the field, or they're going to get Wally Pipp'ed.  (look it up, it's a sports reference, I like it.)

2009's Biggest PR Blunders:

The second article is a list of the top ten PR blunders of 2009.  It comes courtesy of PR Newswire, but the list was assembled by Fineman PR, a biggie in the industry, based out of San Fran.  Keep in mind when you read this list that it only deals with events that really fall into the realm of PR or crisis communications, and really had an impact on an organization that makes public relations decisions regularly.  That's why the "Balloon Kid" isn't on the list.  Although that was a huge PR blunder, it actually achieved what the father wanted; another fifteen minutes of fame.  So, while it might have been a major boneheaded move, maybe even a crime, from a PR standpoint, it wasn't a monumental blunder.  Clearly the father was coming from the school of, "no PR is bad PR."

If you want more insight into public relations, both PR Newswire and Advertising Age are good reads.  They're both very industry-focused and for the general small business owner or non-profit director you might have to spend a little time digging through all the content to find those nuggets that really pertain to your situation, but if you have time, both sites will give you an insight into the world of PR and marketing.

Here's another little website I found.  It's called "WhatTheTrend"  It monitors Twitter trends.  It's interesting, but honestly, I'm not sure, yet, how this can be a really effective tool for you.  It kind of reminds me of those sites that list the most popular words of the day or week or year.  On the other hand, if you Tweet regularly, you can check in every now and then and see if you're keeping up with the masses who set trends and have a very short attention span.  But perhaps more importantly, you can do a quick check in to see what people are talking about.  It's like a peek into the world's largest water cooler.  This kind of information will help you out when it comes to finding a news peg or angle for your pitch.  Remember, if people are talking about it, the news industry notices.

I'm doing an interview with a local executive producer today and hope to have that for you either sometime next week, or I might hold it until January, since I know so many of you will be out enjoying the holidays the next week or so.  In the meantime, stay happy, stay warm, and be focused on success.

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