Cool Top Ten Lists for 2010

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

As 2010 comes to a close, let’s look back at the year in review.

1. Top 10 Social Media Blogs

2. Top 10 Words 

3. Top 10 Tech Stories

4. Top 10 People Trending on Twitter

5. Top 10 Most Retweeted Tweets

6. Top 10 Facebook Status Trends

7. Top 10 Public Relations Blunders

8. Top 10 Videos on YouTube

9. Top 10 Weirdest Stories

10. Top 10 Talk Show Moments

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PR Best Practices: Just Like Introducing Your New Beau to the Family

December 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

Written By Annie Almasi

Public Relations (PR) is about building strong relationships with a company’s various stakeholders (consumers, employees, stockholders, etc.). It’s like introducing your new beau to the family. You want everyone to love your new beau just as much as you do. Same goes for your client. So you talk your beau up with everyone important in your life – your stakeholders. This includes your family, your friends, maybe even your dog, Spot. Building up the positive image of your beau makes him more attractive and appealing so everyone wants to know him too. That’s PR in simple terms. Now let’s explore some best practices.

Tailor the message.

For those of you that have been in a relationship, making people see how great your beau is isn’t always easy. You’ve got your skeptics, cynics, and cranky Great Aunt Sue that hasn’t liked anyone since the Cold War. So it’s all about the two-way communication – you know your stakeholders’ interests so you try to pair them up with your partner’s. “Oh, you’re going to the Packer game this weekend? My boyfriend, Joe, loves to watch them every Sunday. I’m sure he’d love to hear about it when you get back!” In PR, as it is with relationships, you try to find the right channel to get your message across. You wouldn’t talk to a non-Packer fan (heaven-forbid!) about Joe’s love for the Packers. You have to tailor your message.

Evaluate the distribution of information.

You have to choose the best distribution and delivery. For example, if you want your other friends to know that Joe just got a great new job, who do you tell? Tell your chatty friend, Kathy, who knows just about everybody and is sure to deliver the message swiftly. This is the same for PR; you want to find the best avenue of delivery for your audience, whether it be newspapers, magazines, blogs or social media. With this, you have to make sure to monitor the results. If Kathy upset half your friends at the last party and they aren’t on speaking terms, you may not be reaching as many people as you thought. So you may have to re-evaluate your communication channel, just as you would with PR.

Develop strong media relationships.

Now having someone like Kathy around that is a chatterbox brings me to another crucial PR strategy. You must continually review media sources and identify contact points. These contacts are important when looking to pitch stories for your client. So for example, you know Kathy loves a good story and you have a story that is right up her alley – something about someone else, so you keep in touch with her periodically. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship because you need to get the word out and she loves being the one to do so. That’s how a media relationship should be – your story should be timely, interesting and beneficial to the media contact.

Select the proper public relations tools.

However, you can’t always just tell Kathy. You have to have different people (media contacts) that have different audiences. So if you want your family to know, you might tell your mom to spread the word instead. In PR, there are different tools, including blogs, press releases, newsletters, etc. They all have different audiences and are tailored to make your message the most effective. With this, it is important to note the evolution of the Web and technology within PR. Not utilizing this tool, would be like telling tipsy Uncle Bob at Thanksgiving that the Vikings are your new favorite football team – stupid and counterproductive. Use these emerging technologies!

As you see, PR practices follow the same course as introducing your new beau to the family. You’ve got to tailor the information shared so it’s pertinent to each audience. Then evaluate how your “Pumpkin” (client) is being received. If you have to change your approach, make sure to have the right relationships with other people that will share your messages effectively. And, always remember the different tools you have at your disposal!

Let the Lessons of the Past Guide Us Today

December 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Written By Phil Vollrath 

Since this is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the day the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor and as a result entered World War II, it is fitting that both the Armed Forces Week Committee (on which I serve) and the Rotary Military and Veterans Support Committee (which I co-chair) are meeting today to plan events and commitments for next year. As a veteran and former Navy reservist myself, I commemorate this day with sadness, but also feel it can strengthen us as we prepare for our future. 

 In a related manner, I was privileged to welcome home our WW II Vets (including my wife’s uncle) at the airport as they returned from visiting their memorial in Washington, D.C. aboard the Honor Flight a few weeks ago.  My wife’s father (deceased) and uncle served in that war, making this an even more memorable and exciting event.  I will never forget the excitement and joy of the hundreds of people, all ages, as they gathered to express their Welcome Home! And show their appreciation to these Veterans for their service and sacrifice as they left the gate.

 But it doesn’t end with showing appreciation for military service alone.  It also means taking on personal responsibility for planning for the future (instead of just leaving it to others), remaining ever vigilant regarding threats to our security, never again being complacent, accepting responsibility for the livelihood of others and not just ourselves, keeping up-to-date on what is going on around us, and remembering always to see the world through the eyes of others including, yes our enemies, but also family members, friends, clients, customers and competitors!  It means eliminating surprises except for birthdays, holidays and weddings, and being proactive in all of our thoughts and actions.  It means not leaving concerns for our security, protection of our freedom and meeting the needs of family, friends and customers to others, but taking these responsibilities upon ourselves so that ultimately we can say, “Yes, I have done all that I could, and I feel good for doing so.”

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