THE RELEVANCY SPECIALIST

Custom Keyword Research that Improves Conversion

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Baby, You’re a Hot Legal Mess Just WAITIN’ to Happen

Agencies & Indies - avoid a contract legal messJust because you are footing the bill for that photo shoot doesn’t mean you own the resulting images, or that you can use them anywhere you want. Even if you are working with an agency.

What about when that agency transforms your new brochure into a matching website, infographic, Facebook and Google Plus cover image, Twitter background AND SlideShare deck – all with a nice, consistent look to them? Even if the client has a full release of rights and permission to use the images from the agency, the AGENCY might be blithely traipsing into copyright infringement territory with the photographer. TIMES SIX.

And when you came up with that brilliant flash mob idea for a client PR stunt? Both agency AND client can be unwittingly vulnerable to criminal, trespassing, property charges and more – even if a participant does something illegal without your knowledge or permission.

Want to do a flash mob stunt for a client? Listen to Ruth Carter’s FANTASTIC YouTube video first.

Read moreBaby, You’re a Hot Legal Mess Just WAITIN’ to Happen

Is Link Bait Journalism Taking Over? Are We Headed In The Wrong Direction?

Link Bait JournalismOr is it just that entertainment takes precedence over hard news?

Maybe it’s the glass of crisp, icy chardonnay I’m sipping as I flip through findings in “The American Journalist In The Digital Age” study by Professors Lars Willnat and David Weaver at the School of Journalism, Indiana University… but the  fact that the last decade has had more of a negative impact on journalism than positive doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It’s hardly a revelation.

Yes, newsrooms have shrunk as media struggle to capture revenue as advertising drops and the competition against “free” news increases.

Yes, men still outnumber women three to one, and women still make less money.

Yes, workplace satisfaction has shrunk, thanks to each journalist juggling the work of three.

Yes, they are less likely to have complete autonomy over the stories they choose to report on.

Wait… what?

This is interesting, but it actually makes perfect sense. If we are more likely to use social media to identify breaking news and monitor what other stations are doing, then it’s a natural result that those findings drive news coverage more than reporters having the ability to chase down their own stories. Their own interests. Their own discoveries.

Are journalists pressured to cover what is popular on social media because it is a guaranteed win? Something already proven popular with those who consume news and entertainment?

Hmmm. This isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Read moreIs Link Bait Journalism Taking Over? Are We Headed In The Wrong Direction?

Will Facebook Newswire Change How Journalists Verify Breaking News?

(Update: Evidently, this was not a successful resource. Facebook shut it down on October 18th, 2016.)

Facebook NewswireFacebook might be taking a stronger foothold in the breaking news world of journalism today, with their launch of FB Newswire, a news aggregator resource for journalists that collects Facebook posts deemed newsworthy in a single page stream.

They are hoping it becomes a trusted source for journalists, meeting their need to air breaking news faster and speed up the source verification process.

There is also a Twitter feed, @FBNewswire. Interesting cross-platform use. I’m thinking the Twitter stream just might be more successful source of traffic to stories for Journalists than the actual Facebook page it pulls from, but we’ll see!

The amount of advertising that quickly clutters up the Facebook page by those trying to newsjack might be the determining factor.

Powered by Storyful, “the leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms,” according to Facebook.

Read moreWill Facebook Newswire Change How Journalists Verify Breaking News?

Look Smarter Than Your Colleagues at Digital PR

Frog Prince - Look Smarter than Colleagues at Digital PR You don’t really have time to learn everything there is to know about digital public relations, but you do have time to learn three SIMPLE ways to look smarter than your colleagues, right?

I gave a webinar for IABC yesterday and I’d like to share a few of the important bits with you, because they focus on how to ramp up your digital PR skills quickly with a few simple tactics.

(Here is the PowerPoint via SlideShare.)

If you want to see a video of the full presentation (the above deck plus sound), it’s available for $100 on the IABC website.  If you don’t want to invest in that, well, this article will give you a mini-snapshot of some of the discussion…  

Read moreLook Smarter Than Your Colleagues at Digital PR

Excuse Me, But You Wearin’ My Shoes?

Storytelling for PR(AKA – Storytelling For Public Relations)

Tell stories with your brand.
Be visual.
Have a unique voice.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But holy smokes, is it ever harder than it sounds!! Since most of us weren’t fiction authors in another life, or song writers who beautifully string words together that sing to the soul, it’s a bit more challenging.

But read on. I’m convinced it’s doable.

Storytelling with public relations isn’t just finding the right images, creating infographics and using a fab graphic designer. It’s about creating words that resonate. It’s about understanding your customer. Using words to inspire, captivate, even explode an emotional response. PUTTING YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES.

Read moreExcuse Me, But You Wearin’ My Shoes?

3 Five-Minute Social Media Tasks That Add Value to a PR Retainer

Client RetentionSometimes, it’s not the big things we do for clients that make them stick around for the long haul, it’s the little things. Those five-minute tasks you consistently do for them that they simply don’t think of (or have time to be) doing themselves, but provide value.

Taking care of some simple social media updates related to PR activity can provide that kind of opportunity. Especially if you don’t handle their social media as part of the retainer or agency/client relationship and they don’t already have this handled, it makes sense to get involved.

Think of it as investing in retention through value-adds.

These aren’t creative ideas, these are very basic (yet important!) tactics tied to PR that you can help your client with. It’s a way to show them you are proactive, interested in their success and have the initiative to grow their visibility on ALL levels.  

And if you handle your own PR? It’s a reminder of some easy things you can be doing to expand your own visibility.

Read more3 Five-Minute Social Media Tasks That Add Value to a PR Retainer

How to Monitor Journalists & Find PR Opportunities Using Twitter Lists

Monitor Journalists with Twitter ListsOne of the most valuable yet underused tools for landing PR placements using social media are Twitter lists. I love, love, LOVE them.

Here’s why:

  1. Lists can be public or completely private – nobody sees it, nobody knows you put them in a list.
  2. You can monitor people in a list without actually following them.  Complete stealth mode!
  3. Lists are an easy way to filter information out of your overall stream. You can cluster by topic, location, type of media – however you want.

The February #PRprochat was one of the most lively yet, reaching almost six million timelines (whoot!). It was a blur of fantastic tweets and very fun. Here is a quick recap of what we talked about. PR isn’t the only way to use Twitter lists, of course, but it happened to be the focus of this particular chat.

Read moreHow to Monitor Journalists & Find PR Opportunities Using Twitter Lists

Secrets of a Highly Successful Local PR Facebook Group (Part 2)

Facebook Group Secrets, Part Two(Part One covers tips.)

Defining specific member guidelines are essential for a Facebook Group to work. Especially when you are creating something where promotion is not allowed and you are mingling two different audiences – such as public relations professionals and journalists.

Other than moderation to enforce the rules, crafting member guidelines was easily one of the most important factors behind the success of the Phoenix-based group that I co-moderate, @PhoenixPRPros. And it will be just as essential for you, if you are starting your own local group.

Just a reminder that if you head to Facebook to check out this group, you won’t be able to view it. We recently changed it from a closed group to a secret group to control growth and spam.

So what was in it? Here is the full, unabridged version (shared with permission of the @PhoenixPRPros founder and admin team), plus a few simple tweaks of my own. Feel free to use and adapt them. 

Read moreSecrets of a Highly Successful Local PR Facebook Group (Part 2)

Secrets of a Highly Successful Local PR Facebook Group (Part 1)

Facebook PR Group Secrets(Part Two covers member guidelines.)

Imagine a Facebook group for YOUR CITY that was packed with editors and journalists who post when they are looking for story sources, kind of like HARO on a local level. Where industry pros share ideas, trending articles and information others can learn from.  A group with zero promotions. And where questions are freely asked and answered without judgement, beginners and pros alike.

For the last two years, I’ve been lucky enough to be a co-moderator of a local Facebook closed group of almost 700 public relations professionals and media called @PhoenixPRPros.

Facebook Group for PR Professionals

It’s an incredibly successful mix of local editors, reporters and journalists, plus PR pros from every level of experience and specialties.

Read moreSecrets of a Highly Successful Local PR Facebook Group (Part 1)

Say Goodbye to Brand Shaming & Social Media Criticism

Say Goodbye to Brand ShamingOne of the things I love the most about how our industry is changing is that it puts EVERYONE on a level playing field. Every single day, each one of us is learning and testing something new, adding to our personal knowledge base and improving our end results.

Nobody knows it all. It’s just not possible.

Granted, some aren’t heavily focused on learning, BUT MOST ARE. And many companies are making a concentrated effort to hire better talent and improving their activity.

Sometimes, I feel bombarded with negative rants, complaints about poor pitching or media relations skills, and people pilloried because of a public mistake. It’s easy to write about and easy to jump on the  bandwagon. BUT NO MORE.  It doesn’t matter if it is an individual or a company who should know better. Let it go, ignore it or see how you can transform it into something positive.

I won’t take part in shaming and I hope you won’t, too.

LET’S MAKE A PACT. 

Read moreSay Goodbye to Brand Shaming & Social Media Criticism