Really, Netflix… really?

Sometimes making a decision and apologizing for it later can really backfire on you. Sometimes, it really IS better to ask permission first.

This concept really hit home for me when Netflix came out with its surprise announcement that it would be separating its streaming and DVD rental services, and thereby abandoning the $9.99 monthly fee in favor of two $7.99 fees. 

So, in my usual manner of veiled condescension, I ask this question: Really, Netflix… really?


Take Me Out to the Ball Game … With Caution

Baseball With the recent death of baseball fan Shannon Stone, followed only four days later by another fan, Keith Carmickle, dangling over the railing at Chase Field and nearly falling himself, baseball is becoming the most dangerous sport … for spectators, that is.

I wondered what the social media universe had to say about these recent events, so I tracked the top trending dates around baseball spectator safety using Attensity’s social media analysis solution, Attensity360 (full disclosure: Attensity is a client of ours).


Social Media Faux Pas – Blurring the Boundaries

I wouldn’t say I was an early adopter of social media platforms like Facebook. After about a year of hearing friends yammer on about how great it was to be able to find people they had lost contact with long ago, I finally caved. From that point on, I was pretty much addicted to the site, which gave me great insight into very important matters such as what type of toilet paper my friends were considering buying, and how awesome the previous night’s bar-hop was.

As my use of the site deepened and I eventually amassed nearly 600 close and personal friends, I began to tire of so much needless information, eventually deciding to deactivate my account.


Networking: The Smart Way to Climb the Corporate Ladder

PRSANP When I first heard the term “networking,” I used to imagine an inner circle of high-powered business people getting together to talk strategy and discuss their businesses. The concept seemed intimidating, but being the outgoing person I am, I decided to see what these events were all about.

The more I went to them, the more I realized it was just people talking about their jobs and getting to know one another. At first, it can seem daunting, especially when most of the people in attendance are senior executives and, in some cases, nearly twice my age. However, I’ve found that going to networking events are good for several reasons:


Tips From The Frontline at #SMOC

I had the opportunity to attend the MediaBistro Social Media Optimization Conference (SMOC) in San Francisco earlier this week.

The show was full of sound bytes, excellent social media tips and some sharp strategies for linking digital strategy to social and PR efforts.

Conference discussions provided interesting perspectives on social media, by examining the science and metrics that have made SEO and PPC such important parts of marketing budgets, and applying them back to social media, where appropriate.

I’ve compiled a few of the best tips from the conference (particularly those that are relevant to PR), and have attributed them to the presenter that introduced the idea.


Six Key Elements to Successful, Effective Pitching

Success Having gone directly from DreamWorks Animation to Sterling Communications, I have found there’s a common element to getting both client news and movie ideas noticed that they don’t teach you in school: You have to be able to sell. In the same way that movies are pitched to a roomful of deep-pocketed bigwigs or a building full of animators and production staffers (as at DreamWorks), PR professionals have to know how to really sell an idea to media and analysts. Here are 6 key elements to effective pitching that are as pertinent on Madison Avenue as they are on Melrose Avenue.



Using SEO In “Traditional” PR Efforts

The more  NewsCN_1872 things change, the more they stay the same. While this truism can be applied broadly, today, that phrase will apply to public relations.

The scope of good public relations is broadening and morphing. However, there will always be a place for certain aspects of the business. Finding new ways to extend “traditional” PR efforts and breathe new life into them is something any savvy agency must do, because the more exposure you get from a single effort, the better.

So, how can traditional PR gain more reach with already-established tactics?

The answer: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In a previous post, we talked about the strategy behind applying SEO to PR activities. Today, we’re going to delve into the tactics or the “how-tos.”


Evolution: Cautiously Ushering in the Era of PR 1.5

“History won’t be kind to PR 2.0, i.e. a moment in time when infatuation with tools replaced understanding of communications.”

Amanda Chapel via Twitter

In part I agree with Ms. Chapel’s cynicism of PR 2.0, particularly as I look back on my career of over 13 years, and see how profoundly PR has changed. I also see the vast potential for these new resources.

That said, at this point, I don’t believe we have truly reached PR 2.0. Instead, I believe we are at more of a v1.5, as we determine how to effectively incorporate traditional methods with new tools (the Facebooks and Twitters of the world). Given the time to mature, and allowing that time for most of the Web narcissists to burn themselves out on self-congratulations and witty remarks reposted from Google searches, these platforms will undoubtedly be a boon for the PR profession.


“Car Goes Falls,” or Why Proofreading is Important

Today the San Francisco Chronicle ran an online AP story about a fatal accident in Los Angeles. A car plunged off the third story of a parking garage and landed upside down, killing the driver. Within a couple hours, the story had more than 40 comments on it… not one of them regarding the actual story. No, every single comment was poking fun at the headline:

“1 dead after car goes falls from LA parking garage.”

Admittedly, some of the comments were pretty funny (“1 fired after copy editor goes fails” and “I can haz journalizm degree?” were a couple of my faves). later fixed the headline, but the damage was already done – a painful reminder of how a simple typo can distract people from the actual news and simultaneously damage credibility.

As PR professionals, we are often tasked with writing on behalf of executives or even entire companies. We all make typos and spelling errors from time to time, but when it’s more than your own reputation on the line, you want to be sure your writing is clear and error-free. Here are a few of my favorite proofreading tips: