One of the most important things I discovered about public relations and social media is, if your going to do it you better do it well. Not fully understanding social media communities for example, has resulted in far more brand damage rather than audience engagement. There’s an unfortunate history with some PR agencies of brand embarrassments as a result of fake blogs, user accounts on social news sites and fake social network participation.  Where as other PR agencies have been able to fully embrace these shifts at their core, and not only become successfully involved with online communities but have been instrumental at facilitating the public relations practitioners role in the various online channels such as social networking, blogs and search. These agencies are best prepared to represent brands in a win-win situation over those firms that skim social media with drive by pitching and promotion tactics and without a full understanding of the medium.

“The driving force of social media is people’s desire to connect with others” Public relations practitioners have the skills that social media requires. they are good listeners, analyzers, they write with clarity and above all they are excellent communicators and sensitive to the interests and needs of the community or the company’s consumers and employees.

Jason Falls the director of social media for Doe-Anderson believes that in his mind social media is essentially public relations in the online world. “Divide the category up by component — blogs, social networks, microblogging, podcasts/Web TV, wikis/collaborative software — they each ladder in some way to a component of public relations — writing, corporate communications, community relations, media relations, event management”



Tips for writing e-mails

January 29, 2009

First you should make sure that e-mail is the right communication tool for the job. Although e-mail can sometimes feel like the ultimate replacement for all other forms of communication, it’s actually more limited than you might initially think. First of all, e-mail is not synchronous like telephone calls or in-person conversations; in other words, sending a message does not guarantee an immediate response. Also, it can sometimes take more time to write an e-mail than it would to speak to someone directly.

According to Emily Foshee, a freelance copywriter, the subject line of an email is the last thing people think about, but it should be the first. When your e-mail pops up in your recipient’s in box, that person has just a few seconds to decide whether or not to read your message.  Their decision is based entirely on the effectiveness of your subject line.  A few hastily chosen words in the subject line will result in sales unnecessarily lost, potential customers missed and brand recognition wasted.

Dan Santow suggests writing e-mails backwards by writing the body of the e-mail first, fill in the subject line second and add the recipients third. I like his idea because it reduces the risk of sending unfinished or incomplete e-mails.  The subject lines are better because they are more focused on what was actually written.  Also the e-mails are better targeted to the right people because after writing the message you may realize that not everyone you thought needed to receive the e-mail or you may realize that other people need to receive it as well.

Be professional with your writing do not use short hand, text message style, or jargon when writing your e-mails. Always check your work for spelling or grammatical errors before sending it.

All in all e-mails are direct reflections of you and your organization so take the time to make sure it is a positive reflection.

How to be a good blogger.

January 28, 2009


Blogging for PR

January 22, 2009

     I believe that blogging in the public relations world can have both positive and negative effects. It can many times be difficult to gain credibility when you are using a blog to communicate your message. If it is obvious PR it is bad PR. Many times people will have difficulty trusting the message your a conveying when you are talking about the company you work for. I believe that blogging is a great inexpensive way to communicate with your intended audience. When trying to communicate with a broad audience you need a broad set of tools and blogging definitely fits into the communications tool belt. It is obvious that blogging and blog readership has increased and people in PR should definitely take advantage of that. People like to hear about other people’s experiences before they purchase something and blogging allows others to do so.  The press and comments in blogs regarding your company can have a direct effect on people’s attitudes and perceptions regarding your company.