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Posts Tagged ‘UnlimitedPR’

Hire a Veteran!

January 28, 2012 Comments off

Sheppard AFB, Texas

 Hello to my friends, colleaques,  Twitter followers and blog readers,

That picture to the left in this post is of me when I was a very young USAF service member (laughing at the hair, glasses or fashionable business suit is allowed-Gads).

There are more than 26 million veterans in the US. And, I am one of about 6 million women who served our country proudly.  I served in the USAF in a technical capacitiy after the Vietnam war had just ended (more stats here).  As you can see in the photo, I was the only female in my USAF training class, and I had to wear men’s cotten fatigues, shirts (and boots) which had to be starched each and every single day.  BTW, check out the shine on those boots! After I graduated from tech school in Texas, I was shipped to England for a few years where I was one female out of about 90 men working at small communications switching site in England.  A great deal has changed since those early days during my own personal experience as a military service member, and for the better for women I believe.  

But, I do believe the women of our time who served learned early to work hard with the hope of contributing and making it in a tough environment.  Below are some statistics about our veterans.

Over the course of my life, I have continued to expand and hone my career relative to communications in some form or another as the times have changed, And, I have adapted with the changing times.  Since signing up on Wordress.com, I’ve been providing a plethora of ad hock user generated content about social media and communication related topics for a couple of years now,  because I really want to help people.

Today, I’d like to briefly introduce myself, as an emerging woman veteran-owned small business in the DC/Baltimore metro areas.   With the economic downturn today, this recession is also a very tough environment, and doubly tough for an “mature” veteran trying to kick start her own business during a recession. And, some might think me a bit nuts for trying to do so.  

Yep, I am taking the plunge.  I filed for certification in MD as a MBE (OMG,  their are coming to inspect my little office in 30 days!) I’ve registered in CCR.gov and with the VA.  I am up an running with a small office space ready for business. Exhaling.

Know anyone who needs communication help? Please forward my resume  http://bit.ly/yR6Nas or website www.unlimitedpr.net

Is it too idyllic  to have a dream where we can contrubute to making a difference in other people’s lives by helping other people, Veterans, businesses and agencies? I believe.  And  yes, I still believe that hard work and a hope in something better is what has always driven our economy, in a positive way (not scathing political rhetoric).  I think you will find a similar integrity and sound work ethic in my commrads who have served, as well.

 I’d appreciate it if you’d consideration hiring any Veteran, as well as other small Veteran-owned businesses. We  really do know how to get the job done. 

 I am willing to provide consulting, 1099 and sub-contract support. Heck, at this stage I will simply take a few good hours of solid work to help your own small business persoanally. With a few hours of my time, I can be invaluable in helping with your outreach needs. 

Here is my small business capabilities fact sheet: http://bit.ly/sqGrjB,  and if you would like co-collaborate with a business opportunity, I’d appreciate hearing from you by requesting assistance here> http://bit.ly/oqcoE9

Thanks for reading and your time spent honoring and hiring our veterans or other small veteran-owned firms across this country of ours will not go unrewarded.

Sincerely, Alice M. Fisher, Owner of Unlimited PR & Associates, LLC

Government Agencies & Gov Persons on Twitter

August 8, 2010 9 comments

I posted a list of media, reporters and editors who are on Twitter.  Now, I am posting a list of Government persons and Government agencies on Twitter (& Government Blogs are next).  I imagine that such lists could be used to build a new sort of  media 2.0 list for any small business, media or  PR professional in one place.

As a result, I came across this fabulous list which may be useful to media, PR, communication and public affairs proffessionals and I am reposting it to increase its circulation. It is a fabulous source.  The list  includes people and agencies of the U.S. government, organized according to the executive branch, legislative branch, and related sections.

The original source page changes from time to time so to keep up with those changes Click for RSS updates

Other resources include:

  1. Congresspedia for detailed information on members of Congress.
  2. Congressional140 provides a dynamically updating tweetstream of all of the Congress members twitter updates. Follow @congress140.
  3. GovTwit has a web directory and a Twitter account @GovTwit that encompasses U.S. federal, state, and local as well as International accounts.
  4. TweetCongress has a web directory and Twitter account @TweetCongress for a listing of members. Anyone can add new names there, too.

Notes:

  1. Any people listed, other than members of Congress, do not necessarily represent their agencies.
  2. If any people or agencies are unofficial feeds, they are marked as such.
  3. If you notice anyone or anything missing, you are welcome to edit yourself; else please send a tweet to @ariherzog

Executive Branch (including Cabinet, departments, and agencies)


Legislative Branch: U.S. Senate

  1. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  2. Sam Brownback (R-KS) (unofficial)
  3. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  4. Susan Collins (R-ME)
  5. John Cornyn (R-TX)
  6. James DeMint (R-SC)
  7. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
  8. Richard Durbin (D-IL) (unofficial)
  9. John Ensign (R-NV)
  10. Russ Feingold (D-WI)
  11. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (unofficial)
  12. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
  13. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
  14. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  15. James Inhofe (R-OK)
  16. Mel Martinez (R-FL)
  17. John McCain (R-AZ), presidential candidate in 2008
  18. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
  19. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
  20. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) (unofficial)
  21. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  22. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  23. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  24. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), former NH Governor
  25. Arlen Specter (D-PA)
  26. John Thune (R-SD)
  27. Mark Udall (D-CO)
  28. Tom Udall (D-NM)
  29. David Vitter (R-LA)
  30. Mark Warner (D-VA)
  31. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
  32. Dick Lugar (R-IN)

Legislative Branch: House of Representatives

  1. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI)
  2. Steve Austria (R-OH)
  3. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN)
  4. Gresham Barrett (R-SC)
  5. John Barrow (D-GA)
  6. Joe Barton (R-TX)
  7. Bob Beauprez (R-CO)
  8. Judy Biggert (R-IL)
  9. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
  10. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
  11. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Minority Whip
  12. John Boehner (R-OH), Minority Leader; also runs GOP Leader
  13. John Boozman (R-AR)
  14. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
  15. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
  16. Paul Broun (R-GA)
  17. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
  18. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
  19. Dan Burton (R-IN)
  20. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
  21. Judge John Carter (R-TX)
  22. Mike Castle (R-DE)
  23. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
  24. Mike Coffman (R-CO)
  25. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
  26. John Culberson (R-TX)
  27. Artur Davis (D-AL)
  28. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  29. Mary Fallin (R-OK)
  30. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
  31. John Fleming (R-LA)
  32. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
  33. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
  34. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
  35. Trent Frakes (R-AZ)
  36. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
  37. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)
  38. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
  39. Dean Heller (R-NV)
  40. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
  41. Mike Honda (D-CA)
  42. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
  43. Bob Inglis (R-SC)
  44. Steve Israel (D-NY)
  45. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
  46. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
  47. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
  48. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
  49. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
  50. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH)
  51. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
  52. Randy Kuhl (R-NY)
  53. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), presidential candidate in 2008
  54. Tom Latham (R-IA)
  55. Robert Latta (R-OH)
  56. Chris Lee (R-NY) (unofficial?)
  57. Sandy Levin (D-MI)
  58. Cynthia Loomis (R-WY)
  59. Ben Lujan (D-NM)
  60. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
  61. Dan Manzullo (R-IL)
  62. Ken Marchant (R-TX)
  63. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
  64. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
  65. Buck McKeon (R-CA)
  66. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA)
  67. Kendrick Meek (D-FL)
  68. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
  69. Mike Michaud (D-ME)
  70. Candice Miller (R-MI)
  71. George Miller (D-CA), also runs Educ & Labor Democrats
  72. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ)
  73. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
  74. Glenn Nye (D-VA)
  75. Jim Oberstar (D-MN)
  76. Pete Olson (R-TX)
  77. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  78. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
  79. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House (unofficial)
  80. Mike Pence (R-IN)
  81. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
  82. Tom Perriello (D-VA)
  83. Chellie Pingrie (D-ME)
  84. Jared Polis (D-CO)
  85. Tom Price (R-GA)
  86. George Radanovich (R-CA)
  87. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
  88. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT)
  89. Dave Reichert (R-WA)
  90. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
  91. Tom Rooney (R-FL)
  92. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  93. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
  94. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
  95. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
  96. Aaron Schock (R-IL)
  97. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
  98. Joe Sestak (D-PA)
  99. Christopher Shays (R-CT)
  100. John Shimkus (R-IL)
  101. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
  102. John Sullivan (R-OK)
  103. Lee Terry (R-NE)
  104. Glenn Thompson (R-PA
  105. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
  106. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
  107. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
  108. John Yarmuth (D-KY)

Former U.S. Legislators

Newsroom 2.0 Makeover Tips

March 4, 2010 2 comments

Do you need an eXtreme MarCom 2.0 makeover for your online news page(s)?  Well, below are some tips for strategic consideration.

Public relations and marketing is all about the conversation and engagement, these days. Right?

And, depending on which camp you are in; communications, marketing or both, you can more effectively enable the “conversation” by shaping opinion, and opening the door towards selling the products, services and information you offer through MarCom 2.0.

MarCom 2.0 offers new ways to do business.  An evolved and matured communications model is continuous communications, strategically integrated across multiple channels. Consider, that if you are not part of where and how the new conversation is taking place then you could be missing huge opportunities with the advent of Now PR and the changing social media landscape.

In putting the cards on the table, I preface this post with the following obvious statements. And, I will never discount or dismiss that:

  1. Face-to face communication and personal relationship building is still very important and relevant.
  2. Research is key to excellent communication, marketing and business success.
  3. Traditional PR ethics, and methods still have significant value.

But, the times and new technologies are forcing us to change how we converse. And, it is time to consider restrategizing how to make use of MarCom 2.0 tools, and Internet enabled audiences by going where the people are located.

Key to your strategic planning questions, “Who are Your 2.0 Influencers?”  (Here is a  semi-relevant article, GovTech’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of 2010).

I assume,  if you are a PR, MarCom, marketing or communication professional, that your goal is to help the media, your constituents and your key influencers to do their job more efficiently to achieve your overall communication and business goals.  More, to the point, drive traffic, shape opinion, create change, win more business and win more clients with consistent continuous integrated communications.

The Internet never sleeps and it transcends all business time zones and media deadlines, 24/7/365, no matter where you are.

Hence, the term Now PR.

An online corporate newsroom with stagnant content and a lack of adequate media “engagement” could be minimizing your ability to sway public opinion, increase awareness about your products and services or simply marginalizing your ability to win new business.

I provide the following analogies purely for contextual consideration (and for some fun):

  1.  Would you still use a scythe, hay rack, horse and a single fixed steel plow blade, harrowing disks to “cultivate and harvest” or would you use a modern combines and ???  Wait, let me make the analogy more relevant to communications.
  2. Would you use a Gutenberg press, telegraph/tele-type, the linotype machine, or the typewriter  to issue your Brand, messaging  or news to those “harvesting” information about your company these days?  My, my, my we sure have come a long way.  We have so many more channels to chose from.  Bull horns are still optional, as well.

If you use one antiquated method, tactic, tool or channel you could be missing the boat. You do not have to swallow the entire elephant at one time. But, I preface, if you are not strategically  instituting incremental changes in moving towards communication 2.0, then you could be presenting your brand, your corporation or your agency as an out dated Linotype machine that it operates at a slow technological pace versus current day new media and other MarCom professionals who require new media formats and newer interactive elements. And, if well planned your Internet newsrooms can serve to meet many MarCom needs.

If you’ve built your online newsroom, and realize that your corporation, small business, organization, agency and/or Brand needs a makeover then the following tips can help in moving you towards making use of some new tools, new standards and evolving new interactive communication best practices to attract media,

Journalists, editors, and new business prospects require the basic nuts and bolts about who you are, what you do and how you do it. Before beginning your strategic communication 2.0 makeover, please make sure that you have the core communication basics covered by incorporating:

  1.  Your public relations/media contacts (who is your key editorial/media voice for your CEO & Company?
  2. Company basic facts
  3. Perspective on the industry/Your target business sectors/events/issues
  4. High resolution images for downloading/use by media (executive images, salient other images)
  5. Updated financial information ( private companies would not do so, but may provide a one pager on percent of growth, general sales/revenues and growth goals and growth direction
  6. Archived news releases by date ( possibly by key words as well)

Here are a some next steps for strategic communication 2.0 planning consideration:

  1.  If you are operating on limited funds, you might consider using some free resources already widely in practice on the Internet and even free open source and multi-platform distribution tools to save money and time (YouTube, Yahoo! News, Google News, Topix.com, bit.ly, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Ping.fim, SlideShare, IM Tools, Tubemogul and many others).
  2. Give your news room “legs” by enabling it to be more virtual, more viral and more mobile.
  3. Plan to incorporate Really Simple Syndication (RSS), Multi-media Syndication (MMS), and ShareThis.
  4. Incorporate an advanced search tool for news release archive, executive bios, E-press kits, key words.
  5. Further consider arranging your contacts by your line of business verticals, capability, growth/industry sector. You may want to also provide executive social media bios, consider offering speeches, presentations, a relevant and timely short video snippet, quotes and sector remarks.
  6. Incorporate Technorati’s functionality, it searches, tracks and organizes top blogs by topic and records timely up-to-date links relative to your subject matter/sector (technorati.com/about)
  7. White papers and research findings, and real-time subject/industry buzz metric graphs.
  8. Product and Service information.
  9. Provide an e-2.0, email,  status update bar, media content update functionality or Twitter alert functionality for media, editors, constituents, and journalists.
  10. E-press kits ( for core lines of business, events, initiatives & issues).
  11. For enhanced SEO/SEM, VSEM/VSEO, strategically build, use and replicate key word meta tags/cloud tags, alt tags and meta descriptions across multiple channels, within your back-end newsroom source code, videos, E-press kits, graphics, speeches, events, blogs and pictures.
  12. Create a multimedia library (High resolution photo library, video library, B-roll library, MP3 files).
  13. Create external links/iconic image links to other key social networks where your business and executives maybe networking (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, LinkedIn).
  14. Seriously consider your Twitter strategy and it’s value to your business.
  15. Link or steam media past, current or related industry coverage by using Digg.com and del.icio.us.
  16. Implement a new press release template, a social media news release (Stay tuned for from my next blog post on this topic). This new press release format should enable your intended targets, constituents, and media garner the information, materials, and interactive media from within the news release itself to allow them to more easily create that earned media story more efficiently.

These are just a few thoughts for strategically planning a MarCom 2.0 makeover.

Let me know what you think?

Useful?

Relevant?

Now PR & Social Commerce

December 1, 2009 1 comment

What insights can we possibly draw from with the deluge of communication intelligence available with respect to the use of social media and social commerce?  We are seeing a new stage, yet again, in the evolution of communication, wherein social media is intersecting with the advent of the new social paradigm.  Determining how to aggregate and make the most of the social context from personal profiles, social media sites is worthy of discussion.

I propose to fellow PR professionals and academia that there is a need to fill the gap between our traditional media, journalism and public communication training and practices with an opportunity to strategically plan for the concept of Nowism or NOW PR.  The real key here is the sustainability of the strategic integrated communications across multiple mediums.

But, how will PR professionals strategically move PR forward in this new era of Now Communications?

What is the real value of real-time communications?

If you are still putting out a single print press release in newspapers, doing little to no content updates on your Website, placing a single print advertisement in a local real estate booklet targeting potential home owners or in a poultry magazine for local chicken farmers, then ask yourself if is this still your best most effective strategic communication medium for results?

Recently, Forrester published a report, “The Future of the Social Web” where they sketched a timeline of the development of the Social Web, dividing its evolution into five eras. And, according to that report, the first era of the development of the Social Web started to explode the social relationships among users. 

In the social functionality phase, social relationships resulted in a greater social functionality where several websites started to add social functionalities to help users interact with their peers and to make use of new applications and tools within the context of their own personal social networks.

We are now in the next era/phase, that of Social Colonization, whereby technology platforms like Facebook Connect or Google Friend Connect have standardized social functionalities among websites and a majority of websites now include many social functionalities.   More specifically, in  January 2009, Compete.com study ranked Facebook as the most used social network by global monthly active users, followed by MySpace (see more on Facebook statistics).

If not right now, then very soon these  globally grouped identities, profiles and networks will allow PR professionals, organizations, agencies, businesses and people  to usher in the next era as a result of the interplay between Social Media, Data Mining and Electronic Commerce.

The challenge will be…is… to figure out how to theoretically adjust to these near real-time communication developments as it pertains to PR and public affairs professionals, social commerce and social technologists.  How will communication planning fit within the changing dynamic of our Social Context at any given minute and right NOW.  

Hence, there is a need for beginning a dialog on the future of strategic communication planning, now. What is the value of communication relative to the time between publication, consumption and influence? Just having a blog, a Facebook account, or Twitter profile does not make a social media strategy.  I see blogs and tweets, but no comments, no real engagement.  And, understanding the value of  continuous content doesn’t stop there. There are two other factors:

  • Relevance to the target audience/consumer
  • Ability to take action/engage (therefore possibly adopting new behaviors)

The Internet provides users the opportunity to merge information as a result of social communications, social networks, financial data, healthcare information, insurance data, usernames and passwords, PINs, accounts, networks, emails and more.  Linear measurement is dead. 

As we look towards the future, the PR profession will undoubtedly change as we have known it and now know it.  Our collective thoughts on where and how to strategically plan for near continuous communications is multi dimensional and will largely depend on how well PR firms/media, MarCom and public affairs professionals will be able to successfully adapt and plan for and apply new information management and communication models which will be derived from near continuous aggregated Data Mining tools as a result of the many Social Networks.

The potential of the Internet, social media and social commerce is the ability to consolidate and manipulate information with new applications of real-time data aggregation with the ability to ultimately take or enact more  immediate action. But, you have to stand above the ground swell and take a look at all the chatter.

The reason being that a person or target audience’s ability to take any action used to take years, months, weeks, then it was moderated with at least a 24 hour lag time…  now there is nearly no lag time.  New communication models will require immediate analysis and immediate communication. The new models of analysis will be a result of some of the following concepts:

Novel aggregate media, social communication, social commerce algorithms
• Mining semi-structured disparate, fragmented communication mediums and data
• Classification and ranking of disparate, fragmented communication mediums and data
• Social clustering and analysis
• Aggregated media clustering and media analysis
• Aggregated SMS text Mining and analysis

• Privacy preserved data modeling
• Statistical methods of social media context
• Aggregated internal, parallel and external distributed data mining
• Interactive online media mining
• Contextual multimedia mining (audio/video)
• Aggregated Website, link mining
• Aggregated Real-time Graphical Mining

PR professionals will be required to formulate how to make use of new information management for advanced strategic communication planning and tactical approaches as a result of the evolving Nowism of communication from social networks and social commerce. Are you ready?

Are you considering tbe Nowism of communications and planning for it? “The boundaries” of what the web is  or has to offer has become much more blurred.  It is very deep. It does go beyond Google’s link popularity ranking.   Is Twitter part of the web or part of something else?   Now the web, in a sense, is just everything, all the time.

In 1998, the NEC laboratory at Princeton published a paper on the size of the internet. Who could get something like that published now? You can’t talk about how big the internet is.  What is the circulation of total readers? Or, AQH? Because what is the metric? Social commerce isn’t like traditional media or “Web 1.0”. You don’t pay for eyeballs, average quarter hour listeners or clicks.

Possible future PR, media and communication applications providing a sort of “Visual Digital Sky” of aggregated communications might include: 

Aggregated Real-time Social Commerce statistics
• Aggregated Social Media Context
• Aggregated Real-time Blog Communication Trends/ Context
• Aggregated Community Trends
• Aggregated User Content Recommenders
• Real-time Communication Trends Discovery
• Real-time Blogs/Social Networks Community Dynamics
• Aggregated Near Real-time User Reviews Ranking on Brands, Products & Services
• Blogs/Social Networks Summations
• Real-time Abuse/Fraud Detection
• Immediate or near real-time User Profile Modelling
• Near Real-time Event Detection & Tracking of Social Media communications (see Twittermap.tv or Twittermap.us & aggregate it)
• As a result, instantaneous Online communications/Advertising/News ( see Topix.com)
• Aggregated Information Retrieval
• Aggregated Sentiment Analysis
• Aggregated Language Processing of Global Communications
• Aggregated Semantic Tagging/Cloud SEO/SEM

  • Aggregated Social Networking Search (see 123people.com)
    • Aggregated social network analysis with near real-time graphical analysis of complex global communications

We are seeing some of the above mentioned already, for example:

1) Consider Omgili. Omgili is the best way to find out what people are saying about anything and everything. Omgili is a way to find “subjective information”. As opposed to traditional search engines, which search for sites and pages, Omgili finds consumer opinions, debates, discussions, personal experiences, answers and solutions. Let’s say you want to see the buzz now about healthcare now. Omgili also allows on to create chatter graphs such as the one I added to my website for demonstration purposes.

2) MicroBlogging Relevance and Influence aggregators like Twitalyzer to evaluate the activity of any Twitter user and report on dozens of useful measures of success in social media, and the top real-time influencers on Twitter.

2) Individual reverse social media tracking such as 123people.com

3) Reverse Image Mining like TinEye:  http://www.tineye.com/faq#what

4) Twittermap.us or Twittermap.tv allows you see the aggregated live buzz on the street anywhere in the US or World and all twitter accounts from in a zoomed in locality

Audiences demographics, social context for a social commerce is near real time.

Are you prepared for Now PR?

If you would like strategic advisement or help please contact me via email at alicemfisher58@yahoo.com

Integration in a Fragmented Media World

October 12, 2009 3 comments

Like many, we all have our profiles set up in more than a few social networking sites. It could become a time consuming and complex task to keep up and in touch with all your friends and contacts from all these different networks. In my last post, I hinted at how fragmented communications has become. There are now tools that allow you to either post or connect across all the popular networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, GovLoop, Flickr, Friendster, Twitter, AIM, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger,  just to name a few.

Are you a media, marketing, social marketing, public affairs or communications strategist looking for ways to streamline your external communications outreach and increase the depth of your Internet penetration? You can accomplish a more mature communications model that mirrors near “continuous communications”  out to your target audiences.  And, you can do it across multiple online media channels. There are a few ways in which you can carry out this multi-tasking function.

You can either do it one by one with each individual channel with a single cut and peck-peck-peck method (no please don’t do that)  or you can do it simultaneously across all of your media channels posting from anywhere to everywhere.  

So, tonight, I want to mention a few tools which I personally like using, from an external communications perspective.   These do not require any IT investment except your time in learning how to use them. Really, it’s quiet simple.  They all are free.  Yep, no cost. Nada. I am sure there are similar tools out there and others are sprouting up through the Internet perma-frost even as I am typing this up (copycats, are a nice complement in adding to an already good thing).

I also personally believe these tools can help with more consistency in an organizations external messaging and driving increased awareness in a tough and highly competitive economy. 

The first tool I mention is for pushing/micro-blogging your messages out simultaneously. The second is for shortening your URL links (and making them trackable)  to save space  pointing people where you want to drive your target audience in a 140 character world. And, finally, the third  tool is for generally zooming down to a geographic area and “listening” to the buzz on the street, real-time. Remember, we have to listen to know what to say in order to resonate with our target audiences ( this is just one tool).

1) Ping.fm. Often it’s the (seemingly) simple applications that turn out to be the most powerful, and the most popular. Simplicity is beautiful.  Ping.fm is a service that allows you to easily update a host of social networking and social media profiles all at once, seeks to resolve the headache of needing to log into multiple accounts to send the same message to different groups of friends and contacts all over the Internet. Ping.fm also has a decent help Wiki for more information. 

Additionally, I like the fact that I can Ping right from my browser toolbar so simply that it makes my just giddy.  While for some, Ping.fm may just be a nice little time-saving utility, for social media and communication professionals, this service may well be THE killer app of our time.   Over the last few years communication patterns have shifted primarily from face-to-face communication to more online communication in email, IM, and other tools.    As more collaboration is being done remotely through technology, there are relatively fewer opportunities for face to face informal conversations. In addition to time constraints or human resource limitations at work due to employee downsizing, drilled down efficiencies can be useful.    To learn a bit more about Ping.fm read what’s on Wikipedia for some general information.

2) I am sure many of you have heard of or used Tinyurl.com. I believe it has the longest shelf life and was the first, dating back to about 2001/2002.  URL shortening is a technique where an individual can  make a web page available under a very short URL  in addition to the original address.   Since the launch of Tinyurl.com about 100 or similar sorts of URL shorteners have been born.  As of Spring 2009, Bit.ly over took Tinyurl’s usage on Twitter.   So I think it is safe to say, it has leading edge staying power.  I personally like Bit.ly because it also allows me to quasi track the results of  my link click through rates in real-time. It has some other good features as well. I came across an article that talks about some of the others, of course each one has its pros anc cons.  For example, tr.im is another one which uses your Twitter account as your login, making it a sure-fire hit if it keeps up the rest of its services as well.  A great one to try, it might surprise you.  And then you have U.nu which creates the smallest URLs of any shortener, with only about 8 characters for each new URL  created(not including the “http://”).  That’s mighty tiny.  The point is, that you have some choices with regards to shortening your long Webpage URLs for all your external communications so you can drive people exactly where you want them to go with a compelling message and then track that link’s click results.   Anyone still hand typing paper press releases anymore and faxing them?  Really, you can do it all with in the blink or wink of an eye, well almost. Now, that’s affordable and near continuous communications.

3)  Visual Trends Map on Twitter topics being discussed or micro-blogged about in real-time. You really can get a pulse of what’s hot and what’s being talked about in specific geographic areas. Just incredible. And, then you can formulate and message and respond using the tools mentioned.

If one thing communications has taught me is that it is a constantly evolving medium. Never static, either in the evolution of the language we use or the medium in which we communicate through.  We started with fire and smoke signals, sticks drawing in the dirt, painting on cave walls, pen and ink, the Gutenberg Press, newspapers,  the telegraph, the LinoType, telephone, Radio, TV, Internet, Cellphones and so on to name just a few media landmarks (not necessarily in exact chrono order). 

Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type in 1452, was deemed “the most influential man of the millennium.” The first book printed in the colonies was in 1640. The first publisher was Lipincott.   And, Thomas Jefferson was a radical for his defense of Free Speech.  That old press release written in AP style? And, Ivy Lee, a PR genius.  It was created to fit into the evolution of communication by using a new tool with the advent of electronic transmissions across telegraph wires, dating back to the early 1900’s.  And, YES indeedy here we are in 2009  and we are still formatting our press releases the very same way we did 103 years ago.  Why?  Much has changed. Some things have not.

Your organization’s lead news ‘graph of 21 words or less in a 350 word press release should be considered a historical dinosaur (forgive me, being a PR professional, I should know better than to even whisper such).   It begs a few content related communication and distribution upgrades.  No, an extreme makeover.

Is that press release formatted for continuous instant consumption to fit in a 140 character Tweet?  Is it formatted for today’s “telegraph wire” in 2009? And, is that press release just sitting on your Website with a hyperlink to it sitting there percolating on your server going no where, with scads and scads of other press releases from years and years and years  ago?

There are, of course, still some resonating repeating themes from the original press release objective.  And, I encourage you to read the article to see if you can pick out a few?  I will wait, go check that link right there just above this line.

Open, transparent communication?  Hmmmm.   As this post draws to a close highlighting three useful online tools,  it leads me to yet another area for exploration.  Web 2.o enabled social media press rooms and social media press releases, can they still accomplish the Who, What, When, Where and Why in an inverted pyramid format?    Should we?   We we are to achieve open and transparent communications, we may well need to recraft out media relations is formatted, tactically accomplished and transmitted.  

Stay tuned for more.  Are you ready? Are your Website media “rooms” Web 2.0 enabled? Are  your press releases Web 2.0 enabled?

Have we come full circle?  Are we not still saying and wanting the very same things today that were echoed in 1906?  

What is your idea of the best Social Media Press Release for a main stream best practice?  There are some samples out there already floating around and being test driven, talked about and even used.  What do you think? 

Well, until Web 2.0 enabled press releases become mainstream, I hope you will see the potential value at least in the three tools I mentioned tonight to help with some of your organization’s external communication efforts. We may not be able to physically integrate all the media channels, but we can closer to streamlining our external communication efforts using these tools.

Have a good day everyone!

Alice M. Fisher

If you would like strategic advisement or help please contact me via email at alicemfisher58@yahoo.com                       Follow @Unlimitedpr  Twitter                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Resume & Profile: http://bit.ly/3kuiuV

Media Landscape Part II

October 10, 2009 3 comments

Well, yesterday  I wrote about the fact that PEW’s 2009 State of the Media Report findings indicated that in the U.S. only about 34% of the population is reading newspapers (personally, I think that is a bit high) and of that number, the readership population is predominantly an older generation, with a few younger audiences  scattered throughout.  Newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23% in the last two years. Some papers are in bankruptcy, and others have lost three-quarters of their value.

By recent calculations, nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone, and 2009? Well, that remains to be seen.

And, today, I read AP news and a few others want to charge money for online news content.  “AP, News Corp bosses tell search engines and bloggers that it is time to pay up” Would you pay for online news?  I am not as versed on the international media landscape, but I am sure changes are being felt or noticed overseas as well. I did find a traditional media landscape for Europe for anyone who wants to dig into that area a bit deeper.  But, I digress.

OK, so, does AP and the top News Corp bosses sound a bit panicked here? are they mad?  Is this an attempt to recover from their own dismal landslide in revenues, as previously noted in the Pew 2009 State of the Media Report? I welcome opinions.

Long story short, print media, i.e. newspapers are struggling.  And, if you are unaware of the social media landscape, then developing your strategic public affairs or media relations plan for your organization could render results less than spectacular- you could be in a print newspaper black hole and not even know it.  But, who is reading print these days anyway?  As I mentioned in my previous blog, only about 34% of the people are doing so. And, what predominant age group? 65+ years old. Is this the circle of influencers or your target audience that you want to reach?  I beg, please dig deeper.

When I stumble across companies jumping into the waters of social media unaware “because everyone is doing it or  because it’s the hottest thing out there”, or because public relations agencies are pushing social media practices as a “must have” for their clients as part of their new tool box of capabilities-I become just a little nervous.  But, contrary to what many may say, social media is not a silver bullet, nor is it ideal for every company. It’s a strategy that should be carefully and strategically researched and considered and its subsequent tools which are designed to take companies to where their target audiences are already conversing.

So, today I want to look at what that “new landscape” might look like with a bit more depth. Ultimately, our goal should be to prepare to advance from the basic direct one-way communication strategy, using those basic media tools of yesterday to a more aligned two-way continuous communications model/strategy where there is true engagement.  How, might you ask?

Before you start touting social media, please make sure your own site, your own news room, and press releases are Web 2.0 enabled. Are your own senior executives embracing and using the new media landscape?

Well, first off you need to know what the new media landscape looks like.  With a little research I came across a great little visual source which I just have to share which is a little farther below. After taking a look at it, I image you may be saying…”How can you achieve continuous communications across so many channels, simultaneously?  Believe me, there is a way to do this with a couple strategies. But, stay tuned, as I will get to that on my next blog post.  Now back to our landscape work.

Like I said, being aware of the media landscape is important.  The traditional media sources should not be completely ignored nor forgotten but part of your entire media mix.  Therefore, I am providing a couple of links to the top 100 US newspapers , the top 100 international newspapers, top radio stations by state and DMA as well as TV networks. We will now take into consideration the “other new” channels.

There is no question that social media is responsible for a dramatic shift in the relationship between those who produce news and those who consume it.  And, both traditional and new media are very fragmented.  But, consider it another step in the evolution of a more mature continuous communications model.  YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, to name just a few, are all incorporating innovative uses of the Internet.  Who are the top dogs (Websites) in the US?

News subscribers are no longer defined as simple recipients of news, getting information by only reading newspapers, watching television or listening to reports on the radio.  Today, consumers of news are also gatherers and distributors of news: they take part in creating it, capturing it, re shaping and disseminating it.

In fact, in a survey of 50 radio newsrooms in the top 50-markets, News Generation uncovered the impact that social media is having in the newsroom.  The survey found that nearly half of the newsrooms (45%) use Twitter and Facebook, to offer their technologically savvy audiences an extension to conventional radio to provide another broadcast platform.  But, there are so many other channels within the social media construct. Therefore, I would like to introduce the social media prism, a lense through which each petal represents a social media channel.

social_media_landscape

Source: Strategically, as a communications professional or agency professional, you should want to find yourself at the center of the prism – whether you’re observing, listening or participating. So, with this conversation landscape noted above, how does one manage all the channels?  How can you be “one with a channel” or even begin to strategize and garner results with this much fragmentation?  Does it make you dizzy just thinking about it?  But, to resonate, to be heard, to listen, to be in the mix, you do have to have some idea of what it all looks like and who is out there.

From my observations, there seems to be four main Web 2.o usages that have evolved.  And, the various topical usage tools and services displayed in this landscape are listed below.

1. Expressing tools allow users to express themselves, discuss and  their social life:

2. Sharing tools allow users to publish and share content:

3. Networking tools allow users to search, connect and interact with each other’s:

4. Playing services that now integrate strong social features:

But, for the communication professional, public affairs, media relations professional do you have to be on top and up to speed on all of them and have uptine # of channel masters working each one? I can hear someone saying in the background now, “I am going to have a media meltdown. How can I keep up?”

Is media still top down? Is it direct one-way communications any more?  Or, is it top down and bottom up simultaneously? Anyone have other thoughts on this evolving social media landscape?  Hurry, it will change yet again! :)

Next, we will look at how to distribute through and connect across multiple media channels after you have strategically performed your target audience research.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Sincerely, Alice M. Fisher


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