A little bit of here and there and everywhere has led me to New Hampshire.
I love this post. LOVE IT.
I will say it over and over again to anyone who will listen to me: strong readers make strong writers. If you are writing and are not reading a lot, you are handicapping yourself needlessly. Especially reading literary fiction--in addition to writing better, there are recent studies that show that people who read literary fiction are actually more empathetic. Being empathetic helps people understand others better, which means that conveying messages (aka, storytelling) will be more natural.
All of the other points are great too.
1 week ago on Improve Your Writing with Six Writerly Hobbies
Registered. Anything I can do to help!
3 weeks ago on Become a Spin Sucks Brand Ambassador
This is hilarious--excellent work, Howie! Happy birthday to YOOOOOOUUUU, Gini!
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Follow Monday: Say Happy Birthday to Gini Dietrich!
I am really, really enjoying this series and like the idea of breaking long-form content into "digestible" bites. I love reading a well-written and thoroughly researched article, but I think it's tough to process on a daily (or multiple-times daily) basis. Long form content (done well) *should* be rewarded by Google, and I'm glad to see that happening. However, it also has to be read, and I think that given most peoples' time constraints, their ability to do so on a regular basis will actually be quite limited. Breaking it down makes a lot of sense.
And yes, yes, yes on the research. When I was in college I *loved* helping friends bolster their research efforts--digging to find material was just so much fun for me. (Nerd alert, apparently.) I'm wondering if there's an opportunity there somewhere for research assistance, because I see that as likely being the bigger challenge for many, as really good research does take time.
1 month ago on The Role of Long-Form Content in Brand Journalism
Fascinating. I'm interested to see how this plays out for them. I'm also somewhat struck by the repeat of the number 7: stop working the fields every 7 years, TED talk person who closes every 7 years, and we hear of the "7 year itch" in relationships. I'm always interested/curious if things like this have some sort of biological switching mechanism to them (or some other science-y explanation) because it's weird to keep bumping into the same thing over and over.
1 month ago on The Power of Time Off
Am I the only one who thinks of this clip when I think too much about sponsored content?
1 month, 1 week ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content
@jono.smith that's a really good point. I wonder if ROI is a part of this--it certainly should be.
This from Chipotle certainly seems like an interesting branded-content push--a theatrical mini-series on Hulu about industrialized farming. Very interesting--clearly, the branded content is working for them because this doesn't look like it was an inexpensive endeavor.
@JoeCardilloAgreed on the journalism aspect being key. I don't think 2,000 word pieces should become routine by any stretch of the imagination. But an example of a long-form piece from a communicator that really needed to be longer is Shel Holtz's recent response to the "content crash" piece by Mark Schaefer (and, this post is *very* interesting in light of that discussion). Shel walked through--thoroughly--reasons why we are not facing an imminent "content crash." It was a long, thoughtful piece that was serious and definitely more valuable because of the detail it contained.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Long-Form Content: It’s Time We Take it Seriously
First, I'm glad to see this. I can't tell you how many times I've read a blog post and thought "that's it? There's so much more to this (story/issue/topic)." Then again, I have an attention span that is apparently an anomaly these days.
Long-form content, like long-form journalism, has a place in the market. Sometimes people *want* more detail. They *want* to learn something.
On how this will be executed--well, I had a flashback to college and producing papers that had required lengths (8-10 pages, 20 pages minimum, etc.). The page lengths were required because you were supposed to be doing real research. Some students will do the research and write long, thoughtful papers. Others will do almost none of the work and turn in page after page of filler words. Hopefully Google has an algorithm that will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Generally speaking, as someone who both likes to write AND who believes that there is a place for long-form, thoughtful content, I am happy to see this.
@lauraclickThat's a really good question. Maybe it's because some companies only acquiesce to hiring a PR firm when they pressed to, thinking that they *could* do it themselves if they only had the time. So they think they are hiring a pair of hands really, not a brain.
2 months ago on Traditional PR, Alone, Cannot Create Conversions
Looking forward to the chat recommencing in January!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Monday Roundup: A Goodie Bag of #measurePR
" I have been accused of being ethical to a fault,"
IMHO, there is no such thing. We rise and fall on our reputations, and PR is a reputation business. Anyone who advises doing anything counter to this is doing themselves and the business a disservice.
Thanks for writing this important piece.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on PR Firm Accused of Wikipedia Sockpuppetry
Ah, I so adore this post. Reading fiction has so many benefits (they've done studies that show that people who read fiction are more empathetic and are better at reading the moods of others--that has direct applicability in business settings).
Writing fiction is a wonderful challenge. If people don't think they have the time to write fiction, try flash fiction. It's stories by paragraph, practically. I'm extremely lucky that New Hampshire has a very vibrant writing community--there are writer's nights out, tons of workshops, and the New Hampshire Writer's Project is a wonderful resource. Writing fiction helps your non-fiction writing in so many ways. Storytelling is a key component in marketing and persuasion, is it not?
4 months ago on Fiction, Write Club, and Content Creation
@CarissaRettig That is really good to know. Since this was a landlord/tenant situation, I doubt the original owner of the dog felt that it was in her power to suggest to her landlord to change companies. I am a dog owner, and I know our insurance company asks "what kind of dog?" when we update our policy (she's a mutt, so no clear answer!). I'm glad to know there are companies out there doing the right thing, thank you for posting that.
4 months, 1 week ago on Suspect in Puppy Doe Case Faces 11 Counts of Cruelty
The other thing that should be addressed in light of this case is the issue of insurers banning certain breeds. This entire situation could have been avoided had the original landlord not felt he would lose his homeowner's insurance for having this (sweet, loveable) dog on the property. Breed-specific language must be addressed too, in addition to much, much stiffer penalties for abusing animals.
Congrats! What great news. Have fun with it!
4 months, 2 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Our New Client Services Director
@jolynndeal I think airlines are by nature more reactionary than proactive when it comes to planning. My husband and I were scheduled to fly to England around the time that the alphabet-soup volcano decided to erupt. It seemed as though not one airline, nor the industry in general, had any idea on how to proceed with...anything. They had no idea what to do with stranded passengers. No idea what to do with people who were scheduled to fly out. And so on.
Now, I will acknowledge that a volcano erupting is not a normal course of business thing to plan around, but that's *exactly* what crisis planning is supposed to prepare them for. I just don't think they plan well at all (at least on customer-facing issues, like yours). The only thing that makes sense to me is that they don't want to spend the money.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Social Media Crisis Management: Lessons Learned from British Airways
My guess--and that's all it is, a guess--on the 9-5 is that while they have customer service running 24/7, they probably have not spent the money to integrate social into the customer care functionality. So, it's residing in the Comms/PR department, where 95% of the time, the 9-5 is sufficient.
It's the remaining 5% that is full of sharp, rusty nails--the dangerous stuff that can fester and cause a brand damage. Airlines are not running on the healthiest profit margins, so spending the money to buy an integrated system is likely considered a nice to have, not a must have (and frankly as a member of the traveling public, I'd say well-rested pilots and safe planes should be higher on the priority list). Given their size, they do probably want and need some controls or training on *who* they allow to respond (because we'd perhaps be seeing a different "geez, don't they know X" story here in this one's place), which does necessitate a fancy system. Having all of your customer service people on Tweetdeck won't cut it. Long story short, they've likely done a cost/benefit analysis and decided that they would chance it.
This shouldn't be construed as making excuses for them--they ABSOLUTELY should not have led with "hey, we're only open 9-5." Step 1: apologize, sincerely and profusely. Then solve the problem.
Thinking of you. As always, let me know if you need anything.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on When Life and S**t Happens