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Forget Illustrator, CorelDraw and all those complicated, expensive vector drawing tools.  You can create handy graphics in PowerPoint (flat and 3D boxes, arrows, circles, etc.) and export them to JPG or, better, transparent PNG images that can be layered on other images and photos. The geeky trick in PowerPoint is to create the image from the huge library of stock shapes, then select "Edit Points" to customize.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on 3 Free PR Photo Hacks

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Nicely done Sara, this post clears up a lot of the confusion on how to use CC images and graphics.

6 months, 3 weeks ago on 12 Most Common Things To Know About Creative Commons

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To RFP or not to RFP.  I think I may need to put together a SWOT analysis to assess the pros, cons, risks & benefits of proceeding down this path to new business. ;-)


6 months, 3 weeks ago on Why I’m done with RFPs (for now)

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I always suspected that Solis hit the concrete/steel ceiling and realized he wasn't going to drive the Disruption Economy by spending his life calling reporters to see if they got his press release.  Thanks for confirming, Frank. 

11 months, 1 week ago on Why We Can’t Just be PR Pros Anymore

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See hammer. See nail. See Frank Strong hit nail dead center.

12 months ago on 4 PR Fundamentals Every Business Leader Needs to Know

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Great reality check and comments from the PR/marketing tribe. In an ideal world, companies and prospects would hit the bookmark button and join in on the discussion. 

1 year ago on Hiring a PR Firm: There is a Time Investment Required

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A good strategy,but not without potential pitfalls.  Part of the success may be based on whether there is a prior relationship (connection) with the target or the target is familiar with you or your work (reputation). There are perhaps two outcomes: 1) the target sees the mention as a mutually beneficial sharing of content; or 2) the target views the mention "out of the blue" as a solicitation. There's also the saturation factor akin to being pinged (poked) constantly with LinkedIn endorsements.  What happens when everyone starts doing it? 

1 year ago on Twitter Targeting: Sharing Content with Laser Focus

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These freebies beat anything handed out during the heyday of the biggest(?) show in Vegas: Comdex. The PC company I worked for used to laminate business cards to make ersatz luggage tags. Compared to gourmet popcorn, wine and stuffed animals to take home to the kiddies, big whoop, eh? 

1 year ago on What IT Vendors are Giving Away at Trade Shows

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@Frank_Strong You are probably correct. Google will set a standard and the other engines will line up behind. I think when we see how this plays out (and if the algorithm is onerous to commerce), tweaks may be in order.  Or releases will just return to the good old pre-pixelated days.

1 year, 1 month ago on Google to Clamp Down on Press Release Anchor Text

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I think I might mosey on over to Google's PR zone and see how the links, anchors and keywords are playing out in it's press releases. Does Yahoo or Bing rule the roost in the same manor? 

1 year, 1 month ago on Google to Clamp Down on Press Release Anchor Text

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@jelenawoehr You may be correct, but there are a lot of posts that say you should not do it at all without linking back to the source and clearly identifying that the post is a reprint or excerpt. Regarding your reference to Google's intelligence quotient, I have two words: Google Reader.

1 year, 1 month ago on Six Tips for Better Public Speaking

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@ginidietrich I actually was referring to Google punishing sites that duplicate content.  That's new in Panda. No concerns? 

1 year, 1 month ago on Six Tips for Better Public Speaking

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Enjoyed this when it ran on Orbit last month. Sideways question. Gini, so Google Panda doesn't punish for the dupe posting as long as you add "A version of this first appeared on....." or similar words, plus a link back to the original post?


1 year, 1 month ago on Six Tips for Better Public Speaking

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Media relations (aka getting ink) in the pre-social era was the focus of the PR biz, and company executives expected good coverage, and lots of it.  PR was, unfortunately, narrowbanded into what editors do you know and how soon can you get a story in <insert big name publication here>. Yes, PR could do many other things (messaging development, reputation enhancement, news promotion via releases, events, trade shows, etc.). But at the end of the day you knew the Powers That Be measured your value in column inches. Best thing that ever happened to the PR profession was the disintermediation of traditional news media gatekeepers, and the broadening of PR beyond its perception as a One Trick Pony.  PR as a "communications" function has been enriched by the more robust domains of earned, owned, shared and (previously outside of our purview because we weren't supposed to touch dollars) paid media.  

1 year, 2 months ago on The Four Different Types of Media

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Frank, a smart post and a ton of information and links to chew on.  You and other writers such as Mark Traphagen and Jeremiah Owyang have made and continue to make a rock-solid case for the merits of search and G+.  Thanks for adding to my study list and referencing my oldie but goodie.

1 year, 7 months ago on Google+ Authorship is a Game Changer

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 @crestodina Thanks Andy.  I admire your work and bizdev strategies, plus your ideas and suggestions will be especially helpful in my new role as a CM. 

1 year, 9 months ago on How To Promote Your Website

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Nice primer and in plain (non-geek) English. Very helpful for new businesses and always a good way to reinforce your tactics & approaches.

1 year, 9 months ago on How To Promote Your Website

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Interesting topic that focuses on who is the creator of an original idea or theme.  I don't think that the age issue necessarily originated with Cathryn Sloan, since there have been prior posts on who is best to run your social media (education, experience, accomplishments and...age). Sloan's incendiary moment cascaded (her 15 minutes?) into a significant response.  The writers who didn't choose to cite the original ember may have attempted to create the perception of an original topic choice (journalistic intent?) or simply didn't think that they needed to attribute the trending topic during its brief run (cavalier journalism?). We could push for standards of attribution, but I think common courtesy is about the best we can hope for in the Wild Wild West of our new journalism.

1 year, 11 months ago on Should Journalists Be Required to Link to Inspiration Sources?

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After I saw the movie Borat, two things crossed my mind:  1) this was a really funny movie and; 2) Sacha Baron Cohen can't make a Borat 2.  Sacha's version of an R-rated Candid Camera is a one trick pony.  Now that we now all know who Ryan Holiday is (never heard of him until now) and what he is not (a public relations person), the PR/marketing profession can be assured that Ryan won't be interviewed by the New York Times anytime soon as an expert on neutrino particle degradation or cited in a National Geographic post on best digital camera choices for an Antarctica expedition. 

 

Perhaps the most amusing part of Ryan's quest for his 15 minutes of page views was his interview by George Knapp on the national Coast to Coast AM radio show on July 22.  In that interview, Ryan referred to HARO, the service he scammed, as: 1) "a secret service"; 2) "a secret social network" and; 3) "a secret backroom" for journalists and sources.  Really?  A secret?  Ryan, if you checked some sources you'd find the "secret" phase of the PR business existed before you skipped out of college at 19, when companies and clients mostly had to rely on public relations pros to connect with media. Peter Shankman disrupted that business model with HARO, creating a free tool to enable anybody to directly pitch story sources or expertise to media, without the need for PR intermediaries/gatekeepers.  And by anybody, that means, in Ryan's words to the millions of Coast to Coast listeners, "publicists and hustlers and self-promoters."  Much to the dismay of some PR people who once enjoyed total control of the process, HARO is about as secret as Tucker Max's well-exercised liver or his personal struggle with social etiquette.

 

But enough of the Ryan Show.  When this story hit the radar, the first thing I did was look at the clients and companies that have hired Ryan Holiday or engage him today for his "promotional" (not PR) services.  We are often a reflection of the clients and companies that hire us for public relations and marketing counsel.  And it goes both ways.  The company you keep, in our brave, new transparent world, is revealing. 

 

2 years, 1 month ago on Trust Me I’m Lying: How One Person is Hurting an Entire Industry

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 @ginidietrich Gini, you really find PR people resisting the linkage of PR with sales?  That's ultimately what companies want to believe and know,  The problem is there's always been a dotted line relationship between PR and sales; it's difficult to prove.  As soon as PR makes the suggestion, the folks in the sale department usually step in and circle the wagons around their commissions, quarterly bonuses and MBO payouts.  But I haven't finished your book yet, so perhaps (intentional plug) Marketing in the Round will offer some new approaches to selling PR=Sales to the C-Suite.

2 years, 3 months ago on PR defined: PR is about third-party validation

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All the more reason for journalism students to minor in journalism and major in computer science.  Based on the changes and updates at Facebook, Klout, et al, whoever writes the algorithm controls the outcomes.  There will be liberal editorial algorithms, conservative editorial algorithms and algorithms that (still) won't care about your news release.

2 years, 4 months ago on Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story than Humans?

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Eventually you will get to it, but you probably want to include listening, monitoring and tracking ROI against defined metrics and C-Suite objectives.  

2 years, 4 months ago on 6 “must-have” elements to a “digital PR” workshop

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Paul's issue with billable hours (via his book) reflects the "rounding up" abuses by some agencies. The padding of hours. The absurd agency demand  for account execs to turn in time sheets with a minimum 40 billed hours per week.  I've billed both ways, and you can corral the billable hours tornado by establishing a monthly *budget ceiling* with each client.  That effectively is a sliding retainer that cannot exceed an agreed upon total amount per month.  The upside for clients is they don't pay for slow months or when assignments throttle down. The best of both worlds.  You can obliterate billable hours from the PR and marketing lexicon. But you still have to account for your time. At the end of the day, you have to know whether you are making $10 per hour or $200 per hour, else you have no way to assess margins and profitability.  It matters.  And if the client doesn't buy into a one-size-fits-all flat monthly fee and only will pay for actual work hours completed, you're on the clock or you do business elsewhere. It's good to be flexible in this biz.

2 years, 5 months ago on 10 Rules for Transforming Your Agency

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Gini, thanks for the insider view.  I had read the posts by Mitch and Chris. Cool to see the full spectrum.  I believe that leaves two left on the Norway list to share their secrets.

2 years, 5 months ago on The Spin Sucks Blogging Process

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 @TedWeismann I hear you.  End of an era.  It was a good run while it lasted and we did make a difference for companies. The market dynamic has changed, along with our business.  Talk about disruption...

2 years, 5 months ago on #FollowFriday: Ted Weismann

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"...overnight, there were less opportunities to land reviews." 

Ted, you can say that again.  I thought I was the only one who noticed that the tech product review game fizzled shortly after the dot-com bust.  For tech companies with products, that was once a very robust component of a public relations program, especially in the 1980s and 1990s.  It morphed into scant opps with traditional media reviewers who became bloggers and a new crop of pseudo "review" sites that turned into bottomless pits for products that had slim chances for reviews and sometimes a tough effort to get them returned. 

2 years, 5 months ago on #FollowFriday: Ted Weismann

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If public relations is a science, the Scientific Method might then apply to its practice.  Where's the laboratory for developing theory, testing, replication of results and analysis?

2 years, 5 months ago on Public Relations: Art or Science?

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Great post, Jay, thanks.  A lot of good actionable business ideas, especially things NOT to do.  Look forward to the new site. Eddie Rabbitt? I pegged you as a Boz Scaggs guy.

2 years, 5 months ago on Fight Premature Monetization – Add a Second Step to Your Content Marketing

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Thanks for the recap and interesting details on your Olso trip.  I was the guest of a Danish family near Copenhagen some years back.  Everyone speaks English as well.  My hosts said there was no issue about that; it was a practical decision to teach English because the citizens recognized no one was going to learn Danish (outside of Denmark).

2 years, 5 months ago on #FollowFriday: Arnt Eriksen

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Did I miss it?  You did not factor in your recurring monthly cost for Internet service which is the heart of your content streaming.  Also, unless you live "in range" of a major metropolitan node, the antenna solution won't pull in HD channels for most of suburbia.  And when your internet provider starts charging you by the gigabyte, Netflix streaming will not be the bargain that it is today.  It's coming; see what Time-Warner is test marketing in some markets.  The cable and DSL companies are not ignoring your solution.  You are still using their pipe, and they already charge a premium for Internet-only customers.

2 years, 6 months ago on How I cut the cable cord (and saved $5,000)

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