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Agreement is not "good TV," but I agree with all your points. Sometimes,
you can get to the right place for the wrong reason(s). I can't figure
out why someone didn't point out to Marcus -- before he hit the send
button -- that someone will leak the memo and he needs to craft his
words with this in mind.
3 weeks ago on Internal Communications Lessons from a PayPal Fiasco
Great list Frank. I hadn't heard of Benson, Sugarrae, and ViperChill. Personally, I'm a fan of Moz.
Your line, " ... it requires consistent study and experimentation" cuts the crux of matter. I think PR professionals can get intimidated by the technical side of SEO. Instead, there's logic in looking at organic search as a natural extension of PR.
Because the foundation of both comes down to content that serves the target audience(s).
1 month ago on Social Media Gurus and the Foolhardy Trend to Bash SEO
@Frank_StrongThe topic does touch a nerve. No blogger including me wants to toil in obscurity. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why other PR blogs with dull (or worse) content attracted tons of readers and I struggled to reach beyond my Mom's mahjong circle. The irony isn't lost on me that it took a good three years for me to figure out the "product" is only part of the equation.The marketing, defined broadly to include social, is just as important. I hate to say this but I'm convinced great marketing will bring readers to a mediocre blog, but great posts go no where with mediocre marketing.
One last point--
You've earned the right with your readers to periodically stray into topics other than PR. If you feel strongly about something, the hell with the clicks. Share your point of view. Even if the traffic is modest, such posts go a long way toward shaping your voice.
2 months ago on Reflections: 5 Lessons Readers Taught Me in 2013
I enjoy and learn from your blog. There are
literally hundreds -- perhaps even thousands -- of blogs that address
the communications industry. In short, there's vicious competition vying for
I don't think the key to success lies in
pleasing the reader. I think the key to rising above the "noise" comes
down to offering fresh takes with writing that's easy on the eyes.
That's what you do.
Fortunately, sustaining one's "fresh
voice" over time will result in a growing readership. While this goes
back to your point on relationship building, it's also a byproduct of
organic search. Bastardizing a Woody Allen line, the mere act of
publishing will add traffic, again over time.
but not least for bloggers in the trenches like the two of us, social
shares can generate huge swings in attention. It's not just the volume,
but the "who" as well.
After establishing a quid pro quo
with Steve Farnsworth, I've seen a 20% jump in traffic. Obviously, this
has nothing to do with writing better posts that resonate with readers.
It's about exposure and that crazy concept called marketing.
Wishing you more readers in 2014.
I hear you Howard, but to take a given campaign and ask the PR team to brainstorm visual assets for the campaign isn't such a big project. It's more a case of PR pros being conditioned to think in terms of words when it comes to narrative.
3 months, 1 week ago on Six Digital Media and PR Lessons From 2013
Enjoyed the post Martin. While I agree with your point on transmedia storytelling, the concept can sometimes overwhelm the PR team. Simply embracing visual #storytelling and thinking in terms of visual assets can make for a good first step.
@LynnMcConaugheyThe question of morality in regards to an agency taking on a client is a tough one. As you put it, these things are rarely "black and white." One could argue that even Russia falls into the gray area.
We ran into a situation earlier in the year when an online company that facilitates infidelity approached our Asia Pacific team for PR support. Our AP head called me to say the management team had decided to take a pass. A check around the region showed no one was comfortable working for this company.
That's not a bad litmus test. If people who are intrinsically curious and always up for a challenge say "this doesn't feel right," it's probably not.
5 months, 1 week ago on Ketchum and the Putin OpEd Create Disclosure in Media Relations Debate
Gini, I agree with your broad point. But I also think it's
reasonable to hold journalists accountable for framing their stories
Rewinding the tape to the Burson whisper campaign on behalf of Facebook, yes the firm should have been transparent and shared the name
of the client. However, until Christopher
Soghoian posted his exchange with the BM rep on the Internet and Daily
Beast blogger at the time Dan Lyons connected the dots, many journalists used the same information from BM to write their stories ... without
the context of knowing who was footing the bill for BM’s work. I
suppose this dimension didn't get any play because laziness doesn't make
for good copy.
As a more recent example, the New
York Times ran a story a couple weeks ago called the "Boy Genius of Ulan
Bator." There's no question in my mind that MIT's communications team
placed this story as part of its thought leadership campaign around
MOOCs. For 99.9% of readers, they simply see a feel-good story (with the
MOOC "medicine" sugar coated). Would their impressions from the story
change if they knew MIT placed the story. Probably. At the very least,
the reader becomes guarded in absorbing the information.
@Frank_Strong One message I took away from the treatise is the inordinate emphasis Google puts on fresh content. I have noticed this but didn't put any thought into it until now. I thought my blog moving up from searches like [storytelling techniques] was a byproduct of gaining "authority" over time. In retrospect, it seems to be a benefit from new stuff.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Google to Clamp Down on Press Release Anchor Text
Enjoyed the post.
These brand studies are a little like the Mark Twain quote about "lies, damned lies and statistics." Naturally, companies package up selected pieces of information to put their best foot forward.
I also think the airline industry makes for an interesting petri dish when it comes to brand study. With limited choices for a given route -- plus how many airlines truly delight in the eyes of the customer -- I suspect there's more value in translating "familiarity" into sales in the airline industry.
I wrote a post last year on United called "The Worse Customer Service Narrative in the History of Branding" www.ishmaelscorner.com/2012/03/06/the-worst-customer-service-narrative-in-the-history-of-branding/ making the case that "putting that best foot forward' can be illusive.
6 months, 1 week ago on Delta: How the World’s Worst Brand can also Be the Best
Gini, Glad you wrote this post. Tom Foremski like many good journalists likes to provoke, but his track record as a prognosticator of the PR industry is a bit spotty. When the economic model of publishing started to crater Tom predicted doom for PR agencies with fewer people/publications to pitch. Fast forward to today and the opposite has happened.
I completely agree with your point- Google is doing us a favor. "It’s making us better" (though I'll miss those "cheap" links).
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Don’t Die PR Agencies! What the Recent Google Changes Really Mean
@Frank_Strong Now, I get it. Thanks.
7 months ago on Reading: Indie PR CEOs Frown on Omnicom-Publicis Merger
I suppose it's natural that independents would take the position that girth does not equal good.
Many of the media stories shared Gini's view that the scale would help the merged entity when it comes to the purchase of media from the Facebooks and Googles of the world. I must be dense because I don't get this point.
@martinwaxman Sorry about that. I suppose getting the first consonant right only takes me so far.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Community Management is the New PR
@martinwaxman Mark, it's interesting that you used the word "humor." For the longest time, we tried to push clients toward the H word with mixed results. Since changing to "levity," our success rate has improved. The way one client explained to me, levity = amusement while humor = laughter which in turn makes the levity bar much lower (and less scary).
When I first read the holy grail is "community management" I'm thinking that's a leap worthy of Evel Knievel. Yet, you lay out a pragmatic road map for getting there.
I think there's a "killer app" in not only swearing off the corporate speak, but bringing levity to the table. Because this type of communications scares so many companies, there's even more of an opportunity to stand out.
Enjoyed the post Lindsay.
The effort that Spin Sucks puts into guest posting shows in the quality of writing/thinking that comes your way.
8 months, 1 week ago on The Top 10 Guest Blog Posts of 2013 (January – June)
Enjoyed your post Cameron.
Great to see HootSuite have the storytelling religion.
Your point about how we talk about our children is a keeper (I might "borrow" this one).
And you're right Red Bull is a poster child for the power of owned media. Actually, wrote a post on Red Bull a couple years ago www.ishmaelscorner.com/2011/06/16/revisiting-the-debate-on-paid-media-versus-owned-media/
9 months ago on Social Media and Storytelling Part 1: Why Storytelling?
Appreciate the pragmatic advice.
And somewhat encouraged to see the average time on my own blog is similar to Spin Sucks (I thought readers were just "fast" with me).
9 months, 1 week ago on Three Data Points to Measure Your Blog Efforts
@Howie Goldfarb That's a fair point though I think it's fair to say people gravitate towards people they like ... which brings us back to the chemistry variable.
10 months ago on Guide to Hiring a Digital Agency