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What @CharlieSheen Can Teach Communicators About #Winning

In looking beyond the circus that has surrounded Charlie Sheen's every waking move this past week, there are actually some lessons that communicators can take away.  Despite Sheen's unique and controversial tirades, his campaign was carried out via an on-slaught of traditional broadcast interviews, married with his adoption of Twitter, and then the use of online video technology.  The combination was uniquely powerful and successful in both engaging the audience and feeding today's never-ending news cycle.  Now, while these lessons don't include adding #tigerblood to your campaigns, they highlight the opportunities that can be leveraged for your campaigns & provide some strategies to consider as you plan your next outreach efforts… Go Social – It seems hard to turn in any direction these days without seeing a mention of Twitter or Facebook, Sheen's outbursts are a vivid reminder of both the importance and extent to which social tools can help disseminate a message and propel a story.  At one point over the weekend Sheen related hashtags took over 4 of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter.  While the initiatives that many work on day-to- day may not be as polarizing or generate this extraordinary level of traction, the lesson is still valuable and reminds of the importance of integrating and promoting social components to PR & marketing campaigns, as there is power in these avenues to disseminate our messaging and reach new eyes & ears along the way. Tell Your Story With Video – In broadcasting live on Saturday night, in what was dubbed Sheen's Korner, the actor was able to take the steering wheel and control the...

Thinking, Saving, & Communicating Green

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day set-aside for citizens of the world to take a moment and think about important topics such as global warming, ozone depletion, & our own interaction with the planet.  These are some weighty issues to say the least, especially as we seek to preserve the Earth for future generations.  So, for those of us in the field of PR & Marketing, as we go about our daily activities today, there are any number of ways that we can contribute to help on these fronts. Specifically, as communicators we can each play a vital role in Earth Day in a number of ways: 1)   We can use our skills to showcase what our clients are doing for the environment: Use this as a story angle to help your clients get more press, showcase the efforts that they make locally to improving the environment & being a good corporate citizen; while earning points with their target audiences. 2)   Make our own businesses Green: There are a range of things that we can do in our own offices to help with the environment.  From maintaining a paperless office, to using recycled materials, adopting new energy efficient equipment, turning off our computers at night, & sorting our trash into recycle bins.  While each of these are small modifications, together they can add up to help make a difference in the overall well-being of the environment. 3)   Introduce Green communications tactics: By using new tools that allow you to communicate online, you can tell your story directly to target audiences with rich audio & video...

Understanding The Rules of Online Media

Here’s the long and short of it: there are no rules with online media. Sure, take a moment to digest that because it goes against just about everything we’re typically conditioned to think.  We’re used to “best practices” and guidelines.  Think about it in terms of traditional media where there are a wide variety of rules & guidelines.  For instance, typically newspaper articles are a few hundred words in length; for television outlets the news department always tries to find a local angle on a story; while in the land of radio stories are usually told these days by a reporter, often syndicated, that at best feature a quick sound bite.  And accordingly, with each of these different arenas there are certain rules of the game if you will for for gaining traction for your particular story; however in the online space we have a blank platform through which to tell our stories. This platform extends beyond the simple press release or website, but today expands into the mobile space and allows any organization to create rich media that is on-message and helps to tell its story.  This is vastly powerful space – organizations can now share video of their events, conversations with executives, and insights from their latest research with global audiences with ease.  A pretty powerful development that has come of age in the last few years, but as organization’s go to implement these types of tools they are often faced with questions in regard to the “right” way to do things…which is where we enter new & uncharted territory. That said, the online space brings with...

The Shift: Syndication It’s Not a Dirty Word

Tear down those walls. In today’s social media infused PR & Marketing environment it’s no longer to your benefit to only publish content to your campaign website. No, in fact in today’s iPhone wielding, Twitter, & Facebook obsessed world it’s to your advantage to Syndicate your content to as many platforms as possible. Such a concept of sharing content used to be a dirty thought, as you wanted to control your content and simply drive audiences directly to your website. However, while that is still true today, the strategy for obtaining and reaching consumers of your content has shifted; and the focus is now on spreading your message as widely as possible and having the audience further disseminate your content and propel new eyeballs in your direction. As audiences become more and more fragmented it is increasingly important to share your content and extend its reach in order to help meet the increased diversity with which content is consumed. Sharing your content and syndicating it benefits your campaign in a number of innovative ways: By increasing the availability of the content, creating more pipes that lead back to your website & allowing you to reach broader audiences. Engaged audiences take ownership and will proactively share your news, and spread the message on their own to their own friends and contacts. Allows target audiences to opt-in and manage both when & where they interact with your information. Beyond these aspects, there are other advantages, not the least of which is having the opportunity to syndicate any type of content from the latest news release, to a Podcast interview with your...

How Tablets Will Help Communicators

Amidst the latest news of impending tablet like devices, including Apple’s newest creation, lies a new and important path for communications campaigns and the practitioners that coordinate these efforts. First, in terms of the technology, the day of the E-Reader is upon us. Both the Amazon Kindle & the Barnes and Noble Nook experienced extremely successful holiday sales to wrap up 2009. While 2010 is staring off with numerous competitors announcing their own E-Reader efforts at the annual Consumer Electronics show, and mounting speculation as to what Apple will unveil in this space later this week. The growth of this “reader” type of device in an arena already crowded by Notebooks, Netbooks, iPhones, & Blackberries is interesting; and yet it is an evolution of those devices. The e-reader, despite its name, I believe will extend beyond just electronic forms of books. This type of device, when done correctly will allow for easy consumption and navigation of content on a sizeable screen, in a format that is easier on the eyes (no backlight or optional backlight) and unites a variety of content types including audio, video, & text. Specifically, with the web’s maturation we are now observing two different types of internet audiences… the first being the desktop/laptop space in which you interact with the web, collaborate with colleagues and essentially get work done. For most of us, that categorizes the vast majority of our day…but the second audience is more concerned with consuming content that is available online from the comfort of their family room, or along their commute. We saw the early evidence of this type of behavior...