Top blogger urges: Send your PR pitch via Facebook

January 31, 2008

I read Silicon Valley Watcher from time to time and I subscribe to it on my feeder. But had Tom Foremski not been my Facebook pal, I’d have missed his important message today — a message that tells PR folks how to get his attention.

I saw the post because Tom placed the link on his Facebook page. I visit FB 4-5 times daily; I check my feeder 4-5 times weekly.

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Now let’s be clear. I may be Tom’s friend on Facebook, but we’ve never met nor have we spoken. We exchanged a couple of terse emails shortly after I “friended” him, which came after he joined my Facebook group, “PRSA Need Professional PR Help — NOW!” Tom found that Facebook group because I promoted it in this post, which also links to Tom’s now-classic essay, “Die! Press Release! Die! Die! Die!” That’s how it works in the tangled web of social media. You get used to it.

Tom’s headline sucked me in: “PR Pitches Through Facebook: I Have 37, 366 Unread Emails in Gmail…” Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting the words outta my face, and other musings…

August 2, 2007

Since launching this site last September, I’ve had type on my face — you know — in the blog header. The basic WordPress template won’t let me off-center the name and tag, and I’m too cheap to buy the upgrade.

tsheader.jpgThanks to my son Todd, a graphic designer at a NE Ohio ad agency, the type has moved right and turned a forest green to match those Minnesota hardwoods behind my head. A geek would have figured how to do this alone. But hey, I have an artist in the family. Thanks, bud!

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Staying on the family theme, my younger son, Chris, and the 6-man TransArctic Expedition team, has crossed the Arctic Circle 6 weeks after departing Great Slave Lake. They celebrated by paddling backward across the imaginary line. Ain’t GPS amazing? Not to mention satellite phones!

transarctic.jpgThe men are on the Back River less than 50 miles from Chantrey Inlet on the Arctic Ocean, and journey’s end. Last week, Chris landed a 40-lb. lake trout, which I suspect fed the troops for several days. Can’t wait to see the photos. If he puts them on Flickr, I’ll send you the link.

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The professor is back! PR lessons in today’s headlines

July 25, 2007

While hardcore denizens of Web 2.0 love to diss the mainstream media, I’m thanking the founding fathers for my morning newspaper today. Blogs and social networks are great places to discuss news, but few of us have the resources or expertise to actually report it.

So let’s have a discussion today as I review some headlines and discuss their implications for public relations.

iphone.jpgThe disappointing iPhone. AT&T said it’s disappointed in consumer response to the iPhone. Seems the company expected a half million sign-ups for its service in the first weekend and got fewer than 150,000. Apple stock fell 6.1% yesterday following the news.

Were AT&T’s projections pie-in-the-sky? Or did consumers reject the iPhone precisely because of Apple’s exclusive arrangement with AT&T? That’s why I don’t have one. My contract with another carrier extends into 2008. I’d buy an iPhone in a heartbeat if Apple hadn’t limited my choice of carriers. Now stir in the negative reviews for AT&T’s wireless broadband from the likes of Pogue and Mossberg and Apple’s toy loses even more of its luster. Read the rest of this entry »


Miss New Jersey gets a pass! But the lessons of Facebook are getting bigger each day

July 13, 2007

Last year it was a partying, under-aged Miss USA who caused the media fuss, only to be rescued by Donald Trump and sent to rehab. I love fairy tales, don’t you?

amy_polumbo.jpgNow the story centers on Miss New Jersey and some “unladylike” pictures once posted on Facebook — pictures that, for a day or two, threatened to end the career of another beauty queen.

In the scheme of things, Amy’s PR problems were pretty mild. The board of the Miss America pageant is giving her a pass and letting her move on to compete in Atlantic City. Rightfully so, as the photos were pretty tame stuff by today’s standards.

So here it is again — one more example of social network content biting someone in the ass — or in Amy’s case, the breast. The pictures in question were posted on someone else’s Facebook page. But no matter. They showed her in “unladylike” poses that sound more funny than risque.

For two years I’ve preached to students about the reputation damage Facebook photos and messages can inflict. I’ve written about it here and here as well.

Some of those students have cleaned up their online profiles, but others continue to act as though the online world of social networks is a separate reality. Every student I know has cranked up his or her privacy settings to keep out the voyeurs, but if you have a large network of “friends,” those privacy settings are easily compromised. Copies of photos are easily passed along, then passed along again.

The hazards of Facebook have now spread beyond the college campus. Now that FB is open to the masses, working stiffs — including a lot of PR professionals — are flocking to the site. And that carries with it a new set of concerns. Read the rest of this entry »


Media Convergence, Facebook, Lousy Writing and the Summer of Love

July 9, 2007

Lots to talk about today, so I’ll try to keep it short.

I’ve had nearly two weeks to think about this return-to-blogging post. But I didn’t. Instead, I hung out on the beach with friends and family, paddled my canoe down the Clarion, and drank a shitload fair amount of beer. But during moments of sobriety, here are a few items that tripped my trigger.

pogue.jpgMedia convergence and the iPhone. While the world suffered iPhone envy these past two weeks, the folks in our School of Journalism were checking out David Pogue‘s video blogs about it. If you haven’t seen these clips (here and here), take the time.

To see a columnist for the MSM embrace a new medium this way, you have to wonder what’s next in media convergence. Of course, if you read Pogue’s bio, you won’t find his stage presence at all surprising.

This ain’t your father’s journalism, boys and girls. But that is your father’s newspaper, the venerable New York Times. Do you think maybe Pogue was celebrating the Summer of Love anniversary in a magic bus somewhere? Far out, Dave! Read the rest of this entry »


Pucker up folks! May 5th is ‘National Make-Out Day’

April 30, 2007

Get ready for a community lip lock, kids. May 5 is “National Make-Out Day,” so we’ll be swapping spit across the land, no doubt adding a new dimension to Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Haven’t heard about National Make-Out Day? Then you need to associate with a better class of “friends” on Facebook. Two of my FB pals joined the group a few weeks back, and I expected more to follow after this post. But alas, someone wised up and took this fun little group offline. The killjoys! (“Make Out Day” lives.  See “update at the end of this post.)

makeout-copy.jpgNo, my friends who joined the group aren’t the pair disguised in this “official event photo” from the site. I suspect these two were operating on a dare from six horny college boys after a Beer Pong marathon. What were they thinking when they struck this pose? That’s a question I ask nearly every time I open Facebook. Read the rest of this entry »


Searching for lessons in Virginia Tech tragedy

April 19, 2007

fbpic.jpgThree times this week I labored to write a reflective post about the events at VT. But the words wouldn’t come. In one post I tried to examine VT’s crisis response. In another I attempted to review the long-term impact on VT and on other universities. I’ve decided not to publish any of it.

Forgive me, but I just can’t locate the teachable moment in this event. At least not yet.

I did take a lesson from my Facebook pals Stefanie and Kait, and I replaced my FB photo with the graphic you see here. Several times on this blog I’ve been critical of how students use and abuse Facebook. But last week, the social networking site became an important link for those at VT and elsewhere.

So maybe that’s the lesson you can take from this post — a lesson on how social media continue to bring us together. And if you’re a Kent State person with a Facebook page, copy this graphic and post it to your profile page.