What’s the ROI of blogging? Exactly $1.55

May 16, 2010

At least that’s what this blog is worth. A buck fifty-five per post.

Here’s how I know.

ToughSledding finally earned me some money last week — a $546 annual raise. Not much, but it’s cold, hard cash. Real ROI. Read the rest of this entry »

Can you recommend some books on social media? Advice for the late adopters

January 20, 2010

While some of us are  a little tired of discussing “the conversation” about the conversation, others are just now beginning to examine potential of social media. For example, a former student called last week asking me to recommend social-media books that would get her up to speed. “Jessie” graduated before SM made it to our classrooms and was busy starting a family while the phenomenon was unfolding

I chuckled at first, remembering this tweet from Paul Baker. Ain’t it the truth? But late adopters are a sizable group, and as I told Jessie, books are a good place to begin the catch-up process.

Because I’m an educator, people pose the cursed “book question” all the time. It sucks, because it means I have to read a lot of books that do little to expand my knowledge base or worldview. But reading the literature, for me, is sort of an occupational hazard. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t let ‘positive thinking’ impede critical analysis

January 1, 2010

I don’t remember the first time someone told me I wasn’t a team player. It was early in my career, back when I served as a publicist for big ad agencies. Back before I did “real” PR.

As part of those integrated marketing teams, I concocted PR strategies to bring “value added” to expensive advertising or promotional campaigns. Usually that meant pitching stories of marginal news value, or luring coverage with goofy events — the kind journalists can’t resist. Read the rest of this entry »

Student blogs remain foundation of social-media lessons at Kent State

October 11, 2009

kentstateYou’ll find 14 new links on my Kent State “Student Bloggers ’09” box today (right column) — bright young minds discussing niche topics in public relations.

The assignment: Find an area of PR that excites you, explore it, write about it, then work to engage others in the discussion.

Is the exercise effective? We think so. I see passion in the posts, and I hear some online voices stretching beyond the shallowness of tweets and Facebook updates. Blogs require critical thinking and clear writing. Most other social-media tools do not. Read the rest of this entry »

Three years, 300 posts. I’m not impressed!

September 29, 2009
Darth Blogger

Darth Blogger

I almost let this milestone pass. Three years, 300 posts, and still flogging the blog. If that isn’t addiction, I don’t know what is.

I spent half the summer plotting the death of ToughSledding — as I’ve done several times before. This time I came oh-so close to ending it after those 2 blissful weeks offline. But you know what they say: Sh#@ happens. And it did.

Here’s why ToughSledding blogs on: Read the rest of this entry »

Some solid lessons for students in “New Rules of Marketing and PR”

September 25, 2009

I didn’t pay close attention to David Meerman Scott’s “New Rules of PR and Marketing” until he published the 2nd edition sometime last year. In 2006, when the book came out, I was still getting a grip on newrulesofmarketingsocial media, and I spent way more time writing than reading in those days. Blame it on new-blogger’s ego.

By 2009, when the 2nd edition of New Rules arrived, I was knee deep in SM books, and more than a little jaded over their marginal content. But this one I like, enough to require my students in the “Media Relations” class to read it. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you hugged your favorite brand lately?

September 15, 2009

Me neither. And I don’t plan to anytime soon.

After 3 years of writing this blog and almost 5 years studying social media, I still can’t grasp the idea of “relationships with brands.” Maybe it’s semantics. Maybe what they’re talking about isn’t a relationship at all. Maybe it’s brand loyalty, brand enthusiasm — even brand evangelism.

To me, a “relationship” is more intimate. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: ‘Putting the Public Back in Public Relations’

August 31, 2009

If you’ve spent any time reading the PR bloggers in the past two years, you won’t gain a lot from “Putting the Public Back into Public Relations.” You’ve heard it all before. And while PPBPR could be useful to an audience of late adopters, I still can’t recommend it, even to the novices.

Here’s my rationale.

solisPPBPR, by Brian Solis and Dierdre Breakenridge, sets out to explain “how social media is (sic) reinventing the aging business of public relations.” It purports to tell us what’s wrong with public relations, and how social media will fix it. But the problems addressed in the book really aren’t with public relations at all.

The “aging PR business” described in PPBPR is a process of one-way marketing communication centered on pitching stories to media gatekeepers. That’s called publicity, and it’s simply one of many tools used (and abused) by marketers, publicists, and PR folks, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Critical views of social media are far too rare

August 24, 2009
Mark Shaefer

Mark Shaefer

I don’t know Mark Shaefer, and before today I’d never visited his blog. But I enjoyed the dose of reality he dished out yesterday in this post. Mark says a few things I’ve never had the cajones to say — maybe because I try too hard to fit into the blog party.

Regardless of whether you’re a social-media Kool-Aid guzzler or just someone thinking about how SM fits your PR scheme, you should read “Five Social Media Myths that Must Stop Now.”

A couple of excerpts to whet your appetite: Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media “101” video available at KSU-Tube

July 25, 2009

If you teach an introductory course in mass or social media, or if you’re trying educate laggard clients, this video may help. You can watch the video on the Kent State server, or download your own copy here at the Kent State video server. Run time is about 24 minutes.

videoScreenShotWhat you’ll see

Regular readers here know that the Sledzik-Curran Social Media project included video interviews with some leaders in PR/Marketing social media space. Those segments ran on this site between January and March of 2009. The most popular clips featured social media critic and Strumpette creator Brian Connolly. (He’s in this one, too.)

My partner on this project, Andy Curran, has packaged a number of the clips and added slides, B-roll and narration. The video is a quick lesson on the impact of social media on business and education, and one we think some educators will find it a useful classroom supplement. If you’re immersed in SM, you might find the content a tad elementary. But it’s a teaching tool designed to frame discussion at the “101” level.

Featured in “Comm-You-nication 101,” are:

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