March 30, 2010

What to do with negative comments on social media

Negative Facebook Comments
This article addresses a specific situation occuring on a university's Facebook page - a story that could happen to any organization. The disgruntled contingent typically makes the most noise, and in such a public forum, rumors spread like wildfire.

There are a few helpful reminders about safeguards in Facebook for administrators of fan pages, but mostly you should read it to help you think through how your organization would deal with the negative comments on Facebook.

Read article

March 29, 2010

It's not ALL about the razzle dazzle

There is a constant struggle in all of our jobs to remain relevant, provide good information and stay updated with technology (social media, etc.). This article, "Memo To News Sites: There Is No Future In Digital Razzle Dazzle," tells us that journalists (as well as PR professionals providing news and information) need to not only think of the flashy new technology, but to remember your audience and your duty to provide solid information.
What we’re learning is that the key to building and keeping traffic is far more prosaic than multimedia and sharing buttons. It rests on overcoming a huge cultural barrier: evolving a serious, experienced, thoughtful newsroom into an audience-first organization. I use the term “evolving” because this is all about the present tense. Trying to understand our current and future audience is a work in progress that will continue for as long as we publish on the web.
Read the article here

March 25, 2010

From the AP: Media ownership bans lifted

Court lifts ban on media ownership restrictions

WASHINGTON — A federal court has at least temporarily lifted government rules that blocked media companies from owning a newspaper and a broadcast TV station in the same market.

Read the full article ...

Southeast Missouri State shares social media tips

Southeast Missouri State posted this page to discuss the benefits of social media and their plan - you can view it here. On top of the justification of utilizing social media, they share their code of conduct, style guide and tips for setting up and maintaining a facebook and twitter account as well as a blog.

March 24, 2010

Re-Imagining the Magazine

As a member of the public relations community, we all need to stay up to date on changes in the media horizon. Though the incorporation of these changes to our local or regional media may be years away in some cases, we need to all be thinking of ways to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. As Jennifer Moore addressed in the meeting on Tuesday, there may be different pieces of information we should all include in our press releases to make us more attractive to journalists who make the decision on which release to pick up and use.

Taking The Tablet: 15 Ways Publishers Are Re-Imagining The Magazine
Magazine publishers were already beginning to imagine how tablet devices might reboot their fortunes long before the April 3 retail date for Apple’s iPad. Such gadgets promise a new wave of tablet magazines. But it’s early days - our trawl of 15 examples includes many that are merely concepts - so consider them preferred bets, from show-off publishers, on what the magazine might become.

While each takes advantage of the touch screen to, at the least, replicate the tactile experience of flicking through a magazine, visions for the digital mag vary somewhat, coalescing around five key trends…

•Print shovelware: Those that merely recreate the page-turning experience on the digital screen.
•Interactive editions: They’re recognisably a magazine, but navigation and animation really take advantage of what is essentially a screen.
•Motion-heavy mags: Co-produced by film makers, they’re as much a video narrative as a magazine.
•Web shells: Lazy apps that merely funnel through a publication’s existing website.
•Live info: Divorced from monthly print cycle, an article can take advantage of the real-time web.

Read article here

March 23, 2010

Quick tips from leaders in social media

The third annual Social Media for Communicators conference, put on by Ragan Communications and PRSA (#ragancoke on Twitter), packed two days full of presentations for PR pros who handle everything from media relations to employee communications. Summarizing it is tough, but, by the end, the back of my notebook (Mead, not Dell) had a hand-drawn tag cloud of the most used phrases. Here are a few of the ideas that made the list:

“The consumer owns the brand” – What people think about your brand is the brand, whether you acknowledge it or not. Companies can participate in the discussion, but they can’t dictate what people think. Classic example? Coca-Cola’s introduction of “New Coke,” which was promptly overruled by consumers.

Flip camera – Web video is hot for internal and external communication and the tool of choice is this pocket device. Companies with spectacular intranets are equipping employees with Flip cameras “to tell the organization’s story.” Example: Employees used video to highlight snow removal at one company’s headquarters. The posting on their intranet recognized the grounds crew and the comments quickly filled up with shout-outs from co-workers. It should be noted that “shout-out” was also among the most used phrases, marking its complete transition from hip-hop phraseology to MBA-speak.

“The good enough era” – Concerned about the quality of Flip video in the hands of amateurs? Don’t be. Viewers used to YouTube won’t mind if videos aren’t commercial quality. If the content is compelling, that’s all that matters.

Communitainment – Whether you’re talking to consumers or employees, you’ll have a better shot of engaging people if you can communicate your message while entertaining them. A short, wacky viral video can build a brand and internal communicators can consider live talk shows or game shows in lieu of formal meetings.

Experiment – The rules for social media are still being formed and communicators are mapping the territory as we go. Don’t be afraid to try different things and keep what works for you. The demise of the broadcast model is doing away with an “us and them” relationship with the “audience,” but it’s also opened up new ways to engage everyone we do business with. Just participating and being willing to evolve is a big part of keeping PR relevant.

Traditional Media vs. Social Media

Traditional Media Still Trumps Blogosphere in Reporting New Information

On the heels of our PRSA meeting today, I ran across this article about the validity of traditional media. While your organization should not ignore the power of social media, this article reinforces the need for fact based reporting in traditional media.
Read article here

A companion video presentation entitled "How to Be Smarter Than Your PR Agency - New Research on Creating News Releases That Work" is available here.

March 22, 2010

Choosing what NOT to do

I read an article the other day called "The Art of Strategic Neglect."  It's a short and sweet reminder to prioritize'll always have more to do, so you have to strategically think about what you are NOT going to make time for in your work hours. I think we can all appreciate time management tips every now and then.

Read article here

14 Free Resources for Building a Media List

Not everyone can afford a subscription to Vocus or Cision. If you are one of them, and you need to build a media list (and you don’t have a friend that will do it for you), I suggest doing the legwork yourself. You can find most outlets for free on the Web, as there are tons of free directories of media information out there. Here is a useful list of 14 resources that can help you build your list.

March 17, 2010

HARO - it might help you out!

Here's a great little tool that many of you may already know about - it's called Help a Reporter Out, or HARO. You can sign up to get notifications (via email or follow on Twitter @helpareporter) when reporters from across the country are looking for experts on a subject. Many times, it's a tight deadline, so you must act quick! However, it is a great way to get your name in a national publication.


Rule #1 of healthy living is don't take yourself so seriously.

For those of you who have fully embraced the Twitter revolution, here's an opportunity to laugh at yourself (which is healthy).

For the rest of you who know social media moderation, you can laugh at the rest of us.

David Letterman's "Top Ten signs you spend too much time on Twitter"

March 16, 2010

The State of the News Media 2010

This is a detailed look at the current state of news media. It's long and involved, but is a must-read. Of course, you can read the just the overview for the gist of it. I think it's an essential guide for media relations strategic planning.

March 15, 2010

Press Releases: Which Of These Rookie Mistakes Are You Making?

Related to the next membership meeting with Jennifer Moore discussing the ideal news release, here is an interesting piece on news releases, including a reference to a free (so far) link to a press release grader. Interesting.

How does your online newsroom stack up?

Jeremy Porter's Journalistics blog is packed with great information. Today, he's looking at online newsrooms of small businesses.

How does you online newsroom compare?

Follow up: Jeremy Potter contacted me to thank me for the link to his blog and welcomes any suggestions for future topics. Any ideas of what you'd like to see?

March 12, 2010

Social Media Saves SeaWorld

You may not think that social media is important in your line of business, but here's just another example of how social media helped a company during a serious crisis.

SeaWorld uses social media to react quickly to a major crisis

This article documents another great case regarding the immediacy of responding to crises. Obviously, we know that news spreads like wildfire with the use of social media, and the team at SeaWorld used several avenues to respond. They also realized something - their fans and followers were standing up for them too. And that's true "social" media.

Read the article

March 11, 2010

Make Your Logo Media Friendly

For those of you who are responsible for marketing and design decisions, or for those of you who work closely with a designer, this is a great article that talks about designing a logo that works for social media. I think on a more basic level, though, this article speaks to keeping your message simple and clear.

6 tips for a social media friendly logo design
Here's the synopsis of the 6 steps, but I recommend reading the article at least to see the graphic examples.
  1. Watch your aspect ratio
  2. Detach graphic and text
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Be consistent
  5. Don't try to tell a story
  6. Take it for a spin

Read article

Forbidden Words for the Radio - It's Not What You Think

Someone in our office started circulating this article today about a director of a radio station in Chicago that composed a list of 119 words or phrases that the reporters should never use again. He says eliminating the words will make it seem more like the reporters are talking, not reading from a script.

Memo puts WGN news staff at a loss for words

The station was in an uproar due to the number of words/phrases being forbidden, but also because most people felt this was a waste of time and resources (especially since the company was trying to pull out from bankruptcy). Also, how was it to be enforced?

Read the article and the list of forbidden phrases here

March 10, 2010

Emerging Social Media - It never ends!

Just when we've wrapped our hands around Facebook, Twitter and other "standards" of social media practice, it's time to focus on the horizon for the newest trends.

Check out the Social Media Examiner's "5 Emerging Social Media Sites to Watch in 2010."

PRSSA Day Held March 26

PRSSA Day is going to be March 26 in Missouri State's Student Union in the third floor East Ballroom, and all PRSA members are invited to attend. The event will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and individuals may come for the entire day or from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m. for lunch and the networking. Lunch is free for PRSA members.
  • 9-10 a.m. - Zach Rantz, director of communication from Nixa Public Schools, is the keynote speaker, and he will present about social media and media relations
  • 10 a.m. - Breakout sessions - Crisis communications and another TBD 
  • 11 a.m. - Resume building session
  • 11:30 am. - Lunch will be provided
  • 12:30-2 p.m. - Speed networking for students and professionals

PRSSA is still looking for another break-out speaker, so if anyone is interested in presenting, please e-mail either Cara Coffman at or Lindsay Van Quaethem at with a suggested topic.

RSVP for the event to the two above e-mails as well.

Scholarship Application Deadline is April 9

Scholarship applications are being accepted until April 9 for the Dr. Joe McAdoo Southwest Missouri Chapter of PRSA Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded for the 2010-2011 academic year.

  • Applicants must be an undergraduate student beginning the junior or senior year or a graduate student pursuing a degree in communications, public relations or a closely related area 
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time (taking at least 12 credit hours per semester undergraduate, 9 hours graduate) at one of the following institutions: College of the Ozarks, Drury University, Evangel University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri State University or Southwest Baptist University 
  • Selection of the scholarship winner will be based on interest and involvement in communications, academic standing and campus and/or community involvement

To apply for the Dr. Joe McAdoo SWMO-PRSA Scholarship, submit the following by April 9, 2010:

  • a completed application  
  • a copy of official sealed transcripts 
  • an updated resume (please emphasize items that highlight communication activities and interests) 
  • a 500-600 word essay (typed, double-spaced) describing how the Dr. Joe McAdoo SWMO-PRSA Scholarship will assist the student in achieving academic and career goals.

Send application materials to:

SWMO-PRSA Scholarship Selection Committee
P.O. Box 4807
Springfield, MO 65808

For scholarship questions, contact Susan Wade at 417-881-5300 ext 101 or


March 9, 2010

How to write news releases journalists will read

In spite of a wide array of social media options, the news release remains one of the best tools available to public relations professionals. But do your releases contain the elements working journalists are looking for? Join us March 23 when our speaker, Jennifer Moore, shares her expertise on writing the news releases journalists want to read.

Jennifer joined KSMU full time in May of 2008 as senior news producer. Her responsibilities include reporting, anchoring the afternoon newscasts, and training the student reporters at KSMU. She grew up on a farm in West Plains, Missouri. Prior to joining KSMU, she spent five years in the Persian Gulf, where she worked as a freelance journalist reporting for NPR and producing for CNN International’s program, “Inside the Middle East.” Jennifer graduated with honors from the University of Missouri, where she studied journalism and music composition.

She volunteers her time by giving motivational speeches at the Family Violence Center, and is co-founder of the International Potluck, a group created to welcome immigrants and refugees into the community.

10 Steps for Optimizing the Brand for Social Search

Facebook recently overtook Yahoo as the second most visited site in the United States. And in doing so, Facebook along with other social networks, set the stage for a confluence of social and search that fundamentally changes who we, as a society, discover and share information, and in turn, where our attention is directed and driven. Read the entire article here.

March 8, 2010

Need Assistance in the Creative Dept? Give These a Try!

In a small business, one person may be in charge of advertising, marketing, graphic design and public relations, as well as many other tasks. To make more of an impact (if you have a budget for it), consider outsourcing for some of those skills that aren't as sharp or take more time.

Read article - 10 Fantastic Places for Finding Designers Online
Unless you are a creative agency, most small businesses don’t have the luxury of having an in-house designer. There are literally thousands of freelance designers and design agencies out there that can fill various niches and services, but finding someone in your price range – and if locale is important, in your area – can be difficult.

Fortunately, there are some great online resources that can take the sting out of searching for a designer. Here are some of my favorites

Continue Reading on Mashable

March 5, 2010

Here's a quick read for inspiration: 35 ideas for PR pros in 30 minutes

A sample:
7. Use SM to meet people you wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet in real life, because that will give you opportunities and ideas you would have otherwise never had.

March 1, 2010

Build a Better Facebook Fan Page

Here's a great article on Mashable about individualizing your Facebook fan page...

Build a Facebook Landing Page for Your Business

Facebook is known for its uniformity. You can post all sorts of content, but the actual design and layout of your profile is the same as everyone else’s.

But with Facebook Fan Pages and the array of apps you can plug into them, there are a few ways you can customize what people see when they land on your Page.