Thanx Hanx: Why Old-School Isn’t Going Anywhere

August 20th, 2014
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Hanx Writer Old School Technology BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring Public Relations PR SoftwareThis week in odd pairings, Tom Hanks launched an app. Slickly doing away with that stuffy “ks,” the app is called Hanx Writer, and it’s an iPad app that looks and sounds like a typewriter. If you ever felt like all the swiping and tapping you did on your iPad was just too silent, Hanx Writer rights that wrong and kits you out with all the clacks, dings, and whizzes your 21st Century heart could desire.

It’s been number one in the iTunes App Store since its launch last week, so it’s clearly striking a chord with modern-day typists. Perhaps it’s not surprising, since repackaging of the old in the guise of the new isn’t exactly a groundbreaking sales or marketing tactic. But what makes the app so interesting, besides appealing to sensory satisfaction, is that so many people seem excited to reconnect with an old, some might say more traditional, time and technology.

Hanx Writer is yet another reminder that old-school technology doesn’t really disappear. Five years ago everyone thought books would die and be replaced by ebooks. Spoiler alert: They didn’t. Radio is still around as is its supposed replacement, television; hipsters love shooting on film; and though the news just loves to talk about the demise of print, it’s probably safe to say newspapers and magazines won’t become extinct. So instead of worrying that old technologies will be replaced, let’s just remember new technologies, like new movie stars, just elbow their way in.

The “old” is still there, and often, it’s just as useful and influential as before.

And of course, now there are apps for radio, TV, photos, and print publications. For anyone worried about Millennials who don’t experience the joy of writing on parchment with a quill and inkwell, I’m sure Tom Hanks will get right on that with his next app.

PR Etiquette for Content Marketing

August 18th, 2014
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PR Public Relations Etiquette Content Marketing Media Monitoring Press Clipping News ClippingReddit has released some basic rules – called “pressiquette” – for writers or contributors to outlets, and if you engage in content marketing, they probably apply to you too.

The new rules require that, should you come across a story that tickles your journalistic fancy, that you message the original poster (aka “redditor”) to “ask for their permission prior to using it in an article or list, ask how they would like it to be attributed, and provide them a deadline … Please respect redditors who may wish to stay anonymous, or to not be featured in an article.”

There are also rules about engaging with transparency, subreddit behavior, and using images with permission.

While the rules are very Reddit-specifc, they’re also pretty universal. So let’s go over some more universal rules for PR etiquette, especially as it pertains to blogs and content marketing.

Always ask permission to repost

Did an organization’s blog do a write-up on you or your work that you want to share on your personal or company blog? Don’t just copy, paste, and link back; ask permission to publish the post in full. While there may not be any legal ramifications on reposting (and we are in no way guaranteeing there won’t be legal issues), it’s just good Internet manners to ask permission. Chances are a lot of outlets that want the exposure will say yes. And what better way to keep the “relations” in public relations than by contacting and thanking people who write content you appreciate?

Correctly attribute images

Reposting images can get tricky since you never know if your source has done their copyright-compliance homework. Unless they link back to an image source that specifically states it’s in the public domain or Creative Commons, go find your own image that you’re absolutely sure complies, and then attribute it correctly.

Don’t plagiarize

There have been a lot of stories about plagiarism in the news lately, from Buzzfeed to The New York Times to True Detective. It should go without saying that you should definitely NOT plagiarize. But sometimes the plagiarism lines are a little blurrier than people think; it goes far beyond copy-pasting whole chunks of text.

The Harvard Guide to Using Sources explains five types of plagiarism:

Verbatim plagiarism – Lifting copy word-for-word from another source

Mosaic plagiarism – copying snippets, rephrasing or changing a few areas without quoting directly

Inadequate paraphrase – failing to convey information in the passage in their own words

Uncited paraphrase – simply paraphrasing is not enough; the idea still belongs to the original author and thus must be cited as a source. Harvard’s rule of thumb: “Whenever you use ideas that you did not think up yourself, you need to give credit to the source in which you found them.”

Uncited quotation – quoting a source but not citing its author

While I’m sure everyone is following these steps, what are your experiences, have you found instances where someone didn’t properly cite you or another source, and how did you deal with it? What other PR etiquette rules can you share?

Take a Happy Break: Three Videos to Make You Smile

August 14th, 2014
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BurrellesLuce Media Monitoring PR Software Public Relations

flickr user Neal Fowler, CC BY licence

It’s been a rough week in the news – heck, it’s been a rough summer in the news. It’s tough not to feel overwhelmed and dispirited with all the crazy stuff happening in the world. You may not feel like a video will help, but even the momentary lift in mood can do good things for your health. So here are three YouTube videos that will make you laugh, smile, or just regain your faith in humanity.

For a laugh

I challenge you not to laugh along with this round-faced baby, and I hope you fail at that challenge, because laughter is good for you. Laughing can soothe tension, moderate your stress response, boost your immune system and improve your mood. Plus, there’s nothing better than a baby’s old-man-style wheezy laugh.

For a smile

Without fail, I smile every time I watch Gene Kelly dance. Check out this silly, upbeat scene from Singin’ in the Rain and smile along – you’ll enjoy a rush of feel-good hormones dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.

For regaining faith in humanity

The news makes it seem like the world is full of terrible people, but clips like this one, from a 2012 Britain’s Got Talent audition, will remind you that there are plenty of kind, wonderful people in the world. And if it makes you cry a little, that’s okay; tears release stress hormones and stimulate production of endorphins.

What videos always make you feel better? Share with us!

Why Images Impact Your Media Measurement

August 11th, 2014
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Images Media Measurement Public Relations Software Media Monitoring BurrellesLuce

Left: early edition Right: Later corrected edition. Image via Twitter user @suttonnick

Last Friday, The Daily Telegraph ran a very lovely picture of the royal family (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their one-year-old son, Prince George) on its front page. Right above that photo ran a story with the headline “Toddlers at risk from extremists.” Someone overlooked the big picture of the layout and – whoops – all but called the Duke and Duchess religious extremists.

The paper quickly fixed the issue in its later edition, but the image survives online and the impact remains. Had you seen the headlined article online, or read a copy of only its text, you certainly wouldn’t have noticed the issue. While images have always been important, it’s the age of Instagram, selfies, and a “pics or it didn’t happen” mentality, so their value and necessity has arguably increased many fold.

So when we as public relations, media relations, or marketing professionals rely solely on a software to send us text and its metadata for media coverage, we’re not only missing the context of that coverage, but we’re missing the full impact that our audience experiences. And it’s an impact that ultimately affects both our outlook and measurements of our efforts.

If there’s an article with a photo of a celebrity with your product, that article will likely generate more interest and a higher action rate than a story without a photo. But if you’re getting media monitoring coverage that doesn’t even deliver the photo to you in the first place, you’re deprived of a driving factor in the article’s impact. Data just doesn’t give you the higher picture, especially if it’s only quantitative.

In a time when brand storytelling becomes more visual, media coverage isn’t just about the words, but the images the words convey and the images that accompany words. So how do you evaluate whether or not your work has an impact if you don’t even see the full scope of your coverage?

That’s why BurrellesLuce provides not only the full text of an article in its print and online forms, but its accompanying images in both forms as well. Because if you don’t know something exists, you can’t measure it, and if you don’t even know what you’re missing, you won’t even know your measurement is incomplete.