Posts Tagged ‘message’


Do You Know What’s New With Your Favorite (Facebook) Pages?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

When you receive a message from a Facebook connection, you usually also receive an email letting you know (assuming your settings are defined for this) that so-and-so has sent you a message. At the very least you get a notification, when you login to Facebook, showing you that a message is indeed waiting. Or at least that is how it used to be.

If you’ve enabled integrated Facebook messaging – Facebook is slow rolling this feature – where friends can contact you via messages, chat, or email, the messages may showup any number of places and you may not know you have one. This has happened to me a number of times, where friends have sent private messages only to have these messages appear in a chat (which I didn’t see until after the friend signed off) and vice versa. 

Communication sent from the Pages you’ve “liked” can be equally hard to see.

Facebook Page Updates

While you may not always be interested in the content sent by the Pages you’ve connected with, sometimes they contain important information about upcoming events or changes to contact information, etc. And as a marketing and PR professional you want to make sure your followers are getting the information they need to stay informed and engaged.

Facebook Messages

> Solution 1:  To see messages from Pages, you need to click on “Messages” located in the left-sidebar of your feed. Then click on Updates. Then you can sort through, read, and delete the Page Updates/Messages as you would normal messages from connections.

> Solution 2: If your Facebook messaging is intergrated, then go to “Messages” in the left-sidebar of your feed. This will show you all of the messages from your friends, regardless of whether they came from Facebook chat, private messages, or Facebook email. To see updates from the Pages you “like,” simply click “Other” in the left-sidebar. 

> Solution 3: Visit a specific page and elect to receive updates from them by “e-mail.” In the left-sidebar of the page, you may have to scroll to see this, there will be options to Subscribe via SMS, or RSS.

Want the low-down on more Facebook Features? Download this free BurrellesLuce tip sheet, “Ten Tips for PR Professionals: Facebook Features” from our Resource Center.

Are you seeing all the content from your Facebook pages you follow? How do you think these settings affect your ability to connect with your audiences and friends? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment here on Fresh Ideas.

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Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers

When It Comes to Brands and Content, Simplicity Matters

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Valerie Simon

iStock_Communication_SmallThis weekend, in a Wall Street Journal article, former chairman of the FEC, Arthur Levitt, suggested: “When an editor wants a reporter to explain something more clearly in a news article, she might say: ‘Tell it to Aunt Edna.’ Aunt Edna is the stand-in for a regular person, someone who has never thought about a cloture motion in the Senate, a municipal bond offering, or some other obscure issue of our public life.” Good advice to all those in the field of communications who are responsible for sharing important information with the public.

The practice of using simple language, however, isn’t always so simple, particularly for those experts in specialty fields, like healthcare or finance, who are tasked with communicating precise and complex information to the general public. Add the pressure and influence of company stakeholders, legal concerns, and a desire to be creative, and it is easy to see why “simple” is not always easy to achieve.

Put yourself in the role of the consumer…

  • Will “Aunt Edna” be confused by your message?
  • Will she grow frustrated trying to understand the industry jargon you are using, or overwhelmed trying to make sense of the information presented to her?
  • Will Aunt Edna grow uneasy or even lose trust in your company?

Now if, Aunt Edna has little patience for jargon and pretentious language, what about “Uncle Walt” (my stand in for the ubiquitous journalist)? Trade publications and academic journals notwithstanding, today’s reporters, producers and editors need to appeal to a broad audience. They are under increasing pressure to produce more, under tighter deadlines.

  • Will Uncle Walt need to read your press release multiple times in order to make sense of it? Will he even read your release for that matter?
  • How difficult is it for him to find the information he needs on your website?
  • Does all of the material and jargon lend itself to mis-quotes and factual misinterpretations?
  • Are the key messages you hope Uncle Walt will take away easy to identify?

Understand that looking out for Aunt Edna is not a charitable exercise. Customers like Aunt Edna are more loyal, and even willing to pay more, for brands that offer communications, interactions and experiences that are easy to understand and use. In fact, U.S. Brands Could Gain $27 Billion in 2011 by Bringing Consumers Simpler Experiences and Interactions, according to the findings of the Siegel+Gale  2010 Global Brand Simplicity Index.

So what global brands offer the simplest communications and what is the real pay off? For more tangible details on the value of simplicity, be sure to join BurrellesLuce and Brian Rafferty, Siegel+Gale Global Director, Customer Insights, for a free on-demand webinar on Using the Power of Simplicity to Optimize Brand Communications and learn about the findings of the 2010 Global Brand Simplicity Index. 

In the meantime, I offer you this challenge: Take a look at your online press room through the eyes of Aunt Edna and Uncle Walt. How much time does it take you to identify the key points? Is there anything subject to interpretation? Does your communication hold up to the “Aunt Edna test”? Does your competitor? Then, on the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog, tell us what you find out.

Don’t Let a Bad Interviewer Spoil the Interview

Friday, January 28th, 2011
Image Source: cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com

Image Source: cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com

First, I want to say I LOVE Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent and Twitter. His whole “persona” comes across perfectly as a judge and in 140-characters. When I heard he was Larry King’s replacement I harkened back to his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice and thought he would do a great job “handling” the celebrities and wouldn’t be too intimidated to ask the tough questions. I was wrong. Piers doesn’t lack chutzpah, he appears to simply be too narcissistic and has more interest in what he has to say rather than his interviewee.

Piers is a trained reporter and editor. He has the pedigree to replace Larry King; unfortunately he’s just not a good interviewer. Instead of focusing on the interviewee, you can see him anticipating a hole in the conversation so he can make his next comment. Seeing him in action reminded me that the interview can only be as good as the preparation of your interviewee.

Basic Media Interview Tips:

Practice: Successful message development and delivery depends on preparation. Think through how you will respond to tough or hostile questions by developing and practicing clear, honest and appropriate answers.

Conclusions: Prepare and present your conclusion throughout the interview. Just as you wouldn’t bury the lead you can’t “hope” the interviewer will ask you the perfect question.

Avoid Jargon: Instead of using industry jargon speak in simple lay terms.

Key messages: Prepare, understand and practice key messages. Return to key messages as often as possible – Think Bill Clinton not Gary Condit.

Deal with difficult questions: Some questions can’t be given a straight answer, but to avoid the question looks bad too. Bridging and Blocking are very effective assets.

Bridging: Maintain control of the interview with the use of these common bridging phrases -
“Before we leave the subject, let me add that…”
“And the one thing that is important to remember is…”
“While…is important, it is also important to remember…”
“It’s true that…but it is also true that…”

Blocking: Never say “no comment” – it’s an obvious don’t. Instead, simple blocking allows you to focus the conversation. Common blocking phrases:
“I think what you’re really asking is…”
“That’s an interesting question, and to put it in perspective…”
“I don’t have precise details, but what I do know is…”

Never Repeat Negative Questions: Always frame your answer in the positive. Think about sound bites.

Stick to your message: Simple is better. Avoid the expert trap of over-answering. Work on test questions and learn when to stop talking.

Remove distractions: Technology is wonderful, but even the most seasoned interviewee can’t fight the Pavlovian response of the flashing red light or the subtle vibration that a message has arrived to their mobile device.

Relax: Be calm, confident and conversational.

In fairness to Piers, his first guests, Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern, are arguably two of the best interviewers in the industry. They ask questions, some tough and some embarrassing, and get out of the way so people can answer. They have an inherent ability to relate and create a bond with the interviewee. Really great interviewers are few and far between which makes interview preparation an imperative skill for PR pros.

These tips are the basics. The best “tool” in your public relations toolkit is a video camera. Video magnifies the strengths and weaknesses of your interview skills and allows you to fast-track growth and improvement. Do you have any tips and tricks you use for media training?

Part 2: Licensing – Monetizing Content in a 30-Second World

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

In my previous post published earlier this week, I suggested that content providers just come up with a way to charge for the use of the article when somebody reads the whole article instead of the hextract (header/extract)… do this regardless of whether that somebody is the first reader of the article or the recipient of it being passed along in an email. Make the charge a passive transaction and at a price the consumer considers fair. So the question on the table is why this hasn’t been done?

Pondering this question, two phrases immediately come to mind: “The Inventor’s Dilemma” (aPart 2: Licensing and Monetizing Content in a 30-second World great book by Clayton Christensen, 1997), and “like turning an aircraft carrier around.” The legacy environment is blinding. At the heart, though, I believe, is the much bantered-about idea of “engaging the consumer.” This is the “buzz” used by the folks attempting to do the engaging. The consumer is evidently not getting the message that they are being engaged; at least not by The Media companies’ definition, which is about adopting and paying according to its rules of engagement.

I was at a conference last fall with a significant number of aspiring media titans in attendance. The panels focused on devices, technology, and the creation of apps to support their existing revenue models. My takeaway was the tremendous amount of energy going into convincing the consumer of what their, the consumers’, needs are instead of discovering and meeting those needs that already exist.

This contrast became more apparent with the remarks of each and every one of the CEO keynotes: Jason Kilar, Hulu; William Lynch, Barnes and Noble; and Oprah Winfrey, OWN. They all shouted about the key to success being the result of a dialog with the customer, listening to them, and giving them what they wanted. The panelist’s focus was certainly not the result of these folks being from a culture that celebrates entrepreneurial thinking. The legacy rules discourage divisional collaboration and non-linear approaches. You don’t get your own castle without being able to protect the moat. Problem is that the market in which these rules worked moved and it didn’t happen in the dead of night.

The old marketplace based on scarcity of information has left the building and with it the providers’ absolute control of access.

So what to do . . . ?

After having given this way too much thought, I would suggest an industry strategic planning meeting be convened with a very select group of players. I would gather together Hearst’s Frank Bennack, Advance’s Donald or Stephen Newhouse, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Barnes and Noble’s William Lynch, and Clay Shirky, who consults, teaches, and writes on the social economic effects of Internet technologies. I would also include Ken Doctor, a leading news industry analyst, as the scribe. The group should be sequestered for a week and then every six months reconvene to make adjustments. With all the exclusive consortiums in play targeting “low hanging fruit,” this is one consortium that could actually move the needle, and create enough disruptive engagement to get all those “mortgages” paid for a long, long time.

My guess is that, in the end, a process of marking, tracking, and monetizing will emerge. The only absolute is that time is of the essence in the 30-second world or information.

PR News 2010 Media Relations Conference: Roger Conner Interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Transcript -

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the PR News Media Relations Summit. I’m joined by Roger.

Roger, will you please introduce yourself?

ROGER CONNER: Hi, I’m Roger Conner, senior director of communications for Catholic Charities USA after a 25-year career as vice president of communications with Marriott, the hotel company.

BURKE: Thanks, Roger. And, you know, platinum member here, so big Marriott fan. I’ll just get that off the record right away.

CONNER: Well, I always–when–you know, I spent a life at Marriott, an entire career, and I always loved and always thanked all of those Marriott reward members, and particularly those platinum members, for their business. That’s the first thing anyone ever said at Marriott, no matter what job they were in.

BURKE: Fantastic. Now, you were just the keynote speaker at the Media Relations Summit here, and you talked about having a crisis team with five different parts. Can you share what those five parts are with the PR and communications professionals that are our audience?

CONNER: At Marriott, most recently we developed a five-part crisis communications team. It started with our writing and research team, and they were the ones that contacted the hotel or any other place where there was an incident or issue involving media, and then they wrote the message. Often the message was written in advance by research and writing. It was then handed off to the second team, which is our press and media team, and they would actually take that work and call The Media, and they were designated to speak with the media.

We had three other teams that were very helpful. One of them was internal communications, which, as we know, is critical today. Secondly–or not secondly, but a fourth team was our logistics team because there’s an awful lot of materials that need to be at the ready for responding to a crisis or an issue. And finally we had our community relations team for all our involvement with other organizations that might be part of a crisis, such as Red Cross or others.

BURKE: Great. And, Roger, what are the two things that you had mentioned that you have on your shelf ready to go in the event of any crisis?

CONNER: Well, with these five different components of our crisis communications team in place, they were working with two primary documents, or two primary tools, if you will. The first one was actually called “The First 15,” and directionally, if not in reality, it was a document that addressed how we respond to The Media, or publicly, within the first 15 minutes of any kind of major crisis or issue. And the other document was known as “The First Hour,” which actually was a little bit more practical and a little longer, and really laid out all of the roles and responsibility for the members of those five teams that must be done within the first hour.

BURKE: Great, Roger. And where can people find you or follow Catholic Charities online?

CONNER: Well, Catholic Charities USA can be found on Twitter, can be found on Facebook. We have a great Flickr site, along with Facebook, for our photographs. And of course, personally I’m on LinkedIn.

BURKE: Great, thank you so much.

 CONNER: Thank you so much.