Posts Tagged ‘hyperlocal’


Without Power, What’s a Social Media Junkie to Do?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Ruth Mesfun*

Twitter Scrabble Over Halloween weekend, the Northeast faced an unprecedented snow and ice storm, atypical for this time of year, leaving over 2.5 million people from Maryland to Maine without electricity. Many people in New Jersey (BurrellesLuce is headquartered in Livingston) have only just now had the power turned back on, while hundreds of thousands are still in the dark. In fact, some towns in NJ have postponed trick – or – treating until Friday (today).

With millions of people scrambling to the nearest café for WiFi, what’s a social media junkie to do? Of course, the day after the storm my sister texted “Shouldve gotten 4G,” which at that moment I was tempted to double my monthly cell phone budget just for some Yahoo!News.

I also resisted the urge to hibernate under my blankets until the power went on. Instead, I came up with these five ways to get my social media fix:

1. Play Twitter Scrabble. My sister, the writer, would loathe this but I believe Twitter scrabble is the best invention for twitterholics. Instead of using actual correct words, players write it in “tweet speak.” Also, the blank tokens can be used for symbols, such as the “@” or “#” sign.

2. Write a blog post, or seven. I use every social media device to write anything other than the blog post I am supposed to work on. Well, without any electricity, I have no other choice but to actually write. Plus, think about how impressive it would be when you have all your work done AHEAD of time. Afraid to use up all the power in your laptop? That’s why we have paper and pencil. 

3. Clean up your room, computer, hard drive, car, anything! Yes, you know what I am talking about. Most people use social media as an excuse NOT to clean. Well, no excuse now! Plus, if you are feeling really compelled, you can probably take a few pictures to post on your Facebook, Tumblr, or Flickr account once the power is back on … this way your friends can see exactly what you’ve been up to while away.

4. Play “Keep it Short.” Now if you have listened to the Breakfast Club from Power 105.1, you know what I am talking about. To play “Keep it Short” you need at least 3 people. One person will say an acronym and the first player who says the correct phrase scores a point. Whoever has the most points is the winner. #winning

5. Build your network. I know that this might seem like a head turner, since you cannot connect to any networking sites. But, go to your town and get to know the local business owners (in real life) and give them your card or tell them what you blog about. Who knows, you might get a free cupcake, if you are sweet enough, never mind the chance to build relationships. You can then turn these into hyperlocal connections online.

Now, these are my top five to stay connected to social media and the community when the power is out, what are yours? Please share your comments here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Bio: Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, as social media specialist, Ruth worked as a marketing assistant in a kitchen design firm and, later interned with Turner Public Relations. She holds a BA in Economics with a minor degree in International Relations from Rowan University. In addition to economics, education, and finance – Ruth is passionate about understanding the business implications of social media, including how it can be used to increase ROI, find and maintain a career, and create a business. Connect with her on Twitter: @RuthMesfun LinkedIn: Ruth Mesfun Facebook: BurrellesLuce

PRSA-NJ Panel Discussion: PR Strategy Tools for Effective Online News

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

Effective Online News

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the PRSA-NJ panel discussion on Tools of the Trade:  Effective Online News sponsored by BurrellesLuce.  The event was held at the beautiful Monmouth University campus and had a great turnout of emerging journalists and up-and-coming publicists. 

The panel had one consistent message across the board for students and professionals in attendance: 

  • Know who you are pitching.
  • Know your news hook.
  • Be relevant, specific and succinct.

Judith Feeney —  digital editor for NJ Press Media,  Asbury Park Press (app.com), Daily Record (dailyrecord.com), the Home News Tribune, and the Courier News — started the discussion by reminding us there are a vast number of new tools and a lot less time to get the job done.  She suggested that PR and media relations professionals need to become familiar with all of the tools out there.  Know who you are pitching and don’t blanket your pitch to multiple people.  Look at the type of material the publication and journalist produces and tailor your pitch accordingly.

Christopher Sheldon, the Long Branch editor of Patch.com, a hyperlocal publication, said to make sure to include the who, what, where, when and why in the first paragraph.  If it’s not local to his area, he cannot write about it.  His audience is looking for community news.

Christy Potter Kass, assistant editor of The Alternative Press, agreed with Chris and said her publication is also hyperlocal and stories must tie into the values and interests of local readers.  She emphasized not to confuse hyperlocal publications with national publications.  When asked the definition of “hyperlocal,” Christy said the more local the story the better.  News must be about something going on in town or have a connection to the community.

Joan Bosisio, group vice president of Stern & Associates said that (with all the recent layoffs) PR people have an opportunity to help journalists, who are working on stories, do their jobs.  Journalists are now doing more than one job and by presenting them with not only the story, but the materials to help them write the story (e.g., video, spokespeople and social media) you make their job easier.

Kristine Brown oversees PR for St. Barnabas Health, the state’s largest hospital system.  She gave us some real life examples of crisis communications and advised that essential PR skills have not changed with all the new online tools available.  Kristine said you still need to know your audience, know your story, cultivate relationships with the media (this has helped her in time of crisis) and move at the same pace the news is moving.

As for journalists and PR professionals alike, essential skills include: spelling, grammar, and attention to detail. The ability to take your own photos, as a journalist, will also help prospective media professionals stand out.

How are you using online tools to help you connect with journalists and the media? As a member of the media, what other ways can PR and communications professionals work with you to get their stories out? Please leave your comments below on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

In PR and the Media: September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Near the 5-Inch Heels, Guerrillas on Four Wheels (NYTimes.com)
“EVERYONE was expecting New York Fashion Week to embrace mobile this fall. They just didn’t mean vehicles. Plastered with logos — and offering free food, cosmetics samples or mini-makeovers — cars and trucks sponsored by brands have become almost as ubiquitous during the past week’s events as five-inch heels.”

1st Female Editor Denies Influence of Gender (Maynard Institute)
“Jill Abramson, who last week became the first female editor of the New York Times in its 160-year history, said Sunday, ‘The idea that women journalists bring a different taste in stories or sensibility isn’t true.’ The statement was challenged by women who have studied the topic of women in journalism.

Shoppers Via Twitter Spend More, Online Behavior Impacts Retail (MediaPost)
“Shoppers who land on retail sites through Facebook or Twitter are less likely to make purchases. Their conversion rates average 1.2% and 0.5%, respectively. Per average order, however, they spend more than those who come through Google.”

UPDATE: Facebook Suggests Subscribing To Profiles (All Facebook)
“Facebook is suggesting that you subscribe to people’s public status updates and customize how much of their feeds you receive. The site is rolling out a new subscribe button that will enable you to receive in your news feed publicly visible status updates from people who aren’t yet on your friend list.”

Are Big Media’s Partnerships With Seattle ‘Indies’ the Future of Hyperlocal? (StreetFight)
“In the furiously expanding, highly competitive and often conflicted hyperlocal space, some pieces appear to be coming together. Just possibly, highly digital Seattle may be the birthplace for what has long eluded hyperlocal: a sustainable business model.”

In PR and Media: September 1, 2011

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

J.C. Penny Pulls Controversial T-Shirt (Yahoo!/Shine)
“A few months ago, the Internet was up in arms over a white David & Goliath T-Shirt that read, in pink bubble letters, “I’m too pretty to do math.” Then there was the one with “Future Trophy Wife” written on it. But many parents think this one is worse…”

E-Books Get More Interactive With Amazon’s New Author Q&A Feature (ReadWriteWeb)
“Amazon nudged the experience of reading books ever-so-slightly further into the future today. The company announced a new feature for its Kindle reading platform that lets readers ask authors questions about their books as they’re reading.”

 Juror Pleads Guilty After ‘Friending’ Defendent (Mashable.com)
“Jurors and defendants are not meant to be friends — even if it’s just Facebook friends. Four charges of contempt of court probably drilled this point home for 22-year-old Jonathan Hudson of Arlington, Texas.”  

Apple’s Cloud Still Isn’t Streaming (AllThingsDigital.com)
“When is a stream not a stream? When it’s a download. While a video making the rounds today makes it seem as if Apple’s upcoming iTunes Match service will stream music from Apple’s servers to a user’s device, that’s not the case.”

Zuckerberg Tops Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment” List Again (And Look Who’s No. 40) (AllThingsDigital.com)
“Vanity Fair magazine put out its high-profile “New Establishment” list of the top 50 people, who are ‘an innovative new breed of buccaneering visionaries, engineering prodigies, and entrepreneurs, who quite often sport hoodies, floppy hair, and backpacks.’”

Ex-NYC Deputy Mayor: Hyperlocals Should Help Citizens ‘March on City Hall’ (StreetFightMag.com)
“Journalism and community are rapidly converging in the hyperlocal space. But the big missing piece is meaningful participation by local government.”

Nielsen 2011-12 Rankings: Washington DC, Seattle Move Up, While Atlanta and Phoenix Drop (TVSpy)
“The Top 20 local markets will see some changes this year, according to Nielsen. The 2011-12 list of DMAs, released today, measures Washington, DC and Seattle each moving up a rank — to 8 and 12, respectively — while Atlanta and Phoenix each drop down one spot, to 9 and 13.”

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Local News Gets ‘Hyper’ As Media Landscape Evolves

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Local News Gets Hyper as Media Landscape EvolvesThe durability of news outlets that are tightly linked to their neighborhoods provides opportunity for PR practitioners willing to understand and invest in what these hyperlocal outlets and hyperlocal communities value.

The number of these so-called “hyperlocal” sites is growing, as traditional media and leading search engines partner with existing hyperlocal operations and non-media entities, such as universities, to create hyperlocal news products.

“Hyperlocal is difficult, expensive and not for the faint of heart,” says Barb Palser, director of digital media for McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Co., in this American Journalism Review article. Nonetheless, she notes, “news organizations and startups across the country are betting heavily that hyperlocal news sites will solve the needs of both consumers and advertisers.”

How, then, as communications practitioners looking for more-targeted ways to reach our audiences, can we better guarantee the success of our hyperlocal initiatives? Read more of this newsletter in the BurrellesLuce Resource Center.