Posts Tagged ‘Peter Shankman’


Vacationing off the Grid

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Oceanview from Vijitt Resort, Phuket - Photo credit: Debbie Friez

Oceanview from Vijitt Resort, Phuket - Photo credit: Debbie Friez

Around this time last year, I asked, “Do you need to unplug from social media?” in a BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post. At the time, I admitted I couldn’t completely do it, but I had tried to limit my time online.  Realizing I might need a break from the noise, I decided to try harder, this year. I was NOT taking my BlackBerry with me on vacation to Singapore and Phuket, Thailand.

Reality Check
Be honest. Can you live without a mobile phone? The real answer should be a resounding “Yes,” but it’s not easy! My husband and I are used to being able to contact each other whenever we want, so the idea of “no phones” did not seem plausible. Our trip started with a work conference for my husband, so he would need his work BlackBerry. I decided to take his personal BlackBerry, but turn-off any roaming ability for data. This would limit me to when I was in network (U.S. only) and WiFi areas for anything but calling and texting. I don’t have the text posting ability set-up for Facebook and Twitter, so I wouldn’t be tempted to post that way.

Despite our preparations, it was harder than I thought to turn off our electronics! I love posting my observations (that I think are funny or interesting), and suddenly, I couldn’t! I did bring my BlackBerry Playbook this way, if there was WiFi, usually in public areas of the resorts, when I was admiring the beautiful view from the Singapore Flyer, I could only take pictures and record with my Flip camera. When I caught a couple taking “action shots” of each other on the beach, I could only laugh. (I couldn’t even point, because that is very rude in Asian cultures.)

However, the time difference actually made my limited time online easier to handle. Very few friends were online when I was, so I didn’t linger as long as usual. I discovered Peter Shankman was also in Thailand, so I asked him for advice on where to go. It was comforting to know I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t sleep and was posting at what would be the middle of the night back home on the East coast.

(more…)

Overcoming Blogger’s Block

Monday, February 7th, 2011

What to blog about?

istockphoto.com Good IdeaThat is the question I’ve been asking myself for a few days. In my pursuit of a topic for a post, I realized I’m not alone… Writer’s block has always been something that communications professionals, and others, have struggled to overcome. But now that audiences expect instantaneous access to new content and materials via blogs and other social media, it’s becoming even harder to keep up and remain, well, “fresh.”  

In hopes of beating my own blogger’s block, I decided to take a look at some PR resources for inspiration. I’d like to give you some, in case you, too, find yourself in a similar situation.

One: Arik Hanson recapped a blog discussion last November on 24 ways to feed the blog beast. I’ve referred to this list several times. In fact, my BurrellesLuce colleague Valerie Simon has utilized number nine, summarizing various Twitter chats, several times since she leads both the #PRStudChat and #HAPPO chats. I especially like number 20 on using best of posts. This strategy allows me to include information from multiple, valuable sources and give some “link love” to other great blogs.  

Two: My Google Reader is a great resource for searching for topics and other blogs of interests. Josh Braaten, Big Picture Web Marketing, notes this tip in his post, Four Tips for Overcoming Blogging Writer’s Block. He also suggests using Twitter to review hot topics and ask for ideas.

Three: The startup, Skribit claims to be the cure to writer’s block. The application allows you to get feedback and suggestions from readers of your blog. Mashable even highlighted the tool in its Spark of Genius series, and based on the comments, I would give it a try.

Four: I’ve asked my network for ideas. I don’t always use the ideas, but the act of reviewing their ideas often leads to new ones. For this post, I asked Peter Shankman for some  good writers’ karma, because he had tweeted about  how a blog post just came to him and he had a great writing session. And he sent it (the good writer’s karma) my way via DM.

Five: And don’t forget the traditional media! My colleague Tressa Robbins recently wrote a blog post, News in Our Digital Lives: “Old” Media Still Matters, recapping the annual joint meeting of PRSA, IABC, and CSPRC.  Amy Mitchell, deputy director for the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism presented some interesting finds, confirming the importance and reliance on traditional news. “In one American city (Baltimore), a whopping 92 percent of new content came from “old” media, proving that the published story is just the beginning of its life cycle.”

How do you get ideas for your blog posts? What themes have resonated with your readers? What topics would you like to see covered on Fresh Ideas?

Using Social Media to Enhance Attendee Experience at PR Industry Events

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

How is Social MediaIt’s that time of year again. Yes, it’s public relations and marketing conference season. Peter Shankman’s latest blog post gives some great tips for surviving it. Although social media is not a new thing to conferences (Twitter debuted at SXSW a few years ago), it is really now just becoming “mainstream.” In my June 20, 2009 blog post, I first talked about how I use Twitter as my note-taking platform and as a way to encourage engagement. A year later, and it is amazing to see how much more of a role social media plays in event participation.

I recently spoke at the YNPNdc (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) second annual social media conference. Rosetta Thurman gave a great presentation on basic social media tools you should be using to enhance participation in your conference. Some of my favorite tips include:

  • Make a hashtag and promote it early.
  • Make a Twitter list of attendees and follow it.
  • Don’t hire a videographer; use Flipcams and digital cameras.
  • Allow attendees to take pictures and share them.
  • Integrate social media into your event. It is a great way to get information to your attendees and allows for more contact points than any one person can manage.

 “Building social media strategies into your event allows other people to speak and respond on your behalf. Sometimes the best answer to a question comes from a fellow attendee,” says John Chen, publications/project manager, International Society for Performance Improvement.  

What tips do you have for BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers looking to increase engagement at conferences? What has worked best for your organization?

Lunar Landing Anniversary = Great PR Opportunity

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

2768719983_962780aa36_m.jpgLike most people under 50, the first lunar landing is something I read about in history books or watched clips of on TV. At first glance, this week’s celebration of the 40th anniversary seemed to be an overkill of media coverage. But as I watched TV stories and YouTube videos, perused the special section in the Washington Post, and read tweets, I realized NASA may have created an award-winning PR campaign.

NASA is trying to reach younger people, who feel space travel is blasé. They also need funding and support for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. I was surprised how many stories relayed NASA’s key message: space missions are important to the advancement of science.

A. Pawlowski made this point in a CNN.com article looking at the debate over space travel. A very fun sidebar in the print edition of the Washington Post highlighted many of the products developed because of the space program. Even Google Earth got into the act.

Peter Shankman of HARO was asked at a presentation at the National Institutes of Health which government agency is utilizing social media well? Not surprisingly, his answer was NASA.

I really cannot wait until all the coverage is reviewed and analyzed. I believe the communications teams at NASA pulled-off a great event, which advanced their purpose.

Have you used an anniversary to successfully drive home your key messages to new audiences? Myself (and the rest of us here at BurrellesLuce) would like to hear about your success stories.

From PRville: PR and Passion Rule the Gator Nation

Monday, June 29th, 2009

PR and Passion in the Gator NationHaving just returned from PRville (the PRSA Sunshine District conference in Jacksonville, Florida of which BurrellesLuce was a sponsor), I thought I’d share some tidbits from one of the sessions that I attended. 

First, let me say that Peter Shankman and Dayna Steele were the two keynote speakers and, expectedly, put on great shows along with their speeches. They are both an inspiration to all!

Not being from Florida, and not being a huge college sports fan, I didn’t have high expectations of the “PR and Passion Rule the Gator Nation” session led by Joe Hice, APR. But I was pleasantly surprised and am so very glad I chose that session to attend. 

The key takeaways from “using passion in your public relations campaign,” according to Hice you must:

  • Have Passion for the institution/brand…
  • To create Disciples for your brand…
  • By Connecting to your audience…
  • And Imprinting the experience in their minds.
  • You must also Engender Trust and Preference.
  • Connect and Converse – talk to your audience…
  • Demonstrate Creativity – the Wow Factor
  • Consistency, consistency, consistency

Hice provided lots of supporting information and I’ll attempt to re-cap thate as well He said:

  • The Passion must begin with you – love what you do.
  • Brand disciples are made through a relationship of mutual respect. To build trust and preference, you must connect with your audience. Hice gave the example of Harley-Davidson executives (including himself in a past life) participating in Harley rides.
  • An emotional connection is required to imprint the experience in their minds.
  • You must be consistent in your communications – one voice, one message – across all platforms (advertising, public relations, media relations, promotions, etc.).
  • And, finally, the “wow factor” comes from demonstrating creativity and differentiation from others in your space. For example, mix external and internal public relations with advertising, social networks (such as Facebook, blogs, Twitter), interactive media (such as YouTube and Hulu) and the “unexpected” such as outdoor billboards, airport banners, greeting cards, license plates, credit cards, and more.

My favorite example is the billboard he showed that read “University of Florida – the Foundation for The Gator Nation,” as if Gator Nation is the real brand and UF is secondary!  With 30,000 people per day (yes, that’s nearly 11 million a year) visiting InsideTheGatorNation.com or one of the UF news sites, I’ll say it, Joe – “The Gator Nation is Everywhere.”

Do you have a passion PR story to tell, or want to comment on this one?  We’d like to hear from you.