Posts Tagged ‘RSS’

Professional Development and Business Success: Video Interview w/ Joseph Thornley, Thornley Fallis Communications, and Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce, at the 2011 Counselors Academy

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at Counselors Academy. And I’m joined by Joseph.

Joseph, will you please introduce yourself?

JOSEPH THORNLEY: Hi, I’m Joseph Thornley. I’m the CEO of Thornley Fallis Communications in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada.

BURKE: Joseph, you know, here at PRSA Counselors Academy, I know that this takes a weekend out of your life and a lot of time, and so it’s obviously very important. Can you talk about how you work your own professional development into your day-to-day, and how you encourage your staff to do that as well?

THORNLEY: Sure, absolutely. I think–I’m 59, and I was saying to my wife last night, because she’s here at the conference with me, that I’m still learning every day. And that’s what makes me know that I’m still alive. And I learn a lot by reading things online. I’m a big believer in RSS. I can find the people that I really care about and I can read what they have to say and I can learn, I can write about myself. But I come to conferences—I probably come to more conferences now than I did 20 years ago because I’m very often meeting the people I’ve been reading and I’m getting engaged in discussions with them, and it’s a true learning experience. What I look for in a conference is a session where I can have one actionable takeaway once an hour. And if I get that, it’s a tremendous success for me.

BURKE: Fantastic. Now, where can people connect with you online and in social media?

THORNLEY: They can connect with me, I’m thornley on Twitter and I’m—my blog is, P-R-O-P-R.C-A.

BURKE: Thank you so much.

THORNLEY: OK. Thank you, Johna.

Is Your Press Release Guilty of Information Overload?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Working Hard resizeBranding and advertising messages can be both offensive and defensive – which may be why they seem to be everywhere these days.  Added to the barrage of news and posts coming in to your RSS feed, newsletters you’ve subscribed to, social news streams, your email inbox, not to mention your personal communications and – you’ve got information overload.  

According to a video based on the book Socialnomics™ by Erik Qualman, we no longer search for the news but the news finds us or, at least, it tries to reach us. I’ve heard there’s an average of 5,000 attempts to get our attention every day.  That was back in 2006 – the figures are probably even higher by now. But even so, 5,000 messages? Per day? Yikes!  No wonder we feel overwhelmed sometimes.

That’s the “average” person. Imagine how a journalist must feel. Journalists must be masters of information management. According to a Journalistics post, they are receiving hundreds of pitches a day. (Makes my head swim just thinking about it!) As The Media evolves, newsrooms are also switching to more hyperlocal formats and journalists are finding that they are wearing other hats, besides that of journalist, including business person and manager.

Seth Godin recently wrote on his blog that, “Once you overload the user, you train them not to pay attention. More clutter isn’t free. In fact, more clutter is a permanent shift, a desensitization to all the information, not just the last bit.”

To stop issuing press releases isn’t really an option, so how do you keep yours from being lost in the thicket of information and simply adding to the fatigue of digital overload? 

  • Craft the perfect headline. It should clearly epitomize what your press release is about while including keywords (for SEO). Try to get it down to 10-12 words or less.
  • Lead with the hook. The lead (first sentence or “hook”) should be clear and concise.  The news in your news release has to be obvious.
  • Skip the fluff.  State actual facts – products, services, events, people, projects. Avoid jargon or specialized technical terms.
  • Set word limits. In a recent PRSA Tactics article, Ann Wylie writes, “The recommended length for the average press release has dropped from 400 words in print to 250 words online, according to Internet marketing strategist B.L. Ochman.”  The press release should not tell the whole story but simply an idea of what their readers need to know.
  • Timing is everything. The content should be relevant and fresh – not too far past and not too far in the future.
  • Target distribution. I’m not going to detail in this post, but if you want to revisit why this is so important, you can read about it here and here.

As Wylie states (in the above-referenced article), “The right length for each piece depends on the topic, audience, medium, budget and other factors.” The key is not “smothering your readers with information.”

How are you tailoring your media outreach to fit the ever-changing needs of journalists and bloggers? If you’ve given your press release a makeover, to keep up with the times, how successful have your efforts been? Please share your thoughts with the me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Integrating Social and Real-Life Networking

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Valerie Simon

Integrating Social and I could not be more excited to attend the PRSA T3 conference on June 11, 2010. The co-chairs, PRSA Technology section chair Rich Teplitsky and my #PRStudChat partner, 2.0 expert and author Deirdre Breakenridge, have put together an incredible agenda of topics and speakers that are sure to excite anyone looking to stay ahead of the curve in public relations and social networking.

Here are a few of the ways I’ll be integrating social media into my conference experience to assure I make the most of the opportunity.

Advance preparation

  • Twitter: If you follow me on Twitter, you may already have seen that I’ve begun tweeting about the conference, speakers, and other attendees using the hashtag #techprsa. In addition, I’ve participated in a pre-conference Twitter Chat and started a Twitter list of T3 attendees, so that I could get to know them better outside of the hashtag. I’ve even set up a column using to begin monitoring pre-conference conversation using the conference hashtag.
  • LinkedIn: I’m a longtime member of the PRSA LinkedIn Group and am watching closely a discussion posted by Nicole Zerillo, marketing communications social media manager, PRSA, regarding the conference. I also joined the PRSA technology section group which is much more focused on the upcoming conference than the general PRSA group on LinkedIn.
  • Facebook: My Facebook account is really more personal, than professional, but sometimes the lines blur a bit. For example, I’m keeping a close eye on the PRSA Facebook page and have left a comment on one discussion about the T3 conference.
  • Google Reader (RSS): I’ve confirmed that the blogs of all speakers are in my Google Reader and organized them in a special folder. Now to continue adding the blogs of other attendees I anticipate meeting…
  • General Social Media: When it gets a bit closer to the event, I plan to update my status on all social sites and share that I will be attending the event. 

As important as the online preparation is, don’t forget the value of offline communication. Many speakers are also authors; in fact, I am hoping to finish speaker Justin Levy’s book, Facebook Marketing: Designing Your New Marketing Campaign, before hearing his session!

Live attendance
When the big day comes, I’ll be there early. While a conference offers many opportunities to share information live, I don’t intend to focus on live blogging/micro-blogging. I am there to take advantage of the benefits of face-to-face networking and learning. Perhaps I’ll tweet a few of the brilliant remarks from speakers, but only if I find that it is not distracting me from making the most of what is happening in that room.

But don’t worry, I won’t forget about you, the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. I’ll bring my flip cam, in hopes of introducing you later to some of the incredible people I meet. Perhaps I’ll take a few photos to share; I’ve really enjoyed the Whrrl stories created by Perkett PR… maybe it’s time I create my own, or perhaps interview some of the speakers for a future Fresh Ideas or Public Relations Examiner post.

Conference follow-up
I am sure that I will return from the conference with many new connections and valuable resources and expect that the night (and weekend) after the conference, I’ll be very busy. In general, I make it a point to follow EVERY new contact on Twitter (and plan to add those from the conference to my T3 PR Twitter list); this allows me the opportunity to continue listening and learning from them. And I send personal LinkedIn invitations to those I have connected with, and want to be sure I keep in my network. 

I’ll also be downloading video and sifting through notes, taking some time to contemplate all that I heard and learned, before sitting down to blog. And finally, I intend to make a trip to Barnes and Noble. (I always seem to walk away from these conferences with some great new book recommendations.)

Whew. It seems like a lot, but I am a firm believer that there is a direct correlation between investment and return. What steps do you take to maximize the opportunities of the conferences you attend? What are your plans for this year’s PRSA T3 conference? How are you integrating social and real-life networking and capitalizing on the ROI?

Will Paid Online Content Change Your Media Sources?

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Flickr Image: RonAlmog

Flickr Image: RonAlmog

by Carol Holden*
Like most people, I start my business day by checking the BurrellesLuce morning news briefing to see what’s up with the competition and the industry as a whole.

Recently, I found two bright spots regarding the health of the traditional media industry.

As reported in Editor & Publisher, in a study recently released by Scarborough Research, data analysis indicates that newspapers are still read in print or online by a critical mass of adults in the U.S. on a daily and weekly basis. “While our data does show that print newspaper readership is slowly declining, it also illustrates that reports about the pending death of the newspaper industry are not supported by audience data,” said Gary Meo, Scarborough Research’s senior vice president of print and digital media services. “Given the fragmentation of media choices, printed newspapers are holding onto their audiences relatively well and this is refreshing news.”

This is certainly refreshing to me as the person directing the BurrellesLuce Media Measurement service as well as being a former employee of a small town newspaper.

The report went on to list the following statistics:

In an average week –

  • 79 percent of adults employed in white collar positions read a newspaper in print or online
  • 82 percent of adults with household incomes of $100,000 or more read a printed newspaper in print or online
  • 84 percent of adults who are college graduates or who have advanced degrees read a printed newspaper in print or online

 Secondly, as reported in Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog, a new survey from the Boston Consulting Group asserts that the average news consumer would likely be willing to pay for news online, but respondents insist on unique news stories worthy of buying. “The good news is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, consumers are willing to pay for meaningful content,” said John Rose, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group who leads the firm’s global media sector. “The bad news is that they are not willing to pay much. But cumulatively, these payments could help offset one to three years of anticipated declines in advertising revenue.”

This change carries a lot of implications. Top of my mind is the impact on how Google will search for news and, depending on the sources and the charges, it will likely influence my own RSS options. How will you advise your clients to navigate the new terrain? How will paid content change your online sources for news?

*Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Trials and Tribulations in Twitterville

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Gail Nelson
Trials and Tribulations in TwittervilleRemember reading blogs using an RSS reader? I do. That was my everyday practice before I shifted more of my social media consumption to Twitter. This past weekend, I cozied up to my Google Reader for a good long time, and explored a surprisingly deep Twitter backlash. Who knew?

Check out this short animation from SuperNews called “Twouble with Twitters.” (I found it on the Murphy’s Law blog).  The plot: a twenty-something guy tries to persuade his twenty-something co-worker to join Twitter. It doesn’t end well. While the first twenty-something implores the second to “twitterstand,” the unconvinced co-colleague asserts that Twitter is about “randomly bragging about your unexceptional life.” (Funny, and partially true.)

Brian Solis has announced Friendfilter, a Twitter plug-in. You may use it to preview the profile and usage statistics of potential followers and determine if they are worth your time. It’s a form of white-listing – although receiving excessive tweets is self-inflicted form of spam, the downside of cultivating a large following. The way I see it, Friendfilter could also help power Twitter users (@gail_nelson is not one) to avoid hanging out with the less popular kids.

In a theme he’s been building over a few posts, Robert Scoble (the Scobelizer) compares the nature of Twitter (public) with Facebook (private), and tries to figure out how each of these free services will structure advertising fees. The personal details users are willing to share on Facebook signal purchase decisions that make advertisers salivate, Scoble asserts.  People don’t tweet with the same depth, making the Twitter audience less valuable.

Well, I’d better get this blog post off and uploaded so I can get back onto Twitter and tweet about it.