Category Archives: PR

90: Dealing with multiple notification pathways

This week David and Paul talk about how we deal with having mutliple notification mechanisms. In our professional lifetimes  we have seen the rise and now fall of having universal email access to our contacts — now we have IM, Twitter, texting, and even the phone to juggle. Part of the problem is that email is notoriously poor at sending large files (and woe become anyone who sends large files to us without asking prior permission).  The two discuss their own personal communications differences, what PR people have to do to get the word out to the media, and what makes sense for each medium. 

You can download and listen to the podcast here.

79: The Information-Empowered Viewer

David spent election night flipping back and forth between the news coverage on television and various information sites on the Internet, seeking out background information on the results and candidates. He began thinking about how the Web is changing the way people consume news. PR pros need to assume that readers and viewers will constantly want to check facts and seek background on events in real time. How does that change the way they package information?

Download the podcast (13:52) (right-click to save)

78: The Corporate Blogger

krista-gleason-kodak

Krista Gleason

Eastman Kodak Company has been transforming itself from a maker of film-based products into a comprehensive maker of imaging products and services. With a growing line of digital photography, output and online services, the company has been trying to remake its image through multiple channels, including social media.

Kodak maintains blogs devoted to products, photography and the business of graphic communications. It’s also active on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other direct-to-the-customer channels. The social media conversations are based on contributions from some 70 corporate bloggers, who provide a constant stream of information about the company, its markets and its customers. Krista Gleason joined the company a year ago after a career in government and she is learning to apply blogging to the company’s public relations efforts. In this interview, she talks about how Kodak manages multiple blogs, chooses people to represent it online and the remarkable freedom it provides its staff bloggers to write about what they choose.

Listen to the podcast (11:30) Right-click and save to download

76: Spread the Viral Love

This week, our hosts talk about viral marketing and questionable PR practices. Paul’s new book, Secrets of Social Media Marketing, shipped from the printer this week. More than 20 reviews have already appeared on blogs, Twitter and the reviews section of the book site. The reason? Publisher Quill Driver Books distributed nearly 5,500 copies in print and PDF form in the two months prior to its release. Remarkably, most of the awareness spread by word of mouth. Paul notes that only 250 people registered for the free PDF, yet more than 5,200 copies were actually downloaded, a ratio of nearly 21:1. Was it a smart idea to give away a book that costs $11 in print? The jury is still out, but Secrets has been as high as 8,000 on Amazon before its actual release, indicating that awareness is high.

David has been writing for The New York Times, among other outlets. He tells the story of a Dutch auto company that ignored his repeated requests for an interview. Why a small company would turn down an opportunity to be featured in one of the world’s most important newspapers befuddles him. Paul has had similar experiences recently. Has traditional media lost that much luster? Paul and David doubt it. They think the level of PR professionalism is sinking.

Stick around for outtakes at the end of this program.

Download the podcast (19:10)

74: Corporate Bloggers See No Evil

Paul did an informal audit of 15 corporate blogs this week and discovered that the financial crisis that has fixated the nation is blissfully absent from their coverage. Just two of the blogs even mentioned the turmoil on Wall Street, and only one of those blogs was in the US. Paul and David wonder why, four years into the business blogging revolution, so few corporations are willing to speak honestly to their constituents. They see an opportunity lost.

Download the podcast (13:39)

73: A Naked Conversation

Shel Israel

Shel Israel

When Paul and David were reporters working for major tech publications, they used to occasionally get pitches from a PR guy named Shel Israel. Israel’s been around the business a long time and knows the ins and outs of pitching reporters. He also understood very early that the rules were changing and that power and influence were moving into the hands of individuals.

In early 2006, Israel teamed up with superblogger Robert Scoble to publish Naked Conversations, the first book to dramatize the increasingly powerful effects that bloggers were having on markets. The book’s success catapulted Israel into the category of industry thought leader. Suddenly, people like David and Paul were calling up asking to interview him!

Which is precisely what they did for this episode. In an interview set up via the great democratizing agent called Twitter, our hosts spent a half hour with Shel Israel talking about the continuing evolution of markets into conversations. In a session that really is more conversation than interview, Israel spoke about the impact that Naked Conversations has had on his career, but more importantly about the changes that social media are engendering in the public relations field. It’s not a matter of if PR pros should engage with online influencers, he said, it’s a matter of how quickly they can rush to learn the new rules.

Shel Israel is brash, funny and very opinionated. This half-hour clip should give you an indication of why he’s become such a prominent voice in new media.

Download the podcast (30:58)

71: Mr. LinkedIn

Who says you can’t reinvent yourself after 20 years in the business? Not Chuck Hester. A veteran of technology public relations going back to the days of print, Hester has become a disciple of the business networking service LinkedIn. He uses LinkedIn to organize meetings and group dinners during his frequent travels and to maintain a list of hundreds of business contacts. When he wants to meet someone, he often starts with LinkedIn Answers or a query to his network. The strategy has drawn media attention and made Hester a master connector in tech media. And that’s paying off for his employer, e-mail service firm iContact. Chuck Hester shares some secrets of effective LinkedIn use in this interview.

Download the podcast (15:00)

69: PR Strategies for Startups

 

Jason Calacanis

Jason Calacanis

This week Paul and David discuss some of the strategies that serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis mentions in his subscriber-only mailing list (note: our recording is mistaken about where to find it) about PR strategies that have resonated with him. As he says in his post:
 
“You don’t need a PR firm, you don’t need an in-house PR person and you don’t need to spend ANY money to get amazing PR. You don’t need to be connected, and you don’t need to be a ‘name brand.'”
 
He talks about how you can be the brand, and be totally involved in what your company is doing. And always pick up the dinner check. They also talk about others who have succeeded in garnering positive press for little dough. Two jeers this week for Konica Minolta printers from David and Gannett’s reaction to the Gannett blog from Paul.

You can download and listen to the podcast here.

67: Exclusive woes

This week, Paul and David talk about when bad things happen in the PR-journalist supply chain when it comes to offering exclusive customer profiles to reporters. David is writing an upcoming article in Information Security magazine profiling four different endpoint security customers. He ran into a snag when one of the subjects was recently covered in a competitor: that coverage made things difficult for the subject and he asked David to pull the story from publication, because he was threatened with losing his job. PR people (in this case Visitech PR, the agency working for StillSecure) should know better: don’t shop customers around to competitors, especially direct competitors that are geared towards the same audiences and media markets, unless you want things to blow up in your face. And reporters have something to learn from this escapade as well in terms of how specific they need to be about demanding exclusives.

You can download the podcast here.

64: The Spinfluencer

Eric Schartzman

Eric Schwartzman

If you’re a PR professional, you can’t afford not to listen to On the Record…Online. For the past three years, this podcast has offered a steady stream insight on how journalists, marketers and new media innovators use the Internet to report the news and promote their businesses. Host Eric Schwartzman has anchored all 120 programs and in the process become a media influencer in his own right.

Paul came across On the Record…Online when he was writing The New Influencers and devoured program after program. He later devoted a couple of pages of the book to describing how the show had evolved from a conference promotion to become a staple of Schwartzman’s iPressroom service.

In this interview, Schwartzman talks about how On the Record…Online came into being, the impact it’s had on his business and how public relations is evolving in a world of fragmented media.

Download the podcast (27:39)