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5 Pitfalls to Avoid While Newsjacking

waffle-house-belgium-twitterAnyone remember this famous tweet? It happened during Team USA’s run in the World Cup. As you can tell, Waffle House got a little notoriety from that soccer success as well. This act of genius, according to a term coined by the great David Meerman Scott, falls into the “Newsjacking” category.

It has become a social media phenomenon that brands and people alike try to leverage for their benefit…with varying degrees of success.

To summarize, newsjacking is seeing a runaway story or a widely followed trend, riding on its coat-tails in the name of ‘brand awareness,’ and subtly exploiting that story or trend hoping to score exposure. It’s like photobombing an online conversation, and it works well if done properly. Then again, if it doesn’t, your brand will suffer.

Here is the latest 5 things list for your edification…

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5 Social Media Mistakes PR People Should Avoid

Justine-Sacco-Tweet

It wasn’t too long ago that Justin Sacco, former chief communications officer of IAC (parent company of Tinder, Vimeo and OkCupid), ruined a rather cushy gig thanks to one questionable attempt at humor on Twitter.

She apologized without much fanfare and then finally got a new job (much less cushy) this past June.

While her legacy will go down in the chronicles of PR as a case of “What not to do on social media,” it begs the question for the rest of us: “What should PR people not do on social media?” I have five ideas. Feel free to add to the conversation. Extra points for personal references.

And if someone knows Justine Sacco, tell her that she’s my inspiration. (#Tear)

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Top 5 Ongoing PR Industry Debate Topics

Create-The-Debate

Let’s do this! (Image: The Parliment [U.K.])

There is a potpourri of things that make up this great industry: people from all walks of life; diverse experiences creating premiere skill sets; campaigns that make you proud to be a PR professional. You are probably thinking of some now to fill in those blanks.

Whatever they are, cherish those memories because they make public relations what it is today.

On the other hand, if you don’t have those memories, it is probably because you have been involved in any number of inner-agency or in-house-team spats about principles of public relations. Some have come, others have gone, but at least five of them show no sign of going anywhere.

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5 PR Catchphrases ‘Spinning’ Out of Control

PR-Dictionary

Much like niche cultures and mainstream industries, public relations has developed a glossary of its own. It’s not “‘In N’ Out” burger ordering off the menu’” cult-like verbiage, but flacks from all walks of life speak in the same universal code.

We understand each other when discussing work around a water cooler. We empathize with each other when commiserating about the cries of a client over an adult beverage. We share experiences as we exchange terminologies native to PR during a networking soiree.

And yet, there are a couple of phrases that we should really just stop repeating, at least in the way they’re used today. Here is this week’s 5 Things: The 5 PR catchphrases that are spinning out of control.

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5 Myths About ‘Viral’ Video Marketing

can-i-make-a-viral-video

Confession: I have been at this PR thing for a while. In that time, I have learned a few irrefutable truths:

  1. There will always be a client that thinks he or she knows more about the media than you.
  2. There will always be at least one agency that can — and will — do it cheaper, faster, and worse than you … and they will still get the business.
  3. There will always be a couple of PR pros on your team who believe the only way to get ahead is to place a knife in your back.

Recently, a new dogmatic fact has crept its way onto the scene, lifted its leg, and marked its territory with authority: Someone — client or fellow flack, it doesn’t matter — will always exclaim, “Oh, we can make that go viral. Easy.

Can we please take that animal out back and make it into glue? Like today?

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