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Tips and Tools

Should Small Businesses Handle Their Own PR?

small biz

In a guest post last week, Sarah Rose reminded us that freshly launched startups don’t necessarily need PR assistance…yet.

A New York Times story from earlier this week makes the same point for small businesses, claiming that most of them don’t need third-party PR at all.

Robert J. Moore’s five points read like a promo primer of sorts…

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Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Social Media 101Get hands-on social media training in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Register now! 

INTERVIEW: David Meerman Scott Discusses the Art of Newsjacking

DMS header

Last week, we offered ’5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Newsjacking.‘ While many PR folks appreciated the knowledge, we heard from others who were new to the term itself. And so, I issued a tweet to one David Meerman Scott, the guy who coined the word in the first place.

To my delectation, he responded in about two minutes (I may have squealed a little).

In his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas Into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media CoverageScott touches upon this growing social media strategy with keen insight. He humored me with some great responses to a few questions about the growth of newsjacking, its benefits and drawbacks, and the magic of real-time decision making in the process.

Get your notebooks ready. His Q&A with yours truly is after the jump…

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12 Digital Tools to Optimize Your Travel

Travel Tech Paws and Relax Alfie the Pug Courtesy of Nick Morrish British AirwaysSummer is the busiest travel season, so it’s the best time to be equipped with tips to minimize hassles and maximize the experience. But these days sorting through the maze of travel technology can be  nearly as time consuming as circumnavigating the globe.

An Internet Week New York panel of travel industry insiders gave their top picks for websites and mobile apps that assist with flights, lodgings and language translation, and we’ve come across other sources since then. The list below takes business and leisure travelers every step of the way, from planning to booking and beyond.

In-Flight Entertainment

1. “Paws and Relax” Video Channel: British Airways just launched a new channel featuring dogs and cats to help passengers unwind onboard.  It’s available on YouTube for non-BA customers. (Photo above courtesy of Nick Morrish/British Airways)

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Just Launched a Startup? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Hire a PR Pro Just Yet

startUP

Today we bring you a guest post by Sarah Rose Attman, president of Sarah Rose Public Relations and former staff reporter for US Weekly.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

Congratulations! You just launched your startup. Welcome to the wonderful world of being your own boss, building something from the ground up, and fighting against the odds to “make it”. Every company has been where you are today, so embrace the chaos and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

There is so much to do! Designing your logo, raising a round of financing, hiring your founding team, and of course PR, right?

Well, maybe not.

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More Career Advice for Upcoming PR Professionals

PR block

As hot as PR may be right now (check out the growing gap between communicators and journalists), young professionals still face considerable challenges in navigating their way around the industry.

Last week we spoke to Courtney Lukitsch, principal and founder at Gotham Public Relations, to learn more about how she evaluates junior-level candidates. This week she shared more insights on what applicants need to know and the ways in which the industry will change in coming years.

PR is a rapidly changing business. What is your advice to those just coming on to the scene?

Do your research upfront. If you walk in cold and unprepared to an interview, a PR pro will smell it on you and disqualify you almost immediately.

It’s a confidence and intelligence game. Plus, at most firms, a candidate will be interviewed by different members no less than three times. This is true even at the junior level given team dynamics, but it’s even more crucial when interviewing for mid-level and higher jobs.

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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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Moving Up in PR: Career Advice for Junior-Level Candidates

PR on paper

What’s the current status of jobs in the PR field?

We’ve already established the fact that the industry has a high turnover rate; on Friday, Laurent Lawrence of the PRSA gave us some very solid theories regarding the why behind that fact.

Yet we’ve also heard from both younger readers who find it difficult to break into the field and from college grads who can’t seem to find the right position due to a perceived lack of experience.

We spoke to Courtney Lukitsch, principal and founder at Gotham Public Relations, to learn more about how she approaches the hiring process and what she thinks young, ambitious professionals need to do to advance.

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5 Digital Metrics/Tools That PR Pros Need to Know

vintage computer

Measurement: it is, as our own Shawn Paul Wood put it in yesterday’s “Top 5 PR Industry Debate Topics” post, the “pachyderm in the room.”

So what’s the skinny on new measurement tools, and which numbers should we focus on? For starters, Cision has some new offerings it would like to share with you.

We spoke to Heidi Sullivan, SVP of digital content at Cision, to learn more about the general state of data in PR and the tools and metrics that you need to use.

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4 Pitching No-Nos That Drive Journalists Crazy

hell no

Today we bring you a guest post from Lorenzo Grandi.

Lorenzo is the community manager at pr.co, an online PR toolkit that publishes press releases in minutes. His job is to help people get the most out of their PR efforts online. You can find him on Twitter.

How well do PR people and journalists get along? Sometimes it’s easy to avoid common mistakes that will prevent you from getting covered and possibly ruin your relationship with the journalist–and who better than journalists themselves to point us in the right direction?!

With the help of Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief at The Next Web, we gathered a list of no-nos that drive journalists crazy. Let’s take a look at the mistakes that PR pros have to avoid (complete with quotes from various unnamed editors).

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12 Tips From an Expert on Creating Catchy Content and Products

H & M Jeff Koons Tote Final“Sharing isn’t random, and our intuition about sharing content may be wrong”, said Jonah Berger. The Wharton B-School marketing professor conducted extensive analysis on social influence and types of content and products that go viral. His book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, offers advice on the psychology of sharing, along with examples.

“You don’t want to be one-hit wonders, you want ongoing shareable content”, Berger said during a recent MPA (Association of Magazine Media) event. He was in New York for the start of a year-long visiting professorship at Cornell Tech. If some of his comments seem familiar, that’s because he also advises media outlets like BuzzFeed and The New York Times.

“Word of mouth is a key factor behind so many purchase decisions since it’s persuasive, trusted and targeted”, Berger said. He reminded the audience of the importance of finding the core brand message that you want others to remember and sticking with it. That’s the first key to producing sticky content. Other principles evolve around social currency, storytelling, and providing practical but appealing information.

Since takeaways from his 2013 book mostly centered on positive vs. negative emotional content, we read the rest of the book and compiled his pointers along with our own related examples from commerce, sports, art, fashion and celebrities. Here are a dozen tips to consider:

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