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Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

PR Is One of the World’s Top 10 ‘Most Misunderstood’ Jobs

Do your parents understand what you do for a living? Should they, or do you want them to think PR is all about throwing fancy, Diddy-style parties and hanging out with local artists?

Today LinkedIn announced an unusual initiative called Bring in Your Parents Day, which they describe as “a global initiative designed to help bridge the gap between parents and their professional children”. It seems that the company is inviting its own employees to bring their parents to work on November 7th and attempting to encourage other companies to do the same so parents can get a better idea of what, exactly, their kids do for a living.*

Why should you care? Well, the page includes a study and a list of the “10 Most Misunderstood Jobs“, which just happen to include both “Public Relations Manager” and “Social Media Manager”. Surprise, surprise.

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Does the ‘CEO As LinkedIn Influencer’ Strategy Work?

Any PR firm working with a big business client today will advise that client’s public face to become, well, more public. This means going digital, either on social media or in corporate communications designed to get internal teams and investors excited. But what about going a step further and creating editorial content in the interest of becoming a digital thought leader/business strategist a la Richard Branson or Tony Hsieh? (It’s not enough to write a book anymore.)

We ask because, before today, we’d never heard of JetBlue Airways chairman Jeff Peterson. But now we don’t just know who he is—we know that he has some ideas about how to make his industry more efficient. You can see by the numbers that his LinkedIn post on “A Common Sense Solution to Slow Airline Boarding” has been quite successful.

That’s a lot of traffic, but there’s some disagreement among the audience on what, exactly, Mr. Peterson’s story is. Its purpose is to publicize the fact that JetBlue considered the efficiency problem and reached what they believed to be the best solution. So it’s a comment on business strategy—but is it also an advertisement? And does it build up the brand by positioning its chairman as a great strategist or reminding passengers that they don’t have to pay for the first bag they check on a JetBlue flight?

One Big Tip for Connecting with Journalists on LinkedIn

As a truly connected PR pro, you should not just follow multiple journalists on social media; you should join their circles. Why? Well, if you’re good at your job then these relationships can grow to be mutually beneficial: you provide journalists with experts on given topics and help them add character to their stories out while they get your clients’ names out there. It’s classic PR.

But if you want to use LinkedIn to connect with journalists, here’s an important and ridiculously simple hint: let them know why.

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LinkedIn Apologizes for Assuming Beautiful Women Can’t Also be Engineers

The woman at left is beautiful. She’s also an engineer. And as LinkedIn recently learned the hard way, those two things are not, in fact, mutually exclusive.

Toptal, a small developer networking platform, had featured this image in its ads for engineers, which appeared on LinkedIn. After “many LinkedIn members complained” about the image, the tech giant pulled the ads, telling Toptal that the promos could be run again once the picture in question had been replaced by “different images, related to the product.”

In other words, LinkedIn assumed an inherent disconnect between the image of a beautiful woman and a tech career like engineering.

Outraged by LinkedIn’s decision, CEO of Toptal, Taso Du Val (who I am proud to call a former classmate), wrote a scathing blog post, titled: “In Defense of Female Engineers.” In the original post, Du Val wrote, in part:

“Today was a disappointing day at Toptal. We saw extreme sexism within the tech community, from an industry leader and advertising partner that we work with quite extensively: LinkedIn…Are they seriously siding with people who complained to LinkedIn that our female software engineers are offensive?…these (and others) are our real engineers that we have signed contracts with. And even if they were only stock photography, who cares? The point is, they’re perfectly fine and represent normal professional people. Our male versions are no different. They’re male engineers, smiling, some with glasses, some without; the whole idea LinkedIn had was just ridiculous.

The fact of the matter is: members of the tech community (LinkedIn users) saw it as impossible that our female engineers could actually be engineers, and a leader of the tech community (LinkedIn) agreed with them. Unfortunately we’re banned from showing anything except 100%, all male software advertisements from now on and so, that’s what you’ll be getting. I’m disappointed both on a personal and professional level. I expect better.” Read more

Could Facebook and LinkedIn’s New Features Help PR Pros?

Two of social media’s leading lights have debuted new or slightly different features this week. First, via our sister site AllFacebook, Zuckerberg and company appear to be toying with new names for the “promote” button. Alternatives include “boost post”, “advertise post” and “get more reach.”

At first glance this appears to be a simple tweaking of the language, because the function of these buttons remains the same. But we appreciate the psychology behind the change: Facebook is simply adopting more appropriate marketing jargon to re-emphasize the purpose and potential benefits of these expenses in users’ minds. Will it lead more brands and PR folks to “optimize” their sponsored content (there’s another one)? Facebook certainly hopes so — and we all know how powerful a few choice words can be, don’t we?

On the other side of the social pond, LinkedIn debuted “mentions“, which are the equivalent of Facebook tags. We’re a little more interested in this development — and here’s why:

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Sorry, LinkedIn Users: You’re Not All That Special

Good question! If you’re one of the 200 million people around the world who maintain a LinkedIn profile and you have more than, say, 50 connections, then you almost certainly received some version of this recent email: LinkedIn email promo The nice yellow “read more” button leads to a “letter” from the company’s SVP that encourages members to share their new status as “influencers” via every available social media platform. It’s instant, thought-free self-promotion!

We hate to discourage everyone, but you shouldn’t get too excited about this–it’s a clever marketing scheme. How does it work, you ask?

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Will Facebook’s ‘Graph Search’ Affect PR Campaigns?

Facebook Graph Search Mark ZuckerbergExcuse us for being a little skeptical about the relevance of Facebook‘s new “Graph Search” function, presented to reporters yesterday by the company’s communications staffers on demo stations that New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose calls “PR Borgs.”

Seriously, though: Why would we want to search for “pictures that my friends took in Canada” or “dentists’ offices where my friends have checked in” or “single women in Park Slope who know one of my friends and like Game of Thrones“? (OK, that last one might make sense if we were still single.)

The more we think about it, though, we feel like graph search–which really needs a new name, BTW–could infringe upon the territory of other social networks, primarily LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp, dating sites like and the big one…Google.

What does this mean for the PR world?

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Doximity Is the First Social Network for Doctors

Are you a hard-working, inquisitive physician who loves to discuss complex medical issues with your peers but lacks an appropriate forum?

OK, you’re probably not–but believe us when we say that this is a legitimate problem that is extremely relevant to anyone with clients in the medical field. Despite the fact that our hospitals and private practices offer the absolute latest in technologies designed to save and improve lives, the world of health care professionals is sadly behind the times when it comes to communications.

In the interest of maintaining absolute patient privacy, the 1996 HIPAA act essentially prevented doctors from using any sort of technology to discuss patient care. Many now turn to Facebook or Twitter with unfortunate results–in a 2012 study, more than 90% of American medical boards reported at least one case of social media misconduct by a doctor.

Today, those who share the details of individual cases with other health care professionals are more likely to invite a lawsuit than a medical breakthrough–even if they don’t include a given patient’s name. As doctor and mobile tech enthusiast Alexander Blau, MD puts it, “The average 12-year-old on a cell phone has access to better communications tools than most physicians.”

A group of investors and health care veterans aimed to remedy this problem by creating Doximity, the world’s first professional social network for doctors. Dr. Blau is the group’s medical advisor.

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Facebook To Let Strangers, Brands Send You Paid Messages

Facebook messagesToday brings yet another reason for Facebook’s billion-plus users to get their collective knickers in a bunch. In its latest attempt to catch the white whale we call “revenue”, Facebook announced changes to its messaging feature: the network will soon offer a pay-per-message service to test audiences before making it available to all users.

The changes also include new inbox filter options: by choosing the “strict filter” option, users could automatically send messages from non-friends to the little-seen “other” folder…unless said parties pay up.

Facebook claims that this change will help reduce spam by placing a stronger barrier between users and potential spammers. We see where they’re coming from—who would pay to send spam messages? This approach isn’t exactly new, either: LinkedIn Premium allows users to send direct messages to those with whom they have no connection.

Still, this option moves a step beyond “sponsored posts”, and we have a feeling brands will use it to send promotional messages to carefully targeted users. What do we think, PR pros: Will the pay-per-message function provide yet another marketing venue, or will users turn against brands that dare to contact them via their “private” Facebook inboxes?

The Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2012 (With Tips)

We used to think of LinkedIn as an ugly, awkward place for us to post a resume that no one would ever see. But it’s looking a lot better these days, and the advent of company pages and groups turned the site into a great PR tool. Yesterday LinkedIn released a SlideShare presentation highlighting the best company pages of 2012 and offering some tips on making your company or client’s page better — it’s a useful read for anyone involved in branding.

A few brief observations and suggestions:

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