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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Shankman’

Samoa Air Suffers PR Turbulence After Charging Customers by the Pound

Everyone is created equally and everyone should be treated equally. We all know this. These very ideas are the foundation for our deep beliefs in justice and equality.

So what about Samoa Air‘s decision to charge passengers by the pound — yes, the sum total of the weight of their bags and bodies — to fly? Nothing could be more fair than that, right?

At the local store we all pay the same amount for a pound of hamburger meat, or a box of tissues or a pair of jeans. Fair is fair. So why is Samoa Air’s decision to charge the public the same rate per pound to fly so controversial? Answer: because this is the worst public relations decision a brand can make. It may sound good in theory, but in practice it’s a PR disaster because it’s discriminatory, cruel and ignorant.

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Peter Shankman on His New Book: Why ‘Niceness’ Is the Best PR Strategy

Author Peter ShankmanYou may know Peter Shankman for his work as a commentor, strategic advisor and author of books like Can We Do That?!, an overview of crazy PR stunts that actually worked.

Shankman’s new book Nice Companies Finish First (which hits stores today!) is a little different. Its thesis holds that the big secret behind some of the most successful brands around is a decision to simply be nice or unexpectedly generous to customers on a regular basis. We spoke with him last week to figure out why:

Where did you find the inspiration for your new book?

Well, when I sold my previous venture HARO (the publicity service Help a Reporter Out) to Vocus, I realized that they were really buying my audience. I’d spent four years cultivating and building that audience and I really felt like every member of HARO was a friend, so I wasn’t going to sell it just anybody. I chose Vocus because they were our largest advertiser and, since I wrote all the ads, I believed that they understood that level of respect I had for my audience, and the level of trust my audience put into me. I knew they wouldn’t violate that.

And this realization led you to the subject of “niceness”?

Yes. I started doing research into companies and how they behave in order to see whether companies who treat their customers and investors nicely make more money. I found it to be true — companies that are doing “the little things” a little better than everyone else almost always fare better.

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Affect’s ‘New York Job Project’ Turns the Application Process Social

Current PR students and recent college grads: are you stressed about turning your great internships into a full-time entry-level gig? Do you embody the phrase “shameless self-promotion”? Are you an expert in all things social media? (Come on, you know you are.) If you answered “yes” to any of those three questions, then you may be an ideal candidate for Affect PR‘s “New York Job Project“–a program designed to simultaneously encourage talented applicants and promote the firm itself by “crowdsourcing” the hiring process.

This all started more than two years ago when Affect, a small-ish Manhattan firm, started the “New York Intern Project” because, according to president and founder Sandra Fathi, they were “having trouble attracting interns in one of the country’s most competitive markets.”

Applicants’ resumes often boasted of college gigs with brands like MTV, Def Jam and Glamourbut Affect wanted to find dedicated public relations professionals. Affect’s b2b (that’s “business to business”) services are crucial to the industry at large, but they’re also not quite as flashy as those big names–so Fathi created the intern project in order to “make [the internship] more attractive to people around the country.”

A quick look at 2011′s entries will tell you that the project worked better than expected.

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Peter Shankman Leaves Vocus and HARO Behind

Consultant/speaker/PR expert Peter Shankman has announced that he will no longer be associated with journalist-to-source matching service HARO (Help a Reporter Out), which he created less than five years ago. He will leave Vocus (NASDAQ: VOCS)–the company that acquired HARO in 2010–at the end of March.

According to an email to PRNewser, Shankman will continue his speaking schedule–he will be “doing some high-level consulting on some major brands in the customer service/marketing arena” as he awaits the birth of his first child and prepares for the coming launch of his third book, Nice Companies Finish First.

To review: like all good publicists who understand relationship equity, Shankman often helped journalists find sources even when he had no dog in the fight. As Facebook attained liftoff in 2008, Shankman created a group to help journalists crowdsource their needs by submitting queries for PR pros to refer them to experts on given topics. It was similar to the older, staid Profnet, but it was free–and Shankman employed his Karmic rules to keep the desperate, spammy flacks away from his media subscribers.

HARO quickly outgrew Facebook’s ceiling at the time, and Shankman adjusted, moving the membership to a sign-up site HelpAReporter.com and ostensibly turning his network into a business.

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Win A Paid PR Internship in New York City

PR firm Affect is holding its second annual contest to find its next PR and social media summer intern. That person will receive $5,000 along with a $2,500 housing stipend to live in New York City. Last year’s contest, which produced Affect employee Patrick Gotham, received more than 100 entries and 14,000 votes. Applicants submit a video or photo entry here explaining why they should be awarded a paid internship at Affect in New York City that will jump-start their career.

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HARO Adds (Paid) Features

Vocus has launched a new version of Help a Reporter Out (HARO) that includes premium features available to users for a fee.

The free version is still available with the same offerings. HARO Premium includes customized and SMS alerts, journalist details, and other features. There’s a breakdown of the different pricing levels and subscription features here. You can also click here for a short clip with Peter Shankman further describing the new HARO Premium.

Shankman Joins Vocus In a Small Business Role

Peter Shankman will be joining Vocus full-time as VP and small business evangelist, a new role at the company. The announcement was made this morning on Shankman’s blog and via press release.

Shankman founded Help A Reporter Out (HARO), which was acquired by Vocus in 2010.

Shankman will act as a counselor to small businesses and entrepreneurs and in-house adviser on new products and services aimed at this audience. He will continue his work with HARO, his speaking engagements, and maintain his blog while filling his new position.

Shankman talks a little more about his new job in the video clip after the jump.

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Morton’s Gets Good Buzz, Peter Shankman Gets a Steak Dinner

Shankman at the airport with his steak dinner.

At the end of a long day trip to Florida, Peter Shankman tweeted about his hankering for a steak dinner from Morton’s and, lo and behold, it was waiting for him at Newark Airport when he arrived home. One more tweet from Shankman to talk up the stellar customer service (plus a blog post) that brought this fancy dinner to him on the fly (ha!), and the result is lots of buzz for Morton’s, a more-than-satisfied customer, and a happy cat.

“[Customer service is] about producing amazing moments in time, and letting those moments become the focal point of how amazing you are, told not by you, but by the customer who you thrilled. They tell their friends, and the trust level goes up at a factor of a thousand,” Shankman writes.

However, there is the question of whether certain customers get better treatment than others because of the publicity they can generate.

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Case Studies: ‘Nearcation’ Destinations Create Digital Buzz

Images from the New Mexico "nearcation" campaign.

Digital and social media have generated a lot of buzz in recent years. However, as Peter Shankman, founder of HARO.com and CEO of The Geek Factory, observed at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Digital Marketing Strategy conference on Tuesday in New York, “I have yet to meet a CEO who thinks that cool trumps revenue.”

To that point, HSMAI’s Adrian awards honored hospitality, travel and tourism organizations whose campaigns also drove results. A panel of digital marketing award winners presented their case studies at the conference, and two awards involved ‘nearcations,’ vacations to a nearby city or state.

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Shankman: ‘You Are Not Here Because Of Your Klout Score’

Photo: Christopher Barth

Shankman.com held its buzzed-about holiday party last night on the way-West Side of Manhattan. Scattered around the room were tables with tequila shots, desserts, and a station for photos. And on the wall behind the stage there was a screen that posted the Klout scores for the guests in attendance. There were some 10s on the screen as well as scores in the 50s and above.

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