The way we as a collective society interface with data has fundamentally stayed the same through the generations: We have to search for it. In the past, this has meant opening an encyclopedia, learning the Dewey Decimal system or even running an experiment. But today, we have exabytes of information that a few select outlets have access to: Bing, Google, and other niche websites.

As public relations professionals, part of our job is to monitor and influence our clients’ reputation. All one needs to do is set up a news or blog alert for “Insert client name here” sucks. In no time you will see a constant flow of detractors, fanboys of competitors and the occasional piece of valuable feedback. I had the good fortune to spend a day at SMX Advanced, a conference put on by Search Engine Land, which is a top influential outlet in the search space. The conference is focused at SEO/SEM/PPC, but there were some tremendous nuggets for PR as well. Continue reading

With blogging, when you post content is almost as essential as what content you post. Being timely is important. It gives readers fresh perspectives on issues that are “in the now.”

But when things are busy, it’s hard to be timely. So, I want to run a little experiment. I want you to tell me what to write. Yup, simply fill out the form with something PR related that you would like to see my perspective on. I’m not a big name, but I’m honest.

Oh, and comments welcome.

Sometimes old PR tactics work the best.

Old tactics, new results?

This post originally appeared on PR Breakfast Club. Enjoy.

In the business world, thinking outside the box is the unofficial motto. In public relations, we’re tasked with being creative thinkers. Our clients want us to find different ways to get in front of influencers and, ultimately, customers.

But we are so quick to focus on what’s next, sometimes we do it at the expense of what’s current.


Peter Shankman says he suffers from ADOS: Attention Deficit … ooooh shiny! And I think that as PR people we’re guilty of it too. Our clients sometimes push back on us with the charge to be “more creative.” But what is the cost of creativity?

It comes down to a simple ROI calculation. If clients value a mention in a metro print publication more than 50 tweets, perhaps your creative thinking time is best spent taking the metro writer out for coffee or trying to line up a desk-side meeting. If the time you spend trying to be “creative” outweighs the rewards of the action, then it is not worth it.

Defining creativity

I’ve embraced this newfangled “Internet” thing. I know how to hand-code a blog entry, complete with some SEO tricks and I know about metrics in the social media space. But I also know how to dial a phone, send an email or go to an event to connect.

My point is that depending on your goals, news or message you’re trying to send, each of those tactics could be called creative. What some of us consider a de facto tactic in any PR campaign, others would consider it experimental and risky. Again, it all comes down to knowing your client and its goals.

In order to define creativity, you need to be aligned with your client and its goals. Pretty simple stuff, right?

The creativity plateau

I think we might be in a creativity plateau. Hosting a blogger dinner is no longer innovative. A campaign to comment on influencers’ blogs is not cutting edge. SEO for public relations (see what I did there?) is an established industry.

I think we’ve hit a temporary plateau. And that’s OK. It is OK to use established and effective tactics to generate reliable results. It is not imperative that every PR campaign feature a door-to-door singing telegram for every reporter in New York. Actually, maybe that’s not a bad idea…

What do you think?

What an amazing time at Social Fresh Portland. A lot of fun things can happen when you put a lot of big brains in the same room and force them to spend the day together. I wanted to give a couple of high-level takeaways before I get into the photos and share some of my observations.

Social Media is a noun, not a verb.

Social media is something you use. It is not something you do. I’ve talked before about my tool box metaphor and how each type of person has a different use for social media.

Businesses want to be social

From Realtors to restaurateurs, from financial planners to former journalists (that’s me), businesses are looking to be “social.” They want to connect and interact and share content. Which is great. But all the talks about content creation and sharing made me start to wonder about reaching a saturation point.

Thinkers vs. doers

One of the reasons I wanted to go to SoFresh was because the speakers were the doers. They were the faces behind the brands. They were implementing the tactics they were educating the rest of us on and they were successful with it.

We’re all learners

I have a tendency to be a skeptical jerk when it comes to conference sessions. I find myself yearning for tactical breakdowns of best practices or metrics rather than the messages that some call “social media 101.” But sometimes getting back to basics can be a good thing. Such as when Peter Shankman, aka @skydiver, said “Good writing will save society.” That rocked.

What would lead you to call a conference a success? What makes you like the sessions? Share them in the comments!

On to the photos: Continue reading

The PR blogging world is thick. Funny thing about us PR folks is that we all seem to have opinions.

So, I was quite humbled when I was asked to contribute to one of the up and coming communities of bloggers at PRBreakfastClub. For an idea of why I am so excited to do this, you only need to look at the other bloggers on the site.

What do I bring to the table? I’m hoping a lot. I will be focused on a few of the things that I talk about here: federally regulated industries, B2B public relations, technical how tos and other best-practicey topics. To anybody who has found me from #PRBC, welcome here. I promise I’ll post regular content here to.

In the meantime, what do you want to see? What topics would you like to see me cover here or at PRBreakfastClub?