Monday, April 11, 2011

Hyperboles, Talons and The Alot Monster

Confession is good for the soul and well, I have spent enough time with all of you to feel that this is not falling on deaf ears.

I have a raging obsession with the comic blog "Hyperbole and a Half."

I don't throw the word "obsession" around lightly, mind you. But this is a full fledged love affair. I read one in the morning after I check the news (just to get my day started off with a good laugh). I reference the comics as if it were common knowledge. I also (this is where it gets bad) have picked up this really cute habit of saying "hey, it-is-so-good-to-see-you-Can-I-show-you-something?" all in one breath within the first 5 seconds of hanging out with someone.


BUT! It isn't all bad. Hyperbole's author Allie Brosh has taught me a thing or two (read this as: I am trying to justify my addition)

In her story "The Alot," Allie makes the grammatical no-no's of the Internet world hilarious...and personally shames you into never typing "im" or "dont" again.

"If I come across a person who seems to completely ignore the existence of apostrophes and capital letters and types things like "im an eagle and im typing with my talons, so dont make fun of me cuz this is hard," I like to imagine that they actually are an eagle typing with their talons. It would be a hassle if you had to hop in the air and use your feet to karate-chop two keys simultaneously every time you wanted to use the shift key to make a capital letter. Also, eagles lack manual dexterity, so I can understand why they'd want to leave out apostrophes. Eagles are all about efficiency."


The best is when she gets to "alot." This tricky little monster proves to be a deal breaker (and for the purpose of this blog) especially in the field of PR.

Do you? Do you care about it "alot"? I don't believe you. Or I wouldn't believe you Mr. PR professional if you sent me a news release with "alot" or talon typed "u"s in it.
Since reading her blog I have become extra cautious (if only to not fall into the category of "alotters").

For the full "The Alot" go here and be so happy:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

10 Ways to Be Like Lady Gaga

Well, okay, maybe not exactly like Gaga.

Whether or not you like "Poker Face" or her latest Madonna inspired "Born This Way," no one can deny that Lady Gaga is a marketing maven. "The Fame Monster" garnered 6 Grammy nominations, winning Best Pop Vocal Album and a second-consecutive nomination for Album of the Year. Lady Gaga has over 31,756,991 Facebook "likes" and about 9,228,238 followers of Twitter. Not to mention Gaga and Michael Jackson tied for "Most Googled Celebrities of 2010" with 151,000,000.

I can't even count that high. her music may be, Lady Gaga didn't become the Fame Monster without a little PR magic. And based on her success she could give us PR Pro's a tip or two...or 10.

This slide show, created by @JESSEDEE, breaks the marketing genius down that makes Gaga and her team the international phenomenon they have become.

Just in case you weren't taking notes, here are 10 ways to be like Lady Gaga (or her Marketing team):
1. Have an opinion
2. Leverage Social Media (hey, hey!)
3. Be different (a shout out to all her "little monsters" everywhere)
4. Don't be afraid to make lots of money
5. Give your fans something to connect with
6. Love your Little Monsters
7. Don't be afraid to irritate people
8. Have the right people on your team
9. Produce killer stuff
10. Have a purpose

So yeah, she may be a bit controversial but...hey, who isn't these days?
What do you think of Gaga's approach to marketing herself and the things she advocates (or as she says "And now, I am just trying to change the world one sequin at a time")?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guerrilla Marketing From Those Who Know It Best

Drum roll please....

Here it is. The list, that if you read, process and make your credo, will set you so far ahead of your competition (not to mention impress the heck out of your employers) you'll have to send out listserv email just to keep in touch.

Okay...that was a little much, but you get the idea.

American Express sponsors a blog called "Open Forum." This little gems acts as just that; an open forum for the latest in innovations, marketing, money news, and all things the average American Express customer would be interested in. Lucky for us, guerrilla marketing makes that list.

"48 Guerrilla Marketing Tips from Top PR Pros" written by Linsey Knerl, compiled the million dollar strategies of 48 PR professionals into bite sized paragraphs. How perfect?

Number 12 on the list, Marisa Puthoff from Edelman, advises to "become familiar with Google Place Pages for local businesses. Google now provides in-depth information when available for local businesses and places, offering information from customer reviews, to menus and selection notes, to basic information like store hours and an image of the location."

Or maybe number twenty, Duane B. Thomas from EdYouCation is more for you? "You can gain great value from volunteering your small business for a University class as a “working-study.”

Claudia Goffan from Target Latino, ranking at number one, hits home to all PR professionals: "Form relationships with other local businesses that cater to your customers. Ask them to offer a discount to their customers if they mention coming from their store when they purchase from you. Feel free to reciprocate."

The full list can be found at ()and heck...if it works for them, it may work for me right? Tell me what you think

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Twitter!

Not that any of us haven't had our full share of Twitter by now (cough cough), but, hey, it's rude not to say Happy Birthday to an old friend.

Five years ago on March 21, Jack Dorsey (@Jack) posted his first tweet: "just setting up my twttr." Five years later, Twitter now has a market value of $8-10 million, has a reported user account of 572,000 on March 12, 2011 and a mobile user presence of 182%. Not too shabby for a 5-year-old huh?

So that is where Twitter has been, but where is it going? According to an article by Brian Solis (full article here:, a principle at Altimeter Group, Twitter hasn't even pulled out the big guns. "Not only will it continue to change how we discover and interact, Twitter will continue to shape culture, the nature of relationships, and also further democratize business and media to revolve around the EGOsystem."

Solis believes that Twitter will help create a united voice in terms of government, politics and world events. Essentially, Twitter will be the new voice of the new generation. Is Solis putting to much into social medias' little darling?

While you think about that, watch this Twitter tribute video and ponder.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

PR People Discussing PR's Future

Confused about how to optimize your social media use? Or maybe you are just a little iffy on the best ways to get the biggest bang out of your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. buck. Lucky for you (me and all those who scratch their head at all this stuff), PR News is having a conference on May 24th in New York City on Facebook and the future of PR.

"The May 24th PR News Facebook Conference will gather communication thought leaders and experts in social media to share ideas, tactics and lessons learned in using Facebook to advance PR & amp up marketing efforts," said an article by The Street (March 15, 2011). Time Inc., Goodwill Industries International, charity: water, Weber Shandwick, Pizza Hut, Sodexo, Inc., Euro RSCG Worldwide, Gatorade and Facebook have all promised to share their insights, blunders and success stories at the conference as well.

The point of the conference is to generate Facebook experts for their niche industry in a condensed amount of time. In fact, the article states that "Conference attendees will become experts in: How to get people to "like" your brand Developing a winning content strategy to engage your followers Measuring the impact of your Facebook initiatives Creating your Facebook dream team Mastering Facebook's latest features and adding a new gear to your PR efforts Integrating Facebook into your overall communications plan."

Sounds pretty good, huh? But is this the best way to educate companies on the do's and don'ts of Facebook at such? Does this mass formula approach neglect the creative, pioneer approach to social media or does that even matter anymore?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today's Take On Q&A

You've heard of Yahoo!Answers and eHow, but have you heard of Quora?

"Think Wikipedia, but with personality, diverse opinions and frontline insights on happening trends. Think LinkedIn’s Q-and-A function, but with far less noise, spam and overt self-promotion," said Ian Edwards, blogger and author of
"Q: What’s a new tool for public relations? A: Quora." See full article here:

Quora, the Q&A site started by former Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, allows users to post questions, share knowledge and set the record straight on any topic out there.

How is this start-up site different from all the others out there? Take the editing function of Wikipedia, add the "follow" option from blogs and mix in some of the wit/connoisseurship from Twitter and you've got Quora.

It also happens to be a gem of a tool for Public Relations.

Edwards suggests the following as ways to utilize Quora to soup-up PR programs:

1. Build an expert profile. Thought leadership, third-party expertise, punditry, proving credentials — whatever you want to call the efforts put into developing one’s expertise in a subject, Quora is a place to do it. People who are passionate about a topic and are also gifted writers quickly gain notice.

For independent New York City retailer Jay Gurewitsch, an active Quora user since October, his posts on gifts, gift giving and skin care have led to actual in-store sales at his store Arcadia.

“If it’s any indication of the social marketing power of Quora,” he says, “I had three customers over Christmas identify themselves as Quora users and buy products based on my posts. I started Quora as a creative outlet and blogging opportunity to share my expertise in key areas, but the Quora community has been very responsive, supportive and a proven source of business.”

2. Build human capital. Quora is a platform to showcase the expertise of the people behind your brand and highlight transparency.

There are many examples of people on Quora answering questions about the brands that they work for. The trick is to keep the information contextualized, on message and relevant versus promotional and spammy or you will alienate users.

SEO is a factor here. Quora can contribute to a user’s online influence and you can search content by engines like Google.

So far, Quora doesn’t allow corporate accounts. Each question and answer can be tied back to a unique user.

3. Monitor issues and sectors. You can mine Quora for topics and emerging trends. You can also track brand mentions and industry categories relevant to your organization. The questions may be even more telling — and many are waiting for answers.

4. Access media. The answer for “Who are all the journalists on Quora?” includes a roster of about 80 reporters for media such as The Wall Street Journal, tech publications and international outlets. Tech reporters in particular have found that Quora is a valuable source for stories. Reporters have lifted some answers verbatim and reprinted with credit, like op-eds in more traditional media and other blogs. Pitching via Quora is probably not in line with the culture, but breaking news strategically via relevant Quora groups might get interesting notice and pick up.

5. Access CEOs. One early adopter is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who answers questions from end users as a way to build the customer experience and respond to concerns and kudos.

Steve Swasey, vice president of corporate communications at Netflix, says Quora is just one of the platforms that the DVD distributor uses to communicate. He adds that Hastings’ migration last October to Quora was organic versus a planned PR strategy.

“People started asking questions,” says Swasey. “Netflix is an open and transparent company. My CEO blogs, writes with shareholders, deals with consumers. Quora is just another channel.”

His advice: “Make sure public relations is dialed into the corporate strategy. If there is a disconnect between the CEO and public relations, then that’s trouble.

6. Create business opportunities. The contributors who are brave enough to put themselves out there in various debates may be people you want to know professionally. LinkedIn might show you someone’s résumé, but Quora shows you how that person thinks.

Meanwhile, for practitioners looking at building their client list through new expertise, Quora can give a quick primer on an array of new interests that might build a foundation for new client relationships.

What do you all think? Will Quora stand the test of time or is it just a good effort?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


If you are anything like me, you are overwhelmed with all of the social media sites that everyone seems to have accounts on. Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, Facebook and now do people do it and are they all necessary?
My most recent online endeavor has been LinkedIn, "the place" for business people to network. Just like every other soon-to-be college graduate, I signed up for an account, made a profile and badgered a few people into signing up so I would have some connections. After that...I pretty much left it alone.
Maybe the joke is on me, but recently I have been hearing about the "joys" of being a LinkedIn user. Needless to say, I logged back into my measly profile and started to try to find what all the buzz was about. Now, maybe I am not the only one who feels this way, but is LinkedIn the Skipper to Facebook's Barbie? These new features, like LinkedIn Events and advertising space, seem to be...well, kind of lame.
Now, introducing attendees to an event beforehand, or making the events list available for all those who have RSVP-ed is a smart tool for the LinkedIn team to bring on. But when do these social networking sites begin to look the same? Friending them on Facebook, connecting with them on much should we be connected to a person that we don't really know? Is that business appropriate? And whatever happened to the awkward first meetings? Will we all eventually greet each other by saying "Oh, yes! Hi...I just friended you..and yes, haha, we are connections. What was your last name again?" or "Hey! Saw you are going to Florida this weekend on your Twitter, I'm Lauren...its great to meet you."
Where is that line of social networking overload and are we quickly approaching it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Experimental Marketing

Taylor Herring is the super swanky London-based PR firm that I dream of working for. Their clientele is incredible. They have their hands involved in everything and anything someone may think is "cool." And their blog is nothing short of indulgent.
In a recent post on the Taylor Herring blog, a post was made about an experimental marketing strategy for prime time TV show, Mad Man. To promote the upcoming season premiere of Mad Men in New Zealand, cleverly places decals were placed on the sides of skyscrapers. These decals play tribute to the opening sequence of the show and have become not only eye-catching, but completely iconic.

The firm in charge of these adventurous decals is Draftfcb based out of New Zealand. What do you think?
Does the falling suited silhouette catch your attention and peak your interest? Or does it miss the mark?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Makes a Good Blog...Good?

I came across an article via the Public Relations Society of America's website talking about the various aspects of what makes a blog good. We have all read blogs and we all know that some of them, well, maybe their authors should find other hobbies. This article by Sherrie Bakshi helps combat that misty-eyed blogger fears.

Step One: Work Your Blog!
Sherrie encourages bloggers to take pride in their art. Spend time fashioning each post and watch your style evolve. That said, make sure to let your friends on Facebook and Twitter know that you've posted! And hey, it never hurts to participate on other blogs. That way your sphere of influence branches out past just your "friends" or "followers."

Step Two: Love Mean Commitment.
WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVE! No one wants to read a blog about something by a half-hearted blogger. I happen to know very little about football, I like watching the sport, but I could never write a blog about it (unless we wanted to talk about how a particular..asset happens to look in football uniforms).
But, as we all know, the things we love take up time and effort. Commit to your blog. Set a posting schedule for yourself and mark your calendar. No matter if you've got a great following or stellar content, no one wants to read a sporadic blog. Blogs have become a regular part of our computer time habits...don't disappoint those fans!

Step Three: Keep Calm & Be Patient
All good things take time...blogs included. Don't be discouraged! Everyone will love your blog.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Social Media Meltdown

As much as I avoid those famed "five ways to..." or "three reasons why..." this article by Dorie Clark (CEO for Clark Strategic Communications) for The Huffington Post on ways to avoid the soon-to-be social media burnout is a gem.
Clark suggests (and rightfully so) to avoid being the greedy "early adopter." The trigger happy techie that spends his or her day finding and mastering every new hyped phenomenon on the internet. Clark begs us to remember Second Life, the "design your own avatar and live in the virtual world" that turned out to be...well, kind of weird. Save your time for the "must-haves" or those designed to stick around.
That said, the marketing strategy consultant guru encourages social media users to be familiar with the most used/famed internet tools (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Create an account, play around, pick up a copy of Wired Magazine, get to know the programs a bit and how they can be beneficial for you and your needs.
Above all else, do not let social media intimidate or scare you. Who cares is @LNLHoldsworth posts 8 times a minute? Her blog may be terrible. Social media is designed to be user friendly, to help connect, to build relationships and spread information. You are the user. Have FUN!
For the complete article by Dorie Clark, visit

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

100cameras, the most creative way to share stories

When you go to 100camera's homepage, this is the first thing you read: 100cameras is a nonprofit organization that identifies children living in unjust conditions and gives them cameras to document their lives. Their photo narratives are used to raise awareness and capital to meet physical needs and empower sustainable growth within their community. When you purchase one of the children's photos, 100percent of that money is given back to the partner organization.
This group gives cameras to underprivelaged children. In hopes that by seeing the lives they live, the organization can better serve them.
Cameras to children to see their lives through their lenses.
According to their website, this is how it works:
it's simple, really.

we give a camera to jackson.

jackson snaps a photo.

then you buy his photo.

your money goes back to jackson.

and jackson is empowered.

Watch the video. Get inspired. Visit the website (

From Neoclassicism to Expressionism

Hello Hello My Little Artsies,
I found this wonderful article in the Arts section of the New York Times titled "Odd Faces, Strange in Their Day, but Familiar in Our Time" today. It starts of with Proust, calls on da Vinci and ends up in Vienna. The article is a wonderfully exploratory trip through the works of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, an 18th-century German sculptor. Messerschmidt manifested his "artistic-disturbances" through a series of, what he called, character heads. This busts are crafted with bizarre, exaggerated expressions that intrigue even the least experienced art critic.

The article goes on to catalog the artists life from his youth in Germany to his final days in Vienna. 19 of Messerschmidt's character heads have been brought together for the show “Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736-1783: From Neoclassicism to Expressionism,” which has been organized in collaboration with the Louvre and travels to Paris from New York.
For the full article please visit

Happy findings!


Today has been another manic one. How about some happy findings to distract you?

They say happiness is the changing of seasons...

So Happy.

Lovely, no?

All of these wonderful images were discovered on; the fantastic web service that not only allows the users to post and share their favorite images found on the web, but also suggests other images that the user may like (based on what s/he has clicked on previously). MAGIC!

Please go visit.
You may very well get lost.

Muckraking for the Modern Man

Hello, hello.
I hope you are having a lovely Monday.
This week Collective wants to focus your attention to an insanely artistic approach to journalism. "News21 is a national project that encourages and supports new forms of investigative reporting and storytelling," reports NPR's Coburn Dukehart. "The venture — funded by a Carnegie and Knight initiative — includes eight “incubator” universities, where students hone their reporting and digital skills in the classroom, then follow up with hands-on reporting in the field"
This project has fused the art of film, audio, storytelling & reporting into one power-house of a hybrid. The full article (found at: highlights Syracuse University's News21 student and her story of Jerry Middleton, a former driver in the Vietnam war. The final product can be seen viewed on Vimeo ( To see more of the students work check out