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?