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Stephen says...

Stephen says...

Is your blog failing and you don’t know why? Are you assuming that because there are so many other blogs out there no one has time for yours?

If it is the latter, your excuse is a weak one and a little pathetic.

If your blog is failing, and by this I mean it has little to no traffic or engagement, It’s probably because your content isn’t good enough. Other reasons being: it’s not relevant anymore; or, you have no networking skills.

Content

This first one is the most important. Without good content you have nothing. Most importantly, spelling and grammar need to be of a decent standard. If you’re failing here, people are likely to switch off as soon as they notice a mistake. Some may not notice, but most will.

Read Effective Writing Skills for Public Relations by John Foster to improve your writing.

Second to that, it must be engaging, interesting and different. Make it stand out – give it a human angle, something that people can relate to.

Relevance

Writing about something that happened last week probably isn’t newsworthy anymore, so don’t bother blogging about it.

Think about your target audience and what they are going to want to read. If it is not relevant to them it is not relevant to anyone.

Networking

Unless you’re a celebrity, it isn’t easy to build up a following. To gain the reputation of someone who regularly produces good content is tough and is something that most bloggers won’t accomplish.

For me, it’s about being where your audience are. If they’re on Twitter, put your content on Twitter; Facebook, make a fan page; Social bookmarking sites (StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious), make sure your content is there for people to share and be active in these channels.

If you’re not sharing your content, no one else will be – unless it’s VERY newsworthy. However, if you’re reading this because your blog is failing, you probably don’t fall into this category.

I didn’t say I was perfect or my blog, but if you’re looking for advice, this will help.


Janey says...

PR is all about reputation, this does not just mean a company’s reputation, it also means every individuals’ reputation.  Behind every working individual there is a brand and a reputation. Even as students, we are in the process of building a personal brand to later present to an employer.

A personal brand, like a company’s brand differentiates us from our competitors.  It is built up of skills, values, strengths, personality and appearance that voice what we stand for and what we can offer to others.

Personal branding will:

–       Give you a visibility

–       Separate you from the crowd

–       Attract people to your business

What makes a successful brand?

A successful brand needs to be clear so that the receiver understands it. It must be apparent of what we stand for and what our values are. Secondly, it must be consistent in delivering our brand, which will re-enforce the message and make it even stronger and clearer. A personal brand needs to be clear and strong, stick to the values and be constant and repetitive. A personal brand should remain invariable and constantly visible to our target receivers.

Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson is an example of successful branding, not only does he effectively brand his company Virgin he also effectively brands himself as CEO. Richard Branson is excellent at personal PR, he makes himself exclusive to the public, he is charismatic, outgoing, a daredevil, has a sense of humour and gets personal with his employees and gets stuck in with the action. Branson has branded himself as a people’s person and is different to most CEOs – he sets himself apart from the other brands. Branson has successfully self-packaged himself as part of his brand Virgin.

Other examples of personal branding are found behind any celebrity; The Beckhams, Lord Alan Sugar, Cheryl Cole, and Simon Cowell – the list could go on forever!

Students!

So basically a successful personal brand should be clear, reliable and constant. As a student we need to evaluate what we are good at, our values, ethics, personality, what we stand for and what we can offer. When we have decided upon this we will need to stick to it and be constant in this behavior and represent it to your target audience.

By creating a personal brand you will be setting yourself apart from the crowd and shaping people’s perception of you. A successful brand will attract people to your business or in a graduate’s situation to employ you.

Sculpting a personal brand is quite daunting and I have no doubt that it will take a few twists and turns and some time but am confident we will all get there and find our own niche! Good luck to everyone and please add any comments to the discussion or any ADVICE!!


Stephen says...

StumbleUpon

After reading Neal Schaffer’s article on Socialmediatoday, I immediately knew that I needed to start exploring StumbleUpon. For many, this website drives more traffic to their blog than any other channel – including Facebook and Twitter.

When I used to think of social bookmarking sites, I thought of Digg and Delicious. However, when I found out StumbleUpon had over 11 million users – almost twice that of Digg – I realised it was a channel that deserved much more consideration.

It is also a great place to find and share other great content without having to feel like you’re doing a journalist’s job – trawling through a screen full of Twitter headlines looking for that good read.

For more advice on how to use StumbleUpon to direct traffic to your blog, read Schaffer’s article (linked above).

Twitter

I won’t dwell on Twitter because too many people have already spent too much time talking about it.

If the content is good, it can have significant reach. However, you must have a significant number of followers to start with; otherwise, the article might not even be picked up.

If you # tag a tweet, like this: “#pr #socialmedia”. The tweet will be put into a category with all of the other people in the world who have used the same tag at that time – which is a lot of people. So unless you have a very good headline, the chances that your tweet will be discovered may be slim.

I look for content from people who have delivered good content to me previously. You need to invest some time in establishing a reputation as someone who shares good content. Otherwise your time is wasted here.

Facebook

I have recently created a NewPRMinds fan page. I think having a Facebook page for your blog is a great idea and I am surprised more people don’t do it.  I see it as an opportunity to cross-network traffic from my blog to the fan page and vice-versa.

On Facebook you can display a range of content all on one page. One post can be a question or statement, while others could be shared content, such as videos or blog posts.

It is also, like Twitter, a many-to-many form of communication with a huge potential reach. However, this is limited unless you spend the time necessary to build up a following of people that will join your page and share your content.

You Tube

I decided to to talk about YouTube, on YouTube. Please click the video below to hear my thoughts.

Please let me know your thoughts via the comment box below or go over to our Facebook page to share them there.


Hello and thanks to everyone who has read and commented on our blog.

NewPRMinds is a very new blog which looks to be growing quickly and turning into a little success I am very proud to be a part of.

As a result, the NewPRMinds team (myself and Janey) have decided to push the blog into new directions.

Thus, we are now on Facebook 🙂

Facebook will make it easier for users to communicate with us as well as amongst themselves. By nature, it is a more interactive and personable channel.

We hope that you will join us and “Like” the group so you can talk to us and others about the latest trends in PR & Comms as well as receiving great video and written content, all in one place.

Check us out, just click the NewPRMinds logo below.


 

Janey says...

Is any PR better than none whether bad or not? Is there such a thing as bad PR?

I have always been curious to the thinking behind the PR strategy of Michael O’Leary Chief executive of Ryanair. O’Leary seems to be accomplished at rubbing people up the wrong way, his company is surrounded with controversy and O’Leary is frequently in the media for his money making schemes. Are these schemes truth or is O’Leary just trying to get people talking about his company? But with what benefit?

His schemes have included:

–          Charging passengers to use the toilet.

–          Introducing standing during flights.

–          Doubling up the co-Pilot as a hostess too.

–          Charging overweight customers extra.

Clearly, Michael O’Leary knows how to create debate and irritate people. These scandalous schemes are publicised in the media and when O’Leary is asked to comment he generally gives rude and sarcastic remarks, known to say that if you don’t like the service then find a new airline.

Undoubtedly, O’Learly is successful at creating a storm and getting people talking about his company but how will this draw in customers?

Underlying all these scandalous schemes there lays one exiting message:

That Ryanair is a budget airline.  

I guess if you’re not willing to pay more then go elsewhere.

Is O’Leary really using the most effective strategy to communicate his message?

I personally hate flying with Ryanair but yet still continue to do so because of the low fares.

Ryanair’s PR strategy is bizarre and aggravating but it is successful at drumming in the message that Ryanair is a budget airline. Can we therefore still call this bad PR?

Personally, it is the type of PR I would not like to get involved in only because of morals and ethics but I still have a sense of humour and admire the humour behind the strategy as much as it does annoy me!

I am unsure as to whether O’Leary’s morals are in the right place. I do however; commend Ryanair for positioning their brand and setting themselves out of the crowd. They successfully gain publicity and drum out their message!

At least he has a sense of humour!


David Says...

Has there ever been a PR campaign, for any major brand, that has been bigger than a political campaign? Not just any political campaign too, I am not talking about the UK, but about America, where the campaign starts years before, not months.

Just look at Sarah Palin’s activities right now, if The Guardian is to believed, her presidential campaign has just kicked off – let’s hope Obama is well prepared.

A political campaign has traditionally been very… well, traditional. (This is not so much of a revelation, there can only have been so many political campaigns with the opportunity to use social media; also known as new media – because it is… new).

While even the recent UK election did not fully use social media to the max, Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign made full use of this new media, more so than any of his predecessors, and while this is not the only reason he was elected, it certainly didn’t do any harm.

Anyone who has read The Long Tail will know that for every niche there is an audience. While Obama did not go for every niche, he did go for a lot of social networks that were not so obvious in 2008.

Obama is followed by over 5 million on Twitter, over 13 million like him on Facebook, his Flickr albums generate thousands of views each, over 150 million people have viewed his videos  on YouTube and he has nearly 2 billion friends on MySpace; including Tom 😉

It is strange that this amount of activity was only in support of a traditional PR campaign, however, such a large amount of activity backing up a campaign is surely going to benefit a campaign greatly.

Many put the success of Obama down to his ability to engage with young voters. Well, if it is just down to that fact, then maybe his success has a lot to do with the use of social media – typically used by the younger generation (not necessary true of all networks, but as a general statement it makes some sense).

Look at the facts; Obama gained twice as much web traffic than McCain, had 4 times as many YouTube views, 5 times as many Facebook friends, and 10 times as many online staff. (Click for source)

While support from massive influencers such as Bill Clinton, Colin Powell and Oprah Winfrey count for instant masses of support, and the column inches, street campaigners and expert speeches do the same, it is undeniable that social media provided that something extra that resulted in a landslide victory.

Is this a social media campaign? No. Is it a traditional campaign? Yes. But it is the first major traditional political PR campaign that used social media properly, and so far, it is the best.

So who should Obama thank? The young voters? All his voters? His digital PRs? No. He had the edge thanks to; Evan, Mark and Tom.

About David

David J M Clare works at 33 Digital, an international digital PR agency. He is also the Social Media Section Editor at Behind The Spin, the online PR magazine for young PR practitioners and students. He blogs atThe PR View and had a degree in Marketing and Public Relations from the University of Lincoln.


Stephen says...

Most people know that social media has changed PR forever. This post is for those who are STILL unsure.

I am going to look at a PR campaign from the 1980’s to see how PR used to work before the invention of the internet. Most important of all, I am going to look at how things could be improved if done with the communication channels and technology we have now.

My next word… Brylcreem



First created in 1928 the product was an emulsion of water and mineral oil stabilised with beeswax.

Declining in popularity and mainly bought by older people, Brylcreem started to flag in the mid 1980’s. Someone needed to do something quickly to save the brand. It was decided Brylcreem needed a new, younger target audience.  Beecham’s brand, (owner of Brylcreem) started by creating a new and trendy ad campaign.

Now the special part

Lynne Franks PR came up with the idea to have a competition where the most handsome and intelligent young-men could win a chance to appear in a Brylcreem commercial.

Entrants queued in their thousands for the opportunity to be on TV. This sparked an interest from the regional and national media, securing coverage and making the campaign a huge success.

Imagine this campaign in 2010…

Getting the message out!

How would you communicate such a message 25 years ago? The first thing to do would be to send a news release, or better still, a media pack. But how else would you communicate and interact? What if it was a ‘big news day,’ and the media pack didn’t catch as much publicity as you had hoped for?

In 2010, those same channels of communication would still be used today. The difference being, a bigger variety of channels would be included in the campaign today. New media doesn’t replace old media, it adds to it.

  • Contestants would upload YouTube videos saying why they were the best candidate.
  • They would also post pictures on Flickr or other video sharing channels.
  • Brylcreem would make announcements and regularly engage with the public on Twitter and Facebook.
  • I even imagine the public voting the winner on Brylcreem’s website.

The internet is a many-to-many form of communication. The message would spread like wild fire.

‘The Bylcreem Boy’ campaign has recently made a comeback starring English international cricketer, Kevin Pietersen.

If we were to see a similar campaign to that of Lynne Franks now, I would expect to see more interactivity, engagement and exposure.

At the moment, however, Brycreem seem to be doing a great job embracing social media.

This is evident through the many recent events broadcasted through their Facebook page, such as: the Brylcreem Style Competition in February, the Brylcreem Batting Challenge with Kevin Pietersen, and the very recent Brylcreem Boy Barbers’ Day.

Are you convinced yet? If not, you will fall behind.