Archive for February, 2012


#SMbiz Twitter Chat

I would totally write a blog about the weekly Small Business Twitter chat, but due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to make it for the chat. Hopefully, I’ll get around to writing it out next Tuesday night-Wednesday night, as the chat takes place on Tuesday nights.



So earlier this week, Diddy (or whatever he calls himself these days) announced that he is planning on launching a “social media-driven music tv channel.” This channel will be called REVOLT TV.

"Television" by Dailyinvention

Here’s a link to what Mashable has to say about it.

Some thoughts that have come to mind while reading this were:

But what exactly does this mean for the world of social media?
This just goes to show that social media is penetrating today’s culture more than you would think. The fact that people this big and famous are finding financial potential in this proves that there is more to be tapped in social media. Things are going to get even more widespread out in the real world away from our computers.

Where will this go?
So, here are my assumptions about what the typical user experience of watching this channel would be like:

  • Tweeting in your votes for a trl-esque show.
  • Tweeting out what you’re currently watching, for the world to see, and tune in.
  • Facebook applications that will only work during the time that a correlating show is on.

Of course there’s so much room and potential  for more ideas, but those were the ideas that came to mind at the time of hearing this news.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if all sorts of other social media powered television channels spring up?
There really isn’t a lot of room to interact with this question, but I really think this idea will spread. It might take some time, but this should really grow within the next 5 years. Because of the rate of growth in the industry, I expect to see about 10+ social media-driven channels by the year 2017.


Earshot Media Interview

So while I was looking around at different publicity agencies for potential internship opportunities, I came across Earshot Media. What makes Earshot so interesting to me is that it mostly works with musicians and record labels instead of the typical business or corporation.

"Bass" by Keoni Cabral

But what is it that makes Earshot really stand out from so many of the other music pr agencies? The answer is simple. They work hard, they have a big client list (Hawthorne Heights, Attack Attack, Never Shout Never, Copeland, plus more) and they have results to go with all of it.

So I dug a bit deeper, and eventually I found this interview that Absolute Punk did with Mike Cubillos, the owner of the agency. Rather than a traditional interview, Mike simply hopped onto the website’s message boards and responded to as many questions from different users as time had allowed.

Some of the more interesting things that I learned from reading through the interview were:

  • Education really doesn’t matter much, if you know your stuff. Really, Mike did so much work with labels during his time in school that he apparently learned most of what he knows through independent learning and actual work.
  • Social media makes things easier. One of the people who asked a question asked if the increasing amount of social media sites and forum sites makes his job more difficult, or easier. Mike responded by saying that it might be a little tough and time consuming to navigate through everything. But he did also say that it works out for him in the long run, because it helps him to pick up more clients that wouldn’t have gained recognition without all of these new social media mediums.
  • Anybody can try to do music publicity, up to a certain point. Relationships take time to develop, and contact lists take time to build. There’s going to be a point where your bands grow beyond your scope, and they’re going to need somebody that can provide for them.

I really got a lot out of reading through this interview, and I’m personally hoping to intern for this publicity agency in the future.


Blog Mining

So for class, we had to select an organization and then mine their blog for any problems or opportunities that would provide meaningful feedback for the organization.

So because of this, I picked the Google blog. On February 9th the organization had posted a blog updating the world on the “Google bar”, the home bar on the top of every Google-affiliated webpage.

My own screen cap taken from Google's Homepage

The blog starts like any ordinary announcement blog. Well rather than an actual announcement, it was more of a “You users requested change, so we delivered. You’re welcome” Kind of blog. It continues on and on about what’s been changed, which would be the new drop down bar that contains links to the most commonly used Google products.

At the end of the blog, there is an open invitation for any feedback or requests for help on the new bar. To bottom-line it, It asks the world to give feedback on what they like, and dislike about the new idea.

Google then has a chance to see what does and doesn’t work with the new audience, and they could see what it worth fixing or ignoring in order to better them as a brand.

Obviously, the organization should respond to any and all feedback with moderation. Some things should simply be looked at on a surface level, while other things should be tweaked and changed immediately. It’s really a matter of deciding what does and doesn’t make sense to them into working on. Some things don’t matter much at all, while others should immediately looked at.


Social Media: Friend or Foe?

So I listened to this podcast that consisted of a discussion between Mark Ragan (posing as a CEO that is refusing to incorporate social media into his corporate communication channels), and about 5 panelists (his team).

"Six writing things" by Phil Gyford

The panelists include:

  • David Biesack (of SAS)
  • Shel Holtz (of Holtz Communication + Technology)
  • Vida Killian (of Dell)
  • Terry McKenzie (of Sun Microsystems)
  • Jim Ylisela (of Ragan Communications)

From what I understood, the idea behind this discussion is to speak of the different ideas that are emphasized in the effectiveness of social media within a corporate setting.

Here are some of the things that are brought up:

  • If every employee has a voice through their blog, who will there be to make any revisions in case of misconceptions and foul play? I believe that rather than revising and changing statements, higher-ups within the corporation should instead counter-act any foul statements made by employees. At the best, this plan would create more of a buzz for the company, and if what is being said is REALLY that bad, then the employee could simply be terminated.
  • If customers are saying things, shouldn’t you be saying things back? There’s no substitute for two-way communication, if everybody else is hopping aboard that train, you need to do the same. When necessary, respond back to customers. It’s up to the corporation to decide the when’s, where’s, and how’s, but the why’s need to be definite.
  • Doesn’t a blog require a commitment? Yes, it does. But there are a variety of benefits that come out of running a corporate blog. Although it’s difficult to find a concrete and tangible correlation between social media engagement and dollar signs, it is definitely worth the time. People will learn who you are if you have an established online brand. It’s as simple as that. Wouldn’t it make sense to do this if you would like for this brand to grow?

Happiness in the Workplace

So back in class on February 9th, we had a couple of guest speakers. Through this time, they told us about who they are, what they’ve done in the world of public relations, and how they got into doing what they’ve been doing.

"The Open Road" by Trey Ratcliff

The first speaker was Amy Wiggins, a VP of Communications at the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Early into her lecture, Amy told of how her religion degree has actually helped her to use critical thinking and problem solving skills in her profession at the chamber. She touched on how her work life can be hectic at times, but that’s totally fine to her, because it’s what she loves doing.

Up next was Brent Merritt of Southeastern University’s Marketing and PR department, where along with doing various things to publicize the school, he runs the various social networking sites that the school uses. Brent also writes for the Lakeland Ledger, where he covers various sporting events within Polk County. Brent told us about how he had to handle the whole gunman on campus situation earlier this month, and how different things needed to be addressed.

The biggest thing that spoke to me through what these guest lecturers were saying was that they worked very hard to get to doing what they love to do. Most of the way, they loved every bit of it. At the other times, they found different things that they’ve liked and disliked about what they were doing at the time, but they would stick through with it, because they would like to get to where they can love everything that they do.


Life at a PR Firm

If I ever had to choose between working at a pr firm or for a corporation’s pr department, I would pick the pr firm without hesitation.

"X cufflinks" by xharekx33

Think of the idea of working with so many other people, think of how you could collaborate with, and help (or even receive help from) others.

Think of all of the different kinds of projects going on around you. Think of the different phases of those projects. Now think of the idea of all of the professionals working on those specific projects working around you, under the same roof (save for telecommuters). This is because sometimes, you need to work with and through other to things done.

If I wanted to make something of myself in the world of public relations after my first public relations job, I would want to land a job with an already established firm.

Why? This is so that I could have something nicer to put on my resume than simply “public relations associate at ‘x’ corporation.” Instead, I could say “public relations associate at ‘x’ pr firm, having done work with projects a, b, c, and d, with (insert famed pr professional here).”

When I think of working at a pr firm, I think of how there would likely constantly be something fresh and new to work on. Imagine handling pr for a motivational speaker for a few months, and then after that, you work on a campaign for an upcoming blockbuster movie.

The firm sounds like a better idea, right?

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