Archive for 2011
Educate or entertain. These are the two most basic rules for content marketing: how to get people to pay attention to you, to listen, to learn, to reply, to like you or whatever it is you’re selling – whether it’s an idea, a service or a widget.
Most often, we think of words as the medium. Increasingly, we use video. Pictures also have taken on new significance through tagging on Facebook (which helps optimize your news feed and put the content in front of more friends).
But thanks to new streaming and sharing platforms such as Spotify – music is another opportunity to educate and entertain. For example, I love what @Time magazine did earlier this month as part of its Person of the Year issue, offering a playlist on protest songs as part of its coverage, giving another dimension to a story in the same way an infographic might.
As we wrap up another busy year, we thought it would be interesting to take a few moments and look back through what happened in the world of PR and social media. From content inspiration, to embargo issues, and exciting new outlets to share company stories, we highlight a few of our favorite blog posts from 2011.
What to Blog About
You’ve started a blog: a small step effort-wise and a giant leap towards social media immersion. Now, what do you write about? Blogging continued to grow in popularity this year and we offered some tips to get the ball rolling here.
Once Upon a Time There Lived a Plot: The Importance of Storytelling
Earlier this week, 451 named my co-founder Beth a social media strategist to watch in 2012. She is in great company with the likes of Mike Volpe, Brian Solis, Chris Brogan, Sean Ford, among many other true experts. I was thrilled to see my co-founder named. She (and we) as a firm do little to promote ourselves (you know, plumber with the leaky faucet, cobbler’s shoeless children-type thing).
So, it was particularly great to see Beth’s name on the list — not because she promotes herself as an expert — but because she really is one. She is one of the few people in the field who does not just pontificate about the virtues of social media, but actually puts them to pragmatic business use.
Blogging at the end of the year – what’s a gal to do? Should I predict something? No, Beth nailed that. Reflect on something from this past year that we need to change? Sam already did that. Make an awesome top ten list? Jen and Michelle just made the most #awesome one, ever.
The only way I can write a blog post now is if I’m visited by three spirits who help me figure out…Bob Cratchit, that’s it!
In true Dickens fashion, allow me to reflect on communications this Christmas in the best way possible – being scared into it by ghosts.
Barnabus “Barney” Stinson, formerly known as Doogie Howser, and legally known as Neil Patrick Harris, is one of prime time TV’s most beloved characters. From his daddy issues to his serial womanizing, he’s the glue that holds together the friendships, and the successful ratings, on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother.”
While there isn’t a hashtagger out there quite as awesome as Barney Stinson (@Broslife – #stinsonROCKS), in 2011 there were some hashtags that were so clever and funny they probably would’ve made him proud. True story.
Last year’s post about 10 words to retire in 2011 spurred so much debate among us PR folks that we felt compelled to update it with a throng of words that we firmly believe need a permanent “timeout” or a creative refresh in 2012.
Fellow communicators – we are wordsmiths at our core, so consider this a call to arms!
Let’s take some lessons and inspiration from the literary world to come up with better and more descriptive words. Unexpected, creative and imaginative words – and let’s not forget muscular verbs – will help our press releases, pitches, tweets and other content cut through the morass of bland, jargon-filled marketing content. Our prose needs to get the attention it – and our clients – deserve. After all, we want to write content that people will read and share.
2011 was a good year for PR. It’s growing and changing for the better, as I wrote back in June. While it’s harder to break through the streams of tweets and updates that fly at us each day, PR has an unprecedented opportunity to tell stories through new vehicles. The stakes are higher though, so we have to be smarter and more creative. I used to tell clients not to worry too much about negative coverage because Google’s memory is short. Well, it’s gotten a lot longer this year with archive searches, so you can Google this post next December and call me prescient or just plain wrong.
Classic antihero George Costanza has taught us many valuable life lessons – chief among them that you can still find a parking spot in the city if you apply yourself. But for those of us in content creation fields, he’s given career tips, too. Let me explain what I mean, because George is clearly the gift that keeps on giving. By the way, Happy Festivus, everyone!
There’s a well-known scene in “The Ticket” episode where George and Jerry pitch their sitcom idea to NBC for a second time. Having been dismissed by the network the week before because of George’s insistence that the show be about nothing, the two friends return with the opposite tack – with George leading the way. “Story is the foundation of all entertainment,” he tells NBC executive Russell Dalrymple. “You must have a good story; otherwise, it’s just masturbation.”