Good PR advice in Brazil

April 30, 2009

scott5The Public Relations Global Network meetings in Sao Paulo last week offered some tremendous agency management information, individual professional development and plenty of new business development conversations.

Among the speakers was Gustavo Ribeiro, a Sao Paulo business leader who offered his keys for the success of PR agencies into 2020.  For the growth of agencies, they are:

1.  Strategic visioning.

2.  Client knowledge.  Innovative approach to serve clients.

3.  Strong knowledge about internet models and new information technology.

4.  Retention of best employees, retain talents.

5.  Strong financial backing.

6.  International partnership.

Makes sense.  It’s just making it all happen that is easier to talk about than to actually execute.


scott4Interesting that with major daily newspapers all across the country slashing and furloughing their staffs, shrinking their content and some shutting down their presses, The Arizona Republic has announced an increase in its Sunday circulation.

The boost in Sunday readership, up to 516,562 (0.2 percent), puts The Republic in the top 10 nationwide.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Top 10 make it through the next several months and who will remain on this Audit Bureau of Circulations list.

  1. New York Times, 1,451,233
  2. Los Angeles Times, 1,019,388
  3. Washington Post, 868,965
  4. Chicago Tribune, 858,256
  5. Daily News (New York), 644,766
  6. Detroit Free Press, 585,022
  7. Houston Chronicle, 583,364
  8. Philadelphia Inquirer, 550,4000
  9. Denver Post, 526,235
  10. Arizona Republic, 516,562.

RIP:  Rocky Mountain News,  Cincinnati Post, etc., etc.


April 26, 2009

It’s been real. It’s been fun. It’s been real fun.

What a week – now the real work starts…incorporating everything we learned into our own clients and businesses. Oh, and getting a blackberry too!





The next-to-last session was a little different…actually, a little Donahue. Before the session, titled “Aligning Knowledge smooch-2and Leadership Attributes with Management’s New Expectations,” videographers descended on the room and…surprise…we were about to become part of a pilot for CNN!

No, really.

Our speaker, Smooch (name on her birth certificate) Reynolds, was in the process of filming a pilot for CNN on leadership, and she was looking for good sound bytes for her reel – of course, she looked to us PR people.

Then, as Smooch got started, we were asked to put our phones and pens down – no notes or tweeting during this session, just listening and participating in an interactive discussion on smooch-1the economy, hiring and how it will be an employer’s market after the recession subsides.

Most of the information in this session was common sense, but Smooch livened it up by working the room with her microphone and asking questions directly to PRSA members…my question was to define “mettle.” My answer, let’s just say, brought on some laughs and will surely make it to air, unless the FCC hears it.

Smooch asked various people what someone’s mettle was, getting shy answers one-by-one, and then finally put me on the spot. “Mettle, quite simply, is balls,” I said to Smooch. Gold star for me.

The best piece of advice I took from the session was the reality that PR people will no longer be PR people…we must adopt business acumen if we want to survive, and thrive, after the recession and digital revolution.

Day three of the conference started with an update on one of PR’s cousins – marketing. Mobile marketing, to be exact.

Now, I preface this post with three things…

1. I do not have an iPhone or a Blackberry – I have an outdated LG that can just barely text!

2. I brought my laptop to Thursday’s session, expecting Wi-Fi at my fingertips. Sadly, I was the ONLY person not using the Internet on his/her phone. In fact, so many people had access on their phones that the hotel did not offer Wi-Fi and I looked like a dinosaur.

3. During yesterday’s keynote, I got made fun of by Peter Shankman for not being able to Twitter from the event b/c of my cheap phone.

As you can see from my humiliation above, anything more than texting on a cell phone is a bit above my range, for now. After today, however, I am determined to have a new phone by the next business day.

Now on to the session…

Mike Wehrs, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, gave us an overview of what the mobile market looks like today, what it will look like in less than three years and the evolving role of public relations in mobile marketing campaigns.

Some video footage from the session:

Todd Cooley, PRSA Western District

Mike Wehrs

Mike Wehrs

Some insight and observations from the session:

  • Just a year or two ago, mobile marketing was seen as more experimental than essential. For bigger companies, mobile marketing is now part of nearly every campaign they create. Small business will be following suit, if they have not already.
  • The growth in this field is due to Smartphones, faster web browsing phone capabilities, longer-lasting phone batteries, branded widgets, social networks and the popularity of applications.
  • World-wide, most countries have a more than 100% penetration of cell phones – meaning while not everyone in the world has one, those of us with three or four make up for them.
  • There are currently 4.1 billion cell phones being used.
  • By 2013, there will be 5.6 billion cell phones being used.
  • Mobile is attractive because it offers one-on-one, custom marketing.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the response rate using mobile marketing is greater than almost any other marketing tactic being used today – 40 to 50 times higher in some cases.
  • On average, people today send and receive more texts in a day than they make or receive actual phone calls.
  • The fastest-growing segment of the population using text – adults 35 to 45 years old.

Some links for mobile marketing research and case studies:

Some companies leading the mobile marketing charge:

I am impressed…in the hour that Peter Shankman had to address the PRSA Western District, the admitted A.D.O.S. (Attention Deficit – OH SHINY!) sufferer managed to tell tales of his love of Melrose Place, his hatred of Titanic (the movie, not the tragedy!), his interview on Howard Stern AND quote Better Off Dead – all while showing us the future of public relations – and life in general.

A blog doesn’t do him justice – I just had to take some video clips. Enjoy!

Peter Shankman 1

Peter Shankman 2

Peter Shankman 3

Peter Shankman 4

Peter Shankman 5

Peter Shankman 6

Meet the Media

April 23, 2009

dscf1719During the final session of Thursday’s jam-packed conference, I had the opportunity to hear how some of the west coast’s news leaders like to be pitched including:

  • Russ Britt, MarketWatch
  • Scott Jagow, Marketplace Online
  • Patrick McMahon, LA Times

As we entrench ourselves in the blogosphere these days, sometimes people can dscf1720forget that a lot of the content is still coming from REAL journalists and traditional media outlets – traditional outlets that are working hard to make their content work in the online world.

Full information from our bloggers is up right now (or will be within an hour or two) here.

Cision is leading this PACKED breakout session…and I am under the air vent being blasted to within an inch of my life so forgive me as a shiver profusely during this post.

Some takeaways:

  • You need to have a social media policy for your brand or your client’s brand – starting with one for your employees.
  • 1st steps to social media engagement:

Determine goals

Find target community

LISTEN (treat community and social network like a girlfriend!)

Share content

Create content

  • Rule of thumb – unless you are a superstar, DO NOT blog less than a few times a week!
  • Be prepared for it to creep out of your 9-5 workday
  • Facebook – 65 million unique visitors/month, making it king
  • Most companies have Facebook page rather than profile
  • Can’t control who fans are, but you don’t have to “friend” back
  • But what if you have major privacy issues and competitor list – Competitors can poach easily so don’t give away farm
  • Twitter – 10 million unique visitors/month (may be higher b/c f tweet deck and other)
  • Friend Feed – 220,000 users – Way to aggregate yourself – one-stop shop of all of your social destinations but not great for outreach
  • SEO Benefits of Social Media:

It isn’t MAGIC!

Submit your blog posts, videos and more to social news sharing sites as part of larger mix of interesting content

Use DIGG and Delicious – they boost your search immediately

Don’t repeat key phrases – Google will discount you and know you are trying to trick them (and their users!)

  • Traditional Metrics to prove worth of Social Media and blogging:

Unique visitors/month

Email subscribers

RSS subscribers

Time spent

Unique monthly sessions

  • Some homework – check these out: for free to check things out

  • Social Metrics that matter:

Inbound links (through Google is easiest)


Unique comments

Comment engagement

Citation on social bookmarking and news sharing sites

  • What do you do with all these stats – look for patterns. This works for figuring out good bloggers to pitch and as reasoning to boss or clients that you need to be reaching out to that site

Earlier today, I attended a breakout session led by Pete from the Buddy Group – afterwards, I took a little time to go off topic with his digital guru and admitted geek – enjoy here and here.

Play It – Don’t Say It: The Power of Digital Video for Communications

During this breakout session, we learned how to create content where people already are, not where we want them to be (our websites, our client’s websites, etc…). Basically, all about one of my favorite online obsessions – You Tube. I personally love creating video for the web, but really wanted to learn better – and more creative – ways to do it.

Admitted geek Pete Deutschman from the Buddy Group in California led the session and provided us with very recent data, released yesterday, on video:

  • Since 2003, time spent on email has increased 268%
  • Since 2003, time spent on member communities (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc…) has increased 883%
  • Since 2003, time spent checking out online video (You Tube, Hulu, etc..) has increased 1,905%

Q: Why such a video lift?

A: Geeks like Pete! Basically, it is easier now via technology and the people who led the charge for it online. And a special thanks to the geeks at Google who bought You Tube and really made it all happen in a relatively short amount of time.

Pete then reviewed places we need to be with out video – You Tube was the major leader by about 100 miles, followed by Yahoo (in decline), Facebook (increasing by the day). He also talked about what this means to us:

  • Audiences are expecting to have increasing amounts of CONTROL over how they use and consume content
  • o To do this, we have to:
  • § Watch on YOUR site (have video available there!)
  • § Watch where it’s being put (other sites)
  • § Comment
  • § Share
  • § Respond
  • § Affinity – this is cause-based marketing at its best

Keeping consumers engaged is the key to delivering your message! How?

  • First, ask what platform is best?
  • Is the client or brand website designed with consumer in mind?
  • Your website should be a place for content – a repository of where the content will live, not where people will see it. The client website (and yours) is not the ultimate destination.
  • It should be easy to “snag”

A full report from this session will be available later tonight for those who want to go deeper. I will link to it as soon as it’s made available.