Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Real Women of Atlanta on Hotlanta Buzz Online

Latest Twitter Applications

I wanted the Latest Twitter Application updates to be weekly, but this may turn into a daily thing because I am always finding new things about Twitter.

Here are more new Twitter applications, this should keep you busy for a while.

Celebrity Tweet | Stalk Celebrities on Twitter (as if I wasn't already, I kid)
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons' Web site GlobalGrind has just acquired CelebrityTweet, a site that aggregates the tweets of famous people, both on the Web and via mobile applications.

Klout | Measuring Influence Across the Social Web
If you work in social media marketing, you already know that measurement-at the end of the day- is KING. Hooray for Klout.

Klout allows you to track the impact of your opinions, links and recommendations across your social graph. We collect data about the content you create, how people interact with that content and the size and composition of your network. From there, we analyze the data to find indicators of influence and then provide you with innovative tools to interact with and interpret the data.

Listorious | Discover the Best Twitter Lists
Twitter's new Lists feature allows anyone to curate the real time web. Listorious makes it easy to find the best lists of Twitter users on any given topic, and for list creator to publicize their lists.

Brizzly | A Better Way to Experience the Social Web
Brizzly is a reader that works with Twitter and Facebook. It simplifies your browsing and updating experience, while adding a few nifty extras. We'll take some of the work out of keeping up to date with the people, trends and news you want to know about.

Flickr2Twitter | Flickr Your Twitter
You can now link your Flickr and Twitter accounts! With Flickr2Twitter you can:

* Tweet any photo you email from your mobile device
* Tweet photos or video from Flickr
* Tweet via the Flickr API

Monday, December 7, 2009

Renowned Art Collector Shares His Personal Collection With Studio Clout Fine Art Gallery

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2009) - Studio Clout Fine Art Gallery will exhibit a segment of The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art, which, in its entirety, is one of the largest and most comprehensive art collections of 20th century African-American visual art in the world. Studio Clout will host a private reception to welcome Paul R. Jones' personal art collection on December 12, 2009. This visual art exhibit will be opened to the public starting December 16, 2009.

"We are very proud, excited and humbled to house one of the most historic art collections in the country at our gallery," said Linda Lima, owner and art curator at Studio Clout Fine Art Gallery located in the Castleberry Hill Arts District of Atlanta. The art collection was amassed throughout the last four decades by Jones, who has been described by Art & Antiques magazine as "one of the top art collectors in the country."

The art collection originated from Jones' discovery that many art museums he had visited held few works by African-American artists. Throughout the years, Jones' home in Atlanta became too small to hold all his collected art work and after much consideration, Jones decided to donate major portions of his massive art collection to The University of Delaware and The University of Alabama.

"The Jones Collection is remarkable not only for the breadth and quality of African-American artists represented in it, but also because it brings together a body of artists who worked at a time in recent American history when African-American artists were not widely collected," said Dr. Amalia Amaki, author and professor of art and art history.

Jones hopes that his collection will preserve the legacy of artists -- especially African-American artists, spark the interest of future art collectors, and help elevate African-American art in the eyes of the art world. "I want to ensure that this genre of art, which is an intrinsic part of the history and totality of American art, is never lost or forgotten by the art world," says Jones.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Latest Twitter Applications

Do you ever notice those little Twitter applications with the explanation listed on the right side of your Twitter profile?

If not, you should pay attention to those little apps because there could be something that would be useful for your industry, business and marketing needs.

Here is a brief collection and summary of new Twitter applications. Weekly, I will continue to provide the five latest applications that Twitter has to offer.

Tweet Bookz | Where Can I Put All My Tweets
TweetBookz allows you to create and order high quality books of your tweets. Soft and hard cover versions are available in four unique designs. The books have full color covers and inside pages of black and white. Each one stands 5.5 inches high and 8.5 inches wide and features up to 200 of your tweets, one per page, starting from the most recent. You can chose to remove any tweets you don’t want included. All our products are printed in America on 100% recycled paper.

Blip.FM | What are you listening to?
A blip is a combination of 1) a song and 2) a short message that accompanies it. The way you create a blip is to first search for a song that you want to hear (or a song that you want your listeners to hear), then add a short message (under 150 characters), finally you submit it. Submitting a blip is also referred to as “blipping”, so from here on out, when you read “he blipped my favorite track” it means “he submitted a blip that had my favorite song attached”.

Fledging Wine | How Can I Help?
The Fledgling Initiative aims to make awesome wine for the benefit of Room to Read, a non-profit organization extending literacy and educational opportunities to children worldwide. Every case sold will provide approximately 60 local language children’s books and promote education in the world’s poorest regions.

Trends map | Real-time local Twitter trends
Trendsmap.com is a real-time mapping of Twitter trends across the world. See what the global, collective mass of humanity are discussing right now.

Trazzler | Where Should I Go?
Trazzler is a website that helps you answer the question, "Where should I go?" by recommending hand-picked trips unique to your location and Travel Personality. The Trazzler Buzz list is created from the volumes of information being transmitted to Twitter every second about 10,000 spots in 50 cities, plus festivals and outdoor destinations all over the world. We rank the list according to a formula that measures volume and recent activity on Twitter. The buzz list is the ultimate source of research on where people are going (or want to go) right now. Trazzler.com goes beyond the buzz and transports you to these places—and makes savvy recommendations based on your preferences—so you can find out where you should go on your next trip.

Hollywood budgets are tight, so they call on PR

Ad Budget Tight? Call the P.R. Machine


Hobbled by a depressed DVD market and drooping sales of movies to foreign television networks, Hollywood studios are finally reining in runaway marketing budgets. Lionsgate, already one of the leaner operations, boasted that it cut marketing expenses by 66 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while Disney dismissed about a dozen marketing executives early this month in an effort to shrink spending.

But don’t think that Hollywood believes it can get by with less promotion. This, after all, is the place that perfected the hard sell. As studios cut “paid media” (newspaper ads, television spots and billboards) they are leaning more heavily on armies of publicists generating what they call “earned media,” free coverage in magazines, newspapers, TV outlets and blogs.

The biggest movies are still backed by megawatt ad buys. On the other hand, Paramount Pictures did not buy a single billboard to promote “Paranormal Activity,” its recent horror film. The studio also saved tens of millions of dollars by forgoing a national television campaign. Instead, Paramount depended on its publicity arm to fan interest on blogs and in traditional media. The flack attack worked: the film, made for just $10,000, has sold $104 million in tickets.

Over at Disney, publicity executives are coordinating their efforts more closely with those of their advertising counterparts: If the P.R. team for the company’s ABC unit can land an article about “Dancing With the Stars” on the cover of TV Guide, for instance, the network will make certain not to also buy advertising space in that issue to push the show.

Disney recently went so far as to develop a computer program to help it determine how much monetary value was coming from such publicity efforts. It can quickly plug in data — “Access Hollywood” had a 30-second interview with a star of “The Middle,” a new ABC comedy — and the program spits out what that same 30 seconds would cost to buy.

There is another advantage to a publicity machine on overdrive. “At least with publicity — placed stories — there is a feeling that the message has gone through a filter,” said Paul Pflug, the co-owner of Principal Communications, a public relations firm that specializes in entertainment. “Journalists and their editors had to consider the pitch worthy of space. The message has been vetted in some way.” He said an article was more valuable to the studios because it is more credible to viewers than an ad.

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have also changed the publicity game in Hollywood. The P.R. apparatus has largely assumed the responsibility of monitoring, shaping and creating attention on that part of the Web. Movie characters now have Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, for instance. Guess who updates the accounts?

The Web has also given studios a way to bring consumers into the movie-making process long before the first ads roll out. Casting announcements are one example. Five years ago, nobody but the trade newspapers cared who was cast as the third lead of “Inglourious Basterds.” Now teams of digital publicists convey every little pip and squeak of the early process to hundreds of bloggers.

And because one errant blog post can start an online brush fire, publicists do reconnaissance on bloggers — What is their audience reach? Is their writing snarky? Which other blogs pick up their links? — and manage accordingly.

Universal Pictures, looking for a way to bolster coverage of “Couples Retreat,” a comedy starring Vince Vaughn about an island vacation, decided to stage a lavish junket, one of those all-expenses-paid promotion-a-thons for writers and TV reporters. Instead of hosting the event at a Los Angeles or New York hotel, as is standard practice, Universal flew the participants to Bora Bora.

It cost about twice as much as a standard junket, but generated at least four times as much media coverage, the studio estimated. (The New York Times and many other media outlets ban the acceptance of these freebies on ethical grounds, because there could be an appearance of buying favorable coverage.)

“You’ve got to remain responsible with your resources while continually finding new ways for your campaigns to stand out,” said Michael Moses, Universal’s executive vice president of publicity.

Standing out on the cheap often means staging silly stunts that entertainment news outlets are happy to consume. The divisions responsible for pushing DVDs, particularly desperate for attention now that sales are declining, are big fans of this tactic.

Trying to drum up publicity for the DVD of “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” 20th Century Fox invited reporters to witness the construction of a 48-foot-tall ice sculpture resembling the star of the movie, Scrat the squirrel. To promote the DVD release of “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure,” Disney publicists went so far as to get the United Nations to name the character an “honorary ambassador of green” to help promote environmental awareness among children.

AT a time of supposedly stark cuts, studios still send loads of giveaway items to the news media in the hope that it will prompt coverage. Disney just shipped jars filled with 90 toy soldiers to promote “Toy Story 3,” which doesn’t open until June. (“Attention troops!”) The studio, which has lost money in the last two quarters, also found the cash to send one-pound boxes of beignet mix to promote its animated musical “The Princess and the Frog,” which is set in New Orleans.

And to support “The Informant!” earlier this year, Warner Brothers shipped, at four pounds each, gallon-paint canisters filled with popcorn kernels. We guessed that the tie-in was that Matt Damon’s character in the film works for a company involved with corn syrup, but we still aren’t sure.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A PR Perspective on the Tiger Woods Debacle

Playing a bad lie: How Tiger botched a PR opportunity
By Ari B. Adler

By not addressing his infidelity right away, Woods let rumors aggravate a bad situation

Sexing, texting and vexing—it’s a perfect storm of reputation destruction, and its latest victim is Tiger Woods. To make matters worse, instead of facing the publicity storm head on and getting control of the story as quickly as possible, he went into hiding. That left the story angles to those less concerned about his best interests.

It’s probably a sad testament to the times, but when Woods’ SUV ran over a fire hydrant and into a tree around 2:30 a.m. one night last week, there were plenty of people who immediately thought, “drunken driving.” When it became clear that wasn’t the case, the rumors started to expand to include painkillers, speeding and his wife chasing him out of the house with a golf club.

While the rumors and the news reports about them began to grow, Woods stayed mum. He would not talk to the press. He would not talk to police. Therefore, instead of having a bad-news story last a couple of days, he has instead been faced with a nonstop, daily thrashing of his reputation. Breaking news alerts and breathless anchors eager to share any update have now given way to the online posting of a voicemail to and “sexts” from an alleged mistress.

This type of rumor, innuendo and celebrity smackdown news has always been a possibility, but it was generally dealt with by PR pros with a shrug and, “Well, it’s the National Enquirer—no one really believes that stuff, anyway.” Now, what used to be considered salacious material best left to the tabloids is finding its way to online powerhouses like the Huffington Post and to mainstream juggernauts like CNN and ESPN.

The tagline from that 1990s cult-classic television show “The X-Files” has never been more relevant. “The truth is out there,” we were told, week after week. These days, however, PR pros need to remember that not only is the truth out there, it’s now available in electronic formats that are easily reproduced and distributed.

That means they need to be even more aggressive—both with their clients and with the media. They need to get clients to be 100 percent upfront with them about every potential PR attack. Then, they need to go on the offensive and get control of the story immediately.

In Woods’ case, the story became the story, which is the last thing he needed. In the statement he finally issued, Woods said, “Personal sins should not require press releases.” He should stick to golf and stop trying to dabble in public relations. Often, in media cases like this, a coverup becomes a bigger story than the initial indiscretion. Though it may be another sad testament to the times, a famous man cheating on his wife is a one- or two-day story. The ones drawn out in the headlines for weeks at a time are those in which only a few details are revealed at first and the rest trickle out.

Consider what would have happened if Tiger Woods had held a press conference upon being released from the hospital. It’s quite likely the basic story would have been:

“Tiger Woods announced today that his car accident occurred after he left his home following an argument with his wife over an extra-marital affair. The golf pro allegedly had a long-term relationship with a woman he met just months before his wife gave birth to their daughter. Woods said he is working through the matter with his wife and asked for privacy for all parties involved to assist in his family’s healing process.”

Anyone going on the offensive after that would have been seen as opportunistic and risked their reputations. By confessing and repenting publicly with the whole story, Woods would have positioned himself as a potential victim.

Going on the offensive isn’t going to change the facts, but it will make them less captivating and, therefore, less newsworthy. Besides, with today’s incredible-story-of-the-minute news industry and their attention-deficient audiences, it never takes long for the spotlight to shift.

Ari B. Adler is a media relations professional with experience as a newspaper reporter and editor as well as a government and corporate spokesperson. You can follow him on Twitter at @aribadler.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Real Women of Atlanta on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to the Real Women of Atlanta discuss their all-new reality show.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Where does your Facebook Fan Page Rank?

From Mediabistro:

Ever since Facebook upgraded its fan pages so that brands, celebrities and organizations became equivalent to human beings in the social network -- i.e. content from fan pages is displayed in one's feed, just like with friends -- we've received a barrage of requests to fan just about anything you can imagine, including about 20 PR agencies.

One social media analytics company, Sysomos, took a look at nearly 600,000 Facebook fan pages and found only 297 -- or 0.05% -- have more than one million fans. Other interesting findings:

Michael Jackson is the most popular page on Facebook, with 10 million fans; he is followed by actor Vin Diesel (7 million) and U.S. president Barack Obama (6.9 million).

On average, a Facebook Page has 4,596 fans.

Four percent of pages have more than 10,000 fans, 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans, and 0.05% of pages (or 297 in total) have more than a million fans.

95% of pages have more than 10 fans

65% of pages have more than 100 fans

23% of pages have more than 1,000 fans

4% of pages have more than 10,000 fans

0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans

0.047% of pages have more than one million fans (297 in total).

Melyssa Ford + Derek Blanks: Thick Skin versus Thin Skin

If there is anything I've learned from working with Melyssa Ford is that you have to have Thick Skin while working in this business. Here is her Derek Blanks Alter Ego photo Thick Skin versus Thin Skin.

Here is the press coverage secured:

Necole Bitchie.com gets approx 351,300 site visitors per month*

Miss Jia.com gets more than 42,900 visitors per month*

Madd Fashion

Honey Magazine 13,700

* according to Quantcast

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Social Media Checklist for Marketers

By Kathy Cabrera

Planning your B2B social media program is only the first step in a long process. Once you have clearly defined your social media objectives, there are a few other steps that can put you on the right footing for success.

Here is a simple social media checklist for B2B marketers you can use to get things started in the right direction:

* Gain internal support from the top-down. Social media must be embraced at all levels of your orga­nization. This is important for approving an on-going budget and to ensure long-term sustainability of social media programs. In addition, executive participation is often a key requirement for many social media activities.

* View social media participation as an extension of your brand. Many of the same considerations given to content on your company website should be extended to content you publish via social media chan­nels.

* Know your audience. Before deciding on a specific social media program, learn about what types of social media sites your target audiences already frequent, or what social media tools they use.

* Become an active contributor. Social media engagement is based on user-generated content and regular communication with audiences. Establishing schedules for publishing or producing content can help you stay consistent.

* Get help. External help is available to support a range of social media initiatives, from strategic planning and consulting to professional content production. Many PR and marketing agencies offer social media expertise. Businesses new to social media may require the assistance of these resources to strategically plan and execute initiatives.

* Create an honest, welcome dialog. Time and again, successful adopters use social media to estab­lish a two-way exchange of information and perspectives. Avoid the temptation to use social media as an advertising channel, and work to ensure your communications are never considered spam. Social media must be thought of as a shift from autocratic thinking and one-to-many communications to a participatory environment. Social media is not about selling and talking at your audience. It is about sharing and engaging with them.

Social media is where the future of PR and marketing is headed. By exploring now, you can be a step ahead of the crowd and gain a tremendous competitive advantage. Have fun, be creative and participate!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Use Social Media for Petitions

Whether it is for a grassroots campaign or a presidential campaign, social media networking can help you get the point across while gathering support. With online sharing, it makes it even easier to reach larger demographics and markets. Online petitions are easy and convenient.

In the first hour of this petition, there were 60 signatures with very little promotion. That means one signature per minute. WOW, that's fast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ella Bee PR's First Red Carpet Event is a Success! Plus, Melyssa Ford takes Atlanta by storm.

New client Melyssa Ford is making quite an impression on the Atlanta social scene. She came to Atlanta to shoot with celebrity photographer, Derek Blanks, for his Alter Ego photo campaign. Although she is in the making of her all-new reality show scheduled to appear on VH1, she came to Atlanta with a clear focus of making an impression on the city. I can truly say that the Atlanta press LOVES her. Here are a few clips from the top media outlets in the city from bloggers, broadcast and print:

Links to Melyssa Ford's appearances in HOTLANTA!

Exclusive behind-the-scenes of the Derek Blanks' Alter Ego Photo Shoot

Rolling Out Magazine

Shoot with Derek Blanks

Hollywood Atl

Black Atlanta: Doing Good in the Hood

On FreddyO.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lost Art of the Media Alert

by Jeremy Porter

You hear a lot of talk about press releases as a PR tactic, but what about the media alert (also commonly known as a media advisory)? Before the days or email and Twitter, media alerts were the short form way to alert news organizations about something timely you wanted them to cover. I’m sure newsrooms still get a ton of media alerts, but I’ve seen few posts on the subject. I think the building blocks of a good media alert translate well to email and social media, so here are some brief tips for you.

First, What’s a Media Alert?

There’s a good chance many of you don’t know what a media alert is. A media alert is an alernative format for PR writing used to communicate an event to the media in advance. Think of a media alert as a quick, at-a-glance summary of your event, which gives reporters, editors and producers all the information they need to decide whether or not to cover your story. Media alerts are typically one page (or less) and focus on the following information:

* An attention-grabbing first paragraph that summarizes your event
* Clear identification of all your event details (the who, what, where, when and why)
* Some value-add that makes it worth the time

Why Media Alerts Work

Now first of all, this event probably wouldn’t be much of a media draw, unless the attendees were true celebrities and the event was in a market like NYC, where there might be a large number of journalists covering marketing and social media topics. That said, the format works well for more newsworthy events, such as press conferences, grand openings, fundraiser events, public product launches, etc.

Media alerts work well because they take a “just the facts” approach to communicating the news. They work best when you have recognized individuals or organizations participating in the event. As media professionals are getting more and more comfortable with the 140 character Twitter pitch, it’s of increased importance to be brief, get to the point, and take as little of their time as possible.

If you post your media alert to the Web, you could easily tweet about your event with a link to more details. This approach is being used by smart publicists all the time. Rather than forcing a journalist to read through a news release to find what’s most important, boil your news down to its root details with a media alert.

Do you use media alerts or media advisories to communicate your news? Do media alerts work better for securing news coverage than traditional press releases? Please share your thoughts – or better yet, links to your media alerts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Art and Social Media Marketing

Even contemporary fine art galleries can use social media for various marketing and public relations purposes. Whether it is sharing images on Flickr or videos on YouTube, there are a variety ways you can use social media.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where and How To Sell Celebrity Photos

Anyone can join the paparazzi with a camera and a little ingenuity. Have you caught a celebrity in an embarrassing situation? If you have a camera you may be able to sell the pictures for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even mundane celebrity photos can often be sold. Whether you're a professional paparazzo or you just happen to be in the right place at the right time, follow these steps to take valuable celebrity snapshots and sell them.

Avoid crowds. Pictures of celebrities at events, such as the Oscars or movie premiers, where all the paparazzi are present, will generally be worthless because so many people have the same pictures. The really valuable pictures are the ones that no one else has--pictures of the celebrity in casual or intimate settings--and you'll need to get away from the crowds to get those.

Do some research.
Find out where celebrities hang out, what their daily routine is, and where they stay while on vacation. Reading the tabloids or entertainment news is a good start, but to get the rare shots, you'll need to do some extra investigation. Ask taxi drivers, nightclub personnel, and others who might have valuable information. Stake out the celebrity but keep a low profile.

Make your pictures tell a unique story. If you catch a celebrity in a compromising situation (cheating on a spouse, doing drugs, shoplifting, etc.), you've got pure gold. Photos of less damning activities can also be valuable. Getting the first picture of a celebrity baby, or simply catching a celebrity behaving in a way that is out of the ordinary, could earn you some big bucks when selling the photos.

Connect with someone who will buy your photos.
If your photos are big news, sell them directly to tabloids and entertainment publications. Look up their contact information on the Internet or inside a copy of the publication. If your photos are rare, but not necessarily earthshaking, you may not have much luck going directly to the publications, so try going through one of many agencies that act as middlemen between photographers and magazines. These agencies can also be found with an Internet search. Keep in mind that they will take a commission for finding a buyer.

Sell your photos as quickly as possible.
The longer you sit on a photograph the less valuable it becomes, because either others will have taken similar photos or it becomes "old news." Develop the photos immediately and get them onto the market immediately. In many cases, you are better off working with a professional photo marketplace that specializes in marking of celebrity images, e.g. Snoopd.com.

Establish ownership of your photos before sending them out. It's a tough business out there, and unscrupulous agencies and publications may attempt to steal your photos. Develop your photos and add a highly visible watermark or use a knife to score them obviously down the middle. Then scan them into your computer and e-mail them to the buyer. Once you've signed a contract, give the publisher the original photos without the watermark or score marks.

Negotiate a sale. If you sell your photos through an agency, the agents will attempt to sell them to several different publications in order to get the best price. If you want to sell the photos directly to a publication, you should follow the same approach and contact several publications to start a bidding war.

Make sure you understand the sale contract. What rights of publication are you selling to the publisher, and what rights do you retain? Will you be paid royalties and an advance, or just a flat fee? Read the fine print and make sure you know how much you'll be paid, when you'll be paid, and how your photos will be used. You may want to hire an attorney to get clarification, especially if you are selling very valuable photos or if you sell a lot of them.

Verify that your photos are being used only as agreed to in the contract. Don't let the publisher or agent cheat you out of money by reselling your photos. Check the tabloids and other such publications to make sure your photos aren't being used where they shouldn't be.

Article Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Take-and-Sell-Celebrity-Photos

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where are all the good publicists? Please protect our Black athletes and entertainers.

I am not mad at Larry Johnson, former RB for the Kansas City Chiefs. He tweeted what he wanted and how he felt-as ignorant as it may be. However, I am upset that his publicist let him get away with this social media faux pas. There have been red flags waving that he was on the path to image-destruction. Why wasn't it anyone out there protecting this star athlete who was on his way to breaking records with the Kansas City Chiefs? When your personal image gets in the way of making money-why even have a publicist who can't protect and control your brand? Isn't that what they are paid to do? If he was a "good guy" at least in the public eye, there would not have been a petition from thousands of fans to keep him from breaking a franchise record by removing him from the team.

I am just sick and tired of hearing about these star athletes and talented entertainers doing stupid things that are keeping them from making money-especially when the incident could have been avoided. Publicists what are you doing-or not doing- to protect our black athletes? I am a true sports fan and I love exceptional athletes, but you don't hear about Peyton Manning shooting himself at a club, Brett Favre owning a dog-fighting club in his home, Tony Romo sharing details of his arrest, suspension, and his incarceration on Facebook, or Matt Ryan in a heated exchange with someone on Twitter. I am sure they all have their troubles that are covered up immediately, so why can't our superstar Black athletes?

If Twitter is changing the PR industry, why aren't publicists monitoring what their clients are saying? There are several Twitter applications that help monitor brands and what people are saying. Use them! While the NFL has set up a new rule saying that players, coaches, as well as league officials are forbidden from posting tweets or Facebook updates 90 minutes before the game, the media and fans are still pay attention all of the time. Don't let something as simple as social media or bad judgment on or off the field prevent your clients from being successful. If you truly care, do everything in your power to protect them from making mistakes today that could effect their family, fame, fortune and future.

Monday, November 9, 2009

HuffPo Says the Press Release is Becoming Obsolete

Arianna Huffington To PR Pros: 'The Press Release Is Becoming Obsolete'
By Joe Ciarallo, MediaBistro

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington addressed the PRSA International Conference in San Diego yesterday. Speaking to a variety of topics, Huffington took the time to call out PRSA for not having wi-fi on site. "Make sure people can interact next time," she said. (HAHA, I love it!)

Delving into PR tactics, Huffington made a bit of a contradiction in regards to press releases.

She stated, "The press release is becoming obsolete...even though we still do it at the Huffington Post." However, Huffington, in comparison to other media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch, is a firm believer in free and open content. "It's no longer about proprietary content anymore, ubiquity is what matters," she said.

She also had the guts to give out her email address to the entire audience, ensuring that her Inbox will be flooded with pitches for weeks to come. After her keynote, Huffington interviewed former health-care PR exec turned whistle blower Wendell Potter. "In my job, I was able to remove myself from the humanity of what I was doing," Potter told Huffington.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What the F**K is Social Media?

It all boils down to SEO

Today, I participated in my first speaking engagement teaching a group of real estate agents on how they can use social media for their business. My speaking engagement became more of a discussion and I quickly realized I had to start from the beginning. I called my presentation, "The Power of Social Media Networking."

Before I could begin my discussion, a few members started talking about a new movie released today titled, "Precious." One of them had never even heard of the movie. Since my presentation was more of a freestyle, I quickly pulled up YouTube and showed the trailer for the movie. Interestingly, it led right into my presentation. In just a few moments of watching the trailer, the young lady who had never even heard of the movie, was eager to go see it tonight! That's how easily, social media can translate into dollars. It was a great segue into my presentation.

Real estate, like most businesses and industries today, need a new way to market their products and/or services to new consumers or a larger demographic. While I wanted to highlight using popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) easily became the highlight of the discussion. I was able to connect the PC to a larger screen and I showed the audience real-time conversations about home buying on Twitter, quick searches on Google, home tours on YouTube and even found groups and relevant profiles on Facebook.

I am coming to realize that everything boils down to SEO. Whether it is Bing search, Search.Twitter or using a search engine on a blog or website, are you using the proper keywords and phrases to help others find you? Are you using highly searched keywords on your LinkedIn profile or tagging the necessary keywords on your professional or personal blog so your target audience will be able to view your posts?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yours Truly, Ella Bee Social Media & PR, on Ragan.com

I was just featured in an article from Ragan.com-one of my favorite PR news resources. I've learned how to be a better communicator thanks to Ragan.com. Once again, thanks to HARO I was able to help my favorite writer from the company build a news story.

Dressing for excess: Is your Halloween persona the real you, communicators?

By Jessica Levco @ragan.com

MyRaganites divulge their planned transmogrifications for Allhallows Eve. This weekend, your co-worker might turn into a lion tamer. Or Cleopatra.

If you’re like me, the primary question you find yourself asking people in October is: What are you going to be for Halloween?

Besides asking friends and co-workers, it’s a good question for corporate communicators. In a MyRagan forum post, we wondered how your costume reflects your communication style and what it says about your personality.

At first, we were a little concerned.

Here’s an answer from one MyRaganite in Illinois: “I’m just gong to tape some angel wings to my ass and go as I do everything else: flying by the seat of my pants.”

But it turns out there’s a lot of you who are putting a lot of effort—and thought—into your costumes. This is a collection of our favorite answers.

And please, let’s keep the list going.

Media mavens

Extra, extra! Read all about it!
“I am dressing up as a reporter from the earliest days of journalism,” says Lila Brown, of Ella Bee Social Media & Public Relations. “I’m wearing a fedora with the paper sticking out of the top that says ‘PRESS.’ I’m carrying around a notepad with a pencil, and I have an old camera with a big flash tower at the top. What my costume says about me as a communicator is that even though I’m young, I wish I would’ve worked in a time when print media was king.”

Halloween 2.0Halloween, 2.0 style
“I’m dressing up as a social media maven,” Holly Frew, at MedShare says. “As a communicator, my iPhone is always in my hand, either tweeting, e-mailing, listening to NPR on Stitcher, watching the latest YouTube viral sensation and then communicating it. I will be wrapped in computer cables and will have Twitter birds and iPhone social media app logos stuck all over me. The premise is to say that I am bound by social media, both professionally and personally.”

You talk; I’ll listen
“One of my favorite costumes is when I dress up as a ‘Chatty Cathy’ doll,” says Carole V. Bartholomeaux, president of Bartholomeaux Public Relations LLC. “When [her string was] pulled, the doll would talk. I’d go to parties and would not speak all evening unless someone pulls my string. What does it say about me? That I try to listen to my clients rather than overwhelm them with preconceived concepts of what they should do.”

Don't Underestimate the Power of Blog Talk Radio

What is Blog Talk Radio?

BlogTalkRadio allows anyone, anywhere the ability to host a live, Internet Talk Radio show, simply by using a telephone and a computer.

BlogTalkRadio’s unique technology and seamless integration with leading social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Ning, empowers citizen broadcasters to create and share their original content, their voices and their opinions in a public worldwide forum.

Today, BlogTalkRadio is the largest and fastest-growing social radio network on the Internet. A truly democratized medium, BlogTalkRadio has tens of thousands of hosts and millions of listeners tuning in and joining the conversation each month. Many businesses also utilize the platform as a tool to extend their brands and join the conversation on the social web.

Learn how an interview goes with Blog Talk Radio by tuning in tonight at 9PM to hear Elise 5000's interview with comedian Stevie Mack.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What in the world is a pingback and how can I use it for my company?

So, you are taking better care of your online brand. You have an SEO website and you are maintaining your blog. Great! Now what?

The point of establishing an online presence is to attract web traffic, so let's take a look at some tools to help gain attention to your site.

First, let's examine the the world of linkbacks.

A linkback is a method for Web authors to obtain notifications when other authors link to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles. The three methods (Refback, Trackback, and Pingback) differ in how they accomplish this task.

Any of the four terms -- Linkback, Trackback, Pingback, or (rarely) Refback -- might also refer colloquially to items within a section upon the linked page that display the received notifications, usually along with a reciprocal link; Trackback is used most often for this purpose. Also, the word Trackback is often used colloquially to mean any kind of Linkback.

Drost Designs explains that the pingback system is a way for your blog to be automatically notified when other Web sites link to it. It is entirely transparent to the linking author, requiring no user intervention to work, and operates on principles of automatic discovery of everything that it needs to know.

Pingbacks allows you to automatically ping all the RSS and blog feed directories every time you make a post. This is a very powerful feature if you want your blog to get a lot of web traffic immediately. You automatically gain backlinks to your blog.

Trackbacks are ways for one site to notify another about an update.

A trackback consists of a link and optionally a snippet of text. On many blogs you do not have to enable trackbacks and just like comments the trackbacks are moderated.

Chris G explains how it normally works.

1. Mary Blog writes an article on cheese
2. Joe Blogger writes about Mary Blogs new post saying it is really cool
3. Joes blog sends a trackback to Marys blog
4. Marys blog receives the trackback and Mary sees the trackback in her comments moderation

In most cases this is all automatic, you just link to a post and it is all handled for you, in others you have to send trackbacks manually. If you use the scribefire firefox plugin you can send manual trackbacks for example. This involves pasting the special URL displayed in the other blogs post.

Why bother?
Trackbacks are like a kind of commenting. You are saying “I have written about this post over on my blog”. The hope would be that the blogger would notice and also if the trackback gets published that people will click through to read what you have to say. Many trackback links are wrapped in “no-follow” condoms but in some cases you get a clean link.

So, what's the difference?
While all of this may be new to you, trackbacks are the old, manual way of doing this while pingbacks are the more modern and automatic way. The old trackback way includes:

1. Getting the trackback URL for the other person’s content
2. Putting that URL into your blogging software’s editing interface
3. Writing an excerpt for what you said about their content

Pingbacks are much easier. All you have to do with a pingback is:

1. Links to someone else’s content

Daniel Miessler further explains that since pingbacks are enabled (both incoming and outgoing) by default on most major blogging engines. Here are a few other differences:

* Trackbacks contain more content, i.e. the excerpt, where pingbacks just have the source and destination links
* Pingbacks are less prone to spam than trackbacks, as incoming software checks to see if the source link actually exists before it allows it to be posted
* Pingbacks use XML-RPC while trackbacks use a standard HTTP POST

Pinbacks are essentially the newer and less time-consuming way of doing trackbacks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Actress Jazsmin Lewis talks Hollywood career and shouts out Ella Bee PR

New client and Hollywood Actress, Jazsmin Lewis(Barbershop 1&2, Three Can Play That Game, Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, Grapes on a Vine), was recently on Stevie Mack's Night Radio on Blog Talk Radio. She talked about the beginning of her career as an actress, making it to Hollywood, how young actresses can protect themselves, and gave a GLOWING shout-out to yours truly, Ella Bee Social Media & Public Relations. Listen here for the full interview:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Social media for business now is life or death

As my daily PR tasks focus on social media marketing, I've realized that I participate in social media everyday. There are no 9-5 hours with availability on Mondays through Fridays. Nope. I live and breathe social media whether I like it or not. Whether it is voicing my political opinion on Twitter and Facebook while watching Sunday's Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos or finding new ways to get my clients media coverage through an online publication or on a blog, I understand the need and inclusion of social media in both my personal and professional life.

Still, I have come to realize that most companies still don't see a need for social media and search engine marketing. Social media marketing is crucial especially when it comes to managing not only an online presence but an overall brand both online and offline.

An article in the New York Times
examines managing an online reputation. Whether you like it or not, your customers are online talking about you and the whole wide world is listening. According to the article, local review sites are reshaping the world of small business by becoming the new Yellow Pages, one-stop platforms where customers can find a business — and also see independent critiques of its performance.

The article goes on to say for some business owners, this is a terrifying prospect that seems more like mob rule than the wisdom of crowds. Negative reviews can hang an albatross around your neck if they appear prominently in search results. Happily, there is a big upside: referrals from happy clients are traditionally the best source of new business — and online forums are powerful word-of-mouth. The review process has been democratized.

But managing your online reputation requires a whole new skill set, including monitoring the online conversation and engaging with customers and the tech-savvy to promote yourself in the best channels. These skills are becoming essential for mainstream businesses. According to a survey by the Opinion Research Corporation, 84 percent of Americans say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.

Here are some quick tips to managing your online reputation:

~Set up automatic alerts to notify you when your business is mentioned in a review or blog.

~Local search sites are the new Yellow Pages -- make sure your business is listed. The more complete your listing, the more likely you are to get good search results.

~Respond to reviews to show readers that you are listening and that you care about customer service.

~Online reviews are a gold mine of business intelligence. Analyze metrics to get a better sense of your customer demographics.

~Don’t write false reviews to puff your business or trash a competitor. You can severely damage your reputation...and look really silly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random BLOG tip of the day:: Why? Because I care...

You've heard it all before, search engine optimization this, search engine marketing that. You may get it, you may not, regardless you should try it. Step outside the box and try one social media tip and trust me-you will notice a difference.

Sometimes, throughout the day, RANDOM blog, social media and SEO tips pop into my head. (It's a lot going on up there so I have to get it out somehow.)

Tip: Use SEO keywords and phrases to name and tag your images (even if you took the image from Google)

This tactic became very useful to drawing attention to my site Media and Money. For whatever reason, I wanted to blog about Woodstock 1969. I found an interesting story about how Sirius XM created a channel on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. I found this awesome image on Google to add to the story. I named it Woodstock 1969. I thought nothing of it. I normally don't name the images I post to my blog. Within a couple of hours, this image captured the attention of more than 500 online users. As the 40th anniversary of Woodstock drew nearer, I gained up to 1,000 new online users. I realized it was because of this awesome picture. Since I started to attract a crowd, I added a picture of Jimmy Hendrix and a rare Youtube video of Janis Joplin singing Can't Turn You Loose. Since I first published that blog post on August 8th until today, I have gained nearly 2,000 new site visitors thanks to a wonderful picture tagged by a highly searched term.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ella Bee Social Media & Public Relations

Lila Brown is the owner and founder of Ella Bee Social Media & Public Relations, a company that specializes in combining new media tactics with traditional public relations strategies. A graduate from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Journalism: Public Relations, Lila has worked in broadcast radio, print and online media and corporate communications. Lila has more than three years of public relations experience from working with companies like 180 Urban Design, American Football Coaches Association, Bloomingdale's, Belk, Comcast, The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, and the Atlanta Press Club. Not only has she work with large companies, but has been a great contribution to boutique firms like Public Affairs PR, The Spizman Agency, and Hope-Beckham Inc.

In less than one year of operation, Ella Bee's clients have been featured on numerous blogs, print publications and broadcast outlets. With a specialty in social media marketing, Ella Bee doesn't play by the OLD PR business model. It's all about finding new ways to get your message out to your public audience. Since social media is still so new to so many companies, brands and individuals, we will teach you how to make social media work for your ideas and goals. Still, even with the simplicity of social media comes an even complex model of beating the odds and breaking the rules to find what the best fit is for you. Simply put, we are the social media gurus so you don't have to.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Promoting an Indie Film through Social Media

Currently, I am promoting an independent movie, Grapes on a Vine, through using social media platforms. Based on my research, I have not found too many independent movies promoting their film through social media. I am using tools and social networking sites like Facebook fan pages, Twitter, and YouTube to increase awareness, promote sales, generate a buzz and engage with the independent film community.

See the Grapes on a Vine movie blog.

Friday, September 4, 2009

10 Easy Steps to Increase Your Twitter Following...What are you waiting for?

Everyone wants more Twitter followers, but are you putting in the time and effort to actually attract a larger following? When you first join Twitter, it is okay to to let your account sit for a couple of days to get a natural following, but after that, it is up to you to increase your Twitter following.

Here are ten easy steps to increase your Twitter followers:

1. Let's start with the basics.

Have you listed your Twitter profile with relevant keyword for your bio? If you are a make-up artist, but your bio-which only gives you 160 characters- says you love your dog, Pookie, then you might attract other animal lovers or animal doctors. Your bio is a chance to summarize who you are, so use targeted keywords instead of sentences or phrases. In the make-up artist example, the bio might look like: Beauty Expert | Make-Up Artist | M.A.C lover | Esthetician | Cosmetics | Lipstick | Eye Shadow | Beauty Products | Make-Up Tips | Facials | Salon | Skin Care. All within 160 characters and are highly targeted keywords.

2. What's in a name?

Does your name reflect your brand/profession/industry? I work in PR. My Twitter name is EllaBeePR. When I first joined, the easiest way I found other PR Twitter profiles was by simply typing in PR in the Twitter "Find People" search. Twitter searches profiles by name results. Also, don't be afraid to include your real name on your settings.

3. Follow, follow, follow- oh and did i mention to FOLLOW
Follow as many people as you can. Although Twitter put restrictions to stop spammers, you can still follow as many relevant profiles until you reach your limit. There is a very high chance that at least half of those followers will follow you back. Once a higher percentage of people start following you, you can then continue to increase your following by searching and adding.

You HAVE to search for people. If everyone was waiting around expecting to be discovered, then we would never find each other on Twitter. Social media is all about being active and getting involved. It's a two-way street. They don't call it Web 2.0 for nothing. Find relevant profiles by searching for highly targeted keywords. For PR, I use keywords like marketing, social media, and media to continue to find new profiles to follow. Don't ever get comfortable with who you are already following. Keep it fresh and continue to look for your target audience.

4. Tit for tat
You should have the mind of "follow me and I'll follow you back." It's very useful to building meaningful relationships on Twitter. You never know who you could possibly be ignoring if you don't live by this concept. Just because you don't know someone doesn't mean that person doesn't know someone who could help build your business or share your comments with their Tweeps (Twitter + People).

5. ...somebody's watching me
Monitor what other people are saying by searching for keywords. If you are a non-profit consultant and you want to find non-profit organizations who need help with fund raising, you can use Twitter Search to see what people are discussing with real-time conversations listed in the results. Follow those profiles, offer advice and most likely they will follow you in return.

6. Get rid of the dead weight.
Because Twitter has put a limit on how many people you can search, use sites like Twitoria to find out who you are following, but are not actively using Twitter. Twitoria will tell you which profiles have not posted in as little as two weeks or as long as two years. Stop following people who are not even using Twitter. Also, stop following people who have not followed you back. To find out if someone is following you on Twitter, check to see if you can send them a direct message. If you can't send a message, they are not following you in return, so get rid of them.

7. List your profile on Twitter search directories.
There are many Twitter search directories, but I will only promote two right now. We Follow will let you add tags to your Twitter profile with three simple keywords. For example, my PR profile is tagged under a directory listing for #PR, #SocialMedia and #Marketing. The great thing is that you can change it as much as you like and also search for Twitter profiles under a variety of listings. Also, list your business on Twitter's yellow pages, Twellow.

You can also search Twitter bios with Tweep Search which makes searching a whole lot easier.

8. Bigger is not always better.
Sure, The Ellen Show has 3,123,278 followers and The Real Shaq has 2,145,515 and counting, but unless you are a die-hard fan, I would not recommend following these profiles. Why not? Because unless you are Gayle King, Oprah is NOT going to follow you back. Sure there are larger than life Twitter profiles that you can follow, but be careful not to load-up on too many high profiles if your goal is to have someone follow you in return. When you are looking at lesser known profiles, check their follow/follower ratio. If it's not likely they will follow you in return, then don't bother following. Also check to see if they comment to their followers. Chad Ocho Cinco (@OGOchoCinco) may have 150,000 followers and is only following 400 people in return, but he ALWAYS comments to his fans for his other followers to see. Use the @ sign with the person's profile name for example @EllaBeePR.

9. Shout, shout, let it all out.
Announce to your Facebook friends that you are on Twitter. Anytime I see a Facebook friend update their status saying, hey check me out I'm on Twitter, they automatically get tons of comments of people providing direct links to follow them also. List your Twitter name on all your social media profiles. You can also include your Twitter name in your e-mail signature. If you are in sales or pitching a new idea, it's a great way to track who is interested in you and wants to learn more.

10. Have fun and get involved.
The most effective way to gain Twitter followers, is to actively use the micro-blogging site to interact with other people and brands. If you see an interesting link, click on it and thank that person for sharing. If you are following them and they are not following you, this may prompt a conversation and new follower. Re-tweet (RT) other comments that you think are funny, helpful or that you think should be restated. Always thanks others for re-tweeting your updates and comments. Think about it, if someone RTs something for you, ALL of their followers have a chance of not only seeing your message, but your profile name. You never know who will re-tweet your update and there you have it, an opportunity for others to find out more about you. Participate in #FollowFriday and follow other interesting profiles. Look at the trending topics and engage in the conversation.

Get in there, get involved and happy tweeting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't be afraid of social media

I just participated in a helpful webinar from HubSpot and Shift Communications that focuses on PR for inbound marketing .

Inbound marketing is a style of marketing that focuses on being found by customers. Being found by the customer nowadays means getting picked up by search engines like Bing and Google. You want to be in the top results listed. Since the media landscape has changed from a top-down approach to real interaction and engagement with an audience, social media creates opportunities for PR pros and marketers like never before.

New media uses tools like blogs, micro-blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, videos, and social networking sites to increase awareness to a product or service.

With more people joining the social media community, it's the perfect time to explore ways to implement social media into your marketing efforts.

The webinar used a great analogy: Think of social media as a neighborhood potluck. Who doesn't love a potluck, the real question is, what kind of neighbor do you want to be? So, even if you want to use a Twitter profile, create a blog, or just read the Huffington Post.com, what will you bring to the table?

You could be:

~The Wallflower who just listens and observes. While this is important for research, without participating in the online discussion how can you expect to get involved with your prospective clients or target audience. You may end up seeming to be scared and insecure. You have to get in there, meet new people, and build meaningful relationships.

~The Blowhard who does no research, participate in social media with no real purpose and has no regard for a target audience. Realizing your personal brand will help eliminate confusion with a more direct focus on a message you want to convey. Even on Facebook, I have friends that I have profiled for advice, a good laugh, inspiration, or just to discuss the day's news stories. How did I come to profile my Facebook friends- many of whom I've never met? Through active conversations, comments, sharing links and other news. If you don't know who you are, how will anyone else?

~One of the gang. This is someone who has done the research, understands their target audience, and is ready to offer insight and advice.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is graduate school the best way to avoid the recession?

By Lila Brown, Examiner.com

Fall means back-to-school time, but for the recent college graduate, the fall after graduation is a sigh of relief- no more classes. By this time, young professionals would have already adjusted to a new work environment; however, in this current job market, you’ll be lucky to get an interview. Although the economy is slowly recovering, former students who have never considered continuing their education are now giving graduate school a second thought. Many realize a better tomorrow means obtaining an even higher education today.

During a recession, graduate programs see an overwhelming response of applications because people are not finding work or have settled for a gig to make ends meet. According to a 2008 survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 77 percent of full-time MBA programs reported that they received more applications than the previous year. Application and enrollment rates are expected to increase again this year. With the unemployment rate at 9.4 percent, are students doing the right thing by attending graduate school to avoid the job market or are they delaying an opportunity to get relevant work experience which may matter most to future employers?

Read more from Lila Brown on whether graduate school is the best way to avoid the recession.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Why you need an SEO expert

Watch this video explaining simple SEO services that can help your business grow:

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Twitter can help your business

Twitter launched a special how-to guide to educate businesses on how to effectively use the social networking service: Twitter 101 for Business.
Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Now, people are turning to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses, too. From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter.

If you want to learn what this social networking site can do for your business consider that Twitter is a communications platform that connects businesses and their customers. Now, your business can use the service to quickly share information with people interested in your company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company according to the guide. Individual users can use Twitter to tell a company (or anyone else) that they've had a great--or disappointing--experience with a certain company. Consumers can also offer product ideas, and learn about great offers, deals and coupons.

The guide also offers case studies. Here is a Twitter 101 Case Study from @DellOutlet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's never too late to hire an SEO expert

Finally, your web site is complete. It looks great, the content is appealing, but web traffic is not where you want it to be. There may be a problem that you have not considered: search engine optimization a.k.a. SEO.

What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of driving traffic to a website by weighting algorithmic search results in a site's favor. Typically, the earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

Hire an SEO expert
If you haven’t completely exhausted your online budget on the web build or online media and can carve a bit more room in the budget for assistance with SEO, by all means do so. It is not nor is it ever too late to hire an agency, consultant or in-house expert to assist you with getting your website up to par and ready for indexing with the search engines. In fact, there are certain barriers that your newly designed website may have that can be overcome swiftly with a bit of hired help. In the long run, this can be worth the additional investment for your website.

Consider the following when deciding whether or not to hire yet another vendor or outside consultant to assist you with the next phase of your website’s development as recommended from SEOChat.com:

-If your website is very large and complex and contains deep content and variables in the URLs, then an SEO or programmer who is knowledgeable in URL rewriting can help you overcome this barrier quickly and effectively.

-If your primary navigation and/or site structure is in Flash, hidden behind frames or composed mainly of images, a seasoned SEO can work with you and your programmer to optimize the site as much as possible and assist you with major overhauls, if necessary.

-If you do not have much actual content on the site (e.g., product numbers but not descriptions), then an SEO copywriter can work with you to create relevant keyword-rich content that ensures people will find your site for your targeted keywords.

-If you are overwhelmed by the laundry list of SEO tasks that must now be implemented, you may want to hire an SEO for a few hours of consulting to help guide you. Remember, you do not need to be the expert here. You are already an expert in your chosen industry. A professional SEO can provide you with a game plan based on their own expertise in the field, which will save you time and money in the long run.

Just because you did not plan for SEO in the first phase of your website’s development does not mean it cannot be effectively implemented after your site has been made live. Always keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process and can be incorporated into your annual online marketing budget along with things like regular website updates, newsletter mailings to site subscribers and online and offline media planning.

It can be overwhelming to discover that your work is not done once your website is live, but learning about SEO at the end of the project curve, rather than the beginning, is not as much of a setback as it seems. Most website owners already have the tools in place for good SEO and with some relatively simple tweaks to code and copy for the short term, and a comprehensive SEO strategy for the long term, you’ll do just fine.

For more information on how I can help your website or blog with SEO, contact me at 816-267-0678 or by email at EllaBee PR @gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Outsource social media to increase online sales

Here is a great article from the New York Times that shows how even musicians are no longer trying to sign major record deals to sell records. Instead, they are looking to create a marketing strategy with an online presence. Artists are reaching out to their audience through online selling platforms like iTunes because the old business model is no longer working. I hope this article inspires you to look into outsourcing your public relations efforts to someone who specializes in social media. Don't underestimate the power of online sales.

According to the article, much of the success of artists rising to the top without signing to a record label has to do with the rise of the Internet as a means of promoting and distributing music. Physical album sales fell 20 percent, to 362.6 million last year, according to Nielsen, while sales of individual digital tracks rose 27 percent, to 1.07 billion, failing to compensate for the drop. Mindful of these changes, in the last few years marquee musicians like Trent Reznor, the Beastie Boys and Barenaked Ladies have created their own artist-run labels and reaped significant rewards by keeping a larger share of their revenue.

Under the Polyphonic model, bands that receive investments from the firm will operate like start-up companies, recording their own music and choosing outside contractors to handle their publicity, merchandise and touring.

Instead of receiving an advance and then possibly reaping royalties later if they have a hit, musicians will share in all the profits from their music and touring. In another departure from tradition in the music business, they will also maintain ownership of their own copyrights and master recordings — meaning they and their heirs can keep earning money from their music.

“We are all witnessing major labels starting to shed artists that are hitting only 80,000 or 100,000 unit sales,” said Adam Driscoll, another Polyphonic founder and chief executive of the British media company MAMA Group. “Do a quick calculation on those sales, with an artist who can tour in multiple cities, and that is a good business. You can take that as a foundation and build on it.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is that social media expert, really an expert?

Here is a great article by Peter Shankman of Help a Reporter Out.

There’s a new phenomena of people declaring themselves social media experts. We’ve actually heard from firms who pushed someone to become their resident social media expert because the person was on Facebook. There is no endorsement or accreditation to set apart legitimate industry leaders from bandwagon opportunists.

Social media is a hot topic. We get it. And we don’t want to see people getting scammed by self-touting experts ready to make a quick buck.
There are very few people who could, or should in all honesty, be called social media experts. We’re sharing this list with our networks, including those not yet involved in the social media world to give them a helpful guide.

25 Ways to tell your Social Media “Expert” Might Not Be An “Expert” After All

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Social media can teach you any and everything

By Lila Brown, Examiner.com

A new social media platform teaches anyone how to do anything through brief instructional videos. The how-to idea is basic, but the lessons offered provide expert advice to someone who is looking to learn everything or simply looking to learn something new. Watch here:

Founded by veterans of Google and YouTube, Howcast.com shows consumers engaging, useful how-to videos and guides wherever, whenever they need to learn how.

Howcast brings together the personality of user-generated content with the quality of a professional video studio to create engaging, informative, and free how-to videos for consumers. It also offers emerging filmmakers an opportunity to gain experience, exposure, and income.

Howcast partners with leading video sites and experiences across web, mobile, and emerging platforms to show consumers useful how-to videos wherever and whenever they need to learn how to do just about anything.

For the full article.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Public Relations Does Not = Sales

I don't usually share other content on my blog, but as I am growing as a freelance public relations specialist with a focus on social media, it is crucial to articulate to current and prospective clients that PR IS NOT SALES. It can help guide consumers, but it is up to your sales team to close the deal. This in from PR Squared:

What PR Cannot Do for Clients

I recently heard a client describe Public Relations as “the softening of the beachhead” for his Sales effort. That struck me as an apt analogy.

Public Relations is not Sales. PR can absolutely help guide the prospect toward a purchase decision, in a measurable way. PR can surround the prospect with thoughtful, candid, compelling conversations and content and references until they think, “Wow, okay, I’ve got to check these guys out.”

But when the prospect gets to the website or picks up the phone or shoots over an email: PR’s work is done.

If the website features a glitchy 1990–style template; if the telesales agent is unintelligible; if the sale rep takes too long to respond to the inquiry — if the sale is lost — that’s not a “quantity/quality of leads” problem; that’s not a PR problem — that’s a Sales problem.

Similarly, the PR team is not the official spokesperson. If the PR agency has set up a slate of dreamy editorial meetings, their “pitches” have worked. It’s now up to the official spokesperson to swing for the home-run articles. If the spokesperson doesn’t bring the customer references they promised, or the product demo flatlines; if they turn green from nerves; if they ignore the PR pro’s advice on how-to improve — if the article is lost — that’s not a PR problem — that’s a problem that the client brought to the field.

PR can set you up for success. It cannot make you a success.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Blog on Media and Money

While watching CNBC and learning about the annual media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, I was inspired to take a deeper look into the business of media so I created a new blog titled: Media and Money.

Media and Money brings together the latest information about the business side of media. I want this blog to become the go-to source for everything about media from social media to traditional print. Media and Money will show the winners and losers, who is making strides and who needs to step aside.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Use Social Media for Career Success

By Lila Brown, Examiner.com

There’s no avoiding it, Web 2.0/social media is here to stay. It’s not just about fun and games; instead, young professionals should utilize their online networking capabilities to profile their skills and talents through new platforms. Now is the time for young professionals to build meaningful contacts and leverage relationships for career success. It’s all about building a personal brand.

Those on the job search are using social media to find jobs, connect with industry leaders, and obtain job references. Job seekers can expand their online network by finding professional blogs and niche communities. Most career advisers agree that blogs are the perfect way to build a brand online.

RSS feeds allow subscribers to receive content updates in My Yahoo!, Google Reader, Newsgator, Bloglines, and other news readers. Improve job performance and knowledge by staying abreast of breaking news that is industry related. Demonstrate being on top of industry trends and changes. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn provide great tools for young professionals to establish better relationships with colleagues, clients, or other companies.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Case Study: Social Media Success with Blogging

The Problem
180 Urban Design is an architecture and design firm that specializes in New Urbanism design. The principal architects wanted to be recognized as leaders in New Urbanism, form-based codes, and LEED regulations. The company was having issues with low Google rankings which hurts business because people can’t find the company online. 180 wanted city planners and developers to know that they were building communities across the country. Awareness to the company’s projects were to be promoted through a podcasting blog.

The Strategy

As account manager, I developed a strategy that would position 180 as industry leaders by tagging search engine optimized (SEO) keywords to their blog posts, posting relevant articles from other industry leaders, promote the blog through other online communities, and pitch the blog to traditional and new media outlets. I knew podcasting would be great for other architects, but it takes grassroots marketing to promote a blog. You can’t just let it sit there in cyberspace, you have to interact with people who might be interested in your blog and find new and creative ways to not only get them to the blog, but make them stay there. I was determined to get the bounce rate under 50%. It was one of my secret goals. The bounce rate is when a user presses the back button-the lower the better. 180 Urban Design would become the go-to source for New Urbanism design.

The Tactics

Referring sites helped bring visitors to the blog. I registered the blog on Alltop, a blog search directory-one listing under architecture and another under design. I also posted relevant comments to other blogs and online articles like the New York Times Green Inc. blog, Facebook's New Urbanism groups, and Huffington Post’s Green section. When posting comments on these blogs, you shouldn’t just state, “Great post/article.” You have to share insight, ask questions, provide solutions, then the magic trick, leave your blog’s link. I also shared the podcasts on sites like Digg and Technorati. One of the main referring links came from Twitter. The Twitter profile 180Degree attracted more than 1,100 profiles in just two months. I had to search for not only architecture and design profiles, but for green profiles too. New Urbanism is all about green, walkable communities. Eventually, I started to attract my client’s target audience, city planners. Again, I listed the Twitter profile under a Twitter search directory, We Follow. I listed the 180Degree profile under architecture, design and urbanism. I posted tweets linking to the blog’s articles, other New Urbanism news stories, and other prominent architecture and design blogs.

In three short months, the New Urbanism Blog attracted more than 2,500 site visitors, from more than 50 countries from around the world. The client was very impressed by the blog’s appeal to the global architecture community. The client stated if I ever got a blog hit from Belize, please let him know; he would have to make a special vacation/trip to the country (smile).The average site visitor viewed the blog for approximately 2:05 minutes (think about how long you stay on a web page).The blog received 75 online subscribers and more than 300 comments. The page views were more than 4,550 with the average page views at 1.95 page views per visitor- that's nearly two page views per site visitor. The top landing page was the blog’s front page so site visitors could read more than five posts. I was impressed with this data. Most visitors were looking deep into the site by searching under the categories listed, visiting the "About 180" and "About New Urbanism" page, and going to older pages of blog posts.

The Solution
One of the firm’s principal architects was a great speaker on form-based codes. I posted and tweeted that he would be speaking around the country on what his company is doing with urban design. One subscriber posted a comment asking could we provide video of the workshop since he would not be able to attend. I immediately contacted the client and the organization he was speaking to and they loved the idea of sharing his insight through video to the blog. I immediately established a YouTube channel for the company. Once the videos were posted on YouTube, I provided link exchanges between the two platforms. One of the blog posts with a YouTube video helped the video go viral amongst the architecture and design community. 180 received praise for the insight and city planners immediately began contacting the company for help developing their downtown areas and residential communities. 180 Urban Design's social media success led to potential clients. Since one of the firm’s principal architect was such a great speaker, he secured another speaking engagement but this time for the Congress for New Urbanism’s annual conference.

Basically, the blog did exceedingly well compared to other architecture and design blogs of similar size. Benchmarking for site visitors is +475%; Page views +282%; Average time on site +90%.

I also secured traditional media placement for 180 Urban Design. The company has been featured in Period Homes, New Orleans Channel 4 WWL, The Kansas City Star, One KC Voice, Panama City Beach Daily, Midwest Construction Magazine, Midwest Contractor online magazine, Kansas City Small Business Monthly-architecture issue, and GreenBuilderAdvisor.com

Overall, 180 Urban Design’s Google search engine ranking increased from no listings within the first 1,000 results to be included amongst the top 10 results listed for keywords and phrases such as New Urbanism, form-based codes, walkable communities, urban design, architecture blog, sustainable design, revitalize downtown, green in the Midwest, smart dwelling, and LEED for homes.

It’s been tried, tested and proven: SOCIAL MEDIA CAN GENERATE NEW BUSINESS.