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


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.

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:

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?