Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yours Truly, Ella Bee Social Media & PR, on

I was just featured in an article from of my favorite PR news resources. I've learned how to be a better communicator thanks to 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

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.