Monthly Archives: November 2011

Google+ PR/JOUR Hangout: The Star Tribune, Herman Cain and AP Tweets

This week’s Google+ hangout of Journalists and PR pros covered quite a bit of ground – everything from the Star Tribune’s controversial decision to begin charging for its online content, to Herman Cain’s latest PR moves to the Associated Press’ refusal to allow its reporters to Tweet or ReTweet personal opinions.

It was another great conversation, and we’d love if you join us next time! We circle up every Tuesday at 10:30 am Central time via Google+ to hang out and talk shop!

Chatting with Chato – Some great PR Advice/Insight from an industry expert

I recently did a Google+ hangout with University of St. Thomas Law School PR Guy Chato Hazelbaker. He shared some great takes with me on:

  • What skills he sees as most important for a journalist in 2011.
  • How PR people can place more content (including quotes, photos, audio/video) into mainstream media pieces now more than ever, and why that is.
  • How Chato manages to navigate two difficult worlds – the legal profession and academia – that aren’t exactly known for speed and agility when it comes to fast-moving PR and Social Media responses and initiatives.
Here’s the video of my chat with Chato:

FYI I do a regular Google+ Hangout with PR/JOUR folks every Tuesday at 10:30 am Central time over on my G+ page. Circle me up and join us next time!

Can a major news organization seriously be this clueless when it comes to Social Media?

Breaking News: The Associated Press doesn't get Twitter!

I have great things to say about The Associated Press. I worked part-time and full-time early on in my career for the AP’s Minneapolis bureau, and the training/experience/chops I learned there continue to serve me well to this day. As an AP reporter you have to literally be an instant expert on something new every day, covering breaking news as it happens and sharing stories with a worldwide audience in near real-time.

But I am beyond stunned at how foolish the AP’s top brass is behaving when it comes to silencing its reporters’ and editors’ use of Twitter.

Not letting reporters share personal opinions is bad enough. Not even letting them RT someone else’s person opinion is even dumber.

More important, I can’t say enough how AP is missing a huge opportunity to increase its value/influence on Twitter by doing this. AP reporters are often viewed as experts and are universally beloved by brands/PR folks/etc. because of AP’s massive reach. As a result, being an AP reporter often opens doors that are otherwise closed to many other journalists. Why not leverage that access and authority for all its worth if you’re the AP?

Another point: AP’s reporters and editors are among the most overworked and under-appreciated journalists on the planet. So going all Big Brother on them is not going to boost office morale anytime soon. Punk management moves like this are only going to drive more talented and experienced people away from AP and over to other news organizations or even (gasp!) PR shops.

I should point out that AP’s supposed reasoning behind this move is to prevent reporters from showing any type of bias in their Tweets/etc.

Yet for years, AP reporters (and many other journalists) have proven time and again that just because a human being has an opinion/viewpoint on an issue doesn’t mean he or she can’t cover it in a fair and professional manner. In fact, when our union had a huge strike last summer, I was actually shocked later to learn so many of the reporters covering us were actually in unions and in fact very pro-union. You never would have known based on the way they covered the story – they were extremely balanced/etc.

The AP needs to treat its reporters and editors like adults. That’s what they are, after all. Also, the reason (up until now) that I follow the AP reporters/editors on Twitter that I do is because of their personality/candor/opinions. Who wants to follow a boring, robotic-type? What’s the point? Yet that’s what AP will turn its 3,700 journalists into with this knucklehead move.

Not only do I feel bad for my friends who are still working for AP, but I feel bad for all of the readers/followers on Twitter who will miss out on some great, entertaining and expert insights and opinions as a result. Too bad.

Video: Secrets to Social Media Success

I’ve become so fanatical about using Social Media and integrating it into everything I do – especially PR! – that people at work have given me the moniker, “The Self Proclaimed King of Social Media.”

And it’s working! Lately I have been getting asked at least once a week to present to various groups on my Social Media strategies due to the massive success we’re having with it. (Especially in the Labor Union world, which is where my day job resides.) FYI this presentation was made using Prezi – completely free and something you can do entirely online.

In the video below, I spend 40 minutes sharing every trick, tip and tactic I’ve learned the past few years when it comes to using Social Media to engage clients/customers, impact a situation/negotiations, drive mainstream media coverage and shape public opinion. The situations that happened to me during the largest nursing strike in U.S. history last summer also provide great “real-life” examples/case studies for why the tactics I’ve learned at the feet of masters like this guy¬†and this guy work so well.

It’s long, but I promise worth your time to watch.

Question: Anything important I left out? What would you add to the presentation?

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