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SMAC header

Tri-Cities PRSA, Ad Club, SPJ Team up for #SMAC13

I’m so excited about this upcoming event I wanted to share it with you, my dear blog readers! For the first time ever we’ve gathered three fantastic groups of communicators together to produce what’s going to be one great event!

The Tri-Cities Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, along with Greater Tri-Cities Pro Chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists and The American Advertising Federation of Northeast Tennessee will host Social Media and Communicators, #SMAC13, a discussion on navigating the ever-changing social landscape, Thursday, September 19, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Venue in the King building in downtown Johnson City, 300 East Main Street, Suite 200.

This inaugural event will feature the region’s leading journalists and corporate communicators as they discuss how social media plays a role in news gathering, public relations, advertising and our everyday lives. The speakers will take part in an informative panel discussion about this sometimes controversial and often misunderstood medium.

Panelists will be Josh Smith of WJHL, Rachel Cain of Eastman Chemical Company, Becky Campbell of the Johnson City Press, Jennifer Clements of East Tennessee State University and Eric Vaughn of Wellmont Health System.  I have the honor of serving as moderator.

“#SMAC 13 will provide an excellent opportunity for communications professionals to share best practices and for the public to learn more about the rapidly growing field of social media,” said Jim Wozniak, president of Tri-Cities PRSA. “We have assembled a tremendous panel and moderator who are on the cutting edge of social media developments, we are grateful to have such wonderful partners in SPJ and AAF who have helped develop a first-rate event.”

Audience members will be encouraged to participate in the conversation and send questions before the panel starts – via Twitter using the hashtag #SMAC13. Even if you can’t join us live please tweet us some questions in advance and we’ll do our best to work them in!

The cost to attend is $15 for PRSA and SPJ members, $25 for business professionals and $10 for students with valid student ID and it includes lunch provided by Cranberries. Attendance fee and lunch is included with Ad Club membership.   RSVP is required for this event as seating will be limited.

For more information about the event or to learn how you can get involved, please visit the #SMAC 13 Facebook event page at Facebook.com/Tri-CitiesPRSA or email .

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Image: My Clever Agency

Image: My Clever Agency

Are you a perfectionist like me? (Hey, I’m a Virgo, what can I say.) Well, I ran across this excellent infographic from “my clever agency” (don’t you love that name?) that tells us how to create a perfect social media post. Thanks to Mark Ragan at PR Daily for drawing my attention to it. I thought it was really terrific and would be worthwhile for my readers.
Enjoy!
Mel

mycleveragency Social Media Perfect Post Infographic
Social Media Perfect Posts Infographic is an infographic that was produced by mycleveragency

Read more from How To Create The Perfect Pinterest, Google+, Facebook & Twitter Posts [Infographic] – mycleveragency – Full Service Social http://www.mycleveragency.com/2013/06/how-to-create-the-perfect-social-media-posts/#ixzz2a4zIdXKI

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The following is a guest blog post by MarketingMel associate Sarah Kinsler.

Twitter Hashtags and TV

Twitter Hashtags and TV

Last year CBS reported more than 108.4 million people tuned in for the Super Bowl. Of those viewers, many were chatting it up on Twitter.  Over 24 million game day related tweets were posted during the event. Between Beyonce’s performance with a surprise visit by the other members of Destiny’s Child and the 35-minute blackout, users had LOTS to talk, or should I say Tweet about.

The Super Bowl is a prime example of how social media is changing how we watch television. We are no longer just watching, we are communicating. Social sites such as Twitter makes it possible to share your insights, opinions and questions with others across the world. We aren’t just sharing our thoughts with those in our living room anymore.

The development of hashtags (a way for users to organize and search tweets by marking them with a #) has made it possible for users to collaborate their views and engage in conversation with others about popular shows.  Every week millions of people tune in to their favorite shows and login on to Twitter. Shows like The Bachelor, Lost and numerous sporting events gain so much social media attention, their hashtags often are the top ones on Twitter. (This is known as trending)

The presence of social media is forever changing our communication habits. While the technology is fascinating, I can only help but what wonder about the future of interpersonal communication. What do you think? Are you a “Tweet-a-holic” or like to keep your conversations face to face?

MarketingMel Associate Sarah Kinsler

MarketingMel Associate Sarah Kinsler

 

Sarah Kinsler is a member of the MarketingMel team. She creates marketing, public relations and social media strategies for Mel’s diverse group of business clients. 

 

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Asiana_B772_HL7742

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777.

If you don’t think a crisis could happen to you let’s look at two very different cases that both involved crisis management and a dire need for public relations/reputation management. Last week I touched on Paula Deen and her horrendous interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show after skipping out of her previously scheduled first interview. This week we have a more tragic example of a company in need of crisis communications, with the Asiana airplane crash in San Francisco.

Social media enables each of us to become citizen journalists. Any company that ignores that fact, is truly sticking their head in the sand in today’s society.Let’s look in-depth at the reaction to the Asiana airplane crash at SFO. A huge shout out of thanks to Jeff Domansky, the PR Coach, for connecting me with this superb SlideShare slide show from SimpliFlying, an aviation marketing firm.  This is a must-see for anyone interested in social media or in crisis communications.

 

According to the SimpliFlying timeline of the air crash,the first reaction was a tweet from a Google employee who saw the crash and sent her tweet one minute after the plane crash landed at San Francisco at 11:28 AM, Saturday, July 6, 2013. Journalists across the country clambered to interview that first tweeter. SimpliFlying credits the NTSB with staying on top of social media throughout the day, posting regular updates. (They’ve since had their own PR woes.) However, Asiana airlines did not respond with a press release until 8:43 PM that evening. In this case silence did in fact speak louder than words. The company was roundly criticized for not quickly making a statement to the media through Facebook or twitter.  The most interesting slide of all shows the stock price of Asiana Airlines plummeting as rumors were running rampant about their pilots lack of experience. So for those who don’t think social media matters, look at the bottom line.

Some takeaway tips from MarketingMel:

Whether you are Asiana Airlines or a business professional in East Tennessee,

1. Be prepared: Have a crisis communications plan in place. Incorporate a social media strategy as part of your crisis communications plan.

2. Always show empathy and concern for those involved. Tragically, school children lost their lives in this crash. Getting the CEO to San Francisco was a great start on that road.

3. Prepare three key messages: Remember that we humans think and remember in threes. Assess the situation, prepare your talking points and stay on message.

4. Tell the truth: Never fudge the facts. If you don’t yet know an answer find it out and then get back to your audience.

Remember that in today’s age of instant communications, timing is everything. The conversation will go on whether you are there or not so make sure your crisis communications plan is in place as part of your overall strategic planning. If you need help with your company’s crisis communications plan please contact me. I “cut my teeth” practicing for crises when I worked in public relations at a nuclear defense company. I have since helped attorneys and their clients as well as private corporations and public officials prepare for the unexpected.

What are your thoughts about the air crash and the way in which it was handled? How would you have handled it better?

 

 

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Editor’s note: The following blog post was written by MarketingMel Associate Sarah Kinsler. (Sarah and Mel tried out the Vine app in the lobby of  WJCW Radio last month before going on the air to talk about social media trends.)

Mary Ellen Miller and Sarah Kinsler at the Tri-Cities PRSA awards.

Mary Ellen Miller and Sarah Kinsler at the Tri-Cities TN/VA PRSA awards.

You can break a bull riding record, cross three state lines or experience an amazing “he’s the one” kiss. You can also post your adorable toddler’s toe-tapping hoe-down to international acclaim.

Now Twitter founders have introduced a way to capture these six second memories and share them! Vine, an app that allows users to shoot, combine and loop video is now the #1 app on iTunes. This app is quickly becoming the preferred outlet of social interaction amongst young adults and teens. However, large corporations and brands are jumping on the bandwagon as well.

But here’s the real question: Can brands tell their full story in six seconds? Maybe not the full narrative, but it is a  definite way to get a person intrigued. Including Vine in your marketing plan can increase brand awareness and add some personality to your updates and news. While a Vine video is only one-fifth of a typical commercial, it can generate buzz to a specific audience that would otherwise ignore alternative media outlets.

Which brings me to my next question: With apps such as Vine, Snapchat and Twitter, delivering information in a such a quick and effortless way is becoming the norm. What does that mean for the future of print media? Are our short attention spans going to change the process of how we get our news? What do you  think?

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Kristen, Mel and Sarah

MarketingMel (center) with current intern Kristen Pierce and past intern Sarah Rowan who is now employed by the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce.

MarketingMel was honored to be featured in a recent issue of Ragan.com’s PR Daily for the post “How to Find a Job in Public Relations.”

Here is the link to that post in case you missed it and I have re-printed it below. It was my most popular blog post ever and I refreshed it when PR Daily asked if they could publish it.

It seems like every week I field a call from a desperate college student seeking advice on how to break into public relations. I’ve answered their questions so often that I thought I would jot down a few tips I’ve learned during my more than 25-year career.

1. Think strategically. What is your goal, and how can you accomplish it? Have a plan. Write it down as you would a business plan, and then work it.

2. Seek internships. Be sure to have one; they often lead to jobs. Furthermore, internships help you understand if this business is really for you. (It can be stressful!)

Treat an internship as if it’s a job. Be ready with a professional resume and photo. Be prepared with questions and skill sets you to have offer.

3. Set yourself up for success. Have an outlet after your internship. Look for opportunities, volunteer and play up your accomplishments. For example, my recent intern Sarah Rowan, was the top PR student at her community college. That impressed me.

4. Communicate with communicators. Communicate on their terms through their channels, and be sure to identify yourself. Since I founded my firm, there was only one time a college student reached out to me in such an engaging way that I asked to meet with him. If you want to see what the pros are doing, listen to Twitter chats like #soloPR and #journchat, and say hello.

5. Study the thought leaders. Look who’s leading the way in your chosen field, your community and the world. I treasure my virtual friendships with my international friends.

6. Innovate. Use the latest tools and learn about new ones. The communications field changes daily. Be sure you keep up with it. (My assistant and I recently used Vine to create a video message, and have fun, too.)

Are your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles up to date? Ninety-five percent of all headhunters are on LinkedIn, so you need to be there. Use YouTube to present yourself on video to a future employer. Skype is another handy tool.

7. Learn something new. Do you know a foreign language? Spend time abroad. Be open to opportunities elsewhere. There will never be a better time in your life to move somewhere and do something different. It will expose you to a new way of thinking.

8. Show kindness. Put the phone away in class and have some real face time with your teachers and friends. This goes for online behavior as well. Others can tell when you genuinely care about them.

9. Follow journalists. Media relations is part of public relations. Follow your favorite journalists and engage with them. I often chat on Twitter with my local news anchor, Josh Smith. We are both early risers, and our friendship has deepened with our regular Twitter banter.

10. Know your strengths and weaknesses, but focus on your strengths. Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Buckingham and Clifton is a book worth reading. It includes an easy-to-take online quiz that will help you determine your strengths.

11. Create your personal brand. Put some thought into this one. Again, there are some great books available (see Tom Peters’ article, The Brand Called You). Remember, your personal brand will follow you from job to job for the rest of your life.

What suggestions would you add to this list?

Mary Ellen Miller, “MarketingMel,” mentors a rising, young PR pro each year as part of her firm’s mission. Connect with her @MarketingMel. A version of this article originally appeared on MarketingMel.com.

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Editor’s note: The following is a guest blog post by attorney, friend (and former colleague from my law firm marketing days) Laura Steel Woods. She wrote this article in response to several well publicized social media identity theft cases.

Anyone remember prank phone calls?

Remember these?

Many years ago, before phones were used to update your Facebook status and check-in on Foursquare, they were used to call people. Sometimes, those calls included prank calls, which were intended to be a joke, for the most part. The thought that it might be “stealing” someone’s identity probably never crossed a prank caller’s mind. Now, with ready-made access to accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, or creation of a Facebook fan page, the implications of what used to amount to prank calling have ramped up significantly.

Think about it—most phone calls are directed to one person/location, where you consciously select a contact from your electronic phone book or pull the number from your head and individually enter the digits. Deliberate. Calculated. Intentional. Controlled.

Social media is different. The reach is intended to be broad. Control is relinquished, while not always thoughtful at least knowingly, once you post your status update. As with so many other parts of our lives, social media has certainly changed the landscape, or at least raised the stakes, of identity theft. Consider the mass in which we communicate. The “victims” in the SM setting, just like a prank call, go beyond the person whose identity was compromised and can include those who relied upon the prank information. The breadth of victims in the SM setting is vastly different. Whose identity is stolen does, in part, determine whether there are legal consequences, just like IRL (example: impersonating a police officer versus impersonating me. One will get you jail time, the other will get you a lot of student loan debt.).

The legal system faces a huge challenge as it attempts to keep up with a medium that can’t even keep up with itself. How do you handcuff wireless communications, the internet, the Web or avatars? The remarkable resiliency of the justice system will probably find a solution, just like it has in all other advances along the timeline of history. Another interesting watch will be how much push-back the legal system receives given how protective the public is over the “right” to do anything and everything it wants with social media.

What I’m pretty confident won’t change is the need for us to be ever-conscious of our social media presence. It may seem like a small inconvenience or, at worst, momentary embarrassment if your identity is pranked on social media. The speed at which information travels, though, can cause the fallout to balloon beyond your world before you know it.

Laura Steel Woods

Laura Steel Woods

 

Laura Woods is Vice President of Legal Affairs for a local consulting company. In a previous life, she was a labor/employment partner with a regional law firm where she started the firm’s social media program with a Twitter account and a blog. You can find her on Twitter as @LauraSWoods.

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Mark W. Schaefer met up with MarketingMel at SoloPR Summit for the interview.

Mark W. Schaefer met up with MarketingMel at SoloPR Summit for the interview.

Social Marketing Guru and Author Mark W. Schaefer took time to sit down with MarketingMel at the recent SoloPR Summit in Atlanta. Mark has written the best selling books Tao of Twitter and Return on Influence. I first met Mark in person at SocialSlam. SoSlam 2013 is coming up on Friday, April 5 and I’ll be heading to Knoxville for it as I do every year. I  hope to see many of you there. Meanwhile, MarketingMel got this interview “scoop” on Mark’s third and newest book, written with Stanford Smith, Born to Blog.

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