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It was the year of fun with social media. The “Harlem Shake” was all the rage at my SoloPR conference and elsewhere around the country. The word “selfie” officially entered the lexicon. We made vine videos and celebrated National Ice Cream Day July 21st with an instagram video. So what do we do to conclude the year at the holiday season? Our team is closing out 2013 with some more fun. Sarah Kinsler and I will be leading the Johnson City Leadership 2015 class in a sing-along this week with a rousing rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” with a social media kick. We’ll be performing wearing Santa hats with Keith Ford on guitar and  Jason Pierce on mandolin.  What do you think of the lyrics? Would you like to share them at your office Christmas party? Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

12 Days[2]

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Some time ago I created a video and a blog post called “Ten tips to feel comfortable on camera”  I got the idea after chatting with my friend Maria Peagler of SocialMedia OnlineClasses.com. Maria mentioned that many of her students are afraid to appear on camera. She knew that I once worked in television news and she also knew I loved helping people build their personal brands. We live in a society that is more and more camera and particularly video- camera conscious. Recently Maria asked me if she could turn those video tips into an infographic to help her camera shy students. She teaches them ways to profit from YouTube videos.  I said, “absolutely!” and here is the resulting infographic. Could you or one of your colleagues benefit from this infographic? If so please share it! Which tips resonate with you?

On camera do's and don'ts

On camera do’s and don’ts

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MarketingMel served as panel moderator and worked with the #SMAC13 committee to make the vision become a reality.

MarketingMel was delighted to moderate and to work with the #SMAC13 committee to make the vision become a reality.

 

Our #SMAC13 Social Media and Communicators Panel discussion was a success! Many thanks are in order! First, to the panelists: Becky Campbell- Johnson City Press, Josh Smith- WJHL-TV, Eric Vaughn- Wellmont Health System, Rachel Cain- Eastman, and Jennifer Clements-ETSU. Hats off to the team that pulled it off: Jim Wozniak, Rachel Cain, Drew Beamer, Deborah Lowery, Christian Schmid along with myself and the MarketingMel team of Sarah Kinsler and Emma Brock. Thanks also to many of you loyal blog readers who helped me publicize the event on twitter.

For the first time ever in the Tri-Cities region three professional communications organizations joined together to create one fantastic communications event. Those organizations were: Public Relations Society of America (Northeast Tennessee Chapter), Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the American Advertising Federation and the Greater Tri-Cities Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The committee’s initial goal was to gather 100 people to listen to a distinguished panel including both journalists and professional corporate communicators. We far exceeded our goal with over 150 business professionals and college students turning out to hear the pro’s. Here are some of the “tweetable highlights” of the panel discussion. I was the panel moderator and it’s hard to pare them down to just a few sentences as most of what they said was valuable. I would love to hear what comments particularly resonate with you.

  1. “Years ago we could only tell you about something that happened today, tomorrow morning…I started out with a notepad and a pen. Today I carry an iPad and shoot video… I’ve been tweeting trial updates from court since 2010.”
  2. “Every person in our newsroom has a Facebook. Every person in our newsroom has a twitter. Everyone in our newsroom is expected to contribute.”
  • Becky Campbell, Johnson City Press reporter
  1. “It was always there (our immediate desire for news.) I have found our viewers are far less patient than they ever were. We have higher expectations now. People always have wanted information. Now we have to keep up with the demands of our audience.”
  2. “You don’t get angry on social media. You don’t respond angrily. That can cause you to lose your job. And that has happened in this market.”
  • Josh Smith WJHL-TV Anchorman
  1. “In health care we deal with people in the most personal moments. The issue that we face is because of regulations we cannot point to anything personal about a patient.”
  2. “You need to have a specific strategy in place and apply to the audience you are looking for. You have to have a specific goal that you are trying to accomplish.”
  • Eric Vaughn, Wellmont Health Systems
  1. “There is no one size fits all. If you are on social media you should have a strategy. Make sure everything you do is measurable. We measure leads generated, how many of those leads are qualified. As many things as you can track, how many go from social media to your web site and then convert on your web site. Something solid to start tracking on an excel spread sheet.
  2. “You have to be able and willing to fail in social media. Track lessons learned. Strategy is about what you’re saying and to whom and where they are.”
  3. “I don’t think that any business can afford to not be on social media anymore.”
  • Rachel Cain, Eastman/Perennial Wood
  1. “Social Media gives us the opportunity to listen to what’s going on on campus and it gives us the opportunity to communicate with our audience.”
  2. “When an emergency happens our students and staff turn to social media to find out what is going on.”
  3. “If you’re applying for jobs show how you’ve built a brand for yourself or for your company; not just that you’re on Facebook.”
  • Jennifer Clements, East Tennessee State University (ETSU)

To watch the #SMAC13 video to to hear all of what these distinguished panelists had to say, click on “watch the event video” on the #SMAC13 website.

 

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The following is a guest blog post from MarketingMel associate Sarah Kinsler. This is a follow up to our joint blog post about Vine created several weeks ago.

Sarah Kinsler using the new Instagram video feature.

Sarah Kinsler using the new Instagram video feature.

Just a few days ago, Facebook announced the release of Instagram’s new video feature. The new addition allows users to record videos up to 15 seconds (twice as long as Vine) and gives the option of editing the video with a filter.

During the first day of the new feature, over 5 million videos were created then uploaded using Instagram. Now, users across the world are shooting, editing, and sharing not only their pictures, but also their instant movies.

Here is my first attempt at an “Instagram Video Post”

Nothing worse than a rainy Monday.

(I’m complaining about a rainy Monday.)

While the upgrade seem like a great new way to share videos, some users argue that the new features are a negative for Instagram. The addition of the videos in the news feed slows the app down.  Many people say they “don’t care” about the videos and would rather see photos without having to rummage through the videos to find them.

What do you think? Is Instagram keeping up with the times by adding the video feature? Or should Instagram stick to its initial purpose of sharing cool and unique photos and leave the videos to other social media apps?

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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MarketingMel's article is featured in PRNews Media Training Guidebook.

MarketingMel’s article is featured in PRNews Media Training Guidebook.

It was truly a privilege to be invited to write for the was 2013 PRNews Media Training Guidebook. Being selected as a featured author, along with other top media trainers to provide ideas, tactics and tips to guide those who deal with the media for their clients, was an honor. The guidebook covers topics ranging from social media to building relationships with journalists.

My  article, “10 Tips to Help Clients Feel Comfortable in Front of a Camera” focused on camera readiness. Everything from what to wear (skip the loud patterns), to how to act, (hint: consider all microphones live!) was covered in the featured article.

In the article I urge other P.R. and Marketing professionals to “Remind your clients that a personal brand is portable; it is what makes them unique and what differentiates them from everyone else.”

The media guidebook is available for purchase online at PRNewsonline.com and also by phone at (888)707-5814. (Note: I did not earn any income on this although I wish I had. I wrote it truly for the pleasure of writing and helping others.)

 

 

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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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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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Mel and Mike WJHLAs twitter gains in popularity more and more people are both using the social media site and impersonating others there. Recently I received a phone call from WJHL-TV reporter Mike Lamia  asking my professional assessment of the twitter hoax that was committed on Sullivan County Schools ‘Director Dr. Jubal Yennie. It seems that just for fun an 18 year old student set up a false account and started making amusing tweets about snow days under Dr. Yennie’s name. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s department got wind of the case and  arrested the young man for identity theft.

As I sat at WJHL waiting for the interview, I pulled up ‘Dr. Yennie’s’ twitter accounts on my iPad. I noticed two things: The “real” Dr. Yennie (it appeared to be tweets from educational conferences several months ago) and the “fake” Dr. Yennie (one that was laced with profanity.)The fake Dr. Yennie even had his photo attached to the account. What struck me as puzzling was that the Sullivan County Sheriff’s department said the first fake account had already been taken down. So it appeared to us that there was now a second Dr. Yennie “Impersonator” once again pretending to be someone who is the face of education in Sullivan County. Several days later I saw this reported by the local newspapers. At this writing I do not yet know what happened to the impersonator behind the second , more caustic, “Dr. Yennie.”

What lessons can we as “average” citizens learn from all of this?

  1. It’s important to protect and monitor our personal brands. Google provides a free tool called “Google Alerts” that is one way to catch news of you or others like you.
  2. Each of us can also simply Google our name or our “brand” identity to see what is being said online about us. With so much of our lives now being lived online we need to be vigilant in protecting our personal brands.
  3. Just as in password protection and phishing scams that I’ve written about in this column previously, some of the burden of safe computing falls on us. Remember to change your passwords often.

Finally, was this or was this not identity theft? Does the first guy, who was apparently more of a prankster, deserve lighter punishment than the profanity-laced second suspect? What would you have done if this was your name and your brand? Now that schools are in the forefront of safety questions are we a bit touchier about “cyber” safety issues there than in the past? A final thought: Remember to practice safe tweeting!

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