Blogging 101

Go ahead. Be Creative!

Blogs are one of the easiest ways to tell a story online. Whether it’s your story as an aspiring PR professional or a client’s story, blogs are simple to create and publish. The difficult part is writing them. But with tools like WordPress, you can go from draft to post in just a few quick steps.

Drafts can be kept unpublished and you can edit them on the fly with the mobile app version of WordPress, then finish up at your desk or laptop.

The only true requirement for a good blog is that it must contain in introduction, a body and a conclusion. You should set up the topic for the reader and then wrap it up for them at the end. A catchy title doesn’t hurt, either!

A note about blogs:

They are typically:

  • written in an informal, engaging tone (less formal than a web page) using active voice;
  • crowdsourced across company employees in a professional setting; and
  • short, scannable pieces that contain elements that break up text such as images, headings, sub heads, bullet points and call out quotes.

When blogging for a company and/or client, it is important to keep to a regular schedule (editorial calendar) AND make sure you have a trusted editor to fact check and catch style or GSP errors and typos.

DAM Blogs – Sophie’s Choice

Blog Love
Blog Love

What do you do when 59 students have turned into amazing bloggers? I can’t even believe how far we’ve come. Goodbye typos and flat tone of voice, we’re writing like we speak and using humor to make complex topics approachable and understandable.

It was so hard to choose, but here are my faves for the week. Enjoy.

The assignment:

Dam, you’re good. Blog about any aspect of lecture this week (DAM, templates or workflow), but as future digital strategists, I want to see more than a broad brush. Get specific and think about how these tools impact the ability of brands large and small to publish relevant and engaging digital content that reinforces their brand image.

Remember: DAM stands for Digital Asset Management. Don’t reference it incorrectly.

Hot DAM | Maria Tobias

“Excuse your language.“

No, DAM. Digital asset management.

“I’m still confused.“

Digital asset management is a big, fancy word that encompasses a fairly abstract and complicated concept. DAM is a company’s act of distributing digital content and archiving it for further inspection. Read the full blog.

Kate Spade and Templates and Sales, Oh My! | Jordyn Bauerlein

Quick announcement: Kate Spade is hosting a 75% off sale right now!

Why is that important? Well, for starters, their purses are adorable and even cuter when they are cheaper. Secondly, it gives us a chance to look at something “new” on their website. At this point you are probably scratching your head and wondering how a sale would be considered new. Stay with me, I’ll explain. Read the full blog.

Blog Pick of the Week: Listening & Engagement

Image Credit: Melvin Gaal, Flickr
Image Credit: Melvin Gaal, Flickr

I’m perpetually behind. This college prof gig is the most rewarding AND the most demanding thing I’ve ever done. But today is a new day.

My digital students were given the following mission:

Social media monitoring is one of the biggest missed opportunities for businesses today. Also known as social listening, it involves monitoring what people are saying on social media about your business and the issues that affect it. This allows organizations to identify opportunities as they happen and reach out proactively rather than reactively.

Identify a current issue where an organization’s listening and engagement on social media (or lack thereof) has or could potentially impact their reputation. Propose a positive response by the brand.

I enjoy reading all of my student blogs, but here’s my top pics. Enjoy!

Engaging or Imploding?

By Brittany Lee

Twitter is hard. Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to tweet. And while some people get it, others definitely don’t. I think I’m a really funny tweeter – usually because I’m not afraid to tastefully laugh at myself. Granted, I try REALLY hard, but I think I’m hilarious.

There’s just something about making people chuckle that I think is really rewarding.  But I think in a quest to adequately target and entice a young and spry audience, American brands have taken to Twitter in a way that’s – well – bad. Engagement is great. Actually it’s more than great. It is so, so, so, SO important. But humor is so sensitive these days that it’s important to really dissect your jokes before you post them online.

Read more.

Nicole Arbour and Her PR Nightmare

By Kelly Kingston

Last week, Canadian comedian, musician and dancer Nicole Arbour posted a Youtube video titled “Dear Fat People.” The comedian posts many “rant” videos, where she takes a current issue and voices her (typically offensive) opinion. She started gaining popularity when her “Dear Instagram Models” video went viral on Facebook with people praising the harsh truth she spoke. But “Dear Fat People” went viral for another reason, a very negative one.

When a comedian pokes fun at someone who CHOOSES to do the belittling behavior, like posting racy photos on the Internet, people can laugh. But when a comedian chooses to poke fun at someone who has health issues out of their control, people will get mad.

And they did.  Read more.

Featured Student Blog: Five Things I Learned in PR Strategy

Featured Student Blog: Five Things I Learned in PR Strategy

fred-astaireShall We Dance? Keeping Digital in Step with PR Goals.

It’s no secret. I LOVE teaching. It’s an honor and a privilege to share my knowledge and experience with future Public Relations pros. The biggest challenge is connecting theory with reality in the classroom.

One of the ways I reinforce key concepts is through a semester-long blogging assignment. Every student must write, edit and publish a blog each week. It’s a challenge to grade, but worth it. Students get used to the demands of the digital world. They begin to understand the rhythm of web publishing and the importance of writing and editing skills in today’s PR environment.

I get to know students through their blogs and enjoy reading their thoughts and experiences so much that I’m selecting a blog from each class to feature here. My goal? To encourage them to have a unique approach to the topic … to learn how to stand out personally, professionally and learn how they can apply that skill outside of the classroom.

First up? “Five Things I Learned in PR Strategies.” Because four is too few and six is too many! But the true lesson here is that digital must be in perfect step with the overall PR and business goals in order to be effective.

Five Things I Learned in PR Strategies

by Brianna Perrin

Five Key Concepts of Public Relations Strategies

by Karolyn Short

Instagram: A Look Back

Instagram: A Look Back

Instagram Reaches 400 Million Users!

My first instagram taken at SXSW 2011.
My first instagram taken at SXSW 2011.

Instagram reached a milestone this week: 400 million users sharing more than 80 million photos per day. Whoa. In just five short years, this platform has changed the way we share and record our lives. I’m sure it’s champagne all around for founders Kevin Systrom (@kevin) and Mike Krieger (@mikeyk).

My first “insta” was posted (very fittingly) during SXSW 2011. Grainy image, no caption. Now even amateurs can create stunning works of art with nothing but a smart phone and in-app filters.

Instagram is a powerful platform for branding and visual storytelling, and with each new enhancement (advertising and full-size images) they make it more enticing.

My wish list?

  • An admin panel for managing multiple accounts
  • Post hyperlinks
  • In-app sharing

What’s on your insta wish list? While you’re thinking, check out this cool history of Instagram at WERSM and check out what I’ve been up to @ldlow.

The Art of Being Human

Say yes.Bend the rules.Show up on
Although this blog post from my hero Seth Godin is aimed at small businesses, one cannot escape the universal truths. From his “Yes!, please and thank you,” just substitute “customer” for “person” and you’ll get the gist.
“Don’t jerk people around” writes Godin. I can’t imagine any situation in which the following suggestions would not be appropriate.

  • Say yes.
  • Bend the rules.
  • Show up on time.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Don’t exert power merely because you can.
  • Be human, be kind, pay attention, smile.

Not everyone deserves this sort of treatment, not everyone will do their part to be the kind of customer you can delight and serve. But that’s okay, you don’t need everyone.

Super Bowl XILX Brand Watch

I’m in the middle of teaching my Digital Media class how to evaluate digital strategy. To look at the “Why” and the “How” with a critical eye and evaluate whether the digital team is following the overall strategic objectives of the brand. What better way than to kick it off with the Super Bowl (I’m so punny)? The assignment? Pick five brands to follow. Determine their “Why” and their “Ask,” then blog about it. Why is the Super Bowl important? On average, $4.5 million to buy a spot and only 17 minutes of the 3.5 hours of the game are devoted to live football.

pie-chart

I assembled all my prep info Sunday morning and we’re hanging at BJ’s watching the game. It’s funny to hear the crowd’s responses to the ads. Definitely Kim K’s T-Mobile is getting bad reviews and the heart-string pulling Budweiser puppy and “pay with love” from McDonald’s get the popular vote. Here’s my review.

Coca-Cola

Why: #MakeItHappy for the Big Game.
Ask: Respond to negative tweets with #MakeItHappy.
Klout score: 92
800px-Coca-Cola_logo.svg
Analysis: They teamed up with Kid President/Soul Pancake, Danica Patrick and others in what appears to be a campaign against cyberbullying. They began teasing it on Jan. 26, 2015, on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, they haven’t put out content since Nov., but they are actively engaging fans. They are putting out more content on Facebook . Their website promotes the campaign and shows FB, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts. They have an unlisted instagram and it’s in sync with the promo. But ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why aren’t they on Pinterest? Do you know how many things are made with coke? This might be theirs … https://www.pinterest.com/cocacola/.

They’ve been a touch-feely brand since the ’70s ala “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” so it’s in line with their Why. But seriously? Get your digital act together.

Mophie
Why: When your phone dies, who knows what can happen. mophie. #StayPowerful.
Ask: Visit http://www.mophie.com to find out how.
Klout score: 81

Analysis:No information about the campaign on their website. Assets listed: pinterest, fb, twitter, insta, g+, youtube. They used the new “pin” option on Twitter to make the video the first in their feed and they pinned the video on their pinterest board with the hashtag. What’s more, they are actively putting out content and engaging on all published platforms.
mophie Good surroundsound: a little over the top, but right in line with their brand

P&G (Always)
Why: A girl’s confidence plummets during puberty but it doesn’t have to.
Ask: Everyone should #runlikeagirl
Klout score: 64
Analysis: This is not a new campaign, but they did a good job of hyping it. I think insta and pinterest could be valuable and they might consider snapchat. They’ve obviously got the full support of the powerhouse that is P&G, but frankly, I don’t know what this has to do with visits from Aunt Flow. Good use of owned assets: They had the full release in their news section. http://news.pg.com/press-release/pg-corporate-announcements/always-uses-super-bowl-stage-redefine-meaning-girl

T-Mobile
Why: They are the unMobile company. Other phone companies steal your data and you suffer.
Ask: Free #KimsDataStash | T-Mobile Commercial
Klout Score: 80

Let me be on record, I’m not a fan the Kardashians. Our fascination with them baffles me. But, I chose to follow this brand because … the internets.

Analysis: There was absolutely no mention of the campaign on their website. Their social platform messaging was very confusing. They were having contests, but I couldn’t figure out how to participate. Kim Kardashian seemed to be sharing her ridiculous selfies with Twitter users, but I couldn’t figure out how to join the fun. Lots of noise and clutter, but they got their point across. They want you to switch to T-Mobile, but I’m not sure what makes them the “unmobile.” Honestly, they have so many taglines and brand propositions, I don’t know who they are.

Unmetric
Why: The only Social Media Intelligence Platform Focused on Brands.
Ask: Check out their new Event Pulse Platform | 17,306 brands, 28 hashtags
Klout score: 60
http://www.slideshare.net/unmetric/slideshelf

Analysis: All B2B digital companies offer “news you can use” and Unmetric is no exception, they even offer last minute content tips on their Facebook page. They are the typical B2B company: Blog, Pinterest, LinkedIn and FB.

unmetric