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Drafts can be kept unpublished and you can edit them on the fly with the mobile app version of WordPress, then finish up at your desk or laptop.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

Prescription for Productivity

I had the pleasure of presenting with PR rockstar Linda Rutherford (@SWAFollower), and some of my favorite new media peeps Lin Humphrey (@linhumphrey) and Kaley Daniel (@kaleydaniel) along with a whole slew of other practitioners from the local area and beyond. Sadly, I didn’t get to stay for the day, but the hashtag has all the highlights! #socialmedia201.

Let’s do this again!

And on the topic of productivity, here’s how Phil Libin (CEO of Evernote) organizes his Evernote stacks, notebooks, notes and tags.

Brands Shouldn’t Ignore Twitter Complaints

Don't let your customers talk to the hand. Listen to your brand mentions.

I know what they say about anecdotal research, but recent findings by Maritz Research confirm my personal experience as a Twitter user and community manager. If people take the time to complain about a brand on twitter, they expect a response. Further, ANY type of response is usually better than nothing.

Takeaways? Monitor mentions of your brand using simple tools like Tweetdeck. Take a few minutes each day to respond, especially to negative comments. (Of course it’s nice to respond to positive feedback too!)

Resarch Summary

Maritz Research surveyed an online panel of 1,298 US consumers at least 18 years of age pre-identified as:

  • Twitter users who frequently tweet
  • Those who have used Twitter to complain about a specific product, service, brand or company

Results:

  • Nearly half of respondents expected the company to read their Tweet
  • Nearly 1/3 of respondents received a response from the company about their Twitter complaint

Of those who received follow-up:

  • 83% said they liked or loved hearing from the company
  • Only 4% didn’t like or hated hearing from the company
  • 63% would not like it or hate it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint tweet

Read the full summary.