Tag Archives: conversation

Want blogging tips? Don’t go to Google

26 Nov

Punch into Google ‘blogging tips’ and it throws back oodles of articles. So, where’s a budding blogger meant to start? By talking to one.

There’s some great ideas out there, courtesy of PR Daily and The Wall. But, the truth is that half of these articles won’t make sense without practical examples. And, that comes from experience.

So, with my blog now in its ‘terrible twos’, I’m putting thumb to iPhone to share my golden nuggets. Tongue twister alert:

Prime Time‘s top 10 tips for taking your blog to the next level

1) Are you talking to me?
Know your audience. Assume a level of knowledge and don’t patronise.

2) Develop a style and stick to it
The only reason you’d need to be corporate is if you were ghostwriting for your CEO. In all other circumstances, lighten up! It’s likely your blog will be read in people’s spare time, so cut them some slack and deliver informal, light-hearted and punchy content.

3) Write to be read
If you’re finding a post hard to write, then it’s probably going to be hard for your readers to digest. Before writing I identify an interesting news hook. But, if I can’t think of at least three things to add value to the conversation, I scrap it.

It’s also important to have an opinion. However niche your blog sets out to be, you will have competition. So, keep in mind why people should be reading yours instead of the blog next door.

4) Be on time
It doesn’t matter if it’s once a month or once a week, find a pattern and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than finding a blog and realising it’s not been updated for six months or shut up shop. What a waste of cyberspace!

5) Create a content calendar
To avoid hunting for stories every week, why not jot down key dates in advance? Whether it’s conferences and events or film launches and X Factor results, it’ll come in handy.

6) Tag!
Tag each post not only with key words you’ve included, but also those that link to the subject. It’ll help direct more people to your blog.

7) You don’t have to be in PR to promote your blog
Make the most of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You don’t have to do them all, but do the ones you can, well.

Why not set a reminder on your phone to promote each post you write, in a variety of ways, for the next 30 days to ensure it’s being read?

In addition to this, make sure you’re capitalising on #TBT and #FBF (for going through the archive and bringing early posts up to par) and #FF (for connecting with influencers) – they’re quick wins for getting noticed.

8) Maximising channels
Did you know you can publish direct from LinkedIn? It looks hot, so take advantage and stand out among your network.

Also consider using Twitter to feed into relevant conversations and plug your content e.g:

 

Looking forward to the @PaddingtonMovie? Then you’ll probably hate my blog on the Peruvian bear! Check it out > http://wp.me/p2sMct-2dE

This could help your content to snowball outside of your network – which is the key to success.

9) You may have the penmanship of Shakespeare, but that’s no excuse for shoddy images
Headers and images will be scanned before people start reading your blog in detail. Make sure they stand out and are engaging.

10) Have an ‘About You’ page
I’ve never been overly keen on blogs that use the first few posts as introductions. I’m going to say it like it is: it looks a little very amateur. Put your background on a separate page and use your first post to get straight to the point.

What do you think? Feeling inspired?

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If the cast of Friends joined Prime Time

20 Sep

This is brand new information!

Ok, I fooled you. It isn’t really. But, shame on you if you’ve missed the media banging on about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the first episode of Friends. It’s literally been everywhere!

And, not wanting to miss out, I’m going to give Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe some airtime of my own. No, it’s not a “20 things you didn’t know about Friends” blog. (Thank goodness, that feature idea has had more re-runs than the show itself).

No, I’m doing something much more industry focused. This, Prime Timers, is the definitive list of where I’d place the characters in my PR and marketing company.

Novel? Yes. Necessary? No. So, bear with me.

Joey – Reception
Imagine how happy you’d be if you rang up Prime Time HQ and were greeted with a friendly ‘how you doing?’

Joey is very much a people person and I’d want to exploit that on the front desk. He also knows how to act (I’m confident about that). So, if a client was getting pushy about why they were being kept waiting in the lobby (because we were obviously putting the finishing touches to our pitch presentation), he’d be able to devise a ‘believable’ cover story.

Note to self: Joey must not be allowed to change the TV station in reception to Days of our Lives. It must remain on BBC News at all times.

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Rachel – New business
Rachel isn’t getting this job based on the efforts she displayed as a waitress at Central Perk. Because, quite frankly, she wasn’t very good. But, when she worked for Bloomingdale’s and, later, Ralph Lauren, she showed that she had an eye for emerging trends and was able to work effectively and efficiently with models, suppliers and buyers. This is perfect for identifying new clients and securing briefs.

Note to self: Don’t allow her to recruit an attractive PA; it stunts her productivity.

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Ross – Research
Some might find this role boring but, with Ross’ scientific approach to problem-solving, he’d be great. Tasked with researching markets and ideas and pulling together competitor reports, he’d be able to justify all of our PR moves to clients with hard facts and figures.

Note to self: Don’t allow him to take breaks during office hours. It gets him into trouble and brings up bad memories for Rachel.

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Phoebe – Marketing
Imagine Phoebe heading up a brainstorm – she’d be brilliant. To create award-winning campaigns, every idea needs to be explored.

As they say, no idea is a bad idea in a brainstorm. And Phoebe would be able to bring the best out in her team by not limiting creativity – due to budgets, timings and resource – at the first hurdle. Even if clients don’t opt for those big ideas, it’s important they know we’re capable of producing them.

Note to self: Always ask her a secret question that only she’d know the answer to, to check her twin sister isn’t doing her job for her.

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Chandler – Social media
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why isn’t Chandler in advertising?’ He did a great job in the show’. I’m telling you, he didn’t. Slogans and jingles are one thing, but clients expect substance and strategy behind their new product launches. I’d want to harness Chandler’s wit on social media – encouraging him to engage with consumers, start topical conversations and conduct focus groups – giving us, and our clients, the edge.

Note to self: Ensure he wears a name badge at all times, so people know exactly who he is in the office.

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Monica – PR
Monica gets what she wants, always. She’s fierce, competitive and knows how to play the game. From writing impactful features and interviewing powerful case studies to selling-in stories and securing coverage, she’d be a PR machine.

Note to self: Leave a note to the cleaners to ensure her desk is thoroughly cleaned each evening.

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So, there you have it. An all-star agency dream team.

Do you agree with my recruitment decisions, or would you make some internal shuffles?

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A perfect World Cup tweet gone wrong

18 Jun

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I’ve decided that when Taylor Swift first sang the words ‘I knew you were trouble when you walked in’ she was talking about one of two things: 1D’s Harry Styles or the perils of social media.

Social media is a bear trap for brands and the latest honey to lure them in is the World Cup. Put simply, if a tweet misses the net the person behind the shot will end up paying the price.

Playing the hand you’re Delta
On Monday night Delta Airlines decided to keep its 690,000+ followers updated on the final score of the USA (2) vs Ghana (1) match with this tweet.

20140618-103129.jpgAn ignorant stereotype
On the outside this looks like a great tweet. It’s factual, engaging and makes the most of iconic photography.

Look a little closer and you’ll see that it was all going so well until the company decided that the photo that best defined Ghana was a giraffe.

Moments later, experts quickly pointed out that giraffes don’t live in Ghana (If you didn’t already know this go straight to jail. Do not pass go and do not collect £200.)

In fact, with a bit of digging the experts discovered that this stock image had Kenya written all over it. (Well, you know what I mean.) So, there’s no reason, or excuse, for the Delta team to have got this one wrong.

Not only does it make the brand look a little unworldly – believe me for a travel company that’s not the adjective you want to be associated with – but also a little uncaring.

Cue the apology
To right its wrong, Delta did the only thing it could do in this situation: issue a public apology.

But, I can only imagine that its community manager was trembling with fear because it added an unnecessary step to its sorry note. It made a typo by referring to its ‘precious’ tweet (opposed to previous).

20140618-114716.jpgI’ve previously said that if a link between a brand and an event isn’t obvious then they shouldn’t be wading into the conversation at all.

Global events, like the World Cup, are not only notoriously difficult to generate cut-through, but when brands do get noticed it’s often because a mistake’s been made.

Destroying the evidence
Not that you’d ever know Delta had been issued a yellow card. The offending image has disappeared from the timeline and the airline has spent the last day ‘doing a Sainsbury’s‘ by directly apologising to its critics.

Perhaps I’m not giving Delta enough credit. It may have been completely in control of this risky stunt. But, it’s not one that I’d ever recommend.

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