5 Things You May Have Missed List!

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Happy Friday! We’re back with another list of weird, wonderful and wise findings from the Internet that you might have missed.

1.) Motorola Schools the iPhone: Well, it was only a matter of time before one of iPhone’s competitors decided to swing below the belt. Motorola gets a prize for being the first (but surely not the last) to kick Apple when it’s down. Motorola launched a “No Jacket Required” ad that references the free iPhone jackets Apple is giving out to help solve its antenna problems. Aside from the impeccable timing, what makes the ad list-worthy is its great copy: The ad cleverly reminds buyers that Motorola kind of invented this whole cell phone thing in the first place.

2.) The Debut of Kelly Canter: “The debut of whom?!” you ask. Kelly Canter is Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in a new film entitled Country Strong. A new country single with the same name as the film hit the airwaves this week. Promoters of the movie sent the single to country radio under Paltrow’s character’s name. Further news of the song was spread through the Kelly Canter Facebook page. The PR ploy worked and news as well as reviews of Paltrow’s song became a national topic in a matter of hours.

3.) Journalism on Facebook: AllFacebook.com ran a blog on 10 pages journalists should follow via Facebook. Sure, CBS and WSJ are here, but it’s cool that AllFacebook mentions Facebook’s own Media and PR pages, which can be great tools for journalists and marketers.

4.) New Tweeps to Follow: The esteemed Mayo Clinic, captain of the Enterprise William Shatner and the guy who killed hip hop as well as his own career (Kayne West) all joined Twitter this week, proving once again that the little bird is always entertaining. Plus each of these random new Tweeters is using the site to plug new products, conduct new studies or change public perception about their brand. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one is doing what.

5.) Online Inception Spoofs: When a movie like Inception – so dour yet so popular – has no sense of humor about itself, the Internet usually steps in to send it up properly. PopEater gathered the best of the best, but personally I’m a fan of the sweater within a sweater at Buzzfeed called Insweaption.

But that’s enough out of us. Tell us five things that rocked your world this week in the comments section below!

Social Media Walks the Red Carpet at Cannes

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Weary film festival junkies are finally at the halfway mark in Cannes. But much like the parties on yachts, the marketing through social media at Cannes never stops.

Not one to miss an opportunity where booze and celebrities are so warmly welcomed, beer brewing company Stella Artois has launched a series of black and white films featuring the suave King of Cannes, Jacques D’Azur. In the films, the King of Cannes may be ruling in more

Blogs with Serious Power

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Company blogs for businesses big and small are a pretty instant way to combat tough criticism while talking directly to your audience. From Kodak to Martha Stewart, we’ve seen blogs help reinvent brands that had previously been through the wringer.

So the ultimate endorsement for company blogging came this week when the White House released a 6,200 word blog defending their response to the April 20th explosion and more

A picture is worth 140 characters or less

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Do you ever wonder the effect twitter is having on the way we communicate? Speaking in Tweets can sometimes be confusing and obtuse. But in the case of the Museum of Modern Tweets, the result is an entertaining look at what happens when you take the tweets of a weblebrity and illustrate it for the world to see. The Tweet Museum is the brain child of Odessa Begay and more

The online brand building wheel.

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If you’re a savvy digital marketer, it’s not enough to have a great website. That’s a given. The name of the game today is expanding your reach beyond your main site. If you start to think of your main site as a hub, and other digital assets like Facebook fan pages, blogs, email campaigns, etc. as spokes or offshoots from the hub, then you’re on the right track. Like a spoke, the additional digital property should be robust enough to support the hub, or your main site. The more spokes you have, the more marketing muscle. If you think of it, digital assets like Facebook and Twitter can cross-over in many areas thus offering a double-whammie. For example, you can automatically send your tweets to your Facebook fan site to keep your fans in the loop. You can also take content like blog entries and post them on your facebook site. In effect, your spokes are can and should cross each other to add support to your hub. Why do this? Here are a couple of reasons:

1) Multiple Entry Points. Some people are on Facebook all day long and consider Twitter a waste of time. The converse is true too. So why limit yourself to one or the other? By spreading your content across multiple platforms, you make it easier for people to interact with your brand.

2) Spreadable Content. If you have a great blog post, why not share it with your closest followers on Twitter or Facebook. Be careful though, you don’t want to bombard your friends with shameless self promotion. As long as your content is good enough, people will be open to a link to your blog. So spread away.

3) Cross-Promote. Let’s say you just created a great YouTube video about the latest widget your company just created on a shoe string budget. Why just use the YouTube platform to promote it? Announcing your opus on Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc., may expose your video to an entirely new audience that would have never come across it. It’s a no brainer.

Having your content spread across multiple platforms can help SEO and can make it easier for people to find you. It can also establish a lasting digital footprint across the web and on search engines. As long as you are creating killer content, why not roll it out in more than one way. Get it? Roll it out. Wheel. Never mind.

Live blogging media of choice for timely news

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Yesterday the Google Android phone, named Google Nexus One, was unveiled to a drooling public. In the days of yore, a press conference would be the only way to get the skinny on new products and services, or, at a trade show. But in the age of the intertubes, anyone can get up-to-date information by tuning into any number of online outlets. Many of us who were following the event chose to check out live blogging sites. Live blogging is the process of taking notes, photos, audio recordings, video etc., at an event and quickly posting it up to your blog as the event unfolds. Many companies hire blog content writers or reporters to do this for them so they can focus on the event. Some examples of live blogging are the Matt Cutts live blog and the one I followed on TechCrunch. Live blogging can be a great way to widen your audience when unveiling a new product or service or when your company is having an event. If you want to get really fancy, consider doing a live video-stream so that you can point a camera at your event and broadcast it across the world instantly. Live video-streaming can be costly, because you have to have massive server space and there are technical issues when streaming live data. In fact, I was viewing a live stream (I won’t mention the name here) of the Nexus One event and it went down due pressure put on the server. But live blogging costs nothing but time and having someone who can type fast and report on the event in an interesting way. Live blogging is a great solution for any size company looking to shine the spotlight on new wares or services. Have you ever used live blogging to report on your company events?

Ten reasons to start a company blog.

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When blogging first came on the scene it got a lot of flack as being a useless mouthpiece for individuals that had nothing better to do. But time has proven blogs to be useful resources for individuals and businesses. Now more than ever, blogging offers powerful benefits for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. So as a business, why should you blog? Here is

1. Establishes you as an expert in your field. When you write on a regular basis about what you know, you can’t help but deliver what you know about your business. You may take it for granted that your manufacturing technique for making widgets is unparalleled. A blog can be a great platform to educate potential customers about your expertise.

2. Gives your brand a voice. A blog is like a story. Every company has one. By offering up an inside look into your day-to-day operations, you are able to humanize your brand in a way that you really couldn’t do in a brochure, television commercial or print ad.

3. Content enhances SEO. While you may have a great SEO or SEM strategy in place, great content updated on a daily basis can really help make your company more findable on the internet. The more content you write that utilizes strategic keywords related to your business, the better your chances are ranking higher on the SERPs for those keywords.

4. A chance to connect with other industry specialists. Many bloggers start off as lone writers, but find there’s a larger community of bloggers out there writing on similar subjects. Tapping into this community by commenting on other blogs can offer relationships that would not otherwise be available.

5. A chance to initiate a two-way conversation. A good blog invites conversation with the outside world. This affords you the opportunity to get first hand market research on how your company is doing, what you can do better and what your customers think about your brand.

6. Link Juice. Getting other related sites to link back to you can help with SEO. If you are a shoe manufacturer, you may want to link to sports related sites to further legitimize your site with the major search engines.

7. Incubate new ideas. Good bloggers ask their audience for their advice on any given subject matter. Or better yet, you can use a blog to crowd source new ideas for products or services. You already have the attention of an audience that is clearly interested in your brand. Why not let them take part in create it with you?

8. Instant feedback. Blogs can be used to beta test new products or services to fans of your blog. By collecting data on who is following your posts, you can reach out to people interested in your brand instantly with an email or a direct invitation right on your blog. In the past, companies would have to hire special focus group companies to find potential customers and gain valuable market research information after an interview. Blogging can help you bypass all that.

9. Self-promote. OK, this one may be obvious. But you really don’t need to hard-sell anyone with a blog. The mere fact that you are offering up content related to your industry will put you on the map. Blogging great content on a regular basis will keep people coming back for more.

10. It helps you focus. Blogging forces you to focus your ideas and to really evaluate why your brand is unique. Do this on a daily basis, and you won’t be able to help but hone in on your company’s unique selling point.

If you have a company and you don’t have a blog, you may want to consider getting one up and running. If you don’t have the resources or time to create or manage a blog, you may want to consider hiring a company like Brandsplat to handle it for you. Either way, blogging can offer lots of great benefits for any size company.

7 tips for social media PR

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Old school press releases follow a standardized template: write a catchy headline, get the five W’s and one H in your release (the who, what, why, where, when and how), include some good quotes, and at the end of your release, don’t forget to put in the about us and contact information. OK, maybe I’m simplifying it a bit, but most press releases of yesteryear follow the same format more or less.

While some of the old rules still apply, it’s a whole new digital world out there. Social media has changed the landscape for getting the word out on newsworthy stories. Because the Internet has made the world of finding information super easy, you will need to follow some digital guidelines if you want to get your press release noticed by publishers, editors, reporters and bloggers. If you already know how to use social media to promote yourself, you’re in good shape. Below are some tips to help get you ahead of the game:

1. RESEARCH. Research appropriate keywords and create a list. The internet works on indexed words and topics. You want to include words and phrases you think someone who is searching for similar information found in your press release will come across. There are a whole slew of free services that can help you determine which keywords might be best for your press release. I am a big fan of Google Adwords, but find what works best for you.

2. KEYWORDS. Put your juiciest keywords in your title without sacrificing a catchy line. Put yourself in your audiences shoes and write a headline that will attract their interest without sounding like you stuffed the headline with a bunch of keywords. Remember, you have plenty of time to get more keywords into the body of your press release.

3. ASSETS. Put together a packet of digital assets. Once you’ve written your release, make sure you save it in a non-formatted standard like RTF (or Rich Text Format). This will make it easier for a publisher, reporter or editor to quickly post it in an HTML friendly site. You may also want to consider attaching other visual assets to your release like photos or videos. Publishers are always looking for visuals to accompany their content to give it more appeal. This makes the publishers job easier if they don’t have to go out and get assets on their own.

4. DISTRIBUTE. Distribute like crazy. There are a multitude of sites that offer distribution. Some are free and some you have to pay for. Which you use may depend on the subject matter, your audience or the geographic location you are targeting. Regardless, do your homework before choosing a press release service.

5. SELF-PROMOTE. Promote your own press release. Use Twitter, facebook, your blog, your main site, email and any other digital tool you can think of to get people interested in your story. Start with the audience you already have then work your way outward. Often times if you can get a large audience interested in your story, a publisher will be happy to pick it up.  Get it out there and create your own buzz.

6. NETWORK. Get in touch with editors via email or even by phone. This is a bit old school. Writing an email to an editor or writer is an art in itself. Be creative. don’t just forward the press release. Introduce yourself and pitch the story in a short, concise way. Tell them why your story would be of interest to them. Most people who are looking for content get tons of press release submissions a day. Figure out a way to stand out. Do your research before sending out an email blast of your press release. Make sure that your release is relevant to who you are sending it to.

7. AMAZING CONTENT. Be Amazing. Be original. Your press release must be newsworthy.  Ask yourself if you really have something that people will want to read about? Publishers, bloggers, reporters and editors all want the same thing; original content that will attract lots of readers. That means that the content has to be extraordinary. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and give the world something amazing.