Posts Tagged ‘marketing communications’

Do You Twitter?

August 31, 2008

I’ve been on the micro-blogging site Twitter for a few months. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Twitter allows you to stay in touch by sending short messages that can be no longer than 140 characters. I joined after learning that a growing number of journalists were using the site to post story updates and field story pitches. Since I’m in the marketing communications arena, I felt that Twitter was another way for me to stay in the game.

So far, I love it. I log in several times a day and send messages, called Tweets, about a range of topics. What’s also great is that I can follow and communicate with thought leaders in a variety of industries; get a quick check of news headlines; and talk with family and friends. You also can restrict your page and just follow a select group of people. No matter your choice, what’s impressive is that these short bursts of messages are an avenue to build community.

In light of the developing hurricane in the Gulf Coast, a number of people and media outlets are using Twitter to provide storm updates. CNN reporter Rick Sanchez even asked residents in the Gulf Coast to send him updates on Twitter during a newscast and read their Tweets live on the air.

Twitter as a public service tool is just one illustration of the uses for this platform that extend beyond the type of product or service being offered. To give you an example, if I were a representative from a church or school, I would use Twitter as a communications vehicle. Can you imagine the benefits of parents following their child’s teacher (and each other) on Twitter, connecting their resources and discussing ways to provide a better learning experience for students? How about a pastor being able to communicate with congregants and congregants with each other throughout the week?

Companies also are using Twitter to promote products and services and to extend their customer service reach by responding to comments (found by a Twitter search tool called a Tweet Scan) referencing their organizations – good or bad. You can see examples of how businesses are using Twitter on the pages of http://twitter.com/msgreen; http://twitter.com/comcastcares; http://twitter.com/wholefoods; http://twitter.com/delloutlet.

There are a lot of social networking platforms on the market and every vehicle isn’t made for every person or business. Instead of Twitter, you might be more drawn to MySpace, Facebook, blogging, or use multiple platforms at once. Do whatever works best for your needs, and of course, presents the best opportunity to build community.

If you do decide to join Twitter, or you’re already on, feel free to follow me via @KristinaBrandy. I’ll connect with you as well. That’s what it’s all about.

————————
About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; advertising planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and, writing services.

Related Topics:

  1. Entering The Social Media Groundswell
  2. The Secret To Ron Paul’s Video Success

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

What To Ask A Reporter At A Lunch Meeting

June 29, 2008

My public relations professor in college always said that public relations is about “human relations,” which simply is the ability to connect with people. Although this isn’t brain surgery, what can sometimes get lost in the fray as we’re tying to tell our story is that reporters are people we need to connect with, too.

One of the best things that businesses of all sizes can do is develop a relationship with the reporter who covers the area they operate in. One sure-fire way to accomplish this is to invite your beat reporter for a quick lunch meeting. If the thought of this has you shaking in your boots, here are a few questions you can use to break the ice:

  1. Tell me about your beat: There’s nothing a reporter hates more than being spammed with press releases and story pitches that have nothing to do with what they cover. Use your meeting to get a clear picture of the reporter’s beat and story preferences.
  2. How do you like to receive information: Email is the contact preference for most reporters. However, some may prefer fax or even snail mail. During a recent event for the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, one reporter shared that she’s partial to hand-written letters. Find out the reporter’s preference and deliver the information as requested.
  3. What’s the best time to contact you: All reporters work on deadlines, especially those at daily newspapers or TV stations. The deadlines for long-lead pubs like magazines vary. Find out what the reporters deadline is and don’t call during this day/time unless you have a great resource who can be used in a breaking news story.
  4. How can I help you: Don’t leave the table without learning how you can be a resource. Becoming a reliable resource is the best way to build and sustain your relationship with the media. Find out who he or she needs access to in your organization for interviews or send reports or trend stories that would be of interest just because. This will pay off in the long-run.

Public relations is all about relating to people. Reporters are an integral part of this equation. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and request a lunch meeting.

Bon Appétit!

————————
About Kristina Hill

An expert in marketing communications, Kristina Hill provides integrated marketing consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses through MarComm Creative Group, LLC. The business offers an array of services, including: public relations and media relations; advertising planning and placement; integrated marketing plan development and execution; and, writing services.

Related Topics:

  1. Tips For Avoiding The PR Spam Zone
  2. Search Engine Optimized Press Releases
  3. The Ever-Evolving Press Release
  4. Court the Press: Your Online News Room
  5. Add Video to Your Press Releases

What Should I do Next?
Add to: | blinklist | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz