Content Marketing for Dummies

Content marketing is all the rage these days. It's the reason why you see a lot "five reasons to", "35 resources you might have missed" type of posts. I don't like them. However, I'm fond of simple writing and sharing of ideas that's digestible for those of you that read my blog. So I figured I'd put together a quick content marketing for dummies post that may or may not be useful. 

Red Sox Pushing Hard on the Public Relations Front

Chicken and beer. September collapse. The firing of Terry Francona. The hiring and eventul firing of Bobby Valentine. 

Since the 2007 World Series Championship season, the Red Sox have been in shambles. The team is more of a side attraction to what is Fenway Park, the amusement park that the owners are selling more than the product on the team.

Fans are fed up as season ticket sales are down. The team is on the bottom wrung of fandom in Boston.

Queue the public relations onslaught.

Remembering a Mentor: Peter A. Morrissey

Tonight I learned that a mentor from early on in my career passed away.

Peter A. Morrissey, president and CEO of Morrissey & Company Public Relations in Boston, was a well-respected PR counselor in the Greater Boston area. His name carries weight in town and especially in the PR world.

I was employee number six of Morrissey & Company. It was during the dotcom phase when securing media coverage was as easy as a quick phone call (ad revenue was aplenty back then) and the web was exploding.

We had some great clients and some dog clients. Regardless, we treated each of the accounts with the utmost care and dedication because that's what Peter asked of us.

Dear PR Types, Please Don't Be Robots

Rukiddingme 1

I receive anywhere between 100-150 pitches a day for my role at Technorati (exec editor). I also receive a slew of others for me to write content for Wired's GeekDad blog, Every Other Thursday as well as this blog.

About 90 percent of it is fluff. While it might be a subject that I'm interested in, there's really no meat to it. Those are pitches I'll hold on to and get to at some point. Most of the people that pitch me don't know from a hole in a wall. Some try and build relationships with me, which I totally appreciate and get (as a PR guy myself).

Others, however, like to spray and pray, i.e. blast out a bunch of pitches, hoping something -- anything -- sticks.

Check out the photo I posted. This is a shot of my Technorati inbox with the same pitch, from the same person, about roughly the same thing. I usually would let this slide, but I had to call this particular person out. I emailed her and said, thanks, but as you can see from the attached image, I'm going to pass because you didn't care to pitch me. You spammed me.

So Dear PR, please get your act together. Do your homework. Build relationships. Take pride in what you pitch. Represent your clients in a way that shines a positive light on them as well as your agency. It's really not brain surgery, but there is a science to it.

Managing Your Social Content

I read constantly. News websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. When it comes to the social web, I realize that I can'y catch everything, yet it's my job to keep on top of the trends, news, new services, apps, etc.  Some ask, "How the heck do you keep up with it all?"

The answer is simplicity.

I keep things simple  because there are many ways you can slice and dice what's important to you in terms of content. There's content that's important to you personally as well as professionally. And as many of you know, there's LOADS of it.

So how do I keep things simple and keep it organized?

Well, I first break down content into three categories:

Social Content Venn Diagram


Clients Choose Us. We Don't Choose Clients.

I'm watching Mad Men and the boys are going after the Honda business. Of course, one of the partners -- who fought in the war -- doesn't want to work with Japanese. This of course, doesn't make sense but that's another topic for another day.

What his story line reminds me of is the fact that in PR, we typically don't get to choose our clients. We go where the budgets are.

However, when stars align and work comes in the door that's of the nature that you really want to work on, it's a win win situation. Of course, for me, that work would be for a sports team or say doing PR for Apple or Google.

In the end though, enjoying what you do is important and sometimes you have to put aside petty feelings and ignorant beliefs for the greater good.

What the Vocus Acquisition of HARO Means for PR Pros

Mashable is reporting that Vocus, a developer of software for the public relations industry, will acquire Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the wildly popular service that connects journalists with sources.

HARO, which started out as a Facebook group, quickly surged to be a fantastic resource for both PR professionals and journalists. The service caught on quickly because it is free for both journalists and PR types, whereas the leader in the space, Profnet, is subscription based.

Influencers are the Media

Influencers are the new mediaIf you've ever worked in the PR, marketing or advertising business, you know that the media industry isn't the same as it used to be. Yes, everyone knows about newspapers closing, smaller staffs and dwindling advertisers numbers.

However, when you work in the business, there is a noticeable dynamic shift in the value placed on media coverage by both clients and agencies.

I'll admit, securing a positive piece in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe or a trade magazine gets clients excited still. Afterall, those are top tier publications. However, do "clips," as they called in the business, really move the needle? Do they help sell product or service?

Combating Negativity in Social Media

Sometimes you have to put in your boots; somtimes you dont.As PR professionals, we’re trained to think about worst case scenarios and are continually learning and testing strategies and tactics that will help our clients address any crisis situation -- no matter how severe the facts and brand risks may be.

While some of the tactics we employ are just as viable today as they were 10 years ago, including strong, clear messaging, other tactics aren’t, such as relying on traditional media to tell your story.

As counselors, we have to be on our toes more than ever today because of the share of voice and influence that social media channels can create on any given day, at any given time and around any given issue.

Take what’s happening to Nestle for example.