Please Update Your RSS Feed

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve moved my blog and wrote about changes in the air. To continue receiving updated posts, please update your RSS feed to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PRMM.

Posts that you’ve missed?

  • PR is So Easy that a Caveman Can Do It
  • PRMM Interview with Miguel Arias of Imaste on Virtual Events and Future Developments
  • Does Size Matter with Virtual Events?
  • WITI Summit: Summary of Social Media, Cloud and Mobility Sessions
  • WITI Summit: Summary of Keynotes
  • Using Social Media to Drive Virtual Tradeshow Leads

Read the new posts now!

Change is in the Air

It’s an exciting time. Summer is over and the smell of Fall is in the air. It’s the perfect time to announce some exciting changes.

PR Meets Marketing is Moving

For the past 3.5 years, I’ve hosted my website on WordPress.com. While there are many benefits to keeping my blog here, I’ve decided that hosting my own website provides more flexibility with regard to plugins, themes and monetization. After today, all future posts will be on my new website as PR Meets Marketing.

Clear Focus

When I first started PR Meets Marketing, my intent was to write about the intersection of PR and marketing. This includes highlighting how PR is an integral way to drive tangible results that address marketing objectives. I’ve also written extensively about social media and virtual events/meetings.

With the new website, I plan to further explore these topics and understand how each – PR, marketing, social media and virtual events – drives business results that matter.

What Now?

I’m excited with the next stage of PR Meets Marketing and the opportunities this presents. I look forward to exploring the intersection of PR and marketing for more years to come!

Thanks To All My Readers

And finally, I want to thank everyone who’s read my blog, commented and linked to my blog. Without all your kind words, I wouldn’t have had the motivation to continue writing all these years.

So are you ready to join the journey?

  • Subscribe to the new feed here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/PRMM
  • If you prefer to receive this via email, I don’t plan to move the current list and request that you resubscribe on the website.
  • If you’ve been kind enough to link to this website, please update it here: PR Meets Marketing, http://www.prmeetsmarketing.com.

I look forward to reading your comments, feedback and questions. Thanks!

Crisis Communication – San Bruno Fire

via flickr by achesonblog

At approximately 6:15 pm, we now know a huge gas explosion occured in San Bruno.  First, please take a moment to send positive thoughts to the residents and families of the homeowners. If you live in the Bay Area and can give blood, they are requesting O-negative (assuming any and all blood types will be welcomed) and can find locations via the Blood Centers of the Pacific website.

Like the BP oil spill, the confusion around such an explosion is understandable. What perplexed me was an on-air phone interview with a PG&E spokesperson. When the reporter inquired if the gas line was PG&E’s, the spokesperson purposely didn’t answer the question.

Since crisis communications on this level isn’t my core expertise, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on how one would handle a situation like this.  Here are my initial thoughts:

1. Express Sympathy: The spokesperson did communicate that the company’s thoughts were with the families of this tragedy. This was a good sign, demonstrating the company’s empathy with the victims.

2. Answer the Questions: I recognize that PG&E may face legal action once everything is sorted out over the next few days. But by not answering a direct question regarding “was this a PG&E gas line?”, PG&E seemed to be more concerned about evading responsibility. Maybe a better response would have been “At this time, our concern is with the families and we are working with the authorities to ensure that the immediate danger has passed.”

Update (9/9/10, 10:19 pm): Per an email sent to news outlet (source: CBS 5 News), PG&E acknowledges that the gas pipeline was the company’s and plans to take full responsibility if it’s found to be the company’s fault. Nothing on PG&E’s website at this time.

3. Provide Valuable Information: In a 24/7 news cycle, news outlets are seeking to get information out as quickly as possible and companies are seeking to minimize potential risk. With that said, the interview seemed to be premature. The spokesperson didn’t seem well-prepared and didn’t provide tangible information. Rather, there was (still is) an opportunity for PG&E to discuss the steps they are taking to bring power back to the area.

4. Give Back to the Community: There is a great need for the families displaced by this crisis. While there needs to be a balance, PG&E can demonstrate its corporate care by donating to shelters, relief organizations, and supporting a blood drive amongst employees.

Again, thoughts are with the families and victims.

Update (9/10/10): Last night, the President of PG&E did a press conference around 11:30 pm at night. Unlike the spokesperson earlier, the president was prepped and repeated three messages: 1) ongoing investigation so cannot speculate, 2) working to make the area safe and 3) thoughts are with the families and if this is PG&E’s responsibility, they will “make it right”. While short on detail, these statements addressed my points above.

Recent Twitter Update and Implications for Marketing

September 1, 2010, Twitter sent an email to users regarding two new updates to its service. I found the update about moving to t.co URL wrapping intriguing, especially this sentence:

When you click on these links from Twitter.com or a Twitter application, Twitter will log that click. We hope to use this data to provide better and more relevant content to you over time.

This signals more than providing protection against malicious content (which is important) and to provide better content for users. Rather, by “logging the click,” I see this as part of Twitter’s continued efforts to provide value-added services and data tracking for corporations:

  • Measurement and Analytics: The click-through rate will help with Twitter’s “Resonance” rating. While the resonance rating is part of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets campaign, there is value to provide companies – small, medium and large – access to this data, similar to a Google Analytics dashboard. Maybe Twitter can provide an entry-level offering with minimal information and then charge for for more analytics and optimization options.
  • Content Creation: One type of intelligence is understanding how your audience consumes and distributes the content. By analyzing these patterns, you can gain insight into the types of content that your audience is seeking. You can then develop a content strategy to reach and connect with your tareted audience segments.
  • Influencer Relations: By combining Twitter’s retweet information with the t.co click-through data, you can better identify influencers within your social graph. These would be individuals whose followers not only retweet content but also takes action via click-through information. 

Conclusions

I’m curious to see what future developments will be introduced (or maybe acquired) by Twitter to enable individual and corporate brands to optimize their presence on Twitter. And whether or not these services are complimentary or competitive to companies like Radian6.  What do you think? Anything I’m missing?

Meet Up at Upcoming Conferences

WITI and SocialTech LogosI always look forward to meeting people at conferences. I plan to be attending these two upcoming conferences. Drop me an email if you’re interested in connecting.

WITI’s Women and Technology Summit, September 12-14, 2010 – San jose Doubletree Hotel – I will be attending on the 13th and 14th. The conference brings together top technology leaders to discuss strategy and growth.

SocialTech 2010, October 26, 2010, San Jose Doubletree Hotel – This conference looks like it will be a powerhouse of speakers discussing how to leverage social media for B2B.

Look forward to seeing you in San Jose.

Geolocation Services for B2B

Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla CollageWith the introduction of Facebook Places, geolocation-based services are about to hit the mainstream. Rather than focus on the news or consumer uses, I want to look at the potential of such services for business-to-business customer marketing.

MarketingSherpa recently wrote about an iPhone app developed by Morrison & Foerster LLP (subscription required shortly). This app allows you to browse bios, get directions to a local office, get news and even play a game. I suspect that one of the main objectives for the company’s “MoFo2Go” is to increase customer loyalty and referrals.

Now imagine if you take this type of app to the next level, enabling customers and employees to proactively share their geographic locations with one another. You’ve created a mobile community where customers and prospects can search, find and connect with others located near them.

And if they are able to preview information, such as company title or industry, they can reach out to your subject matter experts to resolve an issue or get feedback on the company and products. Almost anytime, anywhere.

The potential benefits of such services are:

  • Customer retention: Provides an alternative channel for customers to resolve issues, leading to happier customers
  • Customer referrals: With happy customers, they will be open to sharing the app to their colleagues and industry peers
  • Customer engagement: With the potential for real-time feedback and support, you are increasing engagement not only with your company brand but also with evangelists within your company

Conclusions

While the potential for geolocation-based services is just being uncovered, I anticipate that early adopters like Morrison & Foerster will demonstrate that the risk is worth it to increase customer retention, loyalty and ultimately engagement.

What other ways can geolocation be used?

Rebuilding a Personal Brand is Hard Work

At the beginning of last year, my personal brand was just beginning to take off. I had written a couple of posts, such as this one,that generated a lot of attention. I was even asked to be a guest on the Media Bullseye podcast and to write a byline for Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Magazine.

Just as the momentum was gaining speed, I put on the brakes, pouring my time and energy into my work.  My personal brand became more intertwined with the work I did on behalf of my company vs my original intent of providing thoughts on how public relations and marketing come together.

As I take a step back, here are some lessons learned as I rebuild my personal brand:

  • Engage online: My goal is to participate in at least one online conversation each day, excluding weekends. This will drive me to comment on relevant blogs, share my knowledge via LinkedIn answers or meet new people via Twitter.
  • Write on my blog: The writing on my blog has been quite irregular over the past year and a half. My goal is to write at least one post a day. By sharing my thoughts, I hope to engage with existing readers and further expand my online network of friends.
  • Balance work with personal: This is a  biggie. I have to do a better job of balancing my work “brand” with that of my personal one. While part of my job is to build awareness for any company I’m working with, I have to consciously participate as part of my personal brand too. In turn, this will help any company by building credibility in my personal brand.

Conclusions

In the end, it’s easier to build and maintain a personal brand than to rebuild one. In the former, you’re delivering a consistent experience and expectation. Once you discontinue that, it’s difficult to regain that type of momentum – and in a way – trust with your audience. So, what do you think? Did my personal brand diminish over the past few months or only get better like fine wine? And what tips do you have for building and maintaining your personal brand?