Author Archives: Victoria Harres

Twitter, Social Media and PR: Stats & Tactics

Lisa Buyer, Sean Jackson, Sarah Evans, Victoria Harres PR Newswire social media pubcon

The PubCon PR panel: (l-r) Lisa Buyer, Sean Jackson, Sarah Evans, Victoria Harres

Last week I was on a panel at PubCon Las Vegas 2010, “Twitter and Social Media from the PR Experts,” with some top-of-their-game folks: Sean Jackson of CopyBlogger Media, Lisa Buyer of the Buyer Group, and Sarah Evans of Sevans Strategy. None of us had connected before-hand on what we were each presenting and only the night before asked, but as it turned out (thanks to sheer luck) our presentations complimented each other so well that we’ve sworn we’re going to do a world tour with this panel. Stay tuned.  My passport is ready.

Here are some key stats and tactics from each presentation:

Sarah discussed how to identify story opportunities via social media and what to do with them. She told us how some quick and clever thinking when she was awakened by an earthquake in Chicago led to having her name and business mentioned in the New York Times. And it all started with some tweets. Sarah said, “We are all news producers now.” Her presentation told the story in images.

Sean gave us tons of statistics illustrating that the more successful Twitter accounts, like @Mashable, tweet mostly original content and very little @replies and retweets. He said that “Content matters. A steady stream of Twitter content is more important than follower interaction via @ replies.”

Mashable has about 3% @replies and 1% RTs. Interestingly, Chris Brogan’s hugely successful Twitter account does the opposite, he posts more than 60% @replies.

Lisa spoke of Twitter being your PR feed. She said to take your press release and “break it up:  quotes, stats, top news line, and link it back to the full press release on your site.”  Your tweets need to be part of your content strategy, she continued, and optimized with strategic keywords that can be picked up by Google and Bing.

As for me, I spoke about media relations and team tweeting for a brand. A key fact gathered by the PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey 2010: 58% of journalists have Twitter accounts, and they are using it to do research. Think of this as an opportunity to put your best foot forward and build relationships.

Find journalists and bloggers who write on topics you are interested in and follow their Twitter feeds, read the content they are talking about (especially articles they themselves wrote) and get a good understanding of their interests. Comment on their work. Offer tips when you can, but it certainly ‘should not’ always benefit you. When something you are promoting does fit their needs, you won’t be a stranger, you’ll be a trusted source.

Which brings us to team tweeting. At some point, most brands will have to address this as their Twitter accounts grow in following and function. Choose the right people who bring different perspectives and talents together and make sure everyone understands their role and the strategy clearly.

Think of your Twitter account as a publication. Each team member is an editor and someone should certainly be designated as publisher. The publisher makes sure that everyone stays on target with the overall strategy and can make critical decisions on handling potentially sensitive situations.

Each editor should have their own beat as it concerns content. @PRNewswire is a magazine to us. We provide content that we know our audience is interested in and we don’t veer into content that isn’t part of our editorial strategy. Each team member is clear on what their contribution to the overall content is.

For us, @PRNewswire is an opportunity to share valuable content and information, do media relations, interact with our clients and build community.

Authored by Victoria Harres, director of audience development for PR Newswire.

Don’t Call Us Daddy Bloggers

Dad bloggers at BlogWorld 2010

The panel of dad bloggers from BlogWorld 2010. From left, Jim Turner, Brad Powell, C.C. Chapman, and Craig J. Heimbuch.

I found myself in a predicament at BlogWorld LV 2010. The “mommy” bloggers and the “daddy” bloggers were speaking at the same time. I wanted to hear from both sides of the parental blogosphere.

Alas, I had to make a choice.

I picked the lesser known and understood dad bloggers and felt slightly like a child forced to choose a side. Apparently, most people went with mom. I don’t think there were more than 20 people in the room for dads.

I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

It was half way into the daddy panel discussion that I began looking around the room. “All the brands not here listening right now, just made a huge mistake,” I thought.

2011 will be the year of the Dad bloggers!

I’m not making that up. Dad Brad Powell said it. And please note in the photo above, Powell looks like he’s very well in touch with his mom side and probably could have fit in on either panel. He was actually making a statement about how brands normally treat dad bloggers.

So what do brands need to know about dad bloggers?

  • Don’t call them “daddy bloggers.” According to Powell, they are “dad content creators.”  Craig J. Heimbuch added that “Dad bloggers write about anything…from a dad perspective.”
  • Don’t put them in your “mommy blogger” list and send out a blast email that starts with “Hey gals!”
  • Do read their blogs.
  • Do email them individually, call them by their name, and understand what each blogger writes about. Have an angle for your story that fits their interests.

Dad blogger C.C. Chapman said that if your email has any of the following in the subject line, it will not be read. The others agreed, and now we all know what to avoid:

  • Media Alert
  • Immediate Release
  • Urgent

An audience member with a very well known brand asked the dads about the best method to add contacts to her daddy blogger list.

I winced in pain for her. For a moment, you could have heard a pin drop.

Then everyone jumped in at once. The general consensus: Never say you are building a database or list of daddy bloggers (the same goes for other bloggers and journalists, by the way). Everyone’s fear, of course, is an inbox full of “Hey gals” emails.

I was surprised by the heartfelt stories shared by men in the audience who also blog and are dads and who feel they don’t get respect for putting their roles as family-men first. It’s easily accepted, and truly expected from moms, but dads are supposed to be out earning the big bucks, coming home late, and having time for the kids only on Saturday afternoon.

Brands mostly haven’t picked up on the fact that this is a different era.

Advertisers still target women with household products, and make men look naive about how the household functions.

Not that all dad bloggers are the primary caretakers of the home, but we have to realize that we are living in an age when many dads ‘choose’ to be the stay-at-home partner, working from home, doing the laundry, and making sure the kids get to soccer practice. It’s a choice many families make.

Blogger Jim Turner said he has confessed to peers on business calls that he was folding the laundry while they talked. Sometimes someone, another man, will ask him a laundry question and Turner isn’t shy about sharing his experience with products.

So what’s a brand to do?

Start by following the dad bloggers from this panel:  C.C. ChapmanDigital DadsJim Turner, Genuine BlogBrad PowelDad Labs; and Craig J. Heimbuch/Man of the House. Read their blogs and watch their videos. Get to know them.  Join their discussions.  Then, check out the other dad bloggers in their communities. Finally, please remember to target your stories carefully and conscientiously.

This is the season of the dad.

Authored by Victoria Harres, director, audience development, PR Newswire