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If the journalist vs. blogger debate hasn’t died yet, here’s some new fodder to either fuel it, or finally put it to rest. I say kudos to PR Newswire.

Here’s the skinny from PR Newswire:

NEW YORK, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — PR Newswire, the global leader of innovative marketing and communications solutions, today announced the launch of PR Newswire… for bloggers , a dedicated resource for self publishers, online journalists, hobbyists and other members of the ever-growing blogosphere.

PR Newswire… for bloggers features both original and third-party content relevant to a blogging audience, while also providing information about the range of services PR Newswire offers to bloggers, such as customized newsfeeds, listings of upcoming events, a news widget for websites and blogger media tour opportunities.

“PR Newswire recognizes the growing influence of bloggers and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to access the content, tools and information they need to develop their blogs and increase visibility,” said Thomas Hynes, manager, blogger relations, PR Newswire.  “PR Newswire…for bloggers is designed to be a one-stop shop, consolidating numerous resources into one comprehensive and easy-to-navigate space.”

Furthermore, each week, five new blogs are reviewed and profiled on the site. The compilation of blog reviews illustrates strong examples of blogging on a variety of subject matters. Currently, the site includes reviews of food, film and education blogs.  The chosen bloggers are also given a badge of recognition from PR Newswire to display on their site.

“There are so many great blogs out there – and that list grows daily,” said Hynes. “Our goal is to highlight some of those blogs we find interesting or influential – which ultimately comes down to engaging content.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of great blogs publishing just that so we shouldn’t run out of candidates any time soon.”

For more information on what PR Newswire is offering to bloggers, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/bloggers

This is a news release I just had to share. I am after all, a Detroit native.

DETROIT, April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A group of Detroit businesses are encouraging the more than 2,000 recently laid off Yahoo employees to consider bringing their talents to the Motor City.

Quicken Loans, Detroit Venture Partners, Rockbridge Growth Equity and Fathead.com are among the downtown Detroit-based companies interested in hiring hundreds of technology and marketing professionals formerly employed by Yahoo.

The group has created a website, www.ValleytoDetroit.com, for these technology and Internet marketing pros to upload their resumes.  The companies will immediately begin interviews and have committed to fly final candidates to Detroit to introduce them to the wide-range of established and start-up companies that have sprung up in the city’s emerging technology corridor over the past two years, creating the vibrant arts and entrepreneurial renaissance in Detroit that has gained the city national acclaim.

“Detroit is quickly emerging as one of the nation’s best kept secrets when it comes to technology, Internet and mobile-related jobs,” said Josh Linkner, CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, a Detroit-based high-tech venture capital fund.  “We know that there is a great deal of talent inside of Yahoo – especially in marketing and web development, and we’re encouraging those who have been impacted by job cuts to consider Detroit as the next stop in their career. Read the rest of this entry »

I am always on the lookout for interesting social media campaigns and initiatives.  I do this for two reasons: To fuel ideas for my work and motivate my team of social media practitioners, and to stay on top of how companies are integrating social media into their overall marketing and PR efforts to meet company goals.  Instead of keeping them all to myself, I am going to start sharing some of them here on my blog. Hopefully you will find some inspiration or at least gain fodder for new ideas.

So without further adieu, here is a list of three cool social media campaigns poised to generate buzz and a lot of attention (if they haven’t already.)

  1. Bounce Energy just launched a Facebook contest where one customer and a friend could win free electricity for a year! Now there’s an incentive to get involved. The contest launched yesterday and goes through April 30. To enter, Facebook users must “like” the page and fill out the entry form. Those who already “like” the page, are prompted to complete the form.You can see it for yourself, here.
  2. Urgent Animals at Fort Worth Animal Care and Control is a Facebook page that focuses on animals on the “E” list. The “E’ stands for euthanasia and through this Facebook page many of them have been  saved and found happy, loving homes. The mission of the page is to “give shelter animals extra exposure in hopes of getting them rescued or adopted.” According to a story in the Star-Telegram, about 1,000 dogs and cats have been saved through this Facebook page in the last year.
  3. The Toronto Street Food Project is a campaign with one mission: Bring better street food to Toronto! It’s mission is further clarified in a post on Torontoist.com as this: “to try to ease the by-laws that are suffocating the Toronto street food scene.” The campaign makes it easy for Toronto residents to put pressure on their “councillors” by selecting their names from a drop down menu and submitting a pre-written from letter.  The Twitter hashtag #streetfoodto is another  major component of the campaign, with more than 1,000 tweets last week alone.

Those are three campaigns I found interesting over the last week or so. If you’ve seen any others, do share them in the comments. If this idea takes off I may consider a bi-weekly or monthly series of noteworthy social media campaigns.

 

Facebook really wants us to populate that timeline, don’t they?

Upon logging in today, I found a prompt asking me to add information about my employer, including position and city. Not alarming, I know but still worth discussing. While many of my friends do include this information on Facebook, I do not. Nor do I want to. So I decided to select “skip.” I was then asked to enter my high school. I hit skip again and then received three more prompts in the event I’d be more prone to share one piece of information over the other.

Again, no harm done….but it made me think about things a bit more. How often will they prompt me to share this information? Will there be other methods? Will people feel compelled to do it simply because they’ve been asked? In some cases, yes. They’re counting on it.

Facebook is probably going to do everything in it’s power to encourage users to tell the story of their lives through this timeline. And I suppose that’s the smart thing to do. They’ve basically taken the information provided so far and done as much as they can to get it started, so why not complete it with your entire life story?

If this is something you want to do, by all means go ahead. But you can still make your own decisions and opt-out of sharing every event of your life, even if Facebook is pushing it and your profile looks better because of it.

I think we sometimes forget that all of this is optional. Yes, Facebook is rolling out Timeline for Brand Pages tomorrow and it is all everyone is talking about. But as an individual – don’t get caught up in the hype and start sharing things you otherwise would not.  A cool profile or pimped out timeline is no tradeoff for some semblance of privacy – IF – that’s what you want.

If not, post away. But remember, you always have a choice. Don’t let Facebook make you post content you don’t want to share.

I get it. They want Timeline to be a huge succees

Community managers are getting lazy. I think it’s because many who actually hold the title, aren’t really doing the job. On some level, it isn’t their fault. The people hiring them don’t know what they’re looking for and many are strictly numbers driven.

Success is measured in “likes” and ‘comments.” Job descriptions mention the growth of a Facebook or Twitter community, when there isn’t one in existence in the first place. Fans and followers do not constitute a community. But despite how I feel about that, which is all based on experience, the jobs are plenty and that is a good thing. But community management is an art and a craft that must be fostered and developed.

Real community managers know this. The others are simply  playing community managers on the internet.  And here’s how they operate. Here, I give you the five habits of highly ineffective community managers:

1. They are constantly asking users to help them reach specific milestones. You’ve seen it before: “Help us get to 5,000 fans,” “Like this post so we can beat our record of 90 likes on a single post,” Five more comments to reach 100, come on..post!”  Does this sound familiar? I know you’ve seen it. This is the absolute laziest way to grow a community. It’s all about numbers to the people who do this. I hate to even refer to them as community managers. They could care less about actual engagement. They’re just looking for bragging rights.

Read the rest of this entry »

This day of appreciation may not be on your radar, but it is certainly on mine. The brainchild of Jeremiah Owyang, this is a day that is near and dear to my heart and one that allows us to reflect on the hard work that goes into the craft. It is not a science, but an art and anyone who holds this role has my unwavering empathy and support.

I can’t remember a time when I felt more alone, under appreciated, but yet completely enthusiastic and exhilarated, than when I was the community  manager of GOLO, at WRAL.com.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you are quite familiar with the ups and downs I experienced launching and growing that online community from zero to more than 13,000 members and the heart ache that came along with it. If you read my book, “18 Rules of Community Engagement,” you probably know even more.

Community Management is tough and it takes real comittment to see it through. It is not a job for the faint of heart or those who lack motivation and drive.

I can go on and on about what it takes to be a successful community manager, and I’ve done so in the past in posts like these:

But that’s not what tomorrow is about. It’s about you. If you’re a community manager, pat yourself on the back. If you participate in online communities, say thank  you to the folks who put out the fires and keep it interesting. It isn’t as easy as it looks.

And if you have the time, check out the hashtag #CMAD. I’m sure it will be blowing up the twitterverse as very well it should.

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day to those on the frontline and deep in the trenches.I support you more than you will ever know.

Make it great.

 

It’s time.

Give it up.

Your heart was in the right place, but you didn’t do anything to support your effort.You thought that building the community was enough. You never hired anyone to manage it. You mistakenly believed that your brand was so amazing and beloved, that people would flock to your community to have all of these grand conversations.

It didn’t happen, and you still don’t know why, despite the fact that it was barely promoted, if at all. You didn’t engage.

You never posted interesting content.

The content you did post was never updated. Okay, you updated it twice. Sorry about that.

You deleted comments that made your company look bad, instead of seizing the opportunities to connect.

Just quit. You’re giving community a bad name. Besides, you’re too swamped anyway. But you knew that going in.

I started off with the intention of giving you five reasons to shut down your community, but ended up with more.

You get  the point. Make a change or shut it down. I’m over it. And so is everyone else.

Stop faking it.

Now please, have a great day.

 

When I started this post, I planned to provide a few tips for landing a job in social media in 2012, but I found myself heading in a different direction.

After all, sometimes the best advice on what to do, comes from focusing on what *not* to do. So here are my thoughts on what you should avoid during an interview, if you’re hoping to land a job ( a legitimate, good job that is) in social media.

If you do not want to get called back for a second interview, do any of the following, and I bet you won’t: Read the rest of this entry »

I was promoted at work last week.

I’ve been the Social Media Manager for just about two years and now bear the title: Vice President, Director of Social Media. To say that I’m excited about the future and the increased expectations that come with my role would be an understatement. I have a great team that’s growing, and some of the best colleagues I’ve had in my entire career.

When I shared the news in a Facebook status update, the likes and comments went through the roof.  It was amazing to see the out pour of well wishes from family and friends and people I’ve worked with dating back to 1996.

But despite this new title, I am nowhere near complacent. Nor do I feel like I’ve reached a mountaintop. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a milestone for me. But to think that there is such a thing  as “arriving” or making it to the top in an industry that changes almost overnight is a huge mistake.

If anything, I am even more challenged now to stay on top of changes and trends and make sure that I am providing the best guidance for my team, my co-workers and our clients. I have to groom others to do the same kinds of things that I’ve done and even more.

I have to provide value and work even harder on integration and proving the value of social business.

In my mind, this is the beginning. I know so many people looking to get in social media who feel like all they need is that one position with a well-known (or maybe even not-so-well-known ) brand to claim themselves an expert. But that’s not how it works. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you ever written community guidelines, or worked with someone to get them started? I’ve done both, and there is one word that often comes up: “irrelevance.”

Community managers, particularly those connected to a consumer brand do not want irrelevant conversations in their community space. If it’s not about the company, the product or the service, they want no parts of it.

You may not see a problem with that perspective, but I believe that you should.

If you’re really looking to grow and sustain a community, and you really want people to connect, you have to leave some room for them to do that.  Is it really that bad if people go off-topic for a while?

If they’re doing it in your community, that means they feel some level of comfort there, which works in your favor.

It can’t always be about you. That may seem counter intuitive, but I am not speaking from theory, but practice.

People don’t connect on one topic alone. And the fact that other topics come into play from time-to-time proves that the wheels of true connections are in motion and good things are happening.

So, create your guidelines but don’t be so rigid that you miss opportunities for continued growth.

RELATED POST:

Guidelines are important, but interpretation is key

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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