My Blog List

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A few words from the CEO at MACRO Manufacturing

I sincerely regret to inform you of some devastating news that has affected MACRO Manufacturing. Today, a blazing fire destroyed a major part of the manufacturing plant as a result of improper storage of hazardous chemicals.

Words can’t explain the extent of my regrets due to this unfortunate mistake. We are taking full responsibility and accountability for the damage, and have already begun planning new safety protocols for the future of MACRO Manufacturing. I believe in the importance of handling this issue immediately and clearly – with our shareholders, employees and valued customers best interests at heart.

With the support of Toronto Fire Services and world-renowned architect, Maxwell Quinn, MACRO Manufacturing’s regiment will take on a whole new level:
  •       Quinn will redesign the plant with a state-of-the-art sprinkler and alarm system; just one of Quinn’s many safety implementations.
  •        Hazardous chemicals will be stored in a separate facility.
  •       Toronto Fire Services will visit on a bi-monthly basis for detailed inspections and timely drills to ensure proper fire prevention measures, and safe storage of hazardous chemicals are in place.

I, on behalf of all MACRO Manufacturing staff, will assure these strategic and anticipatory measures are grounded in our daily protocols to ensure the safety of the surrounding community, employees and shareholders.

My sincerest apologies,

Malcolm Danson,
CEO, MACRO Manufacturing 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Why bother measuring social media?

Yahoo Pipes is a service that simplifies the idea of a mashupproviding a drag and drop editor that allows you to connect internet data sources, process them, and redirect the output. It’s a great tool that lets you collect and remix content from anywhere online. Its appealing design makes it fairly easy to use. You can use it in innumerable ways — for example, to track Twitter for mentions of your brand, to monitor multiple feeds or to alert you when feed activity meets a certain activity threshold. 

Wildfire an outlet that’s centered around making engaging promotions and incentives on social sites tracking and comparing how brands are functioning on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. It encourages everyone from bloggers to businesses to create personalized, interactive campaigns that include contests and giveaways to surveys. It allows them to publish them on their websites and multiple social media platforms. It’s useful in being able to identify and organize your clients’ interests, providing an interactive way to communicate with them and manage emerging trends.

Addict-o-matic provides an analysis of a brand's impact across the social web. It provides initial insights of who is talking about your brand on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and a number of other news sites and search engines. It then processes and aggregates all that information, and displays it as a single web page. This tool is useful in providing value for social media plans because you can’t be monitoring everywhere simultaneously. Addict-o-matic easily enables you to find out who is saying what and from where. It also enhances your strategy by letting you do keyword searches.

Sprout Social starts with a 30-day free trial and gives users the option of choosing a paid plan for a very affordable rate. This service offers communication tools in addition to analytics, reporting and views of what your competitors are doing. This tool can provide value for measuring a social media plan because it provides an analysis on trending metrics. It’s important to notice how they’ve increased or decreased over time to understand how your tactics are affecting them. Sprout Social allows for clear communication so you can easily reply to queries, comments or concerns.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

5 tips to keep your blog fresh

Of course you want your blog to be read, so it needs to be interesting and search-engine friendly.  For new bloggers like myself, the task can be quite challenging. Coming up with new content is half the battle, then finding the time to make it look awesome and interactive is another story. I’ve been on the backburner for the last few days, so this post is meant as a burst of inspiration for those of you who feel the same way!
  1.  Revitalize old content: Whether you’re a beginner or not, chances are that you’ve experienced writer’s block. If you’re stuck, why not take a look at older posts and refresh them – just because they’re outdated doesn’t mean they’re meaningless. Simply find ones that generated a lot of feedback and do a follow up post by providing expanding on the topic and providing new details.
  2. Stay updated on news and the latest innovations in your industry: Talk about trends in your industry that will affect your readers. Highlight why your posts are relevant to trending topics and keep your readers hooked by posing stimulating thoughts and questions.
  3.  Try a new outlet: tired of reading blog after blog in search of new ideas? Watch a YouTube clip, listen to a podcast, or flip on the trusty TV to get those creative juices flowing.
  4. Share your frustration: Post about needing ideas or tips on your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin accounts and give your connections an opportunity to provide tips or ideas.
  5. Join a bloggers group: it’s always helpful to know others that are in the same boat. Knowing you have a group to discuss ideas with will help keep you motivated and focused. Hearing their insights might suggest different topics too. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

This is why I chose to subscribe to the following blogs:

PR in your pajamas: Not everybody can afford to hire a public relations agency or individual consultant. This do-it-yourself blog guides smaller businesses and entrepreneurs in the right direction when it comes to the how-to’s of social media and the basics of public relations.

Social media examiner: Just when you thought you were lost in the jungle of social media, this blog is there to provide tips from integrating social media into your business to writing great blog posts and packed with social media news in between.

Brian Solis: An insightful approach to social media with current examples that apply to this course and the broader context of public relations.

PR pro: CEO of Thornley Fallis, Joseph Thornlea’s blog is filled with interesting topics around social media, politics and new developments happening in social media and their impact on society.

KDPaine’s measurement blog: What better way to stay updated on news, techniques and developments in the measurement aspect of the PR field than follow this blog? I like how this blog focuses specifically on measuring various facets of PR including: social media, media relations, blogs and public affairs.

Dave Fleet: As the VP of digital at Edelman Toronto, Dave Fleet’s blog informs readers everything from social media to pitching tips. I like how he’s also provided links for other sites he manages pertaining to his personal interests to expand his networks and influence on his audiences.
AdsolutleyDigital: Sure, its fun reading blogs! But this site makes it more fun by using lots of videos to convey its messages and content.

PR Squared: Todd Defren has been so kind to offer free resources and suggested reading for PR tactics. Everything from social media releases to blogger relations can be found right here.

PR2020:  This site covers topics in social media, crisis communications as well as marketing and brand awareness with short, easy to read articles

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Navigating my inner nerd

I’m new to FourSquare – and super skeptical. Just the whole idea of my exact location and previous whereabouts being published worldwide gives me the creeps. I don’t feel the need to compete for badges and mayorships — and not enough contacts in my personal network use it to make it a useful communication tool.  However, I am intrigued by its PR potential.
  •        FourSquare can reinforce brand loyalty: Starbucks locations are rewarding their enthusiastic customers with coupons and discounts based on how many times they check in.
  •        The audience is ready to play: This platform appeals to those who love a challenge or virtual game. FourSquare can be a great way to connect with your target audience or even attract a new one.
  •        Social media and beyond: Each user serves as a spokesperson when they check in and comment. As a business, you can see if people are posting to Twitter and Facebook. This gives you insight into what kinds of opportunities, or obstacles, those social media sites are providing.

    QR codes are a great tool for any PR pro, and so easy to create

  •     Spruce up your press release: I’ve seen them used instead of images on press releases to link readers to an online destination for more info.
  •       Easy evaluation: analytics can be embedded within QR codes, making it easy for PR pros to see who’s scanned them.
  • Opportunities to connect: Louisiana State Museum posted a QR code on the front door to inform visitors of a new exhibit “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond.” The code was linked to the Facebook page, where people were encouraged to share stories. 

Hey PR pros: StumbleUpon this! 
  •     Review and get reviewed: PR pros benefit from using StumbleUpon to get more attention paid to blogs or sites. After submitting your content and doing a few good reviews per day, more people will begin to view and comment on your content.
  •       Start stumblin’: According to this Ragan article, StumbleUpon is driving more traffic than other social media outlets. It has a longevity that the others can’t offer.
  •      It’s no secret: focus on quality, be active in your online community, gain the respect of fellow stumblers and the traffic will follow naturally

And so there I was, curiously discovering I lessons learned from using the platforms outlined in this week’s assignment:
·      Foursquare’s signature tagline “you’re checked in here” did a little more than tell my friends my location and earn myself a few points. In the larger context of life, this small reminder helped illuminate the importance of being present. Moreover, FourSquare was useful when travelling to different spots and helped organize the data I'd collected at various locations.
·      I love QR codes! You never know what you’re going to get! Maybe a coupon, a link, or even a free download. It’s a fun and engaging way for the public to uncover the mystery. It's also a great idea to put it on your business card or resume.
·      StumbleUpon is great because you don’t have to be looking for the content to find it. I find it hard to avoid unwanted spam and scams. StumbleUpon is trustworthy, reliable and convenient because it enables you to follow quality users and their trusted links.  

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

On gender and social media

Ever stopped to take a minute to ponder about how gender is both structured and structuring? As I stumbled upon a Wiki article on the topic, the subject grew on me and I wanted to understand more.  I find it particularly interesting to note how societal assumptions stay true in one context, yet begin to dissolve in another.

Let me explain:

Food blogs are a perfect example. The way food blogs are produced has a lot to do with the concept of gendered food production. Traditionally, women are associated with home cooking while mostly men populate professional kitchens (well, at least the ones that I’ve been in).

Dedicating effort into a blog in the form of photography and writing encompasses a different meaning than preparing food for oneself, friends or family in relation to gender. Gender becomes less prevalent in the food production process because food is brought out of the private sphere, the feminine space of the kitchen, into the online public sphere.

Here, you can begin to see how blogging through social media is debunking the social construction of gendered food production.

I was thrilled to see this short TED talk from media expert and researcher, Johanna Blakely, on social media and the end of gender stereotypes. While I agree with her view on “shared interest and values are a far more powerful aggregator of human beings than demographic categories,” I find it difficult to believe that social media will eradicate the significance of gender in online spaces. Even if it did, do you think this would change gender-based stereotypes that often connect women in online spheres? I don’t. This should make us wonder about how we classify people. By understanding this, we can move forward to strive towards a gender-neutral community offline.

When media and journalists stop using old demographics and start looking at the trends online as a whole, what effect do you think this will have if the majority of the users that are being studied are women? Will brands, T.V. shows and movies be more targeted towards the interest of the female population? What type of impact do you think this will have on “old media” and our society in general?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

What would YOU do?

Timothy's Coffee social media PR nightmare is a recent case filled with room for discussion.

The Facebook page gives an inside look at how the situation was handled and the public's response.

Discuss some of the major mistakes made in this case. What do you think Timothy's could have done to rectify the problem and their subsequent actions? How could the company have been better prepared to manage the chaos of an uncontrollable social web?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this!