Posts Tagged Public Relations

Book Review: The Little Book of Big PR

Posted by on Sunday, 9 November, 2014

The-Little-Book-of-big-PRYou’ve gone freelance or launched a business, now what? The Little Book of Big PR by Jennefer Witter is what.

This little, 130 page, book is filled with practical public relations tips that you can implement today and get results. Literally, there are 121 numbered tips and few bonus ones thrown in too.

What Will The Little Book of Big PR Teach Me?

You’ll learn what personal branding is, and why it’s important. Jennefer breaks it into chunks of media relations, social media, networking, speaking engagements, and cause-related marketing. Each chapter ends with a related case study pulled from the Borland (Jennefer’s company) archive. I’m not sure how I feel about this. While it’s good to see the practical advice being implemented, external case studies could be more relatable.

It’s some of the bonus tips that give context to the 121 official tips that make this book extra useful. I love the personal branding audit in the first chapter. The book is also very practical: social media results don’t happen overnight. The final chapter discusses working with a PR agency, and I especially love the ego deflating. No matter how good your agency is, chances are you’re not Oprah story-worthy.

Who is The Little Book of Big PR For?

The intended audience for this book is entrepreneurs, freelancers and sole proprietors. The wording used definitely points this way, but I would expand the audience. This is the best book on personal branding I have read. OK, they’re generally in the self-help genre and we know my thoughts on that genre, but it would be remiss to ignore this book. Personal branding is important  for everyone’s career. It doesn’t matter how talented or accomplished you are if no one knows your name. Stepping off the soap box now.

I recommend The Little Book of Big PR to all wanting a promotion, new job or career-change, as well as the intended audience. Oh, and if you’re creative you’ll get PR tips for your brand too.

Addendum: I just saw that The Little Book of Big PR is one of the Amazon Editors’ Favorite Books of the Year. They have good taste.

Correcting Misinformation in the Media: How We Can Help the Refugees

Posted by on Sunday, 25 August, 2013

Photo Credit: The Age

Recently Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister, made an upsetting announcement. He declared that all refugees arriving by boat will be transported to Papua New Guinea and not settled in Australia.

Not only has the country decided to illegally shirk its responsibilities and agreements with the UN, many Australians agree that it’s the right move.

How did this happen?

For years, both major political parties and the media have been telling people that anyone arriving by boat is “an illegal immigrant”. It’s far from the truth, but the label has stuck and with so many people believing it, Rudd may win the upcoming election.

Many businesses and organizations find themselves in a similar situation. So what can you do about it?

Start Early
– Set the stage. Before there are any issues talk about what you do. People are more likely to believe whomever was first.

Talk Often
– Interviews, FAQ page on your site, social media – do it all. Then when a curious citizen Googles to find out more, there’s a great chance your side of the story will rank higher.

Monitor and Myth Bust
– You should already be watching what people are saying online. Jump into conversations and correct information. Just remember to play nice and build conversation not enemies.

Build Relationships
– The Australia situation proves that the media is not independent, as much as we like to think the Fourth Estate still exists. Getting to know the key reporters will ensure they’ll call for your comments before they publish.

Recruit Influential Spokespeople
– Are any celebrities, sports people or media faces sympathetic to your issue? Ask if they can be interviewed endorsing you. If not an interview, a tweet or YouTube video from their account may open their fans’ eyes.

Don’t get nasty
– This is a hard one. You’re passionate about the issue and want everyone to share your passion. Telling people they’re wrong or they are stupid won’t win their respect. Take an educational approach. Don’t be afraid to ask their viewpoint, so then you know what facts to share. Also, there are some people you just won’t be able to get through to. Accept this and politely focus your attention on those you can sway. If you don’t believe me, check out this list of people presented with facts and still deny the truth.

The impossible question: Which social media platforms should I use?

Posted by on Monday, 3 June, 2013

Social Media apps

When you’re a kid, the big question is, “When’s Christmas?”. As a teen it’s “how can I get <insert name here> to like me?”. As a digital marketer it’s “which social media platforms should I be using?”

The only one with an easy answer is “when’s Christmas?”. But, as a five year old; I know I wasn’t happy with the answer: “in 20 sleeps”.

Choosing which social media platforms isn’t a straight forward process. Sorry. However, it can be done.

Start by looking at your target audience. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they play: facebook, Twitter, instagram, Tumblr? Standard segmenting questions. Ask them directly, if you want. They’ll appreciate the attention and you’ll be getting direct data.

Then play on those platforms. Yes, it’s really that simple.

The days of sell sheets with user base profiles are over. Social media gives us the ultimate personalization. One platform can reach many different demographic and psychographic groups. Each user will make it their own.

Does that mean you need to have a presence on all platforms? No. Find the critical mass for your target and play there. Make it cost and time effective. Remember, you’ll be researching their behavior, crafting content, curating third-party content and conversing directly with your audience. That takes time. It’s not worth all the work customizing all this to different platforms if not enough of your audience play there. That said, test things out. Just be prepared to drop it if it fails. It will and you’ll learn from it.

That’s enough from me. Go profile your audience and get playing. Now!

Cheer Up Mitt! – How far is too far in topical advertising?

Posted by on Monday, 3 December, 2012

If you were downtown Seattle in the weeks immediately after this year’s election, you may have seen this billboard.

Roku, online streaming television hardware, ticked all the boxes for great advertising: timely, topical, amusing, clever, relevant to the product/brand. I even heard people using the ad as a meme a block before reaching the sign.

But was it too topical? Chatting recently with a couple of community managers, whose facebook pages each have more than 1 million fans nationwide, I learned of a post without any direct political alliance being pulled because of fan backlash. Another mentioned refusing to post anything that could be possibly construed as political.

A quick Google search doesn’t show any backlash to Roku. However, all images are of this one billboard with mentions of the wider campaign. While Roku have said they printed both banners to cover any outcome, did they choose the sites accordingly?

Does anyone know?

Using your public relations skills for good … with Kiva.

Posted by on Saturday, 20 October, 2012



Let’s just accept that public relations gets a bad rap. Before you protest, in some cases it, and us as practitioners, deserve it.

But it’s up to us if we use our “powers” for good or evil.

One way is through volunteering. Learn skills, make friends, save the world. Simple.

I’m a volunteer editor with If you haven’t heard of them, you need to check them out. Kiva is a microfinancing organization facilitating small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. These are shop keepers and farmers and tailors whose income capacity or location restricts them accessing loans from traditional banking systems.

This week Kiva is celebrating its seventh birthday. Since 2005, Kiva has loaned nearly $365 million in $25 increments with a 98.99% repayment rate. This is thanks to the partner organizations in 66 countries educating and supporting the entrepreneurs as they build their businesses.

So happy birthday to Kiva and thank you for all you do.

Use your skills for good and try out Kiva with a free trial loan. Money comes from a benefactor and repayments go to Kiva for their operating expenses.

What else are you doing to use your public relations skills for good?