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3 Common Online Omissions

September 1st, 2014

finger-with-string

 

Many digital immigrants think they are acting positively online if they avoid sending outright spam. But there are other online communications traps that can be just as costly. Here are three of the more common ones:

You can’t just transfer what you write offline to your blog, website or other format.

1) Failure to engage on social media platforms: Many people blithely post articles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, focusing mainly on the number of connections, followers and friends they have amassed. But the strength of your social media accounts are based more on the number of interactions you have with other users than the sheer size of your following. Social media signals such as likes, plus-ones and @replies give a telling reply to the ways you have engaged with these accounts and should be maximized whenever possible.

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Double Crisis Conundrum

August 30th, 2014

newspaper

 

The press, used to blaring “breaking news,” and then covering it ad nauseum seems to be more flummoxed by a double crisis than the President is. Not sure which crisis to put in the “A block” and which crisis to put in the “B block,” the decision seems to be mostly based on the channel.

Sometimes, it is good to have an oppositional take on the government’s actions as long as you don’t get consumed by it.

Fox News, of course, will trumpet everything based on a loose definition of terrorism, and it seems to have selected ISIS as the cause du jour. And it jumped on President Obama’s comment about the lack of a strategy with barely disguised glee the other day.

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3 Tips on Writing for the Web

August 26th, 2014

pencil

 

Online copywriting represents a separate field from copywriting in general, with its own rules and recommendations. Here are some quick items to remember as you expand into this productive field.

The golden triangle describes how visitors look at a web page, scanning horizontally across the top from left to right and then diagonally downward.

1. Promotional copy can turn off visitors and be quickly branded as spam. Therefore, when writing on the web, you need to remember the fundamental tenets of inbound marketing. Provide something of value to the reader, and he will review your promotional material at the same time. When writing on the web, it is helpful to remember the 80-20 rule. 80 percent of the material you create should be informational and only 20 percent promotional. People will link to the informational content and/or visit your website because of it.

2. Use the full capacity of the web including linking and images. Images provide visual relief for your reader and can attract attention in and of themselves. Links to authoritative sources can expand upon your copy in a productive and worthwhile manner. Your copy, in effect, is only as good as the links you provide for background.

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ISIL Wakens the Sleeping Giant

August 23rd, 2014

camel rider

 

ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, may not have realized what it did yesterday when it outraged citizens across our nation with the barbaric beheading of one of our journalists.

We will not forget these images the terrorists tried to use to pollute our minds, and they will pay a heavy price for the attempt.

Reporters have always maintained a certain neutrality in the dangerous areas they travel, trying to convey the news and show all sides of developing stories.

Even in Ferguson, Missouri, they were treated with respect by looters who would slow down and inquire to make sure they got the photographs they needed. In the Gaza Strip, journalists would wear large flak jackets with PRESS emblazoned across the front.

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Why to Move Your Business Online

August 19th, 2014

moving van

 

It may seem rather wearisome to talk about moving one’s business online, a debate for ten years ago perhaps. But there is still a small but dedicated cadre of organizations who are resisting, claiming their industry is somehow different from the norm and thus justifying their position.

as younger generations, digital natives, move into the prime buying demographic, these holdouts are perhaps looking for an excuse to make the plunge while still saving face.

However, as younger generations, digital natives, move into the prime buying demographic, these holdouts are perhaps looking for an excuse to make the plunge while still saving face. Or perhaps they need to re-enter the world of online publicity after an initial effort failed to generate the ROI they were seeking.

Like every other industry, the online world has not stood still in their absence.

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Empathy for Ferguson

August 16th, 2014

African American

 

The events in Ferguson, Missouri, are not occurring in a vacuum. The death of an unarmed black youth at the hands of the police could have happened in a number of urban and suburban settings in the United States. The tragedy of grieving African-American parents is an American tragedy, and that makes it both a compelling news story and a cause of unrest.

… the clueless nature of the police response shows the real gap in communications between the average member of the community and the officials tasked with maintaining order and decorum.

And the clueless nature of the police response shows the real gap in communications between the average member of the community and the officials tasked with maintaining order and decorum. But put yourself in the shoes of an African-American youth:

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Using a Media List

August 15th, 2014

newspaper dispenser

 

Despite the turmoil created by the online expansion of public relations, researching a media list remains fundamental to the practice. A media should consist of the key publicity outlets to pitch with a press release from your client, and it should include trade journals, daily newspapers, local business journals and online sites.

Dedicated public relations directories, especially Bacon’s, can be founded in almost every major library, and the PR pro should use it to research appropriate reporters, contact information, circulation and other pertinent information. Generally, you can approach the editor-in-chief directly for publications with a circulation less than 50K, while a beat reporter may be more appropriate for a larger journal.

Despite what reporters say, it is always a good idea to give them a call first and ask for permission to send a press release.

Despite what reporters say, it is always a good idea to give them a call first and ask for permission to send a press release. This will make your release stand out from the daily bombardment these reporters experience every day.

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Put Hamas to the Test

August 9th, 2014

Arab

 

Israel can put Hamas to the test by proposing what in the United States would be called a “grand bargain.” Offer to end the “siege” of Gaza, with open borders, a seaport and an airport, if Hamas demilitarizes and recognizes Israel.

… help to determine, once and for all, if Hamas really believes the propaganda it has been spouting about the best interests of the Gazan people.

This would help to determine, once and for all, if Hamas really believes the propaganda it has been spouting about the best interests of the Gazan people. It would also lessen the opprobrium being heaped upon Israel by enemies who fail to show any intention of giving them a chance to respond.

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Three Social Media Fundamentals

August 6th, 2014

cat on keyboard

 

Learning the art of social media can humble business CEOs who can be classified as digital immigrants. But social media platforms embrace some common principles, and if you remember them, you will find the field much less intimidating.

… social media platforms embrace some common principles, and if you remember them you will find the field much less intimidating.

1. You may always, as a first principle, be guided by the “social” in social media. Engaging with other users will pay far more dividends than just running up a large number of followers or connections. Follow a strategy of quid pro quo; that is, if someone engages with your content (perhaps through a plus-one), return the favor.

2. Remember the 80-20 rule. This maxim can be applied to many different situations, but online it is a good principle regarding the ratio of informational-to-promotional posts.

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Republican Fiasco on Immigration

August 2nd, 2014

Hispanic

 

The Republicans don’t hate Hispanics. It just appears that way.

In one of the most embarrassing fiascos in the House this week, the leadership failed to pass its own legislation to address the thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the border to flee from unabated violence. Showing an utter lack of humanity and compassion, the Tea Party forced modifications of the immigration bill to cut its funding and make it more draconian, even though they knew that the Senate had already left town, and there was no hope of passage.

…while in one breath, the Republicans spent taxpayer dollars to sue the President for taking too many executive actions, in the other, they demanded the President take more executive actions to deal with the border crisis, because they couldn’t pass any legislation.

Moreover, while in one breath, the Republicans spent taxpayer dollars to sue the President for taking too many executive actions, in the other, they demanded the President take more executive actions to deal with the border crisis, because they couldn’t pass any legislation.

The hypocrisy of this strategy caused some Republicans and even Fox News pundits to point out the contradictions. So what should the average voter make of all this?

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