Friday, October 17, 2008

Brand Name Social Media News Releases

If you're like me, then you may be wondering what a high-profile, brand recognizable social media news realease actually look like. Learning about the theory of SMNR's is effective only to a point...

Searching through PROpenMic I found an article asking: "Who Uses a Social Media Release?" with a link to a blog titled "PR squared."

In one of co-founder Todd Defren's posts he talked about the growing popularity of the social media news release. What really caught my attention were the sheer number of high profile scoial media news releases he gave examples of.

In reality, not all of the releases are as well made as they could have and perhaps should have been. However, they provide a basis for soon to be practitioners like myself to understand how to format and improve on current social media news releases.

Social Media TemplateEven better, PR squared authors posted their own suggestions for formatting social media news releases.

So, if your feeling a little overwhelmed this can work as a good starting point for developing your own personal style for your social media news releases.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Search Engine Optimization

This weeks readings really struck a chord with me. In a nutshell, much of what is being discussed concerns search engine optimization, something I worked on with University Hospitals for much of my summer.

Wiki defines SEO as "...the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results." So what does this really mean?

Well, much of my experience with SEO stems from crafting meta tags, the keywords or phrases users search to find information about a specific topic.

David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing And PR makes an excellent analogy about met tags when describing them as the dewey decimal systems of the Internet.

Just like in a library, users browsing the Internet must search through hundrends upon thousands of entries containing useless information to find what they're looking for. However, savvy marketers/PR practitioners can take advantage of the clutter on the Internet by specifying meta tags with keywords their users will search for.

Back to my job at University Hospitals. Being somewhat familiar with the role of meta tags already, I was tasked with the job of going through an entire portal ( of which University Hospitals has approximately 20 or so) and updating the meta tags of each page with key words.

Without much more direction, other than to pull the keywords in from the text on the page, I was set loose. It didn't take me very long to discover that the majority of the text on the Web site sounded as if it were written for other physicians (the majority is not). Could I really expect the average user (who I am told in Cleveland has a 7th grade or lower reading level) to be searching for Opthalmological surgeons?

Probabaly not. Finally, realizing the futility of crafting meta tags from physicians jargon I began crafting my own. Opthalmological surgeons became eye doctors and meta tags became useful!

So like Scott, I advocate the use of keywords that will really "speak" to your audience in a way that they will actually understand.

Talking With A Marketing Legend

This evening I had the privilege of having Dr. Ron Tatham as a guest speaker in my Consumer Behavior course.

Dr. Tatham has a laundry list of accomplishments in the field of marketing, including his most recent 2007 receipt of the American Marketing Association (AMA) "Legend of Marketing Research" award. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that when any professional organization labels you a "legend," you're damn good at what you do.

And tust me, he is.

As is customary on such occassions, my professor sent our class a bio on Dr. Tatham several days ago and requested we come to class prepared with several questions to ask. Usually I don't get very excited about these events because in my experience most guest speakers aren't overly enthusiastic or insightful and cause time to drag.

But, After reading Dr. Tatham's Bio my interest was peaked. Admittedly, I still didn't prepare any insightful questions. I like to think I work better on the spot.

Dr. Tatham's speaking style had clearly been honed over decades of boardroom and classroom experience. Like every good teacher or mentor, he was easy to listen to.

As the discussion progressed and I became more vocal, the topic suddenly turned career advice. Dr. Tatham said there only three questions any person in any career at any level needed to ask to be successful:

  • First, ask the question, "What decision do you need to make?"

  • Second, determine "What info. you need to make that decision?"

  • Third, determine "What criteria will the information be judged by?"

  • I truly belive with these three questions I've just learned everything I will ever need to know to be a success in any career.

    If anyone checks this out, let me know what you think. I may be way off-base, but I feel like Dr. Tatham is on to something.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Wheres the $ in blogging?

    Have you ever paused in the middle of a post and wondered how you could turn your new hobby into a career? And, even if you could, how much could you really expect to get paid?

    I know I have.

    To start, how much do the "top tier" bloggers make?

    I found some good figures in an article titled How Much Do Top Tier Bloggers and Social Media Consultants Get Paid? We Asked Them! written by Marshall Kirkpatrick on that lists the average per post payment as $25.

    $25 per post... Kirkpatrick estimates taking on two clients and averaging three posts per day for each client will net you about 40k a year. I know to me, 40k doesn't sound like much for a "top tier" blogger. Now I don't intend to sound greedy, but personally, I think bloggers who are turly capable of generating ROI for their customers deserve more than 40k.

    Apparently, the real money for professional bloggers stems from consulting. These consultants reported their average rate from as low as $150 per hour to as high as $300 per hour. Down side..... these professionals have to work their asses off to preserve current clients and pusruit new ones, an especially difficult task during the current (budget slashing) economy.

    I was intrigued by the prospect of making $ by blogging, so I started to look around for some information on how to get started in this field. To my surprise, I came across another article on titled Participate in Social Media, Get Money for College about a new social network site called collegeNET.

    If your in college and trying to hone your social media skills, this is a great place to start. CollegeNET is a unique forum that is completely supported by advertisers and scholorship sponsors. Students who enter the community are able to post their ideas (on any topic) to be voted on by their peers. The catch... students who host the most popular posts for a given month are awarded college scholarships!

    If your a student of social media, or even an average Joe who could use some scholarship money you should check out collegeNET and start make those $$benjamins$$ now.