One of the highlights of my day is the half hour I have in the early morning – before the phones start ringing and emails come in – to read some of my favourite blogs. At the top of that list is Peter Shankman’s blog. Peter is an interesting guy. He is exceptionally smart (and I’m talking real life smart, not just “here’s the theory” smart), he is witty, down-to-earth and speaks his mind (and he’s usually right). Even when you might not agree with him – he makes you think. He “gets it” – social media, communication, marketing, networking – and he is an excellent presenter. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at the Ragan Social Media for Communicators Conference a few years ago and he was the highlight of the conference.

Peter has a pretty high profile in the world of social media and communication. He takes risks, he puts himself out there and he has accomplished a great deal because of that (blended with the fact that he really knows his stuff). Fearless and strategic – it’s a kick-ass combination. Oh yeah, and he sky dives – a lot. Which just makes him that much more interesting as far as I am concerned.

It’s been a busy few days at AHA, and I haven’t had a chance to read my favourite blogs. I took a few minutes this morning and the first one I went to was Peter’s. As I was reading it, I realized that I should recommend him to the people who read our AHA blog. I need to share this online treasure of information.

I know many of you already follow Peter, but if you don’t you should. He is a wealth of knowledge and has an excellent – if sometimes snarky – attitude (which is really charming as long as, I imagine, it isn’t aimed at you). He is authentic, he shares a lot of relevant information, and has a perspective that is of huge value in this confusing world of marketing and communication that we work in. He is out there taking on the world, living on his own terms and is very successful at it.

If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, take it. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog!

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Delivering several blog posts a week can be a challenge. Here at AHA, our goal is to always do two blog posts and a Fast Take Friday. Unfortunately, we haven’t met those goals in the past few weeks due to a New Zealand business trip.

One of the challenges in writing a regular post is that every once in a while, you can hit a period where you are either a) too busy or b) struggle with what to write about or c) have things to write about, but can’t seem to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). And sometimes, it feels like a combination of all three.

We’ve been busy here at AHA and I have been a little challenged in finding some interesting things to write about. Part of that is because when we are busy, it is much harder to find the time to check out all of the interesting information online. That’s where I find information and inspiration for these blog posts. It helps me put what we are experiencing at our PR agency into context and it gives me food for thought.

We always advise our clients to be transparent with their communities, and I believe we have to do that as well – so here you have it. As the main blog writer here at AHA, I have had challenges balancing everything that needs to be done for clients with my commitment to this blog and to Fast Take Fridays. After a good long weekend here in Canada, where I got to refresh, re-energize and re-organize myself in both my work and personal life, I am feeling back in control and have some solid ideas for new posts. One of the things I did to break through my block was to make a list of all the key points of communication I have experienced recently with client work, to look at what is exciting in the world of social media and traditional PR, and to look at areas where I want to learn more.

I am committed to getting back into our regular schedule and returning to the conversation with our blog readers and Fast Take Friday viewers. And – taking a page from the advice we give to clients, we’re also focused on creating an opportunity for some guest bloggers here and in getting a few blog posts in the can, ready to go when life gets in the way.

I hope you have a great week!

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It’s been a busy few weeks here at AHA. It has been challenging to keep up with the blog posts and Fast Take Fridays. While that’s a little frustrating, I also believe that it keeps things “real” in our office and with our clients.

If you have committed to a channel of communication, it is important not to let it slide too far out of the schedule. There’s no point in writing a quick blog post just to have something to upload. No matter how busy you are, the information you share needs to provide your readers/viewers with something they can use – an effective tip, an interesting article, a new way of looking at something, etc.

Here are some ways to work around a particularly busy timeframe that keeps your readers/viewers engaged and provides value.

  • When you are in a slower period, write a few blog posts that you can save and upload when you are too busy to write.
  • While your audience will read your blog post or view your video because they are interested in what you have to say, there is nothing wrong with sharing a blog post or article that you have read and find of value. It is always good to include your opinion in the post before you link to it.
  • Guest bloggers are another way to share relevant information. Having guest bloggers, that are of interest to your readers, lined up can help you get through the busy times.

One of the key points to remember is that the length of the blog post or video doesn’t necessarily reflect how good it is. Sometimes a short post – two to four sentences or a 30 second video clip – can provide an important point or “how to.” Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Do you have any tips or hints on creating great content during busy periods? We’d love to hear what you do.

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On Wednesday, I wrote about the CEO/President’s blog. Today we’ll have a look at the organization blog, the employee blog and the blend.

The Organization Blog

This blog is a little less about the person writing it than it is about the organization as a whole. Often there will be several writers who cover a range of topics and areas regarding the organization. It might be that different departments or division heads each write one blog post a week about news, events and interesting points relevant to their area.

Please visit our blog to read the rest of the post.

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AHA Blog Post Image

Blogging has become a regular communications tool for organizations. One of the things that I have noticed is that when we work with the marketing department or agency of a client, there is a little bit of discussion over which area (communications or marketing) will develop and manage the campaign on Twitter and/or Facebook. There is never any discussion about the organization’s blog – it belongs firmly with the communications team.

Like any communications tool, blogging isn’t for everyone. It depends on the objectives, goals, overall strategy and, of course, the resources. It takes time and effort to produce a relevant, interesting and informative blog post on a regular basis.

Please visit our blog to read the rest of the post.

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