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Blogs and other social media have created an incredible opportunity to communicate. They have also opened up the curtain and let us see the little man at the controls. (If you didn’t get The Wizard of Oz reference, my apologies.)

One of my favourite blogs is the bad pitch blog by PR gurus Kevin Dugan and Richard Laermer – this blog has a long list of smart, lively and witty contributors. Here, bad news releases and pitches are put under the microscope.

This blog has great information if you want to see what mistakes can be made – before you make them. They also showcase good pitches. The good pitch badge of honour award is named the “Glinda”, (after the good witch of the East in
The Wizard of Oz).

This blog covers an important topic in PR – the pitch. It is such an important part of reaching out to the media. Check this out and find out what works and what doesn’t.

There are a lot of people contacting the media that don’t even get the reporter’s name or their beat right.

Before you contact the media, make sure you have something to say, that you are saying it to the right person and that you are putting it in front of them at the right time and in the right way.

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Our AHA blog is farily new – but I’ve seen a spike already in visitors to our site. Now, that could be because we let our business contacts know that we had updated and upgraded our website…but we’re seeing a lot of return visitors – who I hope are coming back to check out the blog, podcast and social media that we are using here.

Everyone’s talking about social media, but do you know what it is? If you don’t – you aren’t alone. We’ve all heard about blogs, podcasts, videocasts and vlogs, but how many of you are using them? And if you are using them – what are they doing for your business?

So – let me know – are you blogging? Podcasting? Vodcasting? If not, why not? And if you are – is it working?

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The rumour of our demise has been greatly exaggerated …

We’re big fans of social media – it has put the power back into the hands of people, which is where it should be (in our opinion). However, this also surprisingly has created a bit of a rumour that social media will mean the death of public relations…

Just for the record …we don’t see it that way. Social media is definitely changing the way companies communicate to their stakeholders – and that’s a good thing. Blogs, podcasts, vodcasts…it all opens up a conversation that is interactive, engaging and truthful; all things that good PR should be.

A great blog can give a voice to your business – it showcases the human factor. And – remember this is coming from a PR person – a blog shouldn’t be written by your PR or marketing department. It has to come from a person, an individual…someone who is going to give your clients, customers and stakeholders a glimpse of real life at your organization. You know what I am talking about – hit a blog written by a marketer and you feel the sales pitch coming, no matter how well written or well-intended. Now, I’m not saying that a company doesn’t need to set up boundaries and a mandate for their blog – sometimes excited bloggers might give away trade secrets. And blogs aren’t the vehicle to air your grievances with your boss, talk about the guy that sits beside you and doesn’t believe in personal hygiene, or bad mouth the IT department who are just trying to do the best they can like everyone else. If you have a problem with those people, talk directly to them.

To me, a blog is about opinions, but not about personal attacks. Dislike a new product or service, think it wasn’t done right – tell the company. Find a discussion on a topic that you are informed, knowledgeable or passionate about and post to it…engage, interact, and communicate.

There is a great video (sometimes called a vodcast or video podcast) on YouTube – that talks about the value of Web 2.0 and what it give us.

And remember that your blog is important, but it’s not the only voice out there. Check out other people’s blogs, comment on what they are talking about, engage with others in the blogosphere – that’s where the magic comes from.

Some of the blogs we subscribe to or check out regularly are
Chrisflett.com
rocketboom.com

You can also check these out on our blog roll as well.

They aren’t all about PR, but they always inspire, engage and often amuse us. Check them out and let us know what blogs you like. If you have a question about how you can use a blog to help get the word out about your company – send us an email and ask us. We will do our best to answer it. (Just for the record, we don’t answer technical or design questions about your blog – that isn’t our thing, so please don’t email us with those queries.)

This blog is going to give you tips and information on blogging, public relations and other business-related topics. It will be a how to, how come and “WTF” about some things that happen in the world that you just can’t quite figure out. Come and visit us often, we’d love to connect with you and hear what you have to say.

So you see, the death of PR is just empty talk…PR 2.0 is just the beginning!!

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