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Hootsuite is one of my favorite social media tools out there. Public relations professional can use the “freemium” service to schedule their social media updates in advance, which saves them precious time. Learn how to use the service:
Every now and then, I get the chance to share a great event from my organization, the Black Public Relations Society. Join the D.C. Black Public Relations Society this month for “The Politics of PR II.” The event will feature Kevin Lewis, White House Director of African American Communications. Here are more details for D.C.-area PR folks:
Healthcare reform, the Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, International Policies, and tax cuts for small businesses. How did all of these policies affect the minority community? How did the White House communicate this year’s most controversial legislation and policies to the minority population?
Kevin Lewis, White House Director of African American Communications, will join us again for a second installment of The Politics of PR II, August 22, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Center. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non members. Join today and gain free access to this event! If you are already a member, please be sure to confirm that your membership is still active.
Don’t know if your membership is active? Contact BPRSDC Membership Chair, Natalie Dean, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, go to http://bprsdc_politicsofpr2-eorg.eventbrite.com/.
I have not been to a networking shindig in a while, so when I got wind of the upcoming DC Flacks networking event, I knew that I had to share the news. Here are the details:
DC PR Flacks July Happy Hour
Monday, July 23, 2012, 6:30 PM
District ChopHouse & Brewery
509 7th St NW, Washington, DC
Here’s the provided description:
Public Relations, Public Affairs, Web and Photography peeps (and anyone else, for that matter): join us for our next DC Flacks happy hour on MONDAY, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs bar of the District Chop House. Vocus will sponsor the event. And don’t forget: the first 35 flacks to show up at each happy hour will drink a free beer.
Principal Barbara Bates, of Eastwick Communications, discusses the best tactics for dealing with the press after you’ve suffered a data breach.
DocStoc offers a number of great videos for small business owners. View their short video on business mistakes to avoid:
What do you think? Are there more pointers to add to the post?
D.C. Events for Public Relations Professionals
This week, we will focus on local public relations events for communications professionals. These events serve as learning opportunities are open to newbie PR folks, as well as industry experts. If you haven’t gone to a networking/professional development event in the past three months, you need to go to one of the events below:
Time: 6:00 p.m.–7:05 pm (Baseball Game Starts)
When: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Where: Red Loft Bar, Nationals Park
Cost: $10 PRSA and WWPR Members, $15 Non-Members
This event is a great opportunity to get to know movers and shakers in the DC PR/Media industry including some of the top area’s sports media, and enjoy a fun night out at the ballpark. A drawing will also be held for a pair of field level seats to a future Nationals game courtesy of Ogilvy PR. Learn more.
Time: 8:00a.m. –10:00a.m.
When: Friday, June 6, 2012
Where: Burson-Marsteller, Washington, D.C.
The Association for Women in Communications and the Burson-Marsteller digital strategy team hosts monthly breakfast and networking meetings on the evolving social and digital media marketplace. The monthly series will offer in-depth presentations about today’s most impactful online platforms with strategic insights and actionable tactics from many of the industry’s most respected thought leaders. Each professional development session begins with a 30 minute networking segment and breakfast followed by a 90 minute, hands-on workshop. Learn more.
When: Thursday, May 19, 2012
Where: Oya Restaurant, Washington, D.C.
This invitation-only luncheon is held by ColorComm, a communications organization that fosters mentorship and friendship among women of color in the fields of corporate communications, public relations, and media relations. The event is a great opportunity to network with women of color and perhaps meet new friends or reconnect with colleagues. The keynote speaker for the event is Tara Jones, vice president of BET Networks.
Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the #CareerClass Tweetchat with Udochi Okeke, from Udochi Life Coaching. I went into the Tweetchat thinking that the Tweetchats were going to replace podcasts and video interviewing. Instead, I found that Tweetchats were a litte different than podcasting. Tweetchats are a little more social in that anyone around the world can participate in the conversation, and Twitter users have the option of reading the conversation at a later time.
I enjoyed the Tweetchat, and I highly recommend that people interested in social media give it a try. To read my interview with Udochi, go to https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23careerclass.
This Week’s Best: March 30, 2012
A large chunk of the PR profession involves writing–publicists write press releases, brochures, speeches and one-pagers. But once publicist put down the pen, they still have to know how to use digital tools to do their job well. Publicists need to have an advance understanding of the following PR tools:
Publicists need to know how to do thorough research on news articles, bloggers and reporters before they launch their media campaigns. Nexis provides subscribers with in-depth information about news articles and reporters. Publicists can search for news articles on Google if they want to, but it is important to note that the major search engines only have a fraction of the information that typical research catalogs contain. For those who need help conducting research on Nexis, I would advise them to seek the assistance of a librarian.
Media outreach research is key to developing effective media campaigns. I prefer MediaAtlas because all media distributed via the website is sent to the PR Newswire press wire, which makes it easy for media professionals to get the word out. This tool helps media professionals get the word out to the right people, which is key in the PR industry. This service does cost, but the benefits of the service are well worth the money.
Media monitoring is key, and Google Alerts offers a no-cost, easy to use tool for publicists. Media monitoring is crucial because its two-fold: First, PR professionals need to know what’s going on publicly with their organization, and second, media monitoring can help publicists find feature stories about the impact that their business is having on the lives of others.
Did I miss anything? What tools do you use? Share thoughts and comments below.
This Week’s Best: Week March 22
Plugins for WordPress
I love working with WordPress, the open source dynamic content management system. I learned how to use the system rather quickly in 2011, and I recommend the CMS for all new web developers. One of the biggest perks of the system is the large online developer community–find answers to anything on their Codex help site.
For this week’s best, I’m going to focus on the 3 best plugins for WordPress–these are the plugins that I recommend for every WordPress website:
This plugin is necessary for every website, not just WordPress sites. Website administrators need to who comes to their website, as well as where their visitors are coming from. This information helps web developers tailor the content of their website to their target market. Joost de Valk, creator of the plugin, makes a simple-to-install, easy-to-use plugin for WordPress administrators. Tip: After installing this plugin, go to Google’s Webmaster Tools to make sure that your website’s analytic system has been registered correctly.
The Disqus plugin is great for helping website visitors leave comments on your website. The social media function virtually eliminates spammers from reaching out to your website, and the login function keeps visitors plugged into your website.
For those administrators interested in adding image sliders onto their website, I recommend installing the JQuery Horizontal Slider. This customizable plugin helps websites keep home pages dynamic and interesting.
Are there any more plugins that I missed? Share suggestions below.
Every business, big or small, needs to invest a some time every month to making sure that their website looks presentable–after all, a company’s website is the public face of the company to online unique visitors. So, to help a few businesses out, I put together a list of website tips for business. Of course, you may find that some pointers are missing from the list below. Please share your own tips in the comments section below.
1. State Your Message Clearly. When writing content for the web, always place the important message at the top of the page. Most Internet visitors are furious page-scanners—they won’t make the time to search through your page for information when they can get it elsewhere.
2. Do Not Use Flash Software. Why? Websites designed using Flash are not detected by search engines like Google and Yahoo. Flash websites can also be difficult for users (i.e., the “Back” button does work and Flash reduces accessibility for users with disabilities).
3. Allow Customers to Buy Online. You can reach more potential customers around the country by allowing customers to purchase your products or services online. For instance, many service-industry businesses include links to their PayPal accounts on their websites. Allowing customers to buy services online can also speed up the billing process for businesses.
4. Make Contact Information Easy to Locate. Check your website to see if your company’s contact information can be found easily. Get those contacts in bigger fonts, up higher, and visible on every page of your company’s website.
5. Ask For Help. Never be afraid to ask for website help from a web development professional. Many small business owners try to do everything themselves, such as their websites and logo designs. Businesses can skip the hassle by reaching out to qualified web firms.