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Archive for August, 2009

Emerging media consultant Danny Brown.

This is a guest post by Danny Brown. Danny is a business branding and emerging media strategist. His blog is featured in the AdAge Power 150 list and is syndicated across the WebProNews, Newstex and Social Media Today business networks. Danny is also the founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a social media-led charity initiative. Say hello to Danny on Twitter.

Frank Eliason is a good guy. As the Senior Director of National Customer Service Operations for Comcast, Frank’s been key to turning Comcast into one of the poster children for businesses using social media. Frank’s Twitter account, @comcastcares, is often used as a case study in how businesses can have a human voice and connect with their customers.

Frank’s built a team of like-minded Comcast Carers around him, and they all use Twitter to serve the needs of Comcast’s customers by answering queries, directing complaints, helping with sales and marketing, and more. As a result, mention Comcast now to pretty much anyone in social media and it’s more than likely a positive return that you’ll get.

So why does Comcast want to undo all this great work on the service side by letting the advertising arm come across as anything but caring and friendly?

A post over at the Big Kahuna blog shows two different videos, yet neither paint Comcast in a particularly great light. The first is an actual advert from Comcast, while the second is a home movie that a Comcast customer made during a repair visit. If you watch the videos and are aware of Frank Eliason, you’d wonder if this was the same company we’re talking about.

While Frank and his team do everything right on Twitter, with Frank also running a pretty good blog that also does a lot of things right, the team behind this anti-Fios advert are doing just the opposite. Baiting your competitors is never a good business move – all it does is make you look petty and unprofessional. And if there’s one thing to sink a business ship, it’s being viewed as petty and unprofessional.

Instead of ripping their competitors here, why not say the same message without the names? Why not show how Comcast installs their service? Or the before and after of a Comcast cable installation? And if you still want to rip on competitors, finish the ad with a voice-over that says, “Because Comcast cares. Unlike some other people we could mention…”.

The web makes it incredibly easy to leave a digital footprint. It also makes it very easy to see how the person with that digital footprint is walking. At the minute, Comcast seem to be walking with two different shoes on the same walker. The question is, will they eventually align or simply cancel each other out?

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PR Sarah Evans site

PR Sarah Evans site

So I am finally posting about #journchat Live Detroit.   I am super slow at posting this but I had a hell of a week last week.   Coping with Grief creeping up on me and holding my first event.  Was a lot of stress to handle plus finding out I didn’t get a second interview for a dream job.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. EST 7 people joined me for a #Journchat discussion last week.   I was hoping for more since this was my first event I would call this a success.  What was supposed to be a meeting of the minds wound up being a meeting of public relations professionals and bloggers.

100_4421_edited-1@jennimurr and @davemurr at Buddy’s before the discussions began.

100_4422_edited-1@diapersndragons (back) and @rockdrool

We had some interesting topics.   The laptop died a little way through and since we were on the wrong side of the restraunt for power.  We made due.  It was a great learning experience and I hope more journalists join us next time.

#Journchat roll call

@jfavreau

@nancypr19

@jennimurr

@davemurr

@estrellabella10

@rockdrool

@diapersndragons

and Evan Branch

Last week was very interesting.  I had to go to the grave site of my Mom for the first time in over 2 years.  This was tough because it brought back a swell of emotions I thought I had worked through.

I also found out who got the Detroit Regional Chamber job and I got a rejection letter from ESPN.  Which was fine I thought I had a slim chance living in Detroit.  I did wind up connecting with the manager who didn’t hire me on Linked In and I tried connecting with the HR person who chose to send me the email.  He was not as nearly as open minded as I would have thought.

Truly a learning experience and a lot of stress.  I am glad last week is over.  Too much emotion in a short period of time.  You live and learn.

I will do the event planning again but I think I would change a few things.  So be sure to check out this space for more things regarding #journchat if there is another live event I am going to be planning it.

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A few nights ago, I asked for some help from Chris Brogan and he gave me some tips.   I am hosting my first ever event and I think and I finally saw the blogger  side of the equation.

This event I am hosting is called #journchat LIVE Detroit.  Bringing bloggers, journalists and public relations professionals to discuss the problems of the industry.  So I asked him if he could help and we basically have the same friends in common.  @prsarahevans is a great leader and I hope this LIVE event gets bigger and people grow and participate in the weekly chats because there is a lot of learning going on.

My problem is publicity.  I thought I had influence but do I really have any? When can you cash in the networking you have done for a controversial subject which might  or might NOT have the shiny object?

I am trying to work in the public relations, marketing, love to blog and see the reason why people should get along.  I am really green in the field and I can see how I have been learning from this weekly chat.  Is being “green” into a field a bad thing?  I have learned a lot from #blogchat on Sunday nights and #journchat on Monday nights.

Where does the value come in?  How do you define the influence and if you are really someone people would want to listen to for 2 hours and help you with your cause?

When people really don’t want to interact with each other? So why would they come to a chat where they are trained to not like each other?  These questions I am hoping I get an answer too soon.

So do you have influence or just a lot of followers? What is your take?

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Tweetea brings together a diverse group of people with interests to discuss social media. Media relations was discussed and how to better serve everyone involved.   How do we communicate with the Media and to get our messages across to them with out spam, awkward email or just being annoying and unproductive from a Public Relations perspective.  Tweetea happens every Tuesday, from 7:30 – 10 p.m. at Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak off on Fourth Street.

Twitter is a great tool to state what you are looking for but when your profile is limited to 140 characters you can only say so much.

What is the best solution to help reporters get the information they need and public relations professionals to pass on their information to someone who will promote it?

There was some talk of innovation and things we could do. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)is a great service but what if you are looking for a local flare?

What if you decided to Facebook friend a reporter? Simple.  You can find out what you have in common, what stories they need, and they can use it as a distribution channel of ideas?

Just a thought. When you do so, if the reporters collectively decide to change their status and you are looking at them then it is more up to the minute than Linked In. You could solve their problem, learn more about them and well just be nice to each other?

I realize this isn’t out of the box thinking. But, if public relations and journalists realized we are all in this together and there is an easier way to find out what about each other and create relationships instead of fighting them.

Wouldn’t the communications industry get along better? You could solve some of the problems just by talking and people would know what you were writing, when your deadline was, and everything.

Terry Foster from the Detroit News often uses his Facebook to get feedback on some of his columns. He is a sports columnist but I am sure this could be used for different purposes.

In time I am sure there will be some totally awesome platform some start up will invent to make this a better process.  In the meantime, build relationships with Facebook and Twitter.  If used properly, I think the spam emails will be cut in half.

Then take this offline by having Tweetups so we can find out what each other wants and needs? I realize everything is deadline driven but in business relationships run smoothly if you do business with people who you know, like and trust.

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I am generally an upbeat, positive person but I would be fooling you if I didn’t get depressed about this job market.  I am doing everything in my power to land a full time position in a tech related public relations firm as an account coordinator or even a marketing coordinator which is tech related.  I am looking to do something which involves New Media but is not the only channel they use to attract people.

My newest venture is getting journalists, bloggers and public relations professionals together for a #Journchat Live Detroit session. The mission of #journchat has always been to improve the relationships between public relations professionals, journalists and bloggers. Together we’ve created a safe environment to explore each industry and ultimately how social media is influencing all of us.

I have been networking at many events around town.  I am not sure if these are working.  I keep asking people how they got there first job out of college and they say, “Networking.”

I finally wrote for the PRSA Technology section.  It took me long enough I have been having some doubts but I am glad I overcame them and was given a chance even if I thought I might have some problems.

Richard Stockton College of NJ Alumni News

Richard Stockton College of NJ Alumni News

As I said before, I would love to stay in Detroit if possible.  I am entertaining the thought of NYC.  I had an interview with ESPN and I think I have a shot as long as I follow through.

I talked with a person from work at the Tigers. I told him people do business with people who they know, like and trust.  I guess he didn’t believe me engineering is a business.  He said, “I am an engineer.”  Well even so you have to network to build your reputation and he still hasn’t sent me his resume so I can pass it on to a recruiter I know and other links I have as resources.

Marathon Books spa

Marathon Books spa

I hit rock bottom a few nights ago but at least I can only go up from there.  I had a good cry and I feel better about myself now.  I guess sometimes you venting frustrations is a positive.  Life isn’t always positive but it is how you handle the negative which makes a person  a WINNER.

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