October 17 2013
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September 28 2012

Techies: don’t run from media interviews

People in technical fields sometimes are rattled by the prospect of a news media interview, but a little media coaching will go a long way toward easing their concerns.

If you’re a technical expert, remember to take time and explain in layman’s terms the points you’re trying to make. Often you’ll have time beforehand to sit down and think of two or three key issues – “talking points” in media-speak – that you want to address.  

Read PR Daily’s “6 Steps for Media Training Technical Staff” here for more great tips. 

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August 30 2012

How to Write Better: 7 Instant Fixes

Writing is supposed to benefit the reader, but sometimes we get carried away with our own prose.

That’s why this checklist of seven ways to improve your writing compiled by writedone.com is so helpful for its tips.

And there’s another lesson, left unsaid but still obvious: Almost every sentence is short and to-the-point.

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August 21 2012

Make sure your logo fits the square

This advice from MarketingProfs is geared to Twitter, but it also applies to Facebook and any other social site where there’s a limited space allowed for a graphic.

It’s recent blog, "Creative Ways to Use Twitter for Business," warns that cropped or distorted logos look unprofessional. Fortunately, MarketingProf shares a list of helpful tools: “For PC users, the free tool Irfanview enables you to crop and resize photos in a snap. Mac users should try EasyCrop or GraphicConverter (our personal favorite)—both paid services, but relatively inexpensive. Free browser-based tools like Pic Resize will also let you crop or resize online.”

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August 18 2012

Use your e-newsletter and social media updates to reinforce each other

Constant Contact recently posted a list of 11 Ways to Combine Email & Social Media Marketing to Get More Customers, and one simple tip is to put email and social media marketing plans on a common calendar, and create themes of content on all channels.

"The smart thing to do is to use your marketing emails (like your newsletter) and your social media updates to reinforce each other by running common themes through all channels. All this means is that you talk about related things on all your social media accounts and emails, during a set time period, e.g. your blog has a how-to article about your theme, on Facebook you post some client examples of how you’ve helped people do that thing, and on Twitter you post a daily fact about that topic."

You can also use your Facebook page to build your e-newsletter database, by putting a sign-up form on your page. Here’s an example:

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August 17 2012

Facebook marketing mistakes to avoid

Mashable's 10 Facebook Marketing Mistakes to Avoid is a great reminder that there are some things on Facebook that businesses just shouldn’t do. Here’s an easy one:

Many brands post once per day, and many find that posting more than once per day can actually have an adverse effect on engagement. Facebook indicates that the averages user “likes” four to six new Pages each month, so your content is constantly fighting for more attention from its fans. It’s better to post one excellent item per day instead of two decent ones.

Even if you’re only posting a few days per week, you can still keep your Page active on a daily basis. Check your Page and “like” or respond to comments on your Brand Page, and remember to tag the people you’re replying to — that’s a great and easy way to get people to come back to your Page to engage more.

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August 09 2012

Five grammatical errors that make you look dumb

Copyblogger’s list should be required PR reading. “It’s fine to fracture the occasional rule of proper grammar in order to communicate effectively…copywriters routinely end sentences with prepositions, dangle a modifier in a purely technical sense, or make liberal use of the ellipsis when an EM dash is the correct choice—all in order to write in the way people actually speak. But there are other mistakes that can detract from your credibility.” Here are Copyblogger’s five mistakes to avoid when blogging and writing web copy, and you can read the full article here.

  1. Your vs. You’re

  2. It’s vs. Its

  3. There vs. Their

  4. Affect vs. Effect

  5. The Dangling Participle

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August 08 2012

One tip to help you grow your email database

Building an email database is challenging, but with time and a consistent effort to provide something valuable, you can create and grow a list of people who WANT to hear from you.

One data collection tool you may have overlooked is the company website. Include an opt-in form that’s easily found on every page without scrolling to find it. Internet attention spans are limited, so be sure your web designer makes your opt-in form jump off every page. (Tip: Only ask for exactly what you need—more fields to fill in equates to fewer opt-ins on your list).

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August 07 2012

How many characters should an email subject line have?

Hubspot says that while some email clients display a bit more subject line characters than others, shoot to keep it under 50 characters, especially because many recipients will be reading on mobile devices that display even less of the subject line — often 20 characters or less.

To deal with this discrepancy, make sure the beginning of your email subject line gives the recipient enough information to understand the contents of your email, just in case your subject line is cut off a bit prematurely. Read more.

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August 06 2012
A new blog by Pinerly shows top times to post on Pinterest, along with tips for getting more Pinterest engagement with your posts. Regardless of what kind of content you post though, Pinerly says always always remember your audience. “They are mostly well-educated females that are spending time looking for great new content and things to discover.”

A new blog by Pinerly shows top times to post on Pinterest, along with tips for getting more Pinterest engagement with your posts. Regardless of what kind of content you post though, Pinerly says always always remember your audience. “They are mostly well-educated females that are spending time looking for great new content and things to discover.”

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About

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PR Briefs is a blog of tips, resources and case studies for the public relations professional and the PR novice. Feel free to comment, re-post or ask questions—I hope you enjoy your experience here.

PR and marketing have been the focus of my career for the past 32 years. As an ad agency client during the early years, I experienced a birds-eye view of agencies and the experience wasn't always a good one. When Ideaworks opened in 1995, we were determined to break the mold, and after 17 years, more than 300 awards and hundreds of client referrals, I think we're starting to get there.
—Caron Sjoberg, APR, CPRC

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