Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Practical PR Book for Marketing Professionals & Business Owners

PR Book by Publicity QueenWe’ve been asked to write a media and PR book by one of Australia’s leading publishers, for business owners and managers that want to grow their companies’ brands and bottom-lines.

Firstly we’re very excited!

Secondly we’re taking a page out of David Meerman-Scott’s fabulous books so we’re going to get you involved in its development because we want to write a highly practical marketing and communications book especially designed for Aussie marketing managers and business owners…

Our belief is that people who are responsible for an organisation’s marketing, no matter how large or small, have a mandate to grow the company, increase its profile, engage its customers online etc etc; and are trying to achieve all of this in an increasingly complex (not to mention crowded!) media and communications landscape.

So what secrets do you want from us to help you be more dynamic?

What information and insights would help you in making your PR and communications more results-focussed and successful?

Is it how to write a media release; how to measure your PR activities; how to create a market-leading brand; how to navigate social media; how to leverage one promotional concept across multiple channels – what would help you?

You can send us your feedback by way of comment on the blog, or send us an email directly at info @ or ring us on 1300 PR QUEEN.  We’re committed to making this a great book so we’re looking forward to incorporating your feedback into it (and mentioning you on the acknowledgments page!)…

PR Brisbane

Yours in PR

How to Use Social Media as a Sales Tool


For many businesses, creating social media content is just the latest on their corporate ‘to do’ list, and while some would recognise its importance in building brand awareness, others are discovering how to turn these virtual communities into tangible sales.

Greg Moore, Managing Director of Huthwaite Asia-Pacific wrote recently that social media now provides a direct hotline straight to the consumers that by-passes the filters inherent in the media and advertising.

By focusing on the consumer, and using social media to better understand their lifestyles, preferences and tastes, companies can target their market offering to anticipate and then fill market needs without having to pay for surveys, focus groups or other forms of market testing.

So, how can we use social media to… for want of a better word… SELL, SELL, SELL!?

Research/Brand Platform: Social media channels enable sellers to understand the kind of user behaviours or opinions in a closer and quicker setting, and without the interference and inherent bias (not to mention cost) of third party input. With the advent of social media, a company can just go to Facebook or online blogs to read what consumers are saying about their products and services or observe the people coming to their websites as well as using the search engine optimisation tool to deduce the familiarity of their brand name.

Prospecting: Social media is useful for a prospecting in the marketplace to learn about the latest news and developments of your prospects businesses. This can then be used to channel your messages. For instance, if the individual prospect blogs, or posts on LinkedIn, then you can learn about what is important to them and what is likely to strike a chord when you approach them.

Building Relationships: Social media channels enable buyers to make their grievances known and sellers can learn more about their buyers’ problems and issues with the products and services and address them. This can enhance buyer confidence, help to build the relationship between the buyer and the seller, enable the seller to easily identify the needs of the target consumer and ultimately cater for these needs.

Achieving Brand Consistency: Consistency in branding and messaging is a necessary promotion any social media strategy. By continuously reaching out to buyers online and leveraging on the relationship, sellers can communicate with their customers on social media platforms and build relationships with their clients, consumers and prospects; a level of engagement that was previously unavailable.

So what’s the learning here? Social media provides your business with the opportunity to put your customer front and centre in your thinking, to study them, learn their behaviour, tastes and preferences, and use that market intel not just to market your products more effectively, but to actually develop your goods and services to fit their needs, and use the same medium to then sell to them. Genius!

How does social media feature in your market research and retail strategy? Write and let me know.

Yours in PR

Email Still Preferred by Aussie Businesses

When choosing the most effective way to reach Australian business people, it seems we may neglect email at our own peril.

A study by ExactTarget, picked up by Michael Bleby of BRW has found that while social media may be the hot medium, almost three-quarters of Australians check their email first thing each morning, while only 17 per cent check Facebook first, followed by news sites (6 per cent), one’s own website (1 per cent), with Google+ and Twitter ranking last (0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively).

It appears Australians are not unique in their primary reliance on email. In the UK, 73 per cent of consumers check email first and in the US, it is 58 per cent.

The reliance on email MAY be a generational thing, as among younger users, with most 18-to-24 year-olds reported that they checked social media ahead of email in the morning.  But even within this group, those in full-time employment tended to check email first, reflecting the more formal and busines-like nature of email.

The research also reflects a surprising continued reliance on PCs for accessing messages.  As many as 74 per cent of respondents said they used a PC to read their first online content of the day, with 14 per cent using a mobile phone. A further 7 per cent said they waited until arriving at work or school to do so, and then in the evening, the use of email drops off and social media use increases.

I have found this research to be true in my own business, and have experienced that a targetted and well-written email can be a very effective tool, despite the immediacy and currency of social media.

This research also reinforces a view of mine that email and LinkedIn remain the most powerful connectors for business, while social media remains – more or less – social!

Has this been your experience, too? Write and let me know!

Yours in PR

Howzat! Publicity Queen’s Blog Scores Double Century

Good morning and welcome to the 200th blog entry of the Publicity Queen blog!  Although I am not overly sentimental, I thought this milestone was worth celebrating, and it prompted to me to ponder about blogging and its future.

At this opportune moment I thought I would reflect on the previous 200 entries, sharing my personal highlights with you all, which in a neat way also mark some major achievements for Publicity Queen and my dream team who have helped me along the way.

As many of you know I’m an early adopter-uptaker of technology, and right from the start my blog was noted as one of Australia’s pioneering marketing blogs.  It’s hard to imagine now a time when we weren’t all blogging, but like any new innovation there were many who questioned the longevity of this new communication medium.  Although Twitter and other message delivery systems have emerged, blogging isn’t going anywhere, as evidenced by the proliferation of authors writing in this medium, including those among you who have made it PAY (ka-CHING!).

You may well ask, why do I still blog? Is it valuable? Is it worthwhile? Overwhelmingly I must tell you yes, yes and YES!  The more I know of business and building relationships in a professional sense, the greatest power and influence we generate is by making personal connections and sharing insights.  As my daughter reminds me “sharing is caring”.  Quite.

For me this blog is like a corporate photo album where I have chronicled all the highlights over the years, and when you’re busy, it’s easy to lose track of all that has been achieved so far.

This blog has also marked major achievements in our work including the many front covers (more than 20 now!), signing new clients, hiring new Queens, and the opportunities I have had to meet and learn from my ‘uber gurus’.  Few will forget (in particular, moi!) meeting George Clooney last year as well as Martha Stewart and many other business luminaries who have visited Australia over the years.

I have shared insights and revelations of my own based on my experiences of which business technologies work best in which environments, how best to promote our clients, and the lighter side of the PR game.

I encourage you all to delve into our blog archive and retrieve your favourite ‘lightbulb’ moment from all of those I have shared over the years, and I look forward to continuing this conversation with you into the future.

Yours in PR

How Journalists Use Social Media – Secrets Revealed

As a PR practitioner, I have a pretty good understanding of how folks in my craft use social media to generate ‘buzz’, to create interest in a new idea, but ever wondered if and exactly how journalists use social media?  Well… allow me to share these insights with you.

Understanding how journalists use social media to research articles can be key to your PR strategy, ensuring your efforts are targeted in the right places.  If you know where journos get their information from, you can make sure that your information is there first, can mean that they pick your story or pitch up before they look at something else.

Some interesting research into just how they do this has shed some useful light on how social media marketers and PR folk can best utilise the various social channels.

On average journalists use three different social media channels for each article they research. They find corporate blogs the most useful, while Wikipedia and Twitter were the second and third preferred channels, according to a new survey from global PR specialist Text100

Twitter and YouTube ranked as being of greater use than LinkedIn and Facebook, highlighting the importance for brands in building compelling content.

The study noted that while journalists welcomed contact from PR professionals through social media, their receptiveness varies from channel to channel. While 85% welcomed contact through their Twitter profiles and 84% are happy to approached via LinkedIn, only  42% of media welcome contact via Facebook.  It seems the use of Facebook is still overwhelmingly for social purposes.  To view the infographic in full, click here

Interestingly, the press release is still seen as more useful information source than any social media channel, so by all means don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and eliminate press releases altogether.  They are still important.

Generating media coverage for your clients can sometimes feel like a military campaign. If you want to hit your targets, you need an entire arsenal of ammunition at your dispoal – and press releases still have their place in the kit bag, but don’t overlook social media as to deploy with great effect.  It is a light, flexible and powerful weapon to use in order to a way to reach and influence journalists.

Yours in PR

Kony 2012: Hijacking of Social Media?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days, you would by now have learned about Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord and alleged criminal whose story was the genesis for the most powerful and effective viral social media campaign since its evolution a few short years ago.

Last week, Kony’s alleged atrocities were known by the more well-informed world citizens, experts in international affairs and human rights and foreign correspondents, and now he is the subject of a YouTube video that was watched – at the time of writing this blog – by 74,401,259 people around the world.  That’s 74 MILLION people.

It is fair to say that the world has never experienced a media phenomenon like this, certainly not in my lifetime. What is fascinating to me is the obvious cross over that has occurred from the social media realm into traditional media.  The most obvious example of this was when Network Ten ceased their regularly scheduled programming at 8pm on 8 March 2012, in a prime time viewing slot, no doubt seeking to capitalise on the extraordinary interest in the story that had been generated digitally.  Ratings would suggest that this endeavour failed, as Network Ten came in 11th on that night at that time slot. Perhaps by then, Kony 2012 was already old news?

While the dust is still settling from this social media phenomenon, already important questions are being asked.

The most important relate to the credibility and trustworthiness of the source of this documentary – made by a group known as Invisible Children, the brainchild of American Jason Russell.  Prior to Kony 2012, few had heard of Russell or his organisation, and if his objective was to raise awareness, not just about Kony but also about his organisation, then, well, mission accomplished.

But media analysts are quite rightly asking just who are Invisible Children, what is their agenda, who is funding their operations, and most importantly, are they legit, and can we trust the content that they have distributed, with stunning success, throughout our world?

It sets a potentially disturbing trend, in that it is the content of social media that drives the audience, and it appears if that content is salacious/scandalous/shocking/moving enough, and if there is sufficient buzz created about it, that we all tune in and watch it without first scrutinising WHOM is sending out the message.

The dissemination of news and information via social media does to a large extent circumvent the gatekeepers that ordinarily make judgement calls about what news we read.  This to an extent has led to a democratisation of the news, and has made all of us journalists, as, armed with our mobile phones and built-in cameras with access to Twitter and Facebook, we can make the news as well as consume it.  The difference is there that on social media there is no Chief of Staff, no Editor or Sub-Editor deciding which stories are important, and, critically, which ones are true.

But I wonder, if we are so quick to absorb and trust digital content from sources that are unknown to us, doesn’t that make all of us vulnerable to being exploited by propogandists, advertisers, political lobbyists and others who seek to (and already do) use social media in order to persuade us to support a cause (such as bringing Kony to justice) to support a political candidate or myriad other shady objectives that are not so transparent. I wonder if perhaps we are not so far away from a time when flagrant abuse of social media for personal views and personal gain may lead to these channels also being screened, edited and censored prior to our viewing thereof.

For the moment, unless or until such controls exist, to borrow the age-old retail adage, it is an example of ‘buyer beware’, or in the case of social media ‘viewer beware’.

Yours in PR

What PR People REALLY Do

One of the latest innovations in social media is the evolution of the meme.

What is a meme, I hear you ask? An official definition of a meme has been offered up as:  “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.

For the most part, especially recently, this has been done through the transmission of attachments to tweets and other messages via social media.

By far my favourite meme of this week (and it’s only Monday, so there are many memes still to be enjoyed this week) was produced by Edelman Australia, and is from the highly popular series “What I Do/What Other People Think I Do”, and appropriately enough, this one is What PR People Do, as created by the folks at Edelman Australia.

This meme has a real resonance for me, as it addresses what is a real disconnect between the reality of what PR people do (working hard for their clients, looking for story angles, convincing journalists to run stories, organising photoshoots, writing media releases) as opposed to what people must think we do, which is socialising, air-kissing and having coffees.

Okay, so the last one might be right, but the reality is far less glamorous than people might think, and while exciting and richly rewarding, is also a lot of hard work.

So would be interested in two things from you, our loyal readers, what are your favourite memes? And also, I would love to know what you think of the world of PR, and just what you actually do, if you are in PR, or what it is you think that we do. Your answers, I am sure, will make for fascinating reading.

Yours in PR

Stuff PR People Say

Never let it be said that PR people are either lacking in a sense of humour, or that they are out of touch with the latest online and social media trends.

In defence of this position I present to you exhibit A: a YouTube video entitled “Stuff PR People Say” which is fashioned in the manner of one of the latest YouTube sensation (Stuff) Girls Say which has had millions of views in recent weeks.

This neat little video has captured some priceless PR moments and expressions that I am sure we are all guilty of saying in the course of a hectic and fast-paced day in the life of the exciting world of PR.  These include: “Am I on speaker?”,  “Did you get my email?” and “you’re following me on Twitter, right?”

I commend this video to you, which was created by the clever folks at Hunter Public Relations of New York.  It makes enlightening viewing, particularly if you work in PR or are interested in doing so some day.  You can view it in full here

It did prompt me to think of what would be the top 5 phrases overheard here at Publicity Queen headquarters (otherwise known as PQHQ) and they are:

1. “No, didn’t you see it, it was on the FRONT PAGE!”
2. “Oh yeah, he’s one of my Twitter contacts, I can definitely get in touch with him today.”
3. “They said they would run it in the next issue.”
4. “Just got the proofs back from the photoshoot, they look AMAZING!”
5. “Well, the Herald Sun ran it, and then talkback radio got a hold of it, and then…”

I would love to know the 5 most often overheard expressions in your office.  Be sure to drop me a line and share.

Yours in PR

Getting Personal Key to Social Media Success

It is an interesting conundrum that as we live in an increasingly digitised age, that what people crave, and what they respond best to, is personalisation.  We saw this approach used recently, and to remarkably good effect, in an advertising/social media campaign by Coca Cola.

Their recent ‘Share a Coke’ campaign encouraged consumers to write in and submit names of people with whom they would like to share a Coke.  Just as a casual observer, I have watched people as they waited in line at the supermarket, turning around the labels on many bottles of Coke in the hope that their own name, or that of their partner or child or friend, or even themselves, would appear – it would be a difficult proposition to turn down a drink that quite literally had your name on it.

I also saw many friends uploading to Facebook photos they had taken of bottles of Coke with their names on or of friends and family, and all of this activity does much to reinforce the power of the brand, by personalising it.  The campaign has been a runaway success – according to, there was a 92% increase in the number of posts on the company’s Facebook page with 29,000 posts about the campaign itself.

This approach makes good sense – the more disconnected we are, by geography, by shortness of time – the more we seek out connectedness and the personal touch.

One can also apply this personalisation strategy to social media, and in particular, to the use of Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you are using Twitter (as I do) to make connections with people, in order to generate more followers, it pays to invest the time and to get to know the people you wish to connect with, and to tweet about the topics they are interested in.  And it throws up another challenge too, in that I have my doubts that this strategy could be used on behalf of a corporate twitter account per se, but is highly effective when conducted by an individual, on behalf of a company.  Which makes the case, that I have long believed, in maintaining a dual-track system for Twitter – save your corporate account for disseminating media releases and blog entries, and making corporate connections; while also tweeting on a personal level for sharing personal insights and making personal linkages.

The same goes for LinkedIn.  When you identify crucial people that you wish to connect with, don’t just click ‘connect’ and expect people to add you to their list of contacts.  When you write to them, personalise your message, and explain how it is you heard of them, or share an insight that you know may be of interest.  This small investment you make will pay big dividends, and has enabled me to make connections with critically important people whom otherwise would have remained out of my league.

So, in essence, learn from our friends at Coca Cola, and get personal in your social media outreach, and you too will reap the benefits.

Yours in PR



Oh Tweet! What a Year!

Ever wondered what might happen if you aggregated a year’s worth of tweets from around the world and then looked back at what everyone had tweeted for the last 12 months?  Well, British author Kate Bussmann has done just that.  Her new book A Twitter Year is a fascinating rear-window view of just what has had everyone Twitterpated over the past year… it makes for interesting reading.

By far the most interesting and observable trend from a media and PR perspective is the democratisation of news, whereby global citizens, armed just with their mobile phone cameras and a twitter account have reported the news that no-one else could get to – such as the Arab Spring breaking out across the Middle East, and many other news stories.

So many times it has been grainy mobile phone-captured images that first break the story once they have been captured, uploaded and then broadcast around the world, long before the world’s media camera crews could get there.

As well as disseminating news, Twitter has also become a global instant feedback loop, where corporate failures (re: Qantas, BP oil spill in) or personal brainmelts have been met with a resounding, world-wide BOO in the form of Tweets on various topics, the most recent of which as we reported recently related to the onair antics of Kyle Sandilands.

Equally, happy news such as Beyonce’s pregnancy or the most recent royal wedding, got the Twitterspace all in a happy bustle as people shared the love.

Watch this space to see the ever-evolving social media space that is quite literally, changing the way we learn about important local and world events, and how we gauge public opinion on a variety of subjects.

Yours in PR

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