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Public Relations & Social Media Insight
PR insight, social media & thought leadership - from The PR Coach http://www.theprcoach.com
Curated by Jeff Domansky
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11 Overused Terms in Modern Marketing That Need to be Retired

11 Overused Terms in Modern Marketing That Need to be Retired | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

You really need to stop using these phrases.


Some are blatantly self-inflating, some are too vague for their own good, and others just sound downright disgusting.x


We’re all familiar with those wrung out, miserably overused industry terms that have been leeched of their original potency.


They’re the ones repeatedly (and often inaccurately) applied to such a broad variety of subjects and situations that they’ve taken on undesirable connotations as a result.


And they’re the words I’m now promoting replacements for in an effort to abolish their exhausting reign over modern marketing discourse....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Marketing malaprops begone!

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Steve Jobs, Larry Page And Rush Limbaugh Walk Into A Bar: A Look At The Future of Truth

Steve Jobs, Larry Page And Rush Limbaugh Walk Into A Bar: A Look At The Future of Truth | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

This is a tale of memory, truth, technology, and, well, the future of humanity—but it starts in high school.


If you went to high school in America, there is a pretty good chance you learned to write essays using the dreaded five paragraph method. For those who don’t remember, the structure is this: Introductory paragraph (wherein you lay out your thesis), followed by three supporting graphs (each one making a different yet complimentary supporting argument), finished with a conclusion (essentially your introduction restated and a final conclusion drawn).


What I want to point out here is the amount of data being offered up. While it’s called a five paragraph essay, the argument itself hinges on three main data points. Three core ideas. Because of this, the five paragraph essay is also known as the “hamburger essay” or “one, three, one,” or, occasionally, a “three-tier essay.”...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Three things you should know about the Internet and communication. A thoughtful essay about working memory and recommended reading for marketing, PR and content pros. 8.5/10

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4 Lessons From Writing on an Emerging Mobile Platform

4 Lessons From Writing on an Emerging Mobile Platform | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

About six months ago, Pocket Gems, a mobile game developer, launched a new platform called Episode. It allows writers to script a story and then turn it into an animated interactive mobile story. It combines parts of TV shows, comics, and novels, and provides the unique ability for readers to have some control of how the story goes.


I started writing on the platform almost as soon as it launched and have written three stories to date. My most successful story, Finding Mr. Wright, has built a significant audience in a short time. So far it has an audience of 163,000 readers, who have collectively read over 1,222,000 chapters of my story....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Episode is mobile storytelling platform that lets readers decide where the story goes. Here's what Kathryn Stanley learned about writing for Episode.

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Is there a definitive answer to this capitalization conundrum?

Is there a definitive answer to this capitalization conundrum? | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

 While trying to answer co-worker's question last week, I unearthed a contentious capitalization conundrum. (Try saying that 10 times fast.) And much like the wrangling over the serial comma, or for that matter, capitalization, this debate does not appear to have an easy answer. 

The question: do you capitalize a lowercase brand name if the brand name is used at the beginning of a sentence? Here are a couple examples:

  • eBay has a fabulous collection of vintage tube tops. 
  • iTunes must now compete with Amazon’s Prime Music.


The Chicago Manual of Style has this to say: “Brand names or names of companies that are spelled with a lowercase initial letter followed by a capital letter (eBay, iPod, iPhone, etc.) need not be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or heading, though some editors may prefer to reword.” 

That wasn't always its rule, though....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

When a brand's name begins with a lowercase letter, it can be the cause of some serious confusion. e.e. cummings would be amused at this vexing writer's challenge. Recommended reading. 9/10

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BBC makes its training resources free to the public in 11 languages

BBC makes its training resources free to the public in 11 languages | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

If you're in the market for a free journalism education, hundreds of training materials are now at your disposal.If you're in the market for a free journalism education, hundreds of training materials are now at your disposal.


The BBC's College of Journalism made a slew of videos and guides - initially created to train its own journalists - available to reporters worldwide for free.You can watch videos and tutorials made by BBC journalists in the field on journalists' safety, social media,  multimedia  techniques, as well as subject and writing style guides galore. Check out the whole library here....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Awesome writing resource, free for the next 12 months. Maybe they'll extend that in the future?

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You’re probably using the wrong dictionary « the jsomers.net blog

You’re probably using the wrong dictionary « the jsomers.net blog | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

...Take a simple word, like “flash.” In all the dictionaries I’ve ever known, I would have never looked up that word. I’d've had no reason to — I already knew what it meant. But go look up “flash” in Webster’s (the edition I’m using is the 1913). The first thing you’ll notice is that the example sentences don’t sound like they came out of a DMV training manual (“the lights started flashing”) — they come from Milton and Shakespeare and Tennyson (“A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act”).


You’ll find a sense of the word that is somehow more evocative than any you’ve seen. “2. To convey as by a flash… as, to flash a message along the wires; to flash conviction on the mind.” In the juxtaposition of those two examples — a message transmitted by wires; a feeling that comes suddenly to mind — is a beautiful analogy, worth dwelling on, and savoring. Listen to that phrase: “to flash conviction on the mind.” This is in a dictionary, for God’s sake....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Toss out your old dictionary and try out the fabulous Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, the bulk of which was the work of one man and was last revised in 1913.


Inspiring post by James Somers and recommended reading for writers and wordsmiths.  10/10

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Three Blogging Tricks That Will Save Your Sanity | Liz Strauss

Three Blogging Tricks That Will Save Your Sanity | Liz Strauss | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Bloggers are always “on deadline.”


No matter what the posting schedule is like (daily, weekly, monthly), there is always another deadline looming. It can feel like one of those hamster wheels where you can’t get off.


With several years of blogging under my belt, I have accumulated some tricks that keep me from losing my mind.

Keep These Blogging Tricks Up Your Sleeve...
Jeff Domansky's insight:

Liz Strauss shares some valuable blogging wisdom.

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How to Dramatically Reduce Time Typing

How to Dramatically Reduce Time Typing | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Earlier this year, Dan Pink shared in one of his newsletters about how he uses text expanders to dramatically reduce the amount of time he spends replying to e-mail. I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but the idea of having short abbreviations for frequently typed text appealed to me. So I started using a text expander this summer and was AMAZED at how easy it was to use and how much easier it made responding to frequently asked questions.


As I often do when I find something to be of great benefit, I started telling everyone who would listen (even some who wouldn’t!) about it. But I found that few people were giving text expanders a try because they either were concerned they would be too complicated or didn’t see the value. I completely understand those concerns so I thought I would outline the simple 3-step process....


Jeff Domansky's insight:

Blast through things you type all the time and get back to the important things! Smart tools and tips!

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Why I Write: 23 Fascinating Quotes from Famous Authors - Aerogramme Writers' Studio

Why I Write: 23 Fascinating Quotes from Famous Authors - Aerogramme Writers' Studio | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Quotes from Sylvia Plath, George Orwell, Zadie Smith, Roald Dahl, Junot Diaz, Harper Lee and others on 'Why I Write'.

“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” – Sylvia Plath

Jeff Domansky's insight:

A little Friday writing inspiration.

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The greatest novel you've never read: The revival of Stoner

The greatest novel you've never read: The revival of Stoner | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

John Williams’ Stoner is one of the most highly and widely praised novels of recent times. Hailed as a ‘perfect novel’ by New York Timescritic Morris Dickstein, it has collected high-profile endorsements from the likes of Bret Easton Ellis (‘a great American novel’), Ian McEwan (‘a minor masterpiece’), and even Tom Hanks, who wrote in Times Magazine: ‘It’s one of the most fascinating things you’ve ever come across’.


It was recently a bestseller across most of Europe. It is also 48 years old. Which begs the question: how does a largely forgotten American novel become a bestseller 48 years after its initial publication?...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

I'm definitely going to check out this novel.

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Do You Know How to Create and Use Punchy Sound Bites? | Get In Front Communications

Do You Know How to Create and Use Punchy Sound Bites? | Get In Front Communications | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Be quotable. Make your point. It’s kind of like a tag line. Sum it up in eight words or less.


Sound bites have typically been associated with political speeches and the subsequent ‘confusion’ (allegedly) created by reporters who have irresponsibly taken things out of context

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A sound bite or quote is the short tight combination of words that hits your message home....


Today, we depend on sound bites because of the dwindling attention span of our society. Too often, 140 characters are too many.


Below are five ways to recognize valuable snippets and sound bites so your communication pops:...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Susan Young shows how to communicate more powerfully using sound bites.

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Bitch. Procrastinate. Write. : Got no writing ideas? Here's 11 reasons why

Bitch. Procrastinate. Write. : Got no writing ideas? Here's 11 reasons why | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Newbies and pros do it. They want to be writers, they like to think of themselves as writers, they feel like they should be writing, and yet they’re uninspired to do so…by anything.   It’s not a valid excuse. You’re just being lazy and ignorant.     


The world and everyone in it are bombarding you around the clock with things to write. The problem is your senses aren’t on. Instead of asking what you can write about, you should be asking, “Why aren’t I aware and making something of everything that’s being given to me?”   Here are 11 things for you to mull over while you’re busy being stuck....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Mike Stiles has tips to help you get unstuck from writer's block.

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How to Write a Book In Your Spare Time

How to Write a Book In Your Spare Time | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

If you really want to write, you can and will make time for it. And I'm going to tell you how to write a book.Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:Anyone can write a book.Yes, that’s right, I said anyone. Even you. You have stories you want to tell. You have things you want to say. You are the only person on Earth who can tell others how you see the world, and you feel about a given subject, a particular theme or trope. Whether you’re a natural writer or in need some polish, you can write a book....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Good motivational advice for writers.

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The written word

The written word | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

OK so I know that there's YouTube and podcasting but most of the Internet's power is still in the written word. It is text that conveys most of the important ideas and it is accessible at almost zero cost to all of us.


...We need to start small, to take baby steps. Even the practise of keeping a paper journal is immensely powerful. We often don't know what we think until we write it down. Jotting down ideas and impressions gets us in the habit of thinking about what we think and better at expressing it. As we get more confident we can share some of our insights online. Whether by blogging or updating Facebook we can put things out there, see what reactions we get, learn from the responses. Rinse and repeat....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Word up! Euan Semple reminds us of the importance of words at The Obvious.

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Good Descriptions Rate More Than Good Reviews

Good Descriptions Rate More Than Good Reviews | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Price still rules as an online purchase influencer, but basic brand assets should not be ignored in online product presentations.


Clear, concise, and pertinent product descriptions make online shoppers press the “Buy” button more often than do favorable reviews. In fact, only price topped persuasive product copy as a purchase influencer, according to a survey of 500 consumers conducted by Markettree for HookLogic.


Price remains king, with 84% of consumers designating it as one of the top three factors that cause them to buy. Sixty-three percent named product descriptions, and 49% listed reviews. Bringing up the rear were videos, named by only 12%. Fundamental brand assets like product names, images, and features, maintains HookLogic's survey report, are the bottom-of-the-funnel items most likely to turn browsers into buyers....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Surprising copywriting, market research.

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Bad Pitch Blog: Is Soft Language Killing Your Pitch? | Kevin Dugan

The infamously expletive-wielding Carlin could be the NSFW poster child. So does that make him the worst possible role model in this situation. Before you decide, consider the phrase he invented...soft language.


"American English is loaded with euphemisms -- because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. So they invent a kind of to protect themselves from it. And it gets worse with every generation."


To explain soft language, Carlin details the evolution of the term shell shock - in a way only he can...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Kevin Dugan offers up George Carlin's explanation of "soft language" and why it rarely works.

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This column will change your life: how to think about writing

This column will change your life: how to think about writing | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The key thing to realise, Pinker argues, is that writing is "cognitively unnatural." For almost all human existence, nobody wrote anything; even after that, for millennia, only a tiny elite did so. And it remains an odd way to communicate. You can't see your readers' facial expressions. They can't ask for clarification. Often, you don't know who they are, or how much they know. How to make up for all this?


Pinker's answer builds on the work of two language scholars, Mark Turner and Francis-Noël Thomas, who label their approach "joint attention". Writing is a modern twist on an ancient, species-wide behaviour: drawing someone else's attention to something visible. 

Jeff Domansky's insight:

'The idea is to help readers discern something you know they'd be able to see, if only they were looking in the right place,' says Oliver Burkeman...

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by Rich Becker: Five Popular Content Writing Tips That Are Dead Wrong

by Rich Becker: Five Popular Content Writing Tips That Are Dead Wrong | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

With the proliferation of technology, some people assume that writing proficiency is increasing and not diminishing. This isn't the case. One recent OECD study shows that despite having higher than average educational attainment, adults in the United States are below average in basic literacy.

How low? The United States ranked 16th out of 23 countries in literacy proficiency, with one in six adults scoring below level 2 (illiterate) on the literacy scale. Perhaps more troubling, college graduates demonstrate comparatively miserable scores. This means that degrees are beginning to create a meaningless expectation that graduates possess basic skill sets....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Time to explode these writing myths says Rixh Becker.

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Waiting for the Internet’s ‘Mad as Hell’ Moment | Medium

Waiting for the Internet’s ‘Mad as Hell’ Moment | Medium | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Now that TV is the place for serious people with long attention spans, we’re really in trouble


...Allow me to paraphrase. Back in the day, the powers that be had an imperfect but workable recipe for turning our brains in to nice steaming bowls of beef stew using television. But some people saw through that plan. Today, TV is really just as dumb as ever, but it is out-dumbed by the internet. When these two forces work together… Ding! Stew’s ready....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Drew Reed writes a thoughful and delightful essay on Medium.

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Words Matter } Lou Hoffman

Words Matter } Lou Hoffman | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

You would think every company would prefer to communicate in a way that connects with the audience.


Yet, business writing often comes off as mechanical or at best perfunctory.


The crazy part is that it doesn’t take true expertise to write with a touch of warmth.


It’s more of an attitude....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

In business, Lou Hoffman reminds us that words matter. But then we all knew that. Right?

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10 Terrifying Two Sentence Horror Stories

10 Terrifying Two Sentence Horror Stories | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Because sleeping with the lights off is completely overrated, take a peek at these ten scary two-sentence horror stories! 

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Shades of Stephen King! Very creative. Writers take note.

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Mass Moments: Kerouac Writes First Novel, March 23, 1948

Mass Moments: Kerouac Writes First Novel, March 23, 1948 | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
On this day ...in 1948, Lowell native Jack Kerouac happily noted in his diary that he had written 2500 words. If he could keep up this pace, he would finish his first novel in a matter of weeks. The highly autobiographical The Town and the City was published in 1950, the same year he began writing On the Road, the novel that earned him the title "Father of the Beat Generation." By the time he died at the age of 47 Jack Kerouac had published 14 books. On the Road is Kerouac's most-read work today; it is widely considered one of the most important and influential American novels of the twentieth century, and Jack Kerouac is celebrated as one of Lowell's favorite sons....
Jeff Domansky's insight:
Remembering one of my favorite novels...
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What is it about a mountain? | Colin Wright | hi

What is it about a mountain? | Colin Wright | hi | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

There aren’t as many mountains visible from the city of Reykjavik as there are in Missoula, but they’re waiting, when you want them. Head out to the docks and look out at the horizon. On a clear day, you can see them lining the sky. On a cloudy or foggy day, only the sharpest of the bunch stand out against the otherwise ocean-dominated curve of the planet.


And they’re more than enough.

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Creative with your coffee... Well said!

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Online Writing with Clarity Infographic - Business 2 Community

Online Writing with Clarity Infographic - Business 2 Community | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Online writing may include blogging, marketing copy, website or newsletter content and they all share the need for clarity.  One of the first things we learn about writing online is we have seconds to capture a reader and their attention span is short. Clear, concise writing wasn’t invented online, however, it has always been taught to writers as a best practice.  Long before the Internet, George Orwell said, “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out."....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Writing or blogging? Always use the KISS principle.

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aanve's curator insight, February 13, 10:23 PM

www.aanve.com

 

Mana Huart's curator insight, February 14, 2:12 AM

C'est si simple…

Mick D Kirkov's curator insight, March 15, 8:40 AM

Penelope

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What makes a book a classic?

What makes a book a classic? | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Do Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace qualify, and if not, why not?...


Perhaps the most eloquent consideration of this question is Italo Calvino’s essay, “Why Read the Classics?,” in which he defines a classic as “a book that has never finished saying what it has to say,” among a list of other qualities. But as wondrous as that sounds, it could also describe some books we read today — “Infinite Jest,” for example — books that most of our contemporaries would deem too recent for classic status. I also love Calvino’s effort to capture the imaginative quality of a great literary work — “a book that takes the form of an equivalent to the universe, on a level with the ancient talismans” — but suspect that the following is more accurate: “The classics are the books that come down to us bearing upon them the traces of readings previous to ours, and bringing in their wake the traces they themselves have left on the culture or cultures they have passed through.”...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Are you a blogger or writer? You'll enjoy this great read from Salon.com.   Here's my question for the day: Will there ever be an eBlook "classic"?

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