Spin-Genius
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Spin-Genius
Tips and Tricks for Public Relations and Marketing Pro's From the Founder of The Corielle Consultancy.
Curated by Corielle Heath
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FREE Resources for Crafting Compelling and Socially Responsible News

FREE Resources for Crafting Compelling and Socially Responsible News | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

An EXCELLENT collection of FREE resources, valuable to journalists, PR pros and anyone looking to expand their knowledge of what makes excellent international storytelling.

 

The free handbook downloads explores a wide spectrum of topics from crafting news for television broadcasts to writing about the most challenging and controversial social issues.  

 

Provided by the International Center for Journalists--a valuable resource itself--dedicated to advancing quality journalist worldwide. 

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5 Traffic Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Generating Web Traffic

5 Traffic Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Generating Web Traffic | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it
In order to get the most traffic, you have to prioritize which tactic will work best for your business. Here are 5 ways to generate web traffic.
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Achieving Social SEO through Google+ Integration

Achieving Social SEO through Google+ Integration | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

Creating a verified Google+ profile and integrating it into your site puts you high on Google’s priority list when showing search results. They give more value to annotated listings because they have verified the identity of these businesses and can vouch for their relevance to your market’s search. Of course, annotated profiles were just the beginning of Google giving importance to social media influence.

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New York Times on Obamacare

New York Times on Obamacare | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

While this article's overarching theme condemns the Obama administration for its presumption of constitutionality with regard to the health care mandate, it demonstrates no appreciation for the strategic application of the 14th amendment.

Perhaps one of the most broadly applied amendments to the US constitution, the 14th is best known for guarenteeing all citizens equal protection under the law. This vague promise has been invoked in defense of a huge array of otherwise questionably-constitutional laws and court decisions, most often as a tool to maintain the relevancy of a 300-year-old document.

In this case, however, I believe the 14th amendment is, for once, rightfully applicable. The "equal protection clause" was, most likely, drafted as a safeguard for those epitomal rights our forefathers identified: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. At its core, under layers of economic and political justification, the healthcare mandate is about the right of all US citizens to life and the preservation thereof. The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment should protect the right of all citizens to life-saving preventative medicine and medical care, regardless of their ability to afford such care.

My Aunt is suffering from ovarian cancer, and her private health insurance (she and my uncle own and operate an independent photography studio), has terminated coverage due to the expense of chemotherapy and other treatments. as a result, she has recently ceased seeking treatment for the cancer that is slowly killing her.  When I learned of this, a part of be was unthinkably sad; a larger, more formidable part of me was unthinkably angry.  

 

I am furious with this country for their acceptance of such a disgraceful slap in the face to human dignity.  What does it mean that we, as a culture, so willingly accept--and some defend--such callous comodification of the preservation of human life?  What it means to the rest of the civilized world, as my travels abroad have shown me, is that we are a backwards nation--one where sick and dying people are turned away from hospitals and pharmacies unless they can pay for treatment.  To the rest of the world, it "self-evident" that we are an autocratic society where rights are not endowed, but rather purchased.

 

Thus, my rebuttal to this ignorant New York Times article is a vehement and infuriated invocation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  I can only hope that lawyers for the Administration do exactly the same, with the same infuriated passion and with superior eloquence.  

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The Tiziano Project

The Tiziano Project | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

The Tiziano Project | 360° Kurdistan presents the journalistic efforts and personal accounts of Iraqi citizens living in the Kurdish north alongside the stories of their professional multimedia journalism mentors. This is a documentary effort by The Tiziano Project, which provides new media tools and training to community members in conflict, post-conflict and developing regions.

 

The purpose of The Tiziano Project | 360° Kurdistan is to provide you with a robust and complete understanding of life, culture and news in present-day Iraqi Kurdistan.

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How PR people can tell when a journalist doesn't like them

How PR people can tell when a journalist doesn't like them | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

Six (seemingly obvious) signs that a reporter just doesn't like you.  #5- The reporter calls you a flack.  

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How to Pitch without Pissing a Journalist Off

How to Pitch without Pissing a Journalist Off | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

This survey of journalists indicates that they prefer PR outreach via phone and email, while they are put-off by outreach through some social media channels.  For example, Twitter is A-OK for connecting with Journalists, but Facebook? Not so much..

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Cure 'Invisible PR Team Syndrome' and Give Your Organization a Human Face :: PR News

Cure 'Invisible PR Team Syndrome' and Give Your Organization a Human Face :: PR News | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it
Many organizations still insist on hiding the identities of their own PR pros and experts on their sites and in their announcements. 

 

This only furthers the negative connotation currently associated with the term "PR," and it certainly doesn't increase an organization's appearance of transparency.  

 

Sulking in the shadowed underbelly of a coporate entity is a habit which should be reserved for lawyers and book-cookers (read: accountants).  

 

Emerging from the shadows is a necessary step in the evolution of the public relations profession, and it is undeniably one which will foster positive relationships between publics, practitioners and the brands they represent (hint: we care about this in PR). 

 

 

 

 

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The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon

The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it
Strike this gobbledygook from your working vocabulary.

 

An excerpt:

 

"S.W.A.T. Team

In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit."

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More negative coverage of the #PR industry and its ties to #Assad family

More negative coverage of the #PR industry and its ties to #Assad family | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

"Assad Turned to Western public-relations firms and news publications to burnish their image, portraying themselves as cosmopolitan and progressive." 

 

Is this Daily Beast article referring simply to the abstract, "Western World," or is this a jab at American public relations firms and their practices? 

 

Either way, its yet another journalist and another news outlet eager to define the public relations industry around the actions of a few rogue "flaks."

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Pitching Tips Every New PR Should Know | Business 2 Community

Pitching Tips Every New PR Should Know | Business 2 Community | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

The PRSA invited Amber Paluch, local news editor for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and Trish Ossmann, assistant news for WBAY, to discuss their preferences when it comes to receiving pitches for story ideas.

 

This article includes their list of tips to ensure that your story gets placed.  (Hint: Send Pitches Via Social Media)

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Has Google Notified You of a Government-Sponsored Hacking-Attempt on Your Gmail Account?

Has Google Notified You of a Government-Sponsored Hacking-Attempt on Your Gmail Account? | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

ProPublica, a non-profit news think-tank, is investigating the recent heads-up emails received by journalists, activists, students, academics, etc., warning of a state-sponsored Gmail attack.  Read more and help them further their investigation.  Ensuring governments are held accountable for both tangible and digital transgressions is crucial to preserving the integrity of our democracy.

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Why Visual Marketing is Important for Brands Today - Forbes

Why Visual Marketing is Important for Brands Today - Forbes | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

Are you fascinated by the emergence of Pinterest as a force of up-n-coming internet power?  You shouldn't be.  Forbes explains why...

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How To Make Money With A Blog

How To Make Money With A Blog | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it
Since I am now making a full time income from my blog, I decided that I needed to write about how to make money blogging.
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How to Make Google Choose You over Your Competition

How to Make Google Choose You over Your Competition | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

More Google related tips and tricks for you tireless #SEO warriors out there. Fight on my friends.

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#SEO Is More Important Than Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

#SEO Is More Important Than Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

According to research by BlueCaribu, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what drives the monetization of the internet. The infographic shown here illustrates how BlueCaribu drew this conclusion.

 

For PR pros and digital marketing gurus, however, its important to understand the intangible value of social media as a means of building brand equity and consumer loyalty. Moreover, for those operating in the government or non-profit sectors, social media is just as, if not more, important than SEO in terms of mobilizing supporters and leveraging that support to raise funds.

 

Social media must be managed well in order to translate to positive brand awareness and consumer loyalty.

 

Here are Corielle Heath's 5 tips for maximizing social media potential:

 

1) RESPOND: Regardless of whether a user has complimented or criticized your organization, engaging with that user is necessary to establish a lasting relationship and act as an advocate for your brand. Even something as simple as a "thank you!" or "We're sorry you feel this way, and we're doing what we can to fix the problem," is a powerful tool of engagement.

 

2) CREATE NEW CONTENT: It may be tempting to simply retweet/share content generated by third-party organizations, but expressing the unique, honest and personal voice of the brand is the purpose of social media. Rather than retweet a link shared by a mews organization, for example, share a thought or opinion on the content or, even better, post a brief reply/rebuttal to your organization's blog and share the link to the reply.

 

3) HUMOR MAKES THINGS GO VIRAL: Be funny. Try your hardest, or find someone who can. When disseminating messages through social media, content which is entertaining, especially humorously entertaining, is guarenteed to enjoy greater peer to peer virality than content which invokes emotional appeals or white-bread industry-speak.

 

4) BREAK NEWS ONLINE FIRST: If you want users to turn to your social media pages as an information resource, content generation must be regular, reliable and immediate. When issuing a press release or breaking news announcement, a good practice is to release the information through social media 10-15 minutes before alerting the press. While media relations is the traditional tool-of-choice for communications professionals, ideally, all consumers would come straight to the source for news and information on an organization. Social media makes this ideal a reality, allowing you to teach audiences that your brand's social media pages are the most up-to-the-minute sources for brand-related information.

 

5) BE A HUMAN: Social media epitomizes transparency, honesty and casual conversation. Your Facebook page is not the place to use jargon, industry-speak or even patently persuasive language. This is where brands become people, so you must give your organization a personality. Develop a consistent tone, be it humorous, opinionated, edgy, sarcastic, etc. A good tool for developing a social media identity is to sit down with your clients/brand/organization and brainstorm what kind of person the brand would be. Is your brand male or female? Young or old? Does it have an ethnic, racial or national identity? What does your brand-character look like? You get the picture. Developing a brand-character will also serve the valuable purpose of allowing multiple individuals to manage a single brand's social media pages without sacrificing consistency in tone or position.

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Right-Wing Politics: A Pattern of Purposeful Deception

Right-Wing Politics: A Pattern of Purposeful Deception | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

This study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (reported here by Huff Post Politics), reveals that 85% of the money spent on advertising campaigns by the top four campaign "super Pacs" funded misleading or outright deceptive advertisements.  

 

Worth noting is the fact that all of these groups are heavily right-wing, and the misinformation was used to paint a negative (inaccurate) picture of President Obama as he heads into reelection season.  Patently unethical tactics were employed, such as the "quote cropping" shown in the image above, and, often, the information was false on its face (ie: "Obama's stimulus bill sent tens of millions of dollars to build traffic lights in China.")

 

While this is certainly a distubring revelation, it is not, by any means, surprising (at least not to those of us in the PR/Marketing/Advertising professions).  Deception and manipulation of the public has become commonplace, not just in politics, but in commerce and even the non-profit sector.  

 

Such behavior is certainly not UNIFORM, of course, and there are a great many practitioners and politicians who would be nauseated at the idea of transmitting fabricated or falsified information. Regardless of your ethical perspective on the matter, the fact remains that purposeful public deception is not illegal (at least not in the United States).  Political speech, in fact, enjoys the highest degree of protection against censorship under the Supreme Court's interpretation of the U.S. Constitution--whether such speech is truthful is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

 

The question, then, is this: why are advertising and public relations messages not held to the same standard of truth as journalism?  In today's world of digital, direct-t0-consumer communication, the lines between news, marketing and spin-doctoring are blurring.  Concurrently, the public suffers from a diminishing capacity to distinguish between legitimate, trustworthy news sources and biased, agenda-driven messaging.  

 

Perhaps a new era of news consumers, born into the internet era, will be better able to discern fact, from fiction, from flack.  I certainly hope so because the alternative, it seems, is that the next era of news consumers will loose all faith in the reliability of institutional sources of information, presuming falsity before veracity.  And then where would we be?

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Emerge From Behind the "PR" Stigma

Emerge From Behind the "PR" Stigma | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

People are more willing to put their trust in a person with a face, a name and an identity which is autonomous from their organization. Allow yourself to be humanized. Strengthening our personal brands will help ensure we own our ethical responsibilities and commit ourselves to the preservation of our integrity.

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3:1—The Ratio Of PR Professionals vs. Journalists

3:1—The Ratio Of PR Professionals vs. Journalists | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

Journalists are extremely outnumbered by public relations professionals, according to data obtained from the US Department of Labor.  Is this one contributing factor producing tension between the two professions?  Which side do you feel has more power--the majority or the necessary rarity?

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Agency Management Focus: Study Reveals Six Traits of Stellar Agency Leaders - and How to Lead Creative Professionals - CommPRO.biz

Agency Management Focus: Study Reveals Six Traits of Stellar Agency Leaders - and How to Lead Creative Professionals - CommPRO.biz | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

These skills and character traits are valued highest by the PR Agency world's most successful leaders. While the author explains why traits such as "Good Communicator" and "Understands the Business" are specifically relevant to PR, the traits are undoubtedly shared by successful leaders in every business sector.

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Five Insider Strategies for College Grads Seeking PR Jobs

Ketchum PR's SVP Director, Michele Lanza, shares five key tactics for securing employment after graduation.  For public relations entry-level pros, the two major take-aways are internship experience and getting creative with your personal branding.

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Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know

Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

Twitter abbreviations and acronyms are an odd mash-up of text slang, old school chat room phrases, common sense short forms and corporate buzzwords.  

While not quite a comprehensive dictionary of all things Twitter.com, what follows below is a quick-print glossary of common Twitter abbreviations...

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On PR's bad PR: "Syria's Assads Turned to West for Glossy PR" -NYTimes Headline

On PR's bad PR: "Syria's Assads Turned to West for Glossy PR" -NYTimes Headline | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

The NYTimes' Bill Carter and Amy Chozick write: "With help from high-priced public relations advisers, President Bashar al-Assad and his wife tried to portray themselves as progressive, and even glamorous, in the Western news media." 

 

The article calls out, specifically, the PR firms Brown Loyd James (Washington) and Bell Pottinger (London).  The article's clear implication, however, is that PR practitioners manipulate news outlets into glorifying unethical politicians and political institutions.  The authors' disdain for the PR profession as a whole come across loud and clear, but the more troublesome issue the article raises is the negative connotation "public relations" carries in modern discourse.  

 

I'd love to hear some feedback on the article and the issue in general from my fellow PR professionals.  Is the "spin-doctor" stigma an inexorable facet of PR?  What are the potential consequences for the profession as a whole if both the news media and the public distrust all information from the PR-horse's mouth? 

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What Warren Buffet Knows About News (Which All PR Pros Should Learn)

What Warren Buffet Knows About News (Which All PR Pros Should Learn) | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it

The future of journalism may have been sold off as dead in 2008, but Warren Buffet has revived the industry in a surprise purchase of 63 community newspapers.  Why has the world's most successful and intelligent businessman bought into a seemingly-sinking industry? 

 

He understands the power of the local, daily and weekly publication.  And you should too.  

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3 Steps to Writing Copy that Speaks to Real Desire | Copyblogger

3 Steps to Writing Copy that Speaks to Real Desire | Copyblogger | Spin-Genius | Scoop.it
Can you increase your business without sacrificing your ethics on the altar of sleazy hype and inflated promises? Mark Silver spells out how.
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