Author Archives: Cindy

Three Public Relations Resolutions for the New Year

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I’m not a big fan of resolutions. They are so easy to make and so hard to keep. Eat less, spend less, exercise more and get organized. They all seem to center around self-deprivation and denial.  I know it’s good for me, but sticking to it day-to-day isn’t a walk on the beach. Still the beginning of the year does get me thinking about what I can do better. How I can improve and what steps I need to take to do that.

It’s a time to look at yourself personally, but also professionally.  I work with a lot of clients on public relations and time and time again I see the same simple ways they could easily step up their public relations strategy with just a little bit of effort. I am talking about the low-hanging fruit that too many companies just don’t take the time to grab.  Here are three things I think you could do this year to get more recognition and attention in your industry and community.

#1 – K.I.S.S.
I have always thought that when Einstein said, “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough” he was referring to news (press) releases. I know he wasn’t. He was probably talking about some complex theorem, but it’s still the same concept. You should be able to write a news release about your products or services that the average person can understand. That means cutting the jargon, simplifying and saying it in plain English. Save the tech talk for the spec sheet or the white paper.  Making your releases complex doesn’t get you points. In fact, it loses you readers.  Of course, this means the people writing your releases also have to understand the products and service well enough to explain them simply.

#2 — A picture is worth a thousand words
Photos, graphics, videos aren’t just the icing on the cake anymore. They’re more like the baking soda that makes the cake rise. Instagram just announced it has more users than Twitter; Twitter posts with photos get retweeted more often; and selfies are more ubiquitous as the smart phones that take them. Photos for a news release, media kit and event or product announcement shouldn’t be an afterthought. They increase coverage of your public relations efforts to the point that they should be just an automatic part of the process. Put it on your PR checklist and try to think in terms of good photo opps. And take it beyond the standard product shot.

#3 – Stay on top of digital and social media efforts
Continuous content is the most crucial element for success in a digital or social media campaign. A steady flow of good blogs, Facebook or Twitter content really makes the difference between success and falling flat. The New Year is a great opportunity to put together a social/digital media calendar. Calendars should be flexible and subject to change, but there are some dates that you can map out in advance. Start with any holidays you want to acknowledge on your social platform. Then add in any industry event like tradeshows or seminars, conferences and training sessions. Next, fill in with upcoming announcements or rollouts. By developing a calendar in advance you have a plan to build on and that makes it easier to keep your momentum.

Done right these three things can really make a difference. They take a little time, but very little money and you should begin to notice a difference pretty quickly. 

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Don’t Forget LinkedIn in Your Content Marketing Mix

Let me start out by saying that I don’t think advertising is dead.  There is a lot of talk out there that it’s limping along as content creation sprints forward leaving it in the dust.  But, let’s be real, good advertising still sells.  That said, content creation has been around for a while, but as a relatively newbie to the marketing tool kit it’s getting a lot of attention. There are some pretty compelling reasons for this. Study after study shows that people respond to informational content.  What catches people’s attention is useful content that provides some insight or understanding.  A good blog – one that tells your customers and potential customers something they need to know — is a perfect example of persuasive content.

The biggest challenge with a blog is consistency and providing useful information.  But, there is more to it than that. Once you have the blogs written and posted your work isn’t done. If you have spent the time and energy to put together a useful blog you have to market it to keep it alive and reaching as many targeted people as possible.  Good content is marketing gold, but only if you get people to see it.  You can create a great ad, but if you don’t place it, it doesn’t sell anything.

There are lots of ways to market content.  Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ should all be part of the mix.  But, I think one of the most overlooked marketing tools for b2b communication efforts is LinkedIn.  We all know (or should know) that LinkedIn isn’t just for recruiting and job searches any more.  People use it to keep tabs on contacts, network with peers, follow industry groups and get company news.

According to reports, LinkedIn has 300 million worldwide users with 100 million in the U.S. alone.  And it’s estimated that 40 percent of those users check their accounts daily.  The average LinkedIn user has 150 connections and many have more than 500.  When you post something to LinkedIn it appears on the news feed of all of your followers (depending on your privacy settings).  If one of your connections sees it and likes it then it appears on the news feed of all of that person’s connections, if one of his/her connections likes it, it appears on the newsfeed of all of that person’s connections and if someone from that person likes it . . . well you get the idea.  The number of people who see your post adds up pretty rapidly and exponentially.  

If your post links back to your website, you not only get more visibility for your content but you also have the potential of driving more people back to your website.  And remember all of this is free.  All you have to do is assign someone (or your agency) to regularly post all blogs and news coverage to LinkedIn. It should be on the check off list along with posting to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.

LinkedIn works pretty much like Facebook, but I like it because it is a business platform targeted to professionals. Facebook is great for family photos, funny animal videos and personal opinions, but LinkedIn is for business. When you post on your company page that post appears in the news feed of everyone following your company. These are people who have shown an interest in you. Keeping them updated is important and should be a priority. These are your evangelists – people who will spread the word for you.

Airport PR: Art on the Go

If you travel a lot like I do you’ve probably experience that split second of confusion getting off an airplane.  That moment when you think “Where am I and which airport is this again?” I mean they all start to look a look alike – gray walls, blue carpets, big glass windows and lots of people.  If you’ve been immersed in a book, work or sleep for the last three hours and only fed pretzels and diet soda it’s easy to forget where you are. 

Some airports try to spruce things up with scattered art or colorful tile murals, but it’s really nothing that catches the imagination.  I recently made a trip to a large convention in Atlanta.  Now, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is not my favorite airport.  It’s bigger than big, busy and crowded.  And it seems to be perpetually under construction. 

I typically take the underground tram to baggage claim. Usually an overcrowded mode of transportation where you have to jostle with other passengers just to find a spot to brace yourself for the jerky stop-and-start-ride. Instead, this time I decided to walk.  Well, I didn’t really “decide” to walk.  I got off too early because the electronic signage on the tram wasn’t working.  But, my mistake actually turned into an unexpectedly pleasant detour. 

Between T gates and concourse A I stumbled upon a gem of a little art exhibit.  Doing some quick research later I found that it’s called “Zimbabwe Sculpture: A Tradition in Stone.”  According to the airport website it’s a permanent collection of 20 contemporary stone sculptures from Zimbabwe.  Most of the pieces are large with simple lines and varying textures.  The artist do all of the work by hand – no power tools allowed – and then they hand sand and polish selected areas. 

The themes are universal with an emphasis on family, women, children and nature. I am not an art critic.  I appreciate it, but I really don’t know what I am talking about.  All I can say is that these pieces made me stop and look. I appreciated the size and simplicity of them and the feelings that each sculpture evoked.  The photos I took don’t do the works justice.  (Did I mention that I also have no background in photography?) I think you have to see these pieces for yourself.

So, I appreciate the airport’s efforts to make my journey a little more inviting.  It was a short respite, but fully appreciated.  I have a much better feeling for one of the busiest, if not the busiest, airport in the world.  Of course, the new free WIFI didn’t hurt.

Have you had the same experience?  Let me know if you have run into any unexpected pleasant surprises during your travels through airports.

 

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Public Relations: One Quick Way to Maximize Your Tradeshow Dollars

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Reports on the death of tradeshows has been greatly exaggerated.  I don’t think Mark Twain would appreciate the adaptation of his famous misquote, but you get the idea.  We’ve been hearing for a long time that tradeshows are going away.  They’re too expensive and take up too much time. In this digital constant-connect age, where we wear our cell phones like body parts, we shouldn’t have to travel hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to meet people.  We have email, conference calls and even sophisticated video conferencing if you want that face-to-face experience. 

So why are we still schlepping to these things?  Packing business clothes, going through the ever increasing hassles of air travel and ending up in places like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas only to spend the entire time on a convention floor or at a nearby bar.  We all have the sore backs, tried feet and drawers full of promotional pens, squeeze balls, lanyards, lip moisturizer and breath mints (otherwise known as chachke) to prove tradeshows are alive and well.

I am not sure I have the answer to why tradeshows still thrive, but the convention industry estimates there are more than 10,000 in the United States each year.  Probably, the simplest answer to the question is tradeshows work. We seem to still be social enough creatures that meeting people in person and getting a hands on look at a group of products in one place facilitates business.  That need may be die with upcoming generations.  I keep reading articles about millennials with phone phobia and if you’re freighted on the phone I can only imagine what meeting in person would do to you. It could be the ox-and-cart trade fairs of medieval Europe that have evolved into the digital-interactive-80-inch-high-def-screen events of today will, in the future, dissolve into online virtual events complete with avatars.  It’s been tried.

So, for now tradeshows are here whether we like them or not.  It’s a huge marketing expense with companies spending up to a half-million dollars on booths, displays, shipping and travel.  You would think that companies would look to maximize those dollars, but too often they don’t squeeze everything they can out of their tradeshow spend.  One often overlooked area is public relations.  I am not talking about putting out a news release with a photo.  I am talking about getting to know the editors and writers who cover your Industry and forging longer-term relationships.  They attend these events and are actively looking for industry news. It only makes sense to meet with them just like you would customers and prospective customers. By working with them you get the word out to a much wider audience and you can highlight specific products, projects, services and your overall company profile.

Here are a few ways to start:

·       Do a little research on your media.  Who are the editors of your trade publications?  What is their target audience – end-users, consumers, vendors, resellers, etc?

·       Look at what you have to offer. What’s new?  Do you have new products or services? Are you seeing new trends in the industry or do you have any success stories you can discuss. 

·       Once you have identified your news match it up with the appropriate editor. A resale trade publication is usually looking for a different angle than an end-user magazine.

·       Line up your SME (subject matter experts).  Who in your organization is the appropriate spokesperson for each of the topics?  It can be your president or a product manager depending on the depth of their knowledge and the story angle.

·       Now you’re ready to contact the editors to set up a meeting at the event.  Let them know you want to meet, what your news is and who the SME will be.

·       Put together talking points for each interview to make sure everyone is on the same page and all of the messages are delivered.

·       You will also need to follow up with each editor on any promised photos, materials or follow ups.

This process takes time and it helps if you already know your industry media. That’s why many companies use public relations firms to put together and manage this process.  It becomes the PR firm’s job to set up the interviews, manage the schedule and handle all follow up.  The result is better coverage for your news, a higher profile in the industry and long -term relationship with editors more likely to reach out to your company in the future.

If you are going to all the expense and hassle of a tradeshow it only make sense to get everything you can out of it.  A nice article in a valued traded publication is a far better takeaway then any highlighters, bottle openers, cup insulators or other giveaway you can score at a tradeshow.  Although, my favorite tradeshow swag was a Duncan Yo-Yo.  I still have it and my kids loved it.

     

We need to talk . . . on Twitter

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We need to talk . . . That phrase is so often the prelude to breaking up, losing a job or some other dire life-altering event.  But not this time. In this instance I’m talking about Twitter and the fact that too many brands don’t get everything they can out of it because they simply don’t use it right. They use Twitter like an electronic billboard putting up tweet after tweet about their new products, sales meetings, personnel changes or maybe once in a while a job opening.  I hope you see the pattern here. It’s all about them.  They talk at the Twitterversus, not with it.  It’s like going to a party talking about your job, your family, your hobbies, etc., then saying goodbye to everyone and walking out the door. No matter how fascinating you are that’s going to turn people off and certainly not get you a return invite.  In Twitterdom that translates into getting ignored and losing followers – the death knell for any marketing/communication effort.

Social media is meant to be a conversation. You can post stuff about your company on the website and it can sit there for everyone to read, but you go to social media when you want people to share, comment and interact.  Talking with, not at, your social community is what makes it social and there is a lot of value in having a real conversation. 

  • It shows that you care about having an open dialogue – something customers highly value in vendors.
  • It gives you information about what is important to your customers, vendors and partner organizations.
  • You get feedback and questions from your customers, which is always helpful, but too often hard to come by.
  • You learn new things.  Twitter can be a valuable resource for information and news about what is going on in your industry and with your customers.

So, how do you start talking on Twitter – I mean really talking? Here are a few suggestions on ways to begin the conversation. 

It’s not all about you – Talk about more than just your company.  Look for interesting articles or news about your industry.  If, for example, you’re selling security cameras, look for news articles and blogs that support the use of your product.  It might be a survey from a research firm reporting about the booming camera market or an article talking about a situation where security cameras helped stop a potentially dangerous or criminal incident. It shows your product in a favorable light and it does it without chest pounding.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a place on Twitter for self-promoting tweets, but not all the time. In fact, the majority of your tweets should not be commercial. The soft sale is very effective and works well on social media.

Retweet, favorite and mention – Start interacting on Twitter by retweeting other accounts.  If you see an interesting tweet that would be relevant to your Twitter followers, by all means retweet it.  Your followers will appreciate the additional information and the fact that you are savvy enough to keep informed about your industry.  At the same time, the account you are retweeting will appreciate the shout out and will be more likely to retweet you in the future.  Also your retweet will show up in that account’s feed, so more people will see your post and you just might gain some followers.  The same goes for making a tweet a favorite and for mentioning accounts in your posts.  The more you start talking to people on Twitter the more attention you’ll get, which, after all, is the point.

Hashtags – Use hashtags, but use them sparingly and wisely.  Hashtags are a way of making your tweets stand out for people on Twitter who are interested in following specific topics and key words.  Do a little research.  Find out which hashtags are going to work best at reaching your target audience.  Again, if you are selling security cameras then putting a hastag in front of #security and #camera may work best for you.  But check it out first, you may find that many people are tracking security cameras by making the hashtag into a smash word and following #securitycamera.  It’s just a matter of working with Twitter to see how people in your industry are using hashtags.

Reply & DM – Reply to tweets, ask questions and thank people.  If you see an interesting tweet and you not sure about the source reply or send a direct message asking a question.  Thank people for following and retweeting. And definitely answer any questions sent your way.  Even if you don’t know the answer you should acknowledge the question.

Starting with these basics will get your Twitter conversation going.  It should get you noticed, attract followers and add real value to your social marketing efforts.  Obviously, the most difficult part of this equation is the time it takes to follow Twitter and get this dialogue in gear.  But once you have developed your strategy and you know the direction you want to take Twitter can be managed by the marketing communications team or even outsourced to an agency.  Making it someone’s job to talk on Twitter is probably one of the quickest ways to get the conversation underway and get everything out of each 140-character message that you can. 

Cindy Weigle
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Your company should have a blog – really it should.

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I know you’ve heard it before and you can find plenty of articles telling you that your company should have a blog.  It’s like telling people they should eat fruits and vegetables and cut down on fatty foods, sweets and salty snacks. Hey it’s simple – just do it.  But it sounds a lot easier than it is.

A company blog lets you do a number of things:

·       Talk to a targeted audience

·       Show off your expertise

·       Build credibility and reputation

·       Sell products and services

The list could go on, but you get the idea.  Simply put, it’s a great long-term sales tool that resulted from the evolution of the Internet and social media.  Look at it this way, back in the day, if you wanted to reach the masses you had to use direct mail, public relations or advertising. That meant that you had to rely on someone else’s already developed infrastructure and their mailing or subscribers lists. In many cases it was expensive and in the case of public relations you didn’t have total control over the message.

The internet changed so many things in our lives that it’s impossible to come up with a definitive list.  But the one way that it did change our lives that I think is often overlooked by business people is that it made all of us potential publishers and editors.  It gave us the opportunity to write, edit and publish (online) anything we wanted.  We don’t have to look to a magazine for its subscription list or a newspaper reporter to write a story.  We can write our own story and publish it ourselves.  That’s pretty powerful stuff. So why aren’t more companies doing it?  The truth is a lot are doing it, they just aren’t doing it very well or they start strong and fade fast, so their efforts end up in the digital graveyard with all the other welling meaning, but failed attempts at online communication/marketing. 

How do you avoid becoming another statistic, another social media casualty buried in the deep recesses of the Internet?  It comes down to one thing – a steady stream of relevant content. Again, much, much easier said than done. It’s like the old adage “no pain, no gain.”  Well, content creation is the “pain” part of the blog equation.  But, the gain part can be worth it for a lot of companies.   I’ve seen businesses that put together blogs with strong consistent content drive more traffic to their blog site than their already establish websites within a matter of several months. 

It makes sense. We know that people respond to a series of short informational articles faster and more strongly than they do to an advertisement.  And that is exactly what your blog posts should be – informational articles about topics related to your industry, business and services.  They need to be non-commercial (remember this is a soft sell) and they need to contain information your customers/clients can use. 

Companies that blog 15 times per month get 5 times more traffic to their websites then those that don’t.  That means you have to average more than three blogs a week. It’s ambitious and it can seem overwhelming, so why not set a goal to start off a little slower. Going from zero blogs to 15 per month is a good way to set yourself up for failure.  Start with one blog a week (most social media experts agree it’s the minimum to increase traffic and recognition) and build from there.  And get everyone involved – from the chief executive officer to the intern.  Everyone has something to contribute.  Spreading the blog load around makes it seem less onerous for everyone and it can make it fun. Employees/staff get a chance to shine a little light on what they do for the company and why it’s important. But again, remember, no chest pounding.

One of the best ways to get consistent content for your blog is to make it someone’s job. That is hire an editor for your blog.  It doesn’t have to be a full-time position and it can easily be outsourced to a public relations agency or a freelancer.   Whoever takes it on has to know how to write non-commercial journalistic style articles (that means your nephew, Arnold, who took a creative writing class in community college, might not be up to the task). The agency or freelancer can interview company staff/employees and write articles from those interviews or edit submitted articles to smooth out grammar and syntax and keep a consistent style.  It also becomes their/his/her job to keep the blogs coming.  So, there’s where you get your strong, consistent content that’s the key to a successful blog. It doesn’t have to make a huge dent in your marketing budget and the time commitment can be kept to a minimum.

In marketing we all know that social media has changed everything and it keeps changing it at what seems like an exponential rate. People want information and advertisements and direct mail just don’t get the attention they once did.  Having a blog makes you look like a thought leader, an expert and someone who has knowledge worth sharing.

Shock Marketing – Some Brands Will Do Anything to Go Viral

Shock jocks have been around for a while — disc jockeys or radio personalities that will say outrageous and offensive things to keep people tantalized and tuned in.  We see the same type of antics with the upcoming election.  Rush Limbaugh said some things on air that had people outraged and advertisers pulling commercials and sponsorships.

Sometimes these things are said to spread beyond the audience at hand by making headlines.  It follows the thinking that all attention (even very bad attention) is good and that there is no such thing as bad publicity as long as they get the name right.   And maybe they’re right.  Limbaugh had a good share of the media cycle and held the spotlight for the better part of a week.  Most advertising analysts predict that his advertisers will slink away until the attention dies down and then quietly return.

We are seeing the same type of behavior with certain companies and brands.  The brass ring in this case is going viral and some companies will say almost anything to get there.

Take Belvedere vodka.  The company recently ran an ad showing a women looking distressed as she is trying to get away from a man. The man appears to be pulling her towards him.  The copy under the graphic reads “Unlike some people: Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” It was obviously a blatant reference to a woman being force to perform oral sex and it was extremely offensive as is always the case when making light of rape.  It didn’t take long for people to express outrage and exclaim that they were disgusted and that Belvedere would never, ever pass their lips in this lifetime.

Belvedere's fail ad campaign

Of course, as these things go, Belvedere pulled the ad – but not until it had already reached the pinnacle of marketing nirvana – it went viral.  We all know that once an ad has gone viral it is impossible to “pull.”  It will live on in the webosphere for eternity and not only will it live on, it will take on a life of its own.

Of course, the vodka maker has said mea culpa and also given a “generous donation” to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.  The cynic in me has to believe that Belvedere’s marketing team is not comprised of a bunch of dumb bunnies (I may be giving them too much credit here). So, I can only surmise that this was all part of the plan.  Even the resulting lawsuit by the actress in the photo feels staged.  She is claiming that Belvedere used her image without permission and that the ad publicly humiliates her and gives the false impression that she approves of it.

I have seen a number of viral ad campaigns that have been edgy, funny and effective.  This wasn’t one of them.  Still, breaking through the advertising clutter that comes at us from all sides isn’t easy and I believe we haven’t seen the last of shock marketing or shockvertising.  Here is one of my favorite viral ads.  Please feel free to share one of yours.

Spamming your customers is a great way to lose them

Image courtesy: AllSpammedUp.com

I will never buy a Lint Lizard, a Magic Jack, a Pimsleur language program or Orgreenic Cookware.  If, like me, you have an email address that has been around for a while and has also been listed as a contact on a website, you probably can make the connection between these brands.  The marketers behind these products all use email to sell them.  And by “use” email – I mean USE email.  They are spammers by any other name and I don’t just get one or two emails a day.  I get 10 to 20 or more a day from some of these brands.

I know there are spam blockers to take care of overzealous e-mailers, but they aren’t perfect and all too often I have had them snag important email from clients or trusted vendors.  I can take care of most of my spam on my PC by marking it as spam and having it sent straight to my junk email box.   But, when it comes to my iPhone, it’s another story.  I have to delete each piece of spam by hand.  Most iPhone users can empathize with the frustration I feel as I wade through 200 plus emails, weeding out the spam just to get to the 10 emails I need to review – a process repeated several times through the day.

I realize there isn’t much I can do to stem the tide of unwanted advertising.  I can’t get on a “do not email” list (although there is a germ of an idea here) and trying to unsubscribe doesn’t seem to help at all.  But, there is one thing that I can do.  One way that I can show my disgust for this annoying marketing tactic – and that is to never (I mean never) buy one of these products.  The Lint Lizard could be the most amazing household tool ever invented, but I will not purchase one.  I would rather have lint flowing out of my house to the point that it looks like a giant Q-tip before I give these email vultures my business.

So does spam sell products or “unsell” them as it has with me?  A recent article in The Consumerist supports my case.  It highlights how some retailers are realizing that when it comes to promotional emails, less is more.  Responsible retailers such as Nicole Miller have found that going from sending out three email ads a week to one has decreased its unsubscribe rate and increased its open rate from 15 to 40 percent.  The company has also seen the percentage of online sales that began with an email grow from 10 to 17 percent.

I know why the marketers of Lint Lizard and Orgreenic Cookware do what they do.  They do it for one simple reason – it works.  They obviously get enough people to buy their products by sending out a deluge of email each day.  This week they are selling cookware and lint cleaners and next week it will be another hot product overwhelming my inbox with offers.  They are looking for a quick sale, not long-term customers. Most (smart) companies realize that current customers are like gold and running them off is a serious mistake.

If you are sending regular email to your customers it might be time to review your process.  Ask yourself: are you really targeting your email blasts – that is sending your customers email that provides them with valuable offers or information?  And do you have an easy way of letting customers opt out of promotional emails?

Reviewing your marketing email practices could help you prevent turning existing customers into “non-customers.”  I just hope that Nordstrom doesn’t turn to email spam as a selling tool – I would hate to have to give up my shoe addiction.

– Cindy

Getting Social in Security

Marketing for the security industry has always had its challenges. After all, what company really wants to talk extensively about its security? Talk with any marketing, public relations or media person in the industry and he or she will tell you that one of the most difficult things is to get customers to talk openly about their security systems.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Nan Palmero

Now, add social media to the marketing mix. We are talking about Facebook, Twitter, blogs and all the other social platforms vying for attention these days. Social media is meant to be just that – “social.” It is meant to frequently and openly communicate about a company, its products, solutions, people, events and expertise. So, it might seem that social media and the reticent world of security are not a good fit, but it would be a mistake for any tech-savvy company today to ignore its potential marketing power.

Social media is a way of showing your customers, investors, vendors and employees just who you are. It gives them a peek behind the scene, builds brand awareness and sets your company up as an industry leader.

I recently wrote about how we helped a large security systems integrator expand its digital media presence and take advantage of new marketing platforms. Whether your company is involved in security or any other high technology business looking at taking on or expanding a social media program you’ll want to read this article on SecurityInfoWatch.com. It’s a good roadmap that highlights the benefits of implementing a strong social media program and provides some valuable tips help you get started.

– Cindy

Let the Pontification Begin

Pretty obviously this is the Daum Weigle, Inc. blog. We’re just another communications company out there trying to blab about us and our customers in any way that we can. We specialize in old school and new wave communications. We realize where the future is, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know where we came from (somewhere right behind that preposition). So, as far as a specialty, I don’t think we really have one, other than solid communication that works. And it all works in its own place.

Everything goes today – news releases, Twitter, Facebook – hell, even sandwich boards have their place. It’s an info centric world and as word people we find that exciting. So, that’s what we are going to talk about – talking, writing, hand gestures, signals (even smoke).

Welcome to the blog world!

Robin will be talking about a lot of things – we hope. She has a real interest in 140 words. Twitter is her thing and I am looking forward to hearing her wisdom on hashtags, lists , etc.

Meredith should be checking in on a number of subjects including her expertise in FB. She also handles most of the complaints on Facebook, so she really deserves a chance to vent herself.

And Sara is going to have some great tips on dealing with the fourth estate. She talks with reporters and editors all day long.

Jon is the Mark Twain of the group – expect some wizened observations and get ready for some real sarcasm – not for the faint of heart.

You’re going to have to stay on your toes with this group.

– CW