Sunday, January 31, 2010

We've moved!

It's official. I'm no longer posting blog entries in two places. I've moved, unpacked and am pretty much settled.

Here's the new home of my(PR)palette. You'll find the whole kit and caboodle in there.

Thanks to everyone for visiting this site and sharing your thoughts.

Hope to see you in the new location!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blogging backlist

When I worked in publishing, new releases were very important, of course. But of almost equal importance was the backlist – those books that had already been published and had built awareness, an audience, a niche...

New blog post: Please click here for more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How are you reading?

Normally, the question we'd ask is: what are you reading? As in content you'll hopefully share. And, of course, that's key...

New blog post: Please click here for more.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Getting started in social media - new McMaster business course

As most of you know, I taught a social media for PR course at McMaster University last fall. You can read about it here, here, here and here.

And now, I'm happy to report that I'm teaching an accelerated business course on SM - also at McMaster. The after work sessions run March 4, 5, 11, 12, 6-9 p.m. and March 6, 9 AM - noon.

This is a hands-on class geared to business people and entrepreneurs who are looking for practical advice on how to get started with various social media tools.

Participants will learn how to set up a blog, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, post videos, record a podcast. I'll also be meeting with people one-on-one to discuss their communications and business goals and help them figure out which tools might work best for the audience they're trying to engage.

Here's where you go to sign up.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Please visit the new home of my(PR)palette.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Moving day... (for the blog, that is)

Happy 2010! It's hard to believe I've been working on my blog for three years now - and I hope you've enjoyed reading it and sharing your thoughts as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

I've learned a lot in that time, met so many great people - both online and off - and look forward to continuing - but with a slight twist.

One of the things I did during the holidays was pack my bags, set up a blog on Wordpress, migrate my entries and comments and, painstakingly add in all the tags - one at a time. (They came through as categories.) And other than the little glitch with the tags, the transfer was pretty seamless.

The blog will have the same name and focus: PR, social media and trends. But it will now have a different domain, platform and slightly new look. The new address is:

For the next couple of weeks, I'll be tinkering with the design, so think of this as the beta version. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

I'm also going to be cross-posting in both blogs for a while. But I'm hoping to be fully moved in and settled by the end of January. So drop by, sat a spell, y'all come back now...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Social reading

This holiday, it feels like I've been treated to my fiction wish list with new books by two of my favourite authors, Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Roth. Roth's is The Humbling, a short novel about acting and dying (literally); and Vonnegut's is Look at the Birdie, a collection of early unpublished stories that very much ring true today. I've read one book and am halfway through the other and wish neither would end.

And speaking of books (now there's a segue), I thought this is a good time to highlight and recommend a few social media reads that stood out for me in 2009. All three books offer insights on the lay of the social landscape and its growing importance to business.

They are (in no particular order):

SocialCorp by Joel Postman - I reviewed the book when it first came out and feel it's a great starting point for any organization seeking a strategic approach to becoming more social. The writing is smart and crisp. Of particular interest are the case studies and Joel's approach to ethics and transparency.

Six Pixels of Separation
by Mitch Joel - I finally met Mitch in person this year (having been a reader/listener for a long time) and thoroughly enjoyed his book. Again, it's aimed at businesses who want to enter the social arena and is filled with ideas, tips and real-world examples. His writing is sharp and knowledgeable. And he's managed to capture the essence of his engaging speaking voice in print (not an easy thing to do).

Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff - This isn't a new book, but it stands the test of accelerated time (in this case about two years). It's a researchers approach to social media, technographics and the marketplace. But while it's filled with data, it's anything but academic and offers practical approaches to getting started: listen (first ) and then engage the people you're trying to reach (both inside and outside an organization).

One other non-fiction book that stood out for me is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It's written in his inimitable conversational style and has some wonderful stories about why some people succeed and others don't; looking beyond raw talent and taking other, often surprising, factors into account.

By the way, I read all of these in the old fashioned print format. I've yet to get an e-reader, but now that Kindle's available in Canada, that's something I'll probably try.

Do you have any other titles to add?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The secret of comedy?


Yes, that's the punchline to an old joke but it's also very true. And for a comic, material (content) is key - but equally important is its delivery (timing).

In other words, is your message getting to the people you're trying to reach when they're looking? (That's what retail is all about.)

I was thinking about timing this morning; I always do at the end of the year reflecting on what's ahead, looking back.

And I realized that, in addition to standout content, timing is of the essence for PR and social media.

For example, if you're trying to reach a business audience, should you post a new blog entry on Saturday afternoon or would it have more impact on a weekday? When are the people you're trying to build relationships active online? Are they too busy thinking about something else (the holidays, for instance) to pay attention to your message? What's the optimal time to publish to reach your goals?

I think as social media moves to the mainstream, we need to blend immediacy with appropriate timing. Sure we want to share some things right away - but before we do, let's stop for a moment and think about whether this is the best time to publish or press send.

Of course, I should probably hold this post till after the holidays, but sometimes you break your own rules.

Thanks for sticking with me and reading my blog this year. I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a truly enjoyable holiday season. It's time!