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Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Wow, the things you find on the internet …

Posted by Stephen on July 19th, 2007 Comments Comments Off

… like one of my good friends has a blog he doesn’t update, but I still found something cool on it.

This is the result of the “What Does Your Birthdate Mean” quiz:

Your Birthdate: December 18
You are a cohesive force – able to bring many people together for a common cause. 

You tend to excel in work situations, but you also facilitate a lot of social gatherings too.

Beyond being a good leader, you are good at inspiring others.

You also keep your powerful emotions in check – you know when to emote and when to repress.Your strength: Emotional maturity beyond your years

Your weakness: Wearing yourself down with too many responsibilities

Your power color: Crimson red

Your power symbol: Snowflake

Your power month: September

So I don’t know if that’s me or not, but still …

CPRS Ottawa launches new blog-based website

Posted by Keelan on July 17th, 2007 Comments 1 Comment

CPRS Site 2The Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society has launched a new website.

The site was designed, built (on WordPress) and will be maintained (all in-kind) by Thornley Fallis and 76design.

The new site is built around a blog that board members of the local chapter will contribute to.  There are already a few posts to check out.

Note: Keelan Green & Stephen Heckbert of Thornley Fallis and contributors to this blog are CPRS Ottawa Board Members.


Harsh Facts about Blogging

Posted by Keelan on May 25th, 2007 Comments 3 Comments

Ted Demopoulos of Blogging for Business did a post last week with three facts to ‘get bloggers back to earth’.

  1. Blogging is a fad.
  2. You can’t blog on whatever you think is “cool” and build a large audience.
  3. You’ll never quit your day job to blog.

Ted forecasts that, “the wild growth of the blogosphere is going to stop soon and there will be a lot of ex-bloggers”.

This got me thinking.

Our CEO, Joe Thornley started blogging about a year and a half ago.

My colleague in our Toronto office, Michael O’Connor Clarke has been blogging since 2001!

Both have successful blogs, but neither have quit their day job.  In fact many social media ‘purists’ frown on ‘blogging for dollars’. 

What constitutes a successful blog among the reported 60 million in existence?  400 subscribers?  1000?  5000?  Whatever the number, its a lot less than what constitutes a successful newspaper or TV show.

Our firm has immersed itself into social media (blogs, podcasts, wikis, RSS, etc).  As a leading PR/communications firm we needed to, but we also believe in it as a tool and we do it.  Basically every member of our team has their own or is a co-contributor to a blog and/or podcast.  We know our stuff in the area and have helped clients launch blogs, podcasts and other social media tools as part of their communications programs.

However, I often hear PR/communications professionals and bloggers/podcasters say they are uncertain about ‘where all this is going’. 

I often wonder how many blogs of the 60 million are like this one and have less than 100 subscribers?  How many of them haven’t had a new post in 6 months?  How many of them have never received a comment?

I think blogging, podcasting, etc. is another part of the communications mix, not a replacement for the other channels.  There still is and will be for the foreseeable future mainstream media, advertising, traditional websites, public events and even print materials.

Like financial investments, diversification in communications is important.

Can you have a successful communications campaign exclusively based on social media?  Of course, there are many examples.

Can you have a successful communications campaign exclusively based on advertising?  Yes again.

Would a communications campaign that includes both plus mainstream media outreach and public events be even more successful?  Likely.

In the last year or so, the vast majority of communications programs our firm has developed for clients have included some form of social media in them.  Some have been very heavily social media focused, but it depends on the target audience and the objectives – launching a blog is not the answer for everything.

The reason I’d like Ted’s post is because a lot of people that are really into social media are untalkable about anything else and do need to get back to earth a little.

Like many other people in my profession, I don’t know where social media is going.  I do know that communications programs still require a mix of vehicles.

Stephen Taylor booted from Hill

Posted by Keelan on April 16th, 2007 Comments Comments Off

Tory blogger Stephen Taylor is the guest speaker at Third Monday tonight.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about this incident where Press Gallery officials and Hill Security removed him from Parliament Hill on Budget Day.

I was talking to a veteran journalist about this incident last week.  He had an interesting take:

We’ve seen this before on the Hill, with radio and then with TV.  This is the next form of media.

Gone in 3 seconds

Posted by Keelan on February 26th, 2007 Comments Comments Off

Ted Demopoulos of Blogging for Business says “3 seconds — that’s how long the average web surfer will spend before they decide to stay or leave. You NEED to make a great first impression!”

I agree.  Sometimes you might even get less than 3 seconds.

Our new websites (launched in late 2006), Thornley Fallis and 76design, and our blogs/podcast Pro PR, Capital PR, Shift+Control, PR Girlz, The Talking Shop and Inside PR have a very clean and consistent look and feel.

The Thornley Fallis website is built around an aggregate feed of all our blogs and podcast.

I think all make a great first impression and we’ve had many compliments.

76design did an excellent job developing and executing the websites, blogs and podcast.  We charge a little more than $25 though ;)

Bill Gates — a fine speech, and a lesson in the power of time management

Posted by Stephen on February 20th, 2007 Comments Comments Off

Bill Gates was speaking this morning at the National Arts Centre about the coming decade of change in the world’s ongoing digital revolution.

It was a very good presentation, and the speech was very well received.  What impressed me as well was that he said he’d speak for 20 minutes, and then he did.

Twenty minutes on the future of technology and its impact on our lives.

The lesson for me?  If that only took 20 minutes, then odds are good the longest any speech should be, ever, is 20 minutes.

The event started on time, ended early, and Mr. Gates is now the proud recipient of an Ottawa Senators jersey to boot.

Welcome to Ottawa, Mr. Gates — please come back soon.

Franked! for Blogger Relations

Posted by Keelan on February 15th, 2007 Comments 4 Comments

Last time I was “franked”, it was for “squiring” a client around town or something along those lines.

This time it was for blogging.  Well… not so much for blogging as for providing information to bloggers on behalf of clients – exactly the same way, as a PR professional (or flack), I provide information (press releases, backgrounders, story ideas/tips, etc.) to main stream media or ‘MSM’ as referred to in the Frank article.

I’m a subscriber to eFrank, but I don’t read it religiously.  Both times I was “franked”, someone had to tell me about it.  Maybe there have been other times that I’m not aware of?  Doubt it though.

Being slagged a little by a “magazine” that doesn’t put bylines on its articles by no means bothers me — sometimes the articles are funny when they don’t go too far over the line. Other times I feel a little dirty (like after leaving a strip club) after reading Frank.

Anyway, I saw the article (which ran a couple of weeks ago) as an opportunity for another post on blogger relations.  I did my last post on this topic after reading Ted Demopoulos’ post on Blogging for Business titled How to Pitch a Blogger.

I’m in public relations (which of course involves a great deal of media relations) and the firm I work for, Thornley Fallis, for more than a year now has been paying a lot of attention to social media (blogging, podcasting, etc.)

With more than 60 million blogs worldwide, how can we afford not to pay attention?

Thornley Fallis represents a few defence industry clients and I manage the accounts.

As part of ongoing public/media relations for these clients, 8 or 9 months ago, I came across The Torch, a blog focused on the Canadian military.  I made contact to introduce myself, identify the relevant clients I represent, ask about their interests and offer to provide information that I think may be of interest to them.  The same way I would if the Globe and Mail or CTV assigned a new reporter to the defence beat. 

Here’s a post Joe Thornley did around the time I first contacted The Torch and here’s a post on Blue Blogging Soapbox, which has an author or authors in common with The Torch, about what they learned about Thornley Fallis after checking us out when I contacted them.

Back to the Frank article, “Blogshite: The Torch” (it quotes Joe’s post, so whoever wrote it must be a fan of Pro PR).  The article suggests that I and Thornley Fallis have some privileged relationship with the authors of The Torch, that they post whatever I send them about my clients and that they attack any mainstream media (listing: Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail; David Akin, CTV; Mike Blanchfield & David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen) that write less than favourable articles about my clients and their products.  None of this is true in anyway whatsoever.

The funny thing is, I in fact have less of a “relationship” with anyone at The Torch than with the journalists mentioned above.  I’ve never met or even spoken to any of The Torch authors on the phone.  Email only.

On the other hand…

I had coffee with Daniel Leblanc a few weeks ago, when he started covering defence again for the Globe.

I’ve been emailing and talking on the phone with David Pugliese for likely 4 years now and I worked with his brother for 3 years or so when I was in government.  I still have lunch with him periodically.

I read David Akin’s blog daily, we exchange emails from time to time, we’ve spoken on the phone and I’ve set-up interviews with him for clients.

Yes, The Torch has posted some stuff that I have sent them.  I’ve also sent them stuff that they haven’t posted.  The same way as main stream media sometimes write stories from releases I send them or do interviews that I pitch them, and other times they don’t.

As the blogosphere and social media continues to grow, I think I and my colleagues at Thornley Fallis are taking the right approach on behalf of our clients.

As Ted Demopoulos suggests in his post How to Pitch a Blogger: “Address us by name. Make it clear you’ve read our blog. Be on friggin’ target!”

As I said in my post, after reading Ted’s: “Really not much different that pitching a ‘traditional’ journalist.  Do some research to figure out their ‘beat’/area(s) of interest and personalize the contact.”

Some media outlets (e.g. CTV, Toronto Star) and some journalists (e.g. David Akin, Paul Wells) are embracing social media, others aren’t.  It will be interesting to watch how all this evolves and be part of it.

Thank you Frank magazine for providing the inspiration for this post.

BlogJet 2

Posted by Keelan on January 25th, 2007 Comments Comments Off

After reading posts by Neville Hobson and David Akin about BlogJet 2, I downloaded it to give it a try.

I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months now and I wasn’t using posting software.

BlogJet 2, so far, works really well and makes posting a lot easier (e.g. spell checker).

I was having a hard time uploading videos directly from YouTube to my blog which is on WordPress.

I did it no problem with BlogJet.

I don’t seem to be having the issue Neville Hobson reported with the editor converting the word ‘BlogJet’ into a link every time I type it.

BlogJet 2 costs CAD $49.95 (USD $39.95) for a single-user license.  If you’re upgrading from version 1, it’s USD $19.95.


Edelman’s Guide to the Blogosphere

Posted by Keelan on January 21st, 2007 Comments Comments Off

Last week Edelman released “A Corporate Guide to the Blogosphere: The New Model of Peer to Peer Communications”.

Edelman says, “the paper is designed to help clients who operate across multiple regions understand how the dynamics of blogging, as well as blogger demographics and behavior vary from country to country.”

Number of mentions of Canada, where Edelman has two offices: ZERO.

Mitch Joel of Twist Image made the same observation.

Pitching a Blogger

Posted by Keelan on January 19th, 2007 Comments 3 Comments

I’ve been reading Ted Demopoulos’ Blogging for Business for quite a while now.

I find his posts insightful and concise.

This one offers some simple and good advice on how to pitch a blogger.

Really not much different that pitching a ‘traditional’ journalist.  Do some research to figure out their ‘beat’/area(s) of interest and personalize the contact.