New Beginnings: Season’s Greetings from PR Land

CLEVELAND –

Um, for some reason it feels like ages since I’ve blogged.

I got lost somewhere between the U and C of cornucopia this year, and haven’t yet fully recovered. But before the thrust of new beginnings shifts into snowball gear with Christmas and the holiday season, I figured I should get back to writing.

Essentially since hitting the ripe-old age of 26 in September, it’s been a whirlwind of cataclysmic proportions, both personally and professionally. And for that, I know those of us going through them are especially grateful. 

Few upcoming items on the docket:

  • The next Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup celebrating Kuno Creative and the launch of Paul Roetzer’s book will be taking place at PR 20/20’s headquarters Monday, December 19th. Tickets are limited, so RSVP if you have not done so already. For further details, refer to the link above.
  • Paul Roetzer’s highly anticipated new book, The Marketing Agency BluePrint, and subsequent Marketing Agency Academy: BluePrint Series is also underway this month. For more information regarding pre-order and book details, contact Paul directly or follow him on Twitter.
  • Joe Pulizzi’s new book, Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand is also available on amazon.com

This month’s HUG will cover the new Enterprise Training program/software, and progress made thus far with superstar case study Kuno Creative, who has been tearing it up in content and inbound lately.

According to Patrick Shea, the go-to-guy and lead liaison between HubSpot clientele and partner firms, Kuno Creative’s staggering results include a 500% spike in website traffic, more than 650 subscribers in 90 days and garnering 7,000 leads from social media campaigns.

Note that this event is not limited to HubSpot valued-added resellers (VARs); it’s open to all business folks in the NEO area interested in learning more about how rapidly the PR and marketing services industry is evolving, on a national and global scale. 

In other news, I’m honored and humbled to announce I accepted my first career offer, with another upstart HubSpot partner, Structure Marketing in November. I have been working with the president and chief operations officer since October, and am excited about the building process and potential ahead.

I also published a guest post in recent weeks with Gini Dietrich and Lisa Gerber over at SpinSucks, which garnered PR Readers Choice blog of the year in 2010.

Tectonic shifts occurring in the industry, and as always it’s awe-inspiring (and a bit daunting – especially for new kids on the block).

Just keep swimming… 

Just keep swimming Dory Finding Nemo Walt Disney

“Around here, however, we don’t look backward for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

Any-who, back to the new job. As the work progresses from PR, and blends traditional with new roles and responsibilities across content and clients;

I will be specializing in all editorial, PR and social media functions as chief content officer (CCO). Which is basically the new name inbound and content marketing has bestowed upon lowly, persnickety editor-in-chiefs…)

Re-branding, rebuilding and the growing trend of virtual/work from home certainly has its challenges, and is not for everyone. But I’m excited to be part of continuing to drive change and growth within the marketing and digital services industry.

Other than that, I’m happy to spend some time enjoying the music, sounds and sights of the holiday season (thanks, Spotify and turntable.fm…) and reconnecting with old friends/family.  

I don’t know about you, but the goodwill, regeneration and peace reverberating around the world makes this one of my favorite times of year. 

Final tangent: thanks to my room mate for introducing me to this guy. I miss, and need to reunite with, this part of my past

Wishing you and your family, friends and colleagues all the love, peace and joy you can handle this year.

To new beginnings…

RELATED LINKS

SpinSucks/Arment Dietrich Inc guest post – Wile E. Coyote in Social SpaceTime 

Matt Ridings and Amber Naslund Launching Social Business Venture

Paul Roetzer – The Marketing Agency BluePrint

The Evolution of Media webinar with PR Newswire (and other Halloween Oo de Lally)

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Man, I really love fall. The hullabaloo and goodwill (and beautiful weather) starts every year with my birthday (the day after Fall equinox) and steamrolls right through the New Year.

Though Halloween’s as much fun for me as any other, my favorite time of year’s always Thanksgiving and the holiday season. A time of reflection, peace and reunion with family and friends. What’s not to love about that?, says this observer.

But anywho, I made a new friend over the weekend, and to borrow her sentiments it seems we fell out of the same tree. 

Her name is Sarah Skerik, a fellow PR nut and the current VP of Social Media at PR Newswire. She blogs about PR, social and search, so naturally we’re snug as a clown fish and sea anemone.

Great word, by the way, anemone. 

finding nemo Google eric cheng google plus scrapbook visual graphic

Nemo! ...with teeth

Moving on.

In summary, this was my first webinar outside HubSpot, so that was kind of cool. Some of the highlights we covered were:

  • Engaging in critical, compelling ways with audience/s is not episodic, but continual. Business and communications has moved from a “sometime” world to a real-time world 
  • Value rules. People (consumers) are no longer dependent on the proxy of trust afforded by a media brand
  • When compelling content is combined with intelligent distribution, earned credibility results
  • This accelerates the evolution from owned to earned influence 
  • Push and pull are not mutually exclusive. Savvy professionals and business owners acknowledge and activate a hybrid, holistic approach across the sales funnel

 In essence, we’re driving home the point I recently made about how social media is not the end-all, be-all of top performers in the business space. Social media is not for everyone.

Done right, social can be optimized with other elements of the marketing mix for dynamic options, goals and results (because some of us are really geeky about the spirit and power of human potential).

And again, it is only one piece of the overall pie for converting qualified leads/customers, generating revenue, building awareness, driving action and change…the list goes on.

Forget Justin’s FutureSex Lovesounds, Future Productivity’s the rage now.


As media continues to evolve, quite a bit of soul searching also becomes a crucial element of business strategy. What are you trying to accomplish?

As Joe Pulizzi’s said time and again, what does success look like to you?

Ghouls, trolls and ghosts aside, I hope you all enjoyed the Halloween weekend…and still have all your teeth after bobbing for those apples (hayrides, Halloweekends at Cedar Point and whatever else all you crazy kids do) …   

RELATED LINKS

Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire – Beyond PR: Engage Opportunity Everywhere

Gini Dietrich – Six Reasons Social Media Doesn’t Work

Paul Roetzer – What Are You Trying to Build?

Mark Schaefer – Snobberati: Bringing Down the Twitter Snobs 

5 Reasons Why to Avoid being NonPlussed by Google+

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First, I’d like to thank PR dame Gini Dietrich for ending a slew of misfortune (misfires?). I’m wondering if it was because I never used Gmail…my primary email account since 2004 has been Hotmail, which I love.

But invites to play on what is being lauded the new and next social network (most of us unconvinced but still having fun) were in vain, mainly because the project is still in test-drive.

So I updated my Gmail account information, and presto! Was ready to roll.

One of the first viral vids that streamed in could not have been more appropriate, and I couldn’t help but head-bang to the beat of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night (TGIF) — think Rebecca Black’s been replaced — with the help of familiar cats Keenan Cahill and Darren Criss:

I’ve noticed there’s a bit of perplexity mired in all the buzz surrounding the project, so I’ve compiled a few ideas and pointers as we continue along the field trial (love how John Falchetto put it >> “We’re just the crash-test dummies…” (What the Heck is Google+?).

1. Have fun – As early adopters of Facebook, remember how cool it was just jumping in and discovering long-lost relatives, friends and colleagues? Nothing different here. Format, visual, etc. changes, but creativity and inspiration does not. Bring back that impish, puckish play and you’ll start to see how much of a hoot it is.

As Mark Twain put it: “The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”

2. Check out Circles  – Similar to compiling lists on Twitter, Klout and Facebook, you can start to organize your social circles accordingly. Being the narcissistic, career-obsessed maven that I am, I only added one circle for the colleagues/contacts I engage with most frequently across social media channels.

3. Take the virtual tour. I strongly recommend this whether you’ve climbed aboard or not. The demo’s simple, really graphic/visual and gives you an idea of how to start clicking-away and organizing thoughts on how you will interface with the program. Tutorial here >> Google+ Project

4. Be vigilant – The notion of spammers, bots and viruses is all pretty familiar to us by now. One of the reasons we’re here is because quality, transparency and trust is increasingly difficult to replicate, automate or buy. If you don’t know the person, contact or business personally (in real-time), it’s unnecessary, uncouth and unsafe to reflect otherwise online. Use tact and be more persnickety about who you connect with than you might have been in the past.

Seth Godin nails it on the head: Influence ≠ Popularity (What’s the Point of Popular?)

5. Be genuine – Organic, earned credibility and expertise seems to be pretty valuable to Google, and they’re rewarding those who respect and honor the rules of its social and search algorithms. If this doesn’t appeal to you then get out of the game — the great Oz of Google and Facebook wields far greater intelligence and consciousness than any of us could ever dream of, so don’t be a tool.

Plain and simple?

Respect.