Monday, August 18, 2008

Guerrilla PR - Quad Cities speaking tour

If you happen to find yourself in Iowa on September 17th or 18th, feel free to come on by the Quad City Public Relations Society of America, the Quad City AdFed and Quad City PR Network to hear me talk about how to use Guerrilla PR tactics to get press for your clients.

I'll be giving the talk twice - once on the 17th in Dubuque and once on the 18th in Davenport.

If you can't make it - here's a brief description of what I'll be discussing. Of course, if you think there are other tactics that are worth discussing, leave me a comment below!


Guerrilla PR
In today’s media landscape, getting great press for a client takes more than sending out a press release or staging a publicity stunt, it takes true guerilla techniques: nimble thinking, unexpected execution, and a willingness to try something that’s never been done before. The one thing that’s not required? A PR firm. This is do-it-yourself PR at its finest, and it’s available to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Focal Points
Guerrilla PR 101: What is guerrilla PR, where did it come from, and why does it matter? To begin the session we’ll examine the differences between traditional and guerrilla PR tactics, and explore why these tactics grab the attention of both the press and consumers where traditional PR often fails. Finally, we’ll examine how access to new technologies has expanded the role of guerrilla PR in unexpected ways.
  • Guerrilla Tactic #1: Perception = Reality:
    Professional uniforms confer authority, designer labels create value. What impact do consumer perceptions have on your client’s product or service, and what can you do about it? In this portion of the session we’ll examine case studies of guerrilla PR tactics that made headlines – for better or for worse – in terms of consumer perceptions.
  • Guerrilla Tactic #2: Tease | Twist | Tell:
    PR is about storytelling – but a story tends to be more interesting when it’s broken up into small pieces, or when there’s an unexpected twist. Using teases and twists before revealing the whole story helps generate and maintain both press and public interest in exciting ways. In this portion of the session we’ll examine case studies that illustrate how partitioning a PR message into distinct parts can change its impact.
  • Guerrilla Tactic #3: New is News:
    To make news, you have to create something new. Traditional publicity “stunts” are designed to capitalize on this fact, and are valuable when they do so successfully. When they backfire, though, they can sometimes do more harm than good. In this portion of the session we’ll examine publicity stunts that achieved their objectives – and some that didn’t – to clarify how to create the kind of news headlines that will benefit, rather than damage, a client’s PR efforts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Creating your elevator pitch

Quick. You're in an elevator and you have 3 floors to tell me what you do and why it matters.

Can you spit it out? Probably not. In my experience, most people fret over their "elevator pitch" and end up with something so long it would last until the 24th floor.

Here's a little help. Complete this sentence and you've got yourself a pitch:

We're the only __________________
that _________________________
for __________________________

It's simple, but not easy. Take the time now to work with your team and come up with a complete sentence that rings true for you.

You might just lose your fear of elevators.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Conversation Prism

Brian Solis is one of the most widely respected practitioners at the intersection of social media technology and PR today. A few days ago, he posted an item on his blog called Introducing The Conversation Prism which explores how virtual conversations are happening today - taking in to account all of the different social media options available.

I've reposted the image here because I think it's probably the first comprehensive visual representation of the current state of social media. Which, by definition, means that it's absolutely ground-breaking.

For most of the media's history, the mechanics of conversation were simpler - but much less democratic. Broadcasters and publishers spoke to audiences, and audiences listened. Now that audiences are able to speak as well - through any mechanism that's comfortable to them - broadcasters and publishers (and the advertisers that fund them) are scrambling to learn how to listen and respond.

Solis says in his post:
If a conversation takes place online and you’re not there to hear or see it, did it actually happen?
Indeed. Conversations are taking place with or without you and this map will help you visualize the potential extent and pervasiveness of the online conversations that can impact and influence your business and brand. [...]
As conversations are increasingly distributed, everything begins with listening and observing. Doing so, will help you identify exactly where relevant discussions are taking place, as well as their scale and frequency.