PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

World Wide Rave

My assignment this week for my NMDL class was to do some free PR for David Meerman Scott. If you haven’t read The New Rules of Marketing & PR yet, you really should. It’s a quick and informative read.

Scott also came out with another book (I just ordered mine on Amazon). Titled World Wide Rave, this book talks about “viral” marketing and how it works. Why is it called World Wide Rave? Scott explains it pretty well:

“A World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.”

I like this description a lot. Viral is a term that is thrown out there too often. It’s worse when you hear someone saying they are going to make a “viral” video. Scott even calls it sleazy, and I agree with him. Even so, there are some really good examples of products and companies online and I’m looking forward to this read. Here’s the page with more information on the book, and below is the video describing the book. Both are worth your time.

Scott also posted some of the rules of the rave:

  • Nobody cares about your product (except you)
  • No coercion required
  • Lose control
  • Put down roots
  • Create triggers that encourage people to share
  • Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep

I realized that there’s a lot of cool stuff you can do for free online to help get buzz for a company or product. This also means that you can do a lot understand to enhance your education. Below is what I did to share this information online and make his book a world wide rave. As a student, try some of these Web sites out, especially if you have student-run firms:

  • PR.com is a free site you can use to post press releases. I posted a press release on World Wide Rave on this site. Who knows, maybe I’ll get coverage?
  • I used Digg and Delicious to bookmark his site
  • I posted some links on my Twitter feed
  • I even wrote this post! That’s free PR, right?
  • I shared some of his posts on Google Reader

All in all, I didn’t realize that there is so much you can do for free.  I wrote a press release and tried out some free PR sites – it’s on my Scribd profile here. It’s all cool stuff. Check out his book, won’t you?

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Social Media, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Advertising Faux Pas

I got an e-mail recently from a student organization list-serv from an alum of the organization. It was a friendly “hello, check out what I’m up to” kind of e-mail, but I also had some problems with it. As a disclosure, I won’t mention any specifics on names, agencies, companies, etc.

The context of the e-mail was a call to action for two things. By the way, the product featured in this e-mail was not targeted to students. The agency had build a site for the client and the message encouraged all readers to check out the site. OK, besides the shameless self-promotion, this wasn’t that big of a deal. I almost deleted it until I read the next part; it encouraged readers to order information about the product. This was the deal breaker for me. But still, I went on. At the end of the paragraph talking about how if we sign up, we will get 2 or 3 follow up e-mail (pretty vague, huh?), the last line was: “I get bonus points…”

Sending out an e-mail to a student pre-professional association when it has nothing to do with their education is one thing, but when you stress the importance of clicking on the Web site and ordering information seemingly to only bring back the statistics to your client… well, that’s another story. Furthermore, trying to make people forward your message on to others in hopes of making it a viral campaign will not work.

The big thing in advertising is proving ROI to your clients. Sometimes, you will have companies that know and understand the power of successful branding that doesn’t necessarily bring in huge ROI. And sometimes, you will have companies that are number crunchers and try to put a value on the different kinds of branding.

Working in advertising sales for The State News, I can relate to this situation. My co-worker and fellow blogger Katy Homanick talked about this with me. Just like the rest of the newspaper industry, classified sales have been hurt my such sites as Craig’s List, ULoop and even Facebook. When I sell a classified ad, I always call back at the end of the insertions to see how everything went. I ask what kind of response they got, and sometimes, I get the inevitable “no one called.” I believe in my product, so I will always recommend changing up the ad, throwing in some bolded words or any other feature we offer. Even so, some ads just don’t work out.

However, I will never, never encourage friends or colleagues to call on an ad just to make sure my client gets “results” and is thus happy with my work.

It seems as though that’s what happened today.

For me, what it comes down to is client service. I might be at the beginning of my career, but I have become familiar with the importance of being honest. If you brought these stats to your client showing an inflated number of visitors to the site, is that ethical? I don’t think so, and I would never do that.

What do you think? Was this unethical? What other strategies or tactics could this agency have used to encourage visits to the site?

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

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