Monthly Archives: January 2012

Read these blogs!

Classmates’ not included, there are a variety of blogs I try to visit every now and then. With so much communicated to communicators about ideas for best practice and how to “engage,” “listen” and “measure your ROI,” it can be hard to figure out where to begin. I wonder if there is a blog about which blogs to follow when you want to make a list of ten blogs?

Anyway, here is a list of some blogs I recommend for PR and Communication folks.

1. http://brandsavant.com/

This blog is written by Tom Webster. He blogs about the social web through the lens of a researcher. My favourite line of his lately: “flipping the funnel, as it were, from top-down elephant hunting to bottom up empowerment – might yield some fresh, new ideas, and get you thinking differently.” Great words for today when internal relations and employee engagement still seems to me to be easily ignored by executives  in many sectors.

2. http://spinsucks.com/

Yes, spin does suck! Which is why this blog is so much fun. With guest bloggers weighing in on many sorts of social media and communication tidbits, I like the refreshing perspective communicators take on how stories are shared and why. Please read this inspiring blog from their site.  It will make you want to blog nothing but happy faces from now on: http://spinsucks.com/marketing/social-good-is-in-negativity-is-out/

3. http://www.healthcarecommunication.com/Main/Home.aspx

Okay, so Ragan should be a definite mainstay for all folks in PR and Communications. That they have a special Health Care Communication page as a spin off to their regular site is gravy. And cheese curds. Yes, it is absolutely that fantastic. Health care communicators, whether American or Canadian, would do well to frequent this site every day.

Did I mention I love Ragan?

4. http://theoatmeal.com/

The Oatmeal should be the place to go when you are feeling your snarkiest. While not a blog in the traditional sense, Matthew Inman’s funky comics and smart-assed take on web design and grammar lessons featuring party gorillas should make you laugh. Weird name for a page but really it doesn’t matter. If you appreciate grammar and hold it in high esteem (and you do!) you will enjoy this site.

5. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

Back to the root of it all: appreciation for writing and upholding grammar law. If you want some tips to keep in mind and make you feel like you’ve got one-up on everyone in your office when it comes to grammar and writing, you should get to know Mignon Fogarty’s site. After all, aren’t we all in this cause we love the written word?

6. http://hubze.com/

Hubze is an all-social media blog that segments different channels to allow you to explore posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and YouTube separately. This doesn’t sound like a big deal or an interesting way to format a site, but when you’re really tired of sifting through reads that involve so many platforms, it’s refreshing to delve deep into one or two of your fave social web tools.

7. http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/jay_onrait/?id=382353

Okay, I know this blog isn’t about social media or PR, but I really do enjoy Jay Onrait’s wit and  the merry way he delivers sports news. Such a far cry from the traditional sports broadcaster with his self-deprecating style and usual references to Thundercats , he’s almost like the anti-anchor.  He’s a refreshing personality that I think deserves attention.

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Another #McFail?

We’ve all heard about the backfiring hashtag fiasco that happened to McDonald’s last week. In a not-so-bright attempt to coerce followers to share their happy reminiscences of McDonald’s visits on Twitter, followers  banded together to use the #McDstories hashtag to share their horrible McD misadventures instead. In reflection this hashtag idea was not so fortunate, so where did the idea come from and why would we have thought it was a good idea? Likely because, I’m thinking, the folks at the PR table at McD’s believed their followers enjoyed their product (naturally. Why else would they follow them?) and would be more inclined to detail their good experiences before their bad ones. But then, this hashtag just fell into the hands of everyone else — non-followers of the brand who took this opportunity to post a virtual lambasting and everyone else who bit into something strange or whose server was less than kind.

Mashable’s story this morning reveals that McDonald’s is not giving up on hashtags just yet. Plucky are the folks at McDonald’s who are trying again to bring positive attention to their brand! I’ve just checked the hashtag out and it doesn’t look like many are bashing the McDonald’s product just yet — but many are using the hashtag in tweets which question whether or not McDonald’s should be jumping into the trending game so soon after their detractors have ambushed their last campaign.

Oh — and the #littlethings hashtag was reportedly already launched by the folks at Doubletree. So what’s the bigger mistake? Not checking out hashtags.org to see if the hashtag was already in use? Creating this campaign so soon after the last?

Does this seem like maybe the McDonald’s folks should have taken another few weeks and worked on something else?

As their current TV ad spouts: “Bring back the break.”

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Anyone remember encyclopedias?

I’m not that old. Right?

By that I mean, I’m surprised at the hysteria amongst students when Wikipedia blacked out the other day in protest of SOPA. Put “Wikipedia” in your Tweetdeck and you’ll be sure to see a litany of rag tag messages decrying the one-day blackout as thousands of students expressed their panic.

Buzzfeed’s compilation is a nice summary of the sentiment felt by kids across the continent. I read through them and thought how weird it was, and that was when I smirked at myself. Things are different now, Nik. Kids don’t go to the library anymore, and what’s more is than they can spell out (umm) in the virtual community how cranky not having their beloved Wikipedia makes them. How dare one source of information go down in protest when information is so hard to come by nowadays?

This is the strange irony: that young students, most of whom are quite apt at sourcing all they need online and and then some, and who readily express any feeling they have online as well, can be so mad at Wikipedia for the consequence of disappearing for one day. Do they truly rely on Wikipedia that much, when so many other sites exist with so much more to offer, with somewhat more credible authorship?

Just wondering.

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