After 15 years as a Chicago news reporter and broadcaster, I became fascinated by the strategy and execution required to create news. So in 1993 I switched careers and plunged into government PR. That decision opened opportunities to work with extremely talented people helping corporations, small businesses, non-profits and governments tell their stories through the media. I love the news business and have witnessed remarkable change. I'll always be a reporter, telling clients' stories and communicating their value to traditional online and word-of-mouth media.
Thanks to social media and Web 2.0, it's an exciting time for the marketing and PR professions and I'm thrilled to be helping clients navigate the "Wild Wild West" of communications. Have questions about Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and blogs? Just ask me at michelle at michelledamico dot com! I'll be happy to help.
Online publishing is a hot topic in social media circles and it’s something I discussed Tuesday morning during my monthly social media segment on Farm Week Now, a production of the Illinois Farm Bureau Radio Network. You’re actually a content creator, and don’t need to spend the time publishing original material. You become a valued source of information around the web, finding the content for which other’s lack the time to search.
Paper.li makes content curation easy, and visually attractive while making you look like an expert on the topic of your choosing. Why should you do it? Because you don’t have to CREATE the content. You just CURATE it. It’ll help you grow your online community while positioning you as an authority on the topic(s) that your niche audiences find interesting. Since Paper.li is a social tool, others can easily supply you with content or share your content with their communities, making your paper.li viral.
Want to see what Paper.li is all about? See the Chicago PR Daily, created by my friend and fellow ex-City Hall reporter Sarah Skerik, who is now an executive with PR Newswire in Chicago. Sarah curates content on Twitter, uses it in her paper, and cites the friends and followers who originally tweeted about the content (in fact, I’ve been cited in her Chicago PR Daily on more times than I can count). Want to follow the latest news about food to your table? Check out the Food & Agriculture Spotlight or The Daily Agvocate.
What happens when you block Facebook ”friends” from seeing your posts and activity? Most of us hesitate before taking such drastic action against friends, friends of friends, former colleagues or in my case, news listeners to WXRT and WBEZ, my former radio stations. Sometimes you just get fed up with their political rants, their whines about kids, in-laws or jobs. It’s understandable and natural to simply say to yourself “Stop” or ”Enough Already!”
I’m sure it’s crossed your mind what would happen if you blocked that annoying person on Facebook. Here’s a great slide show with descriptive explanations that I found today on my favorite tech news portal — Mashable.com.
Have you ever blocked someone from your Facebook profile? I have and it felt very cathartic and gave me a sense of freedom. I no longer had the ball and chain combination of bad vibes and bad karma that comes from avoidable life-intrusions! If you have the time, tell me the outcome of your Facebook-blocking experiences, by leaving a comment.
By the way, if you’re seeing this via email, I am testing-out a new email system to support my posts at Michelle Damico Communications. Have any ideas for future posts? Seeking an answer to a business communications problem? Email at michelle at michelledamico dot com.
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If the change of seasons motivates you to improve your health, here is some client news to get you moving.
Coach Brendan completed the Antarctica Marathon earlier this month, and proved that anyone can achieve the impossible. See his great coverage in the Chicago Sun Times and WGN Radio.
Looking forward to Chicago’s next great park and destination? The Bloomingdale Trail, the nearly 3-mile elevated park and trail system planned for Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park, received great praise today in a comprehensive, three-page spread in the Sun Times. Continue reading →
Crocuses and snowdrops popping up in my garden signal spring’s arrival. I also know it’s spring because the phone is ringing — a LOT! Now more than ever, organizations such as tech start-ups, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and corporations are reviewing their 2013 marketing and PR needs and deciding whether to hire a PR pro to help elevate their market position.
Here at Michelle Damico Communications, it’s Spring-Into-Action-Time, providing answers about how a company’s product, service or cause might benefit from my PR, messaging, and interview training services. So as a service to all future clients, here are things to ask before hiring a PR firm. (Note: There’s a special bonus for readers who make it to the end of this post!)
Six Questions to Ask Before Hiring a PR Firm
How deep is your PR firm’s media relationships? How often do reporters CALL YOU seeking sources? Every good PR person will tell you they regularly connect with reporters via email, phone or tweet reporters. The strongest sign of a deep media relationship is when reporters call PR pros they trust, seeking experts – I know because it happens to me weekly.
Tell me about your experience as former journalist? Many PR pros claim they used to work in journalism. But a closer look may reveal they wrote for their college newspaper and switched to business or marketing as their career. You can’t really understand the pressures professional journalists face without walking in their shoes and dealing with the stress of regular deadlines and surly editors. So check their LinkedIn profiles to learn what positions they held before landing their first PR position.
Can you provide examples of how media placements led to more business or lead generation? Is their coverage relevant to clients’ target audiences? PR initiatives are typically targeted at two segments: consumers and business people. A technology start up with a just-launched app for doctors will target media outlets quite different than a start-up serving consumers’ health and fitness needs.
Does your PR firm have a solid web site, or a strong social media presence? This should be a no-brainer, but surprisingly it’s overlooked. A PR firm that participates in dynamic content creation will stay on top of digital media developments and appreciate the challenges of engaging with customers in the 24/7 digital communications world.
Can one easily view the most recent headlines secured on behalf of clients? The stock and trade of any great PR firm is the news hits or coverage they’ve landed for their clients. Is the coverage recent? Is there a steady stream of client news placements demonstrating consistent outreach?
Does your PR firm’s web site include a blog or dynamic posting feature? Any PR firm worth its weight is staying on top of digital PR trends and practicing them through their own digital properties. Actively blogging and sharing client case studies and insights about the current world demonstrates a PR professionals ability to stay on top of their industry.
If you took the time to read this entire post, here’s a nice little April 1st Thank you, with photos!
In the last month, I’ve been approached by three different companies seeking help in generating news for their smart phone apps creations. Currently, I’m working with a brother-sister team that developed BrainAttack App to help emergency room doctors and nurses save lives for stroke patients. Like my clients, all app creators are trying to rise above the noise being generated in an industry that’s growing at lightning speed.
If there’s a business problem, there’s probably an entrepreneur who’s created or working on an app solution. Unfortunately, there’s no app guaranteed to get news coverage for your new app. With the mix of traditional and social media required to generate awareness of your app, a one-size fits-all solution just won’t get you results.
There are so many target audiences that can make or break your efforts to generate awareness of your apps. With these hurdles in mind, I offer…
If you follow me here or on my LinkedIn profile, you probably know I’m a strong believer in the effectiveness of a well-written press release. In an earlier post, I mentioned that press releases have the potential to go viral and become an excellent lead generator. Recently, I had a media relations experience that perfectly illustrates my point!
Recently, a Chicago broadcast reporter asked for an exclusive about my client‘s latest news. He received our press release (Cournane travels to Antarctica) about my client’s upcoming marathon on the South Pole, and requested that I NOT promote the trip to other outlets until he aired the story first.
I wanted to maintain my great relationship with this veteran street reporter at one Chicago’s top-rated broadcast outlets. Being helpful is one thing — jeopardizing future client coverage is another. What to do?
I made a deal. I agreed not to make calls and emails to any other reporters until his reports were aired. If any other media contacted me during the interim, I would let my broadcast friend know that he should run his story because I’d be working with other media. He agreed.
Did I make the right call? Leave a comment. Later this week, you’ll hear how it all turned out.
Dear Nespresso, your brand page on Facebook showcases exactly how a consumer product company should be integrating social media into every part of the customer experience. Now I see why your page has nearly 2 million LIKES and thousands of people talking about you (in many languages). I have this real life example of wonderful customer service through social media.
You address complaints immediately and publicly — I have proof! Today you did so to my total surprise.
Yesterday, I complained on your page after twice calling your toll free number and twice having the system hang up on me when I tried to reach customer service. I left this note in frustration (I admit, I did it in haste and it was a bit snarky).
I thought that would be the end of my Nespresso Facebook engagement and was quite shocked to get this email today. Apparently, someone on the Facebook team connected with customer service, or looked up my order history, noted that I had not yet requested my first scaling kit, and took the initiative to order it on my behalf. Continue reading →
I’ve never heard of Viceor Flaunt, but I do appreciate the style and substance that goes into creating a compelling magazine cover.
So when Advertising Age compiled its 10 best magazine covers for 2012, I had to see them. And it’s worth the view. As I perused these beauties, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people actually purchased/subscribed to these publications and actually saw them at their best — in print. With magazine circulation numbers on a never-ending downward slide (see below),I also tried to estimate the year when we’d no longer hold a fully assembled and stapled magazine for our own personal pleasure.
Magazine industry keeps downsizing, thanks to digital media and social networks.
My Newsweekprintsubscription will be no more come January 1st – I’ll have to get my Newsweek fix online and it won’t be the same.
Will some of the best magazines remain as print versions, because they’re just too vital or beautiful or popular to die? Will many be around in 2015? 2020?
What’s your prediction on the year the last printed magazine as we know it will fold? Will you miss them when they do? Will you be satisfied reading an article or seeing your cover on a tablet or smart phone? Leave your comments because I love when you do.
I consider myself knowledgable on a lot of things. Journalism and the news business? Absolutely. Media and public relations? You bet. Effectively communicating a message while handling a media interview? Easy.
Sports? Never my strong suit. Football, the weakest pocket in my strong suit! I’m a fair weather fan, one who really pays attention to the Chicago Bears if they make the play-offs or start a winning streak. I like watching the Superbowl to see the commercials and follow funny observations on Twitter and Facebook. The game is pretty much an afterthought to me.
It’s written by local media reporter Michael Sebastian for ChicagoSide, a great Chicago sports web site. Mike sought out a number of Chicago PR professionals to ask what Jay Cutler should be doing to reverse his standing as one of the most loathed players in the NFL.
Check out the piece, and whether or not you’re a diehard Bears fan, I’d love to know what you think. Does Jay Cutler need a PR Fix?
And hey, if anyone out there has a line to Cutler, tell him I’m available to help repair his brand, OK. The fact that I don’t care for football may be a positive in his playbook.