A blog to complement the Web site of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter Web site at www.pramcentral.org.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

How TV news has changed - and what you need to do about itLi

Link - You see it every time you flip on the television. And it's affecting everything we do. It is change, and, in TV news, it's as certain as deadlines.

Online newsrooms: today, tomorrow, and maybe next week

Link - No longer is it “should I have an online newsroom?” It is now “what are the most important things I should have in my online newsroom - today and in the future?”

Renovating "This Old Press Conference"

Link - PR disasters have a way of providing fuel for how-to and how-not-to articles, and this story is no exception. Not long ago, I was waiting calmly for the media to arrive at a press conference where a federal big shot was to give my client more than $2 million to create jobs.

Improving your media relations tactics

Link - The best PR professionals have an innate and developed sense of responsibility, paving the way for their own successes, and carrying their peers and colleagues upward as well.

Getting into the news with zero budget:

Link - As we all know, it is far easier to run paid advertisements than to earn media coverage. But what do you do when you have run out of funds to promote your organization or, even worse, have no budget at all?

10 Ways Communication Will Change in 2005

Link - Andy Lark takes a shot at a few predictions for 2005

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

WIN Job Center slates workshops for January

Link - The Madison County WIN Job Center, located at 152 Watford Parkway Drive in Canton, recently released the workshops it will hold in January.

What's the buzz about buzz marketing?

Link - There's a new marketing catchphrase that's getting rave word-of-mouth reviews. From articles in the popular press to conversations in the classroom, from huge companies to boutique marketing firms, suddenly it seems you can't talk about new products without addressing 'buzz marketing.' "People are buzzing about buzzing," says Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn. "People think it's cool. There is something almost empowering about the idea of being able to 'buzz' your way into the products people buy." Put simply, buzz marketing is the practice of gathering volunteers to try products, then sending them out into the world to talk up their experiences with the people they meet in their daily lives. The idea is that the more people see a product being used in public, or the more they hear about it from people they know and trust, the more likely they will be to buy it for themselves.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New titles added to small business seminar CD series

The Mississippi Small Business Development Centers, which in June made its most-requested information available on compact discs, has added four new seminars to its series. For more information, including the location of the SBDC nearest you, call (800) 725-7232 or visit the Web site.

Northrop Grumman and Jackson State University Sign Cooperative Agreement

Link - Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Jackson State University, in Jackson, Miss., have signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a cooperative program designed to enhance the education and economic development efforts of both organizations, as well as the state of Mississippi.

Business, education collaborate on Institute for Business Ethics

Belhaven College and MMI Hotel Group/Dining Systems have joined forces to create an Institute for Business Ethics, a Jackson-area think tank designed to challenge leadership with ethical research, discussion and resources.

Training is a key element of the project, which begins Jan. 19 with a conference titled "Business Ethics and the Role of Senior Management."

Featured speakers will be retired Baylor University Ethics Department Chair Dr. Richard Chewning, currently a distinguished scholar in residence at John Brown University in Arkansas, and Dr. Bill Penn, Belhaven business professor.

Chewning has written six books and more than 90 articles on business ethics and spent more than 42 years in the college classroom.

Apart from the January conference, Belhaven is planning a series of executive summits, where 10 to 12 business decision-makers will meet to conceptualize agendas and tracks for seminars, written resources on best practices and more. The Institute will eventually name a steering committee and an advisory board.

For more information on the Institute for Business Ethics or on the January conference, call (601) 974-6456.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Persuaders

Link - You can stream the entire 90-minute documentary on the current state of modern marketing from the comforts of your desktop. PBS condensed the 90-minute program into six bite-size chunks available now online.

Bacon's to Monitor Blogs

Link - Media data aggregator Bacon's Information next month begins monitoring online news blogs, shorthand for Web logs featuring opinions and comments from individuals or groups.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

News Monitoring Providers Fail to Meet Expectations;

Link - Fewer than 20% of public relations professionals are very satisfied with their news monitoring services. Over 40% of PR professionals expect to change media monitoring suppliers in the coming year. PR professionals are least satisfied with paper-based press clipping services and in-house news monitoring by staff, but spend the bulk of their media monitoring budgets on those very services. PR professionals continue to focus on newspaper articles even though consumers have switched their attention to cable TV and the Internet for news.

(But this is a study by CyberAlert, a company that makes money by convincing PR professionals ot swich their attention to the Internet. I'm not saying this discounts the study - I'm just saying, "Know the source.") SZL

Podcast for communicators

Link - Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson or starting a podcast in January, For Immediate Release, geared towards how communicators can use podcasting.

Monday, December 20, 2004

TechnoFile: Writing Well on the Web

Link - Hardly anybody really likes reading online. No surprise there, since so many websites are so poorly written. Here are easy ways to make your Web words more reader-friendly.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

RSS tutorial for content publishers and Web masters

Link - A good tutorial for those of you interested in adding RSS feeds to your Web pages

Women's fund grant information available

Grant guidelines and applications for the Women's Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson are available for non-profit organizations in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties serving the needs of women and children.

Requests for funding must be submitted by Feb. 15. Application materials can be found here.

For more information, call (601) 974-6044 or e-mail thewomensfund@cfgreaterjackson.org.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Challenges and optimism for internal communication

Link - The reality is that, while there are some great examples of success, internal communication as a strategic business function in Europe still broadly remains a poor cousin to, say, marketing and PR in its ability to get serious attention and ongoing commitment from the executive leadership in an organization. And that's a continuing challenge for communicators, one that formed a key focus during a panel discussion on the first day in which I participated.

Friday, December 17, 2004

A Look Back at The Year in Blogging

Pete Blackshaw is posting a wealth of great information on his blog, blogwebinar.com, about the impact of blogging on public opinion. (via MicroPersuasion)

Ned's Job of the Week

Link - A free weekly (at least, if not much more often) compendium of jobs and opportunities by and for communications professionals. With news and views about our profession, JOTW is a valuable networking tool whether you are an active job-seeker or not, and that status can change very quickly in these uncertain times. JOTW started in January 2001 with 34 charter subscribers and there are more than 7,200 today. And, it's free!

Business Blog Case Study: Stonyfield Farm

Link - Christine Halvorson has a job title many would enjoy: company blogger. The company in question is Stonyfield Farm, which actually maintains four different blogs. This interview with Halvorson covers the thinking behind launching the corporate blogs, the kind of traffic they generate and the tangible and intangible benefits the blogs produce.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Pondering Podvertising Possibilities

Link - Savvy online marketers have a whole new medium to exploit: It's called "podcasting." Could this be the next BMWFilms.com?

Two sides of the same PR coin...

Link - The one fundamental difference between the agency and in-house practitioner, and the difference that is often not recognized and therefore leads to confusion and frustration, is their primary objective.

Blogo Ad, The

Link - Blogs are known for their brutal honesty, independence of spirit and genuine emotional conviction. None of these attributes play much of a role in corporate advertising, of course, but they are values that corporate advertisers strive to imitate -- and, where possible, co-opt.

The Most Hated Advertising Techniques on the Web

Link - Advertising is an integral part of the Web user experience: people repeatedly encounter ads as they surf the Web, whether they're visiting the biggest portals, established newspapers, or tiny personal sites. Most online advertising studies have focused on how successful ads are at driving traffic to the advertiser, using simple metrics such as clickthrough rates. Unfortunately, most studies sorely neglect the user experience of online ads. As a result, sites that accept ads know little about how the ads affect their users and the degree to which problematic advertising tricks can undermine a site's credibility. Likewise, advertisers don't know if their reputations are degraded among the vast majority of users who don't click their ads, but might well be annoyed by them.

Marc and Tom need a job

Link - Looking for a decent job in advertising? If all else fails, beg. An unemployed creative team, copywriter Mark Guttesman and art director Tom Millar, teamed up with director Joe Leih to produce a tongue-in-cheek PSA about the duo’s inability to do anything else but make ads.

PR's return on investment

Link - Levick Strategic Communications recently released its 2nd annual report on public relation's return on investment. Though the report concentrates on law firms, we can all glean some tips on how to prove and improve ROI from the report.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing to speak to PRAM Central about business blogging in April

Paul Chaney, principal of Radiant Marketing Group in Tupelo, has agreed to speak to our group in April about business blogging and how it fits into the communications mix. Blogging is Paul's passion, and he has emerged as a leader in the business blogging community. (Check out his business blog.) Paul is also interested in collecting information on fellow businesses that are blogging in Mississippi, so if your company has a blog send him an e-mail to let him know at pchaney@gmail.com. In the meantime, mark your calendars for April 26 and come learn the art of business blogging.

How integrated is your communications? Take the PR News survey.

PR News and Porter Novelli are conducting an exclusive industry survey to gauge how PR professionals like you are coordinating all aspects of communications to your customers and stakeholders by integrating PR with advertising, marketing, internal communications, IR and other departments. Results of this survey will be published in PR News, on www.prnewsonline.com and on Porter Novelli’s site at www.porternovelli.com.

Your feedback will shed light on the challenges affecting PR professionals as the demand for a more integrated approach to communications has heated up.

Bonus: they’ll give you something for your time. Fully answer this survey by December 17 and you'll receive a $50 coupon to be applied to any PR News product, whether it’s the newsletter, one of our webinars, reports, guidebooks and more. The coupon will be emailed to you upon completion of the survey below.
Click here to begin. Survey deadline is December 17.

PRAM Central has a new online photo album

Link - PRAM Central chapter has a new online photo album. Pictures from the Christmas meeting are up now...check it out! (If you want a photo e-mailed to you, contact Shawn Lea at slea@mhanet.org and include the number of the photo(s) that you are interested in.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Integrated Marketing: Talking brand language

Link - To get the maximum effect from an integrated marketing push, teamwork is essential, says Maja Pawinska. Everyone claims to be doing it all the time, but underneath the breezy assertion that integrated marketing is part of the PR agency's offering in the 21st century, it may not strictly be the case.

Making the perfect marketer

Link - A study from the Association of National Advertisers and Booz Allen Hamilton suggests five ways to make marketing more relevant than ever.

PR Is Not a "Rabbit in a Hat" Service

Link - "...most people think we in PR offer some kind of rabbit-in-hat service; everyone thinks a PR dude just calls up media and voila! if they’re a friend or we badger them enough they’ll do something..." Richard Laermer of RLM Public Relations tells Kevin Dugan in Strategic Public Relations blog today.

Your Online Paperboy

Link - How Really Simple Syndication delivers just the Web sites you want

Friday, December 10, 2004

Lovemarks by Design - FREE Webinar

Link - Join Host Tom Peters, Author, Business Guru, and Founder of the Tom Peters Company and Special Guest Kevin Roberts, CEO, Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi and Author of Lovemarks

PR Grants Available for Non-Profit Organizations

Link - CyberAlert, Inc., an online media monitoring company, announced recently that, for the second consecutive year, the company will award at least 10 PR grants to not-for-profit organizations. Ranging in value from $2,400 to $4,800 for each grant and consisting of one full year of free news monitoring / press clipping services, the value of the grants is expected to total in excess of $25,000.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Providing Moral Support (Not Tank Armor)

Link - The Washington, DC-based public affairs firm Susan Davis International "is handling the Pentagon's 'America Supports You' campaign to drum up support for the nearly 150,000 U.S. forces that may be occupying Iraq during the next four years," reports O'Dwyer's.

PR News Year-End Leadership Pulse Survey

Link - Grappling with measurement. Guilt by association. Getting your hands around Sarbanes-Oxley. There were plenty of PR problems to go around in 2004. Will they get any better (or worse) in 2005? Counselors Academy and PR News are conducting a joint survey to find out what you feel are the most significant communications-related issues this year and how things are shaping up for 2005. Please take the time to contribute to the survey below. We're eager to hear from you. The results will be appearing in the Dec. 22 issue of PR News.

What Blogs Can Do For Your Communications Program

Weblogs and RSS are rapidly becoming a critical part of a company’s online marketing efforts. They can offer immediate and lasting benefits to your organization. InsideBlogging has started a list of some of these benefits, in part to prepare content for their official site launch. Here’s what they've got thus far:

* Communicate directly with your customers. Move beyond the marketing-speak of the brochure site and the stilted language of the press release.
* Establish your company as a voice of authority within your industry.
* Dramatically improve your search engine results.
* Increase website traffic through repeat, more-frequent visits.
* Create a new media relations channel–communicate with journalists more effectively.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Book Review: She Wins, You Win

Link - Gail Evans believes that women can take lessons from men when it comes to building networks and looking out for one another in the business world.

Making Marketing Measure Up

Link - The pressure is on to take the guesswork out of ad spending

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Business Of Blogging

Link - Just a year ago, blogs were viewed as a collection of off-the-cuff ramblings in cyberspace read mainly by online devotees. Then, as the election season heated up, bloggers gained new prominence, writing up-to-the-minute news and politics nuggets that the mainstream media struggled to match. Suddenly, millions of Americans were turning to political blogs such as instapundit.com and journalist Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. And blogs about everything from art-world gossip to macroeconomics are drawing audiences, too. A new medium, though still a work in progress, is coming into being.

Social Networking Systems and Wikis Engage the Social Customer

Link - Customers are starting to get their say. They are doing so in public forums. Their comments are unfiltered. And, more surprisingly, so are the responses of the individuals representing the companies. No PR flaks. No spin. No highly-sanitized, focus-group-approved, completely meaningless Dilbert-speak.In other words, real people interacting with real people.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Internet Radio Advertising to Increase Tenfold by 2009

Link - Total advertising devoted to online radio Web sites will grow 56 percent annually over the next 5 years, reaching over $300 million by 2009, according to a report by Borrell Associates.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Internet and Daily Life: Many Americans use the Internet in everyday activities, but traditional offline habits still dominate

Link - role in their daily routines and that the rhythm of their everyday lives would be affected if they could no longer go online. Yet, despite its great popularity and allure, the Internet still plays second fiddle to old-fashioned habits. Fully 88% of online Americans say the Internet plays a role in their daily routines. Of those, one-third say it plays a major role, and two-thirds say it plays a minor role. The activities they identified as most significant are communicating with family and friends and finding a wealth of information at their fingertips. And 64% of Internet users say their daily routines and activities would be affected if they could no longer use the Internet.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Getting your message across

Link - Tips on working more effectively with reporters

CEOs Rely Most on Public Relations Professionals for Reputation Management

Link - The results of the 2004 PRWeek/Burson-Marsteller CEO Survey reveal a continued increase among corporate leaders who believe public relations professionals play an important role within their organizations. More than 90% of CEOs surveyed said communications is "very important" or "important" for managing reputation, safeguarding the company's image and crisis management.

Smashing Public Relations Myths

Link - Every profession has its myths that are eradicated through time and advances in knowledge. In the 17th century, physicians thought they could break fevers by opening a vein and letting the patient's blood flow out. And in the 1920s, some prominent physicians prescribed deadly radiation treatments to promote longevity. In the medical profession, these and many other myths have long ago given ground to rational, scientific analysis. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for public relations.