Persuasive Picks for the week of 07/12/09

Verizon Integrates Twitter, Facebook into FiOS TV
Verizon helps consumers take another small step towards TV and online integration with the addition of Twitter and Facebook access via their set-top box.

Verizon FiOS and Twitter/Facebook

Box-Office Weekend: Brüno a One-Day Wonder?
Another example of how Twitter has changed the “product launch” game by accelerating the word-of-mouth process with potentially negative side-effects.

YouTube Will Be Next To Kiss IE6 Support Goodbye
Fans of Internet Explorer (do any really exist..?!) who frequent YouTube are now being notified that the platform will be dropping support for IE6 in the near future. Gone are the days where web app developers felt the need to continually support aging browser technology as to not “upset” the user base.

Can a Company Take Social Networking too Far?
Chris Pirillo shares this almost unbelievable news about retailer Best Buy’s odd move with their new “social networking requirements” for employees.

9 keys to the perfect corporate blog
Michael Estrin provides 9 tips to help companies to provide a more compelling corporate blog.

Welcome to SimpliSafe – PerkettPR’s Newest Client

SimplisafeI’d like to extend a big welcome to SimpliSafe and send a big huge “thanks” for choosing PerkettPR. Simplisafe provides a sleek and unique consumer “gadget” that also happens to have a very solid value proposition: home security. SimpliSafe provides young urban professionals and college students with a wireless home security system, ideal for any city dweller or those who frequently change residences and are looking for reliable apartment security options.

A cost-effective alternative to more traditional alarm systems, SimpliSafe allows you to pay as you go – no long term contracts – and you own the system. Therefore, you can take the system with you when you move. Best of all, it doesn’t even require a landline or internet connection to reach their 24/7 emergency dispatch center. For more information, visit their website or connect with SimpliSafe on Twitter.

Simplisafe

When asked why they chose PerkettPR, CEO and co-founder Chad Laurans said, “PerkettPR brings a great combination of traditional media experience and social media savvy that will help us spread the word about SimpliSafe. Word of mouth is already a big factor for us and with PerkettPR’s help, we aim to drive awareness to new levels.”

We’re extremely excited to help SimpliSafe extend their brand awareness and community – stay tuned!

Shut Up and Listen

I have had a lot of conversations about PR over the years with prospects, clients and partners. Some of my favorite stories are when they share their other PR experiences. In fact, inquiring about experiences with other agencies – both good and bad – is one of the first questions we ask any prospect. We can learn so much by the answer to just that one question.

More often than not, it seems that PR executives make the mistake of talking too much and listening too little. I noticed this from the very beginning of my career. I would slump in embarrassment during client meetings when two account executives would not only talk over each other – as though the one who talked the most demanded the most importance – but they would consistently interrupt the client as well. It’s something I have never forgotten.

One of the most effective ways to connect with any audience is to show them that you care. One of the easiest ways to show someone that you care is to listen. One of the best ways to listen is to actively participate in the conversation – by both asking questions and repeating what you’ve heard. It’s also a fantastic way to learn new things.

I see the same mistake happening in a lot of the social media marketing taking place across social networks. It’s bad enough that so many companies are using Twitter and Facebook as a glorified news stream rather than a give and take community, but the so-called social media experts and “social marketing gurus” are making matters worse by constantly streaming their own thoughts but rarely replying, conversing or engaging their followers – often because they consider themselves newbie-Internet celebrities and can’t be bothered. To make matters worse, these type of marketers and PR hounds are using the latest “auto follower” services – a pyramid-like scheme that can increase your followers “by up to 300 per day!” Again, this has nothing to do with engaging or listening and it certainly doesn’t mean that these “gurus” know how to get other people – the RIGHT people – to listen to you or your brand value proposition.

not-listening

I also see so many PR professionals who don’t want to ask questions in meetings because they feel – especially in a pitch – that they are supposed to have all the answers already. (Or, sometimes, their egos rival everyone’s in the room.) This is a classic problem with marketers and PR executives – they think asking questions shows weakness. I highly disagree – I think it shows interest, intelligence and strategic thinking.

If you’re not asking questions, you are subtly saying that you don’t care. How else will you learn about what your customers want? How do you ensure that you are headed in the right direction with your products or services? How will you uncover additional nuggets of information that might not seem obvious in a one-sided conversation?

The  next time you find yourself in a conversation or – better yet – a sales pitch – think about what questions you can ask about the person or company to whom you are speaking. Ask them questions about themselves or what they offer and get them talking about what they’re passionate about. Really listen to the answers. Repeat them and ask more. I guarantee that the other party will walk away thinking you were an extremely interesting person and brilliant conversationalist.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 07/05/09

I generally don’t add any commentary to the beginning of the picks posts, but this week I have to say that you’re in store for some pretty entertaining reading (and viewing). I love when a post makes me smile, and a few of these did just that. Please let me know in the comments if you agree. Enjoy!


Nike Censors LeBron James Dunk Incident; Creates Needless PR Fiasco

Nike takes the heat as they learn a lesson about transparency – the hard way.

Blogging Truth: No One Likes Your CEO
Lisa Barone from Outspoken Media serves up this fun and entertaining post about why your company’s CEO might not be the best person to write the corporate blog.

Since When Are Blogs Not Social Media?
Brian Clark from Copyblogger reminds us that the blogs were the original form of social media and still hold tremendous value in your social media strategy.

Life after 80, or what World of Warcraft can teach you about marketing mastery
Christoper S. Penn channels your “inner-gamer” with this fun look at how World of Warcraft compares to marketing strategy.

How P.F. Chang’s Uses Twitter to Be Awesome
Word of Mouth Marketer, Andy Sernovitz shares this inspiring interview that she shot with Kelly Morehead of the restaurant chain P.F. Changs. Their innovative use of Twitter is a story that B2Cs’ can learn from.

Pssst, We’re Recruiting, Spread the Word

I’m happy to say that we’re on the hunt for some new, innovative employees. I wanted to spread the word as much as possible, so in addition to updating our careers page on the web site, I interrupt our regularly-scheduled blogging to share the following details. Thanks in advance for passing it along.

Are you a PR 2.0 expert with proven experience in both traditional programs and new media? PerkettPR is recruiting!

PerkettPR is seeking Account Strategists who can demonstrate the proven ability to run traditional PR programs such as media relations, customer/partner programs, speaking engagements, events initiatives and grassroots campaigns, as well as new media and digital production: social media campaigns, video, podcasts, etc.

Specifically, you must:

  • have a minimum of five years related experience
  • demonstrate results or case studies in PR and new media as well as client service
  • be comfortable – experience preferred – working from a home office
  • have experience in technology but demonstrate a willingness to work in industries such as healthcare, fashion, travel, entertainment. If you have specific experience to bring to the table, please highlight it
  • have an entrepreneurial spirit
  • show us why you are a standout – what will you teach us?
  • do your homework – communicate your understanding of who we are, our culture and how we are unique in the industry

Ideally, you will:

  • have a sense of humor – for fun and for sanity!
  • be in or near Boston, NYC, San Francisco or Detroit
  • not lead with “why I want to work from home”
  • have PR agency experience or client service experience
  • be creative in how and where you apply/show us your work
  • understand the bigger picture and give us an idea of how you will not only help deliver the best client service but help our organization grow and innovate

BIG HINT: if you follow @PerkettPR on Twitter and DM us that you have sent a resume, it will be more noticeable…

Submit your details to careers(at)perkettpr(dot)com and in the subject line, please indicate the position (Account Strategist) and location, (Boston, NY, Detroit or San Francisco). Visit our website for more details. Thanks for reading.