Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/11/11

White HatPR Is Not A White Hat SEO Technique
This post from Nichola Stott on SearchEngineWatch expands on the dangers of using press releases as an SEO strategy that could ultimately “backfire and possibly damage your clients’ reputation.

5 Top Marketing Blogs by Entrepreneurs
I’m always on the look-out for new blogs to add to my newsreader, and this post from ReadWriteWeb‘s Danny Wong provides some noteworthy alternatives to the traditional marketing streams out there.

13 ways to get your clients to think like a blogger
Continuously creating new content for a blog can be a daunting task for some. This post from Arik Hanson provides numerous tips to jumpstart your brain and get the words flowing.

Facebook and Email are NOT distractions, but necessities!
This “energetic” post from Peter Shankman schools readers on how to properly use Facebook and email for business rather than seeing them as distractions.

How to Measure Your Facebook Engagement
This SocialMediaExaminer post from Facebook Diva, Mari Smith provides a wealth of information on measuring your Facebook page’s level of user engagement.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/04/11

Chrysler TweetThe 7 Worst Twitter PR Fails
The Huffington Post‘s Catharine Smith compiles an entertaining list of the top Twitter-based PR blunders to-date. Prepare to cringe and learn!

Managing elephant-sized social media blunders
Reuters small business writer Deborah Cohen shares an informative Q&A with global brand strategist Jonathan Salem Baker that contains helpful tips on managing social media blunders like this week’s “elephant hunting” video released by GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons.

Top Companies Still Bashful About Social Media Presence
Frank Reed, managing editor for the Marketing Pilgrim, starts off a new blog series with this entry that highlights a recent Ad Age report that revealed less than half of Fortune 50 companies promote their social presence on their corporate homepage.

Report: Social Media Worth the Time
There’s no doubt that executing a well thought out social media strategy takes time. However, you need to stick with it and be consistent in order to reap the rewards. Inc.com‘s contributing editor Courtney Rubin shares some interesting stats around this topic and small business.

Getting real about social media budgeting
This post from Rich Karpinski on BtoBOnline suggests that Salesforce.com‘s recently announced acquisition of Radian6 might be a turning point for marketing teams to really focus on their social spending, and he provides highlights of last year’s Altimeter survey from Jeremiah Owyang to show what an aggressive social budget looks like.

Define Trust. Not So Easy, Is It?

Yesterday I presented at the Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Conference in Boston, where I was lucky enough to have some great folks attend my session. They asked thought-provoking questions and provided insightful feedback – which is always appreciated. One of my industry friends, Michael Pace, asked me a question at the end of my presentation, and it sparked a longer discussion among some of us after the event.

What is trust?

Michael said that he keeps hearing all the social media “gurus” at conferences like this, SXSW and others, talk about “trust” in their presentations, but no one seems to define it. He has a “three-pronged” idea of trust – which if we’re lucky, he’ll post in the comments here – but no one in the room could agree on one solid definition of trust, and how brands build it. Do people really trust brands? What does that entail? How is it earned, and how is it lost? Michael is focused on customer service and support at work, and thus, it’s a question he ponders on an ongoing basis. The topic definitely made for a lively discussion around branding, marketing, customer service, customer care and social business.

I said that I thought trust was sincere intent followed by consistent, related action. If a brand tells me something, and consistently backs it up, I trust them. It’s not so different from my personal relationships, really. You can make all the promises in the world, and say all the sweetest things, but if your actions don’t reflect your words, I won’t trust you.

Chris Brogan wrote a lot about trust in his book, “Trust Agents.” He uses phrases and words like sincerity, adding value and being truthful in regards to trust. I don’t know if he answers “what is trust” specifically, rather he and his co-author Julien Smith, seem to define its attributes. But what is its definition? Chris, if you’re reading (which would make my day), Michael and I thought you’d be the perfect person to ask …

Dictionary.com uses words such as reliance, which I thought was interesting, as well as confident expectation.

So what is trust? Is it sincerity? Action? Commitment? Faith? How do you earn it? Better yet, how do you keep it? For something that is so often discussed, so hard to earn, so easy to lose, and really super hard to gain back once you’ve done so, you’d think we’d all have a pretty definitive answer.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, readers. Thanks, as always, for visiting and commenting.

McDonald’s PR Push– Da-Da-Da-Da, Are You Loving It?

In an effort to change the longstanding career image of the low-paying, dead-end work also nicknamed the “McJob”—McDonald’s has announced “National Hiring Day”– a massive hiring spree on April 19. The fast-food giant is hoping to recruit 50,000 Americans—both full and part time– in a single day at nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants. Yes, 50,000 jobs– a number that is roughly equivalent to a quarter of the new jobs created in the entire U.S. in March.

McDonaldsAccording to the press release, McDonald’s wants to use the nationwide recruitment to educate potential applicants that the “McJob is one with career growth and endless possibilities.”

With a two week-long PR blitz and ambitious ad campaign launching yesterday—McDonald’s will be showcasing the employees of McDonald’s, hoping to prove that working at the fast-food chain is indeed a desirable employment opportunity. According to Ad Age, “the campaign will appear in print magazines such as People, Us Weekly, Ebony and various ethnic publications, on the fast feeder’s social-media and digital channels, local radio spots, and as point-of-purchase, in-store marketing and on packaging on certain items.”

Interestingly, TV will not be a component for the campaign. “We found that print was the best medium to communicate the story about the brand and the opportunity people have here,” said Tania Haigh, marketing manager at McDonald’s USA.  In addition as part of the social media push, short videos starring employees of varying ranks– from cooks to corporate– will reveal why they love their jobs, in an effort to promote a positive image of working at McDonalds.

Whether the campaign gives the company a competitive advantage or brings McDonalds to the top of the hot jobs list—the company’s goal of redefining the McJob and offering 50,000 jobs in the midst of high unemployment, does raise some questions—is this an image-boosting PR stunt?

Whether you’re loving or hating it— what are your predictions for this campaign? What are some of the campaign missteps? And what do you see as their best moves? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 03/28/11

Phil Collins Rolling Stones Cover7 Social Media Lessons From Phil Collins
Marjorie Clayman guest posts on Jay Baer‘s Convince and Convert blog with this entertaining post that draws parallels between Phil Collins‘ career and social media best practices.

Do You Need a Social Media Detox?
Creating a balance between social media responsibilities at work and personal time can be a tricky task, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. GigaOm‘s Om Malik shares this fun info-graphic from Column Five Media that might help determine if you’re in need of a Social Media Detox.

15 Services to Manage Your Social Media Activity
If my previous pick found you in the need of a detox – but quitting cold-turkey isn’t in the cards – then perhaps one of these social media management tools can ease the flow of the information fire hose.

With +1, Google Search Goes Truly Social — As Do Google Ads
Google launched its anticipated “response” to Facebook’s Like button in the form of its new “+1″ button which will appear in Google search results and later as a standalone button that can be added to individual websites. Get the full rundown via this TechCrunch post from MG Siegler.

Our Choice: The Funniest April Fools’ Jokes
Seeing that this work week ends on April Fool’s Day, it’s only fitting that I top off the picks with Mashable‘s selection of online pranks from the likes of Google, YouTube, LinkedIn and ThinkGeek.