Persuasive Picks for week of 3/5/12

Forbes contributor Anthony Kosner breaks down the success of YouTube’s recently Most Popular video KONY 2012, a poignant 30 minute video with over 50 million views that begs the question; can the power of social media do what foreign policy cannot?  Kosner’s piece provides  12 Lessons from KONY 2012 from Social Media Power Users including be positive, get their attention and make it personal.

Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post looks at the impact of  Social Media in the media. Has the viral nature of news accomplished anything? Read more in her piece Virality Uber Alles: What the Fetishization of Social Media Is Costing Us All

This week also brings us a creative picture painting of  The Beauty of Social Media, an infographic posted by Shea Bennett that takes a closer look at how the beauty industry has embraced Social Media, and the innovative ways the top brands are using Social Media channels in this post by AllTwitter.

For most, Social Media brings to mind Facebook or Twitter. Krista Neher points out that there are more opportunities beyond the obvious to grow brand presence in her recent post 6 Effective but Ignored Social Media Marketing Sites on ClickZ.

Influencers Who Inspire: VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi

As PR professionals, we’re often asked “who do you know” and “will they take your call?” It’s part of the reason that we started our “Influencers Who Inspire” series – to not only validate those questions but to support and promote the work by influencers that we all admire and follow. And we were stoked when Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat agreed to catch up with us for our next interview.  Dean is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He covers video games, security, chips and a variety of other subjects. Dean previously worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Wall Street Journal, the Red Herring, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Times Herald. He is the author of two books, Opening the Xbox and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked. You can follow Dean on Twitter at @deantak.

What’s the strangest/most memorable place from which you ever conducted an interview?

I interviewed Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, in a car driven by his bodyguards. It was hard to concentrate on asking questions in the moving vehicle.

How do you keep your sense of humor when managing multiple deadlines?

Who has time for humor? Well, I enjoy writing. So that makes a big difference. I consider most of my work to be fun.

What are your interests outside of tech/gaming (hobbies or passions)?

Taking pictures. Traveling. Going to the kids’ sports games. And, I do play games for fun.

You have authored two books. Do you have any others in the works and can you tell us a little bit about them?

I’ve written two long stories that we have turned into eBooks for VentureBeat. We posted these on the Amazon Kindle and Apple App stores. The Complete History of Zynga (so far)  and Xbox: The Making of a Bad Ass Machine.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I enjoy my annual trip to Seattle for a game conference. It’s a great city and there are always cool places to see and great places to eat. And good coffee.

What is next for you in 2012?

We’re expanding GamesBeat into a destination site, as the second main property at VentureBeat. We’ve hired our Review Editor, Sebastian Haley, and our Editor in Chief of GamesBeat, Dan “Shoe” Hsu. We have 11 freelance game writers working for us. Now we have to execute on bringing our crowdsource writing team, Bitmob, into GamesBeat and then write as much as we can for rest of the year.

Hopefully we’ll write some more long stories that can be turned into eBooks.

Happy Employee Appreciation Day to PerkettPR – An Amazing Staff

The first Friday in March marks Employee Appreciation Day and I wanted to be sure to send a small token of appreciation out to my amazing staff. In the PR agency business, it’s not unusual to see a revolving door of employees and I have to say that I am very lucky to never have had this problem. I have a talented staff that is smart, energetic, creative and amazingly loyal to PerkettPR. I’m not quite sure – you’d have to ask them – why I’m lucky enough to have such a good retention rate, but I do know that we just celebrated milestones of 4, 7, and even 10 years with several employees (out of 14 in business to-date).

I always wanted to build an agency that was less political than a typical PR environment, and so we’ve always been pretty choosy about who we hire. We want folks who have entrepreneurial attitudes, but who aren’t going to stick around for just a few years and then take off. We ask employees to leave their egos at the door and put clients and teammates first. We require collaborative work, especially as a virtual environment, and we can’t offer anyone a corner office to show off to their friends and family. And yet, we have a staff that sticks by one another, challenges each other to work better and smarter every day, and that clients continually come back to because not only do the PerkettPR-ers turn out amazing results, but they are fun to work with. I can attest to that. We have such a good camaraderie that it often surprises people. After one six-month long RFP process, in which we were unanimously chosen over 14 other agencies, I was told that one of the reasons we were hired was because “Your team had such an amazing spirit of collaboration that we’ve rarely seen with any agency – let alone a virtual team.” That’s right – you’d never know we’re not in the same “office” every day. We are true teammates and it shows in our results.

I appreciate my staff more than I can ever express – you can’t always get along with everyone but I have to say I’ve been very lucky to have had truly great relationships with 99% of the folks who have worked here. Even in tough times when we’ve had to let people go, they’ve remained friends and professional colleagues and that means the world to me – it shows me that we really do work with those of great character and exceptional spirit.

Hiring folks with such commendable attributes translates to a team that has worked together for years, can ramp up quickly for clients and that many clients have had the luck to work with over their careers, even while moving from company to company over a span of a decade+. It feels great to be able to say, “Yes he/she is still here and we can get them on your account” when a former client comes back to hire us again.

So thank you, PPR team, for being not only amazing PR professionals, but just damn great people to know. I am blessed. And truly grateful.