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Social Media

Social Media, Writing, Writing Advice

When to Choose Vanilla Ice Cream over Rainbow Sherbet

I had lunch yesterday with Katie Wagner who owns Katie Wagner Social Media in Orange County, California. Our lively conversation over veggie burgers about posting content on social media turned to how creativity in writing can often get in the way of communicating a client’s message. We agreed that there are times when creativity works and other times when it’s better to just be straightforward – even when vanilla does not seem as exciting option. To understand the advantages of straightforward writing, look no further than The Elements of Style, the “writer’s bible” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White that was originally published nearly 100 years ago. Strunk and White say: Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not…

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Facebook, Social Media

My Visit to Facebook: More Than Just a Tech Company in Silicon Valley

There is no doubt about it, Facebook is a cool company. Like many Silicon Valley companies it has all the talked-about perks of a technology company, but from the moment I arrived on its sprawling campus I sensed this place was special: In addition to the lack of dress code, free food, bikes to move around the campus available everywhere, and an arcade to blow off steam. But at the heart of Facebook’s campus, and throughout its campus are the constant reminders of Facebook’s efforts to communicate, connect and be something that another Silicon Valley does so well, be different. The walls around the campus showcase original art due to an artist in residency program surrounding its open workspace. There are silver mylar balloon numbers floating above some of the desks. Why? Look up Facebook profiles and learn they represent workplace anniversaries. My tour was a part of my Public…

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Social Media

Social Media Solidifies Client Relationships

I have a client who is extremely active on social media. She maintains a well-read blog, posts regularly on Linkedin and Twitter and adds insightful and amusing antidotes on her Facebook page. She is open about her professional and personal life, which I admire because I am not as forthcoming. But, as a consultant to her firm, I am appreciative. If you are invited into your clients’ social circles online, consider yourself lucky. This insider view means you are more than a trusted advisor, but considered a friend too. And that will make you even more valuable to your clients. I use social media to monitor my client’s daily activities. It tells me whether she is in the office or out sick, attending an industry conference, traveling for business or pleasure or having a personal crisis. Because I value her time, I may avoid calling her when I know she…

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Social Media

Social Media is Like a Police Scanner in a Newsroom

Not much more can be said about journalists’ use of social media that has not already been reported. We know it has changed the way we do our jobs and how journalists engage with PR pros and sources. A good reminder of this is Vocus’ State of Media Report 2013. To report the findings, Vocus invited seasoned PR pro Gini Dietrich, Founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich to talk about what the results mean for our industry. Despite the fact that 2013 was the year when media and social media converged some legal PR professionals still struggle to explain why social media is applicable for elevating a firm’s brand and securing media coverage. Maybe some of the survey’s results will help make the case as to why it is not going away anytime soon. How has social media impacted journalists? Social media is dictating how stories are discovered and what…

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