The Gong Blog

The whole PR kitchen sink…

On Saturday I once again found myself with a group of students (this time of the graduate variety) at VCU’s School of Mass Communications.  I could only spend about an hour with them because of family commitments, but I was about to sit in and listen to final presentations on digital or social marketing projects the group had been asked to collaborate on.  The interesting thing is that just a month earlier most of these students were just using Facebook to talk amongst themselves and not…

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New Facebook pages….is Facebook becoming more like Twitter?

Late today a ripple was sent though the social marketing universe as Facebook announced long-awaited changes to both people’s home page design and the design of Fan pages.  My initial gut reaction is that more than ever CONTENT is king. On the people side, the Wall will be replaced by a Stream that updates posts from your friends in real time and seems to allow you to interact with them as well.  Your status bar now becomes a “publisher” where you can update status and…

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The increasing importance of freelance journalists to media relations efforts

First off, a big thank you to Judy Turk who heads up VCU’s School of Mass Communications.  She included our blog post about the visit over there in her latest blog post and school newsletter. After my last post on the future of newspapers, Stacey Brucia, our “Employee #1,” and I were discussing the future of media relations and we noticed two interesting trends.  First, she mentioned to me about the increasing number of freelance journalists who were reaching out to her in her work…

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Is this the future of newspapers?

Every night this week on the nightly news we’ve seen stories about newspapers laying people off, going bankrupt or about to (Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle) or even worse just plain ending publication (Rocky Mountain News). So what is the answer, what is the new model?  Is it Newsday’s decision to start charging people to view online content?   Or is it a different model like the folks at PressDisplay.com tweeted to me this week. In the PressDisplay.com model, you can sign up for daily or…

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Why we moved from a Facebook Group to a Fan Page

Thin crust or thick, Coke or Pepsi, Michael or LeBron, Tiger vs.  (okay, no debate there)…these are some of the great debates of our time.  In recent days as social marketing has exploded another one is emerging, is it better to start and nurture a Facebook Group or a Facebook Fan page. ((BTW, here’s the THP fan page, please become a Fan.  No back to the blog.) When I first dove into Facebook for our business not that long ago, I did it like many…

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Social marketing….where content is king.

I’ve has so many conversations recentlyabout the intersection of public relations and social marketing, ranging from official presentations to casual chats over lunch, I’ve begun losing count.  They have been as helpful for me in helping me crystallize a point of view as I hope they have been for friends and clients who we are either working with, working for, or hopefully will be working with and for in the near future. The ultimate bottom line for me in all of this is that to…

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Ask first.  It can help frame the social marketing conversation

Over the last month or so I have been having many conversations about social marketing ranging from friendly one on ones to more elaborate presentations.  Some of those were philosophical in nature, others designed to present a base understanding, and other to clients and potential clients to offer our current thoughts as marketing pros so they could decide whether to use social marketing in their marketing mix. As I have spoken or presenting I have been reminded of something I learned during my days at…

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What VCU’s Mass Comm students taught me today…

Based on the number of college students we meet with for internships and jobs I have been concerned about the quality of education being offered by some college public relations programs.  Many times the folks we meet with just don’t seem to “get it.”  They don’t seem to have the public relations acumen and general go-getter attitude we need at THP and I assume others need as well. One of my other criticisms is that they are often taught by folks who are not now,…

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How we present and “teach” social marketing

Based on our growing but still limited experience, a good rule of thumb when presenting the concept of social markerting to clients or friends is to remember that everyone’s needs and level of understanding is different. As a group we have now done this a number of times and you can gauge the room or the individual you’re talking to by either the glazed look on the faces or the flashes of recognition.  Those reactions are usually based on they are using social marketing in their current personal…

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Living the social marketing life

This is about to sound like an AA meeting, but I began serious blogging, facebooking and Twittering about two months ago.  I am now approaching my first thousand followers on Twitter (nowhere need the social marketing God that is http://www.madisonmain.blogspot.com/tter) and I’m pretty happy about that. Recently some of the social marketing folks that I follow blogged about what their “Day in the life of social marketing” is about and while I don’t think my experience is worth emulating, I have noticed significant changes in my online habits and…

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Content:  Is it better to look good or feel good?

Okay, so I’m dating myself but Billy Crystal’s old (very old???) SNL character “Fernando” posed the bottom-line question when it comes to social media content. We have an internal argument at THP (please become an FB fan here) every time we debate things like videos, attachments, pictures, etc. for blogs, websites and social media platforms.  There are some in the group who think these should be works of art, and others (me included) who think some of that quality should be sacrificed for timeliness when…

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Judy Woodruff and the “broken” journalism business model

Tonight (Thursday), we at THP had the opportunity to sponsor our second event in about a week at the  public radio and TV studios in Richmond.  It was the annual donor appreciation event and the guest speaker was Judy Woodruff, the legendary televison news journalist who currently reports for The News Hour on PBS. (Blogger note:  I know the picture stinks but I’m still getting the hang of my Bberry Storm, sorry.) Ms. Woodruff was engaging both up close and in front of an audience. …

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