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Social Media Week DC Report: Digital Diplomacy Open House

IMG_1504About a year ago, a handful of embassy communicators got together to share ideas about social media.  They had common challenges: small staffs, big communications goals, diverse audiences.  Many of them were just beginning to use social media.

That was the beginning of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, a network of social media users in the diplomatic community in the Washington, DC area.  In late May, they launched their Twitter profile and now have more than 600 followers.  Now, the communications professionals gather to share ideas and best practices, and this evening, they offered an open house event for Social Media Week DC at the offices of Levick Strategic Communications.

I interviewed diplomatic communicators from the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, the UK, and Austria at their event tables.  All were enthusiastic about the new coalition.

Kara Hadge, Head of Digital Media for the British Council, showed me a campaign called “Our Shared Future.” Our Shared Future aims to improve the public conversation about Muslims and cross-cultural relations in the US and Europe.  Part of that communications effort was a free E-book series which has been downloaded more than 2,000 times from the iTunes store.

Senior Communications Officer Anja Mayer shared the Embassy of Austria‘s new Pinterest board, Austria in USA.

austria pinterest

It was fascinating to hear their stories about connecting online and off to discuss and share best practices in social media.

Social Media Week DC Report: Media Relations Tips from Synaptic Digital

Laura Pair, VP, Media Relations, Synaptic Digital

Laura Pair, VP, Media Relations, Synaptic Digital

I attended my first Social Media Week DC event this morning and it was very well done.  Synaptic Digital presented a panel of four experts at the National Press Club who spoke on various aspects of media relations, one of whom was their engaging Media Relations VP, Laura Pair.

With ten years of media relations experience (in addition to other career experience), Laura shared ten lessons learned about media relations.

Her first point was that media relations professionals serve as a bridge connecting the needs of two “masters:” their clients and journalists.  “We need to help [clients] craft their message and we need to craft the message to suit the media,” Laura stated.

In her second point, she mentioned that it was the media relations professional’s job to help the client define their goals:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the crux of your messsage?
  • What do you want people to do?

The third lesson she cited was the importance of consuming the media you are pitching. With online access these days, there is no excuse, says Laura, to not thoroughly examine tv and radio broadcasts, and newspapers before you pitch them, where ever they may be located.  “You can go online and watch the clips from a station in Alabama.”  There are several good media relations reasons for this approach

  • Helps you think like the journalist
  • Lets you see how much time was devoted to the topic in the broadcasts
  • Understand the weight given to the topic by the journalist
  • Observe how the stories about that topic are handled and “teased.”

“What’s the headline and the subheads?” said Laura. “Once you know how they are teasing the audience, you know how to pitch them; you can mimic it.”

“Less is more” was the pithy lesson #4.  A good media pitch should be no more than two-three sentences long.  Craft the email subject line like an attention-grabbing headline.

When pitching on the phone, keep the voice mail message very short. “If they are interested, they’ll contact you for more.”

It’s important to learn everything you can online before you pitch — the lesson #5.  “Look up everything for the topic you are pitching, especially if you are a freelancer,” said Laura, as freelancers may  not be as knowledgeable about the topic as agency staff or corporate communications departments.

Also, research the journalist online before you pitch him or her.  Look at previously written articles and Twitter profiles.  You will be able to learn how they approach certain stories and how they have covered angles in the past.

Lessson #6 was about making full use of multimedia.   TV media needs video, radio needs audio, and print media needs images.  Really, all media need video, even if they do not incorporate it in their stories.  Laura urged the audience to ask their clients for all the multimedia assets they can find before pitching the media.

One idea is to have the client produce a 1-2 minute video — not b-roll — that promotes the idea of the story to be told.  Laura said this was an especially good asset to provide to bloggers but that all journalists would find it useful as background information.  She also mentioned that b-roll was a good asset to provide to TV stations, as well.

Appropriately, lesson #7 was about social media.  Make sure everything you distribute (e.g., news releases, websites, online news rooms) can be shared socially, through hyperlinks, shareable multimedia assets, and share buttons.

Journalists are not the only conduit for your pitch and lesson #8 was about taking your client’s story directly to the audience.  For example, said Laura, if you are doing a broadcast interview, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince your spokesperson to also do a Facebook chat, Google + Hangout, or Twitter chat. “Don’t just do one-off  interviews; put your spokesperson on social media.”

Not all stories will be picked up by the national media, but local placements can make a big impact, too.  Lesson #9 was about remembering to find the local angles of your story.  “Journalists in local markets have an obligation to provide information about their community,” said Laura.

One tactic is to obtain local data (e.g., from a government source) and provide that to a reporter, such as “how many people are unemployed in Cleveland.”  Laura emphasized how journalists rely on media relations professionals to provide this type of useful information.

In her final  point, for lesson #10, Laura said that remember you are pitching to a human being.  Above all, be nice!  Respect the reporter’s time and keep your pitches short and to the point.  Learn their deadlines and get to know them. Always keep in mind that the media is your “other client.”

Laura’s presentation was very useful to me and the audience was clearly appreciative of her tips and anecdotes.  Watching the presentation was a great way to start Social Media Week DC.

 

 

 

My Social Media Week DC plans

social media week dc 2013I am tremendously excited about Social Media Week DC, which takes place February 17-22.  Here are the sessions I will be attending.  Don’t they sound great?  All are free!  To register, visit the website.

  • Media Relations Breakfast for PR and Social Media Professionals, sponsored by Synaptic Digital
  • Get Smart! Make Better Social Media Decisions through Analytics, sponsored by the American Public University System
  • Marketing Beyond The Like, sponsored by Facebook Washington, DC
  • Crisis Management and Social Media — How Do They Connect?, sponsored by Social Media Club DC
  • @StateDept: Leveraging Digital for Public Diplomacy, sponsored by the New America Foundation
  • It’s Time to Be Fearless in Social Media, sponsored by the Case Foundation
  • Digital Diplomacy Open House, sponsored by the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, Chief, and Levick
  • Defining and Measuring Social Media Success in Museums and Arts Organizations, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution

While you’re there, don’t forget to register for our session!

Help us make plans for 2013! Your feedback wanted

Hello friends and followers of Fletcher Prince!

Well, it’s a snow day in the Washington, DC area.  Or, technically, a snow-sleet-freezing rain day.  If you’re like me, you’re staying OFF the roads and inside your toasty warm home!

I’m sure you have lots of fun holiday presents to play with, but if you find you have a moment between today and New Year’s, can you help me out?  That would be great. Put on your thinking cap!

You see, this is an intense period of planning for me.  My son is with his dad until Friday and I have a lot of time to think about the upcoming year.  I really want this blog and all the Fletcher Prince-y things we do in 2013 to be interesting, useful, and fun for you.

So, can you give me some feedback?  You can leave a comment below, or email me: Mary@FletcherPrince.com.  You can Tweet @FletcherPrince or feel free to call me to chat anytime this week, day or evening (571) 269-7559.

Here’s specifically what I need advice on, but feel free to chime in with whatever interests you!

Looking for Social Media Week DC presentation topics

social media week dc 2013Our Social Media Week DC proposal is due next week.  It’s going to be hard to top our free, standing-room-only event last year, when we presented three social media prsentations and featured guest speakers from the U.S. Army and the World Bank, among others. So what should we do in February this year?

I’ve been batting around a few ideas, but I’m not 100% sold on any of them.  One of is to address the problem of centralizing communications — particularly social media communications — in larger companies, government agencies, and organizations.  You know, how to manage social media and branding when your organization has 30-40 Facebook Pages and YouTube Channels, across several departments.

I’m also personally interested in how to balance risk identification and mitigation and an open approach to social media, particularly in these larger firms and agencies.  It does seem like the larger the organization, the more tricky the execution is.  I don’t think anyone has landed on the perfect solution, but in this blog, I’ve tried to explore some of the pitfalls and best practices.

I’ve also thought about getting away from the presentation format, and doing a blog or video clinic or workshop.

Of course, these events are more fun when there are more participants.  So if you would like to participate in a Fletcher Prince Social Media Week event in mid-February, or you have ideas for a great social media presentation, workshop or event,  let me know!

ISO guests and topic ideas for Conversations in Public Relations

Conversations in Public Relations logoI would love to hear your ideas for interesting topics and guests in the Washington, DC area for our YouTube video interview series, Conversations in Public Relations.

Suggest a topic or expert on any aspect of public relations, marketing, advertising, social media, design, communications — you name it.  I need ideas for 6-12 videos for 2013.

If you’re interested in participating as a guest on the show, now is a great time to contact me so we can set it up.  It’s free to participate, and it only takes about an hour/hour and a half of your time.

Needed: restaurant suggestions for monthly Network-and-Lunch events

April Network and Lunch, DavidAs you may know, in 2012 we organized monthly Network-and-Lunch events all over the DC area.  Last year, we met at Clyde’s, RT’s, Silver Diner, Jaleo, Teaism, as well as other places.  It’s free to register and you only pay for your own lunch and chip in for the tip.

I’ve planned some of the lunches, but I need help with the rest.  Is there a restaurant near where you work that you would like to suggest?  And will you join us?  I have posted the list of Network-and-Lunch dates on our Eventbrite profile page.

Anybody need a speaker for 2013? I’m available!

I’ve been presenting on social media, email marketing, video, and blogging since I started Fletcher Prince in 2007, from large conferences such as Digital East and the Government Video Expo, to smaller group presentations for WWPR, RHED Pixel, and George Mason University, among others.  Please invite me to speak at your company, class, or for your conference or group this year.

Wanted: leads and projects!

You know, if I’m going to do all these fun and free things, I’d better get some work in for 2013!  I’d be very grateful to you for any leads on PR/advertising/social media/graphic design/video projects in 2013.  David and I subcontract, and work on a fixed fee basis for most of our work.  We also provide hourly consulting and training.   Let’s work together in 2013!

 

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Fletcher Prince

Happy Thanksgiving from Fletcher Prince

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Fletcher Prince!

We are so grateful to you for reading our blog, and telling your friends about what we do.

We are also very thankful this  year because we

  • Were included in the Washington Business Journal Book of Lists under PR agencies.
  • Worked with terrific clients, including PRofessional Solutions, LLC and American Chemical Society, as well as Keenan PR, Remey Communications, Atwater Communications, and Ascend Communications.
  • Had the opportunity to perform pro bono PR, design, and social media work for the Bahrain Coordinating Committee.
  • Presented at Social Media Week and George Mason University (and next week, at GV Expo).
  • Made lots of friends at our Network-and-Lunch events.

Today, David will be deep-frying a turkey and I will be spending time with my son.  We both hope you have an enjoyable and meaningful day with your loved ones.

Have you created an editorial calendar? Here are some tips (video)

A social media editorial calendar can help you organize your content marketing efforts.

In this Social Media Week DC presentation, Mary Fletcher Jones of Fletcher Prince ‪http://www.FletcherPrince.com‬ will talk about the advantages of creating a social media editorial calendar for your business, agency, or nonprofit organization.

Mary will suggest practical tips for selecting a format and creating an editorial calendar that is right for your goals and work style. She also provides advice on scheduling and frequency for various social media channels.

Download the slides and notes for this presentation here: ‪http://www.slideshare.net/Fletcherprince

This session was recorded live at Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church, Virginia on February 14, 2012 for Social Media Week DC.

Please excuse the production quality; it is not up to our usual standard since this is a video taken from a Livestream broadcast on a webcam — but we promised to make this content available to our Social Media Week DC event attendees.

How to get more views for your YouTube videos

There’s no more compelling way to tell the story of your brand than with YouTube video but using YouTube effectively for your company or organization does take serious effort.

In this Social Media Week DC presentation, Mary Fletcher Jones of Fletcher Prince ‪http://www.FletcherPrince.com‬ will talk about the marketing advantages of YouTube for your business, agency, or nonprofit organization.

Mary will suggest practical tips for producing high quality video that obtains lots of views, focusing on the core aspects of content, production quality, and search engine optimization.

Download the slides and notes for this presentation here: ‪http://www.slideshare.net/Fletcherprince

This session was recorded live at Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church, Virginia on February 14, 2012 for Social Media Week DC.

Please excuse the production quality; it is not up to our usual standard since this is a video taken from a Livestream broadcast on a webcam — but we promised to make this content available to our attendees.

Thank you for watching, and please subscribe to Fletcher Prince on YouTube!

Blogging Tips Video Presentation from Social Media Week DC

Do you blog for work?  Do you find it difficult to blog on a regular basis? Do you ever run out of ideas?  Do you wish you had more readers for your blog?

In this Social Media Week DC presentation, Mary Fletcher Jones of Fletcher Prince http://www.FletcherPrince.com will talk about the marketing advantages of blogging for your business, agency, or nonprofit organization, and identify some of the common challenges associated with blogging.

Mary will suggest practical planning and writing tips, engagement strategies, and topic ideas.

Please excuse the production quality of this video.  I used footage from our Livestream broadcast which required a web cam, so the image quality is not the best. I did insert the slides, though!  So, hopefully you will find it useful, if you were unable to watch last week.

The content level in this presentation is appropriate for people who are new to blogging, beginning bloggers, and intermediate-level bloggers.

This session was recorded live at Thomas Jefferson Library in Falls Church, Virginia on February 14, 2012

Register for my free blogging presentation, 2/14, Social Media Week

You only have to register for this event if you are attending the event in person in Falls Church, VA.  You do not need to register to watch this online.  If you need to cancel your registration, please contact MaryFletcherJones@Yahoo.com

REGISTER HERE  or watch online at www.SocialMediaWeek.org

Do you blog for your company, agency, or organization?  Do you find it difficult to blog on a regular basis? Do you ever run out of ideas?  Do you wish you had more readers for your blog?

In this interactive presentation, I will talk about the marketing advantages of blogging for your business, agency, or nonprofit organization, and identify some of the common challenges associated with blogging.

Mary will suggest practical planning and writing tips, engagement strategies, and topic ideas.  A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

The content level in this presentation is appropriate for people who are new to blogging, beginning bloggers, and intermediate-level bloggers.

About Your Presenter

Mary’s blogs include The Fletcher Prince Blog, Conversations in Public Relations, Autumn in Virginia, Cool Yule: A Christmas Blog, and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

She created the blogs for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the DC Ad Club.

Mary enjoys developing blogs for clients and teaching people how to use blogging as a marketing and engagement tool.

 

Directions

Thomas Jefferson Library, 7415 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA 22042

The library is located between two complexes of garden apartments just adjacent to Loehmann’s Plaza (shopping center with Giant and other stores), on the same side of Rt. 50.

From the Beltway:

  • Take Exit 50B (old Exit 8E), Rte. 50 East (Arlington Boulevard).
  • Go through the first light (Jaguar Trail).
  • Go 0.4 miles to library on the right, just before the traffic light at Allen Street.
  • The library is a new, modern-looking brick building surrounded by garden apartment buildings (there is a service road in front that runs parallel to Route 50/Arlington Boulevard).

From Seven Corners:

  • Go 1.3 miles west on Rte. 50 to the third traffic light (Allen Street).
  • Turn left on Allen Street, then immediately right onto service road that runs parallel to Route 50.
  • The library is a new, modern looking building surrounded by garden apartments; the second brick building on the left.

Public Transportation:

Metrobus Route 1B and 1C travels between the Dunn Loring-Merrifeild station Metro Station and Thomas Jefferson Community Library.  For more information, visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Virginia Bus Schedules.  Fairfax Connector Route 401 travels between the Dunn Loring Metro Station and Thomas Jefferson Community Library. For more information, visit the Fairfax Connector Home Page.

February Content Marketing Ideas and Events for Your Calendar, PLUS Hashtags

February 2: Today is Groundhog Day.  Everyone will be talking about it this morning, so you’d probably better tweet about it, too!  Follow @GroundhogClub  Use hashtag #

February 5: It’s Superbowl Sunday!  Fans will be talking about football this week.  Tie into this content on your Facebook Page and Twitter account.  Follow @SuperBowl Use hashtag #SB46

February 10-16: New York Fashion Week.  Use hashtag #NYFW

February 13-17: Gear up for Social Media Week.  Register for free presentations all week long.  Fletcher Prince is offering 3 free presentations this week — watch them online.  Follow @socialmediaweek and  @SMWWDC  Use hashtag #SMWWDC

February 14: Valentine’s Day – share some love and write LinkedIn recommendations for your vendors, partners, and contractors.  Ask Fletcher Prince to help you set up your LinkedIn company profile.  Giveaway a big, heart-shaped box of chocolates, or a dozen roses.

February 20: Today is Washington’s Birthday and it’s a federal holiday, President’s Day.  It’s cold out, too, so lots of people will be online.  This is a good day to schedule email communications and social media outreach. Or if you have a store or brick and mortar business, hire an actor to be President Lincoln or President Washington.  Follow @VisitMtVernon and follow hashtag #

February 21: Laissez les bons temps rouler! It’s Mardi Gras.  If you’re in the Washington, DC area, make plans to join your friends from Fletcher Prince for a Louisiana-style networking lunch with a Mardi Gras theme in Alexandria, Virginia.  You’ll meet Washington PR Woman of the Year Heathere Evans-Keenan and  foremost employee communications expert Susan Rink, among other interesting professionals.  Register here.

February 29: Today is Leap Day in our  Leap Year!  Learn more about the background and curious customs associated with Leap Day and Sadie Hawkins Day on Wikipedia.  In England and some Scandinavian countries, it used to be tradition that women may propose marriage to men on that day, and if they are refused, they are gifted with clothes, fabric, or gloves.

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