I just finished reading a great article by Steven Levey over at Wired on the back story of Google’s most recent push into social networking, Google+. It’s a lengthy piece, but I would definitely recommend the read.
The top topic buzzing around our office lately is our upcoming first birthday bash . Like our launch party last year, we plan to highlight the wonderful wares of our neighborhood – distillers, caterers, brewers, bakers, artists, winemakers and more.
As much as I’m looking forward to the party, looking back over the past year makes me grateful just to be part of AM:PM PR.
I’m the old guy in our group – literally the father figure to my partner, Allison, and our Human Infrastructure Technician, Erin. (I had to use “literally” in my post because it irritates Jake when people use the word inappropriately. I, of course, used it appropriately.)
When we set out on this adventure last year, I had this quixotic hope that spending my days working with young professionals would be invigorating. Turns out, I was right.
Instead of working in the Class A office space I enjoyed for more than 20 years downtown, we looked to the evolving east side of Portland’s Willamette River, where industrial operations mix with hot new restaurants, artist studios and a vibrant creative community. We ended up in a historic firehouse (lovingly restored by Venerable Properties and Bremik Construction).
Our group wanted open space, not private offices. They wanted to sit together around a big table. For an old coot like me, it’s strange. But my colleagues are comfortable with it. Collaboration is natural and creating privacy simply requires putting in their ear buds, or taking a call in our toy room.
Clients have helped us better understand what business we’re in. We knew interest in social networks was escalating exponentially, but we were surprised so many clients in the business-to-business categories – law firms, construction companies, architects, engineers, trade associations, etc. – are eager to learn more about and use social media.
Of course, one reason to celebrate is that we’re still here. Starting a business in the midst of a dismal economy is anything but ideal. Surviving and succeeding is worth celebrating.
But my main reason for celebrating is the gift I get from working with young professionals who respect traditional principles of successful public relations and teach me new insights about how to use today’s constantly changing communications tools.
It’s been a great ride this year. And we plan to have even more fun in the year ahead. Hope you can join us for the party.
Dr. Seuss’s wise words for the young and old can be applied to every part of life – even in the PR business. Some of his best quotes have PR lessons within.
Top Five Dr. Seuss Quotes Translated Into PR Lessons:
1.) “Shorth is better than length.”
The most read blogs are 150 words or less. This blog is about three times that length, so I’ve chopped it into bite-sized nuggets for easy consumption. If you want to get your message across, whether by blog, email, video or media pitch, keep it short. Shorthness will increase the likelihood that your message is remembered.
2.) “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”
We often get requests from prospective clients who need help with outreach, but have no plan in place. Developing a strategic plan that integrates all outreach enhances the effectiveness of your efforts. Creative brainstorming and planning will also provide social networking content ideas and pitch angles throughout the year.
3.) “I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”
Don’t create messages you think your audiences want to hear. People want to hear truth and will respond to it. For example, don’t say you’re green if you haven’t made real strides in the area. Your words won’t ring true.
4.) “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
So much fear still exists around embarking on social networking.
Complicated questions: “How can we control what our employees will do when given access? How will we respond if someone trashes our good name? We’re already so busy; how can we do it all? These are just a few of the questions we hear.
Simple answers: Trust your employees. Criticism is unlikely for most businesses. When it does happen, respond transparently and your fans will come to your defense. Social networks are where the conversations are happening. Transition is a must.
5.) “I’m sorry to say so but, sadly it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.”
Be prepared. Create a crisis communications plan. It’s one of those things, like a will, that you know you should have, but it’s easy to keep putting off. Being prepared for anything will help ensure that you maintain a consistent message and increase the likelihood of preserving a positive reputation in the face of a crisis.
More great Dr. Seuss quotes worth remembering: