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Digital Detox Time

My Self Prescribed Digital Detox

Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat. Instagram. Pinterest. Facebook. Snapchat… This is the endless cycle I find myself repeating for hours every day. At 24 I am CONSUMED by media. If I’m not on my phone looking something up then I’m on my laptop scrolling through endless content. I can’t escape cyberspace. More often than not social media is flooded with either horribly painful news that makes me question the state of humanity or doctored up photos that makes me question what I’m doing with my life and how I look. It’s exhausting and draining to be consumed by such a beast, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. I need a digital detox.

“To remove social media from my life would be like cutting off a appendage that is poisoning me, I know I should do it, but I can’t bring myself to.”

I grew up in the early 90’s, which means as I emerged into adolescence and adulthood so did the monster of the internet and the boom of social media. At this point for me and my generation, social media is an extension of us and our personal brands. To remove social media from my life would be like cutting off an appendage that is poisoning me, I know I should do it, but I can’t bring myself to.

So how do you not let the internet consume your life? Digital detox.

It would be foolish to tell you to completely cut yourself off from your phone. But detoxing can be another solution. Like we detox toxins from our bodies we also need to digitally detox and clear our minds from the constant stream of information. Why? The average person spends four hours a day on their phones. Along with that shocking statistic another is that the average American checks their phone over 150 TIMES A DAY unconsciously! As someone who works in media and loves to be in the know detoxing seems like a near impossible task for me. It led me to wonder, how do you start to consciously unwind yourself from the constant need to know what is going on while still maintaining your online presence?

Some ways I try to detox social media from my life:

  • Delete negative people. Like spring cleaning your house, cleaning out your social media gives you a chance to take into stock what you really want to see and eliminate accounts that cause negative feelings.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode. By doing this your phone is still on but the need to check your notification disappears by not allowing any notifications to pop-up until you turn this mode off. This takes away the sometimes constant nagging need people have to check their phones.
  • Turn your phone off for an hour a day. By turning off your phone it becomes more of a hassle to turn it back on and check social media than to just scroll through your notifications with it on. Try doing this a few times a week and see if it makes a difference for you.

By the end of your digital detox you should be feeling refreshed and a little more at ease!

Author of "Clearly Now, The Rain" - Eli Hastings

Eli Hastings talks ‘Clearly Now, the Rain’ and the emotional challenges he faced publishing his book

Eli Hastings didn’t write ‘Clearly Now, The Rain: A Memoir of Love and Other Trips’ to be published. After the death of his best friend and lover Serala, he followed through on his promise: “If you die, I’m going to write a book about you.”

Once he was ready to share his story and publish his book, he found reaching readers was more difficult than he expected. We asked him to share his story and what he learned through the process.

Eli Hasting's Book - Clearly Now the Rain

 

 On the woman who inspired the book:

Eli Hasting's friend and inspiration of his book – SeralaIn 1996, I had the great fortune of finding a best friend and lover that would transform the way I lived, loved, and looked at life. We had a wild ride, literally and figuratively, over nearly a decade and through many storied cities and many traumas and adventures. I had always told her that if she died (which was always likely) I would write a book about her.

I didn’t know that I really would until she died quite traumatically and inconsiderately on my watch between Christmas and New Years of 2004. Then I knew that I had to write the book to heal myself from the grief, despair and trauma of her passing.

On the publishing experience:

At first I didn’t think I wanted to publish the book, once I decided to it took me no less than eight years, two and a half agents (long story), some fifty rejections and seventeen revisions I think most of the healing happened in the writing, but I have found that a considerable amount has also come from sharing the story of my friend, sharing the lessons she taught me about how to live and love (and how not to.)

On getting attention and promoting the book:

I was surprised at how little my publisher did to promote the book. It seemed like all they did was send the book out to all the national reviewers. I didn’t know I needed to think about my own marketing and I didn’t even know how to do it. I had to seek outside help.

What I’ve seen really work is writing short pieces for national publications that draw attention back to the book and platform. I’ve also enjoyed that process.

On the challenges he faced:

The biggest challenge has been the emotional toll of working so hard to attract readers and how easily you can get dissed. For example, I had so many challenges scheduling readings in bookstores that we started trying bars. In some ways, we found those even work better! You’ve got to get out and stay outside the box.

I also needed help with organization, prioritization, connections, diplomacy, and new ideas. But most of all, I needed empathy for how frustrating the process can be. Self-publishing has changed the entire playing field. People who can barely craft a sentence might be kick-ass at self-promotion online and make lots of money. In short, the market is flooded with both crap and gold with both self-published and professionally published e-books that don’t cost publishers anything.

On what’s important:

The most meaningful experience for me has been reading messages from people who were moved by my book and needed to tell me so. There is nothing more important to me than knowing that the book has reached people in the way I hoped it would.

Consistent engagement online and in person with your readers is incredibly important. Finding ways to engage people that aren’t always focused on you and your work is indispensable too.

Knowing what I know now, I would have started marketing as soon as my contract was signed for publication and had a plan ready in advance. I would have been clear about what I was good at and capable of and what I really needed to let others handle. I would have planned a very strategic book tour even if it cost me a good bit of money to breathe life into the book from different places.

It’s important to understand what to expect from the beginning or make a plan so you feel like you know what to expect. I’ve learned a lot through this process thanks to those who have helped me, my readers, and of course — Serala.

If you would like to hear more about ‘Clearly Now, The Rain’ listen to Eli’s interview on KUOW
Connect with Eli on Twitter @elihastings23 and on Facebook

Note from AM:PM PR’s Mike Phillips:

You’ve gotta give Eli a lot of credit for working through the negative emotions he felt after receiving the message from his publisher saying that their promotional campaign had come to an end. Fortunately, Eli took a great proactive approach, and immediately got to task working on his own marketing plan and promotional tactics to fill in the void. His efforts really paid off when he was chosen as one of 13 artists in 2013 poised to shape the future of the arts in the Pacific Northwest
 
Readers and aspiring writers can take some lessons from his experience. For starters, hard work does pay off, but often not immediately. Eli’s book had fifty rejections and seventeen revisions, but the silver lining is that his publisher produced a remarkable work. 
 
If you’re an author and your book has yet to be published, talk with your publisher and ask if they have created a marketing plan. Open yourself up to assisting with that plan and providing your own expertise into your specific target audience. Then, when the natural course of their marketing efforts come to an end (as they always do) you are more prepared to take the reins in your own hands. You’ll feel empowered and grateful that you did the heavy lifting early on.
Author of "Society's Breakthrough" - Jim Rough

Speakeasy with Author Jim Rough

Jim Rough's book is a fun and exciting read, not just because of the workable idea it describes, but because it is original in so many ways..Our September Speakeasy featured a special guest who has been actively reforming democracy across Europe for the past several years. No, I’m not talking about Vladimir Putin – I’m talking about acclaimed author Jim Rough who is also a speaker and innovator of the “Dynamic Facilitation and Wisdom Council” seminar.

Jim Rough is a corporate consultant, speaker, and seminar leader. He originated Dynamic Facilitation as a way to assure creative, collaborative thinking in small groups. For more than a decade he has presented public seminars on this innovation (www.ToBe.net), where people from around the world address societal issues and achieve breakthrough insights. He lives with his wife, Jean, in the Pacific Northwest.

Jim’s book “Society’s Breakthrough” was published a decade ago, but in recent years the ideas from his book have taken on a life of their own, inspiring governments across Western Europe to reform their local democratic process.


Whether you’re a PR professional, a business owner or a college student trying to learn what you can, Speakeasy is a place to share and chat about the trends affecting culture and communications. Every so often we invite an interest guest speaker to our offices to get the inside scoop, drink adult beverages and enjoy a few snacks. To learn the secret knock that gets you in, ask to join the Speakeasy Facebook group.

Offer content that interests your audience and take the steps to optimize it.

SEO Tips From a Portland PR Firm

 

Have a strategy and offer content with value to your audience

If you have a business or a brand, you must have a strong online presence. Public relations agencies are no different. Every business wants to stand out and show up on the first page of searches.

Businesses and brands face ever increasing competition to be noticed. With more than 1 billion active websites, consistent attention to Search engine optimization, or SEO, is key to raising visibility.

From 1 website in 1991 to 1 billion in 2014

SEO is the process of affecting the rank of a website in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid search results. The earlier and more frequently a site appears in search results list, the more visitors it will receive.

Basically, SEO encourages keyword use to increase traffic based on what people search for. However, there is a drawback. Focusing on keywords can stifle creativity.

At AM:PM PR, we write about what we’d want to read. We want what we write to be interesting, authentic, and worth our reader’s time. It’s always a bonus if we write something others find worth sharing.

It’s a complicated balancing act. How do you safely walk the tightrope between entertaining readers and attracting potential new clients with strategic keywords planted throughout the copy?

 

SEO can help your business

SEO Tips

  1. Be Subtle – While keywords are important to search, don’t litter your posts with them. In this post all focus keywords are in bold. Words and phrases like “public relations,” “search engine optimization,” and “SEO Tips” are all terms that could bring people to our site.
  2. Be Creative – Sensibility with keywords can attract visitors, but creative, useful content is what keeps them coming back. Try writing your post first without worrying about keywords and then add them where they make sense. While headlines should contain focus keywords, you also need to grab attention with them.
  3. Be Mindful – Think like the reader you want to have. What do you want your audiences to think about you? What do you want to portray? Being mindful of how copy, relevant content, and keywords work together will help attract visitors and keep them coming back.
  4. Be Visual – Google likes images. Adding images and properly naming, sizing and tagged them will help your rank and make your content more attractive and memorable.

Paying more attention to SEO does take time, but it’s part of today’s cost of doing business.

AM:PM PR Wins Award for One Direction Pop-Up Store Campaign

 

Alexis and Mike photobooth

They had a silly photo booth, so we got silly.

Last night AM:PM PR attended an award ceremony put on by the Portland Metro Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and we left having won a Spotlight Award. Our award-winning PR campaign supported a pop-up store for the British boy band One Direction (1D) that opened in Portland’s Pioneer Place Mall for three weeks this past summer.

From the beginning, this award-winning project seemed like it’d be anything but. We started with barely two weeks notice until the launch of the store, and the members of the boy band wouldn’t even be making an appearance in Portland. Further, the grand opening weekend was scheduled during the Portland Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade. When I arrived the morning of the opening at 6 a.m., the parade route completely encircled the mall like a boa constrictor, choking off any potential foot traffic; while downtown Portland was deserted like a ghost town.

 

viral social media campaign

Two contestants from our viral video campaign

Despite all of the challenges we were given, our team rallied to craft several creative solutions and each member of the team showcased a remarkable skill or talent. Allison crafted our strategy (and a great partnership with Radio Disney), Cam engineered a great video component to assist a viral social media campaign, Alexis generated some great print coverage, and I was able to secure dozens of free promos from local pop radio stations. With our powers combined, our team echoed the go getters from Captain Planet (and our soundtrack was just as good).

The pop-up store project was fun, and a great learning experience for all involved. And perhaps most importantly, now the entire team can finally claim to know who One Direction is, and more importantly, what their music sounds like (mostly because we couldn’t get their songs out of our heads for months afterward).

 

one direction fans

One Direction fans lining up

 

 

Case study: Small business boosts online revenue with Etsy

Last fall I met with Margaret Phillips, the owner of Vintage Passementerie, a business sourcing antique millinery and vintage ribbons and trims from around the world, and selling them at Monticello Antiques in SE Portland, and through various online channels.

A graduate of the City & Guilds of London Institute, with a diploma in Design and Embroidery and a certificate in Textile Design, Margaret’s stated goal is:

“to share these beautiful finds with textile artists, designers, costumers, textile conservators and those interested in fine quality from the past.”

The Challenge.

In late 2012 she inquired if she could use my professional services to solve her online sales dilemma. For several years she’d had robust sales at her mall space and through Ebay, yet her Etsy sales remained flat. Being a savvy businesswoman, she knew she was missing out on social media opportunities, and figured Etsy provided the chance to diversify her revenue stream. I agreed to help because I felt I had a unique insight to her specific situation. In April and May of 2012 I accompanied Margaret through flea markets in Paris and old musty shops ran by ornery German octogenarian mercers in Bath, England – all to gain a better understanding of her unique selling proposition.

Oh, and did I mention Margaret is my mother?

 

Sandy Row Belfast

My Mom, at the entrance to Sandy Row in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I should note that my trip to peruse antique ribbon galleries and vintage fabric depots wasn’t purely altruistic … the visits came during a family jaunt in which I traded time, minute for minute, in exchange for dragging her through the doldrums of Northern Ireland’s sectarian violence.

I digress …

Etsy.

We started with a question: How can we boost her Etsy sales? Upon logging into her Etsy account, the first thing I noticed is that Etsy has tools to help vendors understand the origin of their web traffic, allowing them to see the specific items and keywords that are drawing consumers to their Etsy shop. So, much like the tools we use in our practice at AM:PM PR, I was excited to learn I can use Etsy’s tools to determine which posts and keyword choices are bringing customers to her Etsy account.

SEO.

We started our work in late October 2012, and after a week of meddling around, it had already become her highest traffic month to date with 200 shop views, 323 listing views, but 0 orders. Despite the lack of sales, we felt encouraged by the dramatic uptick in traffic.

Etsy chart 1

Together we performed a communication audit for her Etsy shop-profile and determined which items, images and words were drawing the most consumer traffic to her shop. We then altered the language of her Etsy shop to include more of the most popular keywords. Using the Google Keywords tool, we contrasted and tested high volume search terms and included those words in her Etsy profile as well.  The results were immediate and gratifying.

This is her web traffic for all of 2012. You can see the dramatic doubling in web traffic to her shop, and quadrupling of traffic to her listings, beginning with our revived efforts in October 2012.

Etsy chart 2

Social Media.

Ahh, “social media.”  Are there any two words in the English language responsible for driving more disdain and nausea into the hearts and minds of the Baby Boomer generation? Just the mention of these two words cause many boomers to cringe like Dracula to a cross. In fairness, who wants to spend the afternoon sitting in front of a computer typing gibberish into the blackhole of the interwebs? Or so the thinking often goes. But when we discovered Etsy has unique social media capabilities, Margaret was thrilled … to have me look into it for her.

The first thing we noticed – Etsy allows consumers to “like” items in a given Etsy shop without actually buying them – as a way of bookmarking them. As a shop owner, you receive notifications allowing you to see who “likes” your shop, or items in your shop, and you reciprocate by “following” these profiles, presuming that most people will in turn follow you back. If they liked your items, why wouldn’t they want to be your friend?

This act of reciprocal following may seem social and friendly, but it serves a greater marketing purpose as well – alerting your followers every time you upload a new item onto your Etsy account.

After training Margaret to update posts/items regularly and follow “likers” often (two tasks that require steadfast vigilance) we got to work creating a schedule for updating her Facebook page, which I linked to a dummy Twitter account that automatically updates every time she posts to Facebook. I admit the Twitter account has been a bit of a killjoy in terms of results, but considering she spends 0% energy on Twitter, it’s merely another search engine optimized baited-hook dangling out in the ocean, waiting for an antique ribbon-loving fish to swim by and bite. Similarly, with each new Tweet, we are continually linking potential customers back to her shop and as a result we’re seeing that her small business boosts online revenue.

Listings.

Another important step has involved the increase in listings, and the updating or reposting of old listings. As she gains more followers, each new item she posts goes directly into the newsfeeds of these new followers, many of whom are likely to see what would be considered “old” items for the first time.

How effective is this effort?

The following is our results from the past two and a half months alone.

Traffic:

  • 8,551 Shop Visits (vs. 4,176 in all of 2012)
  • 863 visits resulting from Direct Traffic (those who bookmarked/liked the shop). This is over 10% of all visits.
  • 165 visits originating from her newly redesigned website
  • Direct Traffic From Facebook has increased by 50% during the past month
  • Google search engines from Korea, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and more are directing people to her Etsy site

The most dramatic results come from comparing sales and traffic results from all of 2012 with the first 45 days of 2013.

  • Sales have tripled
  • Site visits have doubled

Further, with 1/4 of the month left to go (at the time of this writing) we have more site visits this month than we had all of last month.

The other beautiful thing about her results is that they are measurable. The practices I used are the same public relations practices we use at AM:PM PR to spread brand awareness and drive web traffic for our bigger customers.

Stats for 2012:

Etsy Stats 1

Stats for 2013:

Etsy Stats 2

Or, if you are a more visual person:

Etsy chart 3

AM:PM PR team celebrates

Not-So-Horrible Bosses

I swear, my hair looked nothing like this, but that didn’t stop the worst boss I’ve ever had from calling me “Little Nicky” every time he saw me. Given that I was working Christmas season at Toys ‘R’ Us, I began to feel like I really was in hell.

– by Jake Ten Pas

The revenge comedy “Horrible Bosses” opens this weekend, and I’m kind of looking forward to seeing Charlie Day, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis stick it to Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell. Not necessarily because I’ve had a lot of bad bosses in my day, mind you. Sure, there was my white-boy-thug-life boss at the Eugene Toys ‘R’ Us, who loved to point out my unflattering swoop-part hairdo by constantly calling me Little Nicky in reference to the Adam Sandler movie. But he was the exception rather than the rule.

I’ve probably been blessed with more cool bosses in my 34 years than most folks get in their whole lives. I worked at a new and used record shop called Happy Trails in Eugene and Corvallis, and my bosses there were total music geeks who loved to party, so you can imagine how bad that sucked. Then there was my boss at the fruit stand, who always had two kegs on tap in one of the coolers. I even lucked into a string of nice bosses at the corporate movie chains I worked right out of high school and the newspaper I worked at after college. Sure, my publishers/editors and I went head-to-head over some of my more controversial columns, but that’s just because I’m a rebel maverick renegade bad boy hell raiser with thunder in my soul and hot lava flowing through my veins. They can hardly be blamed for making the mistake of trying to contain the human equivalent of weather patterns.

Ahem.

All this brings me back to my current bosses, a plucky father-and-daughter team that gave me a shot at the glamorous world of public relations when I was still just a street urchin selling newspapers to buy a crust of bread for my purebred dog. Many of you reading this are familiar with Pat and Allison, so I’ll spare you the bios. If you want them anyway, click on their names.

Four Loko sucks now. It’s a sad, garden-variety malt liquor. But there was a day when the chemicals contained in a single can could make a man feel unstoppable, at least until he was tased.

Late last week, I set out to write a blog about our year anniversary party, but got sidetracked talking about the experience of starting a business. I ended up scrapping it and starting over, and the results were posted Tuesday. As for the aborted version, it basically said that when the McCormicks proposed the idea of leaving our old firm to start a new one, I not only didn’t bat an eye, but my eyelashes actually froze with a sense of inner peace and stillness the likes of which they’ve never before experienced. Especially not during The Great Four Loko Binge of 2010.

While starting a small business has undoubtedly been a lot more stressful for Pat and Allison, who’ve born the economic brunt of the endeavor, it’s been a lot of fun for me. I knew that I’d follow them wherever they went for two reasons. First, they’re both energetic and creative, loyal and savagely witty (wait, is that more than one reason?). Second (or fifth), they recognize my strengths and let me do the jobs around AM:PM PR that cater to those proclivities. I get to write constantly, meet new people, brainstorm and come up with creative ways to market our clients and company. And, as several friends have noted, there seem to be an absurd number of opportunities to drink on the job. I don’t want to paint myself as a lush or anything, but if the tumbler fits, drink it. When your job entails doing stuff you’d do for fun anyway, you’ve probably found a pretty decent fit for yourself.

I think that, on some basic level, Pat and Allison realize that happy employees make for productive employees. Workers who are fulfilled in their jobs do their best work. Another great boss I know, Juan Fernandez of 7 Apps, recently shared a video with us that said it perfectly.

So, take that Mr. Toyz’N’The Hood. And to anybody who goes to see “Horrible Bosses” in the near future, remember to take a moment and appreciate the good bosses you have or have had. If, on the other hand, your boss reminds you of those portrayed in the movie, just remember: There are plenty of ways to get revenge that don’t involve murder. As I mentioned, I love to brainstorm.

ampmpr team firehouse

AM:PM PR – still standing! Yeah, yeah yeah!

fluxby Jake Ten Pas

While it’s only been 10 months since our launch party, it’s been a full year since the actual launch of this crazy public relations space ship we call AM:PM PR. Sure, there have been a few asteroids, black holes, unhappy aliens and bounty hunters with personal vendettas along the way, but for the most part, it’s been smooth lightspeeding.

7/apps logo
Whether or not you believe that, you can trust me when I say that the party we’ve got planned to celebrate our year anniversary/first birthday with our sister firm, 7 Apps, is going to be visible from space. OK, so maybe that’s still hyperbole, but it is going to be super fun and so packed with local goodness that, if we were to broadcast the soiree live to the web, people all around the world could put their differences aside and be united in wondering why they don’t live in Portland.

Given that Pat and Allison have real work to do, and Cam’s been scalp-deep in a redesign of our website, Alexis and I took it upon ourselves to round up some of our favorite neighborhood and greater-Portland-area people to show off how well connected we are, and, we hope, look all the better by our illustrious associations.

distillery row passportWe’ll have six different distilleries on hand, including Deco, Sub Rosa and Integrity Spirits from our neighbor Distillery Row. Ashland’s Organic Nation, Wilsonville’s Vinn Distillery and Portland’s own Bull Run Distillery will also be with us. Our association with the Oregon Distillers Guild has yielded some tasty results, as you can see.

If that’s not enough, Will Smith from High Ball Distillery will bring products from his other endeavor, Great Western Spirits – such as Four Roses Bourbon – to further increase our range of offerings. His partner in Distillery Row Tours, Mike Heavener, will be on hand to tell you all about what’s going down with The Row.

Then there’s the beer and wine. Our favorite makers of sour beer, Cascade Brewing is sending over a keg from itseat your heart out logo
Barrel House, and Oregon’s greatest microbrewery, Ninkasi is donating cases thanks to the involvement of two artists we’re fortunate to have in the neighborhood, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I have to mention Zanzibar Cellars who’s graciously donating a bunch of vino for the cultured sippers in attendance.

To soak all this up, or maybe to make you thirsty in the first place, we’ll have the fabulous finger food of Eat Your Heart Out Catering for your snacking pleasure, as well as the sweet treats of Alder Pastry & Dessert. If you need a pick-me-up, Nossa Familia Coffee will be percolating your perfect cup. Helado, we’ve even got frozen yogurt thanks to one of our newest neighborhood friends, Active Culture.

people's art logo portland
But back to the art. If you were at the launch party, you likely noticed the colorful paintings punctuating the white space of the walls. Those were courtesy of artist Chris Haberman and PoBoy Art. This year, Haberman and his partner in the Peoples Art of Portland, Jason Brown, and an armada of their artist buddies will set sail for the shores of your pleasure centers. This imagistic invasion will be propelled by the sounds of DJ Hasselhoff, aka Zach Hoffman of Phoogoo.

Also along for the ride will be Leslie Hand Painted Glass, PDX Seamsters and a bevy of other Portland businesses. Donating items to our raffle this year will be Nicholas Restaurant, Flux Salon, Portlandia International Language School, Three Friends Coffee, Distillery Row Tours, FH Steinbart Homebrewing Supply Store, Enso Winery, Zell’s Cafe and Floyd’s Coffee. And Ankeny Hardware will once again loan us garbage cans to keep the party as clean as possible. There will even be a lemonade stand operated by three of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen, and I’m not just saying that because they’re Allison and Juan’s.

Finally, we have to mention our new best friend, Jack Hopkins, who was generous enough to loan us the huge parking lot behind our building free of charge. It abuts Cornerstone Automotive Group and NW Medical, and we hope to see their employees making with the merriment at our Birthday Bash.

In the past week, we’ve been diligently trying to invite everybody we know, love, “like,” and do business with, but it’s a long list. If we’ve forgotten you, drop us a line, and we’ll get you an invite. This party is going to be one for the ages, and it’s our little way of thanking the city and neighborhood that have nourished us along the way. We welcome the chance to nourish you right back. Cheers.

Google+

Facebook wakes Google’s sleeping beast – Google+

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 wisdom and wise words of Dr. Suess

Five Dr. Seuss Quotes with PR Lessons

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:

Wisdom from Dr. Seuss's "The Lorax"

Dr. Seuss encouragement

Dr. Seuss's simple wisdom

Stand out