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Date: Monday, 22 Jul 2013 15:16

So, you want to publish a book.

You know that you have something to say. You produce and regularly publish great content to your blog, Tumblr or podcast. And now you want to go the next step and publish a book.

The book publishing industry is being transformed by technology and shifting media consumption habits. And as this happens, it is becoming possible for anyone with something to say to publish it in book form and to reach an audience.

If you think you have a book in you and you are wondering how to publish it, you must read two posts: Jay Baer’s 25 Secrets – How I Wrote and Marketed a New York Times Best Selling Business Book and James Altucher‘s How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0.

Jay is the author of Youtility, which charted on the New York Times Business Book bestseller list. James is the author of Choose Yourself, which ranked on the Wallstreet Journal bestseller list. And both authors share generously, not just about how they wrote and produced their books, but also about the savvy marketing and promotion programs they conducted to earn their place on the bestseller lists.

Jay Baer obtained a deal with a traditional publisher and then put together and ran his own promotion campaign. James Altucher self-published, but relied heavily on marketing pros to promote his book. Two different paths. One common element – success.

A few highlights to whet your appetite for reading their complete posts.

Jay BaerJay Baer

“Always go with the most enthusiastic publisher, even if the terms are not quite as good.”

Recognize that you, not your publisher, will sell your books. So, put a lot of time into your marketing plan.

Signing with a major publisher brings credibility, but not necessarily more money.

Develop your ideas in advance of the book through presentations.

Establish a schedule for your writing and stick to it. 1,500 words per weekday and 5,000 words one weekend day per week enabled Jay to write Youtility in six weeks. You can do this too. But it takes discipline.

Covers and titles matter. Invest in producing great ones and test them on your social networks. Your followers will tell you what works best.

Build your own bookstore to sell your books. It gives you more control and data on purchasers.

Aim for the most sales you can get on day one. It’s your best chance to chart on the bestseller lists. Offer incentives for pre-orders.

Be clear-headed about the effectiveness of advertising. Pre-order ads drove awareness but few direct sales.

Publicists can produce results for you. Working with a publicist as well as his own outreach, brought Jay over 50 interviews and podcasts.

Help bloggers to cover you. Reading and reviewing a book may be more work than all but the most dedicated are prepared to do. Many will gladly take a guest post. So, develop topic-specific posts from your book that you can guest post on popular blogs.

Don’t stop with the book. “Atomize” its content for things like an ebook with the 25 best quotes. You can get much more life for your content in different forms.

Promote. Promote. Promote. Speak at events that will sell books. Produce a video. Produce related content as a bonus for book buyers. Conduct contests. Remember, you are responsible to sell your book.

James AltucherJames Altucher

“The distinction now is no longer between “traditional publishing” versus “self-publishing.” The distinction now is between professional versus unprofessional publishing.”

Self-publishing will enable you to maintain more control over your content rights (think international markets) and also the content in your book. It also will enable you to bring your book to market much faster than you could through the traditional publishing system.

A traditional publisher will want to see evidence that you can be successful in promoting your own book sales. “But if you already can hand-deliver the customers, what do you need the traditional publisher for?”

You can become your own professional publisher because the professional resources you need are available to you. “…for the first time, the best editors, designers, marketers are no longer working at the big publishing houses. Instead, they are striking out on their own and independently charging for their services.”

Edit. Edit. Edit. James and his editor went back and forth more than fifteen times. And then, after Altucher read his book for the audio version, he edited again for the things that didn’t work when read aloud.

Like Jay Baer, Altucher obsessed over the right title and the right design. And he also hired a publicist who delivered results.

In this new publishing world, “ I am not limited to who is on the publisher’s staff but I can pick the absolute best people in the industry. With millions of books out there, the competition is incredible. … Hiring the best editor, design firm, marketing firm, and audio firms were all part of that. Not just the best around but who I felt were the best in the world.”

You can do this too

So, you have the content. You have the writing talent. Can you publish a book? Yes you can.

What are you waiting for?

Bonus Content

Are you struggling with writer’s block? Mitch Joel tells you how to End to Writer’s Block.

Still reading? Let me leave you with one final bit of inspiration: the story of Terry Fallis, the PR executive who self published his first novel in his late forties, only to win a series of awards and become a serial bestseller. You CAN do it!

The post Everything you need to know to publish a book appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Best Practices, Tips, book publishing, J..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Jul 2013 15:56

While readers in the US may be benefiting from a drop in eBook prices following settlement of the Apple eBook price fixing case, Canadians are not sharing in the benefit of declining eBook prices.

Laura Hazard Owen reported yesterday that retailers have begun cutting eBook prices in response to the settlement of the Apple eBook price fixing case. Her post included a table comparing prices at which certain books are offered by the various major eBook retailers in the US.

I focused on the fact that my favourite eBook seller, Kobo, was the highest priced seller in all examples. I tweeted about this and was promptly called out by Jennifer Fox.

 

 

Jennifer makes good points. Canadian prices always are higher than US prices and a comparison of US prices does not transfer into Canada.

So, I decided to take a look at the prices that the Ebooks in Laura Hazard Owen’s example are being offered in Canada. .

Laura Hazard Owen’s US price table

Laura Hazard Owen eBook price comparison

Canadian prices for the same books

Title Author Kindle Nook Apple Kobo Google
And the Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini  $    16.99  n/a  $    16.99  $    16.99  $    16.99
Entwined with You Sylvia Day  $    10.99  n/a  $    10.99  $    10.99  $    10.99
The Fault in Our Stars John Green  $    15.99  n/a  $    15.99  $    15.99  $    15.99
The 9th Girl Tami Hoag  $    13.99  n/a  $    13.99  $    13.99  $    13.99
Whiskey Beach Nora Roberts  $    15.99  n/a  $    15.99  $    15.99  $    15.99
Backfire Catherine Coulter  $    10.99  n/a  $    10.99  $    10.99  $    10.99
Youtility Jay Baer  $    12.99  n/a  $    12.99  $    12.99  $    12.99
The Great Degeneration Niall Ferguson  $    13.99  n/a  $    13.99  $    13.99  $    13.99
Cooked Michael Pollan  $    15.99  n/a  $    15.99  $    15.99  $    15.99

Do you see what I see? For Canadians, one high price for each book, regardless of retailer.

Canadians are not benefiting from the drop in US eBook prices

It’s clear that agency pricing persists in Canada. And that means higher book prices across the board with no competition on price.

That’s not good for consumers. That doesn’t promote reading. And that’s something that must change. Now. Not next year.

What will it take to end agency pricing of eBooks in Canada?

Who will see this as an opportunity and take the lead?

I buy from Kobo because of its commitment to ePub standards and its device-agnostic approach. And I’m willing to pay a premium for being part of an open system that lets me consume my books on the device of my choice.

So, Kobo, you’ve already got me for the right reasons. Now why don’t you go the next step by seizing the opportunity to break the agency model and lead the way to better book prices for Canadian eBook readers.

Kobo, are you listening?

The post eBook prices remain high in Canada despite price drops in US appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "books, Marketing, "eBook prices""
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Date: Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 15:01

With the opening of the SXSW Panel Picker to new presentation proposals, preparations are actively underway for the 2014 edition of SXSW Interactive.

SXSW is the little conference that grew and grew to be a giant festival of all that is geeky good. Why has it grown far beyond other conferences of its sort?

DSC00018One explanation may be found in the sense of community that has propelled SXSW Interactive from its earliest days. In my view, SXSWi is a conference of, by, and for the attendees.

Hugh Forrest, the Director of SXSW Interactive, can be seen as the embodiment of this ethos. In fact, he actively eschews his actual title of Director, saying that he prefers to think of himself as SXSWi’s Community Manager.  In a recent interview for the Inside PR podcast, Forrest told Martin Waxman, “Community Manager is what most of my work is, managing this community, or trying to understand this community, trying to communicate with this community, trying to absorb all they great ideas they have. That community manager concept applies to so much I do.”

And Forrest gives full credit for the success of SXSWi to the community of participants. ”I have been completely amazed at how much Interactive has grown in the past ten years and, particularly, in the past five years. When we first started this thing, it was a struggle to get people in the door. It was a struggle to figure out what we were doing and what our market was and I could never imagine that it would grow as much as it has grown. … I would love to say that it  was my vision that propelled that growth. But, it’s really this community that’s pulled us forward as opposed to us trying to push them in one direction. The better we’ve become at listening to this community, engaging with this community, understanding what this community wants, polling the best ideas of the community, the more the event has grown. The more we have been able to let them pull us forward,  the better this event has become.”

Forrest has a well thought-through approach to the SXSWi community, to which he attaches the PEACE acronym:

P: “Patience over profits.” Things take a  while. Be prepared for it.

E: “Early buzz is good buzz.” The panel picker and community voting on presentations in July and August build anticipation of the event nine months ahead of the actual March festival dates.

A: “Acknowledge your mistakes and failures.” If you are doing something innovative, you will make mistakes. When you acknowledge mistakes, the community can be very forgiving.

C: “Customer service leads to customer advocates.” Word of mouth endorsements are still the best kind of publicity there is. The line between love and hate is a thin one. Acknowledge, respond to and help the critics. They may change their minds and become supporters.

E: “Encourage massive creativity.”  Forrester does not see SXSWi as a technology event. “We are an event about creativity.” And he tries to be open to the ideas of the community that push the programming forward.

Listen to Hugh Forrest explain his perspective on the success of SXSWi using the player below. And stick around for the second half of the podcast to hear Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich’s and my take on Forrest’s approach and building community.

The post SXSW Interactive’s Special Sauce: Community appeared first on Pro PR.

Attached Media: audio/mpeg (17 251 ko)
Author: "thornley@thornleyfallis.com" Tags: "community, Conferences, Inside PR, Hugh ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 13:42

DSC00035In June, I had a once in a lifetime experience – I flew on a de Havilland Beaver from Vancouver Airport to Galiano Island, one of the gulf islands between Vancouver and Victoria.

I was invited by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo to attend Fireworks Factory, a gathering a smart, progressive marketers. I wanted very much to attend. However, I was scheduled to be in Austin the day prior to Fireworks Factory and there was no way I could get to Vancouver in time to catch the last ferry of the day destined for Galiano. As it turned out, both Sherrilynne Starkie and Nora Young also were booked on flights that arrived too late for the ferry.

DSC00039We had three people in search of a solution. And that solution: charter a floatplane  that would take us from the airport to Galiano. So off we went on our excellent adventure. And I recorded it on video to share with my friends. Sadly, I lost almost all of the video I produced. I backup my hard drive to Dropbox. However, the Internet connnection on Galiano Island was iffy and slow. So, the video files were trickling up to Dropbox. And wouldn’t you know it, this would be the time that my computer would pick to fail! After numerous calls to Dell support, my hard drive was wiped and everything but a few still photos and a couple video outtakes were lost. A frustrating experience because I really wanted to capture and hold on to this experience. And a lesson in the ephemeral nature of all media.

So, here’s the little bit of video I could salvage. The rest will play only in the memories of Nora, Sherrilynne and me. :(

DSC00036In case you aren’t aware, the DeHavilland Beaver is an aviation icon. Over 1600 Beavers were manufactured in its 20 year production run beginning in 1947. And although the final Beaver came off the assembly line over 45 years ago, in 1967, many are still in service.   It is the quintessential bush plane, used widely in Canada’s north. It is a true Canadian icon that has inspired legions of fans. One fan, Neil Aird has established a Website, DHC-2.com, where he is attempting to compile a pictorial history of every individual Beaver.

Other sources of information about the DeHavilland Beaver:

DHC-2.com, with histories of individual Beavers

The de Havilland Beaver entry on Wikipedia

The Beaver page on Bush-planes.com

The post Sherrilynne, Nora and Joe’s Excellent Adventure appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Smile, de Havilland Beaver, Galiano, Nor..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Jul 2013 14:26

June was a month of wall to wall conferences. And those conferences brought Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and me together in two cities – Austin and Ottawa – and pulled us to opposite ends of the continent.

Tod Maffin speaks at PABSo, you spend all that money and time to attend a conference. And now you’re sitting in a presentation and you’re deciding whether you made the right decision. What makes it worthwhile?

Gini applies the Chile Con Queso Test. She loves chile con quesos. And she judges a restaurant by their quality. If they’re great, she’ll keep going back for more. Gini’s Chile Con Queso Test for conference presentations? Does the presenter provide her with at least one idea for a blog post? “If I can go into your session and come away with a blog post idea, I’m going to think you’re the best speaker on earth,” says Gini. On the other hand, “If I can’t get at least one idea to create content around, I’m not going to think you’re a great speaker.”

If you’re a speaker, how can you deliver the goods for your audience? I saw Lee LeFever talk about this at the recent Fireworks Factory organized by Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo. Lee, who is best known for the explainer videos he has produced through his company, Common Craft, says that you must start from a position of empathy for the audience. Focus on what we care about, not what you want to present. Frame your topic in terms to which we relate. Suggest a commonly experienced problem to which we all relate. You’ll know you’ve done this is you see our heads nodding. Once you’ve established the shared space, focus on “why.” Why does this matter? Why will you approach it in this way. And then, and only then, move on to the “how.” How do I do this. Think about the presentations you’ve seen recently. How many of them failed because the presenter plunged directly into the “how” section, providing minute detail of what they did, while you were still stuck at, “Why do I care about this?”

Martin calls this the importance of appealing to the audience’s emotional senses. He points out that this often can be achieved through story telling, in which a motive is established and listeners are drawn into identifying with the subjects and storyline. Gini agrees with the power of this approach, pointing to a 52N (five minutes to engage, a variant on Ignite) presentation delivered by Abbie Fink at the recent PRSA Counselors Academy Conference in Austin. Abbie’s presentation consisted of reading a letter to her recently deceased family dog. At the end, she left many in the room in tears and everyone considering the nature of relationships. A story that appealed to our emotions. That appealed to the pet lover in all of us. That didn’t explain the why, but relied throughout on it. (Pity the poor presenter who followed Abbie – Martin Waxman!)

I attended a presentation recently by a speaker who gave me not just one good takeaway, but nine. Nine takeaways in an hour long presentation. And that speaker was … Gini Dietrich! Perhaps because Gini listened for takeaways in other speakers, she deliberately packages takeaways in her presentations. “When I write presentations, I write them long form. But as I do it, I write sound bites that I know people can tweet. You have to think about the key takeaways. Is someone going to get enough to pass the Chile Con Queso Test? And are they going to be able to tweet about it?” If you achieve these three objectives, people will come away with something to think about over the long term as well as content that will prompt immediate tweets and conversation.

Finally, there’s one huge no-no for conference presenters. What makes the audience groan and flee the room in droves? Martin calls it the “You can’t judge a presentation by its cover” problem.” You  decide to attend a presentation on the basis of the description in the program only to hear the speaker lead off with the statement, “I’m going to talk about something different from the advertised topic…” Sadly, that’s not uncommon at conferences. Not just the small regional conferences, but even larger conferences. The kindest interpretation I can put on this it that because of the long lead time between the time that the conference topics were set and the actual presentation, the speaker decided that the topic was outdated and decided to offer more up to date thinking. The unkind interpretation is that the speaker just said yes to the organizers’ invitation and then realized that he didn’t really have anything worthwhile to say about the topic. Either way, it can be a real let down if you showed up keen to learn and discuss the advertised topic.

Gini sums it up: ”We’re all busy. We all want to find value in the things that we are attending. We’re spending money to attend these things. And if we can’t get something out of it to bring back to our careers or organizations, then it’s not worth the time.”

This post was originally published on the Inside PR podcast blog.

The post You can’t judge a presentation by its title appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Conferences, Inside PR, public relations..."
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Date: Monday, 24 Jun 2013 23:04

Mark Schumann

I’m in New York attending the International Association of Business Communicators’ 2013 World Conference (#IABCwc13). It’s a big commitment of time. And an expensive trip. And proving to be well worth it.

Why?

The chance to see thought provoking presentations by Mark Schumann, Shel Holtz, Katie Paine, and Richard Edeleman. And that’s only in the first day and a half of the conference. Still two days to go – and many other promising presentations ahead.

Shel Holtz

The opportunity to renew relationships with old friends and meet people in real life whom I’ve come to know online. IABC draws people from around the globe to its conferences. This international focus makes its World Conference a truly global affair. It seems like the whole world comes together here.

Yes, I’m happy I came to the IABC World Conference. And if you didn’t but are thinking about attending next year, remember this post. I promise you, it’s worth the effort. A great conference. A great learning experience. A great networking opportunity. And this year, the chance to be in New York. A great city that never gives up.

The post Why attending the IABC World Conference was the right decision appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Conferences, IABC, IABCwc13, Internation..."
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Date: Monday, 10 Jun 2013 14:08

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I had a rare opportunity this week. We were able to record the Inside PR podcast with all of us sitting face to face in one place in real life. We were in Ottawa to attend the Social Capital Conference. And the best thing for me was that it felt like I was getting together with two of my closest friends for a chat about our shared experiences. Even after all these years, I’m still in awe of the power of social media to enable us to create deep and meaningful relationships over distance. So, even though Martin, Gini and I are together in the same real life space at most four times a year, we have developed a much deeper relationship.

Gini delivered the conference opening keynote explaining how she has built a large and active community around her Spin Sucks blog. The starting point, says Gini, is recognizing that “The one word we all like to hear is our name.” Her approach to community is grounded in this recognition. It has driven her to focus on the people who come to the Spin Sucks blog. She acknowledges them personally, responding to virtually every comment left on the Spin Sucks blog or the Spins Sucks Facebook page. But she goes beyond this. She reaches out to the members of the Spin Sucks community and participates in the discussion in their home spaces. Community is a two way interaction, not just one way.

Another factor to consider in building communities – it takes time. And this is at odds with the short-term, campaign-based approach taken by many marketers. As Gini points out, she has been blogging for seven years, and it took more than one try to find the right combination of factors that led to the current success of Spin Sucks. This same point was made by Sherrilynne Starkie, who presented a real world case study of an international union building community. In Sherrilynne’s words, its success was only possible because the union leadership were prepared to “stay the course” and persevere through early stages of thin participation until members caught on that this was a real and ongoing exercise. Momentum built slowly. The community could not have emerged in a short-term campaign.

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson have demonstrated bot of these fundamentals in building a successful community around the For Immediate Release podcast. They have been persistent and consistent creators of content. They routinely acknowledge their listeners and feature their contributions in the podcast. And they’ve set up a Google+ community to provide listeners with an opportunity to offer their own thoughts and engage in conversation with other members of the community.

This is something we’re trying to do with the Inside PR podcast as well. If you’re a regular listener, please consider joining the Inside PR Google+ community or the Inside PR Facebook group and participating actively. We’d love to involve you in the podcast.

And if you’re still with me, you can listen to the podcast by clicking on the player below.

 

The post Inside PR 334: Community at Social Capital Ottawa appeared first on Pro PR.

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Author: "thornley@thornleyfallis.com" Tags: "Inside PR, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman"
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Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2013 13:07

socap_badgeThe third edition of the Social Capital Conference will be kicking off next weekend. Like last year, this year’s event will be sold out, with every available spot filled. And participants this year will attend a conference that has expanded to offer a day of practical workshops alongside a more ambitious speakers lineup.

Organizing a community-focused conference is no small feat. And I think there’s much we can learn from the organizers of successful conferences that we can apply to our own projects.

So I was delighted to have a chance to interview Karen Wilson, one of the co-founders of the Social Capital Conference, for the Inside PR podcast. You can listen to that recording as part of the Inside PR 3.33. I also recorded a video of our interview, which you can see here.

Among the things that Karen shared:

Make the conference planning a two way conversation.

Interact with your participants before and after the conference. Every year, the organizers of Social Capital survey participants and potential participants to find out what they want in a conference. “We’ve been listening to the participants since day one,” Karen asserts. We incorporate what they tell us with the lessons we’ve learned ourselves to make the conference better each year.

Get over the tools. We’ve got issues

In three years, Social Capital has evolved beyond sessions focusing on social media tools to instead offer tracks that focus on topics relating to issues people must deal with when they are active in social media: content creation, law and ethics, strategy and then a series of case studies. This meant that the organizers abandoned some of the content streams they had first planned for this year’s conference when they realized that the topics being proposed by speakers were quite different from what they expected. “We looked at the topics that were being submitted and realized that the topics we had picked weren’t the things people are interested in,” says Karen. “We redesigned the conference to fit [people's interests.]”

Change is essential. But expectations must be respected.

Mistakes that we can learn from? “Be careful about making too many changes at once,” says Karen. “There are expectations set every year and when you make too many changes at once… We moved the date of our conference, raised prices and added a second day, and it’s been harder to sell. It’s challenging when people are used to everything being a certain way and then it starts to shift.” So, balance established expectations with innovations.

The conference experience is about the attendees as much as the speakers

Karen also shared her advice from the perspective of a conference organizer to attendees on how they can have the best possible experience at the conference. “You get what you put into it,” she offers. “If you sit at the side of the room without interacting with people … you won’t get the full learning process. Even if you’re shy, go up to people and talk to them.” It’s not just about listening to the speakers. It’s about meeting the people in the room who share your interests and forming bonds with them.

Thank you to Karen and her co-organizers for all the work you put into organizing Social Capital. I’m definitely looking forward to attending and learning from both the speakers and fellow attendees.

What do you think? If you’ve organized a conference, what advice would you offer. As a conference attendee, what advice would you offer to conference organizers?

 

The post Lessons from a successful conference organizer appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Conferences, #SoCapOtt, Karen Wilson, So..."
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Date: Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:15

Tonight’s Third Tuesday Toronto #3tYYZ is all about community – the kind that grows and thrives online.

Colleen YoungTonight’s speaker, Colleen Young, founded and sustains the #hcsmca  Health Care Social Media Canada weekly twitter chat. And she knows how to develop a successful online community of interest. I first became aware of the #hcsmca Twitter chats a couple years ago when doing a social media audit for a health care client. As I looked around at the various discussions, I discovered that media professionals, policy makers, at least one provincial Minister of Health along with health care communicators were all gravitating to #hcsmca to exchange their views on issues relating to the provision of health care in Canada.

So, I’m very much looking forward to tonight’s session.

N.B. When I checked this morning, there were still eleven open spots for this evening’s Third Tuesday. So, if you’d like to participate, click over to the Third Tuesday meetup site and register to attend tonight’s event. I’ll be hopping on a mid day plane to Toronto so that I can be there in time. And if you see me there, I hope you’ll say hello.

Thank you to our sponsors

I can’t close this post without thanking Third Tuesday’s sponsors - Cision Canada andRogers Communications - who believe in our community and help us to bring speakers not just to Toronto but to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver as well. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make Third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair. So, thank you to the sponsors of the Third Tuesday 2012-13 season: Cision Canada and Rogers Communications.

We want students to be able to attend

One more thing: Third Tuesday is a great opportunity to hear about the latest developments in social media and to network with business and thought leaders. And we don’t want students to miss out on this opportunity. So, if you are a student and would like to attend, don’t let the admission fee stop you. Simply present your student ID card at the time you sign into Third Tuesday and we’ll refund your admission fee, courtesy of Thornley Fallis.

The post Tonight’s Third Tuesday Toronto is all about online community appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Conferences, #3TYYZ, #hcsmc, Colleen You..."
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Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 16:54

YahooOK. I get that it’s an arch statement. Yahoo leads off its release about its $1 billion acquisition of Tumblr with the subhead, “Promises not to screw it up.” And given that Yahoo now is led by someone who for years subscribed to the corporate slogan, “Don’t be evil,” it makes sense.

However, I can’t get over the feeling that, if you and I had a billion dollars to spend, we’d probably aim a little higher. :)

The post If we had a billion dollars… appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Smile, Tumblr, Yahoo"
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Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 12:02

One of the benefits of having a company blog is that I get a chance to figuratively peek over the shoulders of my colleagues to see what they are interested in and what they choose to write about. And that made for interesting reading over the past week.

Chris Hadfield returned the magic to social media. This week, @Cmdr_Hadfield returned to earth from the International Space Station. “At a time when the the world’s second favourite social network is courting the corporate world in its bid to establish a viable monetization strategy, Hadfield has reawakened some of the excitement created in the the early days of Twitter and he did it by tweeting in the moment,”  Sherrilynne Starkie wrote. “Canadians, and people around the globe, are more than engaged…they are enthralled. They feel as though they have been part of the mission and they adore Hadfield for taking them along.”

Social-Media-Marketing-MoneySocial media as a channel to reach the “Mass Affluent.” Katie Charbonneau reported on a survey from LinkedIn and CogentResearch of social media use by the “Mass Affluent,” the approximately 40 million American investors with assets of between $100,000 and $1 million. This is a target group for many upscale products and services. And there’s some good insight here into their expectations and use of social media. Among the insights: “There is a 25-40% opportunity gap between the information the “Mass Affluent” want and the information actually provided by banks, brokerages and credit cards.” A gap between expectations and delivery is a great opportunity waiting to be exploited.

The case for motion graphics videos. “Today, consumers are bombarded with content.  Brands are pushing to be more creative. While live action video footage is arguably the best way to humanize a brand, viewers also want something that is visually appealing, entertaining and informative,” wrote Ashlea LeCompte. And that need is often filled by motion graphics.

Thornley Fallis: Graphics & Animation Reel 2013 from ThornleyFallis on Vimeo.

Are you gender biased in your listening and retweeting habits? You may not know it, but you probably are. “Twee-Q is an experiment from a Swedish organization called Crossing Borders that … calculates a Twitter Equality Quotient that they describe as a simple score derived from how often you retweet men or women,” wrote Diane Begin. “The tool takes your last 100 tweets to come up with a score. The closer you are to 50-50, the higher your Twee-Q.” I tested it on my @thornley Twitter feed and discovered that I retweet women 60% of the time, giving me a Twee-Q of 6.6. Hmmm.

Twee-Q @thornley 130519

successFive steps to success in online public engagement. A great post by Pierre Killeen, who has built a highly successful practice helping organizations develop purposeful discussion with their communities of interest. Unlike the car commercials, you can do this at home.

Thank you to my colleagues at Thornley Fallis for these entertaining and informative reads. The time I spent with your posts was well worth it.

The post Things I learned from the people I work with appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "TopLinks, @Cmdr_Hadfield, Chris Hadfield..."
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Date: Sunday, 19 May 2013 16:39

Trust MeIn this week’s episode of the Inside PR podcast, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I talk about the challenge of determining what news coverage we can trust when traditional media outlets vie with social media to be first with the news.

For me, this is like moving around in a darkened room. We know we’ve had contact with something, but we can’t really see what it is. Judgment and speculation become overly close neighbors at times like these.

How do you decide where to place your trust when news is breaking online?

The post Inside PR: Where do you place your trust? appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Inside PR, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman"
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Date: Monday, 22 Apr 2013 17:58

Too many words about Google Reader, Google and market dominance, innovation and the continuing importance of RSS feeds. Yes, I’m embarrassed that I couldn’t stifle myself.

But I really do believe this.

Inside PR » Blog Archive » Inside PR 3.29: Google Reader, Feedly, and the perils of a dominant competitor.

The post Inside PR 329: In which Joe goes on a bit of a rant appeared first on Pro PR.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Inside PR"
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 12:00

Feedly 130324

Are you like me, still testing a number of possible Google Reader replacements?

Well, it appears that Feedly is emerging as the popular Reader alternative. TechCrunch reported that Feedly “became the No. 1 news app across all three top mobile platforms (iPhone, iPad and Android) this week. It even climbed into the “Top Overall” section within all three stores.” This follows news that Feedly had picked up over 500,000 new users within days of Google’s announcement that it would shut down Reader.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Tools, Feedly, Google Alerts"
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Date: Monday, 25 Mar 2013 12:18

Google Alerts 130324I use Google Alerts to track references to my company and industry. Over time, I’ve noticed that the results have been sporadic and unreliable. I thought it was a problem with the search terms I’d set up. It turns out the problem wasn’t at my end. It’s at Google’s end. I found a Danny Sullivan post from mid-February noting that “It was awesome; but for several weeks, it’s become nearly useless. Google assured Sullivan that they were fixing the problem with alerts. But they didn’t. I’ve seen no change with Google Alerts. It’s continued to miss finding stuff I know it should be locating, Sullivan posted last week. Shortly after that, Mashable noted the same problem and investigated. Their conclusion: “Something definitely seems to be broken with the current Google Alerts system.”

Oh Oh. Is Google lavishing the same indifference on Google Alerts that presaged the shutdown of Reader?

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "social media, Tools, Google, Google Aler..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jan 2013 15:12

… doesn’t mean we should.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Smile, social media, "Jimmy Kimmel" "cel..."
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Date: Monday, 07 Jan 2013 21:21

Rob Lane LinkedIn Pic Rob Lane, CEO and co-founder of MyMusic.com, will be the speaker at the January Third Tuesday Toronto #3TYYZ and Third Tuesday Ottawa #3TYOW.

Rob is a serial entrepreneur. And he will share with us the lessons he has gained from founding two social companies – MyMusic.com and, before that, Overlay.tv.  What he has learned about creating something real from the germ of an idea. About building and sustaining community with the people who care about you. About creating a social business – one that listens to what people are saying about it and adjusts its actions and structure to act upon what it hears. About building a team that can create something extraordinary. And about marketing what you’ve created through both social and traditional channels.

In a nutshell, Rob Lane is a smart entrepreneur who has a lot to share and will do that with the Third Tuesday community. If you’re in or near either Ottawa or Toronto, click over to the Third Tuesday Toronto and Third Tuesday Ottawa Meetup sites to get your ticket to hear from and meet Rob Lane.

About MyMusic.com
If you’re like me, music is a constant in your life. We listen actively and passively. It surrounds us. Reflects our experiences, environment and friends. And it’s also all over the place. In books we’ve read. On entertainment Web sites. On an MP3 player. Or a Facebook page. The radio. In magazines. Our contact with music is spread everywhere and we have to go looking in many places to pull it all together.

MyMusicDotCom

“MyMusic was founded by three guys who love music but hate mindlessly scouring the web to unearth the best content available. We want all the great music content that we know is out there to come to us. We want it sifted, sorted and filtered so that we get exactly and only the stuff we are interested in. We also want a beautiful way to access all that content, anytime we want, anywhere we are. We couldn’t find anything like that online, so we built MyMusic.

“MyMusic.coms’ mission is “to be a single place where you can go to find, discover and share everything that makes your online music experience fresh, exciting, and uniquely you.”

You can use MyMusic to can save images, videos, music, articles, etc. in “magazines”  that reflect your interests. Specific artists. Genres of music. Places where music is played. Your collection of music. Whatever you want. And the site watches what you post so that it can suggest content that matches your interests. The more you post the smarter it gets.

If you’re interested, check out the Thelonious Monk page I made on MyMusic.com. This took me all of 10 minutes from the time I found my first clip to the time I published it. Very user friendly.

Social Media Breakfasts too

One more thing. Rob also gives back to the social media community in another way. He’s the co-founder or Social Media Breakfast Ottawa. Rob and his co-organizers, Ryan Anderson and Simon Chen, have given Ottawa’s social media community an opportunity to meet and hear from smart speakers for the past four years.

Thank you to Third Tuesday’s sponsors

Third Tuesday is supported by great sponsors - Cision Canada and Rogers Communications - who believe in our community and help us to bring speakers not just to Toronto but to Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver as well. Without the sponsors we couldn’t make Third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair. So, thank you to the sponsors of the Third Tuesday 2012-13 season: Cision Canada and Rogers Communications.

 

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "social media, ThirdTuesday, #3TYYZ, 3TYO..."
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Date: Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013 12:10

As we enter 2013, the transformation in the world of communications that is driven by the mass adoption of social media and mobile devices is accelerating.

Fish-changesThe public relations industry is not immune from the impact of these changes. And this has disrupted the competitive marketplace.

Over the past year, I found my company, Thornley Fallis, repeatedly competing for assignments against non-traditional competitors. Ad agencies invading our turf. Digital boutiques. Marketing agencies. Management consultants.

An increasing proportion of the assignments we won from clients incorporated digital communications as a core element. Throughout 2012, we saw the budgets for these assignments shift away from traditional public relations activities to digital. The budgets didn’t shrink. The allocations against digital activities increased.

In a world like this, if you want to be a Public Relations Survivor, you must be willing to reinvent yourself constantly. That’s what the most successful firms in the communications marketplace are doing. And that’s what we’re doing at my firm.

And here’s the indicator that drives this home. Today, only about half of Thornley Fallis’ revenues are from what would have been considered traditional public relations services. The other half? Video production, public engagement, content marketing, design and development.

You’ve probably noticed the absence of social media from that list. Where’s social? Integrated across everything we do. What was hot a few years ago has become simply the common entry fee.

What’s hot now? Content marketing. The creation of social objects that people will connect around. Understanding and building public engagement. Making connections with people who care about our products and services and the things we care about.

We see ourselves as much different from the public relations practitioners of old. We don’t define our horizons within the constraints of earned media. Most of our programs include paid keyword advertising to seed awareness among those most likely to be interested. As the  traditional media distribution deteriorated, we realized that placing great content and counting on organic search simply wasn’t good enough. So we moved into the territory of the advertising agencies. Not as advocates of advertising first, but as advocates of a true integrated solution in which each medium has a role to play.

Yes, we are still a PR agency. But when people ask me what we do, I answer in a way that is much different from the answer I provided a few years ago. Today, we “provide insight, create remarkable experiences and connect people to the things they care about.”

And that’s how we make  sure that we are Public Relations Survivors. Not by clinging to the past, but by evolving with the changing communications environment.

———–

If you found this post interesting, these sources provide even more to think about:

PR Agencies’ Lost Year by Peter Himler

10 Things I’ve Learned from an Advertising Agency by Ed Lee

When the Corporate Social Strategist Role Goes Away by Jeremiah Owyang

 

 

 

 

 

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "Business of PR, public relations"
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Date: Sunday, 23 Dec 2012 22:00

It has happened again. Someone close to our family has been diagnosed with cancer. A serious case.

Cancer is a bitch. It strikes the undeserving. It shows no quarter to young or old, good or bad. It is devastating not only to the stricken, but to all those who know and love that person.

Cancer can be beat. It takes all of the science available to our healthcare professionals. But it takes more. It takes hope and determination and belief.

I know that our friend is not the only person who will receive news like this. It’s always devastating. But especially at this time of year.

So to you, my friend, and all the people who receive news that fills us with doubt and fear, I can only say that my thoughts, my will, my prayers, my heart are with you.

If there is a power above, some logic and order that make sense of this, I hope it will show itself now.

Cancer is a bitch.

Author: "Joseph Thornley" Tags: "zeitgeist, cancer, faith, friends"
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Date: Friday, 21 Dec 2012 14:29

Gini DietrichIt’s the end, at least for this year. The final episode of Inside PR for 2012 has been posted.

Martin-Waxman-20112-293x300In today’s episode, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman, I look back at the trends in 2012 that stood out for us. Things like the continuing evolution of social media to photos and video; the convergence of advertising, PR, digital agencies to compete directly against one another; the evolution of search to incorporate personal profiles and social interaction. And above all, for me, the stripping away of my idealism about the blogosphere that came when I read Ryan Holiday‘s “Trust Me, I’m Lying.”

Have a listen. Let us know what you think. In a comment on this blog, on the Inside PR blog, on the Inside PR Google+ Community or on the Inside PR Facebook group. Anyway that you want. We’d love to hear your views.

We’ll be back in 2013 as Inside PR begins its seventh year.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Attached Media: audio/mpeg (15 154 ko)
Author: "thornley@thornleyfallis.com" Tags: "Inside PR, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman,..."
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