Put a fork in it, the press release is (almost) dead

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on September 27, 2020 at 8:04 pm

Put a fork into costly, useless press releases with social media networking (courtesy drp on Flickr CC)This afternoon, it hit me….I can’t imagine, under most circumstances, paying $400 to send out a press release anymore.

Sure, I know that I could also send one out for $80 - $360, but I still can’t see doing that very often.

It has become a last resort, not a first choice.

I have a couple of newsworthy events coming up in the next two months that are directly tied to the social media topics that we cover here on Every Dot Connects.

There is a local angle, a tech angle and a travel angle.

This is how I’ll contact the media in my city’s major news outlet….

  • Journalist “A” is someone I know from his blog, from Twitter, from email exchanges between the two of us and from personal interactions at tech conferences and social events.  I would never send him a press release, I’ll just tell him, probably in an email or even a phone call.
  • Journalist “B” is someone I know from Facebook. I friended her there after reading a very good article under her byline in the newspaper’s print edition. I would never send her a press release, but I may send a note through Facebook or even write on her Wall.
  • Journalist “C” is someone I know almost entirely from Twitter.  I would never send him a press release; I’ll probably just DM (Direct Message) him on Twitter.

Clearly, there are times when you still need press releases and the wires, depending upon the nature of the announcement. My default position, however, is to find another way to make contact, preferably by using social media networks and relationships that are already established.

One of the basic tenets of good PR, of course, is to “dig your well before you’re thirsty.”

My contact won’t be spammy, boring, IN-box-clogging, expensive or predictable. It will be hyper-targeted, relevant and free.

(And I’ll betcha a whole hockey locker full of overpriced press releases that it will be quite effective. Keep an eye on this space for a URL to the story that I think will result.)

Can you give some examples of when the traditional press release might still be most effective, compared to carefully-tended social media networks?  Let us know in the comments!

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Category: Public Relations, Social Media, In the News, Marketing

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We’re New Daddy Bloggers

Posted by Connie Reece on September 19, 2020 at 6:54 am

Chris Brogan has another project. How does he do it? Dad-O-Matic goes live today.

I was honored to be asked to join a group of great bloggers and, more importantly, really great people who also happen to be dads or have something to share about dads. Please visit the new site and comment, especially on my post. You know how fragile the male ego is. We need a lot of reassurance.

You know, I feel kind of feel like a proud dad all over again, just by being part of the project. Thank you Chris.

~Mike Chapman

P.S. Don’t forget, the victims of Hurricane Ike need your help. Use the ‘Strike Back at Ike’ widget over on the right to help directly with your online contribution.

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Category: Just for Fun, Connections, Bloggers

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You Can Help Texas Hurricane Victims Now

Posted by Connie Reece on September 17, 2020 at 6:53 am

The Every Dot Connects blog reaches many readers who are not located in Texas yet may want to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. We have a way for you to do so. If you’re here in Texas, you can participate as well.

The Capital Area Food Bank located in Austin points out that every $5 donated to them directly allows them to provide $20 worth of assistance to those people it serves. This includes the very large number of Hurricane Ike victims as well as those they already serve.

The “Strike Back at Ike” ChipIn widget - located to the right side of this page in the Explore section - allows you to donate directly to the Food Bank without providing all of your personal information. Additionally you can easily add the widget to your own site. Read Connie’s post, on a special website created just for the purpose of raising money for the Food Bank, for more information. This is a quick and easy way to get some cash to the Food Bank they desperately need.

As you may be aware, the Food Bank shifted into disaster relief mode as evacuees fled the hurricane bearing down on the Texas Gulf coast. Many of them are now in Austin. In fact, over the weekend 6,500 people were housed in shelters here, with thousands more staying with family or friends or in area hotels. It may be four to six weeks before many of these people are able to return to their homes-or what is left of them-and many of them have already run out of money to provide for themselves.

In addition to distributing food to shelters, the Food Bank prepared 25-pound emergency food boxes for Hurricane Ike evacuees not staying in shelters. But on Monday afternoon at 2:00 donations were depleted and volunteers regretfully had to start turning people away.

We believe we can raise $5,000 in 5 days by spreading this ChipIn widget across our social networks. Please make whatever donation you can, and then tweet this, plurk it, put it on your Facebook profile, and email it to your friends. This is a small amount in the face of the enormous need, but every bit helps.

Remember, every $5 donation will provide $20 worth of nutritious food. A $25 donation provides $100 worth of food … okay, you can do the math.


The individual or company that makes the largest donation through this ChipIn widget will have access to two hours of time for a Wordpress installation, customization or training by Chel Wolverton, the very capable administrative assistant for Social Media Club. Upon completion of the ChipIn campaign, Chel will contact the winner to find out which of these services is preferred. The amount of your contribution will not be disclosed.

Your generosity will be greatly appreciated by thousands of people who have been uprooted from their homes and are trying to figure out where they go from here. On behalf of Social Media Club Austin and Austin 501 Tech Club, we thank you for helping us wind down our HAM-up efforts with a significant contribution to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Note: your gift through this ChipIn page is not tax-deductible. If you need a receipt for income tax purposes, you must donate directly to CAFB by check or major credit card. (They are not set up to receive donations via Paypal.)

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Category: Fund-raising

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Guest Post on Conversation Agent

Posted by Connie Reece on September 16, 2020 at 7:51 am

Please click over to Valeria Maltoni’s blog to read my guest post titled Are You Conversationally Tone-Deaf?

If you’re not reading Conversation Agent regularly, you should be. Valeria is a thoughtful writer who excels at fostering conversation around important topics. She also writes a Fast Company blog called Customer Conversation.

Valeria is in Italy at the moment, visiting with family; her grandmother is very ill. I’m sure all her readers will join me in extending wishes for a joyous reunion.

- Connie

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Category: Conversation

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Email Is Not My Job

Posted by Connie Reece on September 9, 2020 at 3:19 pm

I paid $47 for the title of this blog post, and it was money well spent.

No, I did not hire a copywriter. I followed the recommendation of Chris Brogan and bought Stever Robbins’ audio series called You Are Not Your Inbox: Overcoming Email Overload. On the way to and from San Antonio for their inaugural BarCamp and the launch of Social Media Club San Antonio, I listened to all three CDs and took the advice to heart.

One of the principles that really stuck with me is that email is not my job. In other words, all the time I spend answering email is not necessarily accomplishing any business objectives. “In fact,” Robbins says, “if you spend just 30 minutes daily reading or responding to unnecessary email, that adds up to a full 3 weeks wasted over the course of the year. That’s more time than most Americans get for vacation.”

Wow! I haven’t taken a full week’s vacation in five years, so the thought that I could be wasting three entire weeks on unnecessary email was a real eye-opener. You Are Not Your Inbox helped me see that it was humanly impossible to process all the email I get, even after deleting spam and filtering bacn.

No technology can solve this email overload. The only solution is to be very disciplined when it comes to processing email and deciding which messages get a response and which ones just aren’t going to get answered. In addition to examining the way I process mail, I need to look at my sending habits so I don’t contribute to the overall problem.

Everyone I know is straining under the extra weight of a bloated inbox. What are some of the ways you’re dealing with it?

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Category: Social Media

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Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow for Blogging Blitz

Posted by Connie Reece on September 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Reminder: the early bird discount for the Blogging Blitz workshop ends tomorrow, September 10.

The Every Dot Connects team has another Austin workshop scheduled on September 17, and this time it’s all about blogging. Many clients have told us that they are ready to jump into blogging and increase their visibility online, but are unsure of the best way to start or how to build a successful blog that draws traffic.

This learner-driven workshop will answer those questions.

We’ll teach you basic blogging tools and techniques, including:

  1. Setting up a blog on one’s own domain name or Wordpress.com, plus some basic HTML.
  2. Adding photos and videos to your blog, including using Creative Commons alternative copyright.
  3. Building blog traffic and using blogs to enhance your brand and your business.
  4. Tips on writing for the Web.
  5. Sustaining vision and momentum as a blogger.

Bring your blogging questions that aren’t included in the above list, and we’ll get the answers for you!

Click the orange button below to find out all the details and register online.

Look for another Web 2.0 Tools workshop in October. If you’d like to be on our workshop and seminar mailing list, add your email address by clicking here:

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Category: Events, Blogging

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Join Me at Marketing Profs Digital Mixer

Posted by Connie Reece on September 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm

As a longtime subscriber of Marketing Profs, I’m very happy to be speaking at one of their upcoming conferences — Digital Marketing Mixer in Phoenix, AZ — and to extend to our EDC readers a discount code for substantial savings off the registration price. Just click the graphic to the right when you’re ready to register, and you’ll keep $200 in your wallet.

This is the first time Marketing Profs has included an entire social media track, and they’ve done a great job of putting together a lineup of leading voices: Rohit Bhargava, Chris Brogan, Scott Monty, KD Paine, Mack Collier, CC Chapman — and a bunch more.

That’s just the social media track. Other tracks will feature heavy hitters from the worlds of search and email marketing. It will be be two full days of valuable information plus the opportunity to network with industry leaders and your peers from across the nation.

That’s another great attraction for me — the chance to meet Frank Martin and Amber Naslund, for example, whom I have gotten to know on Twitter and Plurk. I’m learning a lot about advertising and focus groups from Frank’s blog, Marketing Magic, and I’m reading up on branding at Amber’s blog, The Brandbox. But I learn even more from the in-depth conversations we’ve had online. Put all of us in the same room at one time and there will be a knowledge explosion that may bust our heads wide open. (Ann Handley, clean-up on Aisle 7!)

You may have noticed that I linked to the Twitter account of everyone mentioned in this article. Why? That’s the topic of the panel I will be moderating: What Is Twitter and What’s In It for Me? Best Practices in Microblogging. I’ll be the facilitator of a conversation among attendees and these stellar panelists:

  • Frank Eliason, Digital Care Director, Comcast Corporation (@comcastcares)
  • Donna M. Tocci, Director of New Media, Ingersoll Rand (@donnatocci)
  • Bryan Person, Social Media Evangelist, LiveWorld (@bryanperson)
  • Francine Hardaway, Entrepreneur & tech marketing consultant (@hardaway)

Check out the session schedule and then check your travel budget. This is one conference I believe will be well worth the money. And speaking of money, don’t forget to use Discount Code ESPKA08 for $200 off the registration fee.

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Category: Social Media, Events, Marketing

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New events from Every Dot Connects:
Jan. 29 Up to Speed with Sheila
Feb. 17 Consulting with Connie
Feb. 19 High Tech, High Touch with Jennifer