May 2008 Archives

Today a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. government has an obligation to make money more accessible to people who are blind. It's easy for Americans to just assume money has to be a certain way. But we're pretty much alone in the world - out of 180 countries that use paper money - when it comes to making all denominations the same size and color. 

As a result, it's near impossible for a person who is blind to know which bill he or she may be spending or receiving as change.

American money is ripe for redoing as an exercise in universal design. Canadian money features a handful of accessibility features, including tactile spots that work like Braille. Different denominations of Euros are different colors, and the bills increase in size as they increase in value. They're nice looking, too.


Lately the "to read" stack of books by my bed table has been getting bigger. And as I fire up my RSS reader every day, I learn more and more that I know ... less and less. So I was quite happy to hear Wikinomics co-author Don Tapscott on Talk of the Nation today.

I know that doesn't excuse me from reading the book, but he represents the material in the interview quite well. While the focus is on using Wikis to enhance democracy, there's a wide-ranging discussion of relevant social media topics. The interview is about 26 minutes long. Give a listen.
coke.gifA brand is a promise. It's what your customers think of when they think of your company. It's shorthand for a set of values and assumptions. It's eternal. And it's a moving target.

Take the brand quiz, and see what people think of a handful of companies at Fun and worthwhile.

Or do it backwards, smartypants. You're such the branding expert.  Guess them correctly.

I've done some search marketing, so the concept of writing for computers instead of humans isn't alien to me. But I initially failed to fully realize how much public relations writing is also writing for computers. 

Traditionally, the press release is written and distributed to - well, the press. But when the press release is distributed online, it goes straight to web sites, blogs, and - you guessed it - search engines. It's classic disintermediation. Suddenly, it's not as crucial that the New York Times picks up your story. You can get to your target audience through multiple channels. Don't get me wrong - major media play is important. But not like it used to be.

PR-Squared, the blog from Shift Communications, pioneered and popularized the social media press release, which includes lots of hooks for an interested reporter or blogger to follow. It's like an onion. Some readers just want to peel back one layer. Others may want to peel back several. By using the tools in the social media press release, the reader can get as much or as little information as he or she needs, in the formats that are most meaningful. And all the while, you control the frame.

Here are some bonus articles from PR-Squared to help you transition to PR Practitioner 2.0. 
popurls.gifWhile I'm living my wonderful but fairly ordinary life, millions of people post stuff to the web. Most of it is not worth looking at, but a tiny bit rises to the top, either by brilliance, outrageousness, or chance. 

Wouldn't you like to review the new stuff at the end of the day? Now you can, thanks to It's a blast of links from the most popular blogs, social media sites and aggregators. Breathtaking! 

Once again, a web site that shows that metadata - data about data - is more interesting than data itself. Got that?

If you don't visit Popurls, life will go on. But if you do, you'll spend far more time than you should, tapping the zeitgeist. Good or bad thing? I can't decide. Visit at your own risk. I can quit anytime ...

VisualCV.gifThe other day the Wichita State student public relations society hosted a networking event at the Greteman Group. I spent most of my time there meeting students and critiquing resumes. I met some impressive young adults and they brought with them very good printed resumes. However, only one student had purchased and set up a web domain to show off their work.

The advantages of an online presence are pretty compelling: there's 24/7 access to your portfolio, evidence that you have some online competence, and the ability to provide as much - or as little - information as a potential employer might want.

I know there are a lot of click-and-build options for personal websites, and a blogging platform might also work well. But here's something that's worth a look: Visual CV. It's a new (still in beta) site for creating interactive resumes. You can embed video or other pieces of your work, and generally you have lots of control over presentation. While you can make it as interactive as you like, there's a button on the bottom that generates a PDF. Nice! Check out Guy Kawasaki's Visual CV. I have not signed up for this service (it's free) but it's definitely worth a look.

I'm interested in blogging and social media primarily as tools for my  work, which is in public relations. These tools are 

potentially great ways to develop targeted relationships to help achieve strategic goals. As a public relations professional, I 

belong to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This organization works to separate what I call "ethical PR" from 

all the two-bit hustlers out there who will do anything to get their messages to their destinations. I am also accredited in public relations (APR), which distinguishes public relations practitioners much as the CPA distinguishes some accountants. It's a good start, but will only help when there's a critical mass of professionals to create a norm of good practice in the field.

PRSA has a code of ethics which all bloggers should at least consider. In fact, most of the sins of the blogging world would go away if bloggers would follow this code. 

Here's what happens when people who are not trained in PR teach students to use social media tools. In short, this class project used deception and failed to disclose its relationship with its client, Coach, maker of designer purses and other leather goods. These people - the teachers AND the students - should have known better.

Prodotti_MP1_Magnelli.jpgThe Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Southwest Region held an excellent meeting in Little Rock last month. One of the speakers was alpha blogger Chris Brogan, who here offers links for beginning bloggers. Like me.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en
Lijit Search