Recently in public relations Category

It's an exciting time in the halls of the academy these days; graduation is near. And it's also a scary time, because graduating students are entering a marketplace in shambles. Old structures are crumbling; new ones have yet to figure out how to monetize. Ack! What to do? Get to work, that's what. Do something, for someone; build your networks; gain some experience; and do some good in the world. And listen to these guys, who feel your pain.

I normally don't write about my personal life, but I've got exciting news to share with my friends, students and colleagues:

I've accepted a faculty position in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago, and will start there this fall.

Loyola is in the process of creating an extraordinary school of communication, and it's my privilege to be part of it.

So what makes it special? 

The University has made a strong commitment to the program, hiring a new dean (Don Heider), a talented group of new faculty, and creating a new facility (The Clare, at 51 East Pearson in the heart of Chicago's business district). It's literally steps from the Water Tower, and near many of the city's ad agencies and media outlets.

At Loyola I'll be able to pursue my interest in social media through a combination of teaching, research and professional practice. I'll be working with a collegial faculty with deep academic and professional training. And I'll be able to connect with industry professionals working at the highest levels for national accounts.

Oh, and in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

I'll leave Wichita State with sadness. I have great affection for my colleagues and students. And I'll miss the wonderful group of friends I've made through the years. So you can be sure I'll return regularly.

I don't leave Wichita State lightly. But there's no permanent position for me there. So it's time for a new adventure. And I couldn't have asked for a better one.

More self-publishing: "6 ways to publish your own book," by Shevonne Polastre, on Mashable

Conversations you should join: "10 rules of marketing on user review sites," by Todd Defren, on PR Squared

Short, sweet, and true: "Personal branding in the age of Google," by Seth Godin

What good is a web site if it just sits there? I'm hearing from more and more small businesses and non-profits who are ready to start taking measurement of their web traffic seriously. For these smaller websites, Google Analytics is a powerful and easy solution. Here's a treasure trove of support information from if you're just getting started with Google Analytics.

Here's a quick overview: start by creating an account with Google. Your analytics account can be created from your Gmail login. Google Analytics will then provide some code that you'll place on your website. Depending on how your site is configured, you'll put it on every page, or in one place that's served up with every page. When visitors hit your site, the code will "phone home" to Google. You'll view the results a day later on a very nice dashboard viewable from your Google Analytics account page.

If you're a Movable Type user like me, a good place to install the code is in your Footer template file, just before the </body> tag. You just need to put it on your site once, since the footer is served with every call to your site. And, since it's in the footer, disruption to the user is minimal, since it's served last. Note that this code is "off the page" text; it's not visible to your site visitors.

There's really no excuse to not measure your web traffic. It's not hard to get started, and the service is free. Do this today!


photo courtesy of Giant Ginkgo

Last week was pretty good for Illuminati Karate, a web developer in Raleigh, North Carolina. The company snapped up an expired web domain for $10 and resold it for a profit of $34,990.

The domain? The library's online vendor, Yuma Solutions, carelessly let the domain expire. And Yuma should have known better. It initially bought the domain for $3,000 - from yet another squatter.

 Welcome to the wild world of online identity, where seemingly anyone can appropriate a brand's name. Don't think it can happen to your company? Consider the threats:

• Cybersquatting, which occurs when someone purchases a domain that points to your brand, such as the example above. While there are laws against cybersquatting, it can be expensive and time consuming to win. And the so-called squatter may have a legitimate right to the name. In the early days of the Internet, a jazz club in New York called The Blue Note was outraged to discover that someone had already purchased the domain The owner, a music club in Columbia, Missouri, felt it had a legitimate right to the name. It, too, was The Blue Note. The New York club had to take legal action in Missouri, where it lost.

• Typosquatting, in which competitors purchase domains that are similar to a legitimate one in order to redirect traffic. For example, you could purchase and receive a fair number of visits from sloppy typists who meant to do a Google search.

• Phishing, in which a malicious web site poses as a well-established brand and solicits personal information. Phishing schemes typically target companies with online ecommerce, such as banks and credit card companies.

• Brandjacking, in which someone poses as your company in any online exchange. This can include popular social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. Not long ago, a woman calling herself Janet set up the account ExxonMobilCorp on the Twitter microblogging site. She answered questions and shared expertise about her company, including the observation that the Exxon Valdez was not one of the worst 10 oil spills. The problem? Janet was not an ExxonMobil employee. While her account has been shut down, to this day no one knows who she was.

Here's a video that's sure to go viral, from


Build your own video at
I've written previously about creating text that's reader friendly, but also creates meaningful keywords to search spiders. Several readers and students have asked for more information on keyword tools. Here's an excellent list of tools to try
Google Alerts is one of the most useful, yet basic tools for monitoring the Internet. With the current service, you receive email notification of your preferred searches when new information is added to the index.

If you're new to RSS, or just hungry to learn more, visit this link, which aggregates popular links tagged "RSS" at

Richard Edelman points out how the Federal government failed to tell - and sell -  the story of why an infusion of cash was needed to stabilize our financial markets. Note that the post was written on Sept. 30, before the bailout passed Congress.

One sure sign the project is being railroaded: no attempt to construct, frame and sell the message. Just gimme the dough.

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