October 25, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

PR Gets Heads Up About Blogs

Posted by: of Expansion Plus on 01/4/07

The Daily ‘Dog, the daily newsletter from Bulldog Reporter that goes to over 40 000 PR professionals in the US has a Pulse of PR survey on the site right now that shows more than half of the respondents regard blogs and new media as the trend that will most impact PR in 2007.

Yes, it’s an informal survey, and we don’t know how many people have responded so far.  But it is an indicator.  The  number two item is ‘online media will continue to splinter into micro-granular niche outlets’.  So I htink it’s safe to say PR has got the heads up.  Online PR, new media, blogs and RSS feeds will be on their radar in the coming year.

About time, too. Marketers have seen the light – and it is a train coming the other way – the Cluetrain. Search results are affecting brand perception and conversations are in full cry online. Corporate communicators need to learn how to join the online conversation.

 

A case study in pitching bloggers

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 12/20/06

I was going to let this one go, but Paul Chaney suggested I write this up as a post on how not to and how to pitch bloggers to write up stories for their blogs.

This morning I got an e-mail pitch from a PR company to write about a pretty cool use of blogs and real estate.  This isn’t too unusual for me, not as common as say Scoble, who just gave me an obscene number of e-mails to look for blog fodder for the PodTech blog, but it happens.  The story, like I said, was interesting, but immediately I saw a problem.  The company that did the blog was Paul’s company Blogging Systems, which would be fine except that Jim Turner and I work together in a competing company One By One Media.  So I couldn’t really give Paul and co. props without twisting it to also highlight the work that Jim and I do with OBO.

I replied with a polite e-mail back the the PR person, copying Paul, asking how Paul might want to handle this.  Then the PR guy calls me to talk about it.  Well, I explain, Paul and I are friends, but we’re also competitors.  Oh.  Wait, it gets better.  The PR company in question is Lee Odden’s company!  So we have four bloggers involved in this, who all know each other, and all contribute here too!  Yeah I told you it got better.  This is why this makes a great case study.  This is no fault of Lee’s or Paul’s, don’t worry guys.

So first thing about pitching bloggers is you have to do your research.  Not just, oh he/she blogs about business, you have to dig deeper you have to look into who that blogger is connected to on the blogosphere.  Who does he/she work for (and there could be several alliances there)?  Where does he/she contribute?

Bloggers are a very social and interconnected bunch.  We often wear many hats and have several gigs going at the same time. We also tend to know everyone in our niche, friends will help friends but we have to draw the line at competitors (even if they are friends).  Researching the blogger will help with this little problem.

Next you need to contact the blogger before the first pitch to find out if they are interested in being pitched.  Some bloggers don’t want to be pitched.  Others, like me, don’t mind, but I do like to be asked first (I’ve even blogged about this).

I don’t think the person pitching me really knew who I was.  If he had asked Paul or Lee they would have told him … yeah great blogger, bad choice for this pitch.  Let me sum up my recommendations for PR folks pitching bloggers:

  • Do your research first
  • Don’t e-mail out of the blue with a pitch
  • Don’t call on the phone right away to push your pitch
  • Do tell the blogger why they were picked.
  • Don’t just say “I think this would be interesting for your blog” , unless you’ve already established a relationship with the blogger
  • Don’t be offended if they pass
  • Do thank them if they post
  • Do track mention of the pitch topic, you might be getting slammed or miss a great post

Like I said, this the best part of this story is the whole interconnectedness of the whole thing.  Paul, Lee, Jim, and I all know each other and contribute here.  Again, this is no fault of Paul or Lee.  I’m sure they will get a chuckle out of it.

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Blogging as a Marketing Tool – Ten Strategic Tips

Posted by: of Expansion Plus on 12/11/06

 Richard Nacht, president of Blogging Systems which specializes in blog strategies for the lending and real estate industries, has the following Top Ten strategic benefits of blogging,

  1. Search Engine Marketing
  2. Direct Communications
  3.  Brand Building
  4. Competitive Differentiation
  5. Relational Marketing
  6. Exploit the Niches
  7.  Media & Public Relations
  8. Position You as an Expert
  9. Reputation Management
  10.  Low Cost

Read more at the Daily ‘Dog

Why Businesses Don’t Blog in the UK

Posted by: of Expansion Plus on 11/6/06

An excellent article in E-consultancy about online PR and why businesses are not blogging.

His comments about PR agencies applies as much to the US and it does to the UK

“Ask them to explain how Google works. Ask them about RSS. Ask them about anchor text. Ask them to give you some tips on online copywriting. Ask them why blogging would be a bad move, with all the above in mind  The fact is that most PR agencies are not even vaguely qualified to advise you on blogging, or even about online PR.”

If you are in PR or marketing and you can’t answer these questions,  you should have been at the Advanced PR tech worlshop in New York on Friday. Debbie Weil did a stellar job in the session on blogging. They also got podcasting, video, online news, search and social media. 

There is another one on Friday 10th in San Francisco.  No Debbie this time though – I will be speaking on blogs and social media.

 

Edelman responds with a plan, will it be enough?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 10/21/06

I caught on Steve’s blog last night and via Jeff Jarvis this morning, Richard Edelman’s blog what is an interesting follow up to yesterday’s news about Wal-Mart (Walgate? Floggergate?).

From Richard Edelman’s blog:

  • We are undertaking a thorough audit around the world to ensure we apply best practice guidelines to every program in every market and specialty area.
  • We are requiring that all employees attend an Edelman University class on ethics in social media, hosted by members of me2revolution team as well as external experts. This will take place before the end of next week
  • We are establishing a 24/7 hotline so our me2revolution team can review, provide counsel and apply best practice guidelines on social media programs before their implementation. This ensures that programs adhere to the WOMMA guidelines or best-in-class standards around the world.
  • We are creating ethics materials that will be distributed to each office and all new hires.

This is just the beginning. We recognize we have further to go. You can and should be helping us. I appreciate all the invaluable feedback you have provided during this week–and we have taken action on at least of one of your comments. If there any other actions that you would advise us to consider, I would welcome them.

The question is then, is this enough?  On the surface, I’d say it’s a really good start.  Time is going to have to tell though.  I suggested in a comment on Richard’s blog that they need to tout some successes and start a blog with a client that really follows all the principles and ethos of WOMMA.  And hire some outside biz bloggers as coaches wouldn’t hurt either.

You can bet this is going to be talked about at Blog Business Summit next week!

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Will the Edelman — Wal-Mart saga ever end? Two more flogs outed

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 10/20/06

This is not a good couple weeks to be working at Edelman.  Okay, first we have the whole Walmarting across America thing and subsequent apology now, Edelman is coming clean that two more of the Wal-Mart blogs are actually flogs written by Edelman employees.  Yikes.  It turns out (shocker … not) that Working Families for Wal-Mart and PaidCritics.org are Edelman PR fronts (yeah there’s irony for you).

Well Shel applauds them for at least admitting it now (instead of being outed), B.L. wants their head, or at least their butt out of WOMMA, Mathew ponders if PR folks can really be transparent and do their job (good question).

I think this whole fiasco, debacle (anybody have some more words for this?) calls into question, as Mathew and Shel suggest, can PR and blogs actually co-exist?  I don’t think so.  At least not like this.  You just can’t have “corporate fronts” as blogs.  You want to reach out to critics?  You want to get feedback?  Then just have a regular old blog.  No, a “Wal-Mart employee blog” isn’t going to fly and we all know why.  I think a Wal-Mart exec blog might work, if they could take the heat, and I don’t think they could.

I have a good number of friends in the PR biz.  This can’t be a fun time for them.  Everyone is now questioning PR and blogs.  Every company blog or blog that seems to be arms-length is suspect.  Is disclosure enough?  Is authenticity and transparency enough?

Steve … man I’d love to do a podcast with you on this.  Just get your thoughts.  Are you game?

The MediaPost broke the story, follow more on Techmeme.

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I don’t accept Edelman’s apology for the bogus Wal-Mart Blog…

I’m still amazed at this situation. Edelman PR, one of the premier public relations agencies in the world and a company that not only hired sharp blogger Steve Rubel but prides itself on really understanding the new world of Web 2.0 and the blogosphere, screwed up royally, and no-one seems to be particularly upset.

The situation: They created the Walmarting Across America blog which pretended to be a couple of middle aged RV enthusiasts driving from Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart and blogging about their experiences, mostly with how wonderful Wal-Mart was. No surprise, the blog effort was a campaign paid for by Wal-Mart!

When it came out that it was a fake blog and that Edelman was being duplicitous and tricking people, it also became obvious that they’d violated the very code of Word of Mouth Marketing ethics they’d helped create.

The response of the blogosphere? Oh, Richard Edelman apologized, and Steve Rubel said he had nothing to do with the account or the campaign. And all is well. Or is it?

If you want to have an example of the class structure within the blogosphere, go and read how top bloggers like Debbie Weil, Neville Hobson and Robert Scoble are not just accepting Edelman’s apology, but being apologists for the company themselves. What the heck?

I don’t agree. I think that there’s a much bigger issue of ethical consistency, of leadership and of hypocrisy, and I write about it at length on my main blog: Edelman screws up with Duplicitous Wal-Mart Blog, but it’s okay?

Blog PR

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 10/8/06

Blogs are increasingly competitive sources of information for users’ time online compared to mainstream media and many marketers and public relations practitioners persist at stumbling about the blogosphere like bulls in a china shop.

Since my own blog gets about 5-10 pitches per week on average, I think I have a pretty good idea of the variety of ways blogs in general are getting pitched these days. The verdict? Not good.

The emergence of such blogs as The Bad Pitch Blog which is updated a lot more frequently and far more popular than The Good Pitch Blog goes to show that there’s simply not enough attention paid to what constitutes a good pitch. And we all know what Rick thinks about a crappy pitch.

On the topic of blog relations, you hear a lot about being careful of pitching bloggers and that you shouldn’t pitch blogs the same way as you would a print journalist. That’s true for the most part, but there are also many similarities.

To help pros and flacks alike, here are a few of my own tips on pitching blogs which may help PR practitioners resonate more with the blogging community.

  1. Be relevant. It seems so simple and obvious, yet it is the biggest mistake made when pitching bloggers. Look at the categories of the blog and look at previous blog posts. Is your pitch REALLY relevant for the blog? With a lot of the pitches we get, you can tell there’s been no attempt to look any further than the title of the blog. For example, on my own blog I get pitches about things like online advertising or creative interactive advertising campaigns ala Adrants and a quick look at the categories or previous blog posts reveals that the blog clearly does not cover advertising.
  2. Personalize. Getting an email pitch with no personal reference at all, or just a press release and no message is a sure trip to the trash folder. Even more annoying is when there is an attempt to personalize, but it’s copy/paste and the fonts are completely different between the template text being used and the “personalized” content, which often ends up not being very accurate anyway. Take the time to research the blog, make comments and get involved. Be honest about who you are in the comments and provide thoughtful insight that is of value and relevant to the blog post.
  3. Make it easy. Time and time again, I get pitches with one sentence and then the full press release copied into the email or worse, attached as a MS Word doc. This can be very annoying and shows there has been very little effort made. Most bloggers don’t write 600 word stories in response to a press release. They are far more prone to link to a press release. So provide a summary of the release in the email, and a link to the full version of the press release hosted elsewhere. Some bloggers might just copy and paste your summary, add some commentary and a link to the full release you’ve provided. Remember, popular bloggers are very busy. Make it easy for them to blog your story.
  4. Schwag is good. I’ll admit it. I don’t mind getting books sent to me to review. In almost all cases I will at least mention the book in a post if it’s relevant to the topics we cover. I know one thing is for sure, if a search engine or company sent us schwag, we would absolutely post a photo of it along with some honest commentary. Does it suck or is it cool? People want to know!
  5. Be persistent. Don’t be offended or give up if a blogger doesn’t take your story the first time. Be courteous and smart about repeat attempts though. Watch to see if they really do pick up on your story before sending another pitch. Of course, this is not a problem if you actually read their blog.

Here are a number of additional resources on blogger relations and pitching bloggers:

In case you’ll be attending the DMA06 conference in San Francisco later this month, be sure to check out the session on Blogs, RSS and Podcasting with Dr. Amanda Watlington, BBC co-contributor Stephan Spencer and myself where I will be presenting on using blogs for public relations.

Blogging For CIOs A Cautionary Tale

Posted by: of One By One Media on 09/13/06

Niall Cook yesterday posted about CIOs and their thoughts about corporate blogs in an article by Andy McCue at Silicon.com.  He and I both agree that perhaps CIOs are a little paranoid when referring to blogs, but in their defense, it is scary for companies to try something new.  Many businesses don’t want to be the leader in new and different ways of corporate communication.  They like to be copycat for the things that work.  Until companies begin to embrace blogs as an online marketing tool and a way to communicate with clients and customers, they will tread lightly, making sure that the water is warm before jumping in the pool.  The best example of the fear is exemplified in the comment by Rob Wharton, CIO of Colt Telecoms:

“Blogs are popular because they tend to represent personal opinions and personality rather than corporate messages. Therefore we need to take a great deal of care to ensure appropriate use so we don’t devalue the blog concept, whilst avoiding mayhem in what essentially needs to be a controlled message.”

The first part of the comment is spot on, that blogging is a personality of your company and what it represents, and that can be a frightful thought.  What Mr. Wharton needs to realize is consumers and customers want to see that personality and they don’t want the corporate speak of the controlled message.  The “mayhem” he discusses can be controlled if the personality is proper.  Until they see it in action blogs are still the boogey man of corporate communication.

A Blog Conversation

Posted by: of One By One Media on 09/12/06

An interesting development transpired here at BBC, a blog conversation broke out.  BBC contributor Stephan Spencer’s post PR Firms Comment Spamming? began a small conversation with the VP of Connors Communications.  Stephan had assumed a comment left on his blog about the long tail was a PR firm touting the latest client’s software program.  Although Stephan was mistaken in his assumption, through the use of blog mining or RSS (now I’m assuming), Mike Levin the person that left the comment, was able to correct his mistake.  In fact Mike was touting the application he had developed for Connors Communications. 

An open conversation was the result, and although Stephan and Mike may disagree on the use of comments on a blog, it is clear that their exchange was civil, and exactly what companies can use a blog to develop, an open commuincation with their customer or clients. 

Sorry Mike, now it’s my turn to provide some feedback.  After going to the Connors website, I wanted to rush to read your blog since you had indicated you were a passionate blogger in your comment.  I looked far and wide and could not seem to locate that blog.  On a whim I decided to check out the hard to find navigational site map link and searched a long time again before I found the link to your company blog.  You are correct by stating in the comments here:

I read many blogs, and sometimes I am compelled to leave comments, just as comments on our blog are welcome. I think if you read a few of my blog posts, you will find me to be sincere and on the level.

I read a few of your blog posts and you are definitely on the level and sincere.  The problem or at least what made it difficult was the navigation to your blog.  If you don’t make it easy to access those blog posts people may never get to find your wisdom.  A simple “Read Our Weblog” button or link in the top left with the rest of the navigation would prove to be beneficial to you and Connors Communications.

Great job gentleman and lets keep up the blogging conversation.

Richard Edelman might get the blogosphere … but PRWeek doesn’t.

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 05/24/06

One of the great things about this blog is that Rick gets pitched by lots of people and we tend to get some good scoops. Dave Frankland zapped this nice tidbit over to Rick today about Richard Edelman’s keynote at Syndicate 2006. Here’s the really interesting thing … the link to the PRWeek story yielded this:

Edelman keynote at Syndicate touches upon industry changes
NEW YORK: Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, facing an audience at the 2006 Syndicate Conference in New York City that has traditionally been hostile to PR professionals, launched into a discussion of how blogs and other new media are changing the business.

From the PRWeek website … that’s all folks.

Oh man. Man oh man. Edelman, I think, gets the blogosphere, but PRWeek doesn’t. Check out his own blog post on his keynote. He also links to David Weinberger’s live blogging of the keynote (I love live conference blogging … it’s fun, it’s exciting, and it helps get the great messages and quotable quotes out there as soon as the speaker has said them), which I have yet to pour over … but I am looking forward to reading asap.

In Richard Edelman’s post and the snippets I read in the PRWeek article (because Dave forwarded it to Rick), it’s clear the PR folks have to change tactics to adapt to the new communications and media realities. I’m not saying that bloggers are all powerful, what I’m saying is that bloggers can get a message out fast. That message can be good or bad. Things like PRWeek (and other publications) blocking off content behind the walled garden of subscribers only, yeah that doesn’t fly. It especially doesn’t fly when the article blocked is about a luminary of PR talking about how PR professionals have to adapt to the new blogosphere reality. Sheesh. I hope they open this article up to the world, because Edelman really says great stuff.

Let’s take how he described, and apologized for, Robert Scoble’s recent experience with PR people:

Microsoft employee and blogger Robert Scoble, who was scheduled to interview Edelman for the keynote, has experienced a family emergency, which he wrote about on his blog. Despite broadcasting his tragedy, he noted in a follow-up post that he was still receiving PR pitches since he wrote about his family’s situation.

Scoble could not attend, but, sent a question asking why PR people, who presumably value his opinion enough to have read his blog, were still sending him product pitches while he was facing tragedy.

“On behalf the PR field, I apologize to Robert for the misbehavior and tell you that there is a better way,” Edelman said.

[snip]

“A lot of PR people regard blogs as another form of the mainstream media to be pitched,” Edelman said. “Our methodology has traditionally been to throw out 1,000 flowers and one might bloom. That’s not the way to interact with the blogosphere.”

That’s good, that’s smart. Robert, though, really hits the nail on the head:

But, in today’s world of search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Technorati, Feedster, and others, it just isn’t good to be clued out. —Scoble

Edelman also “gets” how blogger love to get sneak peaks at stuff … oh do we love it.

“Our great triumphs are persuading clients to show beta versions of products to bloggers months in advance of actual product launch,” Edelman said. “By the time we started talking to the MSM [mainstream media], we had some momentum.”

That’s totally it. I’ve been apart of a few beta tests recently (Ether for example) where after the beta period (and bloggers are among the testers), we were asked for our feedback and if we wished to be included in press materials. Smart, very smart. Hey, we’re interested in your opinion and would you like to be included in stuff to get you some attention. Hmm, umm, yes!

Richard Edelman knows that the PR world is changing. PR folks can’t just spin and massage the message any more. They have to deal with citizen journalists, bloggers, and just plain everyone. It’s going to take a while before blogger stop getting e-mail pitches out of the blue, but here’s to hoping.

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Major Hotel Group Launches TheLobby.com

Posted by: of Thinking Home Business on 04/18/06

Preparing a workshop on blogging for people in the meetings and events industry, I went googling for hotel blogs. I found plenty of blog posts about hotel experiences, but not hotel corporate blogs, with one exception, the new blog launched by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, TheLobby.com, which is claimed to be the first blog launched by a major hotel company.

Graphically attractive in a fairly understated way, the blog is apparently aimed at ‘Starwood Preferred Guests’ (SPGs), although there is no sign of any section reserved exclusively for that group (not that that would need to be evident to a casual visitor).

Several posts are not much more than chatty plugs for one or other hotel in the Starwood group, which I’m sure could be helpful if, for instance, you were planning a trip to Tirana, the capital of Albania and needed to know which of the two international hotels to stay at if you want wireless internet (it’s the Sheraton) – see post of April 18, and see below why this is not hyperlinked.

The blog is evidently written by a group of travel writers – Marc S., Mark (Editor), Thomas C., Nick L. and Philip S. It seems odd, and frankly I found it irritating, that we are provided with no more identification than first names and some last name initials, especially the lastname initial bit – is there a ‘guess the travel writer’ test here for the designated SPG readership?

Although the April 13 item from which I picked up this story in iMedia Connection  (acknowledging the Wall Street Journal) says there is no provision for commenting, there is in fact a comments function and some posts already have comments. A scan of the disclaimer/warning that sits above the commenting screen suggests that the lawyers have been busy. It’s the most daunting piece of work I’ve seen on a blog comments page to date.

I could not find a permalink function. In what presents as a more traditional website fashion, you can search for archived posts on categories of brand, category (type of hotel), city, or country.

There is a pretty unobtrusive feedback link in the dark gray background area on the right side of the screen. When clicked, this produces a pop-up with a detailed questionnaire that I suspect only dedicated survey-takers will want to stay and complete.

From where I’m viewing it, TheLobby.com is basically a pr blog or even an adverblog, designed to cater to the already converted guests of this group of hotels – and it’s not suggested the publishers are offering anything else, although if the writers were given some more latitude it could no doubt turn into a travel blog with a potentially wider appeal. Calling it a ‘corporate blog’ as iMedia Connection has done, in spite of the fact that the blog doesn’t really speak for the Starwood group as a corporation, raises the question of just what constitutes, or should be recognized as, a corporate blog.

PR Pornographers: Rellatio

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 04/4/06
Rellatio - PR agency founded by porn stars

I did PR for a year, so I mean it in the nicest possible way when I say that, yes, at a certain level it’s a profession of whores. (Really…the nicest possible way. I mean, I’m now in advertising for crying out loud, so I’m certainly not judging!)

To that end, you have to love the literalism of Rellatio: a PR firm founded by ex-porn stars. Naturally, they have a (brand new) blog.

UPDATE:
The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking this is probably a hoax, yet another faux blog. What made me think initially it wasn’t is that the first blog post is dated today, not April 1. But still, it just seems too good to be true. Please let me know if it turns out to be a send-up.

More on the new Google China Blog and what it means in relation to Google’s cooperating with the Chinese government to censor search results

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 02/18/06

I’m quoted in today’s San Jose Mercury News in an article about the new Google China blog: “Google launches China blog a day before China hearing.” The reporter, Elise Ackerman, has just been assigned full-time to “Google” as a beat which she was really excited about. She phoned me late yesterday for an interview. Could hear her madly typing as we spoke, as she was on deadline. The story got a “weird edit” at the last minute, Elise said in an email this morning.

As in a, um, run-on sentence:

“Debbie Weil, author of the forthcoming “The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right,” said the idea [of the blog] was sound, but did not bring up the questions Google faced about its dealings with China overshadowed what would otherwise be a chirpy corporate branding effort.

[Update: the run-on has been fixed.]

The point of the article is the rather odd timing of the launch of Google’s chirpy China blog one day before the contentious hearings in the House this week.

BTW, I agreed with Joe Nocera’s provocative column in yesterday’s New York Times about the hearings: Enough Shame to Go Around on China. His point…

Continue reading

Should you count “number of comments” as part of your blogging currency?

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 02/16/06

Yes and no. Many blog entries just don’t elicit a response, even if it’s a popular or well-read blog. But sometimes a blog entry hits a nerve and it’s like uncorking a geyser.

That’s what’s happening today over on Steve Rubel’s Micro Persuasion blog where he’s announced that he’s moving to Edelman as a Senior VP. 42 comments and counting (“hey, congrats!” and “you da man!”) as of 2:48 PM Eastern. Hey, Steve, what’s the most comments you’ve ever gotten on one of your blog posts? We’d love to hear.

Micro Persuasion is #72 on Technorati’s Top 100 blog list.

Steve Rubel Jumps to Edelman

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 02/16/06

Steve Rubel has made the big leap from CooperKatz to public relations giant Edelman:

“After five years at CooperKatz, I felt it was time for me to take the next step in my evolution. So I am excited to announce that I will be joining Rick Murray’s team at Edelman (the world’s largest independent PR firm) on February 27 as a Senior Vice President. I will be working out of their New York office.”

He humbly says he’ll be doing pretty much the same thing, just a bigger organization. One big question is, what happens to Micropersuasion? Apparently CooperKatz will rename their blog practice to Cogence and Edelman will not use the Micropersuasion name in any of their service offerings. Steve will be able to continue using the micropersuasion.com domain name. Further details can be found on the Micropersuasion blog.

Congratulations Steve!

TheFirehouse Blog – Chrysler’s Side of the Story

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 10/16/05

Ed Garsten, editorial director of DaimlerChrysler’s media-only blog - TheFirehouse.biz provided an interview to me as part of Diva Marketing’s Biz Blog Profile Series.
Ed explained the strategy and gave his views about blogging and the
impact of the internet. Our interview is one of only two that Ed has
given about Firehouse.biz. The other was with Debbie Weil.

For those who might have missed the the story, recently TheFirehouse.biz blog created some buzz in the blogosphere when word got out that it was open only to the media. Industry analysts have since been invited.

What did this Fortune 100 company do?  They took it in stride and
never proactively participated in the conversation. It seemed odd to me
that they didn’t tell their own story. However, from their research,
they knew the blog was being embraced by their target readers who were "grateful for the opportunity to communicate in a closed environment." As Ed said, "Does Ski Magazine care about what non skiers think about it?"

"Blogging is still an evolving medium that different constituencies
will begin to use in ways that make sense to them. We’re not about
exclusivity or secrecy. We’re about communicating with a certain subset
of people and aiming our content toward them with ‘Firehouse.’ " Ed Garsten

So the what if the some pundits of the blogopshere are tied up in
knots about a closed community blog. Althought barely a month old, it
was launched September 12th, the company views TheFirehouse.biz as a
success. It has become an important media relationship strategy.
According to Ed, DaimlerChrysler considers the blog  "…another means
of
spreading our message
while affording reporters an opportunity to post their feedback on
issues, events, products, etc."

One thing for sure Ed gets it when he says, "We’re involved in the most explosive form of communication to
come along in at least a decade and there’s no reason its growth and
potential should be reined in by artificial limits. It’s called
progress."

Yeah, the Chrysler Media Group made a few blunders in the launch;
however, for the most part, their strategy was well thought out and
researched. They understood what their target audience wanted and
delivered it. Sure there are growing pains, but it’s a new medium and
we’re all still learning. Heck…we can’t even agree on how to define a business blog!

GoDaddy’s CEO Explains How NFL and Fox Nixed Second Super Bowl Ad

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/8/05

Bob Parsons, CEO of bargain domain registrar GoDaddy, has been blogging for a few months. In this post, he tells his company’s side of the story for why the NFL and Fox chickened out at the last minute from airing the second of its racy ads during the Super Bowl.

ClickZ: MWW Debuts Blog Marketing Practice

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 01/5/05

Blog consulting has apparently gone big-time. ClickZ reports:

Interpublic-owned PR firm MWW Group today launched a Web log marketing practice. Blog 360 will advise clients on strategies to create, participate in, monitor, and advertise in blogs.

"We’ve formed a specialty practice area around blogs, but we really believe they are an important part of any communications plan," said Alissa Blate, MWW Group’s EVP and director of consumer marketing.

Blog 360 will be a component of MWW’s Marketing-360 approach, which supports brands through multiple audience contact points. Depending on a client’s needs, MWW’s plan might include creating a CEO blog for reputation and branding benefits, or a tech blog for information, Blate said. Blog monitoring will likely be a part of any plan, she added.

Ironically, I can’t find anything about it on MWW’s own site, which like so many agency sites is all in Flash and hence very hard to navigate. I can’t even find anything about their "Marketing-360 approach" referred to in the story. Dare I suggest, their site could use a <cough> blog </cough>?

ClickZ: MWW Debuts Blog Marketing Practice

 

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