says that MySpace
, the popular social networking site, announced
plans to launch MySpace News
, a sort of combination between Google News
The new service will search the Internet for news stories and then allow users to rate them, giving PR pros a better sense of what news is resounding with readers. MySpace News will have 25 topics and more than 300 subcategories from celebs to finance. So far the site isnt getting too many rave reviews
so it will be interesting to see what impact this has on Google News and Digg.com, if any.
I am a Hokie
- a 2006 alumnus.
Im also an account coordinator and, I was doing a little market reading yesterday and saw a piece on InformationWeek
titled Beware Online Scams About Virginia Tech Tragedy.
The piece from Sharon Gaudin warned readers to be watchful for phishing scams and malware attacks that take advantage of this week's tragedy at Virginia Tech
and struck a nerve in me as proud PR practitioner.
As PR professionals, we have an ethical obligation not to take advantage of tragedy to promote our clients products and services. Though there may be a time and a place to discuss how technology can be used to protect campuses and students, we would never want to be seen as opportunistic or inappropriate. SpeakerBox has clients that have been asked to comment on the Virginia Tech massacre, but tragedies are never
the focus of our pitches.
Yes, I am a Hokie. And yes, I am a relatively new PR professional.
But, I am also an American. One who believes we must respect the lives of those lost and console our family and friends who are still, rightfully, grieving.
Here is my request, please refrain from sending product or other pitches that exploit this or any other tragedy. Our communication efforts need to be about building community, not compounding already devastating events.
Heres examples of what not to do The Bad Pitch Blog
Here is an example of what to do The News & Observer
(Kudos to Saf-T-Net
President Robert Bruce - Everybody wants to make money, but you have to have a social conscience.)
A good friend and former colleague at the Collegiate Times
, Adam Abramson, said it best in his Campus Confidential blog
yesterday. He truly put into words how every Hokie feels. He wrote:
"It truly warms my heart to see Americas colleges take up arms with us and become Hokies. Just two hours down the road, the long-rivaled Cavaliers of Virginia have given Blacksburg one collective bear hug and arent letting go. Its something Ill never forget. I saw men and women holding up signs at sporting events all around the nation supporting the Virginia Tech community. I saw members of the Washington Nationals don Virginia Tech hats. Ive seen students from countless colleges holding vigils and keeping Blacksburg in their thoughts. Wow.
"Im reminded of the network America instantly formed on September 11, 2001. The human race is a phenomenal thing."
Remember, this is not a time to promote individuals and companies. It is a time to gather together in hope. Yes, this is a somber time; but, it is also a time to join together to celebrate the lives of those lost.
Adam again said it best, God Bless the Hokies. And when I say Hokies, Im including you.
Yesterday I heard a compelling speaker talk to a Vistage
group I've belonged to for 7 years (a CEO leadership development organization) who spoke about online communications and the considerations for CEOs. The subject matter was right on, and compelling for CEOs to consider when developing their own online strategies. That wasn't what struck me, however. What was interesting is how this group of successful CEOs with businesses ranging from $2M to $200M still struggled with whether or not communicating to their audiences via social media, blogs and the like, made sense.
The speaker was right to instill in us that like it or not, we are a part of many online "spheres" and thus, have a responsibility to blog, participate, monitor and respond. That being said, knowing what I know about many of these CEOs and their businesses, I couldn't help but think that this wasn't the right time, the right venue, or the right level or priority for many of them. Couple this with the remarks made in Strumpette's interview in Geoff Livingston's Buzz Bin
speculating that the blog bubble has burst, and it raises eyebrows.
The speaker, Cheryl Contee
, a respected communications blogging specialist herself, referenced the Gartner Hype Cycle
, reflecting the adoption path of many new ideas and innovations. My takeaway was that while many might argue that as an online community we are past the "Trough of Disillusionment," there are many who haven't even considered the hype as real. Throughout the discussion, there was frustration, anger, and some fear: How will I ever keep up? How can I make time? Will my customers even care? How do I fit this into my day and keep it authentic? Am I entering online conversations because it will help me grow my business, or because I don't want to be the last one to the party?
Kinda felt like the need to have that stupid pet rock as a kid. No one else understood how I just didn't want to be the only one without one
Are we in, or out? Are we really into the "Slope of Enlightenment? Are we past the slope, as the speaker suggested? I looked around the room and thought that perhaps half of the CEOs in attendance could and should
participate in online communities, via a blog or by offering perspective in their worlds. Frankly, the others should stay put and not sweat it. The ROI isn't there. In my industry, it's a part of life. but is that the case for a commercial builder with a loyal, niche audience? Sure, it can't hurt, but with everything a CEO thinks about, should this be high on his or her list?
It will be interesting to see if the same CEOs that I
think would benefit from the experience are the same ones to take advantage of it. And if it makes a difference.
- Elizabeth Shea
Weve been talking a lot here at SpeakerBox lately about the importance of analysts and the best ways to run a successful analyst relations
program. To that end, SpeakerBox is hosting an event on analyst relations next Tuesday, April 24 from 7:30 9:30 am at the Tower Club
in beautiful Tysons Corner, VA.
Yes, this is a shameful plug for our own event but I promise its worth it! The event features several analysts and marketing professionals sharing tips and best practices to get the most our of your analyst program. You can get more info and register for the event on this very website
As you're likely aware, last month SpeakerBox underwent a significant transition -- a corporate rebrand
. It was quite an undertaking and involved every member of our team on some level. Since we were all so involved in the process, the positive reactions we've received from clients, colleagues and the greater business community
have meant so much. (My personal favorite reaction came from my husband he says the name SpeakerBox is very zeitgeist.)
In the month since our rebrand, my inbox has been flooded with news from other members of our community going through similar circumstances. In addition to two potential clients in various stages of rebranding, here is a bit of information on two recent announcements that came from within our community.
SpeakerBox has used media company Bacons Information
I mean Cision
as an internal research tool for a few years. The companys rebrand news has been thus far well-received by the industry media
Our client Vovici
(voh-VEE-see) announced a rebrand earlier this month as a result of a merger of two market leading companies (WebSurveyor and Perseus Development) in 2006. The company worked with Erickson Barnett
to create a new name, tag line and visual identity with a lot of meaning
. After announcing
the rebranded Vovici earlier this month, buzz is already building in the media
-Erin S. West
The Greater Washington Initiative
released a one-of-a-kind study
on this region and the presence of knowledge workers, indicating that the greater Washington, DC area boasts some reputable, indisputable facts about the growth, the caliber of talent in this area, and closer to home, the prevalence of IT workers and technology companies.
The Washington Post subsequently covered the trend and the research touting the heading, " Not Just a Government Town
" which validates the argument we've been passionate about communicating: technology and innovation thrive in this area, and it's not just from government-mandated programs, certifications, and IT adoption. The numbers are presented in multiple ways, and in some cases, can be staggering. What does it all mean? A respected colleague of mine, Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications, talks in his blog
about what all this data means and what it means for us. The theory, which is validated in the report, is that there are more knowledge workers here than in Silicon Valley, and three times as the national average. In practice, we continue to find a shortage of talent that plagues us in recruiting: find us a talented communicator that ALSO brings experience and knowledge in technology, and we've hit a home run!
What's encouraging about the report is that it brings to light the fact that the Washington region is not an also-ran, but rather, will hold its own as a major market for technology, communications, and overall, smart people. Cary Hatch of MDB Communications
evangelizes that this area possesses the capability to compete with other major media centers, and she has adopted this stance as her personal mission. Kudos to her for demonstrating that we can compete for talent, creative accounts and the like, without being tied to government initiatives.
Don't get me wrong, the federal government is the largest purchasing power in the world, and thus, a ripe technology market exists to help Washington sustain the rises and falls of the market in other parts of the country. It helps to normalize this region, which is encouraging to recruits from around the country.
I applaud the Greater Washington Initiative for its aggressive research and fascinating summaries. You've provided a much-needed validation for this area and its reputation of what we bring to the rest of the world.
We stand on the "speakerbox" together!
- Elizabeth Shea