One True Sentence has moved!

This post is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure y’all know that my blog has moved here. I still have daily DR. WHAW? posts and will be bringing new insights and thoughts throughout the week, but I will no longer be posting them here.

I hope you’ll join me over at!

February 16, 2010 at 12:29 PM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – February 8, 2010

Hey everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the Super Bowl Holiday.  I was stuck in meetings all day today, so it was a relief to sit down tonight and catch up on some reading.  Here’s what I enjoyed when I got a break tonight, what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work:

DR. WHAW? – February 8, 2010

  1. Beware of Vanity Metrics — This excerpt from Eric Ries’ new post on Harvard Business Review is an important read for anyone who ever touches metrics.  It’s so easy to get caught up in positive numbers and not pay attention to the fact if these numbers, even though they’re positive, are really the ones you should be watching.  A classic case that I always see is when people brag about great Click Through Rates (CTRs).  While in some campaigns, this can be a valuable metric, the much more important number is the Conversion Rate.  How many of those clicks actually turned into a conversion, whatever that conversion may be.  If you’re not turning your Clicks into Conversions, then a high CTR just means your spending much more than you need to be.  Love Eric’s three A’s of metrics: actionable, accessible, and auditable.
  2. Google Set to Make Gmail Social — I know that this one is one from of the “big guys” (Mashable), however, it’s too important to not include.  Gmail is about to roll in social updates.  As the Mashable title says, this is HUGE.  It makes Gmail infinitely more sticky and turns the Google product into an even more complete hub for online activity.  The article raises some good questions about whether Facebook and Twitter will be initially included?  Also, I know that the majority of the folks in my Gmail chat list are clients that I email with, I don’t necessarily want them to see pictures from Friday night that my friends’ tag — what kind of privacy settings will be enabled?  If Google takes it too far, they may actually lose users. Look forward to seeing this rolled out and how it will really function.
  3. For the life between buildings – some notes on the iPad — I was unfamiliar with this blog, City of Sound, but I’m definitely going to subscribe.  Before you click over to this post, let me say that it’s very long…unnecessarily long.  However, the first quarter is really great and that’s what I recommend you read.  I know it seems silly to include a post that only has 25% of solid stuff, but that’s just how *solid* that 25% actually is.  The post is relating the iPad to architecture and urban planning, two favorite topics of mine, and making the argument that it’s the perfect device for “in-between places”: cafes, meeting rooms, bars, planes, cabs, etc.  In other words, it’s the ideal device for cities.  The argument is a cool one and I’ve never seen one made for software in this manner, so I definitely recommend you check it out!
  4. Telling Stories With Interfaces — I eschewed the urge to put a typical “Super Bowl Sunday Ad Recap” post in this list, however, this post is inspired by one of the ads.  Perhaps my favorite from the night — Google’s Parisian Love.  It was such a great, simple, and touching ad.  Anyway, Robin writes about how this ad is typical of an entire genre, Telling Stories With Interfaces.  She shares some of her favorite other “ads” that do the same.  It’s a really cool genre and got me thinking about how we could maybe employ this technique at my business.  If for nothing else, visit this one to watch some other really cool stories.
  5. PR Ethical Dilemmas of Ghost Commenting — For as many opportunities bore by social media, there are just as many “traps.”  Many companies out there think they can game the system or pay someone to worry about the “problem” for them.  Todd Defren runs an impressive agency, SHIFT, and has had a series of interesting posts talking through different social media/pr ethical dilemmas.  This one gets into ghost commenting and whether an agency should comment on behalf of their clients.  Todd takes two stances in the post and I agree 100% with him on both.  Check it out and see what you think.
  6. Big Think Interview with Jason Fried — OK, I know that the “R” in DR WHAW stands for “Read,” but I had to throw this video in here.  Maybe listen to it in the background while you read one of the other posts.  This is a good 30 minute interview with Jason Fried, founder of 37signals.  Jason’s signature “thing” is to be blunt and very opinionated.  He rarely disappoints, and that holds true in this interview.  However, there’s no denying that he has been uber successful and is an extremely smart designer, entrepreneur, and person.  Check out this interview and try to gleam some good advice for your business or your clients’.
Well, those are my DR WHAW.  I know I’m one short, but I’ve been swamped all day, and it’s the day after the Super Bowl, so can I just claim I’m hungover?  Hope you enjoy them, let me know what you think!

February 8, 2010 at 8:37 PM Leave a comment

In a measurement state of mind

Last week marked the first #measurepr Twitter chat, hosted by Shonali Burke and Katie Paine, two measurement gurus. I highly recommend looking out for the next chat because there were a lot of good ideas and thoughts, and you should read the chat transcript here.

During the chat, Shonali made a comment that really struck me. We were talking about measurement in public relations and how to improve our efforts. And Shonali had this to say:

“I think you have to get into a “measurement state of mind.” Always questioning.”

I could never have said this better myself. When you’re trying to start measuring in PR or otherwise, it’s important to fully immerse yourself and get into a measurement state of mind.

While I don’t want to be extreme and insist that you measure absolutely everything you do, I think it’s important to view everything you do with an analytical eye. As you begin each new campaign or program, one big focus should be not only what your goals are, but how you will measure those goals.

Measurement along the way and at the end are both equally important, and that’s why you should always be questioning. It should never been something you do at one stage in the process, measurement should be on your mind all the time.

This is something I find myself doing, almost to a fault. I know I must sound like a broken record when every time a new technology or tool emerges, my first thought is: and how will we measure that?

Whether or not it’s something that falls under your particular job description, I encourage you all to think about how you can incorporate measurement into your work every single day. As public relations continues to evolve, there will be a constant struggle to prove its worth, and not just to our own bosses anymore.

How will you show your value to your company, to your department? In what ways could you integrate measurement into your current daily routine?

February 8, 2010 at 8:47 AM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – Week-ending February 7, 2010

Hello y’all! I am so thrilled with the first week of DR. WHAW? contributors! I hope that y’all appreciate having this daily feature as an actual daily feature (I know, I was falling down on the job before), and I’m so excited to keep bringing you what we Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!). Without further ado, here’s this week’s digest.

DR. WHAW? – Week-ending February 7, 2010

1. Notes From a Conversation With Y Combinator’s Paul Graham by Om Malik — Paul Graham is an accomplished entrepreneur, essayist, and venture capitalist (through his Y Combinator program).  I always enjoy reading things he writes and watching interviews with him.  I thought these notes were kind of the Paul Graham CliffsNotes, as it gives a nice, quick 30,000 view of his overall philosophies on entrepreneurship.  If you enjoy this, I definitely recommend you delve into some of his writing on his site.

2. Is Real-Time Search Good for Businesses? by Michael Brito – This article discusses the impact real-time search results will have on your business – timeliness. You/your clients have to be ready to respond! Also see the post from ZDNet’s Jennifer Leggio: Google real-time search + Twitter = a wake-up call for brands.

3. The Taboo (But Critical) Community Skill by Amber Naslund – While social media is about community and building relationships, we need to keep in mind that it’s also about sales. I’ve been asked before about providing ROI for the activities we suggest to our clients. They want to know that they’ll be getting something ($$) out of the time they’re investing. Be sure to read the comments as well for additional nuggets of info!

4. How Is PR Changing? by Jeremy Porter – Everything changes, we know that. Porter makes a good point: PR itself isn’t really changing; however, our audience now has a voice. We also need to think about technology and its impact, new skills we need to possess to stay marketable in the workforce and different ways to effectively measure results.

5. Facebook Develops Conversation Tracking Tool: What’s A Fan Worth? by Laurie Sullivan — Facebook has developed a tool that will allow users and companies to track conversations on the social network. I was excited to hear about this because other tracking tools do not always track Facebook posts quite well. I wonder if it’s useful or how it compares, has anyone had a chance to try it?

6. Google Analytics Releases Mobile Search Tracking by Paul Teitelman — I am so pumped to see this! I was just wondering a few weeks ago how to measure the new mobile craze. Can someone please try this out? Tell me how it is? While this doesn’t measure all aspects of mobile that I would like to explore, it is definitely a start.

7. Do the Old Timing Rules Still Apply for Media Relations? by Dave Fleet — I read MarketingProf’s Daily Fix quite often. I love its practical, straight-forward advice for how to do communications well. In this post Dave Fleet asserts that the old rules for when you should pitch to journalists are outdated.

What a great first week, y’all! I can’t wait to bring you more, and I can’t wait for you to better get to know the three new DR. WHAW rockstars!

February 7, 2010 at 8:51 PM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – February 5, 2010

Happy weekend!  I hope your weeks went well and that our reading material helped out a little.

I realized that unlike the other DR WHAW? contributors, I didn’t really introduce myself.  My name is Clay Schossow and I run a web design and development company, New Media Campaigns, in North Carolina.  We work with all types of awesome organizations across the world and have built more than 400 websites in the past 3.5 years.  About half of our work is as the interactive partner for agencies.
OK, enough about me and now onto the good stuff!  Let’s roll into the weekend with a good stack of reading material I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!):
DR. WHAW? – February 5, 2010
1. Getting Started Publishing on Google News – If you ask me, SEOmoz is the ultimate authority on all things SEO.  Their advice is always practical and helpful.  This article does a great job of explaining how to capitalize on an extremely valuable resource: Google News.  Read through this step by step guide and learn how to get premium coverage for your writing.
2.  Bartle Bogle Implements New Management Model – It’s no secret that the recession and explosion of digital have turned just about every industry on their heads, especially the ad industry.  I’m always interested in how firms are restructuring and handling new models of business (more digital, more pay days tied to results, etc.), and this new model by BBH is really interesting.  Tying top talent to top accounts.  Makes sense to me.
3.  Zappos: Social Media Marketing Example #26 – Just about everyone knows that Zappos did a great job of serving customers, first.  Even more people know that Zappos’ strategy led to a near-billion dollar acquisition by Amazon.  And the entire universe knows that these things were mainly driven through the web and social media.  However, do you know every little detail of the company’s online history?  I can admit that I’ve cited Zappos as a case dozens of times, but I really only knew the broad strokes.  This case by Ignite Social Media delves into every possible specific you can imagine.
4. Startup Advice In Exactly Three Words – Dharmesh Shah is an incredibly brilliant guy who has started several successful companies.  His blog OnStartups is required reading for entrepreneurs in the tech-o-sphere.  He recently offered 50 pieces of solid advice in “triplets” — three words.  This one is easy to read and really makes you think about if you’re doing these things in your business.
5. 10 Ways to Build Social Media Expertise Using Personal Projects — Great, quick piece from Harvard Business Review about how practice makes perfect and how you can practice on yourself before paying clients.  I *really* like the last one about working late at night or early in the mornings so you aren’t affecting large audiences with your changes.
6. Chanel Learns to Think Like a Media Company – Cool piece from Business of Fashion (rockin’ site!) on how Chanel is playing more and more like a media company in the digital space.  From creating web videos to breaking news online, the company has really embraced the digital space.  Article shows that the strategy of inbound marketing and creating content works for even the most entrenched brands and helps them reach new audiences.
7. How to Manage Virtually – This one is pretty self-serving, but I was so pumped that I couldn’t hold it back.  Inc. featured me and my company the other day in a post about how to manage employees who work virtually.  The author articulated my points in a much more coherent manner than I ever could, so I thought I would share.
OK, it’s sushi and sake time for me, but I hope these pieces start your weekend off right!

February 5, 2010 at 7:28 PM Leave a comment

As the lines between media campaigns blur, how will you measure your success?

Recently Bravo TV announced a partnership with the geo-location social network, Foursquare. New badges will be integrated into Foursquare that match up with popular Bravo shows. My first reaction to this was: AWESOME!

My second reaction, though, was to wonder how this new kind of campaign will be measured. More and more the lines between different types of media are blurring as integrated marketing campaigns become the norm. How do you measure across media?

Even as campaigns begin to use multiple media channels, it often seems clear which channel is the most important and which are just sidekicks. In the case of Foursquare and Bravo, however, it isn’t clear which channel is being favored. Will one benefit more in the end? How will you compare metrics?

Different media require different metrics, right? But when you begin to mix and match media, which metrics have the most meaning? I really don’t have any experience with this, and I am curious to hear what y’all think.

I would guess that you would want to use different metrics for each media channel that you use in a given campaign, but I am unsure how you would compare different metrics. If you’re focusing on Web site clicks and TV commercial views, do they have equal value? Does one have more value to you? Why?

These are just a few questions I’ve been thinking about since I started thinking about integrated marketing campaigns, and I would love to hear your feedback and experiences in this area.

February 5, 2010 at 8:37 AM 6 comments

DR. WHAW? – February 4, 2010

Hello, there. I’m grateful to Rebecca for letting me participate in this great DR. WHAW tradition. And I must say that I feel an awful lot of pressure coming off of three great DR. WHAW posts by Clay, Melissa and Rebecca so far this week.

I do a variety of things, from consulting on social media and marketing for businesses and nonprofits to managing the Save the Cups community, so likewise you’ll probably see me point you to a variety of things in this space. But in general the things I read tend to focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, public relations, tech and social media.

Oh, and I’m also a new dad, so maybe I’ll spice things up every once in a while with parenting advice.

So without further ado, here are the things I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!):

  1. Paying the Price for Truth (Jamie Notter) Fascinating read about the power of truth, and where it should come from. Should it come from the top down? Or should employees at the bottom demand it? Whose responsibility is it?
  2. Do the Old Timing Rules Still Apply for Media Relations? (Dave Fleet) I read MarketingProf’s Daily Fix quite often. I love its practical, straight-forward advice for how to do communications well. In this post Dave Fleet asserts that the old rules for when you should pitch to journalists are outdated.
  3. Mastering the Art of Client Relations (Freelance Folder) I love client relations being portrayed as an art form. Because those who treat it as such are better at it. In this article those who approach client relations as a chore are contrasted with those who really go the extra mile for their clients.
  4. Facebook Could Eat the Web (Steve Rubel) Leave it to Steve Rubel to portray Facebook as a monster that should have starred in Where the Wild Things Are. There’s no denying the reach of Facebook these days, and here Steve makes it clear just how pervasive that reach is becoming.
  5. The PR Schism: Divided We Fail (Katie Paine) Katie names all the arguments we’ve heard over the past few years (trust me, you’ve heard them), and then asserts that it’s time to move past division for the sake of the industry. (Hear, hear!)
  6. How to Write a Blog That Matters (Justin Kownacki) Justin, whose snark and insight I am constantly a fan of, goes through great lengths to tell you why your blog probably sucks, and what you should do about it.
  7. Sometimes It’s Better to Brainstorm Alone (Andrew O’Connell) Since Rebecca recently raised the question of brainstorming versus crowdsourcing, it seems timely that this post from the Harvard Business Review blog should assert that sometimes its better to go it alone completely. What do you think?

There’s great stuff here. As I would say over on my blog, time to go forth and learn!

February 4, 2010 at 8:07 PM Leave a comment

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