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App Review: Read Your News the Simple Way with Clipped.me

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Reading the headlines each day can be a chore for on-the-go users. Here’s why I recommend Clipped.me as your go-to news curator. 

Go on…App Review: Read Your News the Simple Way with Clipped.me

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How to Create Your Content Machine

Content Machine

“Whoa Jon! What’s a content machine?” Great question, voice in my head. Your content machine is how you take in content across multiple channels daily.

It’s simply a collection of all of the news, blog articles, tweets, and one-offs that are being put in front of you by way of Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Reddit.

We often don’t put much thought into our content machines and how we’re setting up channels for consumption. Most of us just go to our favorite sites and happen upon stories we find interesting.

That said, creating your content machine is essential to ensuring that the stories you happen upon are the best in your network, and setting up your channels to do this isn’t very complicated.

The first step is recognizing what your content machine already looks like.

Ask yourself, “What do I find myself reading a lot? Newspapers? Whatever randomly pops up on my Facebook?”Which bookmarks am I actually checking?”

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge what sources influence you the most. From there, you can fine-tune these channels to supplying you with great content whenever you need it.

Next, let’s go through some of the more common channels and see how we can make them work for our content machine more effectively.

1. Email. 

I put this at the top because this is the apex of my own content machine, and probably yours as well. It’s a given that your email is where most of your subscriptions funnel in, so I would recommend starring the websites you find most useful.

Or you can be more proactive and research some great news aggregation sites that will send you great links to explore every morning. I rely a lot on PRSA for example, since I am a member and receive great stories from them. (Subscribing to jonnegroni.com can’t hurt either)

2. Twitter.

Yes, there is more to Twitter than just gaining followers and playing with hashtags. Making Twitter work for your content machine is a little trickier than email, because it requires a little more work than just subscribing to great stuff.

You want your news feed to be filled with great content you can access on the go, so I recommend following the followers of your passions. I love to blog, so I follow a lot of bloggers. The payoff is that my news feed is full of great stories that are relevant to me and whoever I share them with.

If you have a cluttered feed beyond repair, remember that you can always create lists and bookmark them for daily use!

If you want to use Twitter for fun and professional networking, consider making two separate accounts.

3. LinkedIn.

Similar to Twitter, your updates feed on LinkedIn can work wonders for your content machine. Thankfully, LinkedIn is a little easier for sorting good content from sillier updates, and you can always customize what shows up in your feed.

Be sure to also join a lot of groups with like-minded people, as this will give you great updates and content to digest and share. Oh, and PLEASE check out LinkedIn Today. 

4. Google+.

I’ve spoken on this recently, but Google+ boasts a very content-rich community that is active and engaging. Because there are less active users, there are more meaningful interactions, and the service does a great job of simplifying how you get great content.

I find myself searching for what’s trending a lot on Google+, which lets you use the search bar at the top to discover great content from people you don’t follow (yet).

5. Facebook.

I say this tongue-in-cheek, but there are very useful ways to make Facebook an asset for your content machine. While I mostly prefer to use the site for recreational use (unless it’s for work), I can’t deny how Facebook’s massive network works well to deliver new content.

Okay, there are certainly many reasons why your news feed is filled with mundane information, but utilizing Facebook’s “list” function can allow you to filter posts from friends that do like to share interesting, useful content from the rest.

Conclusion.

Now, these are just some of the ways you can get to work on your content machine. Whatever network or platform you’re using, remember to always set time aside in your day to read and follow-up with as much content as you can. It’s a great habit, and it will no doubt grow your skills and awareness of whatever industry you commit to.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out New Professional News, a list of headlines essential for any new professional, updated daily at 8am.

5 Reasons Why Social Media Won’t Kill PR

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I’ve often heard it said that social media and public relations are merging and becoming synonymous. “The New PR” if you will.  I typically hear this either from college students or professionals speaking out of context.

Indeed, social media has become integral to public relations, and for the better, improved it. One-way-communication by means of the press release and press conference is no longer the norm. We’ve found it easier to create and sustain relationships with our constituents by means of effective control over social media outlets.

That’s the danger, though, isn’t it? Classic PR seems to be fading into irrelevancy these days, at least in the eyes of those who operate outside of the profession, especially those in advertising in marketing. Peers of mine have often regarded PR as a shell of what it used to be, and public relations professionals becoming social media managers rather than directors.

Sure, I’m a social media manager, so I get that point to a degree, but the concept of public relations being overwhelmed by social media is nonsense, and here are 5 reasons why.

5. Social Media Managers are not Publicists

Facilitating online communities is completely different from so many other aspects of PR, especially publicizing  Yes, publicists get a bad rep, but that doesn’t change how good they can be at their jobs. They are just as essential as agents, and you can’t maintain the image of a prominent businessman, politician, or celebrity without a publicist.

4. Social Media only Addresses Consumers (for the most part)

There are some exceptions to the above statement, but for the most part, social media is focused on the interests of consumers and the general public. Social media does little to foster the relationships an entity may have with  the government, investors, employees, and especially the press. For many PR pros, this is a “duh” moment, for they constantly fixate on more than just social communication.

3. Social Media can be Difficult to Measure

In many cases, social media is not as easy to prove effective to the powers that be. When it comes to ROI and actually driving sales, social media can be difficult to build a foundation on because it is reactionary communication. It functions in the same way that word-of-mouth does for advertisers. We create the message and pick the channels, but we can’t always see the fruits.

There are ways around this, and I’m not saying that social media is not beneficial (quite the opposite actually). I’m saying that we are not yet at a place where social media can be dissected comprehensibly on a chart, and most PR pros don’t want to take the risk of building their ROI around social media impressions alone.

2. The World is Bigger than Social Media (Right Now)

So many of us live in cities and towns, so we forget that it’s a big world out there. Even within the states, we have to constantly remind ourselves that not everyone flocks to the internet as their source of reference. People still read newspapers and respond better to billboards than sponsored stories. It’s how the world works.

In time, millennials like myself will rely on “outdated” concepts such as (who knows?) cell phones and commercials. Social Media won’t kill PR because not everyone in your audience is using social media. Simple right?

1. Good Social Media Needs Good PR

Ideally, social media is about transparency, effective communication, and relationship-building. For PR pros, that sounds pretty familiar to what is essential about PR. Social Media is more than just a tool of PR, it is a product of it. The idea of instant, transparent communication being out there for the whole world to see is working for many people because many people rely on good PR.

It’s not just about the product. It’s the image and how the image is presented. Without the fundamentals and structure of high quality public relations, social media is just another bulletin board at your local coffee shop. With the right tools, however, it can affect more than just a handful of coffee drinkers.

The two subjects need each other. Be sure to watch how social media evolves in the coming years, and we’ll see just how the profession of PR changes with it. I am confident that both have a bright future.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person.

Don’t forget to check out THE JON REPORT every day, updated at 8am for a list of today’s main headlines as selected by my editorial team (me) 

New Infographic Highlights The Strengths of Hiring Millennials

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A new infographic courtesy of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has given employers another reason to take a close look at what millennials can contribute to the workforce. As Forbes puts it, this new research data gives us a reason to shed previous stereotypes of millennials that focus on them being apathetic.

The research gives us new light into just how large the millennial demographic is, how many will be in the workforce and just how ambitious and diverse these young professionals are.

Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC

Jon Negroni is the Director of Public Relations, Promotion, and Marketing at Richter10.2 Media Group. For more information regarding Richter10.2, check out our introduction video here.

Are Soda CSR Campaigns Really Misleading?

I read a disturbing bit of news yesterday. A Policy Forum article from Washington has been released asserting that corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns by soda companies such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are misleading and don’t face enough regulation from the government in comparison to Tobacco companies.

I strongly disagree.

My main issue with this study is that it blatantly attacks CSR campaigns such as PepsiCo’s Refresh project, which has awarded grants to community causes such as park restorations, for “distracting” against how harmful their products are.

Read this: “For example, CSR campaigns that include the construction and upgrading of parks for youth who are at risk for diet-related illnesses keep the focus on physical activity, rather than on unhealthful foods and drinks. Such tactics redirect the responsibility for health outcomes from corporations onto its consumers, and externalize the negative effects of increased obesity to the public.”

Let me repeat for emphasis: “Such tactics redirect the responsibility for health outcomes from corporations onto its consumers, and externalize the negative effects of increased obesity to the public.”

My issue with this is the premise, which is that people are victims and can’t take care of themselves. We have a situation where people can’t be blamed for not having the common sense to use soda in moderation. The main point argued is that soda companies aren’t transparent enough about how harmful their beverages are, as if having the ingredients and serving sizes listed out aren’t good enough.

“The soda company made me fat. I thought I would be healthy because they give money to charity.” -Apparently people?

When it comes down to it, bad behavior is a product of ignorance. People know soda is bad for them, but they choose to drink it anyways. Why attack the soda company for using CSR campaigns to increase sales? They are trying to make a profit, sure, but that doesn’t make them  “evil” as some people seem to believe. Their product is loved by many people who do drink soda in moderation. What happens to those of us who want to enjoy a can of soda every now and then?

Yes, we should have basic education for people on what is healthy and what isn’t. People should have access to information that lets them now how to take care of their bodies. The solution is not, however, to criminalize soda for having CSR campaigns and then increase regulation as if soda is as harmful as cigarettes.

The result of increasing regulation with soda companies means several things: prices go up, soda companies disappear, jobs disappear, and people are still suffering obesity. I 100% guarantee you that if soda was abolished from the planet, obesity would not end. People are healthy because they exhibit self control and understand that too much of anything is bad for them.

These campaigns would be “misleading” if soda companies were trying to tell us that their products are good for us. Instead of lying, they actually promote campaigns that encourage people to be active in their communities and give to charity, etc.

So, our society is actually likening soda companies, as this article put it, as a “social ill” on par with Tobacco companies and should be reprimanded for trying to position themselves as being “socially acceptable” through CSR. What they’re saying is that a person is wrongfully believing that soda is good for them because a soda company gave some money to charity.

As far as I can see, this is baseless on the fact that soda companies are not in the business of controlling our behavior. They’re selling us a product.

JN

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