Monday, May 11, 2009

Swine Flu Spin

Sometimes a news story can get out of hand. There's no telling why, it could be anything--people who believe anything they read to a bad spin on a subject thanks to some public relations professionals who still practice the dishonest, outdated, and one of the reasons PR pros have a false bad name, spinning technique. 

But for whatever reason, things can get blown out of proportion and the Swine Flu, excuse me, H1N1, is the latest victim. 

I just went to the Wall Street Journal site and saw they had added a tab titled "Flu Outbreak". I log onto Facebook and am bound to find at least 10 new status updates exclaiming their fear of the Swine Flu. The Fort Worth public school system closed schools for several days a few weeks ago. Parents are keeping their kids at home. People are walking around using hand sanitizer every few minutes. My parents called me, panicked, telling me to avoid crowds for several days. 

It's gotten a little over the top. While there definitely is a flu going around, it's not the first, and certainly not the last. I like Bret Stephen's take on the whole ordeal in today's Wall Street Journal. 

Sometimes it is quite valuable, if not always, to get an unaltered point of view from someone not affected by any hysteria in the news and public. Hopefully the people who are 'spinning' the Swine Flu out of orderly control will take note of Mr. Stephen's argument. 

Until next time, 

Sloane and Chelsea

Friday, May 8, 2009

Social Media consumes InPrint once more--Book Review

I've been talking a lot about social media lately. It's not the only part of PR, but it is a huge part, and the capacity to which a PR pro understands and practices it, either makes or breaks their client's success. 

Here at Blueprint we like to stay updated on current trends--whether they're tech trends, news trends, fashion trends, blogging trends, topic trends (Swine flu immediately comes to mind for that one), and the list goes on. That's part of the job, after all, staying up to date with pretty much everything and everyone. So, last Friday I found myself at Barnes and Nobles looking at the newest fiction novels when my "maybe I should check out the marketing section and see what's new" sense switched on. Next thing I know I'm walking out with 8 books on PR and Marketing skills. 

Yes, I sometimes go overboard, especially in bookstores. But I believe in the power of the written word, be it online or in print, and these particular books jumped out at me as a way to become even more of a PR pro (If that's actually possible...). 

Either an employee at Barnes and Nobles strategically placed amazing, intelligent, extremely helpful, perfect, books on the shelves so that I would automatically look at them first, or I'm just an incredible PR-book-picker-outer. So far, the ones I've read are filled with tips, hints, ideas, theories, quotes, history, case studies, and just the right amount of humor to rock the PR pro's world. 

I'm currently in the middle of "Putting the Public Back in Public Relations" and it's the first time I'm having a hard time putting a non fictional book down to be productive. That's saying a lot. I've been highlighting up a storm, crazily writing notes, and nodding in agreement with just about everything Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge discuss. 

My point for this post: If you're looking at either getting into PR, hiring a PR pro, or simply wanting to know more about PR, this is the book that will answer your questions. I'm not divulging any of their topics or information solely on the fact that you will have incentive to go buy it. 

Happy reading and happy Friday everyone! 

Until next time, 

Sloane and Chelsea

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Practicing what I Preach

Have I mentioned that social networking is important? Just to lodge that point further into your brain I'm following my own example and have now updated Blueprint's Twitter page, and created a facebook fan page. Go ahead and boost our ego by following us. Then go create or update your own accounts! Viva Social Networking! 

And if your blog, facebook, myspace, or twitter needs a makeover -- we can design you something cool.

Until next time,

Sloane and Chelsea

Monday, May 4, 2009

Razzle Dazzling Your Website

An article in the Wall Street Journal talked about businesses taking a more interactive approach to their websites to gain more awareness, publicity, clients, and sales. 

My thinking of this idea: Viewers will probably close the box a few seconds after the video starts to get down to the real reason they visited the site, but hey, what harm can it do? 

I checked out one of the companies mentioned, Nike, to see what they had come up with on their website. 

My thinking of Nike's video: 

First few seconds- Hmmm. Seems like a pretty simple 'feel good' advertisement...nothing out of the ordinary...

Couple seconds later- Are they naked?? Can they show butts in advertisements?? 

Couple seconds later- My, how advertising has changed...

Couple seconds later- Giggling at various parts in the video

Couple seconds later- This is actually really funny...Well done, Nike, well done. 

Couple seconds later- Hey, I recognize the voice of that girl...oh! It's Kara Goucher, she coaches me on my ipod running download. Haha!

At end of video- I kind of want to go running naked now. 

Conclusion: It was a little over 2 minutes, which is LONG for an advertisement, but I watched the entire thing, giggled, thought Nike was extremely clever, and felt like buying their product at the end. Or at least browsing their shoes. In short--it worked. Check it out here

Another example: The author Jodi Picoult's website. Being an author, you would think there's not much she can do to 'show' her product besides a picture of her latest book. False. There's a trailer sneak peak of a new movie coming out in June that was created from her book My Sister's Keeper. There's a video promoting her newest book, Handle with Care, showing pictures of various things while she talks about the book and reads the first paragraph or so. 

Result? I'm on page 354 of Handle with Care

I'm not a sucker for advertisements and interactive websites. I'm just a sucker for GOOD advertisements and interactive websites. 

If you want more people coming to your website, add GOOD content. It's that easy. 

Until next time, 

Sloane and Chelsea