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Sharing inspiration

Posted: May 2, 2013 - 11:11 PM ET - by Elisabeth

It’s been busy here at Ritz Communications Worldwide HQ … exciting announcements, new business pitches and the culmination of months of pro bono work today as TEDxMidwest kicks off in Chicago.

While there are lots of fascinating things to blog about, time has been a precious commodity. So today, I thought I would share some of the bloggers who inspire me. … and I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorite bloggers.

If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, my very favorites include:

  • For great ideas on … great ideas, check out bestselling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin’s straightforward, insightful, entertaining blog; you can read it at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/.
  • Peter Bregman writes about leadership, talent and lots of other interesting topics in a personal way and an accessible voice. He – and a lot of other great writers and thought leaders – blog for Harvard Business Review at http://blogs.hbr.org/.
  • Okay, I’m not quite sure if a daily email counts, but I always stop to read updates from http://www.techlicious.com. It makes me feel a little savvier about what gadgets I just have to have and how to use them!
  • Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media, blogs for The Orbiter at http://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/. He offers a lot of useful information – and inspiration – on web marketing strategy.
  • “Yes & Know” by Nilofer Merchant focuses on culture, innovation, and strategy in the Social Era. You can read it at http://nilofermerchant.com/blog/.
  • Last, but definitely not least, the PR professional in me is a big fan of 6 a.m. (http://www.edelman.com/conversations/6-a-m/) by Richard Edelman, president & CEO of Edelman. Full of great insights and lessons, it’s inspiring and informative. His most recent blog in particular, http://www.edelman.com/p/6-a-m/the-new-look-of-public-relations-a-dissenting-view/, is a great discussion of the future of PR.

Are you ready to get engaged?

Posted: April 18, 2013 - 9:00 PM ET - by Elisabeth

Her version of “slapstick”was so entertaining and informative, our readers wanted to hear from Molly Watson again! She’s as engaging as always this week, sharing her thoughts on social media.


The goal with social media is to “engage” with your target audiences and in doing so to establish credibility, build confidence, gain exposure and enhance reputation. Yet social networking still represents a black hole for many. Writing a blog, sharing online commentary, engaging on Twitter, Pinterest and in other social communities represent what initially feels like a big risk in an unfamiliar area of communication. What should I say? What if I say the wrong thing? What if no one responds?


According to research conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project,
as of December 2012, 67% of online adults use social networking sites.


Whether we like it or not, social media is powerful and influential, and here to stay.  It is increasingly important to understand whether and how it makes sense for your business and clients.

Understanding Your Audience

Like traditional media, the first step in effective social media planning requires an understanding of your audiences, to determine what sites you use and the type of content you need to develop or re-purpose. For example, women are mostly likely using Facebook and Pinterest; African-Americans, Latinos and adults ages 18-29 are more likely to use Instagram; urban residents are more widely using Twitter.[i]

Pictures & videos as social currency

Pictures are still worth a thousand words. Sites like YouTube and Flickr have changed the accessibility of visuals, making it easy to produce original material as well as repurpose events being recorded for other use – such as speeches, lectures, athletic events and ceremonies.

On creating content

YouTube is an online video sharing service that makes it easy to share videos by linking to them or embedding them in Web sites or blogs.  Most business leaders are very comfortable speaking, so recording a few minutes of her thoughts on a topic (i.e., a current news story) can be quick and effective.

On repurposing content

A big advantage of online resources is that you can reuse – “repurpose” – your news. For example, a strategic video message can be posted on YouTube and then used to enhance messages elsewhere – for instance, the video link can be posted on your Web site, Facebook, Twitter and more). This extends the life of the story and increases the number of people it reaches. Other examples of content that can be repurposed include footage of media interviews, lectures and news articles.

While it may initially feel overwhelming to tackle the world of social media, it can be an exciting medium to tell distinctive stories and build relationships where none existed before. The New Media world is hungry for well told stories. Exploring the options and choosing what works best for you will get you engaged.

[i] http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Social-media-users/The-State-of-Social-Media-Users.aspx


It takes more than an operator to really connect these days

Posted: March 21, 2013 - 10:00 PM ET - by Elisabeth

I’ve written about this before. It intrigues – and alarms – me. I love the revolutionary impact of technology on communications – from our instantaneous access to all kinds of information to our instantaneous access to each other … but the advances are also fraught with challenges.

We are …

“Alone,” but not in “solitude.”

“Connected,” but not “together.”

“Present,” but not “in the present.”

As Sherry Turkle expresses in a captivating TED Talk, constantly sharing through tweets, posts and updates hinders our capacity for solitude and self-reflection.


Who says you’re good?

Posted: March 7, 2013 - 9:00 PM ET - by Elisabeth

“Paid,” “earned” and “owned” coverage are misnomers today. Even paid content has to earn an audience’s interest. Attracting attention relies as much on who is saying something as on what is being said. (Think about our obsession with celebrities on Twitter.) So … who is talking about you?


You first …

Posted: January 24, 2013 - 10:15 PM ET - by Elisabeth

What does it mean to make a good first impression in a day and age when” following” and “friending” have replaced a handshake. Eye contact and appearance just don’t have the same impact on line, teleconferences notwithstanding.

As you make an increasing number of introductions online, are you considering the impact of your electronic correspondence, your social media profiles and even your phone manners?

  • When you send an email, does your subject line demonstrate your ability to the point succinctly and accurately?
  • Does your grammar and spelling indicate that you pay attention to detail or care enough about what you are sending to hit “Spelling & Grammar”?
  • Do you really need to let the person you are meeting/corresponding with know whether you’re : ) or : ( ? Some people think emoticons are fun and funny; others think they’re childish.
  • Do you take advantage of the brief bio space on social media forums like Linked In, Twitter and even facebook?
  • Do your social media platforms have a clear photo of you?
  • Are your contact details easily accessible?
  • Is your entire life on display on social media? Do you really want it to be? Are your social media posts something your boss or mother-in-law will enjoy as much as your buddies? Are you “humble bragging” or sharing?
  • Are your posts all about you? Do you interact with other people? Reply? Share? Retweet? Even with those who disagree or criticize? A little grace and consideration go a long way in making a good first – or lasting – impression.
  • If someone calls you, do they get a brief, but friendly, outgoing message? If they don’t, have you considered how your humor or rambling details might impress – or not – people who don’t know you?
  • If you get a machine, do you cut to the chase about why you’re calling and leave your contact details slowly and clearly?
  • If you reach someone live, do you stop to ask if you’ve reached him or her at a convenient time to speak before launching into your reason for calling?
  • If someone reaches you live, are you paying attention? If you can tell when other people are reading their emails, eating, etc., they can tell when you’re typing or chewing too.

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