Tag Archives: blogging

Happy Birthday Metscher’s Musing

Its been one year since I started Metscher’s Musing based on my experience in communications, social media, and public relations. The blog has been an amazing experience. I am glad that after talking it in concept  for more than a year, it went live on August 12, 2012.

Happy_Birthday_Metscher_MusingsSince then the blog has been shared not only in the States, but also in United Kingdom, Australia, and many other countries. Amazing! Thank you so much for reading and sharing my posts. There are many, many blogs to choose from and thank you for taking the time!

365 Days Later…54 Posts and Counting

Since my first post in August 2012, I have written 54 posts on a variety of topics such as social media trials and tribulations, communications best practices, and public relations trends. I listed my top posts for you, but don’t be shy. Check out my other musings.

  1. Six Reasons Why Your Sales Folks Don’t Use Social Media
  2. The Undervalue of a Thank You
  3. Fun Fact Fridays: Nine LinkedIn Tips for Introverts
  4. 16 Ways to Successfully Fuel Your Content Curation Machine
  5. Ten Questions You Should Ask Before Making the Social Media Leap
  6. 16 and One Ways on How to be a Better Storyteller
  7. Six More Tips For Building a Social Media Roadmap
  8. Why is Earned Media Important to Your SEO Strategy?
  9. 4 Reasons Why a Blog Helps Your Personal Brand
  10. #FunFactFridays: Do’s and Don’ts When Working with PR Folks
  11. How to Run an Internal Social Media Training Workshop
  12. Six Tips to Be More Creative in Your Public Relations Work (Part One)

 

 

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

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Six Tips to Be More Creative in Your Public Relations Work (Part One)

I recently spoke on the Bulldog Reporter panel about how to bring more creativity in your public relations work. Love the opportunity to share some nuggets on how I bring more creativity to my work. And let’s be honest, sometimes being creativity is hard work. So, here are my tips to bringing more creativity to your public relations work:

  •  Schedule Time for Creativity. You need to schedule time to be creative because it just won’t magically happen otherwise. Back to back meetings are not helping your creativity so make sure to budget time to brainstorm ideas. Schedule down time to do research or noodle on topics at least once a week.
  • Plan for Research in the Process. Sometimes when brainstorming, I start researching a variety of germane topics on Google. Look for the weird and opportunities outside your discipline to generate ideas. I recently spoke with one of our developers who share different articles that are funny or inspiring to jump-start her team’s creativity. For me, when I am struggling with creating content, I check out Buzzfeed or Huffington Post often because both of these publications do an amazing job of creating entertaining and engaging headlines and content.
  • Add an Incubation Period. So, when you think you have the next great idea, let it simmer first before sharing. Lifehacker wrote about the importance of an incubation period, “Especially if you have thought long and hard all day about a problem, jumping into the shower can turn into what scientist call the “incubation period” for your ideas. The subconscious mind has been working extremely hard to solve the problems you face and now that you let your mind wander, it can surface and plant those ideas into you.”
  • Find a Buddy to Bounce Ideas. Who says your boss or coworkers are the only people you should chat with about ideas? Look for likeminded people in other departments, industries or companies. Some of my best ideas have come when I have chatted with people outside my organization who have other experiences and backgrounds.
  • Plan for Naysayers, Roadblockers, and Buzzkillers. These folks dislike change and don’t want to rock the boat with new ideas. Plan for them and make them apart of creative process early. Another piece of advice worth reading is Peter Shankman’s why to love your haters .Rachel Metscher's Journal for Metscher Musing
  • Carry a Journal. I am old school and carry this journal everywhere I go. You never know when you will have an idea. If you are addicted to your iPhone look into Evernote.

This is only a short list, but starting small can lead to big ideas.

 

 

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

Fun Fact Fridays: 23 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Social

Fun Fact Fridays: 23 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Social

Last week, I attended the Vocus Demand Success conference. Fantastic event. My favorite part of any conference is the opportunity to meet new people and share ideas on how to do things. Lots of things like digital journalism, e-mail marketing, content creation, and social media.

Lots of folks were talking about social media, starting a company blog, and other fun marketing best practices. But, I could tell there was some skepticism in the crowd when hearing the presenters speak. Not always, but there were a few folks who would share, “well you had resources” or “In my organization,…”

But I think all of this stems from one issue.

Rachel DiCaro Metscher 23 tips to mange the fear of social media

artwork by flip-wood.deviantart.com

Questions, concerns, and fear all stem from the same source: control or the lack of it.  The reason why most organizations resist using social media or embarking on a blog is

1) What will we do (Lack of a Plan)?

2) What will we share (Content)?

3) Who will manage the message? Who will run the editorial calendar? Who will edit my copy (Control)?

4) If we put our ideas down on paper will it stink (Lack of Ideas.  At least a clear direction of what you should write about)?

5) What if people don’t like my content (Understanding your Audience)?

So how do you overcome fear if people will resist the change your want to create? Here a few of my favorite tools to deal with the fear monster:

  1. Learn to paint the picture of what your ideal social looks like. Love this Tedex from Nancy Duarante on how to tell a great story.
  2. Outline your goals and objectives (P.O.S.T).
  3. Before you begin, assess where you been and where you want to go, a.k.a audit.
  4. Plan some more. Most projects don’t see the light of day because you didn’t do your homework. You already know you won’t get all your resources for this project so plan for it.
  5. Change is Hard, but it will get better.
  6. Welcome Haters. They motivate you to do better.
  7. Accept Failure. Failure can teach you a lot of what not to do the next time.
  8. Priorities. Help those around you and yourself. Pick three area/projects and as you progress you can add more.
  9. Focus on your wins. Small wins lead to big wins later.
  10. Do Internal PR campaign on your wins. Sharing where you have been and where you are going helps others get it.
  11. Keep Your Head up! Easier said than done, but social communications is hard work! Really you are in the business of change management.
  12. Ted Rubin shares how to get over the “what if”
  13. Find a support group of other like-minded folks. LinkedIn has tons!
  14. Network with people who are doing social communications successfully.
  15.  Mark Ivey wrote a great article highlighting the importance of communicating in social media
  16. Get an executive champion.
  17. Constantly evaluate where you are in relation to your goals.
  18.  Put your big girl pants on. This isn’t for the weak of heart.
  19.  In order for this to work, you need vision. Goes back to point one.
  20. Coffee or caffeine. You will be busy managing this change management project.
  21. Social Communications isn’t one and done. Social takes time.
  22. Create advocates
  23. Be disruptive
  24.  Bonus

Six More Tips For Building a Social Media Roadmap

Last Friday, I published an article in MarketingProfs that outlined a roadmap to create social media strategy rather than tactic. So far, it is generating a lot of conversation on why you must first outline goals and strategies before jumping metaphorically into the social pool.

It has been several months since I wrote this article. Given a fresh set of eyes and points readers have made,  I wanted to add to my to my list of five. Here are some more thoughts to building a successful social media roadmap.

Measurement

One of the readers commented that measurement needed to move up on the priority list. Fair statement, but I think first before any measurement can be assessed, your organization needs to have the framework in place first. Logically putting measurement first doesn’t make sense unless the framework is in place.

Expertise

If social is going to work in your organization, you need to be an expert at leading implementation of strategy and tactic. It is really important to understand this ever-changing business beyond deliver and promotion. I talk a lot about that social media is merely a vehicle to a human need we all have:  we want to belong and connect with others. Whether it was the writing, talking on the phone, sending an e-card of funny cats, we all want to communicate with others and share. If you forget social media is about learning, sharing, and experiencing you will treat this channel like an other communication channel such as e-mail or direct mail. Don’t forget the human that is behind those tweets or LinkedIn posts.

Tough Conversations Ahead

One of the commenters discussed the importance of presence on major social channels. I wouldn’t say you need to have a presence on every channel, but  think really hard what value you bring to your future clients, curent customers, and marketplace. If you are in a small department or the only resource dedicated to social media it’s hard to be everywhere. Pick and choose where you bring real value. Solve for the Customer first. Your ego is last.

No Matter How Hard You Plan, Folks Will Still Focus on the Shiny Object

Image brought to you by http://livingsu.syr.edu/. Go Orangemen!

Image brought to you by http://livingsu.syr.edu/. Go Orangemen!

Make no illusions that focusing on strategy rather than tactic is hard. Really hard. You will inevitably have higher ups or your manager just plainly say, ” We need to be on X.” Change this conversation around by performing a content audit of what your currently have to share. Without thinking about the content you will share or the value you provide, then it is about you rather than the customer. Get ready to have a lot of discussion about this. You may win some and you could lost some. Pick your battles wisely.

Don’t Forget the impact to Brand

Every been on Twitter and looked up a brand that has 10 different handles? Think long and hard why different business units or products need their own space. Ultimately, in my opinion, your are splitting your audience and your efforts. When possible keep your audience together.

Social Media is Not a Short Term Game

One of the readers talked about what ways can you get folks on board to be a more social business. I wish there were a silver bullet for adoption, but there isn’t. What you can do is be clear on what you want to achieve and how each person’s contribution supports your strategy. Here is the excerpt to my response:

First, and most important, everyone needs to be trained and understand his or her contributing role to social media. I think some folks are not interested because of time or not sure how this relates to their day job. So you have to be explicit what you are asking from them. Liz Bullock, formerly of Dell, did a great job outlining how she implemented company-wide adoption, http://www.slideshare.net/LizBullock1/achieve-buy-in-at-all-levels-creating…. Second, I think getting folks on board with social media is like any other change management project; you need to set expectations, training, evaluate what works (or doesn’t) and repeat. Another read worth considering, is Altimeter report on the career path of a social strategist, http://www.slideshare.net/jeremiah_owyang/career-social-strategist . It helped me put in context that some of the challenges were not unique to just me, but anyone who’s working on getting social media accepted in their organization.

Overall, it is a fun ride to to implement and gain company-wide adoption of social media. If you are up to the challenge, buckle up!

Fun Fact Fridays: 8 Tips to Humanize Your Brand through Social Media

I had the chance to catch up with a former client about the success of his business. While he has double his business over the last few years, he is always looking for marketing advice. And I am always happy to give my two cents on how to use social media to drive awareness and traffic to your website. Over lunch, the conversation went from marketing to the benefits of social media and how it could humanize his brand.

We started chatting about how to get people to his site.  The usual tactics were employed: we have a blog; we work with our affinity partners, etc.

Then I started peppering him with questions like:

“Great, you have blog. How often are you updating it, are you consistently publishing relevant and informative content, have you optimized the blog for keywords, do your employees share the information with others, are your employees contributing to the blog?”

Then I ask my favorite question, “ Are you using social coupled with your blog to personalized the people in your company?”

His answer: Well…We should do more.

Our conversation got me thinking about how to humanize brands. While I am not a proponent of tactics driving strategy for social media, I think you first need to consider why your company should be social.  You need to have

People. Objective. Strategy. Technology

People. Objective. Strategy. Technology

purpose in your company’s social media efforts, it is all about P.O.S.T.

If you need a reason, here is one: social media is creating a two-way dialogue with people. Social media also produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC according to a recent study by Hubspot this year.

And let’s be clear, people are searching for your product or company way before they pick up the phone or send an email of interest. While the sales process is not necessarily longer, however, prospects have more resources to research your product online. Why not give them information to support each stage of the buying cycle.

So here are some tactics to consider;

1)   If you don’t have folks outside marketing contributing to your blog. Start today. You need employees to share industry news and trends. 

2)   Anyone working for your company should be positively promoting your organization through sharing industry news or company articles not always about you, but topics your current and potential customers care about.

3)   Worried that folks don’t get social media? Give them a playbook to help them understand how to use it professionally.

4)   People need guidelines, consider creating a social media policy.

5)   Don’t expect people to jump in and understand what you want them to do socially, train them.

6)   Have employees contribute to your blog on their interest.

7)   Encourage your folks to follow your social media channels and reshare to their followers.

8)   Be the influence and guide by your example.

Bonus. You need content to share right? Start using your employees to generate content for your blog

1)   The number on rule for your blog should be S.F.T.C (Solve for the Customer).

2)   Interview both employees and clients for the blog using a Q and A format.

3)   Have clients share best practices.

4)   Blogs are not exclusively for executives. Everyone should contribute.

5)   If you don’t make the blog a priority, no one else will.

4 Reasons Why a Blog Helps Your Personal Brand

I recently attended an event in which someone discussed the important of personal brand. Personal brand, she said, is important as you continue to climb the corporate ladder.  But, what if you’re not where you want to be? Blogs are a great way to increase your visibility and build your personal brand empire.

Blogs are not something new. According to Wikipedia, blogs began in the late nineties. Folks for the last ten years have been sharing their experience, knowledge, and general random thoughts, but it wasn’t until the last few years (2004 ish) that blogs really took off.

There are many benefits to writing a blog:  brand awareness, build authority,  content creation, and search engine optimization.

Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness isn’t only for large companies. What do you want folks to think about you? Your blog can be a great way to build your personal brand. Use your skills, interests, and experiences to build your blog, ultimately build your brand. Your personal brand isn’t just for your blog, but your digital presence.  Susan Payton wrote this article regarding how to be the “It” expert in your industry that is worth a read.

Authority

Blogs are a great way to express your knowledge on a topic and build trust with your audience. Hubspot wrote a post on 11 ways to use content to build authority. Passionate about social media? Cool, then write about that. The key to building expertise is to share your stories. Everyone has something to share. Start writing down your ideas in a notebook or use Evernote. Personally, I keep a small notebook to write down my ideas. Lots of posts have come those scribbles. Most of the ideas I jot down come from conversations at work or something I read. No matter how random the idea is write it down. Start using those ideas for posts and turn your ideas into opportunities. This is how you build authority by sharing your experience.

Your BrandContent Creation

You can’t build your empire without some content. You heard content is king, but what does that mean? I like Anna Famery’s summary on topic, “If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, than people won’t go.” How do you fuel the content machine? Jot down different topics to discuss on your blog. Here is a list to get you started:

  • Industry trends
  • Best practices
  • Tips
  • Pitfalls
  • Top Ten lists
  • Case Studies
  • Personal Observations
  • How To’s
  • Work Funny Ha Has

Need more? Here is another post to read on how to write great content from Jeff Bullas.

Search Engine Optimization

Trying to rank for certain key words? You should think about how to incorporate those into your blog. Amy Portfield writes a great post on how to make your blog rank well. Don’t know where to start? Think about how folks find you on the interwebs. If folks are looking for the ultimate basket weaver, how do they find you? You can check your website analytics, if you are using Google Analytics under traffic sources.

Link

Fun Fact Fridays: 15 Interesting Nuggets about Digital

Fun Fact Fridays: 15 Interesting Nuggets about Digital

Like many of you folks, I love reading. I especially love reading different articles about how digital media is changing the how we communicate with our audience. DigiDay posted this nugget this morning. Here is an excerpt of the 15 facts:

  1. 2 billion: Number of online video views for the 76 episodes of Chinese drama “Zhen Huan Zhuan.”
  2. 72: Number of hours of content that’s uploaded every minute to YouTube. (YouTube)
  3. 85 percent: Amount of smartphone/tablet owners who use their devices while watching TV at least once during the month (Nielsen)

Social Digital Media

So what does this mean for communicators and marketers? To me, this is a clear indication  that we must produce quality content that people can:

  1. View.
  2. Share while multitasking.
  3. Want to talk about.

Easy tasks right? I think the above is if you take the position like Hubspot, the inbound marketing company, in which all project answer this question, S.F.T.C.

Solve For the Customer.