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Sticky like Glue

I just finished reading a great book titled,“Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.” This New York Times best seller is educational for every professional. Not only does it appeal to PR professionals, but it applies to those who have ideas. So, in other words it applies to all of us. Each chapter provides six qualities that will make an idea memorable and sticky for your audience(s).

Seeking to explain what makes an idea or concept memorable or interesting, the book outlines the acronym “SUCCES” (with the last s omitted). Each letter refers to a characteristic that can help make an idea “sticky”:

  • Simple — find the core of any idea
  • Unexpected — grab people’s attention by surprising them
  • Concrete — make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later
  • Credibility — give an idea believability
  • Emotion — help people see the importance of an idea
  • Stories — empower people to use an idea through narrative

Each characteristic is important for every idea you want people to remember and appreciate. I was amazed how each idea came together perfectly in the end. What is a credible idea if people don’t care about it?

One story the book discusses is about a man named Jared, the Subway representative who lost 100 pounds in 3 months from eating Subway. Weighing in at a whopping 425 pounds, Jared was now at 330 pounds. After numerous legal debates and disagreement that a fast-food joint could influence weight-lose, Subway marketed Jared through its weight loss campaign.

Note how Jared’s story follows the SUCCESs checklist from page 222 of the text:

  • It’s Simple: Eat subs and lose weight.
  • It’s unexpected: A guy lost a ton of weight by eating fast food!
  • It’s concrete: Think of the oversized pants, the massive loss of girth. Pictures are visibliy displayed and there is a visible change in Jared’s weight.
  • It’s credible: It provides an idea that’s believable: Eat healthy and in moderation.
  • It’s emotional: We care about an individual than an everyday day object. Jared has emotions like we do.
  • It’s a story: The true story motivates us to get up and do something.

This national ad campaign was memorable because it involved every sticky idea. With out a simple concept or emotional story, this campaign could have easily failed. It’s amazing how one idea can have so many elements. I encourage you to categorize an idea into these six elements. Whether it surrounds work, a relationship or a simple idea you want others to understand, I guarantee your idea will be sticky!

Authors, Chip Heath and Dan Health, have done a magnificent job! To read the books reviews visit: Made to Stick

(Image courtesy of http://davidzinger.files.wordpress.com)

YouTube has said “heck with it” and realized its social networking competitors have something they don’t. YouTube has created a personal profile page similar to Facebook and MySpace.

According to Mashable Social Networking News, YouTube is not changing but rather incorporating a new element into the world famous Web site. On these personal sites, you can post your favorite videos and see the latest activity from your friends. It is self explanatory how the sites personalization comes into play.

 

YouTube streams more than 100 million from 30 seconds even 10minutes. While YouTube is fun, some use it for video creation while others use it for personal promotion. 

YouTube’s forum is similar to a blog. It lists how many people watched the video and encourages viewers to post comments, similar to a blog.

Videos attract viewers in an incredible fashion. In my opinion, American’s have the attention span of five- year- old. They want information to be accessible, enjoyable and understandable from the start. This may be why the social media release is the new press release or why Steve Jobs colorful iWork presentation style is so popular. The human eye is attracted to colorful imagery followed by a quality presenter.

While the meaning of privacy is becoming underrated, YouTube continues to test its limits.

To read more visit: Mashable!

Obama’s campaign staff is responding to bloggers. I can’t say enough how important this is to the presidential campaign. Not only is new social media avenues flying-high, but it is important that presidential candidates are using the most popular communication tools among American’s. For example, MySpace and Facebook are important sites for Obama’s campaign. In addition, over 100 million active blogs were recorded in 2007. Thousands of blogs are being created every day by every day people. You do not need to be a professional writer or particular activist to start a blog. The process is free and easy, therefore more and more people are starting to blog. I found it very interesting when the article mentioned that Hilary Clinton is unresponsive to bloggers in her campaign. This is unfortunate for her campaign because she is dismissing the opportunity to actively respond and monitor her supporters.

On the other hand, Obama’s campaign staff respected the bloggers and valued their opinion. University of Washington journalism professor, David Domke said “The Obama campaign treated us like pros — they called us back within minutes, set up interviews, got us press passes, went out of their way to make the campaign accessible.” Domke also stated in the interview that The Clinton campaign didn’t return a single phone call. The assumption that Obama’s talking rather than walking, is proven wrong. This example proves that Obama is walking briskly.

To read more about this article visit Members Form.

Okay, I am sure you have a smirk on your face right now as you read my title. “Graduating College is like leaving a Party Early,” is one the most recognized college quotes I have seen. As I creep up to graduation, signs of reality are sinking in. Reality hit me when my parents got me a book for Christmas called The Everything Get-A-Job Book. The book provides the tools and strategies you need to land the job of your dreams.

What I like about this book is that it relates to all job seekers. Whether you are a recent college graduate or someone seeking a different job, the book covers all avenues. Learning from my PR professors and my experience from past interviews, a great deal of catching a job is the success of the interview. Of course, an impressive portfolio and college diplomat is essential; however, college students are notoriously inexperienced with interviewing. It makes sense; these people have been in school most of their lives. While employers may expect limited experience, they still expect you to prove yourself through, especially if you are applying for a PR position. A career in public relations is focused around relationships and communicating with people from almost every angle. Here are some interview tips I found helpful from the book:

            Try to check out the interview site beforehand. This includes knowing how to get there so you are not late. Never show up for an interview late, it shows you are irresponsible and do not care about landing the job.

      Arrive at least fifteen minutes early. The last thing you want to do is undermine your opportunity to make a good first impression.

      Make sure your communication skills are up to par. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to communicate clearly, intelligently and professionally. Avoid using filler words such as “um” or “like.”

     Do not lie about your GPA. Some employers ask for this information and others do not. Either way, if they do ask, tell the truth because it may be revealed later through your transcripts. However, if your GPA does not reflect your abilities, mention other impressive statistics that will intrigue them.

To learn more about interviewing tips, check out Dr. Tiffany Derville’s blog: TiffanyTips

 

I was intrigued when I read the assignment for my Advanced PR writing. As embarrassing as it is, I have never done a Power Point by myself. In a group, maybe, but this is when I tell the tech-savvy classmate the facts and he or she types it into Power Point. I am a senior undergraduate and about to start my full time job. It is about time I learn how to make a visually stimulating presentation instead of just reading the bullets from the PowerPoint. The last thing I want is for my audience to fall asleep!

The reading from our class booklet was about two world-renowned business owners: Steve Jobs (Apple) and Bill Gates (Microsoft). Not only are their products competitors, but the CEO’s presentation style is opposite. Gates uses slides that are average and largely unmemorable. Bill Gates is a remarkable man so why isn’t his PowerPoint presentations up to par? Most likely because his slides contain complex ideas accompanied by cluttered images.

Steve Jobs uses large visuals to complement his discussion. For example, if there is an important statistic, he will flash the number in bold on the screen all by itself. In most cases, the human brain tends to look at images and relate them to words rather than relating words to images. Using full images as a background while highlighting the text, is attractive to viewers. Steve uses this style to tell a story in a natural way while still stating his point. Bill Gates’ images relate to his discussions but they do not help his narration very well. One way this happens is by cramming too much information into one slide.

From this reading, I am convinced that a visual stimulating presentation will help ideas stick in the audiences head. It is important for presentations to be visually stimulating so you can provide concrete, memorable facts. Steve Jobs proves he has done just this. With the help of creative and easy to use software such as iWork and PowerPoint, memorable presentations are more than possible. To see the video of Steve Jobs Keynote speech visit: Macworld2007.

(Image courtesy of businessinnovationinsider.com)

A Secret to Pitching

I came across an article on prnewsonline that provided PR hits to pitching a story to a news editor. Last fall I pitched two different stories for my internship. I had the opportunity to intern with a fabulous team at HIV Alliance. This is where I gained experience interning for a non-profit organization.  Their mission is to support individuals living with HIV/AIDS and to prevent new HIV infections.  

Mid November we set up multiple events for World AIDS Day.  My advisor asked me to call numerous news stations and pitch the story of our HIV memorial remembrance at the county courthouse in Eugene. I called the main editor of the news room to see if they received my e-mail and if they had any questions. From my knowledge, it is appropriate to try and contact the same reporter you send the e-mail to. The majority of broadcasters like to read pitches via e-mail. Pitching a story through e-mail allows the reader to review the information right in front of them while having the availablity to forward your pitch to additional reviewers. According to prnewsonline, DS Simon Productions asked 79 respondents to grade broadcasters and reporters about how decisions are made and management in the newsroom.

·       56.4% of broadcasters love to be pitched by e-mail;

·       41.3% hate being pitched by telephone, and 27.6% hate being pitched by fax;

 ·       38.4% think that only 1/3 of PR people are knowledgeable about their programs

 ·       95.7% of reporters and producers work on stories that appear on their Web site;

·       52.2% said that their station’s Web site could be pitched separately from newscasts;

·       95.5% said that their Web site uses multi-media content;

·       Only 16% of stations are banned from using third-party video; and,

·       Healthcare stories are still the most in demand – 79.1% of respondents expressed high interest in health stories.

I find the following to be useful for PR rookies:
PR pros should keep in mind that, when pitching, they need to give the reporter tools to sell the story to their manager. Phone calls are still a necessity following an e-mail pitch, especially if you want feedback.
For more information visit prnewsonline

Media technology is changing how we communicate every day. I feel fortunate enough to graduate from college being educated about today’s advanced media changes. I am currently taking PR Advanced Writing at the University of Oregon. Understanding how to use the social media networks, upload a podcast and write an efficient blog, is imporant to know when understanding the numerous media outlets PR professionals are currently using. Instead of running away from technical changes are society has developed, PR professionals and marketers need to be aware how our society is communicating today.

I came across an article from the Bulldog Reporter about a book called, REVOLUTION IN PR TECHNOLOGY: PR Practitioner’s Field Guide to New Media Solutions.

For anyone who may be lost in today’s ever- changing world of social media, I encourage you to look at this book. Rather than being unaware, uniformed, and forcing yourself to ignore the newest communication tool at the office, take time and teach yourself. You will be amazed how fun it is to monitor the blogosphere, browse MySpace, search through Technorati and upload podcasts. I think you will find all of this interesting, fun and rather easy. The following are popular topics covered in the text:

  • Find out how to subscribe to a news aggregator via RSS feed
  • Discover how to get your podcast distributed by iTunes
  • Learn how to “keyword tag” your press releases for astoundingly improved search results
  • Get step-by-step instructions for posting your video on YouTube
  • Use our insider’s checklist for approaching bloggers safely

Today, our society expects you to be aware of these changes. Not only does it affect PR professionals, but it also affects how our society communicates as a whole. To read more visit: bulldogreporter/PR

(Image courtesy of Indiana University)

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