Monday, December 20, 2010

Check Us Out on Wordpress

Hello everyone ~ I have changed from blogger to wordpress.

Here is a link to the new blog:

Please join us today! Have a great holiday season!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What To Do When Sh*t Hits the Fan

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Cincinnati PRSA Young Pros panel discussion on Crisis Communication.

The Young Pros committee lined up two great speakers: Jill Isaacs-Dunne of Metro/SORTA and Maureen Richmond of First Group. Each speaker shared multiple stories, and provided valuable insights.

In my young career I have not handled any "crisis" situations, which is a big reason I wanted to attend. Jill and Maureen did a great job of explaining how and why they handled different crisis, in addition to discussing what they would have done differently.

I pulled away several insights I'd like to share with you today.

  • Plan and Practice: Make sure your organization has a plan in place for crisis communication. This will be invaluable as crisis hits. Having a plan is great, but what happens if it is flawed? That is why it's important to stress the importance of practicing crisis situations to upper management.
  • Gather Information: Information is your friend! Soak up and embrace the massive amounts of knowledge your internal assets already have.
  • Honesty and Transparency: It's o.k. to say "I don't know" ~ Do not give an answer, if you are not positively sure about it. It is essential to deliver the right information during a crisis. Speculation will become rampant all by itself, don't add any fuel to the fire.
  • Interesting Tip: Send out an "FAQ Sheet" to brand advocates (Followers/Fans) ~ This engages and empowers them to share the correct information with their networks. It is important to think about creating brand advocates whenever interacting in the social space, not only during a crisis. The beauty of social media is the ability to directly interact with individuals. Constantly building and developing strong relationships with consumers will ensure your brand has built in story-tellers to share your message.

Jill and Maureen were great about answering questions and giving us words of wisdom. They both reminded us that everyone has been there, don't be afraid to consult someone when crisis hits. Jill added, "Don't hesitate to call one of us, we'll talk about it over a beer, or better yet, we'll have a beer after it's all over!"

This obviously got everyone laughing, but comments like that from veteran pros reinforce my passion for public relations. Collaboration and a willingness to help one another is unparalleled in our field.

I would love to hear what other crisis communication tips you have to add!

Until next time, whether it's B2B or B2C, it's all Business to Person

Friday, November 26, 2010

Information as Currency

I recently watched Episode 10 of Brian Solis' (R)evolution webisode series. The episode featured an interview with Dan Farber of discussing the future of news.

Please take a minute and check out the video:

I had a total "ah ha moment" at the 4:30 mark in the video. I had never thought about Information as Currency ~ Had you?

I know the SEO mantra of "content in king", but didn't think of that information/content in terms of currency. However, the information you share with your social network carries enormous weight. It shows people what you value, the beliefs you stand for, and how they can identify and engage with you.

As we delve deeper and deeper into the digital age, news outlets have to becoming increasingly aware of information as currency. Farber and CBS understands the importance: "It's all about building relationships and trying to engage. We want to actively participate."

If information is currency ~ how much are you worth to your social media community?

Until next time, whether it's B2B or B2C, it's all Business to Person

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Utilizing #Hashtags to #Engage

As I continue to grow as a communicator I enjoy trying new and innovative ways to engage in the social space. My employer, Busam Automotive, has been great about giving me some freedom to experiment with new tactics.

A few weeks back we had a pet adoption day at our Subaru store, Love a Pet at Busam Subaru. We invited 4 local animal rescues to attend and bring their adoptable cats and dogs. I also reserved a pet name tag engraving to have at the event.

To promote the event I used traditional strategies like pitching to local media and bloggers, making a Facebook event, and so on. ~ But I wanted to do something a little more innovative ~ In comes the hashtag.

The first thing I did was claim a hashtag, #LoveaPet. Claiming a hashtag is fairly simple and doesn't take a lot of time. To claim a hashtag check out What's the Hashtag ~ You can also claim it on What's the Trend. Claiming a hashtag is beneficial on several levels.
  • Gives you an opportunity to give a quick "elevator pitch" about the event
  • Allows you to add other links and relevant pages ~ i.e. press release, Facebook event page, relevant blog posts, etc...
  • SEO (link building)
After the hashtag is set up you have to get the word out and encourage involvement. To engage followers I tweeted saying I would make anyone a pet name tag if they tweeted back their pet's name, a picture of their pet and used #loveapet.

After the responses I selected one and made a short video ~

In addition to the short video, I made tags for followers who interacted. I took a picture of each tag and tweeted the pictures at them with #loveapet. I also incorporated the hashtag on the actual tag ~ (I later mailed the tags)

I was glad to provide the tags, but didn't expect much beyond a RT or a thank you ~ I was wrong!

The video was made for Kelly Rodamer ~ It turns out she has a dog blog and did a post on the event!

After I mailed Dino's tag to Amy Storer-Scalia she took a picture of it and tweeted it using #loveapet.

There is one problem with using a hashtag for an event ~ How do you use the hashtag when the event is over? I have a few suggestions ~
  • The Love a Pet Event was the kickoff the Pet Adoption Month at the dealership. We are donating $100 for each Subaru sold in the month of November. I use the #loveapet when tweeting about our donation totals. It's a great way to showcase social good using the hashtag.
  • Before the event I visited each animal rescue and featured the organization in a blog post. I use #loveapet when tweeting about those posts.
  • I follow local and national animal agencies. I RT and interact with them and add #loveapet whenever relevant.
Incorporating #loveapet into our overall PR strategy proved to be a valuable tool. Have you used hashtags for an event or cause? Would like to hear what else you have to add!

Until next time, whether it's B2B or B2C it's all Business to Person

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reaching Out to Different

A quick thought...

As a young communications professional I do everything I can to connect, interact, and engage with all kinds of different communications professionals. It is great to network of course, but what I really enjoy is collaborating and sharing ideas. It is so interesting to meet new people who come from different backgrounds, have had different experiences, or are just plain different!

A couple of questions for discussion.

Veteran pros, what is the best way to reach out to you?

Young pros, what do you think are the best ways to reach out to veteran pros?

Interested to hear different thoughts and perspectives from different people!

Until next time, whether it's B2B or B2C it's all Business to Person

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brand U

I was recently given the opportunity to give my first presentation as a communications professional. I spoke to an Electronic PR class at Northern Kentucky University (my alma mater) on the importance of self-branding.

As social media plays an ever-increasing role in the importance of PR, students HAVE to learn to use these tools effectively. I wanted to share a few easy to remember points about Twitter and LinkedIn. These are 2 social networking sites where every PR professional should have an active presence.

Twitter (I'm @Andrew_ShipPR)

  • Make sure your profile explains exactly why you're on Twitter ~ "A PR student in _________ looking to develop relationships with PR pros that will help me learn and develop as a communicator"
  • Put your LinkedIn web address or personal blog into the "web" section of the profile
  • DO NOT protect your tweets ~ That doesn't exactly scream transparency...
  • Interact with industry leader's ~ Check out one of my previous posts that goes more in-depth: "Building Relationships with PR Pros through Twitter"


  • Pick a vanity URL ~ Ex.
  • Have a professional picture
  • When inviting people to connect, personalize the message ~ It takes less than a minute, it will set you apart, and it will open up communication
  • Make sure you fill your profile out to 100% completion ~ Remember the more robust your profile the higher likelihood your profile will come up in search results.

Feel free to check out all the presentation slides ~

The most important thing to remember, above all else, is to be yourself. Nothing can replace The Human Factor.

Do you have any additional suggestions? I would love to hear them ~

Until next time, whether its B2B or B2C, it's all Business to Person


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

You'll Always Remember Your First (#MediaDay)

I attended the Cincinnati PRSA's annual Media Day today, and in a word ~ AWESOME! Great speakers and thoughtful planning, combined with passionate professionals made for an amazing day of learning.

Instead of writing an entire recap of the event I'd like to use this post to share a few of my favorite quotes from the breakout sessions and panel discussions. The two breakout sessions I attended were "YouTwitFace" and "Build.Promote.Measure."

"Transparency is essential when participating in social media"
~ Chris Bergman

It really frustrates me when people don't get the importance of transparency. It's essential to develop and strengthen quality relationships.

On explaining how to use social media to clients ~ "Where are your people? Go and find them there ~ research before jumping in"
~ Heather Whaling

Important to remember this and help your clients understand this. "Listening #1, Engaging #2" needs to be THE MANTRA for the "social media professional"

"I love how precise your communication has to be with twitter"
~ Chris Bergman

This is one of my favorite parts about Twitter. Thanks to Twitter, I have become a more effective communicator ~ Most of the time you have to get rid of the garnish, and give people the meat

"We encourage employees to be clear, transparent, and honest"
~ Laura Merritt

Once again, love hearing importance of concise, transparent communication ~ With so much clutter out there, it's becoming mandatory

When considering social media channels ~ "Don't think broadcast channels, think engagement channels" ~ "Go deep, not broad"
~ Kevin Dugan

This last quote sums a lot of my feelings on social media ~ Engage (along with Listen) are the two most important words in my vocabulary when it comes to social media

These are some quick hits. Awesome quotes, from industry leaders get me excited about the profession I'm passionate about! I hope they get you fired up as well! If you were at Media Day, and attended the other sessions I'd love to hear some of your favorite quotes!

Thanks again to all the organizers ~ Special shout out to Ashley Walters and Lauren Doyle

This event, and speakers really emphasize, "whether is B2B or B2C, it's all Business to Consumer"