How PR Should Not Build Relationships With Bloggers

McGrath worked at a PR agency and sent out the usual PR request to bloggers to generate a bit of buzz. One blogger, Borsch, got pissed and sent a not too happy email back. McGrath acted like a decent human being and apologised and asked how he should go about it.

Apparently this is against the PR professionals code.

Mashable writes

After McGrath’s email exchange with Borsch, McGrath’s boss reprimanded him for replying to Borsch and was told not to be transparent with either the client or the blogger. McGrath has since left that firm and does independent social media marketing, yet Borsch and him have remained good friends.

I guess in the old days, before we marketed online, this kind of attitude may of worked. But, things have changed. Those PR companies who don’t move with the times will not be able to offer their clients an effective online PR solution.

Those PR companies who do not speak the language of the online tribe will be crushed under the flip flops of pyjama wearing bloggers.

If you want to know how to do online PR effectively. Get in touch, I have a few slots open for a couple of new clients.

Note: You can get in touch via my twitter account
Or email lyndon at cornwallseo.com

Feed your Friends, Starve your Enemies

It’s an ancient tactic and one which works online as much as anywhere else, even more so.

When someone links to this blog with content above a certain quality threshold I will Stumble, Sphinn, Delicious that content. I may even Twitter if the content is appropriate.

The reason being is to boost the power and authority of that page and the link. Also, some traffic will travel down that link to its destination.

This technique is why a lot of generous and naturally nice people succeed in blogging, they constantly feed their friends and starve their enemies.

You can apply the same principle to Twitter. You recommend people to follow the friends who recommend to their friends to follow you. You help build their account, because if they are saying nice things about you, you want they to have a bigger audience.

Can this be used for evil? Possibly, but the people I see working this technique seem to genuinely enjoy sharing it around. I know I do, it simply is a natural thing to build up your friends whilst ignoring your enemies.

When I say enemies I am really saying people who would never do anything for you, whilst you do everything for them. In the strict definition of the word they are not your enemies as in they may not even know you exist. They are an enemy to your progress online if you spend resources on them.

Spend your resources on your friends, not the big cheese, online super hero blogger. Too many people clamoring for attention. They simply don’t have the time to help you.

But if you’re friends with the “up and comers”, these are the people who can give you the leg up, these people have time for you. Hunt them down and do nice things for them often. They will notice you and do nice things back.

It’s all very karmic in the end. If you want to get ahead in music, don’t try to get advice on Bono, go find the best Pub band in your area and buy them a Kitkat. Or a pint. These are the guys who have the potential to help you.

Now go out and do some good.

Analysis of an SEO story going Viral on Twitter

I tweeted, The Future of seo. From one of the UK’s top seo companies, Freshegg.com

The following retweeted the story.

Catnboots
lloydcooke
webaddict
mimojito
tyno
BWelford
Bukowsky
notifyneal
casspa

The total number of followers these account represents around 21,000 people. Is there going to overlap, as in the same person following twice? Probably. Are everyone of those followers going to be online at that time? Doubtful.

How many of the remaining number actually click through? I cannot calculate, but the webmaster of the targeted website cam. From there they can construct an idea of conversion rate of a retweet.

It remains to be known the value of a story going viral. My definition of a viral is where someone passed a story on that another person had picked up.

This story has obviously a highly focused audience and not likely to leek into the mass market. But not many people need to see it to be a successful post. Sometimes I have found only one person needs to read a post for it to be successful.

We don’t yet know the power of a retweet, but those who have spent their lives steeped in the world of the viral for the past few years know something very interesting is happening.

We can feel the heat, even though we cannot measure the burn effect of the viral.

Building Twitter Real Estate

Which leads me to another aspect. How do you get people to retweet your stuff. Most of the principles of linkbait apply here, you give people the reason to retweet.

Most people don’t get that. I do a lot of training and it’s amazing how such a simple, fundamental aspect of online networking gets overlooked.

Give people a reason to reteet your stuff.

I don’t have time to go into this in more detail, but here’s a clue. The above accounts all retweeted the story. Do you think they are worth following?

Do you think tweeting quality information is going to get you retweeted?

Do you think they will be motivated in any way to tweeting this story?

I know a lot of social media marketers wished I would stop blogging and giving away all the tricks. But I just can’t help it, I love to share ;)

You can follow me on Twitter if that is your desire here

What is Social Media :Part 3

This is an unplanned and off the cuff series I am doing regarding Social Media and its definition, which is still in a state of flux. Part 1 and 2

It’s all about the conversation.

Not the product, not the service, and certainly not how wonderful you are.

What do you think a good conversation is? One person talking all about themselves, or trying to sell you something or being obnoxious and wafting offensive odours at you?

Good conversation flows, it’s owned by the two or more parties involved in it.

It is not where you announce something. That is not what a conversation is and that is why a lot of PR professionals have difficulty in making it work for them.

What I have learned over the years is that to be a successful social media marketing practitioner, you have go visit the tribe, sit down with them, talk their language, follow their customs and after a period of time become one of them. Then you can tell them about the cave over the next hill which is selling all kinds of goodies.

Empathy, understanding, experience, knowledge, all prerequisites if you are to converse with the tribe. And let me tell you, conversing is not a right, it is an honour. Bestowed upon you after dues have been paid.

Sitting down and breaking bread with a Chili Dorito munching, coke guzzling, Warcraft playing, Linux using inhabitant of certain social bookmarking sites is really beyond the reach of the expensively manicured fingers of the PR hustler, and that’s just the men.

Unless they become one of the them, at least for a short period.

Of course the interesting thing is the real players in the social media marketing industry have come from the SEO world.

Who else is going to empathise with a 2 hour discussion of light sabre techniques.

Linkbait Ideas

You might want to check out Magnetic Web Content, for more ideas.

These web content ideas were first published in Linkbait Coaching last October. Note: this was around the Olympics, banks were not yet evil, the £ was strong…etc. Oh how things have changed.

What’s rubbish about being British
Wired costs $10 a year to subscribe in the US and $70 in the UK
I am sure there are others, only a matter of looking. Make it geek centered, the fact that the iPhone hit the US first, movies get shown in the US first. Bad teeth, drunk slags on a Friday night, drunken brawls on a Saturday night, 13 year olds tooled up with butchers hatchets and machettes stalking the streets, Daily Mail

There could be a follow up post about how great it is being British, exchange rate for the US$, etc…

Best Criminals in the world
Who is bad out there and really good at it. I guess the bad ones are in prison, but a few are running around spending their ill gotten gains.
A list of those who seem to have gotten away with it could be interesting and fun.
C’mon, who hasn’t dreamed of being bad.

Christians vs Atheists
Christians are good because they are told to be by God, whereas atheists are good because they want to be.
You have to be careful with this one, you may annoy people with a certain belief system, but it’s kinda tongue in cheek and not meant to be taken seriousy. But, you will always get someone who will take offense, so you have to weigh up the consequences when you create content that pokes fun at group of people with a specific belief system.
You could also included a list of all the Christian sex scandals which take place and how they seem to have more scandals than Pagans.

How many Ferraris is your house worth now? – Property bait
It used to be that a Ferrari was worth more than a house, now it’s the other way round. The house I am in is worth 3-4, but that may change due to market conditions.
Comparing like for like can be interesting if using incongruent items, such as a house and a car. To view something in a different way can pique interest and be attractive.

20 Weird Sleep walking events – Health
I like this one as it would be fun to research and write. I thought about it because a three year old called Max got out of bed in the middle of the night, pick up some cash off the kitchen table, opened the door and went to the shops to buy some sweets. Not really sleep walking but I know there are a ton of weird and funky stories out there.

Which Banks Suck – Or – The Top ten worst Banks – financial
Search for each bank on google adding the word “suck” at the end of the banks name, then make a list out of who has the most.
It’s not scientific, but it could be fun and it’s accurate and not libelous.
You could actually do this with any much complained about sector.

Worst Boxers ever – Sport
Find out which boxers have had the most knock outs and rank them with a bit of sarcastic blurb about them.

Most influential magazine covers of all time – media
There is a contest going on in London at the moment covering this, might be interesting if you put together your own list, got a few links on it and then when people come to search for the term guess who ranks?

Best photos of storms ever – art
This is one of those heavily Stumbled collection ideas, they tend to get a huge amount of a traffic and a few links. It’s easy work for a nice Alexa spike.

20 of the worst Jobs in History of the Internet – geek/jobs
Taking inspiration from Baldrick’s Worst Jobs in history, why not apply it to Internet Jobs, has to be a ton of loathsome jobs out there, like the person who has to sort through Bill Gates’ hate emails.

Olympic Sports that shouldn’t exist – sport
I can’t think of any off the top of my head but aren’t there weird sports like, beach volleyball (got one) that are bit touch and go if they should be in.