Friday, July 22, 2011

Northwestern’s Half-Baked Attempt at Connection: A Ham-Handed, Handwritten Thank-You Note

Earlier this month, I received a hand-written thank you note in the mail from an undergraduate at Northwestern University, my alma mater.

That was impressive.

The personally written, but hardly personalized letter from
a Northwestern undergraduate.
 Then I read the note – and if it wasn’t a verbatim transcription of a form letter, then I worry for the future of this self-described English major.

How utterly unimpressive.

Why bother with a form of intimate, personal connection when you saddle it with an impersonal form letter? Why go through the motions of making an emotional connection when you handcuff a student to so much sanitized white noise?

C’mon Wildcats: unleash these young adults to communicate from the heart! Or at least save yourself the postage.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Social Media Motivation: Let it Be Excellence, Not Merely Checking-the-Box Expectations

Like anything in life, social media should be more than something you do out of obedience or fear. It should be something you engage in to do better, to be better.

If the overriding motivation is because your rivals are doing it, or because others say you should do it, or because you’re afraid of what your clients or peers will think if you don’t do it, then you’ve got it wrong – and that will come across.

On the other (preferred) hand, if you post those Tweets and create that content on Facebook because you want to inform, entertain and engage those you care about – and who care about you – then the caring will only expand.

So don’t chase expectations. Choose excellence.

Find Inside Edge PR on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

With News Releases, Think Local-Local-Local, Then Emphasize Each & Every Geographic Hook

If you grew up in one town, attended high school in another, graduated from college in yet another and were hired to work in a fourth community, what would that make you?

First, what it would not make you is especially unusual: many others have traversed a similar path. Rarely does someone stay put through the various stages of life.

From a public relations standpoint, however, it would make you potentially newsworthy in four different markets. Once you develop a general news release, it's a simple matter of inserting (or at least emphasizing) the relevant local hook to secure coverage in those multiple markets.

Consider it a variation on the well-worn mantra "Think Globally, Act Locally." Only in this case, it's Think Local--and keep Thinking Local--until you've plumbed the depths of all the possible news hooks.

A recent Inside Edge PR case in point: the hiring of a Director of Economic Development for the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.

So, circling back to this post's original line: if you grew up in Niles, attended high school in Wilmette, enrolled at Marquette University and were hired to work in Kenosha, that would make you Brian Rademacher, whose KABA hiring has made the media rounds in all four of those locales.

For example, here's the Wilmette TribLocal version of KABA's hiring of Brian.

What do you think--are there instances where this focus on finding a bevy of local hooks might go too far?