DIY PR: Shout-outs!

It’s a crazy busy week for me, but I said I’d post once a week on this topic and dammit I plan to! So this week, I’m doing shout-outs to blogs I know and read and think are really cool. “Why? What’s this got to do with PR?” you may ask. And I may point you to topics I’ve discussed at length in the past. Now, without further adieu!

Auston Habershaw. I’ve known Auston since I was a freshman in college — he’s a very creative and fun person, runs and writes fantastic RPGs, and fiction, and blog posts. If you’ve ever gamed, or enjoyed some sci-fi or fantasy, or tried to make it as a writer in any capacity, you’ll enjoy his blogs. Blunt, honest, no hedging his opinions when they may be “unpopular,” and yet insightful and quite enjoyable. I know Auston had his reservations about blogging when he started, but I daresay he’s taken to it quite well.

Diary of a Random Fangirl. After all the mentions I’ve gotten on Cass’s blog, I’m overdue and way behind on my links back to her! Cass and I have gamed together and been occasional creative partners for a number of years now. What I love about her blog posts is how each and every one is clearly crafted with care, well thought-out and well-groomed before it’s posted. Also, she’s got a good schedule going for the posts: Media Mondays, Writing Wednesdays, and Fangirl Fridays.

Domestocrat. Kim is another good friend and a blogger who really takes time and puts in a lot of effort with her posts. And I just love that name, too! From recipes to photography to DIY projects and travel notes, she covers all the topics you imagine a “domestocrat” would. If you’re looking for a tasty meal or party food suggestion, or how to restore a cabinet and give it a great unique look, Kim’s blog is for you.

Gina Damico. Gina, another friend, recently a book as hilarious and fun as her blog! A YA romp through death and rebellious teenagers, Croak is a good read, and if you enjoy her style of writing on her blog, you will highly enjoy her book, too. One of the best parts of this is that since I’ve known Gina since college as well, I can tell you true, she’s exactly like she sounds on her blog. It’s great to be able to read someone’s writing and hear their voice and even see their mannerisms as you do! And she’s often involved in fun giveaways and blog scavenger hunts, so you could get swag out of it!

Gaming as Women. I’m a woman, and I game. And lately I’ve been enjoying getting to read about other women gaming, their ideas and experiences, about the culture, the industry, even the potlucks. Insightful posts, written by a number of contributors, Gaming as Women is a good blog for any gamer to take at least a look at it. (Also, this helps show that no, I don’t only read blogs written by people I know personally! Unfortunately, they don’t have an image in their banner that I could include here.)

PhotoBotos. If you enjoy looking at beautiful photos, covering a range of subjects and styles, this is the place to go. I get a gorgeous image in my email everyday, things that are down right inspiring. I often wonder if the photos are real or not, but they are indeed real. It’s a great way to remind yourself of the huge world out there that you’ve never seen and how truly amazing it all is. For those you who aspire to take such photos yourselves, they also post a lot of product reviews on cameras and editing software.

That’s my shout-out roll for today. Enjoy these blogs, and don’t forget to link to your friends and other blogs or sites you enjoy, too! If you’re holding into something good, other people will want to know about it!


DIY PR: Engage the Community

Community: Vital for good PR, marketing, and business success. Also a fantastic TV show. Six seasons and a movie!

The restaurants you go to are the ones your friends review positively on Yelp. The books and video games you read and play are the ones your buddies are playing, and the movies you go to are the ones you and your friends or significant other agree you all have an interest in seeing. Word of mouth is one of, if not the, biggest factors in determining where and how we spend our money. So, how do you get good word of mouth going about your business or product?

Engage your community! It’s not entirely dissimilar to building a relationship with press and media contacts, really. Let’s put down the givens: Any media person knows you ultimately want coverage, and any potential consumer knows you want them to buy what you’re selling. Thing is, who are you more likely to buy from or tell other people about? The company who merely tells you the price, takes your money, and gives you what you paid for — or the person who put in the effort to talk with you, engage your interests, gets to know, and also has a nice product to offer? Read more

DIY PR: Building Relationships and Making Contacts

This weekend I went to a great panel discussion & networking event on using social media for PR. Hosted by Smak and MassChallenge, the panel featured a number of PR and Media panelists — specifically, Kimberley Ring of Ring Communications; Steve Annear of the Boston Metro (he recently wrote an article about T the Musical!); Dave Gerhardt of Constant ContactSanti DeOleo of Jam’n 94.5 (a local Boston station) and Modus Collection Clothing; and moderated by the Smak CEO Matt Hooper — giving advice and talking about some of their experiences on what works and what doesn’t. It was great meeting some more people in PR (among them, Peter Gett of Yodle, Inc.) and getting said advice, and the biggest takeaway for me was how important it is to build relationships. Read more

DIY PR: Social Media

Social media is huge = understatement of the decade. Facebook and Twitter (and Tumblr, though my experience there is just about nil) are huge. They let you reach a potentially limitless audience with remarkable speed and swiftness, regardless of if you’re trying to share a link, an image, a video, what have you. Don’t underestimate social media, and if you’ve got any sense, don’t ignore it!

There are some less immediately obvious social media outlets, though. So I’ll gloss over Facebook & Twitter quickly to get to those. Read more

DIY PR: Learn How to Write (Press Releases)

You know how to write! Of course you do! You can put letters in order and they form words others can read. Writing to get someone else interested in what you’re doing is more than that. It’s presentation, it’s word choice, it’s grammar and punctuation and spelling, it’s being descriptive while being succinct. And it’s important.

1. Spelling Counts. So Do Grammar and Punctuation. 

Thank God for the backspace key.

That means spell things correctly, have your commas and semi-colons in the right places and craft your words with careful thought and consideration. Don’t take shortcuts, and do have someone proofread. Have them do it twice. Then you should do it twice, no matter how smart you are, or how often you’ve done this, because you are not perfect. Case in point, I titled yesterday’s post DYI instead of DIY at first and didn’t notice until someone else pointed it out. Doh! Look at every word and dissect it to make certain it’s correct! Personally, I draft my important emails and press releases in a word doc program first — no chance of hitting send too soon!

Read more