The Power of Pinterest- Building Your Brand

I am always on Pinterest. Any free second I have I am adding new styles to my fashion board, great recipes and even cute pictures of dogs. So, you could say I know first-hand how addicting Pinterest really is.

It was not until recently that I realized how much branding power Pinterest really has. I am constantly seeing pins from makeup companies promoting their new foundation to Apple endorsing their new iPhone 5 cases.

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The power of Pinterest has grown, but really, what is the fascination?  Why is pinning pictures to a virtual board about what is cool and stylish so fascinating to the public and companies?  To me, Pinterest is a great place to organize your favourite things easily. It’s an easy way to find great ideas and recipes right at your fingertips. But the question is, how did this social network gain so many followers so quickly and how have brands successful promoted themselves on this network.

Here are 4 ways to attract the attention of people like myself and to spread the word about a new products.

1. Spend the time

Like Twitter and Facebook, a company needs to be invested with its audience. Once you take the time to build key relationships, your brand will become more noticed/pinned, making it easier for consumers to start a conversation on other social networks.

2. Make sure your business is right for Pinterest.

As I have mentioned, as an active pinner I am constantly looking for new fashion trends and recipes. Most of the boards I am following are caters to individuals like myself. So, it is important for a company to be the right fit with Pinterest. Sometimes this means being creative with your brand and not just throwing pictures of things that are sold.

3. Promote more than products.

Playing off of the idea of a brand being creative, it is important for a company to use Pinterest in any way they can. This may mean promoting more than just a product itself. Posting ideas, tips and interesting facts about other companies that work well with your brand is an easy way to keep pinners pinning.

4. Connect your Pinterest to other social feeds.

Last but certainly not least, for a company to be successful, they need to make sure they are linking their pins to their website, Twitter or Facebook feed. Pinterest is a great place for a brand to give consumers a small piece of information, leaving them to want more. This is why it is important for companies to be linking their accounts to their social feeds. If a consumer sees what they like on Pinterest, it is a guarantee that once they explore a company website, they will find more of what they like.

Pinning is a great and easy way for a brand to get well known and a great place for known brands to get more traffic.

Read more on how a brand can successful use Pinterest:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-tips-for-using-pinterest-for-business/

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A Writing Filled Career

Interviewer: “What would you say is your greatest strength?”

Interviewee: “Writing, I LOVE to write, I have always been passionate about it.”

Everyone likes to write. Being able to put a pen to paper and write down your thoughts is an incredible feeling. But the question is, can everyone write well?

The PR industry is filled with multiple areas of study. From journalism, to math to business, everyone is coming from a different background of writing.

As an English major, I was taught a certain way to write which evidently has NOT helped me in the long run. It has made me passionate about writing, but realistically has not taught me how to write concise, straight to the point, only the facts writing.

PR training has.

Entering into the profession, we will need to know how to write everything, from business proposals to writing effective tweets in less than 140 characters. Basically, writing will be our career.

With this being said, how does a young professional looking to enter into the competition stand out from the next?

  1. Practice self-editing.

I love proofreading… other peoples work. Proofreading my own documents is a chore, but taking the time to proof and revise my own work will make the difference. I am always catching simple errors that could be avoided if only I simply re read my work.

      2. Learn to love style guides.

Buy the book, read it, learn it and love to use it. I am slowly understanding how important my style guide is to my everyday life. It is the universal way of communicating with all professionals – writing and editing all media materials, from press releases to memos.

I never thought that knowing the difference between there, their and they’re would make such an impact on my life, but it has.

Writing and grammar goes a long way in this industry and is always evolving, but as the saying goes.. practice makes perfect so my advice is to always have your style guide beside you.

Being able to write concise and being able to edit your own work will make or break you.

Interviewer: “What would you say is your greatest strength?”

Interviewee: “I am passionate about writing and have the ability to write strong concise pieces of work with little to no grammar mistakes.”

It may seem silly, but it will make that much of a difference.

Read more tips on how to improve your writing :  http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15_writing_tips_from_a_journalist_turned_PR_pro_12732.aspx

 

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

Never say no comment

As my knowledge advances in the world of PR, there is one thing that sticks out…

NEVER SAY NO COMMENT.”

Going with this theme, I thought I would write my entry dedicated to the TOP THREE THINGS that should be avoided during media interviews.

1. Don’t ignore a question or respond with “NO COMMENT.”

By responding with no comment, the audience will believe you are hiding something from them. If you find yourself not being able to answer the question, simply answer what you can and promise to follow up later. Although the audience might still question what your saying, at least you are offering an alternative.
If a reporter or someone from the media is asking for a comment on a rumour, be it true or false, simply be up front or say something non committing, something that you won’t be quoted on later.

2. Don’t rely on corporate sounding messages.

During an interview you should always be promoting your company or brand and trying to slide in as many key messages as you can but, the trick is to make them heart felt. This way, you can reach a wider audience. Sometimes to conquer this, a corporation needs to choose a spokesperson, someone who has the ability to speak, and speak well.
Although many organizations opt to have their CEO deliver a message, it is well advised to make sure either the CEO is tested and can deliver the message no problem OR the organization has a designated spokesperson to offer an insight to the problem. But, I believe that when a company is dealing with a huge crisis, the CEO should be the face presented to the public then, the public trusts that the company is doing everything it can and that they are not hiding anything.

3. Don’t lose your temper.

There have been sometimes when I’m in a professional situation and I just want to voice my opinion, but the only way it will come out is me…losing my temper so, mastering this is CRUCIAL. It may seem easy, you may think, “okay yeah, I am on TV why would I lose my temper and make my brand look bad,” but when the situation arises, it’s a whole other story.
The interviewee needs to find a balance between being calm and showing energy and passion. A question may arises during an interview that you are not ready to answer, or puts your company in a bad light. Instead of avoiding the question, which may result in you losing your temper, simply stick to your key messages when in doubt. Just give concise, straight –to-the-point answers. By doing this, you won’t lose control in an interview or give an inaccurate statement.

Okay so, it’s a given that one time somewhere, we will all screw up. We won’t stick to the key messages or we might say no comment even when we know we shouldn’t. But, at least there are a few ways to avoid messing up in an interview with the media.

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Read more don’ts when dealing with the media:
http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/14_nonos_to_avoid_during_media_interviews_13694.aspx#

A PR Nightmare

All it takes is a single click, an employee logged into the wrong account, a joke gone wrong or an uploaded photo to create a public relations disaster.

After reading some corporate social fails, like the KitchenAid tweet during one of the presidential debates and the uploaded picture of a Burger King employee standing on the lettuce from the restaurant, I got to questioning how successful these large corporations were with their responses to these unpredicted crises.  

It’s one thing if a team has some time to acknowledge the situation at hand, then prep and consult for a short period of time, but how would you handle a social media slip when you know you only have, maybe, a minute or two to respond?

Do you ignore the problem and hope no one will notice?

Of course not!

We live in an age of technology. We live in a world where fast, isn’t fast enough. So, if you’re company is on twitter, facebook or any social media outlet, you know the public is going to see your every move and be quick to respond.

So, looking back at what were said to be the biggest PR disasters of 2012, the question is – did the companies do an effective job at responding to the issue and informing the public what had happened?

First, let’s look at how a PR disaster was managed positivley.

In my opinion, KitchenAid is a perfect example of a company responding quickly and effectively to their crisis. After an inappropriate tweet sent to readers about Obama during one of the presidential debates, KitchenAid deleted the tweet and responded quickly to the matter. They made it clear to their followers and the general public that the joke did not reflect the values at KitchenAid. They also clearly stated that this person who tweeted out, would not be tweeting anymore.

Now, why was this successful?

  1. KitchenAid responded quickly and deleted the post.
  2. The company address their brand, announcing to the public that the joke did not reflect their values.
  3. KitchenAid provided the public with their solution. They announced publicly that something was being done about the slip up.

KitchenAid addressed the problem immediately which, in turn, made it no longer a problem. Although this issue is small compared to larger incidents that companies have dealt with, the company responded in a timely manner, addressed their brand letting the public know that they were not behind the problem and provided a solution.

Now onto the good stuff.

American Appeal is an excellent example of a company that did not respond quickly enough to it’s public’s outcry. During Hurricane Sandy, the clothing store American Appeal used the storm to sell merchandise. The store had a “sandysale” online. Several customers responded with tweets disgusted at the stores not-so-funny marketing strategy.

Now, I understand making light of a hard situation. Humour does work in tough times and American Appeal is known for going against the grain, but after receiving the public’s response, you would assume the company would somehow apologize for the tasteless joke.

It didn’t.

So, as you can see, there are ways of addressing a corporate social fail.

You either do, or you don’t.

And if you chose to address the issue head on, you better make sure, as these examples have shown, that you inform your public on what is happening.

Read more PR disasters of 2012: http://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-pr-disasters-of-2012-2012-11?op=1