#PRSABOS Social Media Summit 2013
Three of us from Text Boston zipped off to Waltham this Tuesday to attend the Boston PRSA Social Media Summit 2013. We laughed, we took notes and we Tweeted until our mobile devices were out of juice.
This year’s sessions were on engaging customers, driving engagement, creating content, bloggers and brands and measuring impact. Speakers including Karen Raskopf, CCO of Dunkin’ Brands, John Mataraza, director of marketing for Digital Influence Group, David Oksman, head of marketing for The Life is Good Company and Dave Armon, president of Critical Mention.
Here are some quick takeaways from the Summit:
Mind your manners!
Good conversation skills translate into good social media skills. Don’t offend, remember your audience, and be polite.
Stay True to Your Brand Online
You have to be a good brand in real life before you can be a good brand online.
Traditional Methods Don’t Always Translate
A fun statistic: you are more likely to be a navy seal than click on a banner ad. Online advertisements might not cut it, and companies have to consider all of PESO, not just the “P.”
Social Media is About the Audience
User behavior should be determining the platform strategy for brands. Some platforms perform better for certain brands, and digital strategy should be based on what the audience wants.
Be Passionate About what You Do
Dave Oksman from Life is Good gave a very passionate speech about how his company’s brand was about inspiring optimism, and everyone who spoke was a passionate brand ambassador.
It’s Okay to Play Traffic Cop
It’s easy to become inundated with content when working with the numerous business segments within an organization.
(Our favorite image from the event — the Raytheon’s CEO sporting some major cuff links).
— Michele M., Steph K. and Kate F.
Boston PRoud – working together in the aftermath
In the wake of the terrorist bombing in Boston, the people of this city went through the full range of human emotions.
The immediate feelings of shock, fear, anger and grief were joined by pride in the brave reaction of our citizens and first responders.
Then a wave of sadness as we saw the human impact on the victims, those we lost and those whose lives have been forever changed by horrible injuries. That sadness lingers. But alongside it has come a sense of resolve, and a desire to help.
From that desire to help – to do something – has emerged a remarkable event for the Boston public relations community. On May 29, our industry will come together at Boston PRoud – an evening to raise money for The One Fund Boston, the charity founded by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to raise money for the victims of the bombing. What started as an idea in a team meeting less than two weeks ago has gathered remarkable momentum. More than 30 public relations firms have agreed to come together to co-host this event, and in just a few days those firms have helped to sell more than 600 tickets to the event.
The news that there was going to be an event like this spread across the Boston PR community like wildfire. It went from one agency to another by word-of-mouth and every possible social network. Agencies went from hearing about the idea to making the donation required to become a co-host in a matter of minutes – then offered to help to promote the event further. PR Newswire immediately jumped on board as a sponsor, to help defray some of the costs of the event, and more sponsors are welcome as the event continues to expand.
We’re proud that the idea for the event started at Text100. But the reality is that everyone across Boston was feeling that desire to do something. The idea for Boston PRoud came along at the right time to capture that spirit, and gave people across our industry something to get behind.
What has been most rewarding about planning this event has been the opportunity to work side-by-side with agencies that we compete with every day. We have unbelievably talented people working across our industry – people who simply know how to get things done. That’s never been more true than in working toward this event. The idea for Boston PRoud would not have gotten off the ground without old friends at firms like fama PR, March Communications, PAN Communications and SHIFT Communications. Each saw the opportunity to do something and jumped on it. Within 48 hours of the first conversations between those five firms, we had 20 others lined up to participate. When we work together as an industry, we can accomplish things with breathtaking speed.
There was an interesting article in PR Week last Friday about whether the Text100/APCO Worldwide partnership for Blackberry would start a trend of agencies working together. Whether it’s a trend remains to be seen. But what is clear is that with a common sense of purpose, agencies can work together to do great things. Whether for a client or an important charity, we’re all more successful if we remember it’s not about the agency, it’s about the cause.
So on May 29, at multiple venues on Boylston Street – the site of the bombing – the Boston PR community will gather and raise a glass as one. We will renew old friendships and make new ones while supporting a great cause.
Our shared contribution – at this point more than $45,000 and growing every day – is a drop in the bucket compared to the needs of the victims. But for one night at least, competitors will share a common purpose. And we’ll all have the feeling that we’ve done something.
Blogs on the Brain
At Text100 Boston, we have many interests. These include cupcakes, collaborating on awesome client work and reading the very best the Internet has to offer. We read (and love) a landscape of blogs that range from silly to serious. They make us laugh, they inspire, and sometimes they even tell us what not to wear.
In a PR landscape where blogger relations and understanding the nature of online media is becoming increasingly important, it probably doesn’t hurt that we’re reading.
Below are contributions from our office on our favorite blogs.
My favorite blog is Grantland’s Hollywood Prospectus. It provides top-notch commentary on all things pop culture, particularly when it comes to TV recaps. Every Monday, I make sure to read Mark Lisanti’s weekly Mad Men power rankings where he ranks the characters for each episode with a touch of wit – it’s simply brilliant!
— Steph K.
I enjoy reading Man Repeller, a blog by Leandra Medine. It’s an interesting mix of unconventional fashion and cultural commentary, written with an irreverence that makes me smile every time I read it.
— Marina M.
My New Roots- Her approach to food and living a healthy/balanced life is spot on…and her pictures are drool worthy.
Overall Favorite: NieNie Dialogues – It’s about a woman who almost died in a plane crash, was burned in over 90% of her body, and her struggles coming back to a “normal” life. I’ve been reading her blog for years, and despite all the struggles, she still finds the beauty and love in life. I can totally appreciate that.
GoFugYourself – Because they’re irreverent but never insulting of anything more than a celebrity’s outfit. Also, the bloggers’ writing style is hilarious and they totally own their affinity for bad TV shows, which I love.
Martha De Labbey is a new addition to Text 100 Boston, so we put her on the hot seat to answer some questions. Originally from New Jersey, Martha has been living in Boston for about three years and is a graduate of Emerson’s integrated marketing communication program.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Text100 Boston so far?
A: Beer o’clock, Café de Boston, Bagel Wednesdays (though my waistline begs to differ).
Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
A: The ability to get ANY designer/luxury product for free…now that’s power.
Q: What is one goal you would like to accomplish during your lifetime?
A: Learn how to properly fold a fitted sheet. Seriously.
Q: If PR vanished, what would your ideal career be?
A: Anything that let me travel the world.
Q: What song would you choose to be your walk-up music when you enter the office? (In the style of a professional baseball player)
A: “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.
Q: I f you could pick one celebrity to join the Text100 Boston team, who would you choose?
A: Does Grumpy Cat count as a celebrity?
Yes, Martha, Grumpy Cat definitely counts. But we feel the opposite of grumpy about having you on board.
Tragedy on a Uniquely Boston Day
There was a line in a news story about Monday’s tragic bombing in Boston that said something along the lines of this: “Patriots’ Day is an important holiday in Boston, but is not widely celebrated outside of Massachusetts.”
It’s true – Patriots’ Day is a uniquely Boston holiday – a uniquely Boston day really. To an outsider, it probably looks like an odd mish-mash of events coming together on one day.
· There’s the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the battles that began the American Revolution and the events that the day is designed to honor.
· There’s the running of the Boston Marathon, a historic event in its own right as the world’s oldest annually held marathon. With 27,000 runners and a world-class field, many call it Marathon Monday, forgetting the original intent of the day.
· The Boston Red Sox play a home game at the unusual time of 11 a.m., which allows the fans to leave Fenway Park in time to walk down to Kenmore Square to cheer on the runners.
· Schools and public offices are closed, and there are smaller parades and celebrations across the city and state.
All of these things came together yesterday – as they do every year in a pattern that’s familiar to all of us here. Boston is a major city, but in many ways it’s a small town. If you’ve lived here for a while, chances are you or someone you know has run the Marathon. In the Boston office of Text100, we were proud to see our own Sean Audet cross the finish line on a brutal 90 degree Patriots’ Day a few years ago. If you haven’t run, you’ve probably gone to watch it – with 500,000 spectators every year, it’s by far the most widely attended sporting event in New England every year. One way or another, it seems everyone in Boston is personally connected to Patriots’ Day.
Sadly, that’s more true than ever now. Most of us at Text100 Boston were working yesterday, our offices just over a mile from the scene of the bombing. We watched the scene from across town unfold on TV with the sound of emergency vehicles echoing through the streets outside our windows. As the grim realization that terrorism had struck our city began to set in, we faced frightening questions. Were our friends, colleagues and loved ones at the race okay? Was it safer to go home or to stay put in the office? Was the attack over, or would there be more explosions, more panic, more casualties in our city?
Twenty-four hours later, we still have more questions than answers. We don’t know who did this awful thing or why. We don’t know the names of all of the victims. We don’t know if this was the end of something, or the beginning.
But amidst the uncertainty, we do know some things. We know we’re proud of how our city has responded to terror. We know our team at Text100 Boston is safe. We know we appreciate the thoughts of friends, family and colleagues who have checked in on us from every corner of the globe.
And we know that we’ll never forget what happened yesterday. The day that our city, and our unique little holiday was marred by something that’s all too common around the world.
#snOMG #snowmageddon #bosnow
Friday morning greeted me with 6 inches of unplowed snow, which would quickly turn into 16 inches… and this was after we had three consecutive weekend snowstorms in February. We get it, winter, you’re not going out without a fight.
I looked outside and debated whether to go to work or not – it looked bad, but my town’s schools were open, so maybe commuting was doable. I turned to Twitter and discovered that roads were unplowed throughout the city, many MBTA buses (including mine) were being diverted, and there was a double whammy on the red line: both a signal failure and disabled train. I stayed home.
When Twitter first launched in 2006, a lot of people asked, “What’s the point?” That conversation has drastically changed – before Boston got walloped by Nemo, there was a discussion about which hash tag to use. While #snowmaggedon was more entertaining, #bosnow was more localized. Even the Mayor’s office caught on, tweeting about school closings and parking bans using #bosnow.
As we’ve seen, users have transformed Twitter into an extremely useful tool – for localized news, connecting with customers (and in some cases, providing customer support), or building brand awareness. While brands and PR professionals have figured out how to successfully leverage Twitter, the verdict is still out on Vine, a new Twitter service that lets users capture 6-second videos. So far, the only interesting Vine (if that’s what they’re called) I’ve seen is of Michele’s adorable cats; it’s yet to be determined whether Vine will catch on as Twitter and Instagram have.
Then again, I was one of those early skeptics of Twitter, so who knows what Vine will bring? I guess the social media world will just have to wait and see (or, start posting themselves).
Text100 Employee Appreciation Day is Here!
It’s that time of year – Text100 Employee Appreciation Day! Today is the day where Text100 says thanks to all of its employees for the hard work that we do.
Since today is considered THE holiday here for us Texties, I’d thought I’d share my top five reasons why Text100 Employee Appreciation Day is awesome:
- Company swag. This year, our Fun Committee decided that it would be great to have some Text100-branded merchandize and got us some swanky water bottles. These bottles also tie into our office CSR initiatives as a way for us to save on use of plastic/paper cups. So it in a way, we now have socially-responsible swag.
- Breakfast of Champions. Every Text100 Employee Appreciation Day starts off with a breakfast. Past breakfasts have included bagels, pastries, mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. This year’s included mimosas and a box of a dozen Dunkin Donuts. Pretty great way to kick-off a Friday morning.
- Office lunch. I know what you’re thinking, what can be great about lunch? But lunch on employee appreciation day is totally different. This year, everyone got to pick out a customized burrito or burrito bowl from Boloco so we felt even more love while eating our lunch.
- Massages. It’s been a Boston tradition offering massages at work on special days like today. Since we live and breathe at our desks, we can use some TLC on our backs and wrists.
- Values. Text100 Employee Appreciation Day also included the launch of the new Text100 Values which really emphasized what today is all about – respecting the individual while celebrating our work as a team.
We welcome you to follow along with our activities today on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Just use the following hashtags: #text100employeeappreciationday and #text100values.
Our office surprise this morning - water bottles and donuts.
A close-up of our Text100 water bottles.
What’s in a name…
We here at Text100 pride ourselves on being individuals, creators in our own right. Well, here in the Boston office we have some - shall I say - duplicates. Introducing Stephanie K., Stephanie L., Lisa S., and another Lisa S. (yes, you read that right).
(From L to R, Lisa Sorrentino, Lisa Silver, Stephanie Liu, Stephanie Kanaan)
In one of the smallest offices in the North America Text100 family, we are lacking in name diversity. In our open office environment, we have the luxury of having joint conversations about AP style, wording, reality TV, fashion and food (and most importantly, PR). When it comes to addressing one another, considering our duplicates, we have gotten pretty creative. I, Lisa Sorrentino have taken on the nickname “The Situation,” more often referred to as “Sitch,” due to my last name being the same as Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s from TV’s Jersey Shore, to distinguish myself from Lisa Silver.
The Stephanies, however, have yet to find a nickname to end the confusion. So until then, they will continue to look up and answer simultaneously to “Hey Steph?” Suggestions anyone?
Never a dull moment in PR
To me, one of the most exciting aspects of my job is not knowing what to expect each day. Not a day goes by that I’m not learning or doing something completely new. Embracing change and learning to roll with the new challenges is a key part consulting our clients.
For example, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about a diverse field of different and evolving technologies since I’ve started in PR. When I was working for Text100 Madrid, I became an expert on all things related to flash memory storage solutions, hands free devices and VoIP (Voice over IP). On the other hand, here at Text100 Boston, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about supply chain management, analytics, procurement management and security software. I’ve also been learning about the fascinating world of Internet standards, its history, the geniuses behind it and organizations that have had a hand in creating the Internet we all use today. It’s exciting to take all of that knowledge and translate it into compelling stories for different audiences on a daily basis.
One of the other exciting aspects of my work job is testing products before they’ve even been released. For example, I had one of the most exciting iOS/Android gadgets well before it hit the market. Part of my role was to become familiar with all the characteristics and functionalities of the product well enough to demo it to reporters. It’s a real thrill to walk a reporter through a product that they’ve never seen before. Actually, while trying to familiarize myself with this gadget, I “crashed” it flying a couple of times, but then I managed to handle it and actually became quite an expert. In fact, we organized a very successful press demo in which I was able to show my “flying skills.” Another highlight of my consumer PR experience was trying the latest in digital photo frames. My favorite was a frame with Internet connection and beautiful designer style.
With all of these memorable experiences under my belt, I started to wonder, what makes the field of PR exciting for my colleagues? I polled a few of my fellow Boston officemates at Text100, and here’s what they said:
@ilenabeth : The most exciting thing about PR is that we get to be directly involved with innovation as it’s happening. It’s so exciting to see how clients are developing and the news they are sharing. To be a part of that innovation process and helping share that news with the world is such a great experience.
@RachelEvelyn: Working with exciting companies that are considered technology innovators.
MarinaGio: The most exciting thing about PR is generating new ideas and perspectives.
@LisaSorrentino: The most exciting thing about PR is learning what works for some brands doesn’t work for others. Also, watching our clients grow their brand, as we tell their story.
@StephKanaan: It’s getting to work on some cool accounts that you’d never associate with B2B tech.
Michele_Moore: I love that PR brings something new every day. I have no idea what’s in store for me when I check my iPhone each morning, and that is an exciting feeling.
@_KatieBug: The most exciting thing about PR is that it’s constantly changing, constantly evolving. While there are some tasks that remain the same from day to day, overall, I’m being challenged in this field. There are new techniques to learn, new reporters to build relationships with, new campaigns to execute. One day is always different from the next.
Welcome back Lisa Silver!
We don’t care that it’s Monday…. Why? Because Lisa Silver is BACK! :-)