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April 17, 2012 in award, award of distinction, event, fpra, social media | Tags: blog, facebook, image awards, pr, public relations, pushing the envelope, social media, swfl, twitter, youtube | 2 comments
We’ve done it again! The entire team at PTE is excited to share we brought home some gold from the Local Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Image Awards today!
Alex Fernandez and Samantha Scott, APR received an Award of Distinction for their social media efforts on behalf of Cruise Naples. Work included creation of a social media campaign involving a custom-designed blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, Flickr, YouTube and video series, Foursquare and many other online communication efforts. All efforts exceeded campaign goals and showed marked growth in traffic to Cruise Naples’ accounts and website.
The Florida Public Relations Association is a statewide organization designed to promote professional and ethical public relations through professional development and community involvement. For more information about the local chapter, please visit www.fpraswfl.org.
April 5, 2012 in education, grammer, pushing the envelope, social media, southwest florida, writing | Tags: blog, fort myers, grammar, pushing the envelope, Southwest Florida, tips, writing | 1 comment
By: Annette Venditti
- Your welcome.
- Hello, is this you’re seat?
- The choir singers’s handled that song very well for their first try.
- Roses Bakery Shoppe is the best in the district.
- (The sound they heard was very distant).
- The little girl loved being outside (especially in the summer), she really enjoyed the warm sun and the sound of the birds in the trees (it was her little secret.)
Can you find the grammar mistakes in the sentence examples above? Some are easier than others, right?
The act of writing is a skill we’re taught in grade school, starting first with mastering all the letters of the alphabet, then forming words, phrases and ultimately complete sentences. We were taught the rules of proper grammar, but as writing has become something of a lost art, the rules have become a bit vague.
Additionally, today’s technology has largely affected our writing skills. I have seen, more often than I’d like to admit, the use of “text-like” writing in emails and printed materials… abbreviations, no capitalization and other grammatical offenses seem to abound.
I often look at my own writing and wonder why it doesn’t look quite right. I write daily in the form of news releases, blogs, emails, Facebook posts, etc. It’s proof that even in this age of technology, the skill of traditional writing is still prominent – in personal and business applications.
So, let’s brush up on some of the grammar basics. Here are some quick tips to help you avoid some of the most popular grammar mistakes.
Grammar Tip #1
The use of “your” in place of “you’re” is a common mistake that can easily be missed by spell check or even a proofreader.
In my examples above, the first sentence should read: You’re welcome.
“You’re” is the contraction (sound familiar?) for “You are”
So based on this correction then the next sentence should be: Hello, is this your seat?
Grammar Tip #2
The use of possessive “s” and plural possessive “s” is also a common mistake found in writing samples and printed materials.
The rule here is if you have a word that is singular possessive, like a noun or name, you place the apostrophe BEFORE the “s”.
Rose’s Bakery Shoppe is the best in the district.
BUT when you have a plural possessive noun, like a group of people or things, the apostrophe goes AFTER the “s”
The choir singers’ handled that song very well for their first try.
Grammar Tip #3
This grammar issue is a bit more confusing so here are the rules for the use of brackets or parenthesis in a sentence.
When a complete sentence is enclosed in parentheses, place punctuation in the sentence INSIDE the parentheses, like this.
(The sound they heard was very distant.)
If only part of a sentence is enclosed in parentheses (like this), place punctuation outside the parentheses.
The little girl loved being outside (especially in the summer), she really enjoyed the warm sun and the sound of the birds in the trees (it was her little secret).
For all your future writing project needs, always take the time to read through your finished piece a few times as well as ask someone else to proofread for you as a second pair of eyes can make all the difference!
Check out these sites and bookmark them for your future reference; these are great tools to use daily as a great checking tool for all your grammar and grammar rule needs. Go forth and write!
Grammar Girl: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
The Purdue Owl: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/5/
Grammar Bytes!: http://www.chompchomp.com/menu.htm
By: Annette Venditti, Communication Ally
I love writing. I have been writing since I was young, first in diaries and journals and then in my sketchbooks and school notebooks. I love the creative process, the ability to create a place and a story that can entertain, educate and paint a picture for everyone to enjoy.
I have now entered the world of blog writing where I get to use my writing experience as well as share ideas and information with a wide variety readers – and I love it! My challenge has been realizing that the blog platform is not just about the story and the message you are trying to send to your readers, it’s also about the technical process of getting your information to your existing readers (and prospective ones), and get them to share it in the most effective way possible.
Here are some tips on blog writing that incorporate my old school process of writing and the new school of SEO for capturing your audience and ensuring they come back to read every post.
Make it Web/Search Friendly
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the organic process of leveraging keywords and content development, is important to blog writing as you want the content to appear first on all search engine platforms. Did you know if you rank top in a search, your content and brand’s level of expertise is perceived to be higher and people assume that you are the better choice?
Using smart keywords within the title and text of your blog is an effective way to develop this strategy. Keywords are actually made up of 3 to 5 words, or key “phrases”. Refine them by starting with the more obvious (i.e. company name, brand, services/products) to the more detailed topics and categories that relate directly to your blog site and add them in a natural writing style throughout the blog content. Don’t forget about creating tags as they also help organize your content for search engines giving you much better results.
Make it Easy to Access
Not everyone is going to remember to check your blog daily or weekly. Make it easy for them to remember or get the information directly. This includes have an RSS feed option set up so your readers can get your new blog posts directly in their email or sending email updates, including links in your newsletter, etc.
The second element is your blog content, which should always be original, engaging and educational (informative) each time you post. Content in a blog is meant to be conversational allowing the reader to get a sense of who you are and what you represent. Add photos, videos (with links in the descriptions to the product or item referenced) and links to other sites throughout your content which enhances the blog overall.
Consistency in your blog’s style and message, one that supports and reflects your organization’s identity is the goal. Make sure it’s clear what your blog is about and commit to sticking with that topic or genre.
Always proofread your content (better yet, ask someone else to proof it before you post) as there is nothing worse than spelling and grammar mistakes when reading a blog online. Don’t just trust spell-check as many grammar mistakes are skipped when running this on your content.
Blog writing can be fun and easy, but be sure to stick to best practices. There are many resources out there to help you make your blog the best it can be. If you have questions for us on this topic, feel free to post a comment and thanks for reading our blog!
December 1, 2011 in education, public relations southwest florida, pushing the envelope, social media, southwest florida, strategic planning, strategy | Tags: blog, education, growth, Social Fresh, social media, Southwest Florida, swfl | 2 comments
The Internet marketing and social media world continues to change rapidly. In fact, communications in general is ever-evolving. That’s why it’s so important for us to continue our education. Part of that is participating in trade organizations like FPRA, going to seminars like Social Fresh, and also formal education.
Today, we’d like to announce some very special news of this genre… Alex Fernandez, Social Media Strategist at PTE has earned is Internet Marketing Masters degree!
We’ve always thought pretty highly of him, but now Alex is well versed in the advanced academic studies of Internet marketing, search engine optimization, e-commerce, and the psychology of the online consumer. His studies included key areas such as online brand development and consumer behavior / analysis, website usability testing, social and mobile marketing, website conversion optimization, search engine marketing strategy, Internet public relations and more.
“I wanted to obtain a competitive edge in my niche area of social media marketing,” Alex commented, “and the most ‘current’ education possible, considering that the online environment is ever-changing, coupled with my work at Pushing the Envelope, I’ve gained that.”
Alex helps clients communicate effectively through social media and other online platforms by developing fully integrated marketing strategies that enhance a brand’s presence. He has led both regional and national internet marketing campaigns in several industries, including travel, tourism, healthcare, hospitality, education, technology, and more.
If you’d like to pick his brain or learn about how we might be able to help your Internet marketing or social media efforts, contact Alex at alex(at)getpushing.com or (239) 221-2858. He likes high fives, pats on the backs and plus 1s on Google too!
August 10, 2010 in blog, facebook, fpra, marketing in the recommendation age, pr, public relations southwest florida, pushing the envelope, social media, twitter, youtube | Tags: blog, facebook, fpra, marketing, pr, public relations, pushing the envelope, social media | Leave a comment
Yesterday marked the second day of the 2010 FPRA Annual Conference, but it was the first day I attended. The opening keynote was none other than PR and Web 2.0 leader, Deirdre Breakenrdige! You may recognize her from the book “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” or her #prstudchat on Twitter – or one of the many other things she’s involved in.
While the entire conference is a knock out, packed with information for all PR professionals to grow on, I was particularly excited about this session. And, per PTE style – have laptop, will travel – I took notes to blog on the session for you (who couldn’t attend)!
Below are excerpts from the presentation. For more notes and reviews, be sure to check out the main FPRA blog.
PR R(e)volution: When Traditional Communication Meets Social Media
We are reinventing our industry. We’re moving away from complacency of communication to this new social media (SM) power. Before, most marketing/PR/advertising professionals used a “spray and pray” method of reaching audiences – sending messages out into the masses. Those broadcast messages don’t exist in the SM landscape and we’re now (or should be) more focused on interaction, engagement and relationships. This new media has given us a direct connect to the end user (target audience) that we never had before.
It’s very simple: Meaningful communication = valuable resource
PR can lead to earning new found recognition. With SM there are choices for how a business can tell a/their story. It’s no longer just press releases. Using connections has more power and resonates more. Instead of an ad, it’s someone the target audience trusts telling them about it.
Deirdre broke down the various online storytellers. These are the bloggers and people will influence online. They are independent, but often have the power of a national publication. However, depending on the level or category they fall into, there are pros and cons…
- Online audience/storytellers
- Primary newsmaker bloggers – 300,000 followers (equal to NYT, they offer a heavy first hit of coverage, but move on quickly)
- Secondary (magic middle) – influencer with less following, but still packs a PR punch. They have a loyal audience.
- Tastemakers – fewer followers, but they take the story from the beginning to the end and really sell it.
Here’s the key – consumers drive and control their communication. We have to listen 1st before we start sending our messages. This is something we as PR/marketing/advertising professionals have been hearing more about recently. It’s really common sense though. How can we know what our consumers want if we don’t ask and/or listen? With SM we can.
The Hybrid Factor – Blending Traditional PR and the New World of SM
- A hybrid exists in the middle. It’s the best of the past, traditional PR, and the new, social media.
- Traditional – audiences reached through impressions
- SM – audience reached through engagement
Characteristics of the Hybrid PR Professional:
- Social media “expert” (there really is no such thing as a SM expert, as we’re all continually learning, but someone who has a good command of the tools)
- Market analyst/expert
- Web marketer
- Customer service representative
- Relationship marketer
- Viral marketer
- Research librarian (as we are always learning, we’re also always looking for new information, tools and tips to grow ourselves, our companies & colleagues)
On the way to becoming a hybrid PR professional, there are a few questions to consider for your organization/clients:
- Have we evaluated our recent communications?
- What’s working for us traditionally?
- What’s working for us online?
- What’s not working?
- Have we listened/monitored the social media landscape?
- Are there places that it would make sense to engage?
- Who are we looking to reach?
- What’s the best type of content to share?
Don’t forget your guidelines!
Anytime a company is engaging in SM it’s imperative that ALL parties are on the same page. From who will manage it, to scheduling and what can/can’t be said online, the SM policy is critical to real SM success.
Policy development should be done in the beginning! It coincides with your strategy and planning and should include security and legal aspects. For instance, what if an employee leaves? Do you have their passwords? What if trade secrets are released on negative comments are being made? Have a plan in place!
SM policy examples:
- Complete online database of SM policies – Social Media Governance
- Corporate example, fully viewable for everyone – IBM
- Mashable’s 10 Must-Haves for your SM Policy
The FPRA (Florida Public Relations Association) Annual Conference is coming to Southwest Florida, Naples in fact. Packed with TONS of – you guessed it – PR tips, trends, news and related material, I’m especially excited to attend as it’s my first time being there in person!
I’ve only enjoyed the renowned speakers (think Deirdre Breakenridge, Peter Shankman, etc.) and taken tidbits away before, but it was vicariously. You see, as a group of communicators I’m proud and thankful to say FPRA does a great job of sharing the information and knowledge offered through their events. (For those of you who are members of other organizations you know why this is such a big deal. It’s often not the case. What is said in the conference stays there. Stagnant.)
One way of sharing is via blogging. Common sense for most computer savvy people in this day, but it’s not just the main keynote speakers/topics that are covered – almost all the presentations are reported on by some attendee or another. This year, one of those will be me!
As a reader of the blog posts of past, I’m happy to help those of who might not be able to attend – whether for time, cost, other or all of the above. Rest assured, you can still benefit from this conference and fellow bloggers like me will be helping you all along the way.
So, be sure to BOOKMARK the BLOG page and visit it throughout conference (August 8-11).
For a complete list of bloggers (thus far) click HERE.
For details on conference, registering & the schedule click HERE.
In Southwest Florida? Check out the local chapter site too.
July 2, 2010 in facebook, pushing the envelope, social media, twitter, youtube | Tags: blog, facebook, fort myers, pushing the envelope, social media, Southwest Florida, swfl, the news-press, twitter, youtube | Leave a comment
Mashable, reporter online of just about everything to do with social media, recently coordinated the first annual “Social Media Day” on June 30. Excited about this event as we do so much with these communication tools, PTE participated and helped spread the word.
As a result, The News-Press was interested in the topic and came out to cover the event, held at Firepit City Grill in Gulf Coast Town Center. Plus, a number of us were included in the article published in today’s paper. Check it out in the business section or online.
Many of you are familiar with the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Well, recently I participated in a HARO query/response and was selected as a guest author/post for their blog on the topic of “how to build a successful husband and wife business” – SEE #70. Along with 98 other professionals, I commented on what makes our firm work well with married leadership.
Check it out, offer your insights/comments and see what else the site offers. Do you agree with the suggestions?