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Sunday, 2 January 2011

10 Great Online PR Finds from 2010

Photo showing an exhibition with huge pictures of PHPR's MD
PR pictures with impact
Was lucky enough to get an invite today to Memolane.com. This is a new application in beta that combines all my posts on major social media sites into an easy to read time-line. It was a natural progression from reviewing last year's timeline to feeling an urgent need to pass on the most useful items I found online last year. You could argue that Memolane is no 1, but since it was found today in January - it's a sneak preview of 2011's round-up!

1. ISSUU - is a free (or paid, without advertising) service that's used by pro magazines as well as businesses and individuals. It turns PDFs, Powerpoints, ebooks, documents and more into pro-looking magazines with cool page turning technology. With 33 million monthly readers, you can't afford to ignore ISSUU. Making good looking documents is so easy with ISSUU, I was tempted not to tell anyone about it. Then I realised, the easier (and cheaper) it is to create these good-looking results, the more clients will want them. The real trick is still in the ideas brainstorming and development, the writing and editing, plus the pictures. Now we can cut a budget corner for clients on design. ISSUU also turns content into easy to read versions for Android phones. http://issuu.com/about.

2. Make your blogs, twitstream etc easy to read on mobile phones with Nokia's free app creation tool at the Ovi app store. Here's one I created earlier: http://store.ovi.com/content/67978 and there's links on the site to allow you to do that too.

3. Follow excellent people on Twitter. People who really know what they are talking about, then let their collected wisdom reflect well on you - every day. Thanks to the wonderful Paper.li, you can achieve this almost effortlessly. Paper.li takes the links posted by the people you have selected to follow, and turns them into a free daily newspaper with your name on it, which it posts automatically for you on your Twitter account. It looks really great and is perfect cover for the days when you are too busy to post. People who've heard me speak about Paper.li have come up to me afterwards, worried about the quality of some of the people they are following. I reckon Paper.li as an opportunity to up your game and I know I reviewed the c2,000 people I follow before letting my daily newspaper loose. Reading your own paper is a quality training experience if you are following the world's leading experts, so make this the year you learn from the best.

4. TwitClipArt - is not so much useful as impressive. How do they do that? Worth giving them a follow on Twitter.

5. I can't remember when I first signed up for HubSpot's free training resources, but if you are interested in websites that perform well for ecommerce and marketing, they are worth seeking out.

6. Now that we're competing globally for digital territory, there's a lot of competition for business names on social media pages. Facebook changed the rules on how to set up corporate pages - you need to set the business page on a individual user's account, where it will have a long meaningless URL. Then you need 25 people to "Like" the business page before you can apply for the business name at the Facebook URL. Bagging your own FaceBook business page is a must on such a dominent site. Failure to do so could mean someone else gets your business name. PHPR Ltd has a US and a New Zealand counterpart so I was lucky to get PHPR Ltd on Facebook. Placing your marker on popular social media pages is important. Even if you don't see the point of some of them, there's a chance that some of your existing and potential customers will and you could lose out. Many such sites are now fully-fledged free business platforms where you can engage with existing and potential customers in real-time: just don't be spammy about it.

7. For those of us with expertise, we now have a new way of monetising our knowledge and experience, thanks to Tutornet.co.uk. Tutornet matches up those that need to learn something with those that can teach them. Everything from helping school kids pass exams to learning new business skills and languages, plus recreation skills. Signing up to offer your services is free and it's possible to tutor online using Skype if you can train yourself to look at the camera instead of your notes!

8. If you need to communicate with people in other parts of the world - welcome to a whole new world of foreign social media - and gateways into some of the largest global marketplaces. Here's a useful (and eye-opening) round-up: http://memeburn.com/2010/07/11-world-wide-social-networks-you-may-not-have-heard-of/

9. If ISSUU makes documents look great, then Prezi.com revolutionises presentations with eye-popping zoom effects. Forget shoehorning stuff into little slide squares and open up to a whole new experience. Free to paid options.

10. The Work Smart column at Fast Company magazine is the most practical and succinct source of advice on running life and business. The post on how to make procrastination productive is a case in point: http://www.fastcompany.com/article/work-smart-how-to-make-procrastination-productive
Fast Company is a US magazine dedicated to reporting about how the "fast companies"; entrepreneurs, and cutting-edge do what they do.

And a couple of things for fun:

Put your face on the cover of Vogue - or on a massive street hoarding, or a whole range of other possibilities at Photofunia.com. It's free to use. Great if you want to make unusual cards for people. Or a picture for your blog....

It's free to sign up for Groupon.co.uk in your home city and get daily deals worth 60% or more off local restaurants and a range of other treats.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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