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Monday, 13 February 2012

Twitter Bios for Effective PR

Setting up a new Publicity Clubs' Twitter account, and looking for some useful people to follow for our new band of members*.

Ran some searches and rounded up the usual suspects. Then started getting fascinated by the different approaches to writing Twitter bios taken by a group of mainly comms pros.

Some left their comms creds at the door as they created hopelesslessly fragmented bios.

Some put estate agents' abbreviations to shame - including no spaces after punctuation, showing little respect for readability or the reader.

A lot of self-confessed caffeine addicts and other proudly boasted tame excesses that seemed rather twee attempts to sound interesting.

A few were genuinely funny (imo), like the "Digital Cat Herder. I clean up on Facebook and Twitter after the Kids You Hired had their fun" (@StephenCaggiano) - irresistable!

So many superflous ! marks hopefully inserted to add interest or emphasis, but just spell out: I'm too lazy to be genuinely interesting.

Some with so many @ links, they make your eyes spin. You just know they have bitten Satan's SEO apple (SEO at all costs and to hell with the content).

Some seem interesting at first, then you discover your interest has been snared in one language - but they mainly tweet in another. For example, I was tempted by the description: "PR snorkel". Seemed curious enought to warrant further investigation, only to discover Remco Janssen tweets mainly in Dutch. Prolific Tweeter though. If you understand Dutch.

And some that deliver what they do with an interesting hook in 7 words or less and stand out like a cool clear draught of fresh spring water, compared to murkier waters.

@publicityclubs to see who we have followed.
Our Main Twitter account is @PennyHaywood run by PHPR's MD as we wanted to demonstrate the personal input from the top. Our other Twitter accounts are holding spaces to protect our brand names: #PHPR and #Publicity Clubs.

*Publicity Clubs for small business owners who will be enjoying shared publicity consultancy and support, starting on Feb 23rd. The group will meet monthly thereafter in central Edinburgh on the last Thursday of the month

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: TV Channel on YouTube: Ltd on LinkedInFollow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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Thursday, 9 February 2012

2 Weeks until First PHPR Publicity Club Launches in Edinburgh!

PHPR's pilot Publicity Clubs are attracting business owners from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh and there's only space for two more participants!

There's just two weeks to go until PHPR's first Publicity Club launches at noon in Edinburgh at HSBC's regional HQ at 1st Floor, Hobart House, 80 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EL.

Who Are Publicity Clubs For?

PHPR's Publicity Clubs are for smaller business owners who need cost-effective on and offline publicity support to get the right marketing, sales, PR and social media techniques all pulling together towards a strategically-planned profitable future.

No two business owners are the same and the Publicity Clubs will help owners play to their communications strengths, (and offer time-saving tips) selecting the right tools to help them succeed.

The Publicity Clubs will allow business owners to develop a 90-days Strategic Plan, broken down into priorities and actions. Then support the implementation of that plan with direct 1-2-1 hands-on support and delivery in between meetings, plus group support, motivation and training at the meetings.

How Much Do They Cost?

The pilot group will deliver up to £1,000 of publicity support each month to each participant for £200, subject to a year's contract and non-disclosure agreements to build an effective Publicity Clubs group.

What Do Publicity Clubs Offer Me?

Work with a small group and split the investment in professional publicity support to get:

Monthly publicity generation, planning and on-going email support

Pro PR support for planning and strategy to maximise publicity efforts and create rolling 90-day Publicity Action Plans,

Plus hands-on support to produce:

1) Clear sales messages
2) Effective web copy with website clinics - including testing each others' sites out
3) Marketing materials
4) Content generation for Google domination with easy to use templates to tease out the details to create content (video scripts, press releases, articles, expert guides, e-book formats, white papers, blogs and associated social media posts.)
5) Social media on steroids: why post to one when you can reach scores with a few more clicks? We show you how.
6) On and offline press releases and/or article marketing - properly and comprehensively distributed
7) Video training: one video is equal to >50 pieces of text online according to Forrester Research - we show you how and provide expert sessions to make your own
8) Online name protection

All proven to get the businesses noticed online and in the media.
Plus Added Value

9) Structured peer-group support
10) Guest expert insights
11) Discounts and deals
12) A working lunch

What Does PHPR Know about Small Business Publicity?

Founded in 1986 as Penny Haywood PR, PHPR was set up by Penny Haywood who worked on shoe-string publicity in fringe theatres, where she discovered how to make creativity and a brass neck serve as a publicity budget. She found out how to do PR on a local, national and international scale at the Bank of Scotland where she helped launch the world's first online bank (HOBS - Home & Office Banking) in 1985. HOBS opened Penny's eyes to the business and PR potential of technology and she has been online ever since.

She set up a PR and editing business. The business start-up course she attended had only one piece of publicity advice: advertise. Knowing that few start-ups could afford advertising, she ended up taking that part of the course. A participant got onto national TV a few days later and the word spread fast. Penny was in demand, teaching DIY PR skills to small business owners on top of her day job: running her PR business.

The DIY PR courses started by finding out what was already working for the smaller business owners, and gradually Penny built up a complete set of sales, marketing and PR techniques that were proven to work in smaller businesses. After ten years of training thousands of smaller business owners in DIY PR, she was persuaded to write DIY PR, the small business owner's guide to 'free' publicity (Batsford, 1998, paperback).

From her experience of working with smaller business owners, Penny knows that smaller business owners don't distinguish between PR, marketing and sales: it's all 'publicity' or 'promotion'. Yet PR, marketing and sales are still trained and accredited separately in the UK. Marketing experts have credited the DIY PR book as being the first to pull all three core publicity disciplines together.

Today, the online publicity opportunities afforded by Google and social media are pulling PR, marketing and sales into one integrated process, but many publicity advisers are still offering their own narrow disciplines. Plus online SEO and social media advisers often ignore the fact that businesses, and their potential clients' decision making processes operate both on and offline.

Penny believes that an integrated approach to both online and offline publicity maximises opportunities and produces consistency. She warns: "Ad hoc efforts by time-pressured business owners does the opposite: it pulls the business reputation in several different directions, loses focus, confuses the messages and leads to lost opportunities. Less is more and most business owners don't do enough with their best publicity material. We show them how to save time and increase the impact, and we'll help create content that works on and offline."

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: TV Channel on YouTube: Ltd on LinkedInFollow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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