Join Business Wire’s Laura Sturaitis at SXSWi

March 6, 2013
Laura Sturaitis

Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President, Media Services and Product Strategy

SXSWiI am eagerly looking forward to attending SWSXi in Austin this weekend where I will be participating in a panel during Hill & Knowlton’s Data Day on Sunday morning, March 10th. Just by posting that I will be attending on my SXSWSocial site, I have already been contacted by lots of other pilgrims who are making the trek to Texas.

If the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha is ‘Woodstock for Capitalists’, then this must certainly be ‘Woodstock for Geeks or Hipsters’ (or both!). “Rumor spreadin’ ’round in that Texas town” that with 5,000+ activities to choose from, you should be sure to check out the great series of panels that H&K has put together on Sunday at Wanderlust Studios. Our panel is “Journalism-By-The-Numbers: Data Will Change the Nature of News” with my fellow panelists James Grimaldi and Kevin Helliker of The Wall Street Journal and Liv Buli of Next Big Sound, with our moderator Emily Ramshaw of The Texas Tribune.

I am honored and excited to be heading to SXSW, and anticipating a lively and informative discussion. Follow me at @lsturaitis for my Twitter updates from SXSWi this weekend.


Aristotle on Twitter, Mom Knows Best, and Other Lessons from SXSWi 2009

March 23, 2009
Is Aristotle on Twitter

If Aristotle were on Twitter, he'd be a big retweeter.

Getting attention in a cluttered content universe was just one hot topic at South by Southwest Interactive this year, and the question, “Do you give good URL?” aimed to address the point in a delightful panel of  University of Texas at Austin academics.

Maybe my background as an American Studies graduate from UT predisposed me to this panel, but I found it was one of my favorites in the five-day new media conference of more than 6,000 attendees.

The discussion, “Is Aristotle on Twitter?” revisited the great philosopher and addressed the struggle many of us face online–deciphering style from substance. Giving good URL–that is, supplying readers with useful, relevant content via helpful links–indicates BOTH, say the academics.

Generous, appropriate Link Love not only shows your style, but reflects your judgement.  You wouldn’t knowingly pass along something you didn’t find valuable–would you?

While last year Twitter was oft discussed in the context of the horrendous Sarah Lacy/Mark Zuckerberg interview, in 2009 Twitter tips were ubiquitous, as attendees filled conference halls, laptops opened, Tweetdeck loaded.    Example: Retweeting may be the sincerest form of flattery and is strongly encouraged, say the academics.   “Retweeting creates judgement, while tweeting creates familiarity.” 

Other great takeaways:

1. Every cell phone is a media outlet.
2. Retweeting makes readers see through you; tweeting makes readers see you. Both are important.
3. Social media will provide the data helping determine the five things you SHOULD be doing rather than the 50 things you COULD be doing.
4. “Being better is its own word-of-mouth,” Kathy Sierra.
5. Distinguish the urgent from the important, as in don’t respond to “urgent” emails at the expense of those that are important.
6.  The humble “telephone is one of the best branding tools out there, despite being low-tech,” Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s.
7.  The organization chart of the future will have customers at the top, CEOs at the bottom.
8.  When it comes to social media, it’s just as important to be interested as it is to be interesting.
9.  When hiring, chemistry is MORE IMPORTANT than skills.
10.  When you find yourself in the echo chamber, call your mom for a reality check on ideas. Mom frequently DOES know best.

As a mom, I concur.


Context As King…and other Lessons from SXSWi 2008…

March 18, 2008

guitar hero at SXSW 2008Four days at South by Southwest Interactive   (SXSWi) yielded many lessons for this recently appointed Vice President of New Media.  Apart from ubiquitous guitar hero contests and a ride in a simulated racecar that was so real I got carsick,  the panels and discussions at the annual interactive and gaming festival taught me alot.         Guitar Hero at SXSW Interactive 2008

Here’s some insights:                                                                                  

1. The Geek Nation can be brutal.   The audience at the Mark Zuckerburg keynote was vicious in  attacks on Sarah Lacy, the hair-twirling valleygirl journalist whose interview with the Facebook founder provoked an unforgiving backchannel on Twitter, the microblogging and social networking service.    While Lacy deserved criticism for misjudging her audience and a flirty approach, the ambush seemed a bad fit for her “crime” of being lame.  As Catherine B. Taylor of Social Media Insider pondered:  “…is this…the punishment we can expect…for a particularly bad day at the office?”  The episode has made me reconsider Twitter.

2.  With new and social media it’s all about YOU.  Kathy Sierra’s presentation, “How to Create Passionate Users,” explained that what customers think of you or your company doesn’t matter.  What’s important is how your products and services make customers feel.   A tad Maya Angelou, perhaps, but Kathy’s example of the typical Help Desk experience provoking either an accepting “Ooops!” or angry “You bastards!” from users proves her case. 

3. Social media will have it THEIR way (an extension of Insight #2 above), OR they will leave.   One FAQ: what to do when the boss “just doesn’t get” that social media takes time?  In four separate sessions, social media marketers bemoaned the “glacial” pace of change in their companies, wondering how to convince the boss to be patient with social media initiatives.  

 Advice from the experts: “Life’s too short.  Go work for somebody who understands.” 

4.  Content or Context as King?   Multiple sessions touched on the back-to-the-future notion that once again, content rules.   Valuable content, well written, appropriately distributed reaps audience.   When Social Media Club founder Chris Heuer and I debated this over beers at the Dell Lounge, Chris pointed out, “No, Monika.  CONTEXT is king.”

Chris may be right.   What do you think? 


Meet the Hispanic Market’s Most Influential Bloggers

April 8, 2013
by Pilar Portela, Media Relations Supervisor, Business Wire/Miami

At LatinoWire’s recent webinar “Meet the Hispanic Market’s Most Influential Bloggers,” bloggers from The Wise Latina Club, HispanaGlobal.com, Mamiverse.com, and Hispanicize 2013 shared their formula of success, how they built their blog, projects they are working on, how to effectively reach the Hispanic community and much more.

Below are some highlights from the webinar:

viviana_hurtadoViviana Hurtado, Ph.D – The Wise Latina Club

thewiselatinaclub@gmail.com @vivianahurtado @wiselatinaclub

  • Know your vision, listen to your community and stick to that.
  • There’s a lot of noise and clutter wanting you to be something you’re not, don’t listen.
  • Define who you are and stay in your lane.
  • Think outside the box, I may not be the expert you’re looking for, doesn’t mean we can’t work together, think partnership.

jeannette_kaplunJeannette Kaplun- HispanaGlobal.com jkaplun@hispanaglobal.com @jeannettekaplun

  • Latina women have so many different layers and dimensions.
  • Many question if there’s a market for women, yes!
  • Having a big blogging space and competition makes everyone better.
  • If you ignore your community, there’s nowhere to grow.
  • You need to listen, see the reaction of your audience, and comment.
  • Provide good, helpful content. If readers don’t like what they see/read they won’t come back to your site.
  • Nothing beats interaction, it’s a two-way intersection.
  • Online relationships are like regular relationships, you need to listen!

 

LorraineLaddishLorraine C. Ladish-  Mamiverse.com

lorraine.ladish@mamiverse.com @lorrainecladish @mamiverse

  • Empower and address the mother as a whole – Latina, Mother, bilingual, bicultural, etc.
  • I love the direct connection with the reader.
  • Initiate a conversation, it’s the biggest success you can have.
  • Social media cuts down the barriers, no longer talking to an audience without a face, instead it’s more personal, one-on-one interaction with the reader.
  • Always respect, even the “little people,” you’ll never know how big/successful they’ll be in the future.
  • Be yourself, life is too short.

 

mannyRuizManny Ruiz Hispanicize 2013

manny@hispanicize.com @MannyRuiz @Hispanicize

  • Social media has upped the ante
  • Journalists can now make a living off their own work, all you need is some entrepreneurial skills
  • Hispanicize is the SXSW for Latinos, we’re building entrepreneur opportunities for bloggers.
  • Everyone should learn & understand “content marketing” — it’s here to stay
  • There’s a strong (and growing) community of Spanish language bloggers that are jumping into the fray.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • You’ll break your teeth, make mistakes doing it. It’s ok. If not, you weren’t riding the bike in the first place.
  • Just do it!

If you missed the LatinoWire expert webinar series, a recording is available. For more information on future LatinoWire expert webinars go to www.businesswire.com.

LatinoWire reaches influential Hispanic bloggers, decision-makers and more than 1,200 US-Hispanic newsrooms in both Spanish and English. Click here for more information on LatinoWire and media reach. And don’t forget to visit us at Booth #14 at Hispanicize 2013!


Brave, Rude World: Intrusive Technologies Beg Etiquette Questions for PR Folks trying to Mind their Mobile Manners

June 28, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President of New Media

Is it ever OK to politely suggest someone not text in your presence?  What about tweeting during meetings and  conferences?

These and other frequently asked questions regarding the brave–some would say rude–world of mobile technologies were explored at a recent Business Wire webinar, Minding your Mobile Manners:  Etiquette Tips for the Digital Age.  The event featured author and etiquette expert Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute.

Cellphone etiquette dominated the discussion with polite pleas for direction on what is/isn’t acceptable in today’s constantly connected universe. Post cited a Feb. 2011 Intel survey which found that 75% of those polled say mobile manners are worse than just a year ago.  Our attending group of professional communicators are obviously not alone in their need for guidance.

Mobile Manners in Austin, Texas:  Seen at the Whip-InABOVE:  Mobile Manners in Austin, Texas: Seen at the Whip-In

Some may think the answers to the questions above are obvious but as Anna Post pointed out, “It depends.  Each situation is different and it entirely depends on the context.”

Asking someone to not text in your presence–and how to frame such a request–depends entirely on the relationship between the people involved.  If in a professional situation a simple, “Monika, I really need your full attention here” might be appropriate.   Some companies have implemented a policy of having people drop their  iPhones and Blackberries at the door as they enter a conference room.  “If your attention is really not that important at the meeting, perhaps you shouldn’t attend,” she noted.

And Twitter at conferences and meetings?

Post recommends that when live tweeting a small event like a local PRSA meeting, you should informally advise the organizer or speaker to avoid hurt feelings and the appearance you don’t care about the presentation.

As for large conferences like SXSW, or the National NIRI or PRSA gatherings, ubiquitous technologies are pervasive and even expected.  Many speakers appreciate the visibility afforded when the audience shares their talking points in online communities, resulting in more book sales, speaking gigs, or qualified business leads for the speaker.   No need to stop tweeting or even to advise the speaker in this situation.

Email etiquette was another hot topic.   Post recommends always using a salutation with the person’s name, rather than diving straight into the message.  Avoid emoticons and text-message speak at all times in any type of business communications, she advises.  It appears juvenile.

As communications professionals, we’re especially obliged to know how to get our messages across even as the tools and techniques for doing so change as fast as the weather.  Good mobile manners–like good grammar and spelling–increase the likelihood of successfully communicating.

If you missed our webinar, feel free to catch the replay on the Business Wire events page.    Also, we hope you’ll take our one-question PR Peeps Poll on minding your mobile manners: What’s your biggest digital pet peeve?

Please and thank you.


Friday Fast Links

February 25, 2011


 


Takin’ It To The Streets – Your Brand, That Is

March 19, 2009

As if they anticipated my earlier post on the Pew Project report and its implications for PR and marketing, SmartBlog on Social Media (which is written by our partner SmartBrief), talks about a panel at last week’s SXSWi, in which three Fortune 500 brands discussed their own engagement with social media.  Three companies in three very different business segments have shown major success by leveraging Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other tools. 

These companies — H&R Block, Carnival Cruise Lines and JC Penney — have always been major spenders in television and print advertising.  Now they’re finding new ways to succeed by going straight to consumers.  And as TV and newspaper numbers shrink, and corresponding ad dollars get redirected, that’s what a lot of other companies are going to find themselves doing, too.

(JC Penney’s campaign, I should note, included a traditional press release and a social-media-friendly followup release which resulted in nearly 400 click-throughs to their microsite just from the BusinessWire.com page alone.)


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