Shout out to my PR brother, Chris Lynn of socialTNT

August 13, 2008 at 9:01 am (SHIFT, socialTNT) (, , , , )

My good friend, mentor, editor and former colleague Chris Lynn posted on his blog today about leaving SHIFT. Last Friday was a very sad day for all of us in the San Francisco office as Chris packed up his things and prepared for the next step in his career journey.

Chris was not just a social media guru, whip-smart talent, and all-around fab PR pro to me. He challenged me to become a better professional and to strive for greater heights in my own career. He was my partner in crime at industry tech parties, someone I grabbed lunch with, the guy who made all of us in the office laugh with his good-natured humor and sharp wit and was constantly the life of the party when us SHIFTers would get together for drinks after hours. I know he’ll continue to be an integral part of my life even as he moves past SHIFT and onto the next horizon.

I’ll miss you, Chris, but I’m so happy for you and I can’t wait to see you go on to more successes in your career!

A favorite pic I took of Chris with the lovely Kristen Nicole of Mashable at StumbleUpon’s 5 million users party at 111 Minna in SF

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Our Modern Lives: Tune In or Turn Off?

April 16, 2008 at 8:26 am (PR Musings, socialTNT) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is a post I contributed to my friend Chris Lynn’s blog, socialTNT.

With Blackberries and iPhones keeping us constantly connected to an online IV stream, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to disconnect. As of late, discussion around the problems of our “always on” lifestyles seem to be popping up everywhere. Last month, the Churchill Club held a panel on the issue of information overload. And, even more alarming, The New York Times recently chronicled the health problems–and two deaths–resulting from the demands of round-the-clock blogging. While not as severe as those tragic cases, I recently came face-to-face with my own info-addiction.

Click here to read the rest of my post on socialTNT.

[The above photo, “Streeter Seidell, Comedian” by Zach Klein on flickr, is used under Creative Commons]

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Lessons Learned from Amazon PR

November 16, 2007 at 11:37 am (socialTNT)

Yesterday while following Snitter, I noticed some particularly interesting tweets from Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read/Write Web that had an edge of foreboding for Amazon’s PR team. When I read his post this morning on some Amazon news that was given out under embargo and then taken back at the last minute, I was flabbergasted at the route Amazon PR chose to take.

Not only did Amazon go back on an originally agreed upon embargo for some news they had in the pipeline within minutes of the embargo time, but to add insult to injury, they also drafted a statement for Marshall to clarify the situation that was…wait for it…written in the FIRST person. Yes, that’s right, Amazon tried to put words into a blogger’s mouth. Dangerous to say the least. Marshall’s post completely detailed the exchange, even down to providing the exact text that Amazon PR hoped he would plagiarize as his own.

We don’t really know what was going on behind-the-scenes here. Maybe Amazon PR really didn’t know the news was postponed/canceled until the 11th hour and as such weren’t able to notify journos in a timely manner. All too often these types of situations get thrown at the PR team and although it’s not their fault, they’re the ones left to pick up the pieces and salvage the damaged relationships as best they can. We, as PR people, have to remember to be flexible. When stuff like this happens, you have to take a deep breath and move forward. Be honest about the situation and realize that you can’t strong-arm people into handling things the way you want. And as we see in this example, if you try to do so, you’ll just end up making your team and the company behind you look bad. Really bad. Not to mention add to the already loud complaints about the PR industry as a whole.

I think we need to get over the desire to always “control the message” and realize that setting up the relationship for success is far more important. In the age of Web 2.0, you can’t expect to be able to have a one-way dialogue anymore. Two-way communication is key. Setting up the relationship is key. Promoting open, honest dialogue whenever possible is essential. As Marshall pointedly notes, Amazon PR’s actions in this situation really prove that they are neither open nor social. The “gatekeeper” role of PR, while still important in certain situations, is no longer as important as our expertise in facilitating communication. There is a point at which attempting to “control” the situation is no longer practical or advisable and all we can do is help our clients participate strategically in the conversation, sit back, and let the rest unfold organically.

Chris over at SocialTNT also wrote a great post on this issue that is a good read.

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Blogging is fun again! Thanks, WordPress.

November 14, 2007 at 6:07 pm (SHIFT, socialTNT)

That was easy!

One of my favorite colleagues from SHIFT (and fellow PR blogger) Chris Lynn just showed me how to switch Flackette from Blogger over to WordPress. What an awesome transition. I think one of the big reasons I fell off the face of the blogging world was the fact that Blogger is incredibly cumbersome and I would have to spend close to 45 minutes per post just formatting the dang thing in the proper HTML code. It was annoying, and I didn’t have time to deal with it.

Already I can tell WordPress and I are going to have a beautiful friendship. I can’t wait to start blogging again in full force. And now that it’s fun again (thanks, WordPress, really!) I have no excuse. 🙂

This post took me two minutes to write. And one second to post. That was easy!

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