Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Introducing M.insight: The First Mobile App Designed for PR, Marketing and Advertising Pros

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

We’re really excited about launching the M.insight mobile app today, for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices.

Our colleagues often ask our recommendations on great blogs covering marketing communications and social media.  And quite honestly, with a bewildering number of blogs covering the space, it can get a bit overwhelming trying to decide which ones to read regularly to stay on top of news affecting our industry or clients.

Well, M.insight is designed help.  It’s a simple, free mobile app that aggregates content from a hand-picked group of highly respected blogs and news sites within the industry so you don’t have to dig through hundreds of blogs to get to articles that really matter to you.  And M.insight delivers this up-to-the-minute content right to your smartphone, so you can catch up on your reading whenever you have a few spare minutes.  You can add as many of your favorite feeds as you like, or delete feeds you don’t care about.  You can even monitor social media right from your smartphone.

Check out to learn more about the app and download it to your smartphone.

We really hope this app becomes a useful and time-saving tool for our colleagues and peers.  We’d love to hear what you think!  Let us know in the comments section.

M.insight Splash Page

M.insight Splash Page




















M.insight Categories

M.insight Categories

An Open Dialogue with Melanie Notkin, Founder and CEO of Savvy Auntie

Monday, April 27th, 2009

melanienotkinMelanie Notkin is a relative newcomer to the social media space but has already made an impressive name for herself as the founder and CEO of Savvy Auntie, an online community and web magazine for “Aunties by Relation (ABR), Aunties by Choice (ABC), Mommy Aunties, Great Aunts, Godmothers, and all women who love kids.” Melanie has made appearances at Mashable’s Social Media Hub: New York and NextWeb and and been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post. Besides the Savvy Auntie community, you can connect with Melanie on Twitter and on Facebook. – AB

DM: What inspired you to start Savvy Auntie?
MN: I was a senior level beauty executive, traveling to Paris for work, meeting with the CEO often, and winning awards. I was a savvy, New York City executive. But when it came to the most valuable part of my life, my nephew and nieces, I didn’t know my Dora from my Bob the Builder. I was not a Savvy Auntie.

I felt it was time to develop the first online community for aunts so they could become Savvy Aunties. has become like a parenting guide for non-parents. It a modern resource for the cosmopolitan aunt.

You became a social media sensation since the launch of your website. What do you think have been your most successful social media tactics?
First of all, thank you. I appreciate the compliment and am honored. I think the first think to admit is that I didn’t really think of social media as a ‘tactic’ at all. Rather, I woke up one day with the decision to be an ‘auntrepreneur,’ and was rather desperate to gather as much information as I could. I started following tech and social media blogs in the summer of 2007, and heard about Twitter. I joined, dipped my toe in, and realized that the access I had to brilliant industry experts was invaluable. I was learning a lot. And the more I learned, the more I was able to share… and I also shared my story….of how I was launching my business…which inspired me to launch a blog about my auntrepreneurial journey. Listen, add value, repeat.

My presence in social media has always been authentic. I’ve shared the highs and the lows and everything in the between. Keeping it real, which is authentic to my brand and to my personality, is what I believe has helped me gather a wonderful group of followers.

You have worked with many PR professionals as editor of Savvy Auntie. What have been some best and worst moments?

Every moment is a thrill. I mean a year ago, I was praying I’d be on your radar. So every PR inquiry is a good thing.

Of course, when the inquiry or pitch is off topic, it’s a waste of my time.

On a few occasions, I’ve been called “Dear Mom” which is bad on a number of levels: The point of my site is for the non-mom; I’m not a mom; I wish I were a mom; time wasted.

I also have really bad visceral reaction to the word ‘blogger’ and ‘blog’ as it refers to me and to Savvy Auntie is an online community. It’s not a blog. I’m Founder or Editor in Chief, not a “blogger.” Why must we ‘dumb-down’ ourselves by calling all online media “blogs?”

The other thing Savvy Auntie is not is a review blog. I don’t review anything. So don’t pitch me to review your product. Yes – I want to know about the latest gifts and trends for kids. That’s good! But I don’t know want to know about great maternity wear or home décor.

Also – I’m pretty cosmopolitan, so pitching me the opportunity to meet with a “celebrity” when the product is off topic, still won’t get me to go to the event.

Great pitches are ones that add value to my readers. Not to me.

Were you involved in social media before you started Savvy Auntie? How did you get started?
My entrée to Facebook was in May of 2007. My first tweet was in August of 2007. That summer and since, I began reading social media blogs (Mashable, Jeremiah Owyang’s blog, etc) to get up to speed. I spent a lot of time reading books like The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. Then I read his blog and followed him on Twitter… and so on…

As a woman in business and in social media, what tips do you have for other women in an otherwise heavily-male influenced industry?
Think of it as an advantage, not a disadvantage. You stand out in a crowd. Plus, women inherently do better in social media because we are more social. Leverage your inner Socialite.

Graduation day is forthcoming for many public relations students. What is one lesson or piece of advice about public relations that Professor Notkin would like to impart?

Listen. Never stop listening. When you stop listening, you stop learning. And when you stop learning, you fail. Your education is just beginning… that’s why they call it a “commencement.”

What three blogs do you recommend to someone just getting started in social media?
Sorry –can’t stop at just three….. it was hard to stop at 7!

Mashable, Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategist, Chris Brogan’s blog, Going Social Now, Citizen Marketer 2.1, The Social Media Marketing Blog, and What’s Next.

Is Your PR Campaign Broken?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Courtesy of Cory, this is a great video that almost everyone should watch – not just if you’re in the marketing communications/PR industry.  Seth talks about how much of modern life is “broken,” containing unnecessary steps and missing critical points or processes.  While he covers wonderful examples about how to avoid this in your life, why does it matter for PR?

Lots of times, while brainstorming campaign ideas, it might be attractive to think of extra steps or elements to differentiate yourself in a noisy sector or from a similar competitor.  Sometimes this is important, but lots of times it isn’t.

Resist the temptation to overcomplicate how you want to reach someone.  Be smart about it, be effective when talking to your audience and – most importantly – don’t add extra steps for someone to do just so it makes your client look good.  That seems counterintuitive to a whole effort behind communicating well and I’m sure Seth would agree.

Insight of the Week: Social Networking vs Email

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Last week, Nielsen Online released an authoritative look at the state of affairs of digital communication in a number of important countries worldwide.  This report was picked up by many influential blogs such as Mashable and RotorBlog.  DialogueMedia also chimed in on Open the Dialogue to bring a more nuanced understanding of the issues involved.

The report’s findings include:

  • Social networking grew twice as fast as email.
  • Social networking has greater reach than email.
  • Total time spent on Facebook grew by 566% over the previous year versus only 18% for “all internet” and 63% for member communities.
  • Social media’s highest growth came from the over 35 years old demographics.

Differences Between Email And Social Networks

The report clearly shows that the tools that are available to us for communication are constantly changing.  Arnold Zafra speculated that social networks would replace email on a RotorBlogpost titled “Is the Death of Email Upon Us?” while DialogueMedia’s post titled “Do Social Networks and Email Serve the Same Purpose?” argues that email and social networks serve distinct purposes.  The crux of the argument is that when used correctly, emails offer confidentiality, familiarity and a sense of importance to the reader in relation to other forms of digital communication.  Social networks are more public and therefore more impersonal.  Emails messages have to meet the needs of both the sender and the recipient; otherwise if it is useless to the reader it falls under the category of “spam”.  In social networks, the writer’s needs are met all the time, with some readers needs being met while other reader’s information needs are not.

What does this mean for PR and Marketing?

The report and reactions are especially important for PR and marketers as a taste of things to come.  As more and more newspapers close their doors or go all-digital, and reporters rely more and more on social networking services such as Twitter for pitches and scoops, the growing importance of social media as a tool for communications cannot be over emphasized.  At the same time, email is not dead; it will continue to have relevance. Social networking is not going to replace email, but rather social networking is an important complement to email.   

As PR professionals, adapting to this new environment will be our most important challenge. We need to use email as a tool who are keenly interested in what you have to say and use social networking as a way to “strengthen loose ties.”   Connections are our business and  both tools are already neccesary assets that should not be overlooked.


Co-written by: Nazim Uddin and Alex Payne

P. Diddy Making a Run on Twitter

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Celebrities using Twitter is all the rage right now.  Rightfully so, it gives them a hungry, always-on audience which they can control the message with.  Something a lot of them might not be used to these days.  Fan favorite, P.Diddy broke on to the Twitter-scene not too long ago in only a way Diddy could:  trying to raise his spirits via the bedroom.

Starting two nights ago, he’s updating semi-live from recording sessions for his new album.  Pointing out that lots are asking him to do live Ustream sessions, etc. but, respectively, he says that he needs to edit his stuff because it’s hard for him to watch his mouth and doesn’t want to end up on “CNN” (even so, some NSFW language follows):

Besides the obvious mainstream exposure for Twitter, why does this matter?

As the night went on, P. eventually got around to an early breakfast – at 6am – sampling different fried chickens.  Popeye’s & KFC.  At the end of each video throughout the first night, Diddy asks his audience to reply to him on Twitter about the questions he asks in each.  Someone from Popeye’s was listening and last night’s session started off with a delivery from them and Mr. Combs himself asking KFC to step-up.  Classic opportunity for engagement and getting your product in front of captive, dedicated audiences.  It’ll be interesting to see how either brand takes advantage of the rapid celebrity involvement and speed at witch this technology moves.  Quite honestly though, the bigger story is how quickly this might change the celebrity “endorsement” game.

Where do we go from here?  We’re only a “tweet” away.