By B.L. Ochman
PR people have it rough. Clients want results and they want them in the form of placements. Here are five sure-fire ways not to get them.
1. Not using Google.
I tell you that I will cover your app, or whatever, on Beyond Social Media Show on Sunday, May 8. On May 10, you ask me to give you the link.
Wrong in so many ways.
You: “Would you be interested in an embargoed interview …”
Me: Not unless it’s a cure for cancer
3. Sending a no news press release
I know we all need to make a living, but sometimes, you gotta tell a client that writing a press release is a total waste of time, effort and money.
Always ask yourself: have I ever seen anything like this covered anywhere, ever?
4. Not knowing how to use your email program
One of my all-time favorite pitches from hell was addressed to “Dear [num] [num]
I wrote back and said I’d read his email when he learned my name and signed it [num] [num]
He immediately responded “[num] [num] is a term of endearment for journalists.”
I ran his story.
5. Offering bribes
“If you can post something online we have some great gifts from [blank] Sports for our partners”
Bonus Link: Dear PR People: Please take this quiz before you send out another press release or email pitch
Image: The Anti-Social Media
10 NFL Games Will Stream Live
The deal allows Twitter to stream 10 Thursday night National Football League games. Tw.itter also controls some of the advertising inventory for the games
NFL games are America’s most-watched sport by a wide margin. Thursday night games attracted about 17 million viewers last season, according to BloombergTechnology.
Twitter’s $10 million bid for the package won against giants Facebook, Verizon, Yahoo and Amazon. Twitter’s payment one million per game was a bargain. CBS Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s NBC each paid about $45 million a game for five Thursday night contests each during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
CNBC sources say Twitter’s victory is the result of a dispute between the NFL and Facebook.
CNBC says the NFL felt that Facebook undervalued its content rights and has a poor monetization model. Facebook streaming is not as developed as Periscope, they said.
Will the move help Twitter’s faltering stock? That remains to be seen.
Emphasis on Instagram, ads and mobile
Facebook for Business is now featuring its marketing resources in a monthly blog post.
The first post, published March 30, shares all the major product announcements and resources that have launched since the start of the year. (And it includes that image, which seems a rather odd choice.)
New Facebook products & features
* Canvas, a new full-screen mobile ad experience, along with explanations of how it’s been used by L’Occitane and Carnival Cruise Line.
* New features for Leads ads, including new CRM partners and updates to make signing up for information easier.
* Updated features for Video ads, and examples from Taco Bell and Strongbow.
* Creative guidelines for the Carousel format
* The first five episodes of the Pub in Pub series, which this year is focused on brands using Instagram to connect with people.
* Nine new 15-minute Blueprint e-learning courses, with six focused on Instagram.
By B.L. Ochman
Tools ranging from video to virtual reality explain the need for Project Literacy, a new multi-media global movement to fight illiteracy.
The largely invisible issue affects over 757 million people worldwide and there is a direct link between literacy and other global development issues, such as poverty, hunger and unemployment, gender inequality and access to basic civil rights.
The video is approaching three million views.
Experience Illiteracy in Virtual Reality
The Project Literacy website also lets you experience the stories of illiterate people via Virtual Reality. So put on a mask and experience a frozen moment in the life of someone living with illiteracy.
Facts About Illiteracy
The ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy” illustrates the a new body of evidence suggesting illiteracy is the root cause of almost every major problem humanity faces, from A-Z.
Illiteracy is a truly global problem. According to Project Literacy:
* No country has ever achieved continued economic growth without having first achieved an adult literacy rate above 40%.
* Illiteracy costs the world $1.19 trillion a year. It costs a developed nation 2% of its GDP each year and an emerging economy 1.2% of GDP.
* 32 million adults in the United States can’t read. And one in four children grow up without learning how to read.
* More than 70% of inmates in American prisons cannot read above fourth grade level (typically 9-10 years old).
* 1 in 5 UK children leave primary school unable to read or write.
* In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of illiterate adults has increased by 37% since 1990.
* In India, 287 million people do not have basic reading skills.
Convened by UK educational publisher Pearson and baked by more than 40 charities and educational organizations, among Project Literacy’s goals is gathering one million signatures on a petition by International Literacy Day on September 8, when they will present it to the United Nations. The petition asks the UN to put literacy at the heart of every action to advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
By B.L. Ochman
Your Google About.Me Profile Impacts SEO. If you can find it.
If you’re not using Google’s new About.Me page you’re not alone. It’s practically a secret.
But it’s crucial for you to understand and use your Google About.Me profile correctly because it will affect both your online identity and your future Google search results.
Your About.me profile soon will also enhance your Knowledge Graph: a reward Google gives you for consistently creating Inbound Marketing content.
And when the mysterious new Google Posts goes live for everyone, it’ll reference your Google About.Me profile also.
The new Google About.Me page – hard to find and ridiculously complicated to update, to put it mildly — replaces any previous Google profile you have created on any Google platform.
If you already have any Google account (YouTube, gMail, Google Play, etc) your About.Me page will most likely already include your name, image, gender, birthday, work history and current place of residence, among other details. You can edit and erase most of that information, though VentureBeat notes that you’ll delete your Google accounts if you try to delete your name and photo.
About.Me will follow you around the web
Content from our new About.Me page will follow you around the web like the ad for the shoes you bought six months ago. The information on your new About.Me page will become all or part of your profiles in Gmail, Photos, Music, Google Play, Drive, YouTube and other Google platforms – except Google+. (In YouTube and Play, Google says your profile shows “alongside content you share” but I haven’t seen any examples of that.)
This new Google About.Me profile also isn’t part of the popular about.me social network that has been around for years and which allows users to share their personal profile and network with other members. Nobody knows why Google would usurp the name of a popular website. (But then again, when they renamed the company Alphabet, they had to buy it from the guy who already owned it for years.)
What Google+ Users Need to Know
The change is particularly absurdly complex for anyone who used or still uses Google+.
When Google massively overhauled the Google+ platform in November 2015 they detached many popular features including Hangouts, photos, YouTube integration, events, access to local business pages and business reviews — and your profile.
What your Google+ profile lost and how to get it back
Hangouts and Hangouts on Air now have their own landing pages, as do Google Photos and YouTube Channels and YouTube events. And your profile has its own landing page also – called About.me.
In what Google now calls “Classic Google+, you could use thousands of words and links and images and videos to describe yourself and explain why people should work with you.
You could format that profile to look pretty nice, but it’s all messed up now and can’t really be changed. It exists only in Classic Google+, which is probably only going to be around for another couple of months, and which will take that profile with it when it goes.
In what G+ now calls your Profile, you can still change your headshot and cover photo (both of which have new sizes), as well as what Collections and Communities you’d like to have displayed on your profile. But everything else about you is contained on and edited through your new ‘About.Me’ profile page. In the new Google+, this is all I can show in my profile:
Google’s About.Me support page – unclear as usual – says it lets you manage your various Google profiles from one place and control the personal information you’re sharing, via elaborate privacy settings. But that’s not entirely true. You can’t combine the profiles of your various Gmail addresses into one profile, for example.
Now, Google engineers continue to call one tab in the new G+ “Profile” – even though it does not actually contain information about you.
In their inimitable manner, they don’t explain on their “Help page” that none of your actual “About” information – like where you work, what you do, links to your online content and contact info – is included in the new Google+ profile.
Who you are, what you do, how you can be found online – now resides on aboutme.google.com, a separate page that is not part of Google+, but that is connected to it.
Google says,confusingly as usual:
“Profiles in the new Google+ have been streamlined and simplified. They include your Collections, Communities, and posts.” People using the new Google+ can only see your new Google+ profile
Drink This Alice!
The truly serious confusion comes from the fact that there is a great big button on your masthead in the new Google+ that says “Edit Profile.” It sticks out on the page the way “Drink Me” sign stuck out to Alice in Wonderland before she fell down the rabbit hole. But that Edit Profile button won’t take you to your new about.me profile, Alice.
Remember, we’re dealing with Google engineers here. Clarity is not one of their strong suits.
To get to your About.Me, you need to click on the ridiculously small “i” that is directly next to the huge “Edit Profile” button.
Yes, you are correct dear reader: that makes no sense. But don’t give up yet!
The information you choose to make public on your new Google About.Me page is pulled into your description on the new Google+ and on all other products. How much of it, and where it’ll go is not clear, at all. But here’s how your About.Me Google profile will display on Google+ and all Google products that feature a bio -once you create or update it here:
How to rock your About.Me google page
So much for the backstory. Let’s move on.
Everything we need to know about you is now housed at http://aboutme.google.com, which – confusingly enough – is still pulled to and from Google+. You now get the option of deciding which parts of your profile are visible to which of your circles, so you still need to pay attention to those (if you ever created any.)
You can change what other users of Google products see about you. For instance, when you connect with people on apps like Gmail or Hangouts, you can choose to share certain additional information with them, like your birthday and phone number.
Note: Your name and photo (if you choose to add one and elect to share it) will be shown to other users across Google products, including when you communicate or share content. If you don’t upload a clear headshot, people will just see a blue head with no face – surely not how you want to present yourself.
Love it or hate it – but don’t ignore it
As many marketers – including this one – have noted, it sometimes appears that Googlers have no clue how business people actually use their products.
I’m reserving my judgment because the new G+ is a Beta. It is in flux, with features coming and going, and it’s going to keep on changing until the Google engineers think it’s done.
But I’m paying close attention to my About.Me page and so should you if you want accurate information about you in Google search.
The Voice Typing tool in Google Docs is new and improved. This week, Voice Typing, found in the dropdown Tools menu, added many new commands.
These include adding tables, punctuation, moving easily to different lines within your document, and formatting your document.
Here’s how Voice Typing works:
1. Check that your microphone works.
2. Open a document in Google docs with a Chrome browser.
3. Click Tools > Voice typing. A microphone box appears.
4. When you’re ready to speak, click the microphone.
5. Speak clearly, at a normal volume and pace (I find it’s best to wear a headset or earbuds.)
6. When you’re done, click the microphone again.
Note: This feature is only available in Chrome browsers.
I broke my arm, and am currently a one-handed typist. Docs’ Voice Typing is superior to Dragon Dictate, which stinks on a Mac, and Mac and Word dictation. Now if only WordPress had voice dictation!