Tag Archives: Indra Public Relations Indra PR

I Wrote This Blog and You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next…

By: Dallas J. Short

Working in public relations, I’m a bit of word nerd and am constantly writing. There is a new version of Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary and 1,700 words have been included, along with 3,200 new examples to add context. After this, all I can do is SMH at WTF and NSFW being added. The one that bothers me the most though is clickbait, not because I disagree with it being a word, but I disagree with even having clickbait (as what it is) exist.

Clickbait (noun): something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.

There are two mains reasons.

The first, it’s lazy journalism, which is very unprofessional and should not even be labelled as journalism. If you can’t judge a book by its cover, you should definitely still be able to know what a story is about by its headline. Integrity is extremely important to me and has seemed to fall by the way side, as people are more focused on getting clicks so they can pad their traffic stats and get more money for advertisements. It’s lying and disrespectful. It might sound crazy, but when you actually create quality content for your audience, they will not only trust and respect you more, but your positive engagement will increase. While some people will always be bored and out to troll, the majority of comments on a “news” story should not be outrage because of the author’s misrepresentation of facts and details.

The second, the internet and the world in general are fast-moving and unfortunately there are some people who just read headlines and form their own stories, without taking the time out to read the whole thing, put it in context or do research. Ah yes, ignorance is bliss and we should be a more educated society, but putting nonsense out into the world is part of the problem, not the solution. These misleading titles can also cause people to be upset and spread hate, as well as misinformation. Writers understand that words are weapons and a quick Spiderman refresher “with great power comes great responsibility.” Readers deserve better.

Clickbait has become a bad game of follow the leader, it works/worked to increase the number of page clicks and so more and more people keep doing it. Online publications do rely on advertising money, so they do want more clicks and that is understandable. There are other ways to go about it and it comes down to knowing your audience and writing in ways that appeal to them. It could be through intelligence, wit, sarcasm, actual satire or other styles.

In PR, your reputation is everything. I like my news delivered to me clever and honest, how about you? As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, please be social and share.

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Getting Traffic to Your Website

By: MJ Pedone

How to get traffic to your website depends in part on your demographic, your niche and how you plan to monetize. But the main components for earning online traffic are pretty similar across the board and should include:

1. Growing a newsletter

This is, by far, the best thing you can do for your site. When you have email addresses, you can go right to the source instead of you waiting for them to find you. If you can email your readers, you will be able to encourage them to visit your site continually, building a loyal following over time. So building your newsletter list should be your number one priority. Display your sign-up form prominently on every page of your site. Offer a freebie for anyone who signs up. Collect emails like it’s your job because it should be your priority and share your amazing content with those readers on a regular basis.

2. Becoming active on social media

Don’t sign up for every social media platform out there. Instead, choose two or three channels and maximize them. Be strategic about which ones you choose; work the channels that make the most sense for your demographic.
In addition to sharing your own content, share others as well. Be generous, and use Twitter’s @mention or whatever the equivalent tag is on the channel you use so influencers notice you.
If you choose to use Facebook, expect to put some money behind your updates if you want to gain any traction as Facebook has lowered the reach on page posts in order to capitalize on advertising dollars.

3. Optimizing your content for search

The best thing you can do is optimize your headlines. Use Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends to figure out what terms people are searching for that relate to what you’re writing about and use them in your headlines. Don’t write for SEO; instead, write your content and then go back and tweak it so Google will feature you high in search results. If you do this consistently, you will see your organic search traffic increase. As that increases, more people will share your posts, more readers will sign up for your newsletter and you’ll see a high volume effect on traffic.

4. Getting back-links to your site

Building back links is an SEO tactic, but it requires its own strategy. When other websites link to your site, Google looks favorably on you and ranks you higher in search results. The bigger the publication that links to you, the more Google love you get. As an added bonus, when publications link to you, some of their visitors will hop over to your site, too.
How do you get back-links? Here are a few options:
• Write guest posts. Write them for free as long as you get a link back to the site in your bio.
• Get press. Convince other outlets to feature your story. One smart way to make this happen is by responding to HARO requests.
• Encourage organic link-backs. If you offer dynamic content and help people notice it through all the avenues written about, bloggers and publications will link to your content without you asking them. One way to encourage this is by writing a list post that features the best bloggers or resources in your niche. Because when you put someone on your list, it makes him or her look good and they will share it with the world, which will likely include a link on their blog.

When it comes to generating traffic there is a lot more you can do but if you find yourself strapped for time and money, these are great first steps to cover. Of course this all assumes you’re creating unique content that’s valuable to your readers and information people want to share with their friends. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that if you create great work, people will find it. The truth is, you have to help them find it.
If you don’t push yourself to spend time on promotion, your blog will probably rarely get read. If you do, your site will gain traction, traffic and influence over time, which will lead to all sorts of opportunities for your creative endeavors.

What have you been doing thus far to gain traffic to your website? Have you implemented any of the strategies listed above? As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

Twitter Takes Steps to Stop Bullying

By: Dallas J. Short

After complaints from the media and users, Twitter announced in December that they would be creating updates to protect the safety of their users. Twitter recognized they were not handling cyber bullying properly on their platform, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo even said the company “sucks at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.”
Well, it looks like those updates are on the way to us all. In a brief memo from Tina Bhatnagar (@tinab), VP, User Services, she informed:
“We streamlined the process of reporting harassment on Twitter recently; now we’re making similar improvements around reporting other content issues including impersonation, self-harm and the sharing of private and confidential information. These changes will begin rolling out today and should reach all users in the coming weeks.”

So, it will now be easier to report if someone’s bothering you and if you see someone bothering someone else online. Twitter has also increased their staff so they have more people handling these reports of harassment.

“Over the last six months, in addition to the product changes, we have overhauled how we review user reports about abuse. As an example, allowing bystanders to report abuse – which can now be done for reports of private information and impersonation as well – involved not only an update to our in-product reporting process, but significant changes to our tools, processes and staffing behind the scenes. Overall, we now review five times as many user reports as we did previously, and we have tripled the size of the support team focused on handling abuse reports.”

Twitter realizes that online bullying is on the rise and are believe these new steps they are taking will allow them handle the complaints more efficiently.
“These investments in tools and people allow us to handle more reports of abuse with greater efficiency. So while we review many more reports than ever before, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the average response time to a fraction of what it was, and we see this number continuing to drop.”

Twitter is all for kicking off bullies and people who harass others. They might have let a lot of things slide for too long, but they are committed to changing that stance.
“We are also beginning to add several new enforcement actions for use against accounts that violate our rules. These new actions will not be visible to the vast majority of rule-abiding Twitter users – but they give us new options for acting against the accounts that don’t follow the rules and serve to discourage behavior that goes against our policies.”

Twitter is fun, I use it a lot. Most of the sports and entertainment world (that I care about) seems active on it. It’s more of an immediate thought conversation than other platforms. Even though their actions could have been more proactive than reactive, it is great that they are doing something and showing commitment to their users’ safety and enjoyment.

As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.
(Source: Twitter)

Meme Mistake

Meme Mistake

Social media can be a great tool for celebrities and brands to engage their fans. We see it all of the time, celebrities do promotions, ask fans questions and do silly things to get people’s attention. However, not all social media posts are created equal or generate desired attention, just ask Bill Cosby.

Last week, Bill Cosby (or his PR team) tweeted a wholesome photo of him from his Twitter account asking his nearly 4 million fans to go to his website and create a meme of him. What started out as a fun-loving, nostalgic post quickly turned into something more. Despite the “tip-of-the-hat” hopes his PR team tried to evoke from his followers, this meme generator turned out to be a BIG mistake. Sure, this tactic may have worked for other celebrities, but due to the recent resurfacing of Cosby’s 2006 rape allegations this did not turn out as they expected.

Almost instantly, Twitter users began using the meme generator to create not-so-nice memes of the Jell-O spokesperson while referencing his sexual assault allegations. Some of posts included quotes such as “”Look at this wacky shirt I’m wearing, also I am a serial rapist” and “”My two favorite things: Jello pudding and rape.” According to the New York Post, “a few hours after the meme generator’s launch, Twitter users realized the word “rape” was being removed. In fact, when the words “rape,” “rapist” and “sex” were typed in, they all cleared out. That didn’t stop critics from having their say, though.” Thousands of memes were generated, most of which had nothing nice to say about “The Cosby Show” star despite the fact that he was never formally convicted of rape.

This whole situation seemed a bit usual from a PR standpoint. As a publicist or a digital strategist, you have to think worst case scenario here and most memes are used in a joking matter, generally make fun of someone or something. It was a little shocking that they didn’t think this one through and did not consider that some people on the internet would turn this into something negative. Also, the fact that they did not immediately remove the tweet and meme generator was surprising. Once negative memes started showing up, I don’t know why they didn’t immediately remove the problem to stop it from getting bigger. This situation was very unusual and I think Cosby’s team will definitely think twice again before trying to use photos to engage Bill’s audience.

Despite the PR nightmare that this turned into, I think we can all take away something from this situation. This meme mistake speaks to the importance of always being prepared to handle a crisis and being conscious what we put on online and how it will affect our brand.

How do you think Bill Cosby’s PR team is going to handle the aftermath of this PR nightmare? Do you think Bill Cosby’s image will ever recover from this scandal?

As always, I welcome your thoughts and if you like what you read be social and share.

Get Amped Up For Exercise

By: Jenifer Wetterau

Does the thought of being disconnected give you chills? Hate dragging around clunky chargers? Do you take better care of your smartphone than you do yourself? Then this may be the gadget for you! Introducing AMPY, a new device that charges your smartphone with your own kinetic energy. Like a hamster spinning in a wheel, this cute little device charges your phone as you move.

AMPY works by storing and repurposing energy generated by motion. You can wear AMPY on any part of your body, but an up and down motion is most effective in maximizing the energy production. How fantastic is this? Clean, renewable energy for your gadgets, and all you have to do is get off the couch and move.

At approximately half the size of an iPhone, weighing about 5 ounces, AMPY is small and portable, fitting easily into your pocket or purse, if you prefer to keep it hidden.

What better way to inspire you to get moving? The more energy you expend the more power you get, so the more vigorous the exercise, the more power juice you will pump into AMY. For example, about 10,000 steps will generate three additional hours of battery life. All you marathon runners will never experience the frustration of dealing with a dead battery again!

How it works: simply pick your favorite activity (running, cycling, dancing, shopping, etc.), strap it on and exercise away to your heart’s content. Once you’re done, just connect your phone to AMPY with a USB cord and it’ll start charging automatically. Brilliant! AMPY is equipped with USBs for output and input, so you can also charge it from a wall outlet, if you prefer. It comes with its own app to tell you how much energy you generated, how many calories you burned, and the carbon footprint offset you got by using AMPY instead of regular electricity.

Although AMPY currently can’t provide enough power for a laptop or tablet, the developers are working toward that goal. Intrigued? Preorder AMPY on Kickstarter at a discounted price ($85) until November 10, 2014. The first batch is expected to ship in June 2015. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1071086547/ampy-power-your-devices-from-your-motion

Do you think this will be successful in getting the more sedentary among us to exercise more?

As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you said, be social and share.

Ebola and the Breakdown of Internal Communication

By: Gina Mason

The glaring and most obvious discrepancy of the Ebola outbreak in Dallas has been the lack of internal communication on all levels. Stemming from the top, it is clear that the CDC did not effectively communicate or prepare hospitals and medical workers well enough (or at all) to handle a potential patient with Ebola in the United States. This misstep resulted in a trickledown effect through our healthcare system and is an example of why communication is vital in times of crisis.

There has been a myriad of communication issues through this entire situation from not communicating the severity of the disease to changing the protocols daily. However, the biggest and most important communication breakdown of the whole situation was the handling of “patient zero” Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan went to the hospital displaying Ebola-like symptoms on September 26th and was sent home only to return two days later and be diagnosed with Ebola. This was a crucial communication mistake and one that may have changed the likelihood of Duncan’s survival and also the nurses who have now been infected with the disease. According to a Modern Healthcare article, “Texas Health initially said staff miscommunication was responsible for doctors not knowing the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, had recently been in Liberia, a hot spot of the current Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.”

When examining the situation from an internal communications standpoint, we cannot blame this incident solely on the worker who sent Duncan home when he was exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms. We have to look at the bigger picture and see why he or she was not informed/alerted about the Ebola risk and why hospitals did not have the proper training and equipment stocked in case a potential patient came in. After all, we have known for months that Ebola was rampant in several African countries and there was good possibility that it could come to the U.S. It appears as though, the CDC did not communicate the risk and prepare hospitals for an evitable outbreak, which left hospitals, their employees and patients vulnerable and unprepared.
No matter the crisis or company, it is vital to have a system in place and always be prepared to handle any situation that may arise. Not only is it important to be prepared to handle the media and public, but also to be able to efficiently and effectively communicate with all parties involved with the crisis internally. Being prepared prior to a crisis, addressing any dynamic changes in the situation quickly, having a unified communications system in place and constantly communicating with the employees is the best way to handle a crisis internally. Preparation is key and usually is the biggest oversight when it comes to crisis communication.

It will be interesting to see what some of the internal investigations reveal in regard to how Texas Presbyterian Hospital and the CDC actually handled the outbreak and protocols prior to Duncan coming into the hospital. Also, I think this glaring communications oversight will completely revamp our healthcare system’s communication process when it comes to dealing with deadly diseases and disasters. Hopefully this negative situation will result in a positive outcome and will make our healthcare system more prepared for scenarios like this in the future.

How do you think this is going to affect out healthcare system’s communication efforts?
As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what your read be social and share.