Tag Archives: twitter

Let The (Twitter) Games Begin!

In just a few days, more than 10,000 top-tier athletes representing 205 countries will compete in 26 different sports, and the world will be watching, following and commenting on the action in more ways than one. For the millions among us who have evolved into tweeters, bloggers, likers, pinners, and insta-photographers, social media will play an immense role in “watching” the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With 302 events spanning 17 days, organizers anticipate more tweets, Facebook posts, videos and photos shared from this year’s Games than any other sporting event in history. The question is: Which social media outlet will be the most and, perhaps more importantly, the best utilized throughout the Games?

British Olympic Association Chief Executive Andy Hunt has declared the London 2012 Olympics to be the first “Twitter Games,” and has encouraged athletes to actively participate in all aspects of social media. As a self-identified member of the Twitteratti, I have already begun the search-and-follow procedure for some of my favorite American and international Olympians. Social media allows fans like myself to not only follow, but also comment and participate in the hype surrounding the 2012 Olympics.

Exceeding the traditional media standards like interviews, personal stories and selective coverage, Twitter makes it possible to learn about our favorite sports stars on a more personal level. We can view candid photos and even, if we’re lucky, chat with some of the world’s top athletes. Additionally, social media has made it possible for international followers, once hindered by different time zones and spotty coverage, to keep up with the action no matter the time of day.

Olympians are already on board! American hurdler Kerron Clement, (@KerronClement), tweeted out earlier this week that he had just arrived in Wales and “was loving the city.” In addtion, English swimmer Ross Davenport, (@SwimmerRoss), tweeted a photograph of his team in their Great Britain bathrobes and tagged his teammates.

For its real-time, customizable feed, Twitter gets my vote for the social media network to use during the Olympic Games. I already use Twitter daily as a source for breaking news, because the limit of 140 characters provokes a faster release of information before journalists and reporters have time to draft a full story. With so many simultaneous events packed into the 17-day stretch, Twitter followers will benefit from rapid-fire updates from reporters, athletes and news services.

The London 2012 Olympic Games will kick off Friday, July 27 and run through Sunday, August 12.

How will you use social media to follow the fun?

~ By Erin Hamil



Three Steps for Pitching a Perfect Curve Ball

As public relations professionals, we are all masters of arguably the most important task in the profession, to pitch and pitch well. A PR pitch is a concise yet captivating summary of your story, linking your publicity needs with a reporter’s journalism demands. Often times, in the hustle and bustle of today and the forever breaking news cycle, this delicate process can become wearisome with lack of reciprocation. Let’s face it, reporters receive hundreds of emails a day and many will go unanswered or end up in the trash without ever being opened. In honor of the start of baseball season, let’s learn from America’s favorite pastime. Why not throw them a curve ball?

Social media has expanded with a broad spectrum of tools that go beyond just the “social” and into the professional. As PR pros, we should strive to maximize the potential of these social media tools with more creativity than the average user. When it comes to the pitch, PR pros everywhere should consider a different tactic: Twitter.

Before You Leave The Dugout:

Do your research and keep your media contacts lists up to date with every possible point of contact. This means not just phone numbers and email addresses, but even social media. Ask yourself these questions: Do your media lists include the Twitter handles for each reporter? Have you considered the Twitter handles for each publication? Search for reporters by name on Twitter or Google to locate their Twitter handles and be sure to check staff bios on publications’ websites. Reading past stories not only familiarizes you with topics the reporter is covering, but posts are a key location where you can find Twitter handles for reporters and publications. So keep a sharp eye when reading stories, especially when they are online.

Line Up The Throw:

Twitter is a fast and resourceful way to make yourself, and more importantly your pitch, stand out to reporters. No one wants to read a long, dense email, especially not a busy reporter. With Twitter, there will be no beating around the bush. The 140-character restriction will ensure that your pitch is free from fluff and straight to the point. For those unaccustomed to Twitter, this can be frustrating, at first.

Don’t think of the character “restriction” as a constraint. Consider it a fun challenge to really hone in on the key words necessary to craft your pitch into a brief yet compelling message. Also, don’t forget a call to action despite being pressed for space. Try to end your pitch with something along the lines of, “want to learn more?” or “reply for more info”. Keep a positive perspective on this “restraint” and you may be pleasantly surprised to spark your inner, creative streak, as you become more comfortable and increasingly confident pitching in only 140-characters.

Shake Hands After The Game:

Finally, Twitter is also a quick and convenient way for you to simply thank the reporter for their time. Do not get too lax, however, as some reporters may take communication solely through social media as negligent or lazy on your part. You should always formally follow up with the reporter via email after the featured piece is published. However, it is also nifty to craft a “thank you” tweet including the reporter’s Twitter handle along with the publication’s handle to give praise and recognition to both. A simple public “thank you” after an interview, or a “thank you” when the article is published, along with a re-tweet of the story, can make you stand out to the reporter.

There is always more than one method to the madness, in this case the PR pitch. So, do you prefer traditional PR tactics or are you an innovative, online media PR pro, always searching for new ways to throw a curve ball? Whichever you are, what steps help you line up to pitch?


~ By Erin Hamil


STOPPING SOPA: An Online Protest

The internet went dark last Wednesday in a successful online protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) that were being ramrodded through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. These bills were intended to provide more protections to copyright and IP owners against foreign sites associated with piracy. BUT in reality they would have allowed for the complete shut-down of US websites that contain possible copyright-infringing content or are involved in digital file sharing (think Google, YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, WordPress…)  – without a  trial or hearing.

Image curtesy of www.SopaStrike.com

The scope of the protest was unprecedented and according to www.SopaStrike.com more than 115 thousand sites (including Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Yahoo to name a few) participated, 10 millon signatures were collected and more than 3 million emails sent to members of congress. See the infographic on the side.

Why did so many take action against these bills? Perhaps the Wikkimedia Foundation said it best:

We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States, don’t advance the interests of the general public.

The protest was the culmination of several months of effort by hundreds of companies and organizations who came together to stop the legislation. It was evident that the letters, calls and petitions were getting through and on Saturday, Jan 14th, the White House issued a statement saying the President would “not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” This was a step in the right direction but the statement still left the door open for revised versions of the bills to be passed.

The response was overwhelming and by Friday Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx), the bill’s chief sponsor, was forced to pull SOPA “until there is wider agreement on a solution.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also postponed its Senate counterpart, PIPA, “in light of recent events.” Perhaps they both have a much better understanding of how powerful the Internet could be and just how protective of our freedom and free-speech rights a motivated American voting public can be.

This could hardly be considered a victory of regular citizens against big corporate interests (Its reported that the likes of News Corp, the NFL, Disney, Time Warner, Viacom and Sony spent close to $91million on lobbying efforts for both bills while big companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook etc. protested against it). But It does show that average citizens can make an impact and stop damaging legislation that seeks to benefit corporate special interests.

Congratulations America there is hope for us yet!

Other SOPA Blackout News:

  • Gawker has a hilarious article on the possibilities presented by a Wikkipedia blackout. Think, homework that forces students to consult real sources and lies, lots and lots of lies…
  • Daily Tech shares the scoop on SOPA author, Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who himself infringed on the bill’s proposed legislation.
  • Gizmodo runs down the unfortunate twitter trail left by high school students who had homework due.

Did you take action against SOPA and PIPA? You we’re in good company if you did and we want to hear your story.  Check out the pics below  to see some examples of the protest.








Mozilla Firefox

Boing Boing


Gamer Theory

Emerging Media PR

Stop Internet Censorship – Bill H.R.3261

Today, Congress holds hearings on the first American Internet censorship system.

Make no mistake, this bill can pass, and if it does the Internet and free speech will never be the same.

We are joining in to support the efforts of American Censorship Day to send a message to Congress and block Bill H.R.3261 – Stop Online Piracy Act

Image via CreativeCommons - Xurble's Photostream

On the surface the bill sounds like it will protect intellectual property and copyrighted materials. In reality it has far reaching consequences for free-speech on the internet.

For example, the bill’s provisions would allow for:
Website Blocking:
The bill empowers the government to order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any user – in other words, get one bad comment on a blog post and you could be blocked

Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users:
The bill makes it a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook – The video of you and your friends dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” can get you 5 years in jail.

Chaos for the Internet:
Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn’t be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

We encourage everyone to got to the American Censorship Day website to learn more and to write their representative in congress. You can also refresh this page and sign up through the initial pop-up window.

As a final note, here is a graphical depiction of how H.R.3261 will work:

A special shout out and thank-you goes to Erika Napoletano for bringing this important issue to our attention. Please visit her very entertaining and informative blog at RedHeadWriting

Why You Might Not Want to Take Business Advice from Twitter

This article is re-posted via:  Carol Roth

Well intentioned folks like to put forth inspirational quotes and sayings on Twitter, sometimes masquerading as business advice.  Here is one that I came across because it was re-tweeted several times by folks that I know:

Be grateful for every sale. Rather than focus on what’s not working in your business, be grateful and celebrate what is.

While I like the spirit of this, I think there is the possibility for some misguided business advice.  Here’s how I would tweak it (albeit it’s not in 140 characters…)

Be grateful for every customer: The focus should be on the importance of the customers, not the sale.  If you treat those who purchase from you well and make them feel important, that engenders loyalty and long-term business for you.

Do focus on what’s not working in your business: You know Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  If something isn’t working, then change it,especially if that something is costing you money (or a significant opportunity cost).  You can draw inspiration from what is working, but don’t put your head in the sand about what isn’t.

Celebrate the victories, but not for too long: It is important to take a moment to reflect on good work.  But if you spend too much time throwing yourself a ticker-tape parade, you will be at a disadvantage.  Success in business requires consistency of execution, as well as quick adaptation as the competitive landscape changes.  Reward yourself for, but don’t over-indulge yourself in, the success.

It’s quite difficult to get across sound advice in 140 characters, so be a little wary of what is being touted as business advice on Twitter.

Carol Roth is a business strategist, deal maker and author of the New York Times bestselling book,The Entrepreneur Equation. She has helped her clients, ranging from solopreneurs to multinational corporations, raise more than $1 billion in capital, completemore than $750 million worth of M&A transactions, secure high-profile licensing and partnership deals and create million dollar brand loyalty programs.

Carol is a frequent radio, television and print media contributor on the topics of business and entrepreneurship, appearing regularly on Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, WGNTV Chicago and more. Additionally, Carol’s Unsolicited Business Advice blog at CarolRoth.com was recently named as one of the Top 10 small business blogs online and she is a contributing blogger tooutlets like The Huffington Post and Crain’s Chicago Business/Enterprise City.


Social Media

Your target audience is gathering on popular social media platforms and talking about your company. Are you involved in the discussion? Emerging Media provides strategic social media campaigns that promote your business through new media platforms. We understand the changing landscape of web outlets and platforms that influence consumers and know how to reach them for a measurable impact.

By trusting Emerging Media with your social media communications we will establish a true one-to-one relationship with your consumer. Once a positive experience has occurred between the consumer and your brand, these networks allow individuals to have a more widespread say and activate change in opinion and brand loyalty with their peers.

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Social Media, and the Rule of Thirds

After having the opportunity to listen to a great Cision webinar last week, I learned a little something called The Rule of Thirds. This great little tip is as easy to remember as it is to apply.

Simply stated, one-third of all social media content should be promotional, one-third should be sharing orientated and one-third should be social.

1/3- Our work, clients, our genius: “Check out our client in …”

1/3- Share the love (and the smarts): “Check out this article we found in …”

1/3- Our lives –get to know us: “I had breakfast next to …”

As with everything else in life, it’s best to find a balance. By giving followers and friends a chance to know you, your company and your vision, you’ll be offering your community everything they need to stay updated, informed and interested.

What’s the most personal thing you’ve posted on Twitter/FB to your business audience?