How did you find out about the Boston Marathon bombings? If it was through social media, you’re part of the 25 percent of Americans who turned to social media for breaking news. Sites like Facebook and Twitter provided information about the attack right away; but how reliable is instantaneous, non-professional reporting?
Here’s a look at this week’s coverage of the best and worst use of social media during the Boston Marathon tragedy:
Brands: take note
Written from a PR perspective, this article features examples of tweets that exemplify what brands should and shouldn’t do during a crisis. Learn from Epicurious’ insensitive mistake, and follow Nike’s inspiring example.
Imagine seeing your face identified as a suspect. Because of the rapid speed of social media, photos and stories about alleged suspects (i.e., this mysterious man) flooded timelines and newsfeeds all over the country, and innocent people were questioned and accused.
The rise of the Internet detective
Hoards of people raced to Reddit to join a collaborative effort to find the suspects. Innocent people were named, bystanders were accused, and it was all one big mess. Reddit apologized, and a group of users collaborated yet again to send first responders and victims free pizza.
If only you could edit tweets
Incorrect information spreads just as fast as facts on social media. By retweeting one wrong piece of information, hundreds more people see it and accept it as fact. Deleting the tweet can prove ineffective, as people will have no explanation of the motive for deleting it. That’s why this author argues that Twitter needs an edit button for times of crisis.
Help support our beautiful city and all those affected by this tragedy by donating to The One Fund.
Are you out networking? Good for you. Here comes the real question: are you getting the most bang for your buck? Attending networking events is one of the most valuable ways to spend your time, and although it can take a bit of dedication, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Instead of choosing events or meetups in a random fashion, develop a strategy and prepare before you go.
Ask yourself what you’re looking to get out of your efforts. Are you looking for a new job? Then you’ll want to find networking events relevant to your industry. New career? Look for events in your desired market. If you’ve moved to a new city and want to meet other professionals, find local meetups with a range of attendees. Are you hunting for new business leads? Maybe you’ll attend a conference, an event for your target buyer persona, or a specific industry event.
Whether it’s a tweet-up, speed networking or a conference, attending a variety of networking functions is beneficial. You never know whom you’ll meet and what the connection will lead to.
Once you’ve registered for an event, do your research. Many sites, such as Eventbrite, will have a registered attendee list with attendee names and companies. Whom do you want to make an effort to meet? What types of people are attending? What might conversations consist of? Prepare yourself with background information on some of the most important (to you) attendees and companies and have a few speaking points in mind.
Most conversations go both ways, so make sure you’re ready to talk about yourself and your business. Craft a clear elevator pitch prior to the event and make sure you’re ready to sell yourself quickly. Here are a few guidelines to follow in creating an elevator pitch.
In the Boston or San Francisco area? Say hello to the Metis team at the networking events we’re hitting this month:
Mobile Monday: Mobile Healthcare – Boston, Monday, April 8, 2013
MassChallenge Sampler: Entrepalooza – Boston, Tuesday, April 9, 2013
ad:tech SF 2013 – San Francisco, Tuesday, April 9 – Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Boston Business Journal’s Best Green Practices – Boston, Friday, April 12, 2013
The Onion, the famously satirical publication, recently posted this overly dramatic article, “Pretty Cute Watching Boston Residents Play Daily Game Of ‘Big City’,” stating Boston is a “pretend” city. The post only escalated the existing rivalry between the Hub and Gotham. New York City is in fact, a larger city in terms of population and square miles, but let me tell you, Onion readers, Boston is a flavorful city filled with fabulous restaurants and wicked smart people, as well as the oldest and most iconic ballpark in America. Below are a few proof points about Boston the Onion failed to share with its readers.
1) Our mayor’s accent is funnier than yours. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, most famously known for his distinctive voice, thick Boston accent and malapropisms, is the city’s longest running mayor. Menino has advanced Boston’s innovation, expanded our environmental footprint and taken a firm stance on the Chick-fil-A question. So what if he confuses his words sometimes? The man is the face and heart of the city.
2) Our sports fans out cheer yours. According to US News, Boston ranked #2 on the US’ Best Sports Cities List. One reason for this ranking is Fenway Park. With its famous Green Monster wall, CITGO sign and hand-operated scoreboard, America’s oldest baseball park is as Bill “Spaceman” Lee put it, “A place where people go to worship.”
3) We make our own coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts originated right outside the Hub in Quincy, Mass. and is one of Bostonians’ favorite go-to places for a caffeine kick. Don’t forget, “America Runs on Dunkin’.”
4) We heart big ideas, smart people. Not only is Boston home to several notable universities like MIT and Harvard, but our community supports innovation. The number of patents issued per 100,000 people is 95.1 in Boston versus New York City’s 30.3. And most recently, Menino coined Boston’s Waterfront as the city’s new center for innovation, welcoming hundreds of new up-and-coming startups.
5) This is the home of America’s first public garden. The Boston Public Garden was established in 1837 by philanthropist Horace Gray. It’s the place where Bostonians go to smell late-blooming flowers, watch ducks swimming on ponds, relax on the abundant green space and enjoy the Boston skyline.
6) We don’t have room for chain restaurants. From succulent lobster rolls on the Waterfront to homemade fra diavolo sauce in the historic North End, Boston’s restaurant scene is dense. A few of our local favorites featuring world-renowned chefs are Myers and Chang, Salvatore's and Coppa. Don’t visit our city and expect to eat at a Cheesecake Factory.
7) We know beer and Irish bars. Known for our traditional Irish pubs like J.J. Foley’s (where everyone knows your name) and local breweries, like Harpoon, Sam Adam’s and the Cambridge Brewing Company, Bostonians love their beers. If you’re looking for a wicked fun beer drinking experience, Boston is your city.
If you had to write a love letter to your city, what would it say?
After attending my first Boston Bloggers event last June, I just knew I had to attend another one. In fact, as soon as news of the next meet-and-greet hit the blogosphere, I registered and started sifting through the event attendees’ Twitter handles in preparation.
I joined a group of bloggers based right here in Boston to share ideas, tips, and blogging experiences over appetizers at Mass Ave Tavern. The experience levels in the room ranged from just starting out to blogging for a living, which provided for an interesting dynamic.
While making some new friends, I picked up a few useful blogging tips:
Write about what you love. If you’ve recently started blogging for your company, work on incorporating things you love to write about. For instance, if your company blog focuses on business strategies and you enjoy reading sci-fi novels, write about both. Mix up your post topics to reflect your range of interests and keep your content interesting.
Find a system that works for you. If you find that it’s hard to post routinely on a certain day, pick another one. If you’re having trouble with the blogging platform you’ve chosen, find a new platform. If you want to change up your posting style, try out new columns or series. Expand - you’re not stuck with the choices you made when you first started blogging. Just remember to ensure that the changes you make continue to align with your business strategy.
Be resourceful. There will be times that services, such as photographers, graphic designers and props, might be out of your price range. Learn to work with what you have. Talk to your co-workers and friends; they might have knowledge of or access to the services you need. Often, you’ll know someone who can help you out for a much smaller fee than professionals charge.
What have you learned from networking events that you‘ve attended?
During Metis’ first visit with Northeastern University’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter (NUPRSSA), students learned about what working in the PR field is really like. This time around, Rachel and Erin visited with the student group and shared some insight on what college students should do before entering the working world. Here are three tips every PR student should know before graduation:
Seek experience. Use your college years to gain relevant experience. Look for PR agencies or companies that offer internships and start practicing your pitching skills. Find an internship or co-op that will allow you to test out and fine-tune your writing skills. From creating press releases to blog posts and everything in between, writing and pitching are huge components of working in PR, so gaining experience while you’re in college can prove invaluable.
Be persistent. Learn how to balance being persistent without appearing too pushy. PR is all about getting your client’s name out in the public eye, which requires PR reps to be determined when it comes to reaching out to media. But you don’t want to offend or pester any of the editors or writers you’re pitching. It’s all about finding a balance between the two.
Consider your environment. If you know that you want to work in PR, it’s important to not only evaluate the position for which you’re applying, but to also evaluate its environment. Do you want to work for an agency or in-house? Are you looking for an open working space or something a little more secluded? Do your work habits require a quiet workspace or a lively office? A work environment can be as important as the job itself, so take it into consideration when you’re job searching.
What advice would you share with students interested in PR?
The largest MBA technology conference in the world is happening this weekend, and it’s right across the river in Cambridge. Harvard Business School’s Cyberposium 18 Conference is Sunday, November 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, and Lee Hower, co-founder of LinkedIn, will deliver keynote addresses.
The MBA students who put on the event through Harvard Business School’s TechMedia Club expect about 1,000 attendees, including C-level executives, entrepreneurs, financial and technology analysts, press, and students from other leading MBA programs around the world. Metis will be there, too, to check out some of the 11 panel discussions happening throughout the day.
The theme of this year’s event is “the battle for access,” which refers to the environment in which business gets done in an “always-on, always-connected, multi-device world.” Venture capitalists will moderate many of this year’s Cyberposium panels, which will include:
- Digital music: the future of music
- Mobile advertising
- The impact of big data
- The evolution of payments
- Subscription business models: evolution of fad?
To get your spot at Cyberposium, register here.
Boston is a great place to practice high-tech PR. With world-class universities on both sides of the Charles River churning out entrepreneurs and innovators, our home base is full of professionals who are focused on the technology and ideas that will shape the future. Metis is in particularly impressive company today, as we join the list of finalists for the 17th Annual Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) Interactive Awards, which recognize excellence in the creation of Web innovations designed, produced or developed in New England.
MITX selected Metis as a finalist in recognition of our launch of AT&T’s video bill campaign, which was built on the SmartVideo technology of our client, SundaySky. SundaySky’s SmartVideo technology enables AT&T to provide U-verse, a Voice, TV and Internet service customers with personalized, narrated video bills that address them by name, acknowledge their recent account activity, and proactively lead them through their billing questions.
Through its collaborative and customized PR program, Metis secured top-tier coverage in publications including GigaOm, BusinessWeek, NBC’s Press:Here and others, reaching a total of 15.2 million readers and viewers. By getting in front of key audiences, Metis helped SundaySky achieve a 10 percent increase in traffic to its website that generated new business leads for the company. The SundaySky/AT&T campaign showcased what sets Metis apart from other PR agencies: measurable, impactful results that create business value for clients.
The MITX Awards are among the most prestigious marketing competitions in the region, and we’re looking forward to the announcement of the winner at a gala ceremony in Boston on November 20. The real win for Metis, though, comes from the satisfaction of our client, SundaySky. Kelly Ford, vice president of marketing at SundaySky, said:
“People ask me regularly how SundaySky is able to generate such a steady stream of great press coverage; I tell them it’s Metis. Whether presenting and securing media opportunities, devising new pitch ideas, or creatively identifying ways to leverage our content marketing efforts, the Metis team delivers unprecedented PR value on a daily basis. It’s an age-old question: Can an external agency provide meaningful and measurable PR results? Metis does, and it’s the best firm I’ve encountered in my 18 years as a technology marketer.”
We love talking with entrepreneurs and startups, whether they’re our clients, folks we meet at networking events, or people we bump into on the T. Getting a new company launched is one of the most rewarding things we do, which is why we’re opening our doors to anyone who needs a PR coach, a mentor, or a knowledgeable sounding board.
Starting this week, you can join us the last Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We’ll be here to talk about:
How to create an online marketing strategy;
How to develop company messaging and build awareness online and offline;
How the power of media can strengthen your brand and help you reach new customers;
How to measure your marketing results; and
Any other burning PR and marketing questions you might have.
These open house hours are free, but please let us know if you plan to stop by. You can register here or drop us a line here. See you Thursday.
From my experience at Northeastern University, I truly understand the idea of “work hard, play hard.” However, I severely underestimated the Metis take on this common phrase - until our 2012 summer outing. Though I have enjoyed every event I’ve attended with the Metis team, this summer’s outing has been my favorite, hands down.
The Metis annual summer event started out with a trip to Yard House, a new Boston addition just a block away from Fenway. After placing our large order, we miraculously found two empty tables right next to each other, and quickly claimed our ground. We filled up both of those tables with delicious appetizers; well, at least for a short while.
When we decided we had eaten enough, we rounded up the troops and marched our way to Fenway. After a short photo shoot, we entered the stadium to the typical Red Sox crowd: energetic, hopeful, and loud. We joined in on the fun right away. The Metis team took part in the (unfortunately) unsuccessful wave, grabbed some helmet sundaes, and circled the stadium to take in all of the excitement.
Though we didn’t purchase any peanuts or Cracker Jacks, we rooted for the home team while enjoying the perfect weather and awesome company.
What did you do for your summer outing this year?