One of my New Year's resolutions was to be more purposeful in developing my personal brand. I wrote about this subject in my January column in the San Antonio Express-News.
I have been following the sage advise of Personal Brand Master, Dan Schwabel, along these lines.
Aside from being present and actives on my blogs and on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. I've also tried to be more present on BlogCatalog, which is what this post is really about.
In looking at how to mash up, and best represent myself on the Social Web, I recently bought alanweinkrantz.tel which is the new domain for that purpose.
While I really like the .tel concept, it does limit me in terms of graphically representing my brand. If you look at my profile on BlogCatalog, you can see what not only my presence, but a graphically pleasing mash up of my activity on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, etc.
If you are developing your own personal branding strategies, BlogCatalog should be part of your mix. There is more to this site than just the blogosphere.
Disclosure: I have done consulting work for BlogCatalog in the past, but they are currently not an active client.
Whenever I talk about doing traditional press releases, I generally get a blank stare or a look of disbelief.
Typical Responses I get to the notion of press releases and heaven forbid, using a Wire Service like BusinessWire or PR Newswire.
"Who reads news releases?"
"No one is going to just pick up a news release."
"Why can't we just announce what we have to say on the social web and count on others to spread the word?"
"Our fans on Twitter will Tweet this thing up."
"OMG- news releases are so.... Web 1.0"
Here's my belief: when appropriate, news releases matter, have impact and actually work. They are not a substitute for the social web, they are part of your overall communications strategy.
If you are publicly traded, then it's a no-brainer that you have to have traditional news releases for disclosure and compliance issues. And if you are not, I still believe that select, strategic news merits the time and minor expense of a news news release.
1. Writing a news release is more formal and makes you really think through what you are saying and how you want to reflect the written word about your company.
2. Investors, partners, suppliers, and your other publics will still mosey on into your press room to see what's news, how you report your news, and the wording and editorial strategy you take.
3. The written word is very much a part of your overall brand experience. How you write, the tone and choice of words is very much akin to the graphical image you project, the company culture you promote and the quality of customer service you aim for.
4. News releases, if applied correctly, can be searched (and found) on Google. They are also a platform which can easily be re-published and spread by your stakeholders on the social web.
5. A well written and well crafted news release illustrates team work and common vision.
There is more to a news release than just the mechanics of writing and pitching.
Oh, and speaking of pitching, yes, I still do very traditional pitching. And that's a whole other post in its own right.
Here's a hand form you can use to get the press release writing process going.
Any comments on you belief (or disbelief) in using press releases? How do you and your team writing your press releases?
Here's client, John Dickson, Principal of Denim Group, previewing his RSA 2009 presentation, "What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: Security Professionals and Custom Applications." John speaks on Friday, April 24 at 10:10 AM. Follow John on Twitter @johnbdickson. If you are interested in meeting with John at RSA2009, please email me: alan at weinkrantz dot com.
Shaine Matta is walking from the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio to raise awareness for the need to build a new Veteran's Hospital in South Texas. Here is my interview with Shaine and here is a radio interview on Tech in 20 with Luis Sandoval and Jennifer Navarette
I've been attending the SXSW Conference in Austin and really enjoying the panel discussions, visiting with friends, meeting new people, and meeting people in person that I follow in one form or the other.
Yesterday, I did a joint interview on BlogTalk Radio with Patrick O'Keef, writer, developer and community administrator and the founder of iFroggy Network
As a rule, when I go to conferences and trade shows, I try to plan ahead.
I make appointments and reach out to specific individuals in hopes of meeting for the first time, re-connecting from previous relationships or engagements, see old friends, and meet people just because I follow them on Facebook, Twitter or through a person's blog.
This time, in taking part in SXSW, I just decided to go with the flow and then let things unfold.
From there, it was on to two parties where I reconnected with friends and....
met an Indie Artist whose music I am going to check out on iTunes
met a very successful software entrepreneur who recognized my name, and told me what a fan he was of one my YouTube video that I recently did on a Fender Amp I had purchased.
hung out with my buddies from San Antonio's Web 2.0 community which I will be covering tomorrow for my San Antonio Startups Blog
met people that I follow, and whose persona came to life in meeting them in person
and had people come up to me who recognized my face or read my badge as they follow me on various social networks.
These chance meetings and outreach of established or instant relationships reflect the energy and yes, the love I felt on Day #1 of SXSW.
I don't use term term "love" in the sense of the vernacular, but rather one of just sharing, caring and realizing that we're all there to bounce off each other's energy, brilliance and smiles and create something anew.
To those of us taking part in SXSW, my hope is that we can all take a moment each night of the event right before we go to sleep and a beam prayer, a happy thought, or just hum a tune or something that puts this energy into the air and back into an economic and sociological engine driven by nothing more than organic and creative energy abound.
Sure, there's still a bit of dust to settle from the fallout of this economic malaise, but just you watch: with all this positive energy abound, I sense an economic and creative revitalization of our country, and our world at large, in the making.
Yup, it's brewing and bubbling here in Austin, Texas - during SXSW.
Tony Berkman, CEO of San Antonio-based BlogCatalog and BloggersUnite articulates the role of social media and how his BloggersUnite site helps causes join together through the power of the blogosphere, while remaining political neutral. Kudos to Patricio Espinoza, who is doing a great job of reporting on and more importantly, telling a fair and balanced story about the Mayoral race in our town via his SA4Mayor site.
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).