Michelle Sullivan Communications

Les revenants

Trop drôle : j’ai échangé quelques courriels avec un des profs mentionnés ci-dessous suite à la publication de mon billet d’hier. Ce gentleman sudiste d’un âge respectable s’interroge sur Facebook. Semblerait-il que ses étudiants lui expliquent que c’est le dernier cri et il veut savoir si j’y suis.

Et comme les historiens sont de nature des créatures dotés d’une curiosité insatiable .. je m’attends à y voir sa binette dans un avenir rapproché.

PR history nerds unite

I came to PR by way of History – my undergrad and graduate university studies are in a field which my professors assured me would lead me to great things and provide me with the rigorous discipline needed to accomplish pretty much anything. I’m not sure about the discipline, but cranking out weekly 30 page history papers was certainly a good foundation for what I do now. Besides, having a solid cultural background and knowledge of what has come before helps me make the kind of links that help me help my clients make informed strategic choices.

So for all you history buffs out there, the best of both worlds : an online museum of PR history.

How exciting is that?

Check it out here

Bonus points to whoever can give me the name of uncle of the father of modern PR? (Try saying that 10 times fast). Explains a lot, actually.

So, professors Emery, Simpson, Kellow, Fahmy-Eid, Linteau and Bernard .. this one’s for you. Merci, pour tout.

Ghost blogging: the peanut gallery wades in

Ok, so it’s a beautiful summer morning, but the weight of my promise to write about ghost blogging is getting heavier, so before heading out to Jean Talon Market, I’ve decided to go on the record :

Ghost blogging. Thumbs down.

From a strictly mercantilistic point of view, I should be all for ghost blogging. I mean, educating my clients about the power of social media and then letting them have a go at it without reaping the financial rewards sounds like a bad business model. Really, if I were a ‘good’ business person, I would be accepting all those requests to ghost blog instead of contenting myself with the odd strategic consulting fee that might come my way as I hold my client’s hand through seemingly treacherous waters. Or crisis management fee, should something go terribly, terribly wrong.

But my idea of being a good business person includes being a good PR professional… and so goes beyond strictly financial considerations.

Ghost blogging doesn’t sit right with me, ethically. Entering into an ongoing conversation with Monsieur-et-Madame-tout-le-monde as if I were my client is frankly kinda creepy. For me, the whole point of social media is the removal of barriers between people : between companies and their clients, for example. It is, and should remain, a direct connection.

The problem with social media, I find, is convincing a client to invest time in it. I don’t actually know too many clients who would consider it a wise investment of their time to start blogging, and I’m still amassing the arguments that will be required to change their mind. Start-ups are a little easier to convince : they’re used to working crazy hours for little money anyway. They’re willing to sacrifice in the short term in the hopes of reaping rewards in the long term. What they want is to get their name out there. Blogging is perfect for them. More established companies? Not so much.

Clients need reassurance and so I’m slowly building up a list of clients willing to take the social media plunge and become case studies for successful social media execution. None of them are big corporate entities .. at least not yet. I’m working with Rats de Ville, a Montreal art online webzine, on the vlog front. We’ll see where that takes us. In my role as Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame Director of Corporate Outreach, I’m setting up a Facebook page to promote this non-profit group’s mission and activities. A blog and/or podcast may be on the horizon if that goes well. This could actually work, for this client, given that I’m on the inside — one of a small team of consultants supporting an association that currently has a payroll of one. Wouldn’t consider that ghost blogging or ghost podcasting (can one ghost podcast?!).

Ghost blogging strikes me as something along the lines of a Cyrano Syndrome – not sure what the point is of pretending you’re entering into direct dialogue with your client base when someone else’s fingers are on the keyboard. Lovely fingers though they might be, in the world of social media, the company president’s are always the loveliest.

So to paraphrase (or maybe quote .. not sure about my memory) David Jones, from a recent edition of the InsidePR podcast : Ghost blogging. Don’t do it. It’s stupid.

Article of the day: Pro Bono PR and the Merits of Giving Back

Providing such corporate philanthropy is indeed good for business (helps with clients, staff retention, etc.) That’s a given. However, ultimately, we should embark on such philanthropic work because we can all make an important difference.

The fit is natural. PR professionals are ideally suited to pro bono work, because, as media experts, we know how to harness the spotlight to focus the public’s attention. Moreover, we are natural storytellers, and many of these stories need to be told. It’s time that more people in our industry realize that they can do well by doing good.

Article here

I’ve set my own professional objective here. I try to donate about 10% of my consultation time to non-profit groups on an ongoing basis. Right now, I’m working with the Société de Saint Vincent de Paul de Montréal on their communications plan and image. The SSVP is a very old, very big ship to turn around (read : very conservative) and progress is slow. Over the past 3 years, I’ve found it rewarding to sit as a member of their communications committee, contributing to bring about positive change which is helping the association meet its financial and PR objectives. What’s also been encouraging has been to bring other PR professionals on board : my colleagues over at AGC Communications provided the SSVP with additional communications expertise last year, spearheading a survey which the association is now using as a benchmark to guage public perception.

Livre du jour : Gutenberg 2.0 : le futur du livre

J’ignore si le livre est bon, mais le débat l’est, selon moi.

Après une mise en perspective historique de l’objet livre comme support, de la naissance de l’écriture à nos jours, le livre aborde les nouvelles technologies à l’oeuvre dans ces livres de nouvelle génération. Les nouveaux e-livres disponibles, les prototypes et leur prospective sont analysés. L’ouvrage se termine avec une synthèse ouverte sur les impacts et les perspectives nouvelles pour l’économie du livre.

Lorenzo Soccavo est spécialisé dans l’actualité et la prospective de l’édition. Il est déjà l’auteur de deux livres pratiques dans le domaine du livre et il a collaboré à plusieurs guides de l’édition. Il est le créateur et l’animateur du blog Nouvolivractu : nouvolivractu.cluster21.com, premier blogue francophone de veille sur les nouveaux appareils et systèmes de lecture.

Article AMPQ ici

Profil de l’auteur ici

Personnellement, j’aime bien tourner les pages…

Divulgation d’intérêts : j’ai récemment complété un petit (très petit) contrat pour la maison d’édition ERPI.