New job and new site!

29 11 2010

On November 1 I started working for the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA) as their Marketing Manager.  It has been an exciting and challenging new position and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I also got married in October, so you can see why the blog postings have been sparse. This will  change soon enough!

I am in the process of setting up LauraOlley.com through FatCow and WordPress. This blog will be transferred there where I hope you will join me in my growth in PR, marketing, HTML and who knows what else. For now, I am trying to justify an iPad…





The Art of Copy and Pasting

6 08 2010

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Did you know that copy/paste is an art? It can save you in times of trouble but, it can also GET you into trouble.

If you work in a big company, especially one that puts on the same show or conference every year, you are no stranger to ctrl + c! Sometimes there are only so many ways to say something, so why re-invent the wheel? Copy/paste can be a saving grace, but you have to be careful. Try these quick tips next time you’re asked to issue a press release on something for a second time, or you’re promoting your annual show that is offering the same benefits it did last year.

1. Don’t JUST copy/paste. Make sure you revise slightly, even if it’s just changing a few words here and there.

2. Don’t copy/paste quotes. I know in PR this might be hard to avoid, especially when talking about a repeat event or issue. What if your position hasn’t changed? What if there isn’t anything new to say? You can always add “Just like last year…” or “we had such great success last year due to …”.

3. Try to copy/paste from different sources. By re-using text from your Web site, other press releases and other speeches, you’re combining information from sources not all audiences have seen. This not only keeps information rotating around, but keeps all audiences in the loop.

Remember that simply copying/pasting is NEVER a good idea or even ethical. I’m not condoning it, but there is a way to use it as a starting point. Be careful.





YouTube Fame

2 08 2010

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Last week I did my third YouTube video for my company. This is a great new experience and definitely a challenge, which I love. I’m excited that I’m getting this chance to improve my public speaking and represent my company.

Check out our YouTube channel to see all of my videos and more as they get added! I’m going to be doing live interviews at our upcoming trade show in Orlando and I’m pumped about that. Got to love the iphone4 with direct upload to YouTube!

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Tips for Conference Calls

15 04 2010

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Yesterday I hosted a media conference call for my company. I noticed a few things that I thought were common knowledge, but apparently they aren’t. This was done in press conference style where there are a few speakers and then a Q&A session for the reporters. Simple, right? Wrong.

The next time you are listening in to a conference call or a Webinar or any session where you have speaking capabilities think about these few tips…

1. MUTE your line until you want to speak. I know this sounds obvious, but out of 25 lines on the call yesterday, most people did not do this. The rest of us don’t need to hear your twitter feed updating, you typing or any other sounds from your computer.

It shocked me how many people coughed into the line while the speakers were presenting their main points. This made it difficult for everyone to hear.

2. Speak loudly and clearly. Again, this should be a no-brainer. If you’re too loud, we can turn down the volume on our phones, but if you’re too quiet and we turn up our phone volume, then its disruptive when others speak at a normal tone which is then too loud.

3. Always introduce yourself, each time you speak. When many contributors on the line, we can’t see you, so let us know who you are!

Press conferences being held over conference call are a great way to get people together, save money and get your message out.

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Don’t Be a Mind Reader

24 03 2010

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Last week I went to a lunch-time seminar held byWashington Women in PR called You Say More With Your Body Language Than You Think .  Janine Driver spoke to about 40 women about how to use body language to be successful — at work and at home. It was incredibly enlightening.  Check her out at www.lyintamer.com.  She gave us tips and explanations for how our actions can oppose our words and that hinders our message from being received….which is the whole point of PR.

The most important thing Janine said was “it doesn’t matter what body language truly means, it matters how it is perceived.” She couldn’t be more right. There are a million books and studies telling you that when someone scratches their nose, that means they are lying, etc. Whether that’s true or not, if the person on the other side thinks that’s what it means, then that is what they will think. The best way to combat this is to know how to make your words match how you are perceived.

A few tips from Janine on making a good impression:

  • Don’t tell us who you aren’t
  • Keep your hands to your side to remain open.
  • When first meeting someone, do not say anything negative in the first 5 minutes.

When in a meeting, making a first impression or simply trying to understand another person try to figure out what the other person’s ‘baseline’ is. Do they always tap their foot? If so, this doesn’t have to mean they are nervous or uninterested in what you’re saying. Do they always have their arms folded across their chest? If so, this doesn’t mean that they are angry or trying to push you away. The problem comes when their behavior changes. When their baseline changes, then you have to wonder why. Did they shift when you mentioned salary? This doesn’t have to mean they were uncomfortable with what you said so don’t be a mind reader. This is your opening to ask a question: “It seems to me that what I just said…”. This opens the conversation, shows you’re paying attention and gets you the information you need to proceed successfully in the conversation and relationship.

How Janine applies body language in the office:

  • Be observant. Know how what you look like affects how you are perceived. Does your audience need a bright, cheery and smiling or do they feel more comfortable with a more serious professional?
  • Move their body, move their minds. If you’re in sales, keep the client moving, keep their mind actively engaged.

Janine’s ideas and principles apply to more than just the office and securing your next client. These ideas fit right into our lives. I found myself in a disagreement with a family member over the weekend and as soon as I got defensive, I put my hand out palm down — a gesture that pushes the other person away. It definitely did not help my argument.  If we can think about these applications every day, they can help us get our message across more effectively — no matter what message it is.

Check out Janine’s book, You Say More than You Think – I can’t wait to finish it! You can also see an interview she did with CBS here.

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Why I love #BeMyGuest Month

11 03 2010

Guest Post by Lauren Novo

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In case you haven’t heard, March has been dubbed a month of mutual blogging. Adam Vincenzini and Emily Cagle recently launched the initiative, calling bloggers to write at least one guest post for someone else and to feature at least one guest blogger on their site.

Already, the #bemyguest hashtag has exploded on Twitter. Bloggers from all industries are uniting, ready and willing to partner up.

It’s pretty awesome and this is why I love it:

It’s an easy way for bloggers to meet and get to know each other. I’ve had no problem connecting with other public relations students and professionals because of hashtags like #PRStudChat; #HAPPO; #PRSA; #EntryPR; etc. But beyond a PR pro-to-be, I’m also a dedicated blogger, and I’m glad to find an opportunity to get to know others, regardless of their industries.

I love featuring guest bloggers. It’s quite ironic that this new initiative started just days after my two month long, “Art of” interactive series ended. But that doesn’t mean I can’t and won’t participate. And even though this is primarily a blog about PR, social media and life as a student/young professional, I’m looking forward to finding someone outside that niche to contribute.

As I just mentioned, I’ve established myself as a PR pro-to-be blogger. However, there’s more to me than that. I’m an avid movie and theatre goer. I love board games, big cities, Disney World and chocolate. I want to publish a book one day and I’ve had a lifelong desire to be a Tap dancer on Broadway. This month, I’d like to write a guest post for a blog unrelated to PR. I want to move outside my niche and just have fun writing. [I already have one opportunity coming up at The Next Great Generation Blog. Stay tuned for my post about what the movie 500 Days of Summer says about Gen-Y!]

So yeah, that pretty much sums up why I love this new initiative. And now I ask: who will do me the honor of guest appearing on my blog? And who can I write for? Remember, I’m not looking for a PR post transaction.

Happy Blogging, All!

Learn more about Lauren and read her blog a laurennovo.wordpress.com.





Who owns social media? Are you in the ring

10 03 2010

Guest post by Beth Carroll

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2010 has already become the year for social media. While 2009 was spent learning and testing, it’s only in the past month I’ve noticed clients dedicating bigger budgets to the social web.

Social networks have become slicker and more marketing savvy. Facilities such as Twitter’s new local trends have allowed us to be more sophisticated in targeting messages to the right audiences and mobile technology has given rise to a new generation of location based social networks such as Foursquare.

As the budgets increase alongside the opportunities, the fight for ownership of the social media realm has got serious.

A new specialist agency is born every day, in house teams who have been experimenting in an unstructured way are starting to form strategies, ad teams believe they own everything and even customer services wants in on the act.

While I believe there is a place for social media across an organisation, there must be someone leading the herd for strategies to be implemented coherently.

Not surprisingly, for me the responsibility has to lie with the PR team.

We’re experienced in knitting together different strands of the marketing mix to create holistic strategies. And social media is about communicating messages effectively through conversations – that’s what we do.

The question is, will we win the fight? Read an issue of PR Week from 2009 and you will see social media discussed at arms length as a new and scary entity. This year, the gloves are off and PR Week is now running a blog called Firehose specifically dedicated to discussing issues within digital media.

PR agencies small and large are honing their social media offerings – some, such as Cow PR’s Rabbit, have created specific digital offshoots.

We may be performing well in round one but there’s still a long way to go before the bell rings.

Only results will reveal the true victors.

About Beth Carroll

Beth is head of social media at Ash Communications in London. She is a fan of social media but also likes chickens and rock climbing. To find out more about Beth, check out her blog sociauxanswers.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @beth_carroll.

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