PR Niblets

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Facebook 101: It's All About Engagement

The following is part of a series about understanding social media

Now that we’ve learned all about the symbols and acronyms on Twitter, it’s time to handle the other blue beast of social media:  Facebook. While Facebook may seem a little more straightforward than Twitter, due to the longer post availability and easier to understand terminology, there is quite a lot to learn when it comes to running a corporate page. Let’s get started!

Engagement – Engagement is an all-encompassing term that refers to anytime a fan “likes,” shares or comments on your content. This is the most important part of using Facebook for your brand as it increases visibility. When a fan engages with your post, it becomes visible in their timeline to friends that may not already like your page. This is a great way to gain new fans without spending ad dollars.
  •  Like – When a Facebook user likes your page, they are opting-in to become a “fan.” This means that they are more likely to see your content directly from their Facebook homepage; however, it is not a guarantee. Facebook is consistently changing its algorithm so users only see the most up-to–date and what it considers “relevant” content. This means it is important to share relevant content frequently.
  • Comment – When a fan wants to directly interact with your update, they have the ability to comment. One of the easiest ways to encourage fan interaction is to add a question into your update. This encourages fans to respond and share their answers to your inquiry.
  • Share – Sharing is likely the most coveted form of Facebook engagement for brands. When a fan shares your content, they are republishing it on their timeline for all of their friends to see (this is kind of like a RT, explained in Twitter 101.)

Multimedia – Facebook users are highly visual, social media consumers and respond well when posts include some element of multimedia. When an update includes a photo or a video, users are more likely to pay attention and engage with your content. The key here is add compelling multimedia content that supports your brand’s look and feel (e.g. voice) and not just use any random photo or video -- otherwise users may feel like your content is not worth their time and attention. Always ask yourself what this content has to offer your fans before sharing.

A sample graph of Facebook’s week and time insights

Analytics – Facebook’s built-in analytics system, like its algorithm, is continuously changing and improving. This system can be extremely beneficial to brands in learning just how to target their key audiences. One very key piece of data that Facebook provides with its analytics system is what days and times fans are active on Facebook. By pinpointing when your fans are online, you can rearrange your posting times to increase your chances of engagement.

Audience – The most important aspect, aside from the various terms and tactics, necessary to understand how to properly use Facebook is your audience. The target audience for a consumer brand is immensely different from that of a B-to-B company. However, Facebook can be an important tool for companies in either of these categories. According to Pew Research Center, 71% of online adults use Facebook. By neglecting this wide of a segment, you may be missing out on quite a bit of business. The key to maximizing Facebook is to know your audience and provide content relevant to them, whether it is a consumer or another business.

Have any thoughts, comments or questions? Engage with us!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Twitter 101: Decoding the Language

This is part one in a series on understanding and using social media

In these days of social media frenzy, it’s hard to avoid the little blue bird of Twitter, a microblogging site where individuals can post short social updates using up to 140 characters. Everywhere you look is hashtag this, RT that. But with all those symbols and acronyms, it can get a little confusing. We’re here to explain the basics; welcome to Twitter 101.

@ - Let’s start with the most basic element of twitter: the “at” symbol. Twitter users are identified by a username which, when used with the @ symbol, becomes a sort of call sign.

When you include “@username” within a tweet, that user receives a notification. There are two different reasons to include someone else’s username in your tweet: a mention or an @ reply (hang in there; we’ll explain below).

Mention – A mention is when you, well, mention another user in your own tweet. This type of message is shared publicly on your stream.  

Example: “Just read an awesome blog post from @feintuchcomm on how to use twitter”

This is slightly different from…  

@ Reply – An @ reply is used for a more private, direct comment to a user that still appears on your stream. When you include the username at the very beginning of the tweet, your update is not automatically visible to your followers.

Example: “@feintuchcomm Enjoyed yourer101 from @feintuchcomm"from @feintuchcomm!"are sent with the same hashtag, the topic starts to trend post today on using twitter language!” (only shows up to @feintuchcomm)

DM – A DM, or direct message, is essentially a private @ reply. Direct messages come in handy when you want to interact with another twitter user but don’t want it to appear on your stream.  

Example: DM @feintuchcomm “I really enjoyed today’s blog post and would love to discuss this topic further. What is your email?”

RT – A retweet is a direct, verbatim share of someone else’s tweet. There are two ways to do this --  manually or automatically. A manual retweet is when you copy and paste the original tweet and preface it with “RT@username”. This allows you to share the tweet and add your own commentary, characters permitting. An automatic retweet is when you click the twitter icon which allows the original, proprietary tweet to show up in your stream.

Example: “Great! RT @feintuchcomm Check out our latest blog post about twitter lingo and learn what @, DM, RT and others mean”

MT – MT, or modified tweet, is just a retweet with a few minor tweaks. A modified retweet is most often used when you want to share someone’s tweet or add commentary but have too few characters to do so.

Example: “Educational post about twitter terminology MT @feintuchcomm Check out our latest blog post about twitter lingo”

h/t – There are two debated meanings for the abbreviation “h/t” but they both share the same meaning. h/t is shorthand for either “hat tip” or “heard through.” This is a way to give credit to someone for bringing a topic to your attention.

Example: “Finally understand all the twitter terminology like RT and DM. h/t @feintuchcomm”

# - Finally, the hashtag, or as it’s originally known to most non-millenials, the pound sign. Hashtags are sort of like the @ for a topic. When you add a # sign to any word or phrase it becomes an easily searchable term. Hashtags are useful in grouping tweets related to a certain topic and for searching for tweet topics. If a hashtag appears in a large quantity of tweets, that topic begins to trend.  

Example: “Informative post on #twitter101 from @feintuchcomm”

Have any thoughts, comments or questions? Tweet us!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Popular Business Jargon: How it's Used vs. What it Really Means

Just like every geographical region has their own meanings for words, like “Coke” being a catch-all for soda in the south, different working environments also tend to create their own definitions for common phrases. Entering the B2B workforce, my internal dictionary has received more than a few new entries as I learn the alternative meanings for seemingly common terms. Below are four pieces of jargon that forced me to do a linguistic double-take.

1. Out-of-pocket

How it’s used: Unavailable; unreachable
What it really means: From one’s own pocket; to pay from personal expenses
Example: “Make sure you get the materials over to John, he’s going to be out-of-pocket the rest of the week.”

The first time I heard this phrase used in my office setting instilled a bit of financial fear in me. Suddenly, I had visions of endless accounting reports; not what I anticipated in a communications position. Luckily my co-workers assured me my math skills were safe: it was just office jargon.

2. Evergreen
How it’s used: Content that will always be fresh, not particularly time-sensitive
What it really means: A type of plant that maintains growth all year long
Example: “Let’s publish this particular release now. We have a few evergreen ones we can hold onto.”

I certainly do not have a green thumb, so after hearing this expression, I made a mental note to look up Gardening for Dummies. It turns out in this case, evergreen describes the type of content, not necessarily the subject matter.

3. Silo
How it’s used: Separate from other departments or workers
What it really means: A tall structure used to hold grain, typically found on a farm
Example: “We need to break down these silos and get everyone talking.”

I may be from the Midwest, but I’m certainly no farm-girl. You can imagine my confusion at the mention of farm equipment after making my move to the appropriately titled “concrete jungle” of New York. Though initially confusing, I liked this new term once I understood it. Must be the Ohio in me.

4. Blue Ocean
How it’s used: A new business opportunity, an unsaturated market share
What it really means: Literally, blue-hued ocean water
Example: “There’s too much competition in this area, we need to find the blue ocean.”

Well, we can’t see the ocean, but if you look close enough you can see the Hudson from our office. This one had me scratching my head the hardest until I really thought it through. A blue ocean means open and uncongested water, more of a metaphor than jargon.

Though it took some getting used to, I have embraced the new language I learned during my first month in the workforce. If you’re going to walk the walk, may as well talk the talk.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Can't Tuch This

Last week, the Feintuch Communications team competed in PRSA-NY’s annual summer social, “New York Amazing Race.” Competing as a team of five, Feintuch Communications scurried around the streets of Midtown Manhattan decoding media-related clues and performing challenges.

We began the scavenger hunt a little bit behind schedule leaving from Swift Bar & Grill at 5:45 p.m. Armed with our matching shirts, smart phones and unlimited metro cards, we were prepared to take on the 90-minute challenge. The rules were simple enough: complete as many tasks as possible before the clock ran out and take one picture for each task including all team members. Rather than hand the camera off to a stranger, we opted for the more social-media appropriate solution: team selfies.
One tourist was lucky enough to star in our selfie.

A mere five minutes into the challenge, we all felt like we were truly competing in The Amazing Race. We read through each of our potential clues and attempted to put together a strategic plan to receive the most points in the least amount of time. We decided to start with a journalism legend, stopping by the old New York Times building.

Task #8 – “A unique business card.” How’d we do?
Throughout the race, we wound our way all through Midtown Manhattan. Within an hour and a half, we hit Herald Square, Fox News, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, the Love Statue and more.

As the time started ticking down, we found ourselves five blocks away from check-in with four minutes to spare. We made a mad dash and somehow made it back with seven seconds to spare. (Personally, I think pedestrian dodging should have counted for extra points.)

In the end we ended up with 275; 75 points behind the winners. Though we didn’t win, the race was a great experience. As I continue to get my feet wet in the crazed metropolis that is New York City, it was a perfect opportunity to explore the area while bonding with my co-workers.

The Life of a High School Intern

For years, I knew that my mom worked in public relations (PR), but I did not know exactly what that meant. Before this week, my perception of PR was my mom writing long “essays” about many different things.  This week, I have been lucky enough to help out at Feintuch Communications and had the opportunity to learn about the public relations business and all that goes into it.

Before we go there, let me tell you how I got here…

During the last three weeks of the school year, my high school hosts a program called “Senior Experience.” This program allows students to choose an internship program at any company to learn about an industry in which they are interested. I chose to do my internship at Feintuch Communications because I knew that I wanted to learn more about public relations and marketing.  

In my first week at Feintuch Communications, Henry Feintuch and his team have shown me how public relations works and everything that goes into it on a daily basis. I have had the chance to learn about many of the different activities that a PR firm can do for its clients – ranging from distributing press releases to working with industry analysts (professionals who provide regular reports on a company and its business). I have had the chance to shadow Henry and the other members of the team including Darby Fledderjohn, account coordinator, and Emily Simmons, senior account executive, to see exactly what goes on.

The Feintuch Communications team has taught me how to do many things in PR that I would have never known such as the correct time to send out press releases and how to help companies build their reputations from the ground up. One of the most interesting things that I have learned so far is from a webinar on social media (The Art of the Perfect Social Media Post). This webinar explained how to use social media websites to a company’s advantage and the best times to use them throughout the week.

My time at Feintuch Communications has given me a greater understanding of the public relations and marketing industry. I’m heading to college at SUNY Oneonta in just a few short months and look forward to the academic road ahead.

Ross Binder is a student at John F. Kennedy high school in Bellmore, Long Island, New York. He currently is working as an intern for Feintuch Communications to learn more about the public relations business as part of his school’s “Senior Experience” program.  He also enjoys studying languages such as Italian and Spanish as well as American history.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Toto, we're not in Ohio anymore

If you asked me a year ago what I would be doing after graduation, I can guarantee my answer would not have been working for an award-winning public relations firm on Park Avenue in New York City. But here I am: Feintuch Communications’ latest team member and account coordinator.
My personalized graduation cap: eyes on the prize!

Midwestern born and bred, my transition from graduation to the working world was a little bit more intense than some. Only three weeks after crossing the stage to receive my diploma I hopped on a plane to move 700 miles away from home and join the workforce.

An official Ohio University graduate 
My first week at Feintuch Communications has been a whirlwind of experience that only shows promise for what more is to come. Walking in on my first day, I felt armed with as much information as I could get. As all millennials do, I completed the pre-first-date ritual of social media stalking: actively scouring the company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blog and any outlet I could find.

Within an hour, I was briefed on a handful of clients spanning all types of industries. I felt like a kid in a candy store. You mean I get to work with all of these clients? Not just one? Of course I have to mention the cherry on top of my first day that confirmed my place as a real professional… receiving my very own business cards.

My second day proved there was no slowing down in this industry. After a shortened work day, I headed over to the Mandarin Oriental for the annual PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards gala. I could hardly believe, on my second day of work, I was mingling with the best of the best of the New York PR scene. The night was perfectly capped off as I cheered on my new team when they received not one, but two Big Apple Awards and an honorable mention.

My view flying into New York from Ohio
In such a short time, I have already begun to see the promise and opportunities available to me as an account coordinator. Though not every work day so far has been followed by a black-tie optional gala, I’ve come to love seeing what each day brings as I learn more about the clients, the company and the industry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

FC Round-up: Trip to Istanbul; Staffing Up; and Winning Industry Awards

With the help of our staff, clients and industry partners, the first five months of 2014 are pointing to a great year for our firm.  It didn't look so good in late 2008 when we became "accidental entrepreneurs" during the height of the recent great recession. Back then, our boutique firm bled cash as we struggled to market ourselves, attract clients, build our reputation and manage payroll/benefits for our start-up staff.  In 2014, the economy is moving into drive and we now have a stable of multi-year clients, a growing reputation and some visibility into the road ahead.

The year started out with my taking office as president of the New York chapter of PRSA, the third largest chapter in the nation (and the country's largest 'city chapter'). My fairly intense day job multiplied into two as I helped provide leadership to one of the original and most respected PRSA chapters in the nation.  Thankfully, we have a great board with many respected names and up-and-coming superstars in the PR industry, as well as a solid core of volunteers continually raising their hands. That's allowed us to expand our programs, industry activities and community outreach. It's been a blast so far!

Our firm added several new clients to our roster -- CityShares, Worthy, 1st Alliance Lending and Secure-24 -- and thankfully, our free-time diminished.

In early May, my wife and I flew to Istanbul for a meeting of the PR World Alliance, our global network of best-of-breed independent PR firms. Our three-day, semi-annual meeting, hosted by Persona Communications was educational and inspirational. After arriving in Istanbul, we joined our partner Perran Ersu at Boğaziçi University for a Schumann and Brahms piano quartet by visiting renowned musicians. The next day, I participated in our board meeting (I serve as vice chairman of the organization).

On the second day of our conference, we hosted a speaker from the national government who put on his best game face and spoke about the growing positive climate for business in Turkey. We noted the phrase "Taksim Square" was never uttered aloud. Later, a political science professor from an Istanbul university provided the political perspective on what had happened -- and is still happening -- in the country. It was a day of contrasts. Our partners shared case studies and discussed best practices in their home countries.

On Saturday, we wrapped our business by lunch time and set out via mini-bus for a tour of Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Dynasty between the mid-15th and mid-19th centuries. Then, on to Hagia Sophia for a look inside the Eastern Orthodox Cathedral which is both a Roman Catholic Cathedral and Mosque all under one crazily impressive domed roof.  On Saturday night, Perran hosted a bash on a yacht on the Bosporus Strait, sailing up the European coast and back down along the Asian continent.  It was quite magical.

Darby Fledderjohn
Best of all, I was gone for a week and our firm managed well without me -- a further sign of the maturity of our firm.

Shortly after I returned, our newest hire came on board. Account Coordinator Darby Fledderjohn is a recent graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and is providing a welcome extra set of intelligent hands to our team.  On her second day on the job, we closed early for the night and headed to the Mandarin Oriental in New York City for PRSA-NY's annual Big Apple Awards gala. It's a night that honors excellence in the PR industry.

We're proud to announce that Feintuch Communications, together with our client, Convene, the nation's fastest growing network of conference centers, took home three awards. Our campaign entry, called "Reinventing the Off-Site Meetings Industry through the Use of Human-Centered Design," won honorable mention for Marketing Business-to-Business: Campaigns with Budgets of $100,000 or less. We won a Big Apple for Reputation and Brand Management: Campaigns with Budgets of $100,000 or less.

But the big surprise win of the night (see the full list of winners here) was a new industry award recognizing "Best Business/Campaign Outcomes." The award recognizes campaigns whose success is measured by strategic results other than press clippings or broadcast segments.  In fact, our campaign for Convene helped the firm increase revenue last year by 21 percent and speed the close on a $10m fundraising round.

So, as May comes rushing to a close, I'm thankful for having survived our business adolescence and look forward to the next phase of our journey as we continue to deliver results to our clients, build our brand and expand. We promise to share more detail with you in the months ahead.