Shutting Down As Media Changes

When I first started As Media Changes in November of 2009 I was a young higher ed PR professional looking for a platform to expand dialogue around the rapidly changing PR/marketing industry. Tapping into my love of video, I started posting vlogs that looked at unique ways to utilize YouTube, provided tips on how to pitch TV news stations and highlighted tools that could make our lives easier, among other topics. The blog proved a great opportunity to engage with fellow industry professionals and was my first time stepping into the public dialogue, outside of my previous use of Twitter.

Now two years later, so much has changed. After continuing to grow and move positions at UCLA, I recently left SoCal to take a position in video marketing at Southern New Hampshire University. I also launched Higher Ed Live roughly a year ago, the first ever live weekly webshow network for the higher education industry. And most recently, I teamed up with my wife to launch Connect & Engage, a marketing and PR firm servicing the higher ed and tech industries.

Juggling all these opportunities hasn’t been easy, and with all that has been going on this blog has noticeably been put on the back burner. That’s why, as of today, I will no longer be updating As Media Changes. I’ll still be blogging and vlogging on PR, in fact more than ever, but I’ll be doing so over at ConnectandEngage.com. As part of our new site, we’ll be chronicle our work with clients; sharing tips on video marketing, PR, social media and live streaming; and continuing dialogue around the role of emerging technology in the marketing and public relations industries.

I can’t thank you all enough for following As Media Changes over the past two years and hope you’ll hop over to the Connect & Engage blog and continue the conversations there.

Thanks for everything!

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Fear and Loathing on Facebook

Strange memories on this nervous night in Manchester. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. Facebook in the middle 00′s was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run …but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant …

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the donut shop half-crazy and, instead of doing homework, aimed the cursor across the screen scrolling at a hundred miles an hour wearing navy blue dickies and a Bane t-shirt…booming through the browser at the lights of monitors, not quite sure which photos to post when I got to the other end (always stalling at the exit, too twisted to find the logout while I fumbled for change) … but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a site where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that …

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not on Facebook, then over on Twitter, on cell phones, coast-to-coast …. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning ….

And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave …

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark —that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

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Dramatically Increase the ROI of Twitter with Formulists

Formulists screen shot
A version of this post was initially published at HigherEdLive.com

We all know social media isn’t a megaphone, but once your Twitter follower numbers reach the thousands how do you actually connect and engage with your audience on a meaningful level? Enter Formulists, a list creation and management tool that allows users to generate customized Twitter lists that continuously self-update.

With Formulist you can filter and create lists by people who you follow, people who follow you, bio keywords, track interactions, and more. This is Twitter lists on steroids.

The biggest benefit I see for public relations is the ability to create customized lists by geographic region. Previously if you wanted to target your community by city or state you’d either blast everyone or spend hours reading bios to see where folks were from. Now anyone can create lists for each city, state or country, connecting those individuals to events or campaigns in their area, all with just a few clicks.

Filtering by geographic region isn’t the only benefit either. For instance, using “Custom-Lists” you can also add, intersect or subtract existing lists from each other. So another possibility would be to get a list of fans, who mention your brand in their bio, and intersect this list with a “People Who RTed Me” to help both acknowledge and keep track of those that are actively helping to promote you. This would ideally get at a segment of followers/following that are especially interested in issues related to you. You can also simultaneously tweak for follower-following ratio or number of followers to get at people who potentially have more reach.

There are a lot of tools out there that help you organize Twitter followers, but the depth of Formulists and its ability to completely customize and cater to your needs via filters is seriously awesome. The auto update feature is great too. If someone in one of your lists changes their geographic region, bio keywords, etc. your list will automatically take note so you’ll never have to manually filter it.

Formulists currently offers both free and paid accounts. The free accounts come with access to 2 customized lists and daily updates. $1.99 a month gets you 20 customized lists, 6x faster list updates and the ability to update lists on demand.

What do you guys think? Is this something you’d use in managing your Twitter accounts? I’m excited to see how the PR community responds to Formulists offerings.

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How to Stop Paying for your Broadcast Media Clips and Start Getting them for Free

Anyone who has worked in PR knows ordering copies of broadcast media clips from a monitoring company can get expensive fast. At $50-100 a pop, a short broadcast clip can really break a budget. The good news? It’s 2011. You shouldn’t be paying for those broadcast media clips. Take the time to make a minimum investment into the below technology and you’ll never have to pay for those clips again.

Record and Edit Live TV Yourself

In my old office I set us up with a TiVo to record television programming. I wired the TiVo up to a DVD burner and we were able to quickly and easily copy and duplicate DVDs of the coverage we received. Want to take it a step further? You can utilize TiVo’s Desktop for PC (or MAC) to transfer recordings over your network to a computer for easy editing.

While the TiVo is pretty cool and easy to use, my personal favorite product for the job is EyeTV, from Elgato. This product lets you plug your cable signal directly into your Mac. On top of that, it also has a great editing interface built in, which includes the ability to export your edited video into just about any format. Using EyeTV I could record a news clip as it aired live, edit it and have it in an email going out to the boss in under 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. No more waiting a week for that DVD to arrive.

Save Video Off Just About Any Site

Maybe you didn’t know you were getting media coverage. What should you do then? Well, chances are the media outlet will post the video on their website within a day or two. If they do, there are plenty of ways for you to download and save the clip for your private archives. NOTE: You can download it, but it doesn’t mean you can publicly share it or post it to YouTube

For PC users, the easiest tool for the job is CamStudio. CamStudio is a free screen recording program that can capture both the video and audio of a video clip being played on any website. Just drag a box around the video in question, click to record and you’re all set.

For Mac users, my suggestion is iShowU HD. It’s $29.95, but has a great interface and is totally worth the cost. Like CamStudio, you can quickly and easily record any video from any website. Again, just drag a box around the video, select record and that’s it. Looking to save yourself $30? If you’ve got a Mac utilizing Snow Leopard operating system you can use QuickTime to record screen captures for free. More details here.

Capturing Missed Media Coverage
But what if you didn’t record the coverage as it happened AND the media outlet never posted the video to their site? Well, don’t forget to check YouTube! You’d be surprised how many times media coverage finds its way to the video sharing site. The easiest way to download videos from YouTube is via a Firefox add-on. Install an add-on, like my favorite 1-Click YouTube Video Download, and you can quickly and easily download any YouTube video to your computer. If Firefox isn’t your browser of choice, check out this article that outlines 18 ways to download YouTube videos for free.

Conclusion
There’s always a chance that the above info won’t help and a piece of coverage might slip through the cracks. If that’s the case, check out a video monitoring service like VMS or Metro Monitor. But I’m happy to report that by utilizing some of the above info I haven’t had to purchase a single broadcast media clip in over three years! Try it out, save yourself some cash and let me know what you think!

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What Facebook Messages Means for Marketers

Earlier this week saw the much anticipated announcement of Facebook Messages, the new messaging system from social media giant Facebook. While some bloggers exploring the potential implications were quick to declare the “death of email,” most rational communicators are seeing this as an early next step in the further socialization of online communications.

So if email isn’t dead, what does Facebook Messages mean for public relations and marketing pros who use the social network? For starters….

Facebook Page Updates Now Delivered to ‘Other’ folder
Previously, when a Facebook Page admin wanted to send an update directly to their fans’ inbox the update would appear in a sub folder under ‘Messages’ titled ‘Updates.’ This is no longer the case. Under the new Facebook Messages these updates, as well as those from Facebook Groups, will appear in a folder titled ‘Other.’ See below.

What does this mean, if anything, for actual readership? While the lingo switch from ‘Updates’ to ‘Other’ certainly isn’t ideal, the real issue at hand is where Facebook decided to put your spam folder. Up until now, I’ve been unable to confirm where specifically spam messages will be delivered. If spam messages are landing in the same ‘Other’ folder as Page updates, you can rest assured your audience is never going to read it.

Quality Facebook Page Status Updates More Important Than Ever
Since the new Facebook Messages is looking like it will throw a wrench in Facebook Page fan updates, it is now more important than ever to make sure your Page Status – which appears in your fans news feed – is relevant and of interest. Couple this with the fact that Facebook recently added the “Unlike Page” option directly into fans’ news feeds, and Page Admins really ought to put together a strategy for avoiding fan loss.

It’s Easier than ever for Users to Share Your Brand
The new Messages system gives users the ability to easily forward messages, attach documents and add people to an on going conversation. While it will be harder for your brand or organization to initiate this communication (see problems outlined above) this could open itself up for campaigns where we ask our community to speak on our behalf. I could, in theory, see this working particularly well for major charitable organizations.

Get Ready to Update Your Email Lists
With 500 million users, the addition of Facebook Messages is going to be a big, big deal. Even if only a fraction of the user base adopts it we could quickly see our current email lists begin to look outdated. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve start work now on a reenlistment campaign that encourages community members to “Sign up for our mailing list with your new @Facebook.com email address.”

Social Email Could be the Death of Spam
I know, I know, you don’t spam. But those other guys, the ones that DO send irrelevant nonsense because their supervisors asked them to, THEY are in trouble. As email continues to get more social organizations that blast out communications blindly to their base will find themselves reaching even fewer fans than ever before.

Conclusion
When you take a detailed look at the Facebook Messages launch it really seems like a product that will largely supplement users current email set ups. However, that could change over time and with a 500 million user base nothing Facebook launches should be taken lightly.

Did I miss anything? I’d love your thoughts on what this means for you and the marketing/pr industry!

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Want to get quoted in the media? Try a video expert advisory

One great way to get publicity is to be quoted in the media as an expert. Even if the story isn’t directly related to you, just getting your name out there can be a big plus on the PR front. So how do you get the reporters to start calling you or your clients?

You could cold call/email, pitch expert advisories or follow up with a reporter on a story they just ran. In fact, I’ve tried all those routes and found moderate success. But recently I put a new twist on an old favorite and got a really pleasant reaction from area media.

Having a two day lead on a breaking story about the national poverty rate, I ran out and did a quick video interview with one of my faculty members. I cut the video down into easily digestible soundbites, wrote up a five – yes five – sentence advisory, and put it out on our website, RSS feed and did some light email pitching.

The reaction? We were contacted by four different media outlets in the very first day it was out. Each outlet said they were specifically calling in reaction to the advisory and one LA-based radio station went so far as to even use the audio from the YouTube video itself in their story.

So why did this approach work? The video.

Sure, the pitch was timely and relevant, but it was the video of our faculty member talking about the subject at hand that made the difference. The reporter was able to watch him speak directly to the topic and get an idea for exactly how he would answer similar questions when asked.

Since we weren’t going for high production value, shooting and editing the video didn’t add much time to the process. It’s an approach we’ll definitely try again.

You can check out the pitch below.

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Introducing Higher Ed Live

I am so excited to finally be able to announce the launch of Higher Ed Live! Higher Ed Live is a brand new LIVE weekly web show focused on the emerging role of social media and digital media marketing in higher education. Hosted by yours truly, the show will broadcast live every Sunday at 7 p.m. EST. Each week’s episode will feature exclusive interviews with web and marketing professionals from colleges and universities across the country, and provide viewers with direct access to some of the best and brightest minds from the world’s leading tech firms. Tackling a different topic each week, it is my sincere hope that Higher Ed Live can be both fun and a valuable resource to higher ed professionals around the globe.

So what do you think? Have an idea for a topic or guest? Want to come on the show yourself? Leave me a comment and let me know! In the meantime, check out the below video for some more information.

Tune in for Episode #1
What Facebook Places Means for Higher Ed
Sunday, September 12 7 p.m. EST
Guest: Tim Nekritz, SUNY Oswego
Plan to Attend

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