November 23, 2011

Amplify your good message with GaggleAmp

http://www.nevillehobson.com/wp-content/uploads/gaggleamp.jpgChris AbrahamIn order to keep on the cutting edge of social media I tend to play a lot. Experimenting keeps Abraham Harrison au courant. Several months ago I received a Twitter DM from Shel Holtz asking if I would help him promote FIR for him via my social networks. The link popped off to a companycalled GaggleAMP. Continue reading

September 21, 2011

How not to treat bloggers and how not to pitch blogs

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mbX7X5qGMrM/TTROLWnEGzI/AAAAAAAAAHc/t-wh7qZsGVU/s1600/angry-blogger-300x251.jpgChris AbrahamLast week, I talked about how blogger outreach is scary, and I talked about why this fear exists for most people before they start talking to bloggers. In great measure, these fears exist because of the horror stories that have resulted from wrong-headed approaches.

In the five years that we’ve been reaching out to bloggers, we’ve learned just as much about how not to pitch as we’ve learned about the right ways. The main thing to keep in mind is how you feel when you are on the receiving end of a misguided PR pitch. If you just stick with that mindset, you’ll avoid the lion’s share of pitching mistakes.

I have been getting pitches for my blog, Because the Medium is the Message, since 2004 or so. Now, Marketing Conversation gets loads of pitches as well. Some of the insulting things that abuse me to no end include sending your pitch to “Dear Blogger,” or to “Abraham” when my name is Chris Abraham and my partner’s name is Mark Harrison and there is no one named “Abraham Harrison” in my company. I can generally tell when a compliment is hollow: they’re either too general or way too recent and specific. It is very easy for even the least sophisticated of my fellow bloggers to sense sucking up or kissing up, especially if you haven’t done any homework or any research at all.

Also, if you don’t have your formatting sorted and it looks like you obviously copied and pasted back and forth and I can make out weird spacing and a strange mixture of fonts and sizes, I can tell you’re probably cutting corners and doing things carelessly and without concern for how I will perceive it — as though half-assed is all I am worth since I am not a Mashable or TechCrunch. People don’t like it when they can obviously tell that you’re going through the motions until something else better comes along. Bloggers will always call you out if they sense you’re just calling it in. Continue reading

July 27, 2011

How to add value through your blog

Strategies for standing out in a world without context

Chris AbrahamI am in the middle of guiding some new bloggers over at Marketing Conversation on how to blog most effectively. It is pretty exciting and instructive because there are many things I take for granted. One of the biggest trends I see is internal shorthand. What I mean is that my bloggers tend to write based on a lot of assumed context. When they write my company name, they might choose AH instead of Abraham Harrison; and, since that AH is on a corporate blog, they might forget to link it to the best page in the corporate website.

They simply assume that people who are reading content from Marketing Conversation or Because the Medium is the Message — or even an article on the corporate website — are in on the joke. That they grok the context.

Not only is that not true, but it is dangerous, because I am guilty of it myself. I would say north of 80% of the people I engage with on a daily basis online don’t know that I am president of a digital agency with over 50 staff and dozens of clients.  See, I make the same assumptions.

I assume that I shouldn’t be so self-referential because “they” surely know who I am by now, I have been branding for years. Pretty darn shamelessly if you ask me — at least I thought so.  Not so.

Brand perceptions don’t keep up with reality

And I have not even gotten to the most important part: Even if people know who you are, what you do, the company you own, and its products and services intimately, their brand perception hasn’t evolved at the speed of your business.  What I did in 2006 is quite a bit different than what Abraham Harrison does now, as a company.

Even worse, after we spend all of this time, resources, hours, money, and brain trust on creating insightful analysis and share it for free on our blogs and via Twitter and Facebook, we’re living in a Derridian world: “there’s nothing outside the text.”  Let me explain. Continue reading