4 PR Uses for the iPad

So…how can the newest technology help you in PR? Here are 4 uses you may want to consider when integrating your iPad into the PR Professional field.

Help activating brands at local events. Does your brand have a presence at local sports, music or other events? Think about how a passable, larger device like the iPad could help. You could use them to sign up customers and potential customers to follow your brand on Facebook or Twitter. Or, what about showcasing your newest video or product demo on the fly? Since it’s a bit larger than an iPhone and smaller and more portable than a Macbook, ideas like these now become a reality.
A wonderful complement to your existing client presentation tools. You’re in the pitch meeting. You have the Powerpoint (or, maybe Prezi) deck up on the big screen. You’re walking through your key ideas. One idea involves an interactive web or social app you’re suggesting. Wouldn’t it be great to pass around an iPad that could demonstrate the power and usefulness of this app right in the meeting. Using the iPad, your prospects could literally touch and feel the app–instead of just watching it more passively up on the screen.

An instant guerrilla marketing tool. The iPad has instant potential on the guerrilla marketing front–not just for the novelty, but for the functionality. Think about it. Organizing a street performance on Nicollet Mall (sorry, had to go local for a second)? After the skit, why not have a few folks with iPads walking around asking folks if they’d be interested in signing up for our e-newsletter or following your brand on Facebook for more information? Again–it’s interactive and you could pass the iPad easily to the potential customer so they could sign up and interact all on their own.

Better mobile research and monitoring. At an on-site event all day without access to your laptop? Most of us have found ourselves in this precarious position at one time or another. And, as a result, we rely heavily on our smart phones. While mobile, you often need to be keeping an eye not only on mainstream media, but also social channels. Doesn’t the iPad make that work a little easier? For starters, with a much bigger screen, the iPad is easier to read, obviously. But, it’s also shareable–think about handing your client an iPad to monitor Tweetdeck or Hootsuite as their new product hits the streets. You’re not handing them your personal phone (less risk)–you’re handing them a company paid-for (maybe) device. Much easier, right?

Ethics in the Media

It is important to have a firm understanding of one’s ethics when working in media. Here’s a clip about incorporating ethics anywhere in the workplace.

Live Blogging

Live blogging is an interesting way to involve your audience. It is especially helpful during larger events that a large audience may be interested in. There are a number of sites that help host live blogging. The one I have enjoyed using is Storify.

I have mentioned Storify in a previous post. But after using it while live blogging Catalyst ’11, here are a few things I would like to reiterate as to why Storify will fulfill all your blogging needs:

As aspiring media professionals, one of our main objectives is to hone in on our communication skills. Technology has definitely served us well when it comes to effectively multiple demographics in minimal time.

So what’s one of the newest social platforms sweeping the internet by storm? The answer is storify!

Storify is a way to tell stories using social media such as Tweets, photos and videos. You search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements into your story. You can re-order the elements and also add text to give context to your readers.

Here are also five tips to help get you started on your own live blogging experience:

  1. Research in advance what the agenda for an event may be. It will help you be better prepared for engagement during certain parts of event so you won’t miss crucial information you might want to blog about.
  2. Make sure you have internet. One problem I encountered with my live blog is that I was unable to even receive 3g where I was at making it difficult to really incorporate the “live” aspect of my live blog because  I would have to wait til the end of the day to post about the conference.
  3. Make sure to balance out quotes and visual aids. Make your live blog fun for your reader. Include lots of pictures and videos
  4. Recap even after the event is over, researching what others may have gathered overall from the event.
  5. Relax and enjoy the live blogging experience. Live blogging allows for a great space to get creative. So seize the opportunity and use sites such as Storify to assist you.

View the story “Catalyst 2011” on Storify

The Interest with Pinterest

Pinterest has become the latest new platform for personal use! Users are able to engage with its digital boards and pin things that interest them.

But how are brands starting to get in on the interest as well?

Sakita Holley from PRDaily gives 11 real world examples of how brands can use Pinterest:

1. Shop It To Me

Business type: Online personal shopping portal/flash sale site.

Shop It To Me uses Pinterest to post curated-style inspiration from around the Web. It also has a board dedicated to its flash sales.

2. Klout

Business type: Measurer of online influence.

Klout uses Pinterest to post pictures of team/office events. It also has a board dedicated to Klout Perks. Klout Perks highlights the products and services that its members receive based on their digital influence.

3. Nordstrom

Business type: Fashion specialty retailer of clothing, shoes and accessories.

Nordstrom has a dedicated social team that curates its Pinterest boards. The boards showcase seasonal trends and different product categories. It also just started a board dedicated to its in-house spa and salon, as well as a board with photos from inside various stores.

4. Cabot Cheese

Business type: Farm family-owned cooperative located in Vermont that produces all natural, award-winning cheeses.

Cabot Creamery uses Pinterest to post photos of the types of foods you can make with or from its products. It also has a board for photos of Vermont and vintage photos of farms and farmers.

5. Chris March

Business type: Fashion designer and cast member of “Mad Fashion” on Bravo TV.

March uses Pinterest to post design inspiration and final looks from each episode of his show. He usually posts the boards immediately after an episode airs, which is a great way for him to engage with his fashion-obsessed fans.

6. West Elm

Business type: Home furnishing company that designs products for modern living.

West Elm uses Pinterest to curate design inspiration around specific trends, like modernist, color blocking, stripes, etc. This is a great way to visualize trends for customers, who can then click through to the West Elm site and purchase products that fit their chosen aesthetic.

7. Bergdorf Goodman

Business type: luxury retailer.

Bergdorf’s uses Pinterest to highlight different trends.

8. Whole Foods

Business type: grocer

Whole Foods’ Pinterest boards provide inspiration for all things food, such as seasonal cooking, hot kitchen decor, and food as art.

9. Williams-Sonoma

Business type: Retailer of gourmet foods and professional-quality cookware.

Williams-Sonoma’s boards focus on ways to use its various products.

10. “Real Simple” magazine

Business type: Print publication that provides creative, practical and inspiring solutions that make life easier.

Living up to its name, Real Simple’s boards focus on making readers’ lives easier. It provides easy hair ideas, a month’s worth of meals, etc.

11. BHLDN

Business type: Bridal collection from Urban Outfitters.

BHLDN uses Pinterest to curate design inspiration for every aspect of a wedding. The boards are perfect for any bride-to-be.

Have you spotted any other brands on Pinterest?

Citizen Journalism

So what exactly is citizen journalism? For myself, I was unaware of this vague term that has apparently spread like wild fire in social media. Apparently citizen journalism is playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.

So is citizen journalism beneficial or a nuance in today’s media? Here are what the experts had to say:

The Positive

“The newspapers that survive will be the ones that make the most of the benefits of the online world. Citizen journalism can in many cases provide free content and the internet provides the ability to reach a much larger audience. The old media that combine their resources with the advantages of new media will thrive. The old media that try to cling to their old methods of doing things will die.” — Derek Clark, who runs GeekPolitics.com.

“Probably some events get reported by citizen journalists that would not be reported without them. Reporters can’t be everywhere and cannot know about all events taking place in their communities. In that sense, citizen journalism may help to broaden the
kind of events that are reported.” — Prof. David Weaver.

“With smaller staffs chasing fewer stories, citizen journalists could help local papers keep a broader mix of stories and community reporting in front of readers. Citizen journalism can be a powerful tool for reporting hyperlocal news (news that is specific to one community) because people care about their community and have a hunger for finding out what is going on.” — Thom Clark, president of the Community Media Workshop in Chicago.

“Are you a local newspaper? 90 percent-plus of your income from print adverts targeted at people in the area? Then you should be looking for the local citizen journalists who sit
next to their police scanner and report on the drug busts and local fires. Assume you will have to invest in improving their writing skills, be relaxed about them publishing elsewhere, and pay them enough money to make it worth their while to give you first option on material.” — Brian McNeil, pioneering Wikinews journalist.

“Citizen journalism can help local newspapers survive by making them a more interactive product. Readers who post comments, articles and photos on their local newspaper’s web site might feel a stronger connection to the paper and be more likely to read the print version and the online version of the paper.” — Larry Atkins, adjunct professor of journalism in Arcadia University’s English, Communications and Theatre Department.

The Negative

“I don’t think citizen journalism should dominate or even play a minor role in the operation of mainstream newspapers. I’m sure there is a place for it … a valuable place … in alternative media. I think it’s been the mainstream newspaper industry’s embrace of new editorial formulas and approaches that has been leading to its demise (although) my opinion runs contrary to what most inside and outside the industry believe.” —Adam Stone, publisher of Examiner community newspapers in Putnam and Westchester counties.

“[Citizen communicators] are best at reporting breaking events, and not likely to be very helpful for in-depth, analytical or investigative reporting.” — Prof. Weaver

“Newspapers are brands that bestow credibility, authority, gravitas on their content. I don’t think ‘citizen journalism’ (is there agreement on what this term even means?) can sustain the type of reporting that produces Pulitzer prize winning pieces.” — Richard Roher, president of Roher Public Relations.

“Local newspapers should not rely on citizen journalists to help them survive. Most citizen journalists are not paid anything for their work and lack the motivation to help a for-profit entity continue to make a profit. Citizens cannot and should not be viewed as free labor.” — Dr. Kristen Johnson, assistant professor, Department of Communications, Elizabethtown College, Pa., who has authored several papers on citizen journalism.