Thursday, December 20, 2007

Someone is Talking about YOUR Brand

Used to be, in the "good old days," it was pretty easy to keep track of who was saying what about your company or product. Sign up for one of the national clipping services, wait a few weeks for the old women up in Maine to read the papers, cut out the story that you were mentioned in, and -- Voila! -- you had a pretty good idea of where you stood.

Nowadays, with the Internet and the proliferation of blogs, you don't have the luxury of waiting weeks for an envelope chock-full of clips.

The fact is, you probably need to sign up for Google Alerts. Better yet, familiarize yourself with one or more of the social bookmarking sites like

Technorati is currently tracking almost 113 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media. Try a Technorati search -- you may be surprised what you find!

Here's the bottom line: If someone is talking about your brand, it almost necessarily means others are listening. And you need to know what they are saying.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Build Strong Media Relations Well Before You "Need" the Media

I am constantly amazed at how bitterly people complain about the media. Typically, they "don't understand" why the media doesn't report their "news" when they believe they have something important to tell.

This state of affairs is especially acute during a crisis situation, when communicating through the media is often vitally important.

One way to ensure some control over perceptions in these situations is to build strong relationships with the local media over time before the crisis ever happens. This ensures that when a crisis does occur, your media contacts are likely to be more respectful of, and potentially responsive to, the range of issues you are trying to address.

Establishing close media relations well in advance of when you "need" the media can add substantially to your credibility -- you don't want to be viewed running to the media and asking them to carry your water after ignoring them for years.