All talk and no action!

June 4, 2010

So today I gained a true appreciation for my role as, wait for it…. Blog Champion! Often when I say those words a little trumpet fanfare plays in my head, and I feel like I have a duty to serve and protect the DRPR blog, but not today. Maybe it’s the dreary weather but my focus strayed from our company blog and I realised all too late that I had in fact neglected to organise this week’s post!

Now, I’m sure this is a common scenario when it comes to business blogs. Deadlines, heavy workloads and perhaps even after-work drinks often lead people to dismiss the company blog as a secondary task. But be warned, this is a slippery slope!

Like all social media tied into business public relations, it is consistent contributions that reap rewards. Why not make it part of your daily schedule? With morning coffee in hand, check your emails, diarise important dates and tasks, log in to Facebook, log in to Twitter and log in to your company blog. Perhaps wait ten minutes for the caffeine hit to take full affect, and then write a thought for the day. Try to think of something relevant to your industry, a special event happening within your company, an international or local news story that relates to your industry, or any relevant issue that has got you thinking. It’s that simple.

The more human the voice of your company sounds, the more standing it will have out there in the realms of social media. It is after all, about having open and transparent conversations, sharing information and ideas and getting your company name out there as a voice of authority, interest or even entertainment.

Also, remember that social media such as blogs and twitter are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously. But most importantly, in order to guarantee blogging success, put in place a very dedicated and conscientious blog champion, and make them accountable!


– Gill


Are digital swarms the next big thing in social media?

May 28, 2010

I was made aware of  this video when doing research on digital swarms and after watching it I started to wonder whether this is the next big thing for social media.

For those who are new to the digital swarms concept, it is based around the power of the consumer. The more consumers that sign up to purchase a service/product, the cheaper the deal becomes. To ensure they get the deal or to lower the price even further, consumers then share the deal with their friends through social networks.

 A great example of a digital swarm is Ouffer, a site which features a great deal each day (e.g. pay $20 and get a $40 voucher at a particular restaurant). You only get the deal if enough people agree to purchase it within the allocated time limit. OfferMe, another example, allows consumers to request the items they want to buy and list how much they are willing to pay.

As soon as I saw these sites I was hooked and just recently I committed to buying a deal which fortunately for me (although unfortunate for my wallet) was committed to by enough people for the offer to go live.

I love the idea of digital swarms and judging by the popularity of many of these sites so do a number of consumers. I am always after products/services that provide value for money but that are also of a good quality which these ‘offers’ provide. I believe that these sites will be highly successful as they provide a great platform to connect like-minded consumers to get deals relevant to them.

It also provides a great opportunity for businesses to get consumers through the door whom may not have considered them before. Additionally, if the business then offers an unforgettable experience (in a good way of course!) it is likely that they will receive not only repeat business but referrals to family and friends.

I am now looking forward to redeeming my deal which involves a couple of hours of pure relaxation whilst also looking out for more great deals to make a further dent in my wallet!

Image courtesy of

Blogging: Australian public relations agencies not practising what they preach

October 14, 2009


Blogging has become a popular marketing strategy to establish an organisation as an industry leader, provide insights and connect with online audiences. However, Australian public relations agencies have been slow taking up this practice for their own businesses.

Only one quarter of members of the PR industry group, the Registered Consultancies Group (RCG) have a company blog.

The RCG is part of the industry body the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and seeks to provide professional standards on consultancy operations for PR agencies.

“Blogs can be an effective tool for setting yourself up as an industry leader, creating brand awareness and encouraging brand loyalty,” said Kim Larochelle, account manager for Dennis Rutzou Public Relations.

“There has been much discussion in the industry about how blogging can benefit a client’s business but it seems not too many PR agencies have taken the strategy on board for their own businesses”, said Kim.

Read the rest of this entry »

PR means Page Ranking and Public Relations

April 29, 2009


There was a time before the Internet when the acronym PR was instantly recognised as meaning Public Relations, rather than Page Ranking.


So what impact has the web had on the practice of public relations?


The online environment is another means of communication, which must be integrated within the public relations planning and activities for the organisation.


A very important point is to ensure that the website is integrated within the other PR activities that are being implemented to ensure a consistency of language and theming.


This is built around the credible key messages that describe the organisation, its products and services and are the phrases that are used in media releases, articles, speeches and presentations, printed publications and so on.


There is a sound theoretical base for this approach, which is concerned with the repetition of those credible key messages, because that is the aspect that is aimed at building recall by the target audiences.


We see a lot of websites and without a doubt the consistently worst element of the majority is the poor copy that is used to describe the organisation and what they do.


One reason is that those who are usually responsible for writing the content of the website, particularly who work for the organisation, can’t see the ‘wood for the trees’, plus the fact that they are wearing rose-coloured glasses as far as their company is concerned.


As a result, the written and visual content of the website is often totally different from all the other communication elements of the organisation.


On the other hand, as public relations consultants, we are outside the organisation and have an objectivity about the organisation, their products and services, as well as being charged with the responsibility of implementing the overall PR program.


So next time you see the acronym PR don’t think Page Ranking, but how a planned Public Relations program can make your online activities work that much more effectively to build your image, your brand and stimulate sales. 


– Dennis Rutzou

PR firms: move online or phase out

April 8, 2009

US-based PR practitioner Gaye Carleton mentioned in a blog that “virtual on its own is a mere puff of smoke” and “while at the moment we’re fascinated with all things virtual and with virtual being touted as ‘the future is now,’ I say, ‘Just say no.’”


She goes on to say that the mix of physical – a press clipping, a press kit, a creative promo item – and virtual is fine, but she worries that PR could become an ‘at-risk’ industry.


My perspective on the subject is that the PR industry is at risk only if it does not embrace online communities.


Although there is a myriad of bloggers online with nothing but opinions to express, the key to online PR is to find bloggers, forums, social networking sites and any other platforms relevant to your specific client industries. People read magazines and listen to TV programs that they are interested in. The same applies to blogs, e-zines, e-newsletters and so on. So it is possible to listen (see my previous posting) to only the relevant online conversations and start creating a real dialogue with users.


Online has made the sharing of information, tips and feedback so much more open and PR practitioners just need to grasp these opportunities to get out there with authentic facts and stories about their clients.


So I’m 100 percent behind Timo’s comment to the ‘PR: Physical vs. Virtual’ blog that “Through social media we got the great chance to really put the public back into public relations.”


Obviously, looking at ‘traditional’ PR, there’s nothing like meeting a journalist face-to-face and creating that interpersonal connection with them. It’s definitely that best way to make sure that next time we send them an email, start twittering with them or become their connections on LinkedIn, we will actually mean something to them J.


To give an Australian perspective to this ‘PR: physical vs. virtual’ debate, with the Australian Government announcing this week the creation of a new super fast National Broadband Network, it goes to show that the importance of online and therefore online PR is only going to increase with time.


So my prediction is that PR agencies that are denying the online phenomenon or simply not preparing themselves by up-skilling their staff and adjusting their services to include an online component are simply not going to survive in the long run.


Kim Larochelle