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My Blog Could Kick Your Website’s A@#

I just read Suzanne Falter-Barns’ post on ProBlogger: Have Blogs Killed Conventional Websites? and I’d like to put in my 2 cents.

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Used to be everyone was struggling to keep up with competitors just by having a website. Now if you don’t have a blog you’re behind. Forget for a moment that you’re not web-savvy, if that’s true, and look at the benefits of blogs over websites. I’ll borrow from Suzanne’s list and add my own.

Blogs are easier to update. Sites like WordPress make it simple to upload posts instantly, so as soon as you think of a topic, you can write it and post it within minutes. With websites, you likely have to call your IT or web design guy to get anything changed. Read more

Why Oprah is Marketing Nirvana

I, like most Americans, love Oprah. I find her warm, intelligent, and spot-on when it comes to picking great guests, topics and books. It’s amazing how a single woman has defined popular culture just based on her tastes (or maybe the tastes of her staff). But how many people have you heard say “I saw it on Oprah,” or “I read it because it was in Oprah’s book club?”

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Oprah is the very definition of viral marketing. She likely doesn’t get a cut of sales of items she promotes. But as soon as something is featured on her show, it gets snapped up by middle America. And they tell other people, who buy it and tell other people.

I have clients whose goal is to be on the Oprah show. And who can blame them? It’s basically a sign you’ve arrived.

Take her newest endeavor, the book “A New Earth.” No one had heard of Eckhart Tolle (well, I hadn’t anyway) but now half of America is buying his book because Oprah endorses it. Oprah is also offering a free online course with the author surrounding the premises of the book.

At first I said, “Bah. I don’t have to follow the mainstream and read that book!” But then I remembered I said the same thing when Oprah was pushing “The Secret.” I was late on the bandwagon, but the book changed my perspective, and I have Oprah to thank for that. So I gave in and became one of the thousands of people buying and reading this book. I will blog about it as her online course unfolds.

And remember: Oprah is always right.

Do Press Releases Need a Facelift?

I recently read this blog post entitled “The Traditional Press Release is Dead!” It brings up a good point, and one I hadn’t thought of. Press releases are formatted the way they always have been, which is geared toward the media at newspapers.

The post says press releases for online distribution should be shorter. You, as a reader of online material, can appreciate articles and news releases that are short and to the point. No need to ramble. Do we need a new format altogether?

224/365 - Improvements Helga Weber via Compfight

 

And then another post talks about how PRWeb, a distribution service I happen to use, is cracking down on releases it deems not acceptable. The release in question had more of a salesy approach that PRWeb didn’t approve of.

But it brings up the question: what is acceptable for a press release? We are rapidly moving away from the old standards of PR and media, so how can we continue to base our rules on the old school methods? Shouldn’t PRWeb be more flexible in what it accepts? Can we redefine what a press release is?

These are interesting questions, and ones that should provoke thought and conversation. What do you have to say?