Tag Archives: media


With upwards of 20 clients who all have very active Twitters that we help run, it seems that often we find ourselves dreaming hashtags. Our addiction is simple; we:

  • can’t leave our Crowdbooster or Hootsuite for a minute
  • use the @ symbol in everyday conversation
  • wish we could “bit.ly” conversations in real life like you can do with long URLs

This addiction has its benefits– we know Twitter very well!

Recently, Tellem Worldwide Partner Dan Grody along with some other social media experts were asked by ProfNet, a division of PR Newswire, to contribute to the “Dear Gracie” Q&A section about the mystery of the Twitter hashtag.

Ms. Hung Up On Hashtags wrote in to the column:

I’m an amateur Twitter user, and it’s not clear to me how and why I should use #hashtags. Since I can search for keywords on Twitter, I don’t understand what the difference is. What purpose do they serve? And is there a wrong way to use them? Sometimes I see really long hashtags — what’s the point?

Dan emphasized that you must think of hashtags as discussion topics and explained that they are beneficial to users because hashtag topics are easily searched on Twitter and collected and presented to you in one stream. He also included some tips on what to avoid, like mixed-in-to-hashtag symbols and using trending-topic hashtags just for exposure. Dan also explained that buying a promoted hashtag on Twitter defeats the purpose of the service.

Hashtags are one of the most misunderstood aspects of Twitter and hopefully this will help curb abuse. Check out the full Q&A article here.

Do you think the column left out anything important about hashtags?

-Andy TWW

Facebook for Business Arrives

We remember six or so years ago when people found it funny that a company might have a Facebook page for it’s employees to communicate. Maybe it was a Fortune 500 that started one for it’s consumers. It just seemed that Facebook was more Hannah Montana than Warren Buffet.

Cut to present day and Facebook has grown up and gone all sorts of pro, unlike the Myspace and Friendster counterparts. Are there businesses out there that still don’t think they need to be on Facebook? Yes…but at least some of those who were holding off are finally coming around. If that’s you, you should check out “Facebook for Business”.

Facebook for Business “provides step-by-step guidance for how to best use Facebook’s marketing tools,” a company rep says. Such tools include Pages, Ads, Deals, social plugins and Sponsored Stories. Mashable quotes a rep in this article: “Though Facebook is sought after by marketers, many have found the process of buying ads on the network complex, which has spawned a network of third-party agencies that specialize in placing ads on the network. With the site, Facebook hopes to offer more of a helping hand. We want to inspire small businesses by seeing how other businesses have found success on Facebook by sharing their stories.”

To get started, visit: http://www.facebook.com/business.

-Andy TWW

Blog Bloghghg

Gawker mentioned a British newspaper left in a dummy headline…which made it to print last week! OUCH:

Hey man, did you see that story “Headline headghgh” in the paper today?

Anyway, we see more and more typos in the LA Times everyday now…and little mistakes all over the internet via online media — remember our post about the Yahoo News Image Fail?

It’s sad to see the direct effects of decreasing editorial staff in the newsroom. I’m just thinking that employers toss resumes with a typo… so is the public thinking if a newspaper can’t get the headline right, is it doing the reporting properly? Are people less likely to read newspapers and magazines, holding the outlets accountable because of typos like these?

-Dan TWW


Toy Book and Zmags

Toy Book Digitial Issue Easy on Eyes

Have you seen the newest digital issue of Toy Book? It’s a trade magazine we follow closely with our work in the toy and gift industry (i.e.: Aurora). They started using Zmags, the company behind the publishing software and I just felt the need to praise them and all the publications working with them — the magazines load quickly; it’s easy to read and search through and you can clip images and share them or articles (or the entire magazine) easily with friends and colleagues.

Like music transitioning to the digital world, all trades and consumer magazines need to get with it and offer digital versions of the print magazine through formats like Zmags.




PR, Media and Lying

Didn’t you know? Lying about not lying is still lying. We were involved in a discussion about an online survey regarding truth and lying in PR.

There were some interesting questions and results:

  • nearly 25% of clients/bosses expect practitioners to lie
  • 83% of PR people have never lied to a journalist
  • 73% of PR people lie over the course of their work (68% admitted to lying in personal life)
  • 80% say media lie to its audiences

A simple question was asked…when can you justify lying professionally? Our very clear and resounding answer: NEVER! Amazingly, not everyone in our industry feels the same. Here are some answers from other communications industry professionals (excuse me while I go barf):

When it doesnt have detrimental effects on others and is on behalf of your client

When it is a life threatening situation or to save someone’s life or job

When it is in the interest of national security

If not lying would result in environmental damage

To spare someone’s feelings

When anticipatory lies which have the possibility to turn into truth, which can be a great PR tool

When truth can lead to social catastrophe

When the destruction of your company is imminent

When it brings peace

When commenting on a co-worker’s work

To protect innocent people

When the lie will not damage your reputation and the client’s business

So these are just a few of roughly 400 answers…but situations where “life and death” are at stake, take the cake. That’s when a majority of people think it’s ok to lie. But many answers supported witholding information. So that begs the next questions. Is withholding the truth, or omission of information, lying?

According to the survey only 7% think it’s morally equivalent.

The consultants behind the interesting survey released their report here. It’s worth a skim.

-Team Tellem


Anonymous Reporters – Who Dat?

Dan poses as an anonymous reporter

Today HARO – an absolutely phenomenal PR pro friendly site showcasing media inquiries – had no less than 10 anonymous queries in its midday and evening editions. Seems like the reporters want info and sources but they don’t want PR people filling up inboxes with TMI.  One cloaked query a day is certainly understandable but 10 is getting up there (note: Profnet had only one anonymous entry over the last few days, but their query volume is dramatically lower since 2009).

Richard from Bad Pitch ranted about this in his recent post (def bookmark the site), a must read; but what will it take for reporters to understand?

who dat?

Our clients do not want us pitching anonymous reporters. What if we represented the Christian Coalition (we don’t) and the anonymous media person was with Playboy magazine?  That noise you hear would be the client screaming through the phone.

Journalists could be missing out on critical information or connecting to sources that could help round out the story. Many colleagues have stopped responding to anonymous requests as have we. Join us in stopping the nonsense in today’s transparent society. Reporters: if you want our help, tell us who you are.  Period.


-Team Tellem


iPad Unveiled…Will it Save Print?

Sure, I’d like to have one, but we keep hearing about whether or not the oversized iPhone sans phone called the iPad will save the newspaper and magazine business. People can barely read four sentences of an article these days, nor will they pay for online content, so why would the iPad be the savior? A friend said the iPad is for anyone a) on or working a tour b) on an airplane or c) on a long car ride. “You just want it ’cause it’s the new Apple thing,” he scoffed.

Maybe like AdAge says: Apple’s advertising could keep print media outlets afloat…in 2001, the company spent nearly $10,000,000 alone promoting the iPod in consumer magazines. Perhaps the hotel industry could help by outfitting each room with an iPad. But as long as the Wall Street Journal and what appears to be the New York Times charge for online content, it will just drive people to other sources. Doesn’t take a genius to search Google News — scope out iPad there and you’ll find 6000-ish mostly free related articles…definitely won’t need to hit up the NYT or WSJ for their viewpoint. And did you see that yesterday a NY Observer article said Newsday only has 35 online subscriptions (probably from competitors)?

The San Francisco Chronicle tried a different approach (despite the less than satisfactory response from the comment board) saying it is making stories and writers exclusive to the print edition. That could work for a little while, but it’s probably not going to change the big picture. The fact is people are not willing to pay for online content — according to the Examiner, 77% refuse.

Sometimes things have to get smaller before they get bigger. If the outlets truly spend their time connecting with their readership instead of charging it, loyalty will flourish. But the good ol’ days of a circulation above 500,000+  are just about over.

BTW, if you haven’t seen the tablet yet, check out the vid below or head over to the Apple site for a video demo.