HBXPR Bits | Google news, pitching and ghost blogging

I spend about an hour way too much time a day trolling Twitter, Facebook and poking around websites for what’s new, inspiring and provocative. Here is a recap of the best stuff I’ve seen over the past few weeks and why I think each is worth a look.


via MuckRack:  How do you get to the top of Google News
Search optimization is no longer optional. This article outlines, among other things, the top 10 positives and negatives when it comes to ranking.  Very accessible.  I have recently undertaken an SEO certificate program with SEO Copywriting (Heather Lloyd Martin) to add to my knowledge in this area. More about SEO in future posts.

via Guardian: Pitching apps to journalists
This article is full of good advice that is valid no matter what you’re pitching. Keep it super short, inquire if there is interest before you send supporting information. Tell them what it is, why they should care and what you want them to do. Those interviewed also have an interesting view point on when to hire a PR firm. I agree that it’s optimal to have someone at C-level do the media outreach directly if possible, but the PR firm still can be a big help in crafting the stories and knowing what will and won’t resonate.

Ghost Blogging – Good or bad? I was recently asked to fill out a PRSA-approved survey being conducted by the University of Oregon intended to identify emerging standards regarding the practice of ghost blogging. For the record, my opinion is that it’s perfectly acceptable to help an executive write a post as long as the thesis and supporting points come from her/him and they have seen, refined and approved the published version. I’ve written hundreds of  articles for clients in this way; for a busy executive it’s often much easier for them to email a brain dump in down time, ex., while sitting in the airport waiting to board. It also depends on how people’s brains work. I have several clients who just think better when speaking. In that case I either take notes or I record the conversation and have it transcribed and then clean it up.  I will say, however, this approach works only if the writer already has deep background in what the executive wants to write about. Otherwise, yes, the executive needs to write the post him/herself and have it edited for clarity.

good reads

  • Just finished Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink Ph.D. Biggest takeaway – for both weight and marketing – the battle is won in increments. Take in 100 calories less each day and burn off 100 extra calories is about 3,000 less calories a month. A pound = 3,500 calories. Do the math.
  • Given the recent discovery that neutrinos move faster than light, my discovery of Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How physics and scientific thinking illuminate the universe and the modern world, by Lisa Randall is quite serendipitous. I saw her interviewed by Charlie Rose, she was fascinating and makes complex principles quite accessible.
  • Finally, while channel surfing I happened upon two very interesting lectures on BookTV. One was by Will Kaufman, author of Woody Guthrie, American Radical. In a combination lecture and performance of many Guthrie’s songs, Kaufman walks the audience through the folk singer’s political activism throughout the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, the McCarthy era, and the Civil Rights era.  Guthrie is best known for his song, “This Land Is Your Land,” and as you will discover, the original version is not at all like the song we used to sing as kids. Watch the program online here. The other was by Don Peck, author of “Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It. As a child of a father from the greatest generation and an influencer/champion of two teen boys, I found Peck’s predictions about how the current economy will affect them, meaning, the similarities, fascinating. 

calls for speakers

PRSA Health Academy Philadelphia (May 16-18, 2012)
PRSA Counselors Academy New Orleans(May 6-8, 2012)
PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference Columbus, Ohio (June 3-6,2012)
MARCOM 2012 Ottawa, Canada (May 15-16, 2012)


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