Coca-Cola 125: Jackson Spalding’s weekend to remember

This past weekend, Coca-Cola celebrated 125 years since the first Coca-Cola was enjoyed on May 8, 1886. I was fortunate enough to help Jackson Spalding coordinate portions of the event and to invite select media to Friday night’s illumination of the Coca-Cola Tower and Saturday’s 125th Anniversary Celebration Concert in Centennial Olympic Park.

What a weekend! [Read more…]

Spring cleaning: Time to dust off your website

Jackson Spalding: Atlanta Public RelationsI spent an hour or so Monday morning researching the background of several companies that I will partner with over the next few months. Naturally, this research leads to viewing the corporate website and any related websites. I was impressed with what I saw — at least at first. As I looked around and clicked a few links my impression dimmed.

The company — which I won’t name for obvious reasons — has completed world-class projects and is in a league above many in its field. There is no doubt, by any measure, that this company isn’t top-notch. But instead of showing the world a top-notch website, many of the company’s pages were out of date, relayed old information or offered visitors broken links.

This is a good reminder that websites are not set-it-and-forget-it projects. A little spring cleaning for your website won’t hurt. I promise.

Unless you have a simple landing page with only your contact information, your website needs to be dynamic, current and accurate. For many people, your website makes the first — and sometime only — impression. Are you OK with that?

I will be reviewing the Jackson Spalding website today to be sure we’re up-to-date. I know a makeover is already in progress but if there’s any old information, it needs to be cleaned up today. Let me know if you see any mistakes!

Social media policy: A treasure trove of netiquette rules

Social Media PolicySeveral clients recently asked me for a social media policy, or a blogging policy, so that they could provide social media guidelines for their employees. Frankly, I simply didn’t have a corporate social media policy template sitting on my desktop ready to fire away.

So I did what I always do in these situations: I asked my colleagues. This is generally a reliable group to turn to in a pinch. Unfortunately, nothing turned up. I drafted my own social networking guidelines and provided some general advice that I’ve learned from personal experience but I still felt that I was short-changing my clients.

I was thrilled when Jackson Spalding’s Social Media Director Stefany Sanders shared this link: Online Database of Social Media Policies.

Eureka! [Read more…]

Georgia-based Top 200 Charities lead charge on social media

Jimmy Carter at Carter CenterEvery one of the Forbes Top 200 Charities now uses at least one form of social media in its communications strategy, according to a recent report. And that list of social media users includes all 10 Georgia-based Top 200 Charities: American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of America, CARE USA, Carter Center, Habitat for Humanity USA, In Touch Ministries, Map International, Mission to the World and The Woodruff Arts Center.

In fact, all but one of Atlanta’s Top 200 Charities use at least three kinds of online content other than a corporate website. The not-for-profits use the channels to communicate and build relationships with donors, volunteers and other supporters. Skip to the bottom of this post to see a list (and links) of online content from each of Georgia’s Top 200 Charities.

But first, let’s look at those national numbers. The study reveals charities’ adoption of blogging outpaces both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 by 23 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Sixty-four percent of these top performing charities maintain a blog for their organizations. [Read more…]

FAIL: PR Breakfast Club resolution

Self Portrait

A look in the mirror: Building Brand You

One of my favorite blogs is, a website spun from Twitter chatter.

But last week one of the contributors wrote a list of PR Resolutions for 2011 that includes a suggestion that simply stinks:

Screw Your Brand – … 2010 was the year of the personal brand.  Maybe I am just naïve or worked in sports for too long, but I firmly believe in the saying that you play for the name on the crest, not the name on the back.  Unless you are the head of your firm, your job as a PR pro is to make your company or client look good.  Everyone knows that your job today will likely not be your last, but you shouldn’t use your current role to gain yourself notoriety.  If you want to build something up that is Brand U, do it 5-9 not on the company dime.  I predict that we’ll see more companies cracking down on this kind of self-promotional behavior.

I’ve spent a great deal of my free time in 2010 working on Brand U, so maybe I’m a bit sensitive to the suggestion that my personal brand has no value. I shudder thinking the author believes spending time on your personal brand comes at the expense of your company and clients.


Building Brand U, helps your company and your clients. Build, build, build. [Read more…]

Lights, Camera, Send: Videos for social media

Riding a Tap Tap in Haiti.I’ve been a filmmaker all my life. (Okay, filmmaker is a stretch but I like the word).

Some of my fondest memories of family vacations are of filming sunlight reflecting off a mountain stream or catching a candid shot of my brother and sister as we packed our gear to go to the beach.

But I never directed or edited a video of shareable quality until last October when I visited Haiti on a humanitarian aid trip for Midtown Atlanta Rotary. Just days before my trip I borrowed the Jackson Spalding Flip cam and spent 15 minutes listening to Scott Hartman teach me how to record scenes that are easier to edit. (If you watch the video for Pure Water for the World you’ll see many scenes that were shot exactly as Scott directed).

I have since shown the video to my Rotary club twice. I learned recently that the partners on my trip have shown the video more than a dozen times in Texas and it has helped raise more than $30,000 for Pure Water for the World. In the first year, the video was viewed by more than 3,800 people on Vimeo.

[Read more…]

4 steps to find quality blogs to pitch

The following item is cross-posted on Jackson Spalding‘s blog,

While leading a recent training session with the marketing team at Chick-fil-A, a client raised his hand and asked what seemed to be a very simple question: How do you find the best blogs?

It seemed simple until I tried to answer it. Well, uh, you search for them. Right?

While it’s not complicated, searching for blogs that are relevant to your business, hobbies, customers or trends requires more thought than that. Any business should think through the process like any other marketing tactic, especially with the intention of building relationships with specific bloggers.

Feeling that I shortchanged my answer in person, and hoping that others may benefit from a more thoughtful answer, I present The Best Way To Find The Best BlogsTM.

[Read more…]