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…]

U.S. nuclear industry must face PR challenges

Three Mile IslandAs I watch the news in Japan unfold, I’m certain that executives with the U.S. nuclear industry are huddling around a desk to review a crisis communications plan recently pulled from the back of a dusty file cabinet. There is no doubt that a communications crisis is in full bloom.

The crisis, if not managed proactively, will have dire results for the future of U.S. energy policy. The nuclear industry itself will bear the brunt of the impact.

Historically, America has not been supportive of nuclear power. No new nuclear power plants have been permitted in the U.S. since 1979, the year of America’s worst nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. No nuclear reactors have been constructed since 1996. Until the events in Japan over the past week, Georgia seemed poised to change that fact with a nuclear plant scheduled for construction in Waynesboro.

[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…]

Most Improved

Mr. BillI won a Mr. Bill bobble-head doll at Jackson Spalding’s monthly staff meeting yesterday.

Why did I win it? For being the Most Improved Biller for 2010.

The wobbler is an award for doing such a poor job filing my invoices and activity reports on time in 2009 but meeting the minimal standards this year.

Honestly, I’m very thankful that the accounting department has seen some improvement in my administrative skills this year. The award will receive a place of honor next to my “Most Valuable Editor” award from the Crimson White and the lava lamp I won at a conference in Austin, Texas.

My awards shelf is starting to get full.

‘Just PR’ is more than you think

Over the past several weeks, 27 fellow Rotarians have visited my office to pick up dictionaries to deliver to Atlanta Public School third graders. While in the office, a surprising number have asked “So, Jackson Spalding does just PR?”

Just PR. I’m not even certain how to define “just PR” these days.

Perhaps 10 years ago there was “just PR” in the sense of media relations. Clients could ask for help reaching the editorial side of TV, news and radio. But anyone today who is seeking only traditional media relations is due for a shock.

The world has changed. And so has PR. [Read more…]

Georgia Meth Project: Giving that makes a difference

Meth LogoCongratulations to Thomas Siebel and The Meth Project for landing in the third spot of Barron’s annual ranking of philanthropies.

And congratulations to my clients, Lee Shaw and Jim Langford, for their hard work bringing The Meth Project to Georgia. It’s been an incredible first year working with the Georgia Meth Project and next year looks even better.

The ranking announcement was made in Barron’s cover story this week, “The 25 Best Givers.” This is the second year in a row the Meth Project has been named to the magazine’s list; it was ranked number five in 2009.

In awarding the Meth Project its number three spot, Barron’s said: [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…]