A Full-Court Press … Release

Do your firm or your clients have a need for a press release service? Do you believe everything tastes better with some social media spice? PressDoc is a new European company specializing in press releases with a social media flair. PressDoc understands that journalism has become less corporate and more homegrown and that there is a very real need for press that plays nice with traditional social media services and sharing activity.

PressDoc promises more than the “page long PDF filled with text.” Instead, PressDoc believes that a release must be “easy to skim, very easy to share, if possible include multimedia such as images/videos, and up-to-date contextual information to the last minute. All things the traditional press release generally isn’t capable of.” Features include:

  • Optimized for sharing via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Enrich your press release with images, videos and documents.
  • Scheduled distribution; set a date and time and it will be published automatically.
  • Detailed analytics on who’s reading your release and what they are saying about it.
  • A very easy-to-use interface.
  • All your press releases in one place with PressRooms.
  • Integrate a basic version of the PressRoom into your site. 
  • Very helpful founders which will assist you with any questions you might have 😉
  • Another social aspect is PressDoc’s provision of “press rooms” – sites within their sites on which companies and promoters can house their various press releases. PressDoc advises that shared press rooms are coming soon – perfect for events wherein participants can pool their topically-related releases.

    PressDoc’s are visually appealing, load quickly and are organized to optimize social sharing and linking. Check out EmbedTweet’s press release (link here). As you can see on the site, there are tweetmeme-like and sharing buttons in a familiar upper-right location, a right side bar with the company logo, contact information, website link, company RSS and Twitter stream link. The main text includes sections titled “info”, “social media pitch” (even shorter than an elevator speech), “summary”, “details”, “relevant links”,  “quotes” (that look very much like comments on a blog post), image and video thumbnails, “about”, and “latest Twitter updates.”

    How much is all this flash? The modest sum of 10 euros per doc, which translates right now to about $12.80 U.S. dollars. Sign-up is free, with no monthly service charge.

    Pretty darn cool.

    Chart: Social Media Demographics

    Image representing Flowtown as depicted in Cru...
    Image via CrunchBase

    Highly detailed chart on who is using what social media sites. Created by the fine folk at Flowtown (link here). Get your magnifying glasses out again. Or hit the link for the wide screen view (link here).

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    The Power of Media in the Modern Age

    Only in the modern age can a fan produce an ode to a product that is better than anything the company has come up with to date (despite the power of a massive ad budget behind it), have it go viral and gain instant, seemingly overnight attention. Such stories smack of the same Horatio Alger myth that powered our rags to riches dreams over a century ago.

    Moral here? If you have something to say, say it – chances are, someone will hear you on the Web.

    I love Palm, I really do. Hire this guy.

    Louis Gray: Writing A Killer Blog Without Killing Yourself

    I really don’t need to give any introduction here, other than to urge you to take a moment to read Mr. Gray’s outstanding Slideshare on how to manage your blog and social media interaction. Fantastic advice from a master!

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    Social Media Cheat Sheet (Get Yr Mags Out)

    This is downright crazy! The Next Web (link here) shared this Social Media Cheat Sheet by Drew McLellin (dailybloggr.com – link here) about a week ago. While it doesn’t really simplify the comparison process, it does include an awful lot of information. And you can always resort to the familiar green – good, yellow – proceed with caution, red – WATCH OUT! coding for a quick analysis. Because the Advocate is all about social media, even this crazy chart has its place.

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    Incorporating A Social Media "Back Channel" In A Presentation

    There is nothing quite like the immediacy of real-time conversation about your presentation while the presentation is going on! This is particularly true if your presentation is about the power of social media. I found this great tutorial on how to create such a back channel for your next presentation. The website is called “140 Learning” and the topic is “Incorporating a Back channel in a Presentation” (link here). The article presumes your use of Powerpoint, Keynote or Sliderocket in your talk. It is relatively short but quite comprehensive and impressive, discussing issues that range from how to create a hashtag prior to the presentation to how to encourage dialog, from tools for easily adding your own postings during the presentation to ways to encourage dialog, from how to show the Twitter stream to how to invite feedback after the presentation. There is a lot of other great stuff in this article, so I highly encourage you to hit the jump if you are considering adding such a high-tech feature to your next presentation!

    If you are interested in sprucing up your presentations generally, check out Ray Ward’s suggestions over at the (new) legal writer on better Powerpoint presentations (link here). Thanks Ray!

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    When Social Media Hits Your Wallet

    I just read an interesting post by Omar-Ha-Redeye at Slaw on how social media usage might result in an increase in insurance’ premiums to reflect an increased risk of loss (link here). The article actually discussed homeowners’ premiums and privacy and location-based services. These topics have been the subject of heavy discussion over the past two weeks, spurred at least in part by the brouhaha from Google’s launch of Buzz with insufficient privacy controls and the articles surrounding the website Please Rob Me. Personally, I think Please Rob Me is about ten times more irresponsible than the original location posters – it opens up location data to anyone and everyone in a clearinghouse-style, hyper-organized fashion not available to the potential robber who randomly peruses Twitter, Foursquare or any of the other location-based services that first require a friend or follow connection. Furthermore, I doubt that the persons engaging in this activity are learning the lesson this site is “purporting” to teach. But enough about that.

    The title of Omar’s post sent my thoughts in a different direction – lawyers using social media who might experience an increase in legal malpractice fees. I am not suggesting that this is currently the case – I don’t have the data to back it up. But there certainly have been news stories over the past year outlining the different ways that lawyers can get themselves in trouble in and out of court based on their own on-line activities.

    Engaging in social media in general, and for lawyers in particular, requires common sense. The same common sense that people and professionals should employ in the off-line world. Internet trouble may result from the incorrect perception that only those you are interested in targeting with your efforts will see your efforts. In reality, the digital trail is wide and clear for anyone interested enough to follow.

    That said, if you only publish content that is valuable and well-thought out, there should be little problem with the law. On the other hand, you cannot control the perceptions of the other side in a dispute. So, how do you engage and protect at the same time? Carefully read your malpractice policy to ensure that on-line activity is not excluded. If it is excluded, then consider contacting your carrier / agent to discuss adding such coverage. There are specific insurance policies now being offered that cover blogging activity. It is worth it to take some time with your coverage and make sure it protects against the risks you want it to protect against.

    Above all, if you are on-line in a professional capacity, keep it professional! If your activity doesn’t pass the “smell” test, well, then ….

    More Social Stats

    If you are looking for material for your next presentation on why professionals should consider the social media option, consider some of these fresh figures from comScore and others, via ResourceShelf (link here.) Here are some that jumped off the computer screen at me:

    • Twitter processed more than 1.2 billion tweets during the month of January, 2010.
    • 1 out of very 4 pages views in the United States during December, 2009 was on one of the main social networking sites, with 1 in 10 page visits worldwide.
    • Over the past year, more users have moved to smartphones, incrasing from 11 percent to 17 percent. 3G phone ownership has expanded from 32 percent to 43 percent. Unlimited data plan subscriptions rose from 16 percent to 21 percent.
    • Cisco released its own estimates that global mobile data traffic has increased by 160 percent over the past year to 90 petabytes per month – the equivalent of 23 million DVDs. This is projected to increase by a figure of 39 times, to approximately 3.6 exabytes per month by 2014.

    So there you have it. We are mobile and social and getting moreso all the time.

    The Buzz About Google Buzz

    I have been periodically checking live blogs on Google’s big event today just to get a gander at Google’s new toy, rumored to be a Twitter-Facebook-social media killer of epic proportion. The news so far? Enter Google Buzz.

    Google Buzz is incorporated right into your Gmail inbox and can be accessed by a tab. As pulled from Techcrunch’s live blog, the five main features of Google Buzz are:

    1) Auto-following. We didn’t want users to have to peck out a totally new social graph. There has always been a giant social network under Gmail. You auto-follow the people you email and chat with the most.

    2) Rich, fast sharing experience. Same nice Gmail UI and keyboard shortcuts. Special attention to media.

    3) Public and private sharing. We want things Google can index, but also private messages.

    4) Inbox integration. The inbox is the center for communication.

    5) Just the good stuff. Some much social data, we need to filter the noise.

    Buzz incorporates a new photo viewer and a pane that looks a whole lot like Friendfeed. You can view your follows (who have been auto-followed in Buzz by virtue of you having previously communicated with them in Gmail). Posts can be made public or private (very interesting).  Conversations in Buzz can be generated from emails and they fit right within the inbox. It also incorporates the “@” convention from Twitter.  Same keyboard shortcuts that work in Gmail work in Buzz. There is also a recommended “friend of a friend” feature – gee, that sounds an awful lot like Friendfeed too.

    Buzz has mobile counterparts too, for Android and iPhone. It’s all about location. When viewing Google.com on your mobile browser, clicking on Buzz will feed you back location data. You can use your voice to input via this mobile format. There is a streaming view of Buzz information and a Buzz-related updates layer for Google Maps with geotagging.

    Buzz looks to be another approach to communication and conversation from Google. I will check back in and update when I find out more. In the meantime, check out Techcrunch’s live blog (link here) and watch the next big tech tool roll out of the starting gate.

    Advanced Social Media Presentation Materials

    Doug Cornelius (Compliance Building) and I had a most excellent time presenting our lunch seminar on Beyond LinkedIn: Advanced Social Media for Lawyers yesterday at the Boston Bar Association. If you were unable to attend, you can still check out our presentation materials. Here are our presentation slides:

    You also can view our handout collecting web tools and resources (link here).

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