Newspaper? Really?

1609612_273780636110448_1242112140_nI have recently accepted the position of Sales Manager at ABQ Free Press.  My first day is tomorrow.

My friends don’t seem surprised, but a few of my old radio, television, cable and digital clients might be confused.  Newspaper?   Really?

First let me tell you that I have a Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Missouri.

One of the top two accredited schools for journalism and communications every year.  My first love is to write.  Since the introduction of the fax machine, I have written newsletters o my clients.  Then email newsletters.  Then my blog.  I write almost as much as I talk.

My second is to sell.  I’ve sold way more than advertising.  Women’s clothes, siding, tech help desk, roommate services, insurance, even Missouri BBQ which I still contend is the best to this day.  My favorite thing to sell is advertising solutions that work for my clients.

OH I can hear it now.  You said you don’t read the newspaper.  You said papers are dying.  I didn’t.  I did.  Respectively.

Here’s the thing.  

I look for news that I want online.  And what you find online now ranges anywhere from a rage filled rant to propaganda to opinion to real news.  If you find what you are looking for online, you probably don’t find much local.  At least not here in Albuquerque.   The local coverage online is often all politics, all one brand of politics, or way out in left field and kinda “we were cool before it was cool”.  Not what I wanted to see.

I’m not alone.  I just read an article from the Daily Dot that people are clamoring for good journalism.  In depth news.  In addition the article talks about how downgrading the news into bite size pieces has been part of the downfall of traditional news media and will surely be part of the downfall of digital media.  (Read more here)

So along comes the ABQ Free Press and I see that they are covering stories I want to read.  And while it’s indepth, it’s not snobby or that too cool for school newspaper.  Oh, and look here, I know this writer.  OH, I know that guy too.  Hey, that guy used to work in TV.  And I know that Associate Editor.  Hmm.  These are people with great news reputations.  I like this.

So when asked to send in my resume, I did.

It’s good news.  Not good as in happy (well yes maybe happy) but good as in solid, thoughtful journalism.  And I’m excited to be selling for them.  Excited to be hiring and training for them.  Doing social media for them and helping them with their online presence.

So.  Yeah.  Newspaper.   Really.

I hope you’ll give it a try, see what ABQ Free Press is up to, read an issue.  And give me a call if you’d like support this newspaper.  Or if you like the direction it’s going.  Pick one up from my friends at O’Niells on Central, or Milly’s, or a BK near you.  Or any one of these places: ABQ Free Press Locations


10 Pet Peeves of the Social Media Professional

Over the years, I’ve aggregated a few Social Media professionals.  Some are friends, some are colleagues.  Some are blogs I follow.

All of us will cringe at the sight of any of the following Social Media Faux Pas.

copyright-36078_6401.  I have two friends online who flood my newsfeed when this occurs.  Using a picture without permission.  Even the sloppiest of Social Media professionals will at least make sure the picture is “free to use, share and modify, even commercially” on Google search.  It takes so little effort to request the permission to use a picture.  And if you are doing social media as a way of earning a living, there are many professional pictures that now just cost $1 or are even free to use.    

We’ve all seen those memes where someone has taken someone else’s picture and photoshopped it.   Don’t do it.  Even if you think it’s hysterical and will go viral.  It’s unprofessional and….ILLEGAL

2.  And it’s not just school teachers and the grammar police that will go crazy if you do this one.  Poor grammar.  To be a professional, you should know how to put sentences together.  Even if you choose to break a grammar rule here and there for poetic license, do not fall into the habit of doing so.    “Smelling like rotten fish, my sister took out the trash.”  Unless your sister is really stinky….”My sister took out the trash.  It smelled like rotten fish.”  And please know the difference between they’re, their and there  as well as its and it’s.

3.  As a person with a journalism degree and a huge lover of all languages, I’ll start climbing the walls if you:  Use a word that you do not understand.    “It’s detrimental that I have your numbers by 5pm.”    I think the word  you are looking for is instrumental, or important, or necessary.  What that sentence translates to, is:  “It’s going to cause me bodily harm when I get your numbers by 5pm.”  Another would be irregardless.   Just  a heads up, that word doesn’t even exist.

Retro vintage font type. Vector alphabet4.  You don’t know how to spell.  If you want to publish anything from a blog, a book, to a post on Social Media, you need to know how to spell.  I am very sympathetic to those who are dyslexic.   And some people it’s just not a priority.  But with today’s technology, there is no excuse for not using spell check.  A second pair of eyes always helps as well.  Know the difference between moot and mute.   One means subject to uncertainty, where an answer can not be agreed upon or found.  The other means you can’t speak.  Or my favorite is using defiantly in place of definitely.  I defiantly agree with you.  What?

5.  This usually happens when you have your Sales Manager in charge of your business postings.  All you post is sales material.  Social Media is social.  You should be sharing the culture of your company.  You should be sharing  why you got into business.  You should be proud of your employees.   And of course, share SOME of your sales materials.  But a constant barrage of we have widgets on sale for three more days.   We have widgets for sale for two more days, etc.  Is not only annoying it’s counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve.  The more you sell, the less they will listen.

6.   “Follow us on Facebook”  Or twitter, or Pinterest, or Instagram, etc, you beg of us.  And we, excited to discover the wonder of your business, find that….your most recent post is 2 years old.    Why should I follow you?  Why should I shop you?  Why do you have a page?  Social media is not only social it’s a conversation, and a commitment.  You should take your page down or embue it with robust content.

7.  Sensational Headlines.   We’ve all seen it, “What they do next, you won’t believe!” and of course it’s absolutely believable.   Sensational headlines still work and a lot of marketers use them to hope their content will go viral.  However, more and more we’re seeing that readers are getting headline fatigue and they just don’t believe it’s unbelievable, any more.

Dollarphotoclub_540360698.  Automating your posts and not checking back when there is a reply.  Similar to always posting sales material, this technique is just as bad.   Social media, is social.  A conversation, if you are lucky enough to get someone to reply, acknowledge them, engage them, draw them in.

9. Forcing a connection.  A lot of businesses try cheesy or forced connections to current events or holidays.    Just because a story is going viral or it’s a national holiday, if it’s doesn’t fit your industry, don’t attach it to you or your products.   This is different from saying Merry Christmas to your fans and followers, or Happy Mother’s Day.  It’s more like a  vacuum cleaner company having a sale on Memorial Day because you know you need to vacuum up the dirt on the graves of soldiers.  See?  It doesn’t work and can be downright offensive.

10.  The biggest pet peeve.  Using a personal profile as a business page.  Name First  Dog Name Second Wash and Dry.   There are places in Facebook and LinkedIn to make your own business page.  To not use them isn’t tricking the system or being more “real” it actually makes people think you don’t know how to use Social Media.

Can you think of more?   The good thing about this list is that if you do any of these, and stop and learn why you need to stop…’ll have a much better social experience for you, and more importantly, your customers, prospects, fans and followers.

If you found this information useful, please feel free to share it!

Why a Blog?

In talking with a new  business owner these last couple days, the question came up, “Why would a business need a blog?”

Steeped in online marketing and getting inquiries into writing blogs for people, it didn’t occur to me that someone might not know why you want a blog.

Here are some useful reasons for having a blog:

content (2)Updated Information On Your Website

Let me ask you.  When you go to a business’ website and you see the last time anything was updated was September 2010, are you impressed with that business?  Do you have faith in their ability to render the services you need?

Provided your website is nice and professional looking, a blog is a great way to make your business current and relative to what people are searching for from your industry.

Having updated information on your website has a second benefit:

Google likes Blogs

Lets go back to that business that hasn’t updated their site since 2010.  Lets compare it to a site in the same industry  that has a blog that is updated every month.  Google likes updated content.  Google also likes relevant content.  So the search engine is going to look at these two sites and see which one has the most content about it’s industry.  It’s also going to see which has recent content.  And the one that scans better is bumped up.  Blogging is a great way to organically climb the search engine ladder.

Are you an Expert?  Prove it.

So a potential customer has found you on the search engine, they’ve looked at your site and it looks professional and they found your blog and see that it’s recent.  So far, you are scoring some great points with this prospect.  The next step is they may scan and / or read your blog.  This is your opportunity to show them you know what you’re doing.  It’s also an opportunity to become a resource to them.  And if you’re a good enough resource, they will visit your blog often maybe even subscribe.

Why Blog?  

It’s smart marketing and can help sales.    It keeps you current and relevant to consumers.  It helps you move up in search engines.  And blogging can help make sales by showing you are an expert and by becoming a resource to your customers and potential customers.