Online crisis training: real-time scenarios sharpen skills

For the past few years, I’ve been going back to school in the fall – as lead instructor in University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Digital Strategy Certificate program. You can follow our Twitter conversations #digitaledu.

This semester, I’m teaching the Advanced Practices in Digital Reputation Management course again – as well as developing it into an online format.

And one of the things I say to students – working professionals, really – is that when it comes to an online issue or crisis, the question these days is not an if, but a when. And you need to ask yourself if you and your organization are really prepared. 

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Get into the Zen of content marketing by finding your inner Ps

Summer may be over, but if you’re like me, you’re still feeling more centred and relaxed… In a bit of a Zen-ish state. Though one that will soon be replaced by the hustle and bustle of fall.

Which got me thinking about communications and how we agonize about so many things. And no wonder.

Marketing communications – especially on the agency side – has long been considered a stressful path to follow. You work endless days (and nights), often at warp speed. You’re bombarded by deadlines as well as questions and requests from clients, suppliers, partners and colleagues. And that was in the olden days of legacy media.

Now, with content marketing added to the mix, not to mention the daily social media updates (or the new platforms that haven’t even been dreamed up yet), we’re under even more pressure.

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Supercharged storytelling for startups at SXSWV2V: 10 ways to get started

These days it’s not enough to be in the news, you need to create, produce and share it. And in order to do that you need to think like a newsroom and amplify stories via social and digital channels.

We live in a world with an overabundance. So how can you break through? That was the subject of my workshop at SXSWV2V.

Here are 10 tips to get started: 

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How to think like a newsroom and a producer at SXSWV2V

Here’s how it used to happen: You created a business and wanted to shout that to the world. Or maybe you had big product launch or some important company news. You wanted to get the word out there and generate some of that elusive buzz.

So you called a PR agency or publicist and they invariably said, “Let’s do a news release. That’ll get you noticed!”

And more often than not, that’s how thing went.

I’m oversimplifying, of course. If you were working with someone reputable and smart, there was a strategy and carefully targeted outreach based on longstanding relationships and an understanding of what the media was looking for.

But things have changed. 

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Did Gallup get it wrong about social media?

When I saw the headline: ‘Americans Say Social Media Have Little Sway on Purchases. Vast majority use social media to connect with friends, family’, I was, to put it mildly, intrigued.

After all, a lot of brands and businesses are pouring resources into connecting with people on social networks. A lot of agencies and consultants are, too.

Couple that with the fact that the report was based on a survey by the venerable Gallop organization and I was curious about the results.

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