Twitter Me This!

Writing is like exercise. The more you do it the better you get. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as riding a bike.

Now more than ever, it’s important to know how to put thoughts into words. And not just in a story or a press release, but in social media formats. Writing for social media is a rare art form – 140 characters are sometimes all you get.

There are scarcely marketing strategies that don’t include a section dedicated to social media alone.Why? Because people want and need information fed to them, and it’s our job to do that. By crafting the perfect tweet, you can draw your followers in enough to click that link to the story, photo, video or product page.

Here are a few tips to remember when space is limited:

  • Be personable rather than promotional. Make your followers feel like a part of your company. Twitter’s Rule of 8 is a great way to incorporate this – for every tweet about the brand/product, tweet eight other times with more personable content.
  • Engage followers with creative and witty words, as well as questions they want to answer back. Using those 140 characters to catch their eye long enough that they stop and think about what you’re asking can give you great feedback and a strong follower base.
  • Words don’t always come easily, so take the time to craft creative and attention-grabbing phrases that expose your client’s personality.
  • Use #hashtags. This way that one word you put a “#” before ensures that people who are interested in your topic of discussion can always find you.
There are plenty more tips out there, but we can’t expose all the secrets, right? Follow us @DittoePR!

Dittoe PR Tailgate Party

“I guess the atmosphere that I’ve tried to create here is that I’m a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third.” – Michael Scott, The Office 

A fitting quote for the leaders here at Dittoe PR – they are friends, bosses and, well, some great entertainers! While we make it fun in the office, there is nothing like a little shindig with your coworkers on a Saturday night. Our small office of 11 did it big September 18 at the end-of-summer work party at the Dittoe house. Football streamed on every television, cocktails were flowing thanks to a great bartender and Qdoba made for a tasty meal. It was nothing short of an entertaining evening at Chris & Liza’s humble abode.

Check out some pictures from the evening below!


The Good, Bad, & Ugly of the BP Oil Spill

Despite the fact that the BP oil spill occurred in April 2010, it didn’t seem like such a huge issue until recently. Living away from the mess, I felt removed from it all. But in the last week, in-depth interviews have been occupying my morning radio show. And, my closest friend Kelagn, a Pensecola, Fla. resident, has informed me of what it’s like down on the Gulf Coast.

So, let’s try to put this into perspective. It’s possible that around 60,000 barrels of oil are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico on a daily basis. Dolphins, sea turtles and pelicans – among others – are threatened daily by the spill.

Because of the hazardous materials, it requires five to 48 hours of training before you are able to participate in clean up – hours vary based on the type of clean up (onshore trash, onshore wildlife and in-water cleanup). BP is paying for the training, which is required by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Food and Drug administration (FDA) is working with various organizations to determine the oil spills effect on health.

As a resident, Kelagn has already been warned of possible problems that result from a spill such as this. And she still completed the long process and is now ready to hit the ground running as the damage begins to hit her new stomping grounds, the Pensacola beaches.

It’s already documented as the worst oil spill in U.S. history, and past corporate crises (such as Exxon spill 1989) hint that it might be too late for BP to recover from its PR mistakes.  Many have said that BP has two major crises: actually stopping the spill and then convincing people that they are trying to stop it.

Obviously, the latter isn’t quite as important as actually stopping the oil. I am more concerned with fixing it than the convincing part, but because this is a public relations blog written by a person who is currently working in public relations, let’s focus on that.

I’ve tallied a few of the simple and very bad PR strategies BP has tried so far (and one good one):

Well, they started it!

BP pushed the blame for the spill on the owner of the rig, Transocean Ltd. However, BP owns the oil that the rig is pumping into the water. So even though that might be the case, they are responsible for the oil leaking from said rig. Other issues can be worked out after the mess is taken care of.  However, it’s called the BP oil spill for a reason.

(BP-0, Everyone Else-1)

If you know the answer, then say it.

From the beginning, BP hurt its credibility. They first reported that the rig was only leaking 1,000 a day, when in actuality it was originally leaking about 5,000 barrels a day. Despite that discovery, they still reported that it was leaking 1,000-5,000 (now it’s tens of thousands). Way to go BP. Can we really trust you?

(BP-0, Everyone Else-2)

Communicate. Communicate. And communicate some more.

Here is something BP is doing. Communicating via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. It helps that they can respond quickly to the latest developments surrounding the oil spill. They even put a section on their website that is solely for photos, videos, maps and information about the spill. Giving glimpses of cleanups and constant updates on Twitter is helping people feel like they know what is happening.

(BP-1, Everyone Else-2)

It was a close call, but BP still isn’t quite ahead of the game. Now that I’m working in the public relations field at Dittoe PR, these issues grab my attention and make me want to take notes. Crises communications have some simple, but incredibly important, must-not-do rules and if I’m ever working on a crisis plan, I’ll be sure to follow them.