Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pinterest: The next big thing or just one more thing?

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

There has been an explosion of interest in Pinterest, an online bulletin board for your favorite images. However, to say it’s just an online bulletin board really doesn’t do it justice. The site allows you to organize images you like and, when you find a new image that’s appealing, you can add it to your “board.” (You can have multiple boards.) Your followers can see what you’ve “pinned” onto your board(s) and they can like it, comment on it or even re-pin it to their boards. Like all things in social media, there’s the potential that, if your images grab people’s attention, they can go viral. You’ll want to encourage followers as well as following some of the boards that you find interesting.

Sounds like fun. But is this just another social media site that is only good for, well, socializing? Not at all. There are some good business applications for it, if you’re willing to take the time to learn how to use it. Early users of Pinterest have reported dramatic spikes in their website traffic and increased sales.

Where do you start? First and foremost, think of Pinterest as a virtual catalogue for your products or services. When you add in the fact that those images can have a direct link back to your website, it becomes a bit more intriguing. However, just like a Facebook page, you don’t want it to be too commercial. Share what you find interesting on Pinterest or share things that relate to your business. For instance, if you own a restaurant, don’t just pin pictures of your entrĂ©es. Throw in some recipes you love or the latest styles you see among your clients.

I’ll be the first to admit that Pinterest is great if your product or service is visual. It takes a bit more creativity if your business isn’t particularly visual. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible; it’s just a bit more challenging.

The advent of a popular new social media site has led to some great internal discussions around our shop. Is it right for our clients? How will it help them further their PR and marketing goals? How long will Pinterest be “hot?” You can debate all your want but, for now, our viewpoint is that Pinterest is worth checking out.

What do you think? Have you used Pinterest for your business? What have been your results?

Monday, February 13, 2012

A great example of crisis management done well on the world stage

By: Cole Buergi, Sr. Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

If there was ever time when crisis management was done, and done well, it was at during the Grammys on Sunday night. Just more than 24 hours before the start of the live awards show, word came that past Grammy winner and music diva Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room.

At the young age of 48, her death was very much unexpected. And, although the autopsy results have not been released at the time of this post, the rumors are circulating. Houston has had a very troubled history with drugs and alcohol and has arrived at several recent public events appearing disoriented.

Although there was and continues to be great speculation on the cause of her death and with only 24 hours to revise the show, the producers created a tribute to Houston that tastefully and, with dignity, paid respect to her accomplishments as a singer. In addition, the host’s script was revised to include kind words of her musical talent and recognize her impact on the music industry and performers throughout the evening paid tribute to her.

The clips of her performances and the comments by the host were very well done and didn’t interrupt or overshadow the purpose of the Grammys which is a celebration of today’s accomplished artists.

With a show that is timed to the second for broadcasting purposes, I can only imagine the stress the producers faced to work this tribute into the show, determine where to put it and what needed to be removed from the scheduled performances to accommodate it. Despite the pressure, I feel they managed it well. The lead in to the tribute and tribute itself were seamless as if it had been a part of the show the entire time and not a last minute addition

What are your thoughts on how they handled it? Do you think they could have done more considering Houston’s accomplishments or do you feel they did too much considering the speculation on her cause of death?