Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Interest in Pinterest

By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

As many of you already know, Pinterest is the newest and fastest growing social media site out there today. The site offers a unique way to visually express things you like or are interested in by “pinning” images, photos and video to your virtual pinboard. Each image links back to the website it originally came from, which for businesses, can be a benefit because it helps drive traffic back to your site and can improve your SEO by creating links.
Because Pinterest is the newest thing, your first reaction might be to sign up for an account and start pinning away – like now. But before you jump on the bandwagon, as with other social media accounts, you need to determine if the latest and greatest is really right for your business.

Things to consider:

Does the audience on Pinterest align with the audience you are seeking? Right now, Pinterest users are mostly women between the ages 25-34 with money to spend. If you are a retailer, this might be a good fit. Not quite the audience you are seeking? Don’t worry. Keep checking back. As Pinterest evolves, so will its users and new demographics can emerge that might meet your needs down the line.

Do you have enough content to share? Pinterest is a very visual site. Before you start pinning away, determine ahead of time if you will have enough relevant and interesting content to post regularly that will garner a response or be repinned by other users. After all, having your images “repinned” is the goal as it will help create a positive buzz about your brand. Developing a plan that includes when and what you pin will help you determine if you have the content to share that will create the impact you are looking for.

Do you have the time to put into it? I always tell clients that they shouldn’t engage in any kind of social media site unless they can commit to the upkeep to maintain and monitor it. If you can’t dedicate the time to pin consistently, interact with your followers or comment, you run the risk of turning off the very audience you are hoping to attract. There is nothing more frustrating than asking a question on a social media site and never getting a response.

Social media sites like Pinterest are great tools to have in your PR arsenal, but should be just one part of your overall PR plan. What sites you chose to dedicate time to depend on your business, your communication goals and who you are trying to reach. Once that is determined, think strategically on how you plan to use social media to reach out and engage your audience. A good rule of thumb: if you sign up for the latest and greatest social media craze but don’t really know why… it probably won’t meet your communication goals.

Has anyone had communications success with a Pinterest account? Anyone struggling? Let’s talk about it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yes….I will be back to your store!

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

Good customer service isn’t necessarily a thing of the past, but exceptional customer service is rare, especially when a mistake has been made. That’s why I have to share several recent experiences our office has had with the local FedEx Kinkos store; experiences that have me saying “yes, I’ll be back!”

We’re working on a couple of projects where we need to produce some large display boards. As often happens, a client needed one of the boards right away, so I ran over to FedEx Kinkos and explained my dilemma. The clerk said no problem, we’ll get it done right away and I’ll call you as soon as it’s done. As we were talking, I also mentioned that we would need an additional 20 boards at the end of the next week. When I came back a while later to pick up the board (yes, the clerk did call me), the clerk said she checked their inventory and ordered some extra boards so that they would have enough for us when we needed the next batch. Outstanding!

The next week, we ordered the remaining display boards. Because things were a bit chaotic at the office, we didn’t go through all of them one by one until the day before our meeting. Yep, you guessed it. We had two of one board…but were missing another. I checked on our end to be sure we sent over the correct files (which we did). So, I called and politely explained the issue. There was never a question or a hesitation from FedEx Kinkos. The clerk said he was terribly sorry and they would produce the remaining board. When I asked if I could have it by the next morning, he said he would have it done within an hour or so and he would call me. True to his word, he called within the time frame. When I picked it up, another clerk reiterated they were sorry about the missing board.

In total, I worked with four different people at this store. All were helpful and polite. They listened to what I was saying (ordering extra boards so we could get our second order done on time), did what they said they were going to do (calling when orders were done) and, although a mistake was made on the second order, they quickly and professionally took care of the issue. You can’t ask for better service than that. And that’s why I will come back to their store.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

To post or not to post

By: Cole Buergi, Vice President of Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

I grow more amazed everyday with what people are willing to post on their Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. I’m all for free speech, but there comes a point when people need to realize that what they say has “real” consequences.

If you’re unsure of what I’m referring to, simply visit the USA Today website and click on any story. At the bottom of each story are Facebook comments from people throughout the world. Some of the comments are very insightful, others humorous and then there are some that are downright mean, racist or threatening.

It’s the later comments that I often wonder how people have the “chutzpah” to place online for all to read. Do they not realize that the comments they make are a direct reflection of who they are? Or that others are watching and making judgments about them?

Equally important, a comment made on the Internet just once, is there forever. That’s something to really think about. What you may write as a silly prank or in the heat of the moment may come back to haunt you in your professional career. In some instances, it may have an immediate impact. There have been employees terminated from their jobs for posting things that were not appropriate or fit with their company’s guidelines.

The next time you’re about to post a comment; take a moment to think about how it will reflect on you or if it’s damaging to others. What do you think? Have you read comments that make you shake your head in disbelief?