Sunday, May 31, 2009

While we May: Our top 10 tips

May was a busy month for me and for my readers, who are searching the blog for branding, social media, writing and media relations tips. I'm also looking for your input on some new training tools this month. Check out the most popular posts in our ongoing conversation:
  1. Employers are fickle. Social media is your friend: That message from my talk on branding yourself with social media tools, given at the Science Writers in New York May meeting, was this month's most popular post. Read my tips and ideas here.
  2. Tell your boss: Be like Gumby on social media. While we're on employers and social media tools, let's get ourselves a new, but retro, role model. Flexibility--and a few other Gumby-like traits--are what's needed to adapt well to social media as a communications tool. Leave this post on your boss's desk, I say.
  3. Constructing approaches to social media: That was my theme at the Construction Writers of America annual meeting, where we discussed ways to use social media to showcase your historical archives, engage customers, conduct media relations, source news stories and more. Read my collection of tips here.
  4. New Flip camera features: I love using Flip video cameras, the smallest around. Read about the new features announced this month--including more memory--as well as much lower prices that make this video camera an even better social media option.
  5. When you disagree with the reporter: A high-profile interview on NPR took a turn for the worse when the subject vehemently disagreed with the reporter--so much so that the disagreement became the story. You can hear the full interview, the finished piece, and see my analysis of what you should do here.
  6. I'm looking for a new media-training video. Can you help? I've blogged before about the most overused training video and it's out of date. See the video of the first reader nominee for its replacement: An Amy Poehler episode of Parks & Recreation. Don't forget to leave your suggestion!
  7. How to handle embargoes and off-the-record interviews: In a high-profile, even over-hyped, announcement this month, a scientist spilled the beans too early, breaking an embargo. Here's what you should know to understand this situation and how to handle it.
  8. Learning how to write for Twitter: The weekly writing coach feature reviews a new Twitter Book that'll give you strategy and writing pointers for the 140-character messages used on Twitter. com
  9. Overstepped your bounds in an interview? Sometimes, exaggerations creep into your media interview responses. Don't get caught without these tips for avoiding--and correcting--such mistakes.
  10. A new reference for writers: Check out the Phrase Finder, a new online tool that will help you put the right words at your fingertips.

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