Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June's top 10 tips, ideas and resources

June saw the official start of summer in the U.S., worldwide sporting contests--still underway, and these most-read posts on communications strategy, training and content. Here's the road my readers followed this month on the blog:

  1. Nexternal relations: Train your strategic binoculars on these up-and-comers let you in on opportunties to beta-test, share your insights, or identify sites that are just starting up with promising tools from Facebook and Blogger, the latest Knight Foundation news challenge winners, and more.  As this month's most popular post, it's clear you don't want to get caught behind the curve.
  2. Director's perspective:  The first guest post in this series by communications directors, Exploring social media for university research, shared how Jim Barlow, the University of Oregon director of science and research communications, is putting together social media and other options to communicate.  (If you're a communications director with a perspective to share, email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz with your idea for a guest post.)
  3. Fear of phoning strikes a chord:  My post on a phenomenon some clients are seeing among their media relations teams -- the fear of phoning reporters and others -- sounded familiar to many readers, who sought out the background issues and tips for changing this behavior. The fearful phoner's side of the story, in another post with tips for managers, came in right behind this one.
  4. Advice for a rookie public information officer, from me and my crowd of communicators on Twitter and Facebook, yielded this kudos from the rookie: "I'm going to print this out and stick it on my desk."  Check it out, and feel free to add your advice.
  5. Presenting yourself: New looks and a discount shared how I'm redesigning my blogs, business cards and professional photographic portraits, all ideas you can steal. The discount on business cards from goes away June 30, 2010, so act fast.
  6. You say the public needs to understand your issue better. But do you understand the public whose understanding you seek?  If you keep referring to the "general public," time to think again.
  7. Copyright need not be a barrier to encouraging online sharing of your data or products.  This post, with a thoughtful briefing from YouTube in video form, may open your organization's eyes to how you can benefit from letting others share your stuff.  Must reading for your attorneys.
  8. The weekend reading list of what I've shared on Twitter was a recurring hit this month, especially the lists from June 5 and June 18.  Look for these roundups on Fridays each week.
  9. A shelf of style guides for today was a popular post, offering the latest guides for online style as well as specialty writing in a variety of subject categories and fields.
  10. Do your public information campaigns give the public enough info to act on?  This guest post by John Solomon looks at the vague homeland security motto of "see something, say something," then finds case histories of groups that bring the message home with specific calls to action.  A good lesson if your messages aren't concrete enough.
Looking for more?  Sign up for my free monthly email newsletter, For Communications Directors, to get advance information and details;  join the don't get caught community on Facebook to discuss issues with other communicators; or check out these ways to subscribe to the blog or contact me about consulting help with communications strategies, training or message development.

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