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On April 22, 2010 the South Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (SCPRSA) held its annual Mercury Awards banquet at the Riverbank Zoo in Columbia, SC. Since the event was held after regular zoo hours, it was a special treat to view the animals with just our group around.

The Mercury Awards were created by SCPRSA to recognize outstanding performance in the public relations, communications and marketing professions. As always, it was great to connect with others in the industry from around the state. In addition to catching up with fellow SCPRSA members, it is a great venue to discuss best practices with established public relations professionals. Read the rest of this entry »

As GM, Ford, and Honda do everything they can to try to re-take market share from troubled Toyota, the advertising guns have been a-blazin.’ You would probably have to have been living under the proverbial rock to have missed GM’s ubiquitous “May the best car win” campaign. So, it brought a wry smile to my face when I stumbled across this online Chevy ad the other day: Read the rest of this entry »

If social media is something that you or your company participates in, here are some helpful tips to make you a better participant.

Give others something they can use. Don’t just talk about yourself or what you are eating for lunch. While some personal notes are okay, the majority of the conversation, in a business setting, should be providing your audience content that they can use. For example, referencing a solid white paper, helpful website, insightful quote, or other material will help your audience see you as a valuable participant.

Have a two-way conversation. Try to connect with others and respond when they are talking about something that relates to you. For example, if someone is talking about a problem they are having, and you have a solution to that issue, respond with a helpful tip. Opening up the lines of communication will give you the opportunity to create a deeper relationship. Another way to increase conversation is to ask questions. Questions can elicit responses from your audience that you may not otherwise receive.

Find a balance between updates. Yes, you can talk too much or too little. Don’t start a conversation and then leave it hanging. Also, don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information or meaningless updates. A good way to gauge your participation is to be sure that you are always adding something to the conversation.

Reach beyond your comfort zone. It can be easy to simply talk with those people who we already communicate with on a consistent basis. Try to reach outside of that circle and engage with others that are talking about something you are interested in. By reaching out to new individuals, you can grow your community and learn about emerging trends and new things.

Hopefully you will find these tips useful. The important thing to remember is that social media is designed to be a tool for two-way communication. Continue to engage with others and provide valuable information, and your social media efforts will provide results.

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