Blogger Training
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Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Blogger Training

Blogger Training Course from the top-rated Social Media Training Provider
3.8 (159 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
9,848 students enrolled
Created by Eric Schwartzman
Last updated 11/2012
English [Auto-generated]
Price: Free
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 12 hours on-demand audio
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Anatomy of a blog
  • How to select the right blogging platform for you
  • Comment moderation policies and best practices
  • Using blogs for online newsrooms
  • Building corporate sites on WordPress
  • How to use Blogger
  • How to use Tumblr
  • How to use WordPress
  • Case studies from Monsanto, the US Dept. of Defense, Toyota, UCLA and others
  • And much, much more
View Curriculum

Welcome to the blogging training course from the top-rated, longest running soovial media training provider.

92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog, according to the latest industry research.

Blogs are the central, hub of most social marketing efforts because they provide marketers with a chance to convert traffic into transactions.  Blogs are a practical way for companies to publish text, photos and video. When they're integrated into corporate websites, they improve search engine visibility and can even be used to power entire websites.

Learn key concepts and techniques to help you get started blogging for business.

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Curriculum For This Course
47 Lectures
5 Lectures 11:16

Blogging for business tips, best practices and marketing using Blogger, Tumblr and Wordpress are covered in this online social media training .


Find out what makes Eric Schwartzman's social media trainings different.
About this Instructor

Find out what people say about Eric Schwartzman's social media trainings.

Promotional Materials

This online social media training course assumes a basic level of digital literacy such as connecting to the internet and surfing the web. Find out specifically what you need to know before you take this online social media training course.


The benefits of blogging, the origin of the word "blog," a the definition of a blogs. Content migration considerations and strategic applications for organizations are also discussed.

Business Benefits of Blogs
Key Concepts and Techniques
5 Lectures 24:42

 Blogs and blog posts increase the number of entry points into an organization's online presence. To the extent that organizations use blogs to allow their communities to carry on unsanitized conversations about their products and services in the comment section below their blog posts, the gravity of those conversations attracts visitors which the organization can market. But if those conversations are policed, that gravity diminishes. As a case study, a Fortune article titled "Michael Dell 'Friends' his customers" is shown on screen. The use of blogs for public affairs is also discussed.

Blog as Entry Point and Conversation Platform

The web domain where your blog should live, how to strategically leverage YouTube and Flickr to reach a larger audience and sharing links to YouTube and Flickr photos versus sharing links to YouTube and Flickr embeds on a blog where you can present contextual conversion opportunities.

Blogging Strategy

 Blog homepage, blogposts, permalinks, hyperlinking anchor text in blog posts, RSS feeds, RSS readers, blog search, social search, ego surfing, referral traffic, getting noticed by other bloggers, comment kiosks, comment moderation, DipNote blog comment moderation policy, resource allocation for sustaining blog comment moderation, selling the value of blogs to business decision makers, deflecting call center volume with blogs, blog rolls and blog widgets.

Anatomy of the Blog

Explanation of how user generated media differs from the mainstream news media and how that impacts your content creation and engagement strategy. Applying the laws of social etiquette and reciprocity to social media engagement on the blogosphere.

User Generated Content

Hands-On Training
4 Lectures 34:10

Basic discussion of deciding which blogging platform is right for you.  Platforms discussed include Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr.

Selecting a Blogging Platform

Best practices for setting up a Blogger blog, publishing blog posts, linking anchor text to a website, using spell check, using the bullets function, editing blog posts, installing widgets and adjusting blog settings.

Hands-On Demo: Blogger

Accessing the back-end of an existing WordPress blog, advantages of WordPress over other blogging platforms, publishing a post on WordPress, the front end of a WordPress blog, WordPress Plugins, integrating WordPress blogs into corporste websites, adding contributors and building corporate websites on the WordPress platform.

Hands-On Demo: WordPress

Benefits of Tumblr over Blogger and WordPress. Launching a Tumblr blog, posting photos, posting a quote, posting a hyperlink, posting a YouTube video and adjusting your blog settings.

Hands-On Demo: Tumblr
Case Studies
5 Lectures 24:13

Even controversial companies such as Monsanto use corporate blogs with open comments to establish a clearing house for information about their core business sector by engaging opponents and supporters alike. This lecture is based on an article that ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch titled Planting cyber seeds.

Case Study: Monsanto Corporate Blog

Case study explains the concept of astroturfing or creating a fake grasssroots initiative.

Case Study: Walmarting Across America

How a blogger relations program for jukebox manufacturer Rock-Ola generated mainstreams news media coverage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Screenshot shows the Technorati Top 100 as a resource for finding high profile blogs to pitch. The use corporate blogs to break company news is also discussed.

Case Study: Blogger Relations at CES

How a little known solder paste manufacturer increased leads by 600% while eliminating trade show attendance and trade publications advertising altogether through blogging. Includes a discussion of the ROI of blogs versus trade shows based on industry research.

Case Study: B2B Blogging

 The blogging for business class would be complete without the famous Kryptonite Lock blog storm. Includes the three key lessons learned from this event, based on briefing with the company's public relations manager.

Case Study: Notorious Kryptonite Lock Fiasco
Online Newsrooms
5 Lectures 41:44

 Discussion of the design considerations that went into the design on the online newsroom for UCLA .

Case Studies: UCLA Online Newsroom

Building online newsrooms on blogs and with stand alone online newsroom providers like iPressroom. Includes a discussion of best practices for online newsroom design and news index design based on the Eyetrack 3 research study.

Corporate Online Newsrooms

Discussion of the business decision to live stream the reveal of the new Prius online and what went into accommodating that request for Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Case Study: Toyota Online Newsroom

Details on the spike in traffic to the VT website which brought the website down on the day of the shooting a strategies for keeping your blog, online newsroom or website in the event on a crisis. Design considerations for keeping sites up during a crisis.

Case Study: Virginia Tech Shooting

Cisco Systems’ Senior Director of Corporate Communications Maureen Kasper discusses social media trends and the way organizations communicate and how the walls between internal and external communications are collapsing.
Topics Addressed:
4:25 - Kasper on how social media impacts her job responsibilities.

6:35 - Kasper discusses her biggest challenge to getting Cisco’s internal team to adopt new media and social media tools and technologies.
9:34 - Kasper reveals two big opportunities that social media gives internal communicators.
13:59 - Kasper shares Cisco’s objectives when using social media.
15:14 - Kasper on Cisco helps its employees blog responsibly.
16:46 - Kasper‘s biggest surprise about how organizations are using social media.
18:50 - Kasper on the separation between internal and external communications.
20:58 - End
Case Study: Cisco Online Newsroom
Best Practices
4 Lectures 16:02

Everything you need to know to conduct blogger outreach to spur coverage of your products or services.

Blogger Relations Best Practices

Discussion of a research study done on how people used social media during the VT shootings and what it suggests about how organizations should align, not endorse, social media back channels. Data visualizations are also discussed, including the Heal the Bay Beach Report Card.

Aligning with Social Media Back Channels

Where to Host Your Blog

Wrap Up lecture. Here's a link to Eric's book Social Marketing to the Business Customer is available via Amazon.  If you'd like more instruction on how to use the specific social networks outline in this course, check out this half price offer to take Eric's online Social Media Boot Camp .

Follow Up Resources
Supplemental Resources
8 Lectures 05:12:37

The latest blogging stats, including counts on blog readership and blog traffic, were presented by Technorati CEO Shani Higgins at the PR Summit in San Francisco earlier this month.  This podcast is an exclusive recording of her talk.

Much of the data she shared was a preview of the blogging stats to be included this fall in the Technorati 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report.  The blogger statistics revealed in her talk provide critical insight into best practices for blog pitching.

Blogging Statistics (Highlights):

  • 71% of bloggers only write about brands they think are reputable
  • Mommy bloggers get 500 pitches a day
  • Only 20% of bloggers like the pitches they get

Blog accuracy perception continues to rise, the credibility of mainstream news outlines continues to erode, mommy bloggers are the toughest to pitch, more brands are compensating bloggers and brands like Vogue, Samsung and Ebay are all more invested in blogger outreach programs than they were a year ago.


The Social Media Today Hands-On Training sessions in Sydney, Singapore, Paris and London have been cancelled. Please consider Eric's upcoming Berlin session as an alternative. Details at

Show Notes:

7:37 Hobbyists account for 65% of bloggers. Professional bloggers are broken down into three groups:

  • Corporate Bloggers
  • Part-Timer Bloggers
  • Self-Employed Professional Bloggers

For brand marketers, with the most important are Self-Employed Professional Bloggers, since they have more at stake.

Business Blogging Statistics: All Bloggers


  • 33% have worked within traditional media
  • 27% are still employed by traditional media
  • 3% blog for their traditional media employer
  • 65% say blogs are being taken more seriously

8:16 Bloggers are heavy users of social media.

Blogging Statistics: How Blogger’s use Facebook and Twitter

  • 87% of all bloggers use Facebook
  • 81% use Facebook to promote their blog
  • 64% use Facebook to interact with readers
  • 45% say Facebook drives more traffic to their blog than it did a year ago
  • 73% of hobbyists and 88% of professional bloggers still use Twitter
  • More than half of all bloggers link Twitter to their blog
  • 34% of bloggers say Twitter is a more effective traffic source than it was a year ago

10:19Bloggers are Talking about Brands - Nearly half of non-corporate bloggers write about brands. One fourth of bloggers overall post products or brand reviews monthly and one fifth post weekly. 20% of corporate bloggers post daily about products and services.

Brand Reputation Matters to Bloggers - Bloggers care deeply about brand reputation so brand acceptance is required if companies want bloggers to write about them.

Blogging Statistics: Bloggers and Brands

  • 42% of bloggers say they blog about brands they love (or hate)
  • 34% say they never talk about products or brands on their blogs
  • Among respondents who say they do blog about brands, 51% they said they rarely review brands, services or products among companies
  • Among respondents who say they do blog about brands, 48% say they post reviews weekly
  • 33% of hobbyist and more than 50% of the professional bloggers look at reputation when determining what to write about
  • 64% of bloggers say brand representatives treat them less professionally than they’d like

13:16 Mommy Bloggers talk about Brands More - Even though women only represent 5% of bloggers, they are the most coveted blogging segment by brands because they blog more about brands.

Blogging Statistics: Mommy Bloggers

  • 92% use Facebook to promote their blog
  • 75% use Twitter to promote their blog
  • 55% follow brands on social media sites like Facebook
  • 54% have been approached by a brand
  • Half say a brand’s reputation influences their decision to write about it
  • 72% of mom bloggers are being taken more seriously than they were a year ago

15:44 Blog reliability and blog accuracy, as perceived by readers is on the rise.

Blogging Statistics: Blog Trustworthiness

  • 46% trust traditional media less than they did 5 years ago
  • 35% believe blogs are taken more seriously
  • 19% believe blogs are written better than traditional media sources

17:35 Blog pitching success increases dramatically when you know how to identify the most influential bloggers who cover your topic.  Understanding how to research and select bloggers, though is not discussed in this podcast, but can certainly be attained through social media training.  

21:02 Bloggers are looking for audience value in a blog pitch. Investing in the quality of the news pitch, customizing high quality of content and offering the blogger recognition never goes out of style.

23:44 Latest Blog Trends - The level of professionalism among bloggers is on the rise, as is giving bloggers opportunities to become true brand advocates.  Bloggers are also becoming more savvy about compensation and are well aware of how they are helping brands achieve goals. More brands are compensating bloggers to attend conferences to help these brand ambassadors and enthusiasts amplify the brand message and foster a tighter relationship.

25:13 Shani Higgins included a number of interesting Blogger Relations Case Studies, including:

  • Walmart (@Walmart)and Vogue (@Voguemagazine) brand ambassador blogger outreach programs
  • Samsung Galaxy S (@SamsungmobileUS) product review blogger outreach program
  • Ebay Inside Source website (@theinsidesource) online traffic generation blogger outreach program30:30 For bloggers, expanding reach is important. The focus should be on the quality of the writing and integration into social networking platforms. Writing frequently and entertaining opportunities from brands will help to increase reach.

39:59 End

State of the Blogosphere

Austrian bloggers Helge Fahrnberger, Michael Vaccaro and Matthias Wurz discuss the development of social media in Europe, cultural differences between Europe and the US, and what Austrian’s really think about Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Kerry and Bruno.
00:58 – Helge Farhnberger talks about his experience blogging in Austria, his blog, his work as a social media and social software consultant and a major sociological condition for human cooperation.
02:45 – Michael Vaccaro talks about his blog which is a platform for promoting unknown, indie artists -- primarily in Austria and Germany --  to help them snag record deals and talent representation.
04:02 – Matthias Wurz talks about his experience blogging, his blog and his objective of explaining Austrian affairs to an international audience.
05:19 – Austrian bloggers share their opinions on Arnold Schwarzenegger as an actor, a politician and an Austrian and why Austrian’s call him the man without a mother tongue.
06:43 – Why Austrian’s stripped Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name from a football stadium in the city of Graz that had been named after him.
08:27 – How Austria’s right wing conservative voters felt about the US Supreme Court’s decision to recognize as president George W. Bush over John Kerry, who was of Austrian decent.
08:58 – Austrian bloggers react to Sasha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of a fictional Austrian character in the motion picture Bruno.
10:10 – Austrian bloggers discuss the motion picture “The Sound of Music” and how many Austrians have seen the film.
11:23 – Austrian bloggers discuss Viennese coffee house culture versus American coffee house culture, Starbucks and talking your coffee to go..
16:45 – Working hard, hardly working and living to work versus working to live.
18:02 – Austrian bloggers discuss Austria’s ranking as the best place to live in the world.
21:34 – Austrian bloggers debate whether or not a clearer delineation between work and play is causing the use of social media to develop differently in Europe and Austria.
22:17 – Helge Farhnberger on the social demographics of Austria, which has 8 million people: 20 to 30 thousand Twitter uses, he guesses, making the point that Twitter users are influential.  There are 1.2 million active Facebook users in Austria.  And he talks about why innovations are more likely to come out of the US than Europe.
24:31 – Michael Vaccaro talks about mixing social life and work, social media usage among younger people in Europe, the role social media users play as cultural sign posts and how Austria’s listing as the best place to live reinforces that behavior.
27:26 – Matthias Wurz offers a counter perspective to Michael Vaccaro’s assertion that laziness is at least partially to blame for social media apathy in Europe and how he uses Facebook both professionally and personally.  Matthias is on Twitter at @matthias_wurz.
29:34 – Michael Vaccaro is on Twitter @clstrfck
29:42 – Helge Fahrnberger is on Twitter @muesli
30:17 – Austrian bloggers discuss the differences and similarities between US and Austrian bloggers.
32:45 – The state of the newspaper business in Austria, whether or not Austrian’s are becoming less interested in newspapers, and the reach and impact of mainstream news media.
34:43 – How Michael Vaccaro started securing MP3s from labels that he could make available at clstfck.
35:48 – Matthias Wurz gives us the state of the news media business in Vienna, from the perspective of an officially accredited Austrian journalist who has been writing at a magazine for many years.
39:12 – Which mainstream media channels are most under pressure from advertiser’s defections in Austria and how the advertising spend is changing in Austria.
40:34 – German start-ups developing products that involve search engine optimization and mapping:  People123, TripWolf, Bikemap (Helge’s) and
43:42 – How people find clstfck.
45:30 – Michael Vaccaro shares the hottest three (3) Austrian recording artists he’s blogged in the last three months:  MMM Matthias, Database and Micro Trauma.
46:23 – Matthias Wurz on whether Austrian journalists are considering writing for search and Steve Lohr’s article “The Boring Headline Is Written for Google.”
50:07 – Austrian bloggers discuss the recent student protest that completely clogged the streets in central Vienna, which was organized entirely through Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #unibrennt.  The demonstration was estimated to be 20 to 40 thousand students large. 
59:02 -- End
Blogging in Europe

Benefits of blogging explained by Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass, who talks about building profitable online communities, the differences between Linkedin and Facebook for business to business marketing, mapping objectives to social media channels and more.
Show Notes:

1:45 – How an online newsroom from iPressroom can be used for new media marketing to help public relations practitioners better engage their publics. How to use iPressroom to leverage the benefits of social media and the benefits of blogging, and how to measure downloads and generate activity reports. Plus, how to get free access to iPressroom’s online newsroom SEO wizard. For more information tweet @chrisbechtel or contact cbechtel at ipressroom dot com.
3:25 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass shares why he originally started blogging, how he discovered the benefits of blogging.
4:35 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass discusses the quantitative benefits of blogging, the benefits of social media, and how corporate blogs can help businesses engage with their community.
6:25 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass gives insight into the benefits of social media, and the strategy that was used for building an online community at Forrester Research. He talks about the benefits of social media tools such as blogs, Twitter, and interactive marketing forums.
7:50– Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass explains how online communities for business to business users are different than online communities for consumers and why users are more concerned about privacy in a B2B setting. John also reveals the specific benefits of social networking for business-to-business marketing.
8:51 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass on how online communities do not necessarily have to be free to be successful. He talks about the Blog Council and how other successful subscription-based online communities can actually be easier for people to get involved with, despite the fee.
11:50 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass discusses more ways to make an online community profitable. He talks about how the pharmaceutical drug-safety regulators leveraged the benefits of social media by using social networks for stakeholder relations.
15:30 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass discusses how to match the benefits of social media to specific communications objectives, the benefits of social media research, the benefits of online community management, and why he likes the book Building Community on Web by Amy Jo Kim.
20:00- Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass discusses the benefits of social networking by brand. He shares his thoughts on what changes he thinks would be of benefit to the social networks.
22:40 – Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging author John Cass gives a preview of what he will be talking at the Digital Impact Conference presented by PRSA like sustainable online communities, how to be successful in social media networking and how online communities can be built with blogs, forums and other emerging social media channels.
24:05 – End
Benefits of Blogging Deep Dive

Ringling Bros. Elephants Walking to Staples Center in Los Angeles [CC] www.ericschwartzman.comLive entertainment marketing and public relations, the impact of the digital revolution on ticket sales and tips on beating the scalpers to good seats with Andy Perez, former west coast public relations chief for Feld Entertainment, producers of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, Disney Live and Supercross. 

Prior to that he managed the Feld Entertainment account at Miller Pear Public Relations in Chicago.  Currently, he is working as an independent public relations practitioner, handling PR or Star Wars in Concert and others.

01:24 – Using integrated communications campaigns to put butts in seats for live entertainment events in a down economy, branding, the precarious shift from a business where the majority of ticket sales were made in advance, to one where most ticket sales are now walk-up, and adjusting public relations campaigns to drive ticket sales during, instead before, the local dates.

03:54 – Defining a live show for marketing, public relations and advertising and the most common errors live entertainment producers make when purchasing ad time to promote touring arena produ tions.

05:57 – Competing for the attention of a value-oriented, family audience, the single biggest challenge associated with launching a new live show of any kind and Star Wars in Concert, an arena show that debuted earlier this year in Anaheim.

07:36 – Planning and organizing pre-publicity opportunities to promote live arena touring shows, and what live entertainment producers and promoters and really competing against when they launch new tours.

09:54 – P.T. Barnum as a public relations pioneer, the Ringling Brothers circus parade as a built in PR stunt and working with local agencies like the police force as a way of getting the word out that the circus is in town.

12:38 – Creating advance ground tours to raise awareness and generate word-of-mouth prior to a run in any given city.

13:21 – Zing Zang Zoom’s publicity junket at the Magic Castle, at which mainstream media and mom bloggers interviewed the show’s zingmaster Alex Ramon, the show’s director Shanda Sawyer (who I represented) and illusionist Jim Steinmeyer.

16:21 – How a blogger relations campaign used promo codes and special offers to sell 10,000 tickets online.

18:41 – Focusing a blogger relations campaign geographically, so that local blog coverage drives local ticket sales.

20:23 – The unique challenges of selling tickets to live family entertainment events on the west coast of the US versus the middle or eastern US, and the second biggest competitor that promoters of large scale arena performances face.

23:03 – The impact of the digital revolution on the category live entertainment as a whole, based on the mounting success of agent Tony Selznick (a friend and client) of McDonald Selznick Associates, which represents stage directors, choreographers and dancers.

23:40 – Is live entertainment impervious to being undercut by the Internet?

24:10 – Xanadu’s online Tony Award PR campaign, which used a fictitious press agent to create word-of-mount on the Net.

25:23 – Why do live entertainment producers have no photo policies, when photos taken and shared by audience members increase awareness that that show is currently in town?

27:03 – How live entertainment marketers can use YouTube to collect third-party endorsements from consumers.

28:26 – The advantages and disadvantages of working with Ticketmaster, which is currently being acquired by LiveNation, and online ticket sales versus phone ticket sales.

31:51 – Does StubHub present a considerable challenge to Ticketmaster/LiveNation?

33:15 – Why and how search engine optimization has created an opportunity for ticket scalpers to exacerbate the wedge between live entertainment producers and their ticket buying publics.

35:55 – How to beat the scalpers at their own game and get the best seats to any live entertainment event.

38:28 – Buying tickets online versus via phone, and adjusting your ticket buying strategy to the size of the venue where the live entertainment show will run.

40:55 -- End

Blogger Relations Deep Dive

How do you find and retain the best WordPress Designers?
WordPress, web software built by hundreds of community volunteers, to create websites and blogs, currently powers 14.7% of the top million websites in the world, up from just 8.5% last year, and the latest data shows that 22 out of every 100 new active domains in the US are running WordPress.

WordPress has over 15,000 plug-ins and has seen 200 million plug-in downloads. In the fastest upgrade in the platform’s history, WordPress 3.2, the latest version, had 500,000 downloads in the first two days according to a talk Matt Mullenweg, the original developer of WordPress, gave in August.

WordPress is easy to learn and easy to use, and has given rise to an exploding community of website designers and website developers who use the platform to build new sites for themselves and for their clients.

But because this community of specialists is still so new, and because, at least based on my own analysis, demand for competency, professionalism and quality appears to outstrip supply, finding the best WordPress designers requires a working knowledge of the platform, the people and its pieces to hire to identify and retain the right specialists to get you up and running.

Voce Communications, which was purchased by Porter Novelli earlier this year, and which counts Matthew Podboy and Mike Manuel as key team members, has gorwn it’s business over the last few years and expanded its operation with the inclusion of web development as part of its portfolio of services, and most of the sites the build run on WordPress.

Voce Communications employs a full time team of WordPress experts and with us today to talk about hiring the best WordPress designer from Voce Communications WordPress Designer Jeremy Harrington (pictured right) and WordPress Developer Chris Scott, who have built dozens of high-profile WordPress sites for the agency’s clients, and they’re going to tell us everything we need to know to find and retain the best WordPress website designers.

Topics Discussed:
  • Advantages of WordPress over Joomla and Drupal and the extensive documentation on the framework that exists.

  • versus hosted sites: What are the advantages and drawbacks of either option, and how do you decide which one is right for you?

  • The difference between Wordpress designers and Wordpress developers, who does what and who do you need first?

  • How to hire the best WordPress Designers and the right questions to ask to identify the best WordPress Designers.

  • One place to look for good WordPress Designers is

  • How to you hire the best WordPress Developers and the right questions to ask to identify the best WordPress Developers.

  • Have they contributed any patches to the WordPress core code?

  • Have the built and released any Themes?

  • Have they developed any Plug-Ins?

  • What’s their user name and what does their profile look like?

  • Have they answered any support questions in the forums on

  • Do they have any code samples they can share?

  • Ask specifics about what their hand was in the sites in their portfolio.

  • WordPress Themes, Premium WordPress Themes and WordPress Frameworks.

  • Finding the best WordPress themes by using the theme directory at:  Pay special attention to the featured themes on the main page, and the themes by popularity in the right-hand column.

  • How to upgrade a WordPress website and how to safely back-up a WordPress site prior to updating a site with

  • The advantages of premium themes like Genesis and Thesis.

  • WordPress Designers who focus on specific WordPress theme: Is it a better idea to go with a designer who works with a bunch of different themes, or are there advantages to hiring someone who specializes in one WordPress Theme?

  • The best WordPress Plug-Ins, how to pick them, where to find them ( and distinguishing between Plug-ins and Themes.

  • Deciding between whether to sue a WordPress Managed hosting services like, and WP Engine and WordPress Unmanaged hosting services, like DreamHost and Media Temple.

  • Migrating websites to WordPress without losing your search rank and the future of page rank, according to Jay Baer.
  • How to structure your agreement and what sort of benchmarks to build in.

Hiring Qualified Wordpress Designers

drapeauIn the battle to get found online, organizations are using social media to wage information warfare to win the trust and confidence of their constituents.
Former DoD analyst Mark Drapeau, PhD., who is currently an online public diplomacy director at Microsoft, explains how to dominate your information spectrum with lethal generosity.
This is a recording of a presentation he delivered at my Social Media Master Class on Jan.  29, 2010 in Washington, D.C..   To attend an upcoming social media workshop, visit our calendar for dates and locations.
01:24 – Mark talks about his experience prior to joining Microsoft at National Defense University, which is affiliated with the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the U.S. Department of Defense, where he studied emerging technologies and their impact on national security. His mandate at Microsoft is to create “proactively social content” that engages communities, including state, local and federal government offices.
03:31 – “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Empty spaces will be filled by something. And so, if you work in fashion, or you work in IT, whatever you do, if there’s a niche, it will be filled by someone’s content. When you search for a topic, fashion, shoes, computers, is someone finding your stuff?  That’s the premise I start with,” says Mark.  There’s an information war taking place by organizations who want to get found online.  But what’s more important than analyzing your traffic, according to Mark, is understanding your audience, what they want and how to engage them.  In his case, if someone is searching “Government 2.0” he wants to make sure people are finding his content.
05:01 – For organizations, Mark sees new media communications as a form of public diplomacy that can be used to educate the marketplace and increase the receptiveness of Microsoft’s customers to their policies, products and services.  Public diplomacy is the act of influencing, engaging and activating the public – softening the battlefield – and it is used by government agencies and companies to help their organizations achieve certain goals.
07:23 – The convention protocol by which information moves from organization to individual is inefficient, based on the various layers of approval corporate information needs to clear before it winds up reaching the customer.  The press release is an excellent example of this.  But what’s happening is by using social media to communicate with others, what’s happening is that a lot of people are bypassing official company channels in the process.  They’re not official spokespersons, but they’re reaching people.  So while organizations struggle to clear official information through the various layers of approval, unofficial voices in social media are filling the vacuum.  Because in most cases, big organizations are slow, and cycling information through their chain of command simply can’t keep pace with open source information.  And whenever there is a significant gap between information that can be crowd sourced via open source, and the organization’s own, online presence, that organization loses the trust of the community.
08:35 – People are sharing information and educating one another through Twitter and Facebook.  Sharing information with your online social network has becomes a social norm, and by contrast, organizations that fail to behave this way are seen as antisocial.  The important thing to understand about social media is that it’s more about being social than it is about understanding media or technology. It’s not about the tools; it’s about interacting with other people.
09:21 – “What's amazing to me is that if you go into the marketing department, or the PR group at a government agency and you ask them 'Can you name 5 customers or 5 fans of our company?’ they will have a hard time answering that question.  Because, at the end of the day, they are not being social with the kind of people that actually care about the organization,” says Mark.  Being social means really caring about a community of people that care about your organization, or topics in which your organization has a vested interest, and that distinction is important because people are more likely to join an issue-specific community than they would be to join your company’s community.  People are passionate about issues like sustainability and clean water, and they’ll follow a Facebook fan page about that topic, but they’re going to be much less enthusiastic about your company’s own Facebook fan page.
11:21 – Social media engagement should be proactive, not just reactive.  Mark uses the Transportation Security Administration blog as an example of a social media program that is excessively reactive.  It’s better than nothing, he says, but he’d rather see them blogging about broader issues like the future of transportation security and how the international community is addressing them.  And Mark says, this is because big organizations are afraid to be the first to take a public position on issues, for fear of being wrong.  So they’re always playing defensive rather than offensive.  “The best offense is a good offense,” he says.  “Be out there in front.”
12:38 – Mark acknowledges that being out in front is risky, but no risk, no reward, he says.  As an example, Mark references Peter Shankman’s book “Can We Do That?” we contains a lot of good examples of various client engagements where his PR firm took a risk.  Careful with the crazy ideas you come up with.  You just might have to do one of them.
14:14 – Mark discusses the article “The Message is the Message” by Jennifer Senior which ran in Aug. 2, 2009 about the online ubiquity of Obama’s presidential campaign.  He was everywhere, and the Republicans couldn’t keep up with him.  “If you are filling those vacuums, and you’re dominating your community’s information spectrum -- everywhere someone’s looking for stuff there’s something by you: guest postings, you have an article in a magazine, video content, whatever it is -- if you can dominate that information spectrum, sometimes it doesn’t even matter what you actually say, because people will recognize you as thought leader if you just have a presence and it’s decent,” says Mark. “It’s got to be decent, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be outstanding if you’re a consistent contributor all the time.”  Obama was perceived as dominating the presidential race and leading the news stories because he was everywhere.
15:32 – Mark shares Gary Vaynerchuck’s line “Content is king, but marketing is the queen, and she rules the castle,” meaning great content’s not enough. You also have to get it out there.  You have to know where your community is and how to get to them. MySpace may be out of favor with social media pundits, but the research shows MySpace users tend to be in red states and less likely to be college educated, so trying to reach that audience through Facebook is going to be far less efficient.  Figure out where you’re audience is and focus of those social media channels most likely to reach them.
19:53 – Rather than focus on solely on the numbers is an indicator of a social media program’s effectiveness, Mark gauges success by whether or not his efforts are delivering value to his community.  He counts thank yous, not click throughs. He knows he did a job last year with socials media not by reviewing his click-throughs, but by the number of Christmas cards he receives from people he originally met online than he did the previous year.
21:22 -- A course delegate tells Mark that the only thing that speaks to her superior is metrics, so she can say she’s adding value or getting Christmas cards, but at the end of the day, he approves here budget.   Mark responds by saying that if your getting good content out through social media, it’s going to wind up reaching people over your superior, and it’s going to get back through their social network that you’re adding value by filling the vacuum with your organization’s messages.  Focus on delivering genuine value to the community, and your superior will see that value through other channels.
23:50 – Determine who the experts are in your organization and figure out how to get them out there.  If you’re a marketing or PR person, you’re just a conduit.  They’re the real experts, so use social media to expose their expertise to a broader audience.  And consider the degree of trust people have for your brand as well.  If you don’t have trust, you’ve got to figure out a way to get it, or your social media communications will be disregarded.
25:03 – Mark talks about Shel Israel’s “Lethally Generous” blog post, which use Jeremiah Owyang’s ascent to demonstrate how lethally generosity can effectively dominate an information spectrum by filling the vacuum more frequently than your competitors.  By giving, you become trusted and that trust affords you business opportunities that didn’t exist before you became lethally generous.  NOTE: Shel Israel is featured in a previous episode of this podcast about his book Twitterville, and again with Robert Scoble discussing his book Naked Conversations.   You end up not just feeling the pulse.  You become the pulse because you’re not just putting information out there, you start receiving information and opportunities back as well. And that’s a very valuable and defensible position to be in.
28:42 – In some ways, being a catalyst for social media engagement inside the organizations is about identifying who the experts are, and then determining whose good at which types of communications.  If they’re desk bound, and too busy to write but good on camera, can you set them up with a webcam and YouTube account.  If they’re on the road, how can you equip them with the right mobile social networking tools that will work within their existing professional life?
31:08 – Mark shares a quote by Craig Newmark that says “Customer service is public service.”  And thanks to social media, this really has become the case, because when you help someone via social media, you do so in a public forum where other people can see, and if you do a good job, you wind up earning the trust of the community through your actions.  NOTE: Craig Newmark is featured in a previous episode of this podcast discussing the impact of Craigslist on classified advertising and the newspaper business.
32:19 – Mark sees a lot of indecision inside organizations about social media.  But he reminds us that indecision is not a decision.  Setting up a social media council to draft a report on the potential impact of social media to be reviewed by the board of directors is not a decision.  It’s a stall tactic.  By the time you come out with your social media guidelines to empower your advocates, you’re going to have lost so much time that your competitors and opponents are going to fill the vacuum already.  They’re going to be thought leaders are your going to be just starting out.  Plans are nothing without actions.  Analysis paralysis will strangle your organization’s ability to engage constituents through social media.
36:05 – Delegates ask Mark questions about social media engagement.
59:37 – End
How To Dominate Your Information Spectrum

Indie Music Online PR Specialist Ariel Hyatt on using social media to get signed to a record deal, how P. Diddy tweets without ruining the mystique of his stardom and using social media engagement to empower fans to promote their music organically online.
Video Excerpt from the Audio Podcast Interview with Ariel Hyatt
01:07 – Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity and author of “Music Success in Nine Weeks” describes her journey from conventional mainstream public relations executive to promoting musical artists exclusively online.
03:07 – Ariel Hyatt talks about immersing herself in social media by launching a blog, podcasting, hosting meet-ups, going to Podcamp and becoming a contributing member of the community.
04:17 – Candace Joy asks Ariel Hyatt via Michael Butler of the Rock ‘n Roll Geek Show, “How would you get someone signed?”
04:30 – Creating a groundswell social media movement online by building a vibrant fan base community as a proof of concept to lure record labels to sign you to a record deal.
05:50 – The Marie Digby online promotion scandal.
8:50 – Just how long it takes to build trust, learn to communicate authentically and actually see the benefits of social media engagement.
10:30 – In a question submitted via Twitter, Rick Goetz  asks, “What’s more important for blog love: doing newsworthy things or knowing people?”
Indie Music PR Specialist Ariel Hyatt 
11:43 – Is the transparency of social media stripping away the mystique of the rock star?
12:28 – Finding out that Henry Rollins was never on Twitter.
13:31 – Musicians Pete Wentz, Dave Navarro and John Mayer’s use of Twitter and Mylie Cyrus’s recent decision to quit Twitter.
14:24 – How P. Diddy repeatedly captures popular interest and taps into the popular nerve and why talent alone may not be enough to ascend to rock star status.
15:45 – P. Diddy’s now famous Popeye’s vs. KFC chicken TwittyTV online video.
17:09 – Inside the social life of Ariel Hyatt, a massive Ska, Punk, Rock indie music fan.
18:38 – A DIY recording artists’s career defined.
19:13 – The ascent of blues guitarist Kelly Richie, who learned to leverage social media to connect directly to her fan base and scale the pyramid.
22:25 – Why jam bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish represent social media in the real world.
23:46 – Translating musical like-mindedness into social media connections.
25:36 -- End
Promoting Musical Artists via Social Media

Blogger Roundtables At The US Dept Docx
3 pages
Pioneers of Blogging
11 Lectures 06:10:06
Public affairs and public diplomacy blogger Matt Armstrong of Armstrong Strategic Insights Group, LLC discusses U.S. Public Diplomacy, repairing America’s image abroad and whether or not the U.S. Department of State will ever be adequately resourced to lead the nation’s global engagement efforts through social media.
Mountain Runner is a blog on the practice and structure of public diplomacy, public affairs and public relations. It is read by senior government officials, practitioners, trainers, academics, and analysts from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States Congress, related institutions, think tanks, and government agencies around the globe.
1:46 – How an online newsroom from iPressroom can be used to help public relations practitioners generate more news coverage for their clients. How to use iPressroom to distribute press releases, biographies, fact sheets, publicity stills, video, audio, and more, and how to measure downloads and generate activity reports. For more information tweet @chrisbechtel or contact cbechtel at ipressroom dot com.
2:09 – Public diplomacy definition from Mountain Runner blogger Matt Armstrong.
4:05 – Why social media is a critical component of public policy, public affairs and public relations.
4:54 – How public policy can be used to dispel inaccurate information being promulgated by extremist groups online, by highlighting the differences between what an organizations says and what it actually does.
6:06 – Matt Armstrong’s gives his report on how the U.S. Department of State is doing in the area of social media engagement and web-based communications, relative to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Defense, and what could be done to improve the State Department’s global engagement strategy.
8:20 – Matt Armstrong opines on how the U.S. Dept. of State is using Dipnote as an extension of their public diplomacy, public policy and public affairs efforts.
9:30 – Matt Armstrong shares has strategic communications approach to Facebook for U.S. Embassies.
10:31 – Matt Armstrong talks briefly about Exchanges Connect, which was set up by the U.S. Department of State on the Ning white label social networking platform.
13:54 – Matt Armstrong gives his advice to Secretary of State Clinton on how the U.S. Department of State can effectively achieve global electronic engagement in the age of social media, cutting the red tape between public affairs and public diplomacy and the problem with the Smith-Mundt Act.
17:18 – How the U.S. Department of State International Information Program website defies the Smith-Mundt Act, according the Matt Armstrong.
18:15 – Why broadcasting in Spanish in the United States is one of the easiest, most effective ways to convey public policy and conduct public affairs with Latin America, by leveraging foreign nationals and foreign media operating within the United States.
21:25 – Why open and honest online communications that acknowledge bad news as much as good are the only way to win what Presidents Truman and Eisenhower called the “struggle for the minds and wills” of the global populace.
21:47 – The origins of public affairs, public diplomacy and public relations, and why openness, honesty and the frequency of engagement is even more important in the online communications and social media space. Why web-based communications frustrate segmentation.
24:25 – Social media engagement for government communicators debunked by Matt Armstrong.
26:40 – Whether or not the U.S. Department of State will ever be adequately resourced to lead in global engagement online. Matt Armstrong grades the performance of senior advisor on innovation to secretary Clinton Alec Ross and the institutional hurdles that the U.S. Dept. of State will need to clear to practice successful global engagement in the social media age.
29:10 -- End
Matt Armstrong

Social media explorer blogger Jason Falls discusses social media as the proverbial virtual water cooler, who should own social media within an organization and how negativity can benefit the reach and appeal of a social media campaign.

Falls is the director of social media at Doe- Anderson and has established himself by developing innovative outreach and communications strategies. He is a nationally-recognized expert on social media and online communications with 10 years of management experience and proven ability in public relations, marketing and corporate communications.

Topics Discussed:   

4:31 - Falls on how he uses social media for his client Maker’s Mark.  

6:42 - Falls on the wine and spirits industries appetite for social media.

8:50 - Falls on the biggest mistakes organizations make when launching social media initiatives.

9:43 - Falls on technographic profiling.

10:45 - Falls on the key elements of a successful blog.

12:44 - Falls on moderating blog comments.

15:05 - Falls on where to blog.

16:36 - Falls on how social media is changing public relations.

18:02 - Falls on why PR should embrace social media.

19:26 - Falls on the impact of a slow economy on social media adoption.

21:40 - Falls on bloggers from the south: Connie Reece, Kami Huyse, Ike Pigott and Mack Collier.

23:39 - End
Jason Falls

Phil Gomes, The Senior Counsel of Online Communications at Edelman, and Steve Rubel, a Senior Vice President of Edelman, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of blogging, how online communication is changing the PR business, and on integrating social media into business of public relations account management.
Phil Gomes is considered to be the first PR blogger.  In addition to working at Edelman, he is a graduate student at USC, as well as a senior advisor to the Society for New Communications Research.  Gomes blogs at
Steve Rubel is a senior marketing strategist and one of the most influential bloggers in the world, according to Technorati.  Rubel is charged with helping the Edelman team win new word-of-mouth marketing business as well as developing and executing client programs. He also explores how new technologies are transforming marketing, media and public relations on his well-read Micro Persuasion weblog.  Prior to joining Edelman in 2006, Rubel spent five years at CooperKatz & Company.

6:43 - Phil Gomes talks about how he became the first PR blogger. 
9:41 - Gomes discusses the software he uses to blog and how the software influenced him to begin blogging. 
11:32 - Gomes talks about how blogging has affected his career. 
15:39 - Gomes discusses his clients’ views on blogging and using other sources of social media. 
17:50 - Gomes talks about blogger Jeff Jarvis and his influence on the blogosphere. 
20:46 - Gomes on working at Edelman and using online communications in public relations: “…the online program needs to…melt into…the overall communications strategy.” 
22:26 – Gomes discusses businesses using blogs: “…there are certain things for which I think a blog is great…but I don’t think it’s for everybody…” 
24:15 - Gomes talks about how PR is changing as a result of new media. 
25:31 – Gomes talks about press releases and traditional forms of media:  “…people are realizing that traditional media relations techniques and PR techniques are an awfully blunt instrument.” 
28:29 - Gomes on corporations embracing blogging. 
33:13 – Gomes explains what tagging is and his views on tagging. 
35:00 - Gomes talks about what he perceives to be the basis for successful marketing. 
38:39 - Gomes on being persuasive online. 
42:27 – Gomes discusses the decision to launch the Edelman earShot podcast. 
44:45 - Gomes talks about the process of creating the podcasts. 
48:11 – Gomes discusses the goals of earShot:  “…I want it to be a really good platform for talking about communications…” 
53:02 – Steve Rubel discusses his future position at Edelman as a Senior Vice President and his goals. 
54:00 – Rubel on other PR agencies following Edelman’s path. 
55:19 – Rubel talks about the different methods of releasing news and word of mouth marketing.
58:00 - End.
Phil Gomes

Social media consultant Josh Hallett discusses the challenges of integrating social media into external communications campaigns.

Josh Hallett is internationally recognized as a thought leader in the convergence of social media, corporate public relations and marketing. Mr. Hallett is the founder of Hyku, LLC, who recently joined technology PR firm Voce Communications. He has provided support to Fortune 500 firms, the traditional media, and some of the world’s largest public relations and marketing firms. Mr. Hallett is also a highly sought-after public speaker on social media and has presented at numerous workshops, seminars, and conferences in a wide variety of marketing segments. He participated in the official conference blog at the 2007 PRSA International Conference.
Topics Addressed:
3:30 - Hallett on his role as a conference blogger at the 2007 PRSA International Conference.
5:15 - Hallett on his introduction to social media.
6:25 - Hallett on his transition into new media consulting.
7:14 - Hallett on why he became involved in a “communication-driven” industry.
8:19 - Hallett on how much time he dedicates to learning new media technologies.
9:21 - Hallett on understanding the business application of new media services.
11:19 - Hallett on the challenges of open source technology.
12:26 - Hallett on determining what social media application will provide the best support for a client.
15:33 - Hallett on the challenge of implementing new media technology in order to positively impact the client’s communication campaign.
17:47 - Hallett on educating clients to perceive their website as a live communications vehicle between the company and its customer.
20:18 - Hallett on how his non-traditional background has helped him build a unique vision as a PR professional.
22:21 - End
Josh Hallet

Peter Himler  discusses the reputation of the PR industry, the reasons why PR practitioners blog, and whether there is a conflict of interest for PR practitioners to blog.

Peter Himler is principal of Flatiron Communications LLC, a PR/media consulting firm in New York. He most recently was Chief Media Officer for Edelman Worldwide following 11 years with Burson-Marsteller as head of B-M's U.S. corporate and strategic media team, and its worldwide spokesperson.

Prior to B-M, Peter was media director for six years at WPP sister agency Cohn & Wolfe, preceeded by five years at Hill and Knowlton where he led its broadcast and consumer media group. Peter is president of the Publicity Club of New York. He also sits on the Communications Committee for United Way of NYC, and on the Board of Advisors for the Communications and Media Studies Program at Tufts University. Last year, PR News named Peter its PR Professional/Media Relations Executive of the Year, and PR Week awarded the eight-year PR program he led for the World War II Memorial its Public Sector Campaign of the Year.
5:26 - Peter Himler on why there is a negative image of the PR industry.
6:36 - Himler talks about whether blogging can improve PR's reputation.
7:54 - Himler shares his views on public relations practitioner Lizzie Grubman.
9:11 - Himler talks about why Page Six is still an institution: "Gossip has grown up and is all over...The Post Page tends to lead to a lot of other media coverage and gets picked up..."
11:21 - Himler talks about the extortion scandal involving Jared Paul Stern.
13:19 - Himler on whether our fixation with celebrities is in the decline.
14:56 - Himler talks about whether the desire for attention motivates PR people to blog.
16:56 - Himler on the dichotomy present in the PR industry: "...we're caught between our need to command and control the message...and also the importance of being transparent and full disclosure..."
20:26 - Himler talks about whether there is a difference between declassification and leaking information with regards to the Scooter Libby document.
21:43 - Himler on whether there is a conflict of interest for PR practitioners to blog about their clients and their own speaking engagements: "I think to write a blog for the express purposes of promoting a client would be disingenuous."
23:43 - Himler talks about whether PR practitioners need to clearly denote if they are talking about a client on their blog.
25:10 - Himler on how citizen journalism and the blogosphere impact the mainstream media: "...the once powerful mainstream earth-shaking media don't have that kind of power anymore."
27:47 - Himler talks about the Jeff Jarvis incident with Dell.
30:18 - Himler talks about the effect of Jeff Jarvis's "personal crusade" against Dell.
31:41 - End.
Peter Himler

Kami Huyse discusses launching and maintaining a blog at the Public Relations International Association's annual confernce, the value of online analytics and exactly why social media could be a panacea for improving organizational communications.
Kami Huyse is a blogging consultant based out of San Antonio, Texas. She is the president of a boutique firm which specializes in funneling public relations campaign through blogs. She is also the author of Communications Overtones. She was instrumental in laying the groundwork that led to establishing the official conference blog at the 2007 PRSA International Conference.
Show Notes:
3:25 - Huyse explains how organizations can benefit from social media communications.
4:55 - Huyse on dealing with the popular perception that blogging is a high-risk activity.
6:04 - Huyse elaborates on building a business case for an internal blogging initiative at a large organization.
9:19 - Huyse shares her secret on staying on top of the latest web 2.0 tools and services.
11:30 - Huyse explains how she educates clients about the benefits of social media.
14:26 - Huyse on difficulties of promoting yourself as a new media subject matter expert at a time when the same clients may be more interested in
mainstream media relations.
16:20 - Huyse on the measurable results of blogging initiatives and how to determine success.
20:13 - Huyse on acquiring market intelligence through blogging and on funneling that feedback into product development.
22:48 - Huyse on the objectives of a conference blog and how it can improve the reach and impact of Public Relations Society of America’s mission to advance the profession and the professional.
26:04 - Huyse on overcoming the challenges of launching the 2007 PRSA International Conference blog.
28:23 - End
Kami Huyse

Shel Israel writes and speaks about blogging, communications, marketing and innovation. He is the co-author of Naked Conversations, How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers with Microsoft's Robert Scoble. A self-proclaimed recovering publicist, Israel spent more than 20 years as a public relations executive specializing in technology start ups. Among more than 100 companies he worked are Sun Microsystems, SoundBlaster, PowerPoint, and Filemaker.
Robert Scoble is a technical evangelist who works for Microsoft and maintains the popular blog, Scobleizer. Besides blogging, Scoble is part of the Channel9 MSDN Video team producing educational and evangelist mini-films targeted towards students and professional developers. Although Scoble often promotes Microsoft products like Tablet PCs and Windows Vista, at the same time he criticizes his own employer and praises its competitors (like Apple and Google). He has long been known as a prominent advocate of both RSS technology and the Tablet PC, two technologies that he has previously been involved in a professional capacity, at NEC Mobile Solutions, where he was sales support manager, and UserLand Software, where he was director of marketing.
Topics Discussed:
3:46 - Robert Scoble and Shel Israel on their decision to blog their book before publishing it.
6:30 - Robert discusses the process of blogging the book.
7:01 - Shel talks about the blogosphere’s influence on the final draft of the book.
8:44 - Shel and Robert talk about publishing the book.
10:00 - Robert and Shel on corporate blogging: “…there’s a new human voice and that’s the key thing to what blogging does for the corporation, it puts a human face on it.”
14:00 - Shel and Robert on how blogs have changed traditional forms of marketing.
16:42 - Robert and Shel on word of mouth marketing: “…now because of blogging and other emerging social media you can go directly to your audiences world wide and make a difference. You don’t need The New York Times or the local daily to get your word out.”
18:57 - Shel and Robert on the differences between media relations and naked conversations.
22:26 - Robert and Shel discuss whether Steve Jobs should blog: “Companies that don’t blog, like Apple, are going to in the long term pay for this…”
24:10 - Robert and Shel talk about Bill Gates allowing employees to blog at Microsoft.
25:45 - Robert and Shel responding to a question about how to advise CEOs to blog: “Dialogue beats monologue let your people blog.”
26:46 - Shel and Robert on whether their book is a success.
30:07 - Robert discusses MSN’s censorship of Chinese blogger Zhao Jing.
33:58 - Robert and Shel on companies using social media and taking business risks: “…in the end the companies that deny that there’s been a change are going to have their cherry orchids cut down.”
37:36 - End.
Shel Israel & Robert Scoble

Social media strategy for nonprofits specialist Beth Kanter on nonprofits that are using social media effectively, why research from Weber Shandwick and Philanthropy Now about the ROI of social media at nonprofits misses the mark and leaving social media ant trails.

Featured Guest
In 2009, Beth Kanter was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week's "Voices of Innovation for Social Media." In March, 2009, she will serve as the 2009 Visiting Scholar for Social Media and Nonprofits for the Packard Foundation.
01:05 – An explanation of the visiting scholar program at the Packard Foundation and her upcoming book with Allison Fine tentatively titled “The Networked Nonprofit” to be published by Wiley in 2010.
03:05 – The threats and opportunities that self organization via social media presents to nonprofit organizations.
04:28 – Leaving social media ant trails online so people who have an interest in your cause can find you, and start leaving their own ant trails online to create a network effect.
06:24 – The work of self-organizing, online collaborative activity specialist Eric Eugene Kim and the impact of leaving digital ant trials over time.
07:59 – How the social media strategies of nonprofits differ from those of commercial organizations and government agencies and a discussion of how Dr. Richard Leakey, chairman at Wildlife Direct, is using a blog community of conservationists to leave ant trails that eastablish relationships among passionate wildlife conservation, and generates significant funds through online donations.
09:45 – Delivering value to the community before asking for money and a discussion of how the March of Dimes Share Your Story online community for parents of babies born prematurely, or who have spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), rallied around the family of a child that died, covering the the family’s funeral expenses and sending proceeds for the March of Dimes.
11:54 – A discussion of Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s give-to-take ratio, as prescribed in their book Trust Agents.
14:40 – A discussion of how to effectively promote the new Facebook page launched by the US Dept. of State to extend the reach on the delegation’s participation at the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
16:29 – Partnering and connecting with like-minded influencers as a way of proliferating a message through peers via social networks and using print collateral and signage to recruit online friends offline.
18:58 – Cross promoting your Facebook badge on your blog and using conventional promotions to encourage social media engagement.
19:54 –Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact Survey which is somewhat misleading, because it asks the wrong the questions, and which is also quite helpful, because it suggests that social media is less about building visibility and more about engaging communities.
22:37 – Beth Kanter’s reaction to the results of Philanthropy Action’s report on Social Networking and Mid-Size Nonprofits.
23:33 – Beth Kanter responds to Alison Noonan, who asks, “I’m currently working for a children’s charity.  Any suggestions how we can make up for lost funding with social media?” (Sorry Alison but I couldn’t find the roiginal tweet, or your Twitter ID, to link to.  Please send it to me again and I will add it.)
 26:07 – Translating the donor pyramid into a practical social media strategy for nonprofits and a study by Pew Internet which found that large charitable donations are more likely to occur online.
27:03 – Beth Kanter responds to Kevin Skarrit, director of new media at, who asks via Twitter, “If resources are available, should NGOs create their own social networks, or only participate in other big ones like Facebook?”
27:50 – How websites are becoming more social and content is getting a social life through outposts like Facebook and Twitter, and your home base, such as your own website or blog.
28:51 – How Planned Parenthood has reorganized their internal structure to form a content department, which manages content on their own website, and repurposes that content through social media channels.
29:42 – A discussion of the Social Media Game created by David Wilcox and Beth Kanter, designed to take people through a simulated process of mapping a social media strategy to specific organizational objectives.
38:51 – End
Beth Kanter

Media Guerilla Blogger and Voce Communications social media consultant Mike Manuel goes On the Record...Online at the 2008 PRSA International Conference about the "all I want for Christmas is a PSP" astroturfing campaign, responding to blog storms and effective corporate blogging strategy.
Manuel organizes the Bay Area's Third Thursday meet up for PR and marketing professionals interested in new media. He's also best practices chair for called the Society of New Communications Research (SNCR), a global think tank.
Show Notes:
2:37 -- How to easily upload, manage and distribute podcasts as part your PR program using the iPressroom online newsroom service.
4:45 - Mike Manuel discusses the presentation he delivered with Patrick Seybold and Jeff Rubenstein of Sony Computer Entertainment, which covered the now fabled "All I Want for Christmas is a PSP" astroturfing fiasco.
7:15 -- Mike Manuel discusses the fallout and what happened behind the scenes when the fake blog developed by the branding team and Zipatoni was outed on
8:23 -- Mike Manuel on Sony Computer Entertainment's crisis response plan.
10:51 -- Eric Schwartzman shares a sinister tactical response plan suggested by an attendee at a recent New Media PR Boot Camp.
12:38 -- Mike Manuel on dealing with negative comments on company blogs.
13:41 -- Mike Manuel on feeding back valuable research from company blogs back to HR, sales and product marketing.
15:10 -- Mike Manuel on Sony Playstation Facebook PR strategy.
16:11 -- Mike Manuel on the unique challenges of creating social media communications campaigns for gamers.
17:35 -- Mike Manuel on the basics of corporate blogging for community engagement.
18:27 -- Mike Manuel on estimating resources required to launch and maintain a successful corporate blog.
19:22 -- Mike Manuel on identifying and allocating staff for social media engagement initiatives.
19:53 -- Mike Manuel on the "messy middle" of social media marketing.
21:03 -- Mike Manuel on the public relations industry's readiness for online engagement programs.
23:01 -- Mike Manuel on innovation, open source software and homegrown content management systems.
24:19 -- Mike Manuel on Google's Open Social.
25:35 -- End
Mike Manuel

BL Ochman, creator of the What’s Next Blog discusses corporate blogging as a tool for marketing and the fate of the traditional press release in the age of the new media.
BL Ochman is a corporate blog strategist, internet and outernet marketing conduit, and sought-after corporate speaker that also heads the creative team of

Her internet marketing successes include internet strategy consultation for Ford Motors, internet public relations consultation to IBM; concept, copy and marketing strategy for Biomerica, Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRA) and internet marketing strategy consultation to Thomas Register.
Topics Addressed:
5:14 - BL Ochman talks about the fate of the traditional press release.
6:32 - Ochman on how to determine if companies should use blogs to advertise.
7:39 - Ochman discusses the advice she gave Budget Rent A Car System, Inc. on blogging including, “Let’s do something fun.”
9:02 - Ochman talks about the objectives of the “Up Your Budget” new media marketing campaign.
10:30 – Ochman discusses the specifics of the campaign and the online community the blog created.
14:18 - Ochman on using blogs for internet advertising.
16:07 - Ochman on conventional marketing.
17:11 - Ochman talks about working with Budget and the costs of the promotion.
18:04 - Ochman’s views on companies engaging in blog marketing.
20:43 - Ochman talks about McDonald’s new blog on social responsibility.
22:33 - Ochman on who should author corporate blogs.
23:28 - Ochman talks about how companies can learn how to blog.
24:16 - Ochman discusses her position on moderating comments on blogs.
24:59 - Ochman on The Washington Post’s decision to remove its blog.
25:23 - Ochman talks about the challenges media companies face when opening up digital conversations on blogs.
26:37 -Ochman explains what trackbacks are and the reasons people trackback.
28:04 - Ochman on what caused her to become a blogger and create the What’s Next Blog: “It was just a natural evolution for me to be blogging.”
BL Ochman

LeeOddenSales cycles are different when we research purchasing decisions on behalf of companies and this podcast is devoted to explaining why, how and what it takes to search engine optimize content for business to business customers. 
You’ll learn about B2B keyword discovery, how B2B sales cycles impact search optimization strategy, aligning keyword selection with marketing strategy, how to leverage off-message search phrases and much more with Lee Odden, president of Top Rank Marketing.
01:37 – B2B SEO is quite different than B2C SEO, according to Lee Odden.  The B2B sales cycle is often much longer than B2C sales cycles.  When business buyers are researching an intended purchase, the keywords they search online tend to be much more exploratory, general and broad, as they educate themselves about the procuring a specific service, product or solution.  And as they drill down and get closer to making an actual decision, their search queries get much more specific and focused.
03:32 – Attract customers at the beginning and end of the sales cycle by examining the marketing and public relations activities that are already underway, and look for opportunities where you can apply search engine optimization.  For example, if a company identifies and creates original content on its website based on broader, research oriented terms, and starts to acquire inbound links embedded against those terms as anchor text on other websites, their website is more likely to get found through search when a potential customer starts getting educated to make a purchase and that’s how they’d SEO their website to get found at the beginning of the buying cycle.
04:40 – “At the same time, maybe that same company is publishing a blog, and there are a mix of keywords that represent more long tail or niche terms that are more specific.  And the content strategy, or the content plan for the blog, can make sure that it creates content using those niche keywords over time.  And, of course, each of those blog posts that’s about a niche topic would link back over to the product page so that people who discover that topic or that content through search can click-through and arrive over on a sales page to interact with a call to action like download a whitepaper, sign up for a webinar or contact us for a consultation,” says Lee.
06:14 – Keyword selection should be consistent with marketing objectives, messaging and demand.  If a company’s marketing strategy is to undercut a premium brand on price, we might try adding modifiers like “cheap” or “discount” to the search phrase to see if people are actually searching those phrases and if they are, optimize the website content for those terms, get links and try to rank for those affordability-related versions of the more general, broader keywords.  If a category isn’t well known, if there isn’t much demand for these types of keywords, that’s where companies might apply convention PR and advertising to generate more demand for those queries.
09:09 – Sometime the high volume keyword that people associate with a particular concept biased.  For example, the impact of carbon emissions on the environment might be described as climate change or global warming.  The demand for global warming versus climate change is more than two to one.  But climate change is considered a more politically correct, safer phrase.  Search engine optimization is about embracing popular language, but according to Lee, it’s very difficult to convince clients to embrace popular language when that language conflicts with their existing brand messaging.  As I write these show notes, my thought is a company that cannot embrace the lexicon by which it has come to be known in popular language is a company in denial, because its image is misaligned with its perception.
09:15 – But if clients are adverse to embracing the terms by which they are known, incorporating that language in blogs, tweets and status updates that link to them is one way to SEO their website for alternative messaging that’s inconsistent with their existing brand message.  In this type of scenario, the content on a blog might be intentionally written in a more informal tone, so as not to compete with the more formal brand messaging on the company’s corporate site. For example, you might create a blog post that’s an argument for the use of “climate change” over “global warming” which would require the use of both terms, and which could be optimized for the latter term.
11:07 – When you’re doing keyword research for search engine optimization, you use tools that quantify the search demand for and competitiveness of a certain phrase.  But you also need to validate those keywords in social media, to see if the phrases people use when they’re searching for something are the same ones they use in social media when they conversing with others about that subject.  Don’t assume those phrases are the same.
12:15 – Ultimately, keyword effectiveness is validated by the sites analytics.  Are the keywords you’re working to draw traffic against listing on your web stats?  Are people visiting your landing pages and tasking the intended action?
14:45 – SEO newbies tend to try and cram all the keywords they can into their text, thinking that by saying the same thing a bunch of different ways, their page will be seen as more relevant.  But readability is more important than repetition. If you’ve keyword stuffed your document to the point that it reads silly, you’ve lost because even of that page does wind up ranking high, it’s going to have a very high bounce rate.  Instead, Lee prefers to map keywords according to website categories.  He creates a long list of phrases that’s organized according to popularity, competitiveness and relevance, and then decides which pages on the website those terms should be linked to.  Then, he varies the usage of the those terms evenly across whatever content gets SEOed and that way he can still use all those terms, but without cramming them into a single document.  Lee cautions users about going after just high volume keywords.  Instead, focus of those words and phrases with the greatest probability of conversion.
17:59 – Matching up the keywords with the analytics is how you validate keywords and phrases.  Analytics will also reveal trends and show you the seasonality of your phrases.  And just as media relations pros attempt to position press releases as riffs off the popular news of the day, search engine optimization initiatives can take a similar approach, and your analytics show you were those potential opportunities are.  If relevant terms lack significant volume, keep in mind there are other activities that can drive search demand, so when you’re launching a new product, use your mainstream sales and marketing to drive demand and be careful not to sacrifice relevancy for volume because you’ll be tapping into traffic that unlikely to result in sales.
19:16 – Ultimately -- and particularly in B2B SEO -- keyword relevance is more important than popularity, because relevant terms and phrases have a greater probability of conversion.
23:29 --  Enquiro research suggesting that while people may go move from broad phrase to niche phrase research as they progress through online buying cycle, they often go back to broad phrase research before they make their final decision, to confirm their intended purchase.  And for this reason, Lee says you can’t base a B2B SEO strategy on just broad or niche terms.  You need both.
Follow up question:  Is there any research out there suggesting that in the case of considered purchases, buyers are more likely to revert to broad phrase search at the end of their online research phrase?  Also, are the broad phrases keywords they revert to the same ones they started with, or do those broad phrases tend to change as they become more informed about the category they’re researching?
24:05 – But website design and content strategy also impact purchasing decisions.  More often than not, B2B products and services are not one-size-fits-all.  The buyer may need technical information or product specifications to select a compatible, interoperable product to meet their specific needs.  A website that makes it easier to choose the right product by having that information available and easy-to-use may wind up landing the sale over a higher-ranked website if that website hasn’t invested the time in making that content accessible online. 
24:15 – “Increasingly, the social web comes into play, because there are many more opportunities to develop relationships, where search is the initial discovery mechanism, [which is different from] what B2B marketers were using search for in years past.
25:00 – Whether for B2B or B2C, there are different types of research to be done.  There’s keyword research, which is identifying phrases based on the audience you’re trying to market to.  Competitive research is about understanding who is currently ranking for the phrases you want to rank for, and determining whether or not they’re vulnerable to being toppled.  Not all of them will be real world competitors.  In the B2B space, there are a lot of academic and government institutions with top ranks that topically, might compete with your commercial website.  There’s also research on link building and link acquisition to determine who’s linking to top ranked sites so you can see who’s propping up those influential websites with inbound links. There’s also content archetype research, which endeavors to determine what type of content tends to travel in your category, so that organizations can anticipate the type of content most likely to stimulate discussion and generate inbound links.  And you can often figure out what type of content is most popular by searching specific social media services to see what gets talked about most.  And then analyze the syntax, the language and page layout and you can start to see the trends about what type of content resonates best in your community.
29:16 – In terms of just how important to technical aspects of SEO are versus just having great content, Lee says it’s a question of competiveness.  In moderately competitive scenarios, having great content alone may be enough. So it’s important to develop enough channels of distribution so that when you publish your content, people know about it.  And that’s achieved through RSS, email, blogs, status updates and other social media.
30:18 – “Having great content is important but if people don’t know about it, they’ll never link to it,” says Lee.  “Links and content are the ying and yang of an effective SEO program.”  When you get into a competitive category that is where fine tuning the technical aspects of SEO, like titles tags, Meta data, page load speed, HTML and template optimization become most important.  Just like a swimmer shaves their bodies to be just a smidge faster, in the ultra competitive categories of SEO, these factors become increasingly important.
Follow Up Question:  Is there any research to support that the less the total sales volume of a given product or category, the less competitive a search category is, or is competitiveness driven by other factors?  I wonder of niche B2B SEO plays are less competitive.  But I also wonder, if it’s so uncompetitive, is it really worthwhile?  And lastly, what about professional or consulting services?  Are prospects less likely to purchase these types of services without a personal recommendation from someone they know?
31:44 – Erik Deutsch of Excel PR asks via Twitter, “Are inbound links from news releases less valuable in Google’s eyes than links from other pages?”  Is there anything about links form news releases specifically that will either increase or decrease the value of that link?
32:06 – More than anything, what Google’s going to look at is the flow of page rank for other pages to your particular page.  So the objective is lure as many inbound links are you can to your press release, and then use a link from your press release to raise the rank of a corresponding landing page.
33:44 – It’s a mistake to evaluate the value of links from sources as a snapshot in time.  Content that gets inbound links over time grows in influence accordingly.  Lee says those inbound links are like electricity, and that electricity can be passed on to whatever it is its linking to.
34:43 -- “The bulk of SEO value from submitting a release over any wire service isn’t so much the version that’s hosted by the wire service, which many wire services will expire unless you pay more money.  The SEO value comes when other websites copy that press release.  And if you’ve been smart about including the right kinds of links in that press release in the first place, the duplication, the syndication of that press release on other websites will result in unique inbound  from different domain names.  Hopefully from domains that publish relevant content,” says Lee.
36:26 – In terms of how SEO is changing, it’s getting tougher and the lines between links referenced in social media and webpages is blurred.  What becoming increasingly important is understanding the value of social media optimization.  For search engine optimization, we can use conventional tactics and leverage social media for link acquisition.  “But the search that happens behind the login on Facebook or MySpace or even Linkedin is increasingly going to be important.  So I think folks need to consider optimizing content within social networks,” says Lee.  “There’s so much content within social networks it’s becoming increasingly important to sort signal to noise, so I think companies will do well to consider keywords when optimizing their social content,” he continues.
37:58  – End
Lee Odden
About the Instructor
Eric Schwartzman
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Multidisciplinary team leader

After 15+ years of marketing, public affairs and digital product management experience, I can lead multidisciplinary teams with the urgency of an entrepreneur, the sensitivity of a diplomat and the effectiveness of a scrum master.

I founded the first content management system for corporate communications, iPRSoftware (formerly iPressroom) before applying the merits of big data analytics to public affairs initiatives for the U.S. Dept. of State and DoD.  Currently, I lead digital innovation at a $1B industrial manufacturer responsible for critical infrastructure power equipment.

I'm also a digital product management, demand generation, search engine optimization, email marketing, and marketing automation expert with experience integrating and implements multiple platforms. 

In 2011, I cowrote the best-seller “Social Marketing to the Business Customer," the first book on B2B demand generation and created a portfolio of self-paced online courseware used by more than 36k students.