PR Tips | How to start designing a website

How do you begin a massive web design project? To outsiders, it often seems like such a huge and subjective task that they’re simply overwhelmed. But there is a roadmap to web design, and, if you follow it closely, you’ll find that designing is really just a series of steps that will eventually lead you to a shiny new website that you’ll love.

To get you started, here are the first four steps.

Step 1: Know your audience.

Who do you want to come to your website and why? This is the question you need to answer before doing anything else. Before you even think about content and layout, you first need to know your visitors. Only then can you develop a site that will appeal to them.

Step 2: Define

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David White weighs in on the Napa earthquake

Keybridge COO David White was interviewed today on The Steve Malzberg Show about the earthquake’s effect on the California wine industry. In his other life, David runs Terroirist.com, one of the most popular wine blogs in the world. Check out the interview.

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PRTips | The wrong way to shorten a quotation

Especially when it comes to writing op-eds, incorporating quotations from experts can be a great way to bolster your arguments. Unfortunately, an 800-word op-ed doesn’t leave much room for lengthy block quotations. So writers often shorten quotes by using ellipses. However, if you find yourself doing this, be extremely careful. When you chop up a quote, it’s easy to alter the meaning completely. This can be an honest mistake or, worse, a purposeful manipulation.

To see how someone’s words can be misrepresented by an artfully placed ellipsis, look no further than a recent Amazon letter released online at ReadersUnited.com. The letter makes the argument that today’s book publishers are attacking Amazon’s eBooks in the same way that the literary community opposed the introduction of paperbacks, which were much cheaper than the alternative hardcovers at the time.… READ MORE

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PR Tips | Like, um, err, you know what I’m saying?

Nothing weakens a sales pitch or interview more than clogging up your points with “ums,” “errs,” and “you knows.”

Just a few “ums” can make you sound nervous and unsure. Too many “likes” and you’re a gum-popping valley girl or bad SNL skit. Luckily, one simple trick and a few hours of practice can lead to dramatic improvement.

Here’s the trick: Record your next sales call or interview. Then listen to the recording on your ride home. The very act of listening to yourself will go a long way toward solving the problem. Your subconscious speech tics will suddenly rise to the surface of your consciousness where you’ll be able to address them head-on.

I’m no speech therapist or psychiatrist. But I routinely work with people on sales calls and interviews. And this easy trick… READ MORE

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PR Tips | Pitching Magic

When you’re submitting op-eds and news stories to the media, why do some pieces run in top publications, while others slip through the cracks?

Well, it’s all in the pitch.

So what are the keys to a “winning” pitch. And how do you make your story stand out in the crowd? Here are three tips:

1. Give the editor something that’s timely. Just because something was news three months ago doesn’t mean it’s relevant today.  Peg your piece to something that’s in the news right now.

2. Keep your pitch short and sweet. Most editors don’t have 20 minutes to read a 1,000-word pitch letter from a complete stranger. 2-4 paragraphs is all you need.

3. Don’t give up — and make sure to follow up regularly. The trick is to… READ MORE

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PR Tips | LeBron’s PR Tactics

NBA star LeBron James made big, big news this month when he announced he’d be going back to the city he’s always loved and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers once again.

I have very close ties to the city myself, so when LeBron burned Cleveland — yes, the whole city, not just Cavs fans – four years ago by leaving the team, I witnessed the “pain and betrayal” Clevelanders felt first hand. You may recall LeBron’s spectacle, known as “The Decision,” where he announced on TV, after much hype, that he would be leaving Cleveland in the dust to head to the Miami Heat.

LeBron’s display has been widely called a PR disaster – the way in which he told fans he was leaving was what stung the most. Some fans at the time said they… READ MORE

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