Posts Tagged ‘social media public relations’


Effective Marketing Communications to Millennials: Socializing and Strategy

Posted on October 22, 2012 by Nora DePalma

So your building products brand has a Twitter account, and an iPhone app is in the works. Think that’s effective marketing communications to successfully engage Millennials? A new generation is beginning to buy starter homes and tackle home improvement projects, and their attitudes toward advertising and branding are vastly different than other age groups. Millennials – young people ages 16 to about 34 – are sophisticated consumers who are fluent in technology, heavy users of social media, and they can see right through traditional advertising techniques.

Here are a few tips for successfully engaging these young consumers:

Give something back. A study by PR News found that Millennials are 7% more likely to choose a product if the purchase supports a cause than non-Millennials. If your brand supports a cause, especially a cause the brand shares a relevant and authentic connection to, it can be easier to gain the attention and respect of the Millennial generation according to a study by Cone Inc. and AMP.

Cause marketing can also be an excellent loyalty strategy when targeting young consumers: Millennials who feel a deep commitment to a cause can be more likely to develop a “strong personal relationship” with a brand that supports that cause.

Be a smart social butterfly. The importance of having a social media presence for your brand is old news by now, but make sure you’re managing your accounts in a thoughtful way. Social media is first and foremost about interaction, so don’t just broadcast promotional posts and tweets and call it a day. Look at what your target audience is already chatting about and converse, don’t sell.

Millennials want the opportunity to speak to and about your brand. Ask them engaging questions through your social media accounts, and provide space to rate and review products. The younger generation can be turned off by straight marketing pitches, so conversation is key.

Creativity counts. One of the best ways to gain the attention of Millennials is to produce fun, creative social content. A relatively small investment in creating a unique campaign on Facebook or YouTube can result in millions of impressions if the content is appealing to young consumers and they find it to be something that is worth sharing.

This point is particularly key in the building products industry. Prospects need education on the process and the products. Edutainment fits the bill: inspiring confidence and action.

Finally: keep your messaging consistent across all your earned, owned and paid media outreach. Not only will you maximize awareness, you build trust with a generation that has an innate mistrust of marketers.


O’Reilly/DePalma and Blogger Andie Day in Kitchen + Bath Business

Posted on March 27, 2012 by Nora DePalma

Today Kitchen + Bath Business published a profile of blogger and designer Andie Day that included a mention of how Day uses social media to keep in touch with PR friends and colleagues Nora DePalma of O’Reilly/DePalma and Leanne Wood of Flying Camel.

In the profile, Day also discusses the many opportunities that have opened up to her through the use of social media, and the value of meaningful connections that can be developed and maintained through Twitter.


Media Pitching by Twitter, Facebook… even text message?

Posted on May 19, 2011 by Erik Hoffer

So said panelists on the media breakfast hosted by BusinessWire in Chicago last week.

Featured guest speakers included Kathryn Janicek, Daypart Manager/Executive Producer, NBC 5 Chicago; Susanna Negovan, Editor-in-Chief, Michigan Avenue Magazine; and Kathryn Born, founder and Editor-in-Chief of both TINC Magazine (Technology Industry News – Chicago) and Chicago Art Magazine.

Here are several interesting points the speakers made during the event, some of which reinforced OR/DP’s view on media relations and some of which seem to be new concepts due to ever-evolving social media outlets:

  • Don’t bother leaving voicemails with media. Due to meetings and appointments throughout the day, they may only have three hours at their desk and have no interest in fielding voicemails. It was noted that some media contacts have interns check voicemails once a week at best.
  • One speaker estimated that she fielded only 20% of e-mail pitches. So how do you create the one in five that gets opened? Be creative with the subject line without burying the lead for the content that is being pitched. Keep e-mail pitches to one paragraph (without attachments) if possible. When pitching by phone, don’t bother introducing yourself. Just get straight to the point of the pitch as you would with an e-mail.
  • Relating to the brevity of pitches, more media contacts are accepting them via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. NBC’s Janicek even welcomed receiving creative pitches via cell phone text messages (if one is lucky enough to get her number).
  • Take the time to review a publication’s content and tie it into your pitches if possible. Media contacts appreciate someone who knows their publication, news program, etc. and takes time to do the research.

What I Learned as a Social Media Fake: Part 3

Posted on February 11, 2011 by Nora DePalma

To thine own self be true is not only Shakespearean and Biblical wisdom, it is also true of social media.

It took just a few weeks as a social media fake to connect with the same social media universe as the real me.  One of my “real” friends even added the fake me to her coveted Twitter list of bloggers and writers, right alongside folks I’ve known for years in the building products industry.  I saw the real me being retweeted by friends of the fake me.

What I Learned as a Social Media Fake Part 1

What I Learned as a Social Media Fake Part 2

Why?  Two reasons:

1.    Outside of the tech and media industries—and celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Sarah Palin—the Twitter universe is pretty small.

2.    But mostly: I’m still me.  Still attracted to the same type of content, featuring information that is relevant to me and/or makes me laugh.  And the same people who are attracted to my content are going to find it.

The experience also taught me that it’s OK to mix it up a little (see caveat below).  Got into it on “Obamacare” with a blogger who was so much like me, I wanted to reach through the Internet and hug her sweet little misguided business-owner self.  She was so determined to blame Obama for her increased health care costs, she absolutely could not even try to find middle ground.  This went on for a good 48 hours. My Klout score soared. But my heart sank.  Seems like life is too short to live that angry.

Note that mixing it up does NOT apply to brands and business that are targets of endless litigation.  Even for us individuals, it makes sense to blog, walk, drive and breathe backed by a good umbrella personal liability policy. It’s how we roll in the US.

But be interesting. Even in today’s litigious culture, things like apologies and promises still work. Really.


My time as a social media fake began because I was concerned that my “personal brand” would suffer online if I showed too much personality.

Yet the  “real me” managed a pretty high ratio of fans to detractors offline for more than a half century of life.  It is the same personal brand that has helped O’Reilly/DePalma gain and retain clients who seek our expertise for marketing and public relations in the building and architectural industries.


Oh, and my stepson who had the bad accident?  That’s all better, too.  I’ll always be profoundly grateful to Twitter friends of the “real”  me for all your support and care when I most needed it:    @michaelanschel @jgandB, @hueberbreuer, @Paul_Anater, @susanserrackd, @damnedgoodesign @JTGoldberg @greenearthpr, @cbwhittemore , @catpoetry @alisonilg @brpgreenplumber @bethSEGreen @mododesigngroup @ktom17 @jmurphy42 @bobmader and LaurenHunter_HW.

And friends of the “fake me” now my REAL friends: @Alexandrafunfit @craftycmc @PsiChic.

My stepson and I, December 2010


What I Learned as a Social Media Fake: Part 1

Posted on January 28, 2011 by Nora DePalma

Social media turns out to be one place you can’t fake it until you make it.

About six months ago, I decided to create a fake online persona.  As a creative person, I wanted to stretch beyond the everyday. I wanted to tackle topics of personal interest.  (I also wondered if I could get paid for writing great content, until I remembered that is what I do every day.)

The problem was the “stretch beyond the everyday.”  There is the sticky situation of my “personal brand.”  As the owner of a growing public relations consultancy, I became more and more purposeful about my online presence, sharing content as a publisher, rather than a person.  I avoided expressing opinions on politics, religion and every other deadly sin of polite conversation, worrying that it could not only impact my family’s financial and personal security, but potentially those of everyone else who chooses to do business with me.

So I created a fake social media presence in order to be the real me.  At first, it was fun and cool.  My Twitter influence scores soared as a fake, but started swooning as a real person.  Which was not only bad for business, it was a little weird.  Turns out, the only thing worse than offensive is boring.

Furthermore, just like my real social media activities, I was quickly meeting friends as a fake.  That’s the point of social media.

Then my stepson almost died in a road accident.  And I found out I really couldn’t fake it.

Read What I Learned as a Social Media Fake: Part 2


Use Social Media to Connect with Home Buying Moms

Posted on January 18, 2011 by Nora DePalma

“Moms trust other moms,” says Carol Flammer, president of Flammer Relations, quoted in this great Builder magazine article on how websites, social media and blogs help women home buyers make decisions.

Read more, including 13 great website suggestions on Builder’s website: the International Builder’s Show 2011.

What Women Home Buyers Want - Sales, Marketing - Builder Magazine.


Contest Seeks Remodelers Who Solved America’s Ugliest Bathrooms

Posted on January 16, 2011 by Nora DePalma

Daily 5 Remodel Contest

Daily 5 Remodel is calling all bathroom remodeling professionals to show how they solved America’s Ugliest Bathrooms.   The top three vote-getters will win an American Standard 5-Function Shower System and professional public relations assistance to spread the word locally.

Almost immediately, a deer head came in.

A professional remodeler was clearly needed.

Unbelievable change by Craig Deimler, Deimler & Sons Construction, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  See more at America’s Ugliest Bathroom Solved.

If you’ve got a winner, email no more than two “before” pix — and no more than two “after” pix, along with a brief caption in your own words before January 31.  In your subject line, write “ugly bathroom.” No purchase necessary to participate.

Thanks to Leah Thayer who challenged American Standard Brands to come with a fun contest that enables pros to show off their stuff.

Daily 5 Remodel logo


How Journalists are Using Social Media for Real Results

Posted on April 18, 2010 by Nora DePalma

Great quote via Mashable, Brian Dresher, manager of social media and digital partnerships at USA TODAY, agrees that Twitter is an excellent source for journalists looking for leads. In fact, throughout 2009, he conducted bi-weekly training sessions with the paper’s journalists in order to teach them how best to use the microblogging site. “

I think the most vital [aspect of the] tool is the engagement with the audience,” he says. “To not participate in conversations that are taking place or to avoid monitoring trends is going to result in lost opportunities. [By keeping up with Twitter], journalists are able to take a trend they first spot on Twitter and the real-time Internet and continue to develop it in more detail.”

Read more via How Journalists are Using Social Media for Real Results.


Social Media Tips from Green Chamber of the South Panel

Posted on April 15, 2010 by Nora DePalma

Starting at left, moderator Beth Bond, editor of SoutheastGreen; Gretchen Miller, Vitrue ; Nora DePalma, O'Reilly/DePalma; Sean McCandless, Green Chamber member; and Candace McCaffrey, Cookerly PR

O’Reilly/DePalma principal Nora DePalma participated on a social media panel for members of the Green Chamber of the South last night.  Nora’s Green Earth PR colleague, Nancy Rogers, took notes of the tips, the best of which are listed below:


  • Vitrue just finished a study that estimated 3.6 impressions for every fan on Facebook.
  • Rate of posting depends on audience: there is no set schedule that works for all brands.
  • Ask people to fan you; promote it on main website and other sales collateral.
  • Audience skews female.
    • Building products takeaway:  Good consumer play; think female -oriented content.


  • Better to retweet and have public dialogues, rather than direct messaging. This helps build followers
  • Engage in conversation by searching for topics related to the brand, and then answer questions or offer advice.
  • Mention others 12x for every one mention of you.
  • Audience skews male. Also a lot of journalists on Twitter.
    • Building products takeaway: Most of our trade press is now on Twitter, along with a surprising number of professionals: plumbers, kitchen & bath designers, and builders.  We almost think of Twitter as a b-2-b play.

Linked In

  • Good place to search for journalists seeking experts
  • Answering questions and posting good articles on the right forums can help establish thought leadership
  • More corporate than other social media channels; more buttoned up and formal language.
  • Audience skews male and c-suite.
    • Building products takeaway: be very mindful of talking more about others than yourself.  Some of the groups are very insightful to read for trend info.

You Tube

  • Second largest search engine after Google.
  • Small “flip” type video cameras are inexpensive and easy for newbies to shoot interviews, testimonials and do fast editing.
  • Speed of editing and posting more is preferred over polished productions.
  • Audience skews male.
    • Building products takeaway:  how-to videos and how-they-work videos do really well.

General Tips

  • Tagging articles on Delicious, Digg and Stumble Upon helps get key messages out to influencers.
  • Cross-promote all digital properties online and in press releases as warranted.
  • Best starting point: a blog. Can even be your website (as O’Reilly/DePalma has done). Gives you an “anchor” for content that can be cross-promoted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Plan for content and then repurpose it to keep costs and time commitment low.
  • Just do it.  Start with personal accounts and experiment.

The panel was well received, according to Ofra Tessler of the Green Chamber, “Both social media novices and experienced people said it was a great event, they learned a lot, it was interesting, interactive and inspired action.  Everyone said they took quite a few new bits of information back and that it was well worth their time.

“One or two people said this was the best event they had been to on the topic. “


Architects and Social Media –

Posted on April 1, 2010 by Nora DePalma

Architects using social media report greater visibility and interest from journalists and peers, according to this article from Architectural Record on architects and social media.

While few firms could point to their social media investment as leading directly to projects, other benefits have emerged, including low-cost networking, talent recruitment, and the ability to use tools such as WordPress to easily update websites. (The O’Reilly/DePalma website is built in WordPress for the very same reason.)

Arch Record cites the architecture firm HOK for being active in social media and using employee-generated content for an artfully designed blog. From there, HOK lists what it calls its HOK Network, links to all of its social media sites listed below:

Mike Plotnick, HOK’s media relations manager, told Arch Record that social media was working better than traditional public relations because their own internal talent was able to present the company directly just being a part of the dialogue about design and architecture.

Read the Arch Record story here.