Tag Archives: social media

12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

Following the popularity of last year’s 12 Books To Read To Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills In 2015 post, I figured I should draft my 2016 PR reading list. I had fun reading my picks for 2015 and am looking forward to tackling my 2016 picks. Franco Book Club anyone?

1. Spinglish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language by Henry Beard


While I hate the term “spin doctor” to describe public relations professionals, I can’t help but laugh along with this dictionary. Some of the words and jargon we have to use for clients can be fairly amusing, but Spinglish rounds up all of the best ones for your viewing pleasure.

Spinglish: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

2. Be Your Own Best Publicist:How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired, and Rewarded at Work by Jessica Kleiman


There’s an old saying that the shoemaker’s children go shoeless and public relations professionals are no different. We can crush it at our jobs on a daily basis, but when it comes to promoting ourselves it’s a different story. Be Your Own Best Publicist is a great reminder to apply your public relations skills to yourself.

Be Your Own Best Publicist: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

3. The PR Masterclass: How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy that Works! by Alex Singleton


Written in 2014, The PR Masterclass is a more updated guide to media relations written by a longtime newspaper, magazine and digital journalist. If you’re looking for some tips on how to take your media relations skills to the next level look no further.

The PR Masterclass: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

4. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White


We are always looking to improve our writing skills and The Elements of Style is a classic guide for the writer who wants something a little more sophisticated. If you are looking to impress your boss or clients with your linguistic skills make sure to keep this guide on your shelf.

The Elements of Style: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

5. The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know by Robert Solomon


Working in an agency, client service is what we do day in and day out. The Art of Client Service is a great handbook for employees at any level. It also answers questions like “What happens when I screw up?” Whether you have been in the business for 2 years or 20, this book is a great refresher on working with clients.

The Art of Client Service: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

6. The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business by P. Coughter


The Art of the Pitch has nothing to do with media pitches and everything to do with presentations. As you move up the ladder in your career, you will spend more time pitching new business to prospective and current clients. You may have a great idea, but if you can’t sell it to your client, their board or potential customers it means nothing.

The Art of the Pitch: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

7. Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday


I’m not necessarily condoning all of the tactics in Trust Me I’m Lying, but I think it makes for an interesting read. The author was the marketing director at American Apparel for many years and they’ve had plenty of PR crises throughout the years. In light of Tina Kozak’s recent blog post Election 2016: The Power of Earned Media, I thought this was interesting.

Trust Me I'm Lying: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

8. The Five Dysfunctions of Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni


As an account manager here at Franco, I love the leadership fable approach in The Five Dysfunctions of Team. A collaborative team is one of the best parts about working at Franco and this is a great tool for managers to help overcome common hurdles and create an effective working environment.

The Five Dysfunctions of Team: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

9. Above the Noise: Creating Trust, Value & Reputation Online Using Basic Digital PR by Carrie Morgan


It’s hard to find a social media book that is not already outdated, but Above the Noise was recently published in January 2016. I preach consistency to my social media teams and this is a great guide that follows the same approach.

Above the Noise: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

10. Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset by Barbara Cave Henricks & Rusty Shelton


Have you mastered earned, owned and rented media? As PR people we are all familiar with earned media, but many of us are still navigating the new opportunities that social media and online content bring to the table. Mastering the New Media Landscape provides strategies for each approach.

Mastering the New Media Landscape: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

11. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant


I will admit it, I’m an idea person. I love coming up with new ideas and challenging the status quo. Originals is all about bucking outdated traditions and coming up with new ideas. This just came out in February 2016, so it has some fresh, relevant examples and challenges you to not just think differently, but to be an agent for change in your organization.

Originals: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

12. Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


Written by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Smarter, Faster, Better teaches you how to work smarter, not harder. Working at an agency with billable time, makes you think about ways to boost your productivity. This author has researched the most productive people and shared what they have in common.

Smarter, Faster, Better: 12 Books to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2016

Which of these books is on your 2016 reading list? If you have a recommendation let me know in the comments.

Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5029 or sabourin@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @DetroitDuchess.

Service Spotlight: Influencer Relations – Part 1

Call it what you will – native advertising, pay-to-play, brand ambassadors or word-of-mouth marketing, but there’s no denying influencer relations is a powerful marketing tool. According to a recent Forbes article, “Businesses make $6.50 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing.” I don’t know about you, but in my book that is a slam dunk in terms of ROI. I can’t think of anything else that gives you a 650 percent return on investment, can you?

Businesses are making $6.50 for every $1

What is an influencer program?

This type of marketing dates back to the old PR adage about third party endorsements. It’s not enough to say great things about your brand or product; you need other people to endorse you as well. This is one of the basic tenants of public relations and influencer programs can help take that a step further.

Influencer programs can take many shapes and are completely customizable to your client or product. They can include inviting bloggers to a restaurant soft opening, sending people products to review, inviting niche influencers to a VIP experience or paying influencers to create content on behalf of your brand. Influencer programs are also great to help seed new content. For example, say your brand has a small social media following, but you want to launch a contest. Why not work with influencers to help promote the contest for you? They can reach a broader audience and help share your message.

How to find influencers

Once you decide to launch an influencer campaign, you have to find the right influencers to help promote your message. There are a number of different ways to do that depending on the type of campaign. For larger brands and campaigns you can work with an influencer network like Tap Influence or Clever Girls Collective. These companies find influencers for you based on your target audience and desired reach. They are responsible for contacting each influencer, managing the program, following up with influencers and taking responsibility for payment. This makes it easy and turnkey especially if you have a lot of moving parts to your campaign.

You may also have a niche campaign where you are looking for a specific type of influencer. Franco worked with a niche blogging group in February for a campaign with the Steel Market Development Institute  (SMDI). SMDI was sponsoring the Folds of Honor QuikTrip at the Atlanta Motor Speedway  and was trying to plug into the racing audience.

folds of honor

Franco recommended an influencer program to invite people to the race and educate them about the benefits of steel. Since Folds of Honor is an organization that supports military families, we focused on that audience for the program. Enter MSB New Media, an influencer network for military wives with a fantastic reach in a niche audience. We also launched a #StrongLikeSteel photo contest to engage the military audience at this event. You can read more about the campaign here.

Strong Like Steel Graphic-compressed

Stay tuned for the second part of this series where I share my tips for working with influencers.

Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5029 or sabourin@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @DetroitDuchess.

PR Pros On-The-Go Stay Organized with These Mobile Apps

If you’ve spent much time in PR or social media you know the importance of organization all-too well. Life in PR moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while – your client could miss a great press opportunity.

All apologies to Ferris Bueller, the truth is, staying organized is half the battle in PR. When meetings are scheduled on top of one another, we squeeze them to fit in our fully-synced, cloud-based calendars. As PR professionals we learn how to juggle impossible deadlines and keep everyone smiling. It feels something like the speed of certain superheroes, sans capes.

How do we do it? I’d like to say coffee. It’s more than that.

In the office here at Franco and offsite at client meetings you’ll find me clutching a smart phone, lugging a laptop, likely with an iPad buried in my bag, too. They’re all armed with apps meant to keep me organized and on task.

Account Manager Stephanie Casola knows it takes more than just a great cup of coffee to make it through the day in the busy world of PR. Here are some ways she uses technology to stay organized.

Account Manager Stephanie Casola knows it takes more than just a great cup of coffee to make it through the day in the busy world of PR. Here are some ways she uses technology to stay organized.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep the PR work flowing, and save some time to enjoy life, too:

  • On Task – It started with a hard cover planner in high school and the concept is still the same. I jot everything down in one of three calendars – iCal, Google or Exchange – all of which are synced to my phone. Alerts are my everything. This information is all backed up to the cloud so I can see it on my laptop or iPad, just in case. How Type A is that?
  • Taking Note – As a former reporter, I’m apt to grab a pen and flip pad at my desk or for a conversation, but I do enjoy the concept and features of Evernote on-the-go. When you want to remember something or share it – with someone else or yourself – it’s sleek and efficient.
  • Getting there – When running from one meeting to another, some days it feels like I don’t have a chance to think about how to get where I am going before stepping into the car. I am too focused on the exciting ideas our team has come up with, or the results we have to report. That’s when I appreciate driving directions assistance apps likes Waze, Google Maps, even Siri on Apple Maps for assistance. Just plot in your destination and follow along – it’s magic. Add handy parking options once I arrive, like Parkmobile and I can make it on time.
  • Letting it all go – Turning the day off can be just as important as being present, tuning in and focusing on the task at hand. When you need a quick 5 minute reset or rest at the end of a long day, apps like Happify or Headspace make it possible.

What are your ways of working it all out? Share them in the comments.

Stephanie Angelyn Casola is an account manager on the run at Franco Public Relations Group. She leads the consumer and social media teams and can be reached at 313-567-5048 or casola@franco.com. Tweet her at @stephcasola.

Tweeting Trackside: Behind-the-Scenes with the Grand Prix Social Team

Picture this: an Indy Car sporting the Facebook and YouTube logos on either side, an Instagram logo on the nose and a Twitter logo center stage on the rear wing.

Behind the wheel OTTO Detroit CEO, Mark Russell, is focused on placing higher in the standings than he did at last year’s race. While his chief engineer Alex Fulbright coordinates a team of 18 Wayne State University students to help him achieve his goal.

This was kind of the set-up we had for this year’s Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix social team. I was tasked with the responsibility of educating the students on social best practices, crafting a tone-of-voice, building an engagement strategy and ultimately creating content surrounding the race experience for one of the most-talked about and anticipated racing events of the year – the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix social team

The 2015 Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix social team.

We worked hard, dodged some flying debris and had a lot of fun. Here is some behind-the-scenes action of what took place in the pits with our Grand Prix social team:

Starting the Engines
Coming into day one, the students had done a great job revving up the conversation so many of the fans, media and drivers were already tagging the @DetroitGP handle and using the #DetroitGP hashtag. So we started having conversations with them – answering their questions, telling them how great their photos looked and doing it in a fun, playful way. The fans loved it.

Detroit Grand Prix Social

Over the weekend we received numerous tweets from fans saying how much they enjoyed the @DetroitGP.

While the moderators were talking to the fans, our production crews were out capturing content. From race action to poncho pics – we wanted it all, and they got it for us. Some were posted to the channels on-site via mobile, while others made their way into the daily recap videos. The amount of content we collected was unreal and honestly, some of it never even saw the light of day.

‘Swift’ing Gears
The only way to succeed on social media is by staying relevant. That means not only knowing what’s going on with your client, but also keeping tabs on the other conversations happening on social. During our moderation we discovered that one of the Verizon Indy Car Series drivers racing in the Chevy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans was driving a car that featured by Taylor Swift (which was kind of awesome). So naturally, people needed to know about it. This content was fun and effective because it expanded our audience to include both race fans and Swift fans.

Taylor Swift Racecar

@DetroitGP posted about Tony Kanaan’s Taylor Swift car with a reference to “Shake It Off” lyrics.

Time is of the Essence
The tricky part of having so much to talk about was getting it posted while it was still relevant. We couldn’t post a photo of the TRAXXAS Truck Series winner during the final lap of the Dual in Detroit Indy Car race, so we had to be tactful and quick about getting the info out. Our solutions: Live-stream behind-the-scenes content and race action using Periscope, live-tweet content from press conferences and work closely with the Grand Prix team to communicate race updates. By the end of the weekend we also started posting most of our content via mobile to make sure the information got to our fans as quickly as possible.


With on-site attendance a bit down, due to weather, many fans looked to us for their race updates.

2015 Detroit Grand Prix

Quotes from the drivers were posted to Twitter almost before the words had finished leaving their mouths.

Rain Tires
The biggest challenge we faced over the weekend was actually the same one the drivers were facing – rain. Sure when it’s sunny and 70 the stands are packed with happy race fans, but with temperatures in the low 60s with wind and rain – people are more inclined to stay home.

Sunday’s forecast was a combination of bad weather and poor conditions. We knew coming into the day that more and more people would be looking to us for race updates and other information, but we didn’t want to stop at just relaying information about what was happening on the track – we also wanted to inspire attendance.

But how do you motivate people to leave the comforts of their warm homes to brave the rain and chill to watch a race? Show them other people having fun doing that, of course! We quickly realized the fans at the track genuinely wanted to be there, rain or shine, so that’s what we focused our content on. Umbrellas, ponchos, drenched and happy families – all of it was fair game and all of it was well-received by our followers.

Happy Grand Prix Fans

By showing photos of wet and happy fans, we hoped to inspire others to come join the fun.

Winners Circle
Overall, I think the Grand Prix social team earned a spot on the podium for their efforts. We pushed out compelling content that showcased the races, fans and the overall event experience; we had genuine one-on-one conversations with our fans in such a way that made them feel valued; and we encouraged event attendance for this year and years to come.

For you number folks out there: we clocked over 138M potential impressions across platforms, generated more than 1,000 new Twitter and Instagram followers, and managed to keep our Twitter momentum trending all three days – #DetroitGP trended in Detroit Friday/Saturday; #DualinDetroit trended in Detroit Sunday.

But, being a marketer has taught me that there’s always room for improvement. So let’s hear it, any praise, comments, critiques you have. I’m all ears.

Alex Fulbright is a digital marketing specialist at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5085 or fulbright@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexandriaFul and connect on LinkedIn.

12 Books to Read to Sharpen Your Public Relations Skills in 2015

I recently attended a PRSA Detroit event where Jason Vines (former automotive communications professional for Ford, Chrysler, Nissan and Compuware) spoke about his new book, What Did Jesus Drive? Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity.

Jason Vines

Vines gave a great presentation and I ended up purchasing the book for myself. It also got me thinking – what other great public relations books am I missing out on?

Book clubs are always popular, even Mark Zuckerberg has started his own book club on Facebook and has already covered The End of Power by Moisés Naím, The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker and Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh. This inspired me to create my own 2015 public relations reading list and these books made the top of my list:

1. What Did Jesus Drive? Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity by Jason Vines

I’ve already started this one since I have a signed copy from the PRSA event – I hope to pass it around the office once I’ve finished.

What Did Jesus Drive2. Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset  by Daniel Diermeier

In this business, reputation is everything. Many of the public relations programs we develop focus on building a company’s reputation. As we’ve all seen, one small event can bring a reputation down. Reputation Rules shares a number of recent case studies on how to weather the storm.

reputation rules

3. Rogue Elephants: One PR Girl’s Fight Through the Human Jungle by Jane Hunt

I love reading or hearing PR war stories from veteran practitioners and this book by Jane Hunt is just that. There are so many practitioners who get into PR from other industries and it just shows how PR is necessary in so many different industries and jobs.

Rogue Elephants4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

I had the opportunity to hear Sandberg speak at an Adcraft event a while back and have heard amazing things about this book.

Lean In

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and in 2010 she gave an inspiring presentation at a TED conference encouraging women to take a seat at the table which she explores further in this book.

5. Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht

I have been waiting for Aliza’s book to come out for a while now and can’t wait to read it now that it’s here. I teach a fashion public relations class at The Art Institute of Michigan and I love showing Aliza’s videos to my students. Aliza has done a great job using social media to boost Donna Karan’s profile and her behind-the-scenes stories make this one a must-read.

Leave Your Mark6. This is How You Pitch: How to Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR by Ed Zitron

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a detailed guide on what to do when you start your first job in PR? Well Ed Zitron offers just that in his guide to pitching. If your career goal is to become the next Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, then this book will be a real eye opener into the real world of public relations.

This is How You Pitch7. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Raise your hand if you could use a writing refresher course. As PR pros, we write for a living and if you’ve ever stared at your computer screen drawing a blank about how to make the next B2B press release sound fun and exciting or how to spice up your client’s LinkedIn page then this is the book for you.

EveryBody Writes8. American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce Hoffman

It’s hard to work in public relations in Detroit and not have some experience in the automotive industry whether it is for an automaker or for a supplier. I thought this book would be a great read from the perspective of the former Ford beat reporter from the Detroit News and for any PR pro working in the automotive industry.

american icon9. The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview by Brad Phillips

As a veteran PR person, most of this is probably a refresher for you, but for someone new to the industry this book is literally the PR person’s bible. This would also be a great resource for clients who are new to the PR world and media interviews.

The Media Training Bible

10. The Social Media Strategist: Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out by Christopher Barger

I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to see Christopher Barger and his team in action during my time working with OnStar. When I returned a few years later to work with the Chevrolet social media team I was able to see how the programs and policies they built turned into cutting-edge strategies. While social media is constantly changing, building a successful social program for a large company is no small feat and this book provides a great road map on where to start.

The social media strategist11. The Art of Perception: Memoirs of a Life in PR by Robert Leaf

Like I mentioned before, I am a sucker for good PR war stories and Robert Leaf delivers in his memoirs. From the man who led the PR industry for nearly 50 years, the lessons Leaf shares in his book are still relevant today.

The Art of Perception12. Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets by Judy Smith

If you’re a fan of ABC’s Scandal, then why not take crisis advice from the real-life Olivia Pope, Judy Smith? Smith has been a “fixer” for clients such as Monica Lewinsky, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, Enron, Kobe Bryant and more. She also served as Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to President George H. W. Bush. Suffice it to say this woman knows a crisis.

good self bad self

I’m looking forward to diving into these books in 2015. If you’ve read any of these books, I would love to hear your opinions. What public relations books are on your 2015 reading list?

Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5029 or sabourin@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter @DetroitDuchess.

Paid, owned and earned media – Finding the right balance

Advertising and public relations can work together to find the perfect balance of paid, owned and earned media for a company to effectively communicate its messages to each of its audiences.

One of the most important decisions a company can make while constructing its media strategy is to decide the type and location of content that will have the greatest influence on its audience. For many, the first question that comes up in making this decision is whether to focus on creating paid, owned or earned content.

Paid and owned media, such as advertisements, brochures or newsletters gives the company full control over the content included in the media. These forms are great for targeting internal audiences or broadcasting self-promotional information. However, when targeting external audiences such as potential customers, earned media gives the audience a sense of trust.

At Franco, we generate earned media for our clients in a variety of ways. Through media relations, we are able to work with reporters to spread the word about their businesses without the use of paid or owned media.

In addition to working with traditional media, social media posting can help generate earned media. Social networks allow users to take posted information, whether it comes in the form of owned media (posts to your own page) or paid media (sponsored posts or site advertisements), and share it with their friends and connections. Each time that post is shared, it becomes earned media.

The combination of traditional media relations and an effective social media strategy allows your messages to reach to audiences through a variety of trusted third-party voices.

Dan Horn is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5008 or horn@franco.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @DanHorn90.


Holiday season means more media attention for PR professionals, clients

We can all associate the changing seasons to some of our favorite products (pumpkin spice latte, anyone?)  and fondest memories (cider mills and hayrides!).  And while the holidays mean busy social calendars, they also offer the opportunity for businesses to engage consumers, and to land some great media coverage – if they plan ahead.

That’s where the right PR agency can help.

With guidance, businesses can leverage this time of year as an opportunity to engage consumers on a rational and emotional level. For many business owners, pre-holiday sales translate into a big percentage of their bottom line. These become opportunities for a PR professional working with consumer-reaching clients who also knows how to capitalize on the season, in a strategic way.

There are a few key items every business needs to have in place to make the most of this time of year:

Find your spokesperson – From non-profits to small business owners and beyond, do you have a spokesperson who can share his or her expertise on a timely topic related to the holiday season? Place a spotlight on your client and offer him up for interviews. Will fundraising be impacted by the economy this year? Are businesses selling more compared to last year as shoppers’ confidence has improved? If you have just the right person to comment, let the media know.

Get ahead of the story – There are some stories that return each year (Black Friday, anyone?) The best reporters are always looking for a new way to tell them, to make them relevant to an audience. A solid PR professional will see those opportunities coming weeks, months in advance, and provide the content, interviews, photos and videos to make those stories possible – and possibly easier to execute.

The streets of downtown Milford will be filled with holiday cheer soon enough when Christmas Open House comes to the Village. It’s the perfect PR opportunity when planned ahead.

Don’t forget social opportunities – In addition to PR, advise your clients to show the same mindfulness and expertise on the brands’ social networks. Link to the best keywords, stories and images for the season.

Share those community ties – Your clients’ may contribute to charitable causes at any time of year, which can be a reason to connect with organizations and the media. During the holidays these community ties may also be a newsworthy opportunity and should be considered.

Track your success – Once you’ve strategized your way into the holiday season and positioned your clients appropriately, appropriate media coverage will come. Be sure to monitor, collect and track it. Compare it to your success in previous years if you’re working with a long-term client and share your results. It’s sure to show that you have the clients’ best interest in mind.
What other ways do you incorporate the holidays into PR and social media opportunities for your PR clients? Share them with us in the comments section.

Stephanie Angelyn Casola really only enjoys seeing decorated Christmas trees during the month of December, but that doesn’t stop her from pitching holiday stories months in advance whenever a deadline calls. She is a consumer and social media manager at Franco PR Group. Reach out to her at casola@franco.com, @StephCasola on Twitter or Facebook.com/StephanieAngelynCasola. Call 313.567.5048.

Breaking the age barrier: Reaching older generations through social media

Social media sites have a wide variety of uses for business. With a wide demographic of users, any company can reach its target audience through a good social media strategy. Photo credit: Jason Howie

Social media, once a simple tool for young people to connect with friends across long distances, has evolved over the years to become a communications tool reaching people of all ages.

A 2013 Pew Research study found that, while younger generations are still more active on social media, the number of older people who use the sites is increasing rapidly. In May 2013, 43 percent of people 65 and older were using social media compared to just 1 percent in February 2005. The study also found that nearly two-thirds of people age 50 to 64 are on social media.

As communicators, this shift in users’ demographics requires our attention. The social media team at Franco monitors trends in social media.

“Technology changes so quickly, we work closely with our clients and closely review our strategies to make sure we are reaching the most appropriate audiences on each of our accounts,” said Stephanie Angelyn Casola, account manager at Franco. “As the online audience grows, these tools stand to benefit businesses in nearly any industry. The key is finding the best approach to using them.”

An effective social media strategy incorporates messaging, not only for the traditional age range of social media users, but for all age ranges. As seniors are currently the fastest adopters of social media, they deserve increased attention when creating a plan.

Dan Horn is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5008 or horn@franco.com.


Are you ready for Facebook Graph Search?

“Find people who share your interests – Explore your world through photos – Discover restaurants,

music and more” – Graph Search information page

Yes, I followed last week’s news about Facebook’s big announcement as soon as it was made. And yes, I’ve been waiting for Facebook to catch up with the search capabilities of Twitter. So, I signed up for the beta version of Facebook’s Graph Search, and yesterday it magically appeared at the top of my Facebook page. I called Franco’s social media guru, Stephanie Casola, over immediately to walk through the brief tutorial.

The new search tool appears as a border across the top of your Facebook homepage. By clicking on any of the topics listed in the dropdown menu, Facebook auto populates and auto ranks lists based on the most popular photos and pages.

Here’s my first impression:

Pretty neat

I understand that many users are creeped out by the search capabilities because it does make stalking your friends a bit easier. Know this: nothing is available by search that you have not already made either public knowledge or open to view on your profile by your network.

I was disappointed to discover that it doesn’t allow me to search topics my friends are talking about. For instance, I wanted to know if any of my friends were going to Friday’s Detroit Red Wings game so maybe we could meet up before I headed to the Joe myself. Nope, you can’t do that. However, if enough people are talking about a given topic, and Facebook deems it worthy, it will auto populate that to appear in your newsfeed – but that’s nothing new.

There’s an upside for music lovers. I have a vast taste in music and I’m not always sure if my friends share my love for certain bands. Now, if I see a concert I want to attend but can’t think of a friend who would want to go, Facebook can point me in the right direction. All I have to do is type “friends who like Band of Horses” and BOOM! I’ve got 12 friends in the area who will go to that concert with me.

I’m anxious to see how graph search works when you “use Facebook as” a particular page you manage. It seems that it will help people more easily locate your business based on a specific topic or location, but I hope it also serves a greater function as a business tool.

Other interesting features:

  • Finding all the photos of people in your family – but you have to have populated your family list on your profile.
  • Finding all of the photos of you and another person – cool if you’re making a photo album for their birthday. Yes, I would find this useful for exactly that function.
  • Finding Facebook friends located in a given city – pretty useful if you’re going on a trip and want to meet up with people transplanted there.
  • Seeing which movies are most popular among friends – could help when you’re hitting the box office and torn on what to see.

I will say, given my brief relationship with Graph Search, I think it’s networking at its finest. Like an intricately spun spider web. It will be interesting to see how this search function expands.  Instead of just integrating profile information, It would be more useful if it brings in what people are posting.

After an initial search, your results can be refined by selecting from nearly 40 subjects using the box on the right.

Genna Young is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or young@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at@GennaYoung.