An FYI You Want To Apply ASAP: Use BCC!

Growing up, I learned early on about A.D. and B.C.
Around the same time, I discovered ABC, NBC and CBS, and how those three channels dominated images that emanated from something called a TV.

Along the way, I’ve encountered other acronyms, be they musical groups (BTO, for Backhman-Turner Overdrive; and CSNY, for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) or Internet-induced abbreviations, like LOL (laughing out loud) and ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing).

And BCC, too. That stands for “blind carbon copy” and it’s a magical e-mail function that all too many otherwise-intelligent individuals have yet to discover or continue to refuse to apply. By using the BCC address field, you conceal the identities of those to whom you are sending the e-mail.

Amazingly, sadly, among this group of BCC boycotters is the occasional publicist.

The second word in “public relations” offers a hint that (positive, fruitful) relationships are central to a publicist’s success. Yet just a few minutes ago, a publicist from a decent-sized Chicago-based company (self-dubbed as “Specialists in Mission-Driven Marketing”) just sent an e-mail to me and 60 others whose last name begins with “B.”

I recognize one other person’s name on the list, but the rest are strangers to me. Strangers who now have my e-mail address and, fortunately, will use much better sense than to spam me as this publicist did. I suspect that right now, he’s blazing through the alphabet, onto the letter “R” by now, and sending his hastily created emails to upwards of 1,000 people.

Driven, for sure. But the mission and marketing are sorely lacking.

And he really ought to delete “FW:” from the prior mass e-mail that he sent and come up with something more creative than “thought you might like to see our newsletter.”

Moral of the story: if you are ever in a position of sending e-mails to a large group of people who are not connected to one another beyond simply being in your e-mail address book, then use BCC.

Timely PR Tips: How To Get Free Publicity

For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of sports writing has always been the vast array of cool action verbs that you can use in describing a game’s outcome.

Routed, pummelled, thrashed, drubbed, nipped, shocked, trounced, to name only a few.

In a similar vein, I suspect that journalists covering the economy these days may be finding solace, amid the overwhelmingly negative news, in being able to trot out numerous adjectives to spice up their stories.

Is the economy “beleagured” or “beset” or “in the doldrums” or “troubled” or “swooning” or “moribund”? Take your pick, and crack open the thesaurus to find other words that may be fitting.

No matter which pejorative word or phrase one uses to describe the economy, there’s a public relations antidote for those seeking to wage a marketing campaign in this (pick your pessimistic adjective) climate. It’s called “free publicity,” and it’s something that all publicists strive to attain for their clients (for whom the freebie, of course, is on top of their publicists’ fee).

A year ago, Geoff Williams, a freelance writer on assignment with Growing Wealth Magazine, included some of my pointers in a story exploring that very subject.

You can find the story on the Inside Edge PR website, on the Resources page and headlined Marketing On A Budget.

Anatomy of A LinkedIn Recommendation

In a recent Inside Edge PR post, I outlined my philosophy of why I write recommendations for as many of my LinkedIn contacts as possible.

In this post, I share some of the how.

My approach to writing recommendations:

1. I do it whenever I feel I have enough knowledge and interaction with someone to write an endorsement with conviction and authenticity.

2. Periodically, I review the list to see if there is anyone whom I’ve not yet recommended but whose horn I could toot without thinking twice.

3. I try to do it in batches, getting myself in a recommendation-writing mode.

4. I try to provide enough detail that will be useful to both the person I’m writing about as well as those who are seeking to learn more about them.

5. I try, sometimes less successfully than others, to avoid cliches, fawning praise, and long-winded opuses.

6. Where and when appropriate, I like to interject some humor.

7. Here’s a new step: I just began to offer to put my words in writing, on my company letterhead, if someone wants it. I also ask if there’s anything they’d like me to revise, or add, that may be of particular help (as long as I believe in the change).

8. I do it without asking for a recommendation in return. If someone decides to reciprocate, I appreciate it. But this isn’t about obligating others to gush about how wonderful I am.

For a look at the recommendations I’ve made on LinkedIn, go here.