Social Media Backlash is Natural: Steps You Can Take Without Having it Take Over Your Life

Anyone else notice an increased level of backlash against social media in general and Facebook specifically?

Yesterday, it was Garry Meier of WGN Radio, who wasn’t so much as trashing it as he was questioning how and why it fits into our media-saturated lives.

This is all a natural (and recurring) response to anything that takes an increasingly prominent place (some might say “invades”) in our lives. And it’s especially prone to happen when we didn’t really see it coming–it just sort of happened incrementally.

We’ve all heard (or are) the stories of people who scoffed at Facebook, checked it out once to see what the fuss was all about…and got hooked within minutes.

Whether you are born again in social media or a social media sourpuss, the below slideshow, which I first created in March 2009, may be a helpful reminder of the simple step-by-step process that you can take in this realm–without having it take over your life.

(Note: this presentation was geared toward an Oak Park, Ill. audience, so the “Pope” you see with the red ticket is David Pope, our village president. A little inside joke there.)

One last thing: it’s still lawful to become a fan of Inside Edge PR.

Humor + Humanity in Communication Paves The Way to a Great First Impression

I really am trying to write shorter blog posts–I preach it all the time and you are more likely to read this entire ditty if I stopped right after this sentence.

But I promise this one is worth the extra effort you’ll require to dig in here. In fact, extra effort–just a modest amount, mind you–is at the heart of this missive.

Think about your day-to-day journey. You know, the one that can often be filled with so much drudgery and sameness? Honestly, don’t you crave a little humanity–and more than a little humor–to come across your path as often as possible?

What if you were to offer those precious commodities, especially at unexpected moments and in unexpected places, to those whose path you cross?

Folks would rave about you. You’d generate the right kind of buzz. And, according to a recent survey, you would be 87 percent more likely to become a millionaire.

OK, so I made up that last one. Just trying to practice what I’m preaching and inject some humor into your life.

These ruminations flow after a decidedly pleasant encounter I had today with the Terms of Service for a new outfit called Patch.com. Yes, you read that right: terms of service–that dry legalese that hardly anyone ever even looks at, let alone reads (at least, that’s how I operate).


For months, I’ve been hearing rumblings of Patch and noticing veteran journalists, including at least one former editor of mine, have jumped aboard with the company.

But it was only today that I dug a little deeper. (Here’s the link for the Oak Park, Illinois patch, if this is all news to you.)

Because I plan to post stories and other content on behalf of various Inside Edge PR clients in the future, I decided that I really ought to click on the link for Patch’s terms of service.

I was treated to a living, breathing narrative that communicated all the required points (read: legalese), but it did so in a way that was a downright delight.

Some excerpts:

“We ask that you read these Terms of Use carefully before registering or using the Service. If you do not accept these Terms of Use, we promise not to get mad. But in that case, you may not use the Service.”

“You are responsible for the security of your password and will be solely liable for any use or unauthorized use under such password. Therefore, if you share a computer with others, don’t allow your Internet browser to automatically save your password. Also, don’t write your password on a Post-It note and leave it on your desk for all to see.”

Later, after spelling out some of the no-nos that will get your butt kicked off of Patch, there was this simple summation:

Instead of trying to memorize all that, you might boil it down to three main policies: “Keep it clean,” “Don’t try to trick people,” and “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Easy, right?”

By the end of it all (and by now you shouldn’t be shocked to learn that I read to the end), my regard for the company had skyrocketed. Bear in mind, I know little more than what I’ve already described, and this halo effect has already taken root.

How would you like your customers, clients, audience base, fans, whomever, to begin with that kind of overwhelmingly positive impression?

That’s the power of effective–human, humorous, real–communication.

So what are you doing–in your e-mails, in your voicemails, in any interaction that you’re having with others–to do that little something to bring a smile to someone’s face?

Do people dread or look forward to hearing, or reading, from you again? The answer lies at least partly in whether you take the extra effort that, in Patch.com’s case, inspired me to give them this rousing shout-out.

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Teeming With BHG/Gloor Realty Promos, Activity

For the second straight year, Inside Edge PR client Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty is holding a clothing drive.

(The photo here is from last year’s initiative, which led to more than 2,000 items being donated.)

This year, the effort launches on Oct. 17 and has been expanded to include toys. If you’re looking to do some fall cleaning–and clearing-out–of articles that remain in good condition, we would appreciate your consideration.

Also, I’ve recently upped activity on the BHG/Gloor Realty Facebook fan page, including a weekly feature dubbed “Tuneful Tuesdays.”

The lifeblood of any Facebook Fan page is interaction and engagement with those fans, and so we’ve offered a modest incentive (a $10 gift certificate to Erik’s Deli, a longtime Oak Park restaurant) to spur on suggestions for future songs with real estate-related names in their titles.

Katy’s Passion Apparent in `Heroic Kitchens’

What are you passionate about?

Kathleen Frantz of Oak Park is dedicated to serving those in need. And she’s building an entire business model around it.

You can also check out this TribLocal photo gallery of “Heroic Kitchens.”


Earlier today, Inside Edge PR posted this news release at TribLocal about “Heroic Kitchens with Katy Frantz” in which she is auditioning for a talk show on the Oprah Winfrey Network

Her proactive style is a reflection of the increasing avenues for entrepreneurially minded individuals to take PR into their own hands.

I call it the “Guttenberg Effect,” in which anyone with a little training and a good dose of ambition can develop their own media outlets.

To view and consider voting for “Heroic Kitchens”—remember, you can vote early and vote often every day—click here.

My Day As `Census Count Crusader’ in Oak Park

It had been 75 days since I last wore a red cape, but who was counting?

On Tuesday, I returned to super-hero action by playing the role of “Census Count Crusader.” It was part of the Village of Oak Park’s awareness-raising efforts for the 2010 Census.

With visits to Oak Park and River Forest High School (including a foray into the cafeteria, above photo) and Oak Park Village Hall (nearly two hours) for a Census Rally, I had more super-hero red boot time than my day’s journey in standard, mere-mortal footwear.

That must count for something, though I’ve yet to quite figure out what.

The rally at village hall was part of the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour.

Cruising around village hall during the rally to interview a variety of folks, I teamed up for some fun, informative interviews at the direction of Joe Kreml, the village’s talented cable station producer and the brains behind the now-legendary Super Shopper Spotter commercial.

Thanks to Village Clerk Teresa “Terry” Powell for pulling me back into Superhero-land. Three months ago, I wore much the same costume as Super Shopper Spotter. The only change Tuesday was a shirt bearing the “Census Count Crusader” logo (left).

When asked about the SSS on my cape, I had a ready answer: Super Statistical Summarizer–surely that will be the alter ego for a future Halloween costume.

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