So Many New Tools; So Little Time to Learn

Everywhere we look today it seems there’s a new tool or something else really huge we should be implementing in our public relations programs. I know you’ll agree with me that it can be challenging to keep up. This week, let’s look briefly at three trends and offer links to places where you can learn more about how to use each. Together we will conquer the learning curve as none of us needs to know every thing about each one.


The favorite social media tool for young people, including my two early-twenties sons, Snapchat is becoming discussed as a good tool for brands. Snapchat is “a messaging app allowing users to send pictures and videos that will self-destruct after viewing. Users can also add photos and videos to their My Story section, which can be viewed for up to 24 hours. Text and graphics can be added to a photo before it is sent, as well as interactive filters and doodles.” But it can be so much more if it’s where your businesses’ consumers are. Additional articles:

  • Wired provides some pretty quick guidelines on how to get set up and snapping.

  • The April issue of PRSA’s Tactics includes several articles about Snapchat including: how to make it work for your business, and using it for storytelling.


Offering live video online is another trend it seems we need to consider in this day of social media overkill. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it yet for any number of reasons. However, it could be valuable to tell a story that’s happening right now where it will help to bring your audience into the room with you. As with Snapchat, It’s important to know your audience and whether they’ll be available and interested enough to watch.

The nice thing about livestreaming is you avoid the cost of editing a video into a finished format and can get your message out immediately. That can also be the downside as you don’t get the chance to avoid those bloopers we all enjoy on the evening news. I’ve looked at a few videos posted by friends and wonder if they really want that to be their online image.

This article from PRSA’s Tactics takes a look at the many tools available and some techniques. So, take a look and play around with some of the tools, but remember to stick to your brand, and make sure your story is worth telling live.

Instagram’s Algorithm

Many went a little crazed last month when Instagram announced they were changing the way people’s feeds would be chosen from a timeline to using an algorithm that ensured you see what’s most important thing to you. It’s the same thing Facebook and Twitter have already done, but Instagram loyalists were not happy. DigiDay and a few others published stories about the winners and losers of the new change but it all boils down to content. If your pictures are good, you post regularly and your followers like them, you’ll be okay.

Photo credit: Copyright: Vector Image by StockUnlimited

The Barber Group

Gig Harbor, Washington


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