Thanks to...

Veteran publicist

Ed Bury for his response to last month's story, "A lesson in Crisis Management, What If You Hosted a Webinar and Too Many People Came?"


Ed wrote: "The social media guys from Ohio could have avoided the overbooking problem from the onset if they stipulated: 'We can only accept the first 1,000 participants.'"


These guys never expected 5,000 people to respond, and a lot of folks were really sore. Even offering two more follow-up webinars wasn't enough to squelch the bad feelings. As they say, hindsight is...



Lunch is on

me if...


You're the first reader to tell me the meaning of IMHO.

Hint: it's one of scores of Internet-inspired abbreviations posted in the online edition of the Oxford dictionary.


E-mail me at





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                                         April 2011

How To Maximize LinkedIn


You probably have an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn and use the site to connect with others. Here are four more ways to get the most out of this networking platform.


1. Periodically review your connections and send a direct message to someone you haven't seen in a while.


2. Use LinkedIn Groups to share information about an event or other opportunity you want to promote. Even groups you don't belong to may let you share the information, but ask the group manager first.


3. Participate in Group Discussions as a way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.


4. Use hyperlink text (or keyword phrases) in the profile section where you can list up to three websites. For example, I listed my website as "Publicity information" and my blog as "Publicity blog." Doing so will help ensure that when someone types those key words into the search box, your website will appear. 

Netiquette With A New Acquaintence 

 Mana Ionescu


When I make a new business contact, I typically send him or her an e-mail within 24 hours. I've been hesitant to connect with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook right away because, well, it seems a bit too eager.


Mana Ionescu, owner of Lightspan Digital, has a totally different take. She only follows up using LinkedIn and Twitter because, as she puts it, "my customers and prospects expect it of me."


So, what's your take? How do you follow up with a new contact? Are there new rules we all need to consider? Send an e-mail to, and I'll publish some of the responses and all the names in the next issue.


Content Rules 


Should you hire an intern to write your tweets and posts?  The low cost makes it appealing, but my advice: do so with great caution.


College students typically lack the experience and expertise to do it right. I've heard horror stories of internships gone wrong. One intern posted items with links to a competitor's website! Another got into a war of tweets with a daily newspaper reporter (never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrell). Still, another posted an opinion on Facebook that sent the company president scrambling to make apologies.


If you're determined to give it a try, make sure you invest the proper amount of time in training, be clear about the types of information to post and how often, and plan to monitor the activity closely for the first few weeks.


If your intern doesn't have a journalism background, he or she probably knows next to nothing about what constitutes libel. Consider having him or her join the Media Bloggers Association, which for its $25 annual membership, requires members to pass a 20-question test. For more, read my blog. 


Should a screw-up happen, decide in advance when a head should roll and when you rack it up to the school of hard knocks. My best advice:  it may cost a little more to hire a professional, but you may be better off in the long run.

Hyperlocal News Sites Are 'In'


One way to reach your prospects is through hyperlocal news sites. Some people think they're a fad, but if the major media companies are investing in them, I say they're a force to be reckoned with.


In the Chicago area, both AOL's Patch and Triblocal have hyperlocal news sites for most of the suburbs. If you reside in one of those towns and have news to share, go directly to the site and post a story (and photo if you have one) in the appropriate section (news, business, sports, etc.). Sometimes they will even "promote" your story to the home page. Pretty cool. is a newer entry onto the hyperlocal scene, and it positions itself as more of a discussion generator rather than a news site. They will accept news about local events as long as it's not in the form of a press release and not overly promotional. Use this link.


That leaves the Chicago metro area, where there's a huge lack of hyperlocal sites. I have found two: centersquarejournal in Ravenswood and Our Urban Times covering Bucktown, Wicker Park, West Town, East Village, Noble Square and the Ukrainian Village.


Do you know of others? Please send an e-mail to, and I'll share them in the next issue. We're all in this together!

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Silver Anniversary!


Yours truly was among 25 women business owners featured at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Women's Business Development Center

held at the Chicago Cultural Center during Women's History Month. Thanks, WBDC, for all you do to  help women!