Oxford English Dictionary announces ‘post-truth’ as 2016’s Word of the Year

by Beki Winchel

Those grappling with Brexit or President-elect Donald Trump’s recent victory now have a perfect descriptor for their feelings.

Oxford English Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as its notable term of 2016.

The adjective means: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”


Though “post-truth” has existed for a decade, OED reported a spike in the term’s use, especially in relation to United Kingdom’s EU referendum and the United States presidential election.

Katherine Connor Martin, the head of United States dictionaries at Oxford University Press, said it surged most sharply in June after the Brexit vote and Donald J. Trump’s securing the Republican nomination for president, making it an unusually global word.

“What we found especially interesting is that it encapsulated a trans-Atlantic phenomenon,” she said. “Often, when looking at words, you’ll find one that’s a really big deal in the U.K. but not in the U.S.”

“It has also become associated with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics,” OED reported.

The adjective also beat out other top choices that include “glass cliff,” “Brexiteer,” “alt-right,” “adulting,” “hygge” and “coulrophobia.”


This originally appeared in PR Daily.

How to Win Customers and Gain Influence through Content Marketing on Twitter


You can use your  content in relevant ways to win customers and influence on Twitter. Here’s a five-step program for Twitter content marketing success.

Step 1: Spruce Up Your Twitter Profile

Your profile is your “store window.” On Twitter you have only a few seconds to convince visitors that you’re worth connecting with. People like to connect with others who have something in common with them, so use your profile to get that message across.

Here are the key parts to focus on:

  • Header photo – Use your header photo to show a bit about what you are offering. Do you offer products or services? If so, what are they? Are you a professional in a particular field? Use graphics and text to provide a few details. And please, don’t use a generic stock photo. If you don’t have a graphic artist on hand, use a tool like Canva to brand your picture. You can even include an offer for a key piece of content in your graphic. Go crazy!
  • Profile photo – If you are an individual, include a photo of yourself. Feel free to make it professional or goofy, depending on what kind of image you want to project. No matter what you do, however, please include a clear shot of your face to help people relate to and connect with you. If you are a business and want to use your logo that’s fine. You can compensate by letting people know who is writing your Tweets – and then put a face to that individual’s profile.
  • Profile description – Here’s where you can add your first link to content. Make sure the piece you offer provides a good representation of what your organization or business offers and what you Tweet about. In your description, you should also add a note as to who is doing the Tweeting (the last is more important if your profile represents a business rather than an individual), as well as relevant hashtags to make your profile more search friendly.

Don’t be afraid to update your profile now and then to reflect changes in your business and/or interests. Just make sure the photos and descriptions will let you make a good first impression.

Step 2: Discover Your Audience

Once your profile is complete, you’re ready to go! It’s fine to use Twitter as a means to broadcast your own material. For example, you can Tweet out links to blog posts, eBooks, new articles, press releases, and more. Even better, develop a content marketing calendar to schedule relevant posts throughout the year.

However, please oh please do not stop there. Don’t miss out on the real power of Twitter: conversation. After all, that’s what makes social media social!

Before you jump into conversation, you need to find an audience for whom your message will resonate. Here are some tips for discovering your audience:

  • Pay attention to bios – Just as your profile description is important, so is your target audience’s. Search for keywords that are relevant to your area of interest or expertise. Reach out to the people whose bios contain those words. If you’re looking for an automated method for accomplishing this, try using Socedo to help you run a targeted content marketing campaign. Socedo allows you to reach out to relevant people via direct message and offer a personalized message containing piece of content that will fit their bio description. It’s like an email campaign, only you’re using social media instead.
  • Use the # – Pay attention to the hashtags people use in their conversations and profiles. Just as you used hashtags in the step above to indicate to others where your interests lie, so others will use hashtags to broadcast the same to you. Once you’ve found people using the hashtags you want to focus on, offer them a piece of content that’s related to that tag. You can search for specific hashtags using the Twitter “search” functionality. You can also use tools like Insightpool to help you use appropriate hashtags and keywords to start relevant conversations. Insightpool provides you with options to vary your outreach, make it conversational, and offer relevant content to people using the hashtags you want to focus on.
  • Check out Twitter Chats – Twitter chats are the “pro” version of using hashtags. In a Tweet Chat, people use a hashtag to allow you to follow a group conversation about a particular topic. Topics can range from customer service (#custserv is my favorite one) to parenting (try #DadChat) to anything in between. Want to learn to handle Tweet Chats like a pro? Check out Neal Schaffer’s awesome article on the subject of Twitter Chats. One thing to remember about Tweet Chats, however, is that most of the time marketing content can only be inserted at the end of the hour. So, for example, during the last 5 minutes of #custserv, you can offer up a piece of content around customer service. If you don’t want to wait until the end of the hour, you can use the Tweet Chat hashtag during a time when the actual chat itself isn’t going on (for example, during another day of the week). That way, when people search for the chat hashtag they will see your content, but you won’t earn the displeasure of those participating in the chat itself.

Step 3: Make it Personal

More important than the number of followers you gain is the volume of interactions you have with relevant people. That’s how you stand out from the fire hose stream of updates. If you are going to gain influence and customers via Twitter, you have to engage with the folks around you.

Here are some actions you can take to instantly draw people into conversations:

  • Use the @ – You want to show up in people’s notifications. Use their handle to catch their attention and include their real name (not always the same as the handle) in your Tweet.
  • Read their bios – Find something interesting in a person’s bio and comment on it. Point out something cool in their profile picture. Show that you really paid attention to who they are as an individual. A genuine compliment goes a long way.
  • Be grateful – If someone follows, don’t just follow them back. Say thank you. If you can’t send a personal message to everyone because of time restraints, at least send one to people who are relevant and/or go out of their way to interact with you (e.g., retweets, mentions, etc.). And I do mean it when I say “personal”. A canned direct message doesn’t cut it and is often a turnoff. That means if you want to use an outreach tool like commun.it, don’t just use the free version. The fact that the company includes its tag on every post makes it obvious you’re sending the same message you’ve sent to tons of other folks.
  • Listen – Monitor social conversations and respond appropriately. There are a number of social media monitoring tools available to help you in that effort.
  • Be you – The more human you are, the stronger your responses will resonate with others. Gentle humor, insightful comments, genuine compliments, and a sense of fun will go a long way. Pretend you are having a conversation with someone sitting next to you. Type out the answers you would say if you were conversing IRL (i.e., in real life).

Once you’ve developed a relationship, it becomes all the easier to insert your content marketing material into the conversation. If you get to know your audience, you can offer content that is interesting, relevant, and tantalizing instead of spammy and totally off topic.

Step 4: Make it Relevant

Ever had a conversation with someone who can’t seem to follow a logical train of thought?  Or someone who just talks about himself or herself? Let’s avoid those issues, shall we?

It’s not hard to make your conversation relevant and useful if you follow these tips:

  • Read your links – If you are offering curated content, that’s great. HootSuite and other tools will provide you with suggested content. It’s a great feature and huge time saver. That said, if you are sharing a link to an article you didn’t write, at least skim the article end-to-end. Make sure it’s relevant and will provide the right tone to support your brand.
  • Read their Tweets – Don’t just read isolated Tweets and respond with a piece of content. If you really want to connect with someone via Twitter, take a look at their profile and read several of their Tweets. Then join in the conversation once you understand the context of what the person is saying and when you get to the point where you’re ready to offer content, be sure it make sense within the conversation.
  • Provide value – For instance, if you want to share a piece of content you’ve written, you can reach out to a person and say, “I see from your profile you like so-and-so. Here’s an eBook/blog post that could help you out.” Follow up later to see what the person thought of the offering. You can even do that by suggesting an article you didn’t write or a tool you didn’t create. That shows you are able to be a good resource even when you’re not directly selling something.

The more relevant you are, the more interesting you become. Not only that, but word gets around on Twitter. If you want to be mentioned in a #FollowFriday or even an article about great people to follow on Twitter, make your conversation a must-read.

Step 5: Be Consistent

To win on Twitter (as with most things), you have to show up. If you’re only active now and then, you will never reach your true potential.

Both online and off, relationships need to be nurtured. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be available 24/7. What it does mean, however, is that you have to be consistently available.

Even if you choose to be online only three times a week, make sure you are really on during those three times. If you can’t respond to someone during that time period (for example, if you’re on vacation) when you can respond, apologize for being a bit late on the response.

The more reliable and available you are, the more opportunities you will have to strengthen relationships and win customers and influence on Twitter. Pretty soon you’ll be able to mix conversations with content marketing with ease.

Go forth and Tweet! Have anything you’d like to add to the discussion? Leave me a comment below or Tweet me up at @HollyChessman!

Holly Chessman  is the Vice President of Marketing for Glance Networks. Named one of New England’s Top 40 Influencers in Content and Digital Marketing.
This originally was published in  maximizesocialbusiness.com

PPRA Event Recap: How To Make Your Pitch Stand Out in a Crowd(ed) Inbox


By  Jullieanne Cueto

A vital part of public relations is pitching new and creative ideas on behalf of your clients. Though, as PR professionals sending out dozens of pitches a week to only receive a few responses, it can get discouraging. To gain a better understanding on how to improve this ratio I, along with a few colleagues, recently attended a event hosted by the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA): “How to Make Your Pitch Stand Out in a Crowd(ed) Inbox”.

The event featured an all-star panel of Philly-based journalists: Stephanie Farr of Philadelphia Inquirer/ Philadelphia Daily News, Sharyn Flanagan of USA Today, Jennifer Logue of Metro, and Errin Haines Whack of the Associated Press.  The panel shared tips and tricks on how to get a response back from a reporter.

Here are some key takeaways:media-panel


This first one should be a gimme, but spell the reporter’s name right!  Sharyn and Errin both have different spellings of a common name, and as someone who gets their name spelled wrong frequently…I feel their pain. Take the time to make sure it’s spelled right, otherwise reporters will probably ignore the rest of the email and move on.

Build Relationships

It’s important to build relationships – Jennifer of Metro appreciated meeting the person behind the emails; she would like to see us more involved with community events.  Errin and Sharyn shared similar views and recommended inviting the reporter out for coffee, or in Sharyn’s case any invitation that involved bacon!  In the end, being more personal and having a conversation about things outside of work was appreciated.

Understand How Each Publication Works

Sharyn was very adamant on this; it’s efficient and appreciated to take the time to research the outlet and see what and when topics are covered. For example, print stories for Metro need to be in one month in advance for a feature, so plan accordingly!

Each journalist also talked about what they looked for in a pitch:

Errin, as I’m sure many reporters would agree, mentioned getting to the point as soon as possible. Jennifer and Sharyn stressed that pitches that included hi-res images or the opportunity to capture photos or video caught their attention. Stephanie said to spend some time on the subject lines and treat them as a headline.

Hopefully these tips were helpful, happy pitching!

Jullieanne Cueto is a Public Relations Account Manager at Slice Communications in Philadelphia

Democratic Convention Recap Kicks Off PPRA Program Year


By Adam Dvorin
Vice President for Programs
Philadelphia Public Relations Association

The Philadelphia Public Relations Association officially kicked off its 2016-2017 program year with “How We Made History Together” — a recap of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The session was a great opportunity to hear from the public relations professionals who served in the trenches in the months leading up to the convention — as well as during the event itself.

The panelists:

Anna Adams-Sarthou, Communications Director, Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention

Khaila Burke-Green, Communications Manager, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

Annie Heckenberger, Social and Digital Director, Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention

Cara Schneider, Media Relations Director, Visit Philadelphia.

Cari Feiler-Bender, President of Relief Communications, LLC, was moderator.

Among the key takeaways:

  • With so many stakeholders, the need for different entities to coordinate messages was “extremely important,” according to Adams-Sarthou. “It was a priority to ensure that primary stakeholders, particularly those who regularly interacted with press, were on-message and citing the same numbers and information. This helped avoid confusion within the press as well as questions about why some numbers were different from what my team was saying.”
  • “Distributing destination guides to media early-on helped Visit
    Philadelphia shape the non-political coverage,” Schneider said, “which
    we expected, correctly, would be about 15 percent of total coverage. We had a
    full slate of resources for press which we started handing out in
    April. By comparison, Cleveland (site of the Republican National
    Convention) didn’t offer as many destination resources to media.”
  • Social media, Heckenberger said, provided a way for everyday Philadelphians to feel a part of the Convention — even though the actual event was off-limits to those without credentials: “Social and Digital was how we told the community about the events that were available to the public, and encouraged them to participate. And, we wanted convention visitors to see as much of Philly as possible – eat at our restaurants, shop at our retailers, visit our attractions – social was a huge part of that activation.”
  • The convention also succeeded beyond mainstream media coverage, Burke-Green said. “The meeting planner media world is much smaller than general consumer publications, but extremely important to us. We tracked more than 30 DNC stories in these publications between May of last year and the August this year.”

The PPRA Program Series continues  Wed., Oct. 19 with “How to Be Brave on Social Media,” a breakfast event at the University City Science Center, 3711 Market St.
For more information, visit www.ppra.net

Adam Dvorin is Director, Media Relations
Winning Strategies

Five Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss PPRA’s Networking 101

ONE Even as outgoing communications people, networking can be TERRIFYING. Start in a spearssafe place!

One day you are going to find yourself at a networking event where you don’t know anyone, everyone is older than you, and they have all been in the business for years. Or at least…that is what it will feel like…

These events are overwhelming at first and you’ll definitely want more networking experience before you find yourself in that position. Networking 101 with PPRA is a networking event FOR YOU. It is geared towards college students so they can learn more about how to network and then do so with the many supportive professionals attending.

TWO While peer connections are invaluable, your network needs to consist suitofexperienced players, too.

The connections you make with fellow classmates, school club members, and even roommates can lead to incredible things. However, you and your peers are essentially at the same experience level. It’s important to connect with professionals who have not only been where you’ve been, but have also surpassed that place.

Knowing these kinds of people, like keynote speaker Justin Pizzi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Saxby’s Coffee, can help you understand what your next steps need to be to reach your goals. It can also help you down the line if someone you met through networking, like at the speed session, knows another professional at your dream job!

THREE You’ll learn what you’ve been doing right, and what you’re “not-so-hot” at…oh

Professionals say you should have business cards everywhere you go. It’s true. They can be simple with just your name, industry of interest, and contact information. The fact that you have one will be impressive enough!

However, just because you have business cards doesn’t mean you are good to go. Take it from this PPRA member…

“I was going to my first networking event with business cards in tow. I knew it was important and I was proud of myself for getting them. However…once I got there, I realized that despite my preparedness, I still had a lot of work to do. Most of the people there floated effortlessly from person to person, spending just the right amount of time with each other and then casually trading cards.

I, on the other hand, was not so graceful. I either spent too much time with one person, letting them know more than they needed or wanted to know about me, or too little time, leaving them wondering why I even bothered to speak with them in the first place. Having my business card meant nothing because most of the time I was too afraid to bring it up and give it to someone.

This might seem like a networking horror story, but it really wasn’t. I learned so much about myself that night. I was an organized person, ready to dive in. These are great traits for this field. I found that having your supplies ready and being eager isn’t enough and I needed to work on my networking skills. I only wish I’d known about Networking 101 when I was in school.”

FOUR It’s the best bang for your buck!!

parksAs you move forward in your career, you’ll find many professional events and networking opportunities can be rather expensive. When you’re making a salary (at your dream job we discussed earlier) that might be okay, but as a student, these events can empty your wallet.

Because Networking 101 is made for college students, it’s only $15! That includes hearing from a keynote speaker, networking with peers and professionals, and refreshments! You’d spend that much for lunch on campus! So pack your lunch and get registered today!

FIVE You will come out of the event as a more confident professional ready to take on the communications world.bey

Practice and experience are key to becoming a great networker. You may leave Networking 101 finding out things you wish you were better at, but you’re also going to recognize things you rock at, meet a ton of new people, get your name out there, and learn from the best of the best.

You’ll be feeling super excited for the next step in your career. Maybe you will rush home to update your resume/LinkedIn. Perhaps you’ll sign up for another networking or PPRA event. Consider asking one of your new connections to go to coffee for some mentoring. Heck, maybe you need to get back to your dorm to study and ace your Comm. Theory exam the next day. No matter what, you’ll be confident and motivated to move forward!

Networking 101
Thursday, Oct. 13
Saxbys Headquarters
2300 Chestnut St., Suite 310
Philadelphia, PA
$15 registration

5:45 – 6 p.m. Registration and Refreshments
6 – 7 p.m. Keynote Presentation
7 – 8 p.m. Speed Networking

About Networking 101

Four out of five jobs are secured through networking, according to a recent study. Indeed, what you know can help you succeed on the job, but who you know can help you get your foot in the door. But how can you practice networking in a way that is authentic and effective? Find out at PPRA’s annual Networking 101 event for college students and young professionals!

The evening features keynote remarks from Justin Pizzi, vice president of sales and marketing at Saxbys Coffee. Come hear how networking helped Pizzi transition from college student to a major market television reporter to his current role as an executive for a growing consumer brand. Learn how you, too, can network to success!

Following the discussion and Q&A session, put your new knowledge to the test during a speed networking opportunity with professionals from a broad cross-section of the communications industry, including agency, healthcare, sports & entertainment, non-profit, and more.

Attendees will even have the opportunity to win raffle prizes, including one-on-one informational interviews, shadow days, and other coveted networking opportunities with Philadelphia-area communications professionals.

Keynote Speaker

  • Justin Pizzi, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Saxbys Coffee

Speed Networking

  • Ashley Berke, Penn Vet
  • Tyler Cameron, Slice Communications
  • Christina Cassidy, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Kathryn Conda, Bancroft
  • Kathleen Conlon, Independence Blue Cross
  • Meredith Fitzgerald, Comcast
  • Darrah Foster, Anne Klein Communications Group
  • Jenea Robinson, Visit Philadelphia
  • Diana Torralvo, NBC 10/Telemundo 62
  • Meredith Wertz, Comcast

Contact Information:
Denise Downing
Registration Information:
Deadline: Thursday, Oct. 13

Cancellations are accepted in writing by Oct. 11. No Refunds after Oct. 11. No-shows will be billed.