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So You Want To Interview A Celebrity?

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Entertainment and the Internet.. the two go hand in hand. If it was not for the Internet and blogs we would not be blessed with sites like:

Dave Peck

Hey, I am guilty of checking them every now and then… fine…. I check them several times daily.

They get all the good gossip, videos, updates and interviews. So how does a blogger new into the entertainment field get those interviews? Those exciting pieces to drive traffic? There is no magic wand that can be waved. There is however some things you can do.  Let share some of these little tips, insights and yes, tricks to doing it. I will put them in list form, as people like lists!

  • Do not go big..cause you will go home! If you think your going to get someone big like Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio or Kristen Stewart (hey I have daughters I know Twilight too) forget it. You cant just call them on the phone or email them. They have these things called PR firms.  They will just direct you there and you will not get anywhere.
  • Go after the celebrity who is active on Twitter. So what I do is look over Twitter for celebs who are actively posting and responding to people. Right there I know they are more “down to earth” and easily approachable.
  • Look for a celeb who has a cause. Just like the rest of us on social networks the celeb has a message they want to get out, a brand to build. So if they have a cause, charity, or foundation they believe in, offer to make your post about that. So when you reach out to them, do not say “Hey can I interview you for my blog?”  Instead start with “Hey, I am very interested in your foundation XYZ. I would like to interview you and also cover XYZ.
  • If you can, target those you have a bigger network than. Not everyone can do this, but this is something I always start with. I look for the celeb I have a bigger following then.  So using Twitter I will look at the number of followers and reach out to the celeb I have more followers then.  This makes the celeb think, “Wow they have twice as many followers, if we do an interview I can get more followers.” Yep they are no different then us, they want a bigger network and have an ego.  (Shocking I know right? I have an ego! Hey just ask my wife)
  • Just send a tweet!  So I will start with @xyz I would love to interview you about your current project. If I get a response, I will ask them to allow me to DM them. From there I thank them with a Tweet so everyone knows. It helps to get the community involved.
  • Do not be a pest! I go very slow with my back and forth emails and tweets. I do not want to be all fanboy on them. As I do not want to scare them off.

So has this worked? Yep I have been able to do interviews with folks from TV and the movies and have several more in the works.  You have any tips?

Dave Peck is a Social Media Strategist For Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Follow him on his Website: www.thedavepeck.com or on Twitter

Ways A Small Business Can Use Social Media

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I hear a lot of small business owners who say things like: “I am not a huge company and cannot invest the time or money into online marketing. What can I do?”

Dave Peck

My response is you do not need to have a huge budget or invest tons of hours into social media for small business. Here are some easy and simple tips I will give you in list form. As people like lists:

  • Change your brand/companies message to fit the social network you are on.  So you may post “@pizza is here to help with  all your pizza needs” on Twitter.  Well that will not fly on say Plurk or youtube. (Always have to work Plurk into a blog post, it is just fun to say.) Make sure you know the basic ins/outs of the site you are on. Think of it as when you travel to a different country. There are different customs in each you should follow. Things you do and things you do not. (This actually is good practice for any size business or brand.)
  • Cool it with the cross posting. For those of you do not know let me give you the definition of cross posting. It is when you take the same single message and post it on multiple social networks and forums.  Sure it makes your life easier one post that hits many websites. I get it. The problem is that the same people may follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, etc. You need to mix it up. I promise you that if you post the same message to all your networks, you will lose people from your community. Also, I think posting a link on Facebook directly looks a lot better then just placing the url.
  • Time Shift your messages. So when you want to post about a special going on or a blog post you just wrote, do it on different days at different times.  Some people may be online at 10:00 am others may be on at 4:00 pm. Thus, they maybe more likely to respond and see your message at different times. Play around with it and mix it up. Personally,  I have had a lot of success updating my networks late at night. It allows me to get the attention of people I may never have.
  • Do not post the same exact message over and over. Twitter has begun enforcing the TOS of not allowing recurring Tweets on Twitter Accounts. Why? Its annoying, plain and simple.  Though I do not see why you can not mix up the message and tweak it throughout the day. I have used Tweetlater aka Socialoomph with much success. (No doubt I’m going to get some nasty comments about my thoughts on this one.)
  • What is in it for the customer? Part 1. Have online discounts and promotions. I always get clients who say “I want millions of Twitter followers” or “I want everyone to join my fanpage.”  My response is “What is in it for them?”  Why should they follow you  and fan you? You need to give them something back. It can be a coupon code, a special time sensitive discount, or even early bird passes. There needs to be something in it for them.
  • What is in it for the customer? Part 2. In reference to the above item, you don’t have to just give specials and discounts. It could be insight to why your company does what it does. Maybe behind the scenes videos, podcasts or blog posts. You can communicate directly to people who follow/fan you, so do it!! Make them know your listening by talking to them. This has value sometimes that is worth more the items in Part 1.
  • There is more to social media then Twitter & Facebook. There I said it. Heck this should be a blog post by itself. (Actually I think this will be my next post.) If you targeting people who like wine, find a social network about wine. You want to sell comic books, there is a site for that. Heck.. just check out  Ning you can find anything.

BONUS: So let us say your company is Ed’s Vacuum Cleaner Repair. Why not start a Fan Page, Twitter Feed, or Ning site about Vacuum cleaners? Create an online community for people you know will have a need/like for your product! Bottom line: If you cant find it online, create it yourself!

Dave Peck is a Social Media Strategist For Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Follow him on his Website: www.thedavepeck.com or on Twitter

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