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Pinterest for Business Development

9 Feb

When I joined Pinterest awhile back I never knew I’d be reading it’s name in headlines every other day. It seems that it’s the “popular” thing to be talking about.

I use my Pinterest account to stalk my love of fashion and photography. But as I’ve discovered recently the business world is jumping on and engaging too.

Every blog seems to be chatting about how Pinterest is becoming the next big thing in social media for business. PR professionals are discussing Pinterest as a trend and how it can be helpful in promoting your business. Everyone is talking about it — even those who think it’s a waste of time.

Personally I feel that it is somewhat of a genius idea. Most people are drawn to visual pleasing things — so why not make a site that allows you to bookmark webpages in the most visually appealing way. As a long time user of Delicious I can tell you right now that I’d rather click on a link with a gorgeous description then a few words jumbled together. Of course it can’t be used to bookmark all webpages — I mean I guess it could — but it can mostly be used to trace back to a product or idea you like, or want to use in the future. It’s like a giant creative brainstorming device.

I’ve decided with all this chat about how awesome Pinterest is for businesses that I’m going to test it out for a client of mine — free of charge. The business is a retail surf and skate shop, and I thought it would be the perfect client to try it out with. The business is more small scale but I figure there will be no harm in testing out some of the business development strategies. Stay tuned for how it turns out.

With that I leave you with some of my favorite Pinterest business strategy ideas.

Share Your Products

  • It makes sense, and it is the most obvious strategy. What a great way to share your products with users? Group your pins in product categories. You can create a virtual product catalog of interest for consumers.

Drive Web Traffic

  • It’s driving buyers to websites. According to Entrepreneur, “In the last six months, the retail deal site has seen a 446 percent increase in web traffic from Pinterest and sales resulting from those visits have increased five-fold.

Better Understand the Larger Retail Landscape

  • Pay attention to who is pinning what, and from who. What products of yours are being re-pinned, and what isn’t.

Engage With Users

  • As any social network does it gives you the opportunity to engage with other users to get more ideas, and helpful feedback on how to improve and give consumers what they want. Share other companies products, or comment on other users posts you feel signify what your business is about. Encourage customer interaction, and try following users back.

A Website is Your First Impression

10 Jan

I’m perplexed when I google a business today and find no website, or one you don’t know the slightest clue how to navigate. With the way our society is integrated in digital technology you would think businesses would want an online presence. My opinion is they should have one. Even if it’s a simple site with the business hours and location. Apps and online review sites may be giving your business a presence with out you even being aware of it. I can’t stress how important it is for businesses to have an online appearance, or at least be aware of it — and a great one.

One of my biggest pet peeves is having a poor looking website. As a consumer if I came across your website and I can’t understand what is going on I quickly hit the back button and I’m onto the next. Sadly the site was probably built by someone who charged them a lot of money too.

This morning as I was job hunting I came across a list of top public relation and advertising firms. I scrolled through the list and clicked on every single website browsing for anything that resembled “work here.” I was amazed at how many of those websites were cluttered, messy, hard to read, and overall frustrating to look at. I was especially put off because most of these agencies work at being digitally creative — so why can’t I read your website?  A website is your first impression. Some of the agencies could be phenomenal to work for, but because of their confusing or jumbled websites I quickly turned around and ran (scrolled). In business your first impression can make it or break it more than people like to admit. Wieden + Kennedy is my favorite example of what a clean and aesthetically pleasing website should be. There isn’t any flashy words flying across the screen, the white background allows you to see what you’re looking at clearly, the side bar changes textures and colors, and I can easily navigate the site.

Next time you’re browsing the web pay attention to the little details that make a website good, or bad, and in the future use those observations to make a great first impression.

Three ideas for making a clean easy accessible website:

Memorable & Creative Pitches

24 Feb

The other day I stumbled upon a blog post on Ragan’s PR Daily by New York Time tech columnist David Pogue about his favorite PR pitches. Click here to see the full post. I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite remarks of Pogue’s from the article and share both pitches below.

Pogue mentions how it’s clear when PR people believe in what they represent, and it’s clear when they don’t. I strongly feel that if you’re not representing a product, idea, or company that you truly believe in then what is the point of trying to promote it? If you want to be good at what you do in public relations start by representing something you’re passionate about, or at least have faith in. Otherwise how can you get your message across, and do so in a memorable way.

Both of his favorites are clever and address him directly on a personal level. The pitches aren’t flat or boring. Give the person who you’re pitching direct attention and you’ll be sure to gain their attention. His first example is from a company called CodeWeavers who were promoting their new program called CrossOver. They posted Pogue’s face on life size celebrity cutouts, cross dressed, and made a point on telling him how they were big fans of his. You have to see this video:

Not only did they make a video for Pogue but also four other writers. Personalizing each to all the writers.

The next pitch he mentions is by Nikon’s PR guy, Geoff Coalter. Pogue had written a review on the Canon S95 in the form of a love letter and to his surprise he received a response “from” the Nikon D80.

Dear David—

It has been far too long since our last encounter, and today I found out why. Imagine my horror to find your public proclamation of love for that floozy, the Canon S95, for the whole world to see. You called that little camera “something special?” Well, I remember when I was your one special camera, the one you could come to for anything. Photographing a soccer game? Done. Days at the beach? Easy squeezy. Amazing landscape shots on vacation? You betcha.

Is it because I’m so much bigger than the S95? After our years together, I would think you would accept me for what I am: a highly capable, semi-pro SLR that empowered you to take great pictures. Depth of field, fast burst rate, sharp focus, accurate colors—these are all things only a camera like me can give you.

Let’s not forget all the fun times we had with my friend NIKKOR, who was always willing to go to great telephoto focal lengths to please you. And sometimes our friend Speedlight joined the party to brighten the mood. You talk about physics? I’ll talk about chemistry. You, me, and your 18-200mm VR lens are a perfect match.

But I don’t want to be spiteful. I only want what’s best for you, and I think you are a great match for my cousin, the P7000. She is smaller and more powerful than most cameras, and leads the way for a segment of cameras that is quickly gaining in popularity, the high-end compact. She’s got a cute retro style that everyone loves, and full manual analog controls.

From Your First photographic Love,

Your Loyal Nikon D80

It’s a brilliant pitch. The pitch is personalized and one of a kind. The time and thought taken to address Pogue definitely won him the review.

To end Pogue’s post he mentions that not all great pitches are sure to win media coverage – but you better believe that if you make a great pitch and it doesn’t work out one particular time, they will remember, and next time you have a pitch they will be listening. It pays to take the time to be creative sometimes.

Simply Amazing.

16 Jul

I came across this post and had to share it.

The post is from Innovative Interactivity.

Richard Koci Hernandez

Richard Koci Hernandez

I think it’s fairly safe to say that nearly everyone in the multimedia journalism sector has benefited in one way or another

from the talented and extremely creative mind of Richard Koci Hernandez, known simply as “Koci” to many.

Whether you closely follow his blog, Multimedia Shooter, or you gain inspiration via his multimedia video experiments, or you have worked directly or indirectly with him in his many roles throughout the years, you will know that he is both a life-long learner and educator of innovative multimedia storytelling.

Regardless if he doesn’t believe in “innovation” (see below), it cannot be argued that he pushes the barrier of traditional storytelling. When I approached him for this interview, he emailed back saying that he wrote his answers on Polaroid images he made on his iPhone. Talk about thinking outside of the box! We are honored to feature Richard as this week’s “Innovative Individual” and we hope you enjoy this non-traditional Q&A.

For a brief background in case you haven’t come across his work before, Richard “spearheaded the creation of”, a rich presentation gallery of multimedia work coming out of San Jose Mercury News. Before leaving the paper in 2008, he garnered the role of Deputy Director of Multimedia, Photo, and Video and oversaw all multimedia production for two years. Currently a Ford Foundation Multimedia Fellow at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, he works “to produce digital news sites for San Francisco Bay Area communities.”

To keep track of Richard online, follow him on Twitter, peruse his bookmarks on, watch his video experiments on Vimeo, subscribe to his blog Multimedia Shooter, read his book “Multimedia Journal,” and browse his photos on Flickr.

Q) How do you drive innovation in your work?

Richard Koci Hernandez

Q) What piece in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?

Richard Koci Hernandez

Q) Please provide a brief educational and professional history.

Richard Koci Hernandez

Q) Where do you believe multimedia fits into today’s society and how will that role change over time?

Richard Koci Hernandez

Q) Whose work do you admire?

Q) Where do you find inspiration for your ideas?

Richard Koci Hernandez

Q) What specific resources do you recommend for A) beginners, B) novices and C) experts to improve their skills in multimedia development?

Richard Koci Hernandez

Q) What is one thing on your “To-Do” list?

Richard Koci Hernandez

Want to nominate a deserving colleague, friend or inspirational figure to be highlighted in this series? Confidential nominations can be emailed to on an ongoing basis. Self nominations are also welcome. A person will be featured every Friday, so look for the next “innovative individual” Friday, June 4th!