Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's VP Pick & PR

Like a lot of us, I've been scouring the web this morning for information about McCain's little-known VP running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. In some ways, Palin may seem like an odd choice. But in terms of the PR / media side of things, I think it's pretty smart.

Had McCain chosen a well-known politico -- like, say, Mitt Romney -- the result would have been rather "ho-hum," I imagine. Surely no one would have been surprised. And there wouldn't have been that much to say or write about him. People know where he stands on issues. They know who he is. Sure, there would have been media coverage. But nothing like what McCain's campaign is going to get by tapping a relative unknown.

Everyone's going to be talking about McCain's choice (was it good or bad?), about what she believes in (how does she vote on issues?) and stands for (what are her causes?), her background (both in and out of politics), her family life... There is so much to write about as a reporter covering this story. (A testament to this: The announcement was this morning and the 1:23 p.m. edition of Help A Reporter Out already had a query from a reporter seeking sources to weigh in on whether McCain made the right choice.)

Will this choice be a good one in the long run? Not sure. I don't know enough about her yet. (Though I'm sure by the end of the weekend I'll no longer be able to make that claim.) But from a purely PR perspective, I have to say it seems like a pretty smart move.

-- Robin

NON-CCG EVENT: TCM Social Media Conference

So I just sat in on a conference call to prep for the Growing Your Business Through Social Media mini-conference that the Tech Council of Maryland is putting on September 10. I think this is going to be a phenomenal event. And for the Tech Council, it's going to be a great case study on using Social Media. They're doing a lot of cool new things and have some great plans for how they're going to use event to launch other social media activities for the TCM.

I know a lot of our members are interested in this topic, and think there's going to be a lot that can be learned at this event, even if you work outside of the tech/biotech/healthcare arena.

So if you haven't looked into it and considered registering and attending, you should before it's booked full.

-- Robin

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Hour Recap

So last night was our CCG happy hour...

I originally posted about the Happy Hour asking our members to weigh in on their thoughts about CCG happy hours because we "only" had about 10-15 people show up. I was concerned that turn-out seemed scant and that perhaps the new members who showed up might have been disappointed. But after hearing from two people last night, I guess I'm wrong.

My co-conspirator, Joe (our VP and Treasurer) had this to say in response to my (now edited) post: "I'm pleased with the turnout: I think it's better that we had an intimate gathering, rather than if all 600 of our members had shown up. I'm certainly not trying to 'spin a spinner' as one member warned against last night, but we have a couple new members after last night, some coworkers came all the way down from Bethesda, a dozen or so people did come, and the beer was good. What's wrong with that?"

And a member -- who shall remain nameless because I didn't tell her I was quoting her -- said: "Maybe we should do the happy hours a little more frequently to build a following. Good location anyway, which is huge with me."

Maybe my first instincts about the evening were wrong. After all, I'm usually the first to say: Small crowd who is engaged has a good time is better than a large crowd who is bored.

So I amend my earlier thoughts. Last night was good. I had fun. Met new people. Talked with some active members who gave some great advice about both business and personal matters. Had a good Belgian white beer. What more could you ask for, right?

And for those who didn't come, I'd love to know: Was it the location? The date? Lack of interest in happy hours? And should we hold CCG happy hours more often?

-- Robin

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CCG August Happy Hour

As is our tradition, this month we will forego our lunch and instead convene a happy hour.

So drink -- and eat if you want to -- with fellow CCG members and get to know us better. Non-members welcome.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 from 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: RFD, 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC

COST: No set fee. Pay as you drink (or eat).

NO RSVP NECESSARY. We hope to see you there!

Monday, August 11, 2008

NON-CCG EVENT: TCM Social Media Conference

So I've been asked to help "spread the word" about a local conference in which I'm participating.

ORGANIZATION: Tech Council of Maryland
TOPIC: Grow Your Business Through Social Media
WHEN: September 10, 2008 from 8 a.m. - noon
LOCATION: JHUMCC, 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

Being included on the list of speakers with some of these pros is daunting to say the least... So it would be nice to see some friendly faces in the crowd.

Cost: $49 for TCM MemberPlus; $60 for TCM members; and $129 non-members.

Go the the TCM web site for more information about the event, a list of speakers and topics, and to register to attend.

-- Robin

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

NON-CCG EVENT: AWC August Power Tea

One of our members emailed me to post about another NON-CCG event. This time, it's AWC's Annual Power Tea at the Willard.

WHAT: Formal tea + networking
WHEN: Wednesday, August 13 from 4-5:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Nest, Willard InterContinental Washington, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC
COST: $40 for AWC members, $50 for non-members

Register Online.

** Please note that CCG does not endorse or in any way verify the quality of this event or organization.

Monday, August 4, 2008

NON-CCG EVENT: AWC Annual Conference

We promised more content on the blog... and now, we try to deliver with some information about an upcoming event that you may find interesting.

WHAT: Association for Women in Communications Annual Conference
WHEN: September 25-27
WHERE: Doubletree Crystal City Hotel

Topics include community engagement, social media, customer relationships, brand voice, email communications, multi-cultural communications, and a trip to the newly reopened Newseum.

If you've gone in the past, we'd love to hear if you found it helpful. Just post a comment!

** Please note that CCG does not endorse or in any way verify the quality of this conference or organization.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Resources: Podcasting, Vodcasting, and Social Media

During July's lunch, we talked about sharing resources on where members can learn more about vodcasting, podcasting, and social media. In that spirit, below is a list of some upcoming events -- and other resources -- that you may find helpful.

We'd love to add resources you may know about as well. So let us know about other conferences, events, books, web sites, etc., that will help our members become social media gurus.
  • Podcasting Courses from EEI: Courses for beginners and podcasting pros
  • YouTube: we've been told there are "how to" videos on YouTube for podcasting and vodcasting. You'll need to do the searching on your own to find them. (Sorry! We do have day jobs!)
  • Ragan conferences: Offered across the country on numerous topics, including social media, podcasting, vodcasting, etc.
  • Member Jim Onder's courses: CCG member Jim Onder offers a variety of media relations and social media courses through the USDA Graduate School. Explore his courses and others...
  • Advanced Learning Institute: Offers conferences on Social Media for Government. There will be another one in D.C. in December though it isn't yet on the ALI web site. (CCG VP Joe Balintfy presented at the last one in May. We'll have to see if he's been asked back for an encore presentation.)

So what resources might your fellow CCG members find useful that we're missing? Let us know.

** Please note that CCG does not endorse or in any way verify the quality of these resources.