Is Social Media Hurting or Helping Your Business?

April 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Public Relations 

It is true that perception is everything and the more we use social media and expand our connections, the less control we have over how people feel about us. It only takes one wrong reaction to something political or one inappropriate comment to set a belief about us. We represent our companies in all of our actions whether we intend to or not. What happens when we don’t communicate effectively and consistently on our pages? We can often lose traction or be considered sloppy in customer service or impact how we are viewed as a leader in our industry.

 Susan Long-Molnar, President of Managing Communications Consulting, will address social media from a public relations and reputation management standpoint in the firm’s newly launched seminar “Is Social Media Hurting or Helping Your Business?”  The seminar will be held at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, 500 East Main Street Ste. 700, Norfolk VA Contact Sandy Sekeet on April 28th, 7:45 a.m.-10:00. To register, e-mail l or (757) 664-2530. Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce members pay $15 and non-member $30.

 Attendees will be involved in an interactive forum to learn what impacts a company’s reputation as an aspect of branding on social networking sites, key strategies to improve online reputation, and assistance in how to communicate the value of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs to others in their companies.

  • Learn what impacts a company or individual’s reputation as an aspect of branding
  • Evaluate your current reputation on social networking sites
  • Consider strategies which will improve your social networking reputation
  • Take away strategic planning for the rest of the year
  • Bonus: Assist you to communicate the value of social networking within your organization.

About the Presenter:
Before transitioning Managing Communications Consulting to a full-service firm in 2002, Susan Long-Molnar served in leadership positions for three large regional operations in Hampton Roads:

  • USAA’s Mid-Atlantic Corporate Communications Manager (regional public affairs, community relations, marketing, and internal communications)
  • Cox Communications’ internal communications manager for Hampton Roads (during tremendous growth and acquisition of businesses)
  • Director of Business Development and Marketing for Sentara Enterprises, Sentara Health System.

For six years, she also served as the Vice President, Corporate Communications/HR for Medical Laboratory Solutions, Inc. which provides hematology and chemistry equipment services to laboratories nationwide.

 Today, Managing Communications Consulting brings marketing, public relations, and internal communications solutions to clients such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Nutrient PLUS, a national fertilizer company, Strickland and Jones, P.C., MEB General Contractors, 5 Star Medical Transport and Silver Car Service, and Tower Benefit Consultants. 

 Susan is a member of the National Speakers Association Virginia Chapter, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Norfolk Board, is a LEAD Hampton Roads graduate and currently serves as President of Town Center Kiwanis in Virginia Beach.

 If you would like to engage Long-Molnar for a presentation at your professional association or business, please contact her directly at 757-513-8633 and visit for information on additional presentations.

The Joy of Podcasting

April 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

By James Applebach, PR Associate

There are many options for communicating with audiences today. We can keep in contact with customers on websites such as Facebook and Twitter which provide up to the minute updates with the newest thing our brand has to offer and help to develop social relationships. These are quick and easy ways to send and receive information.

However, one thing these tools do not provide is a channel to catch and keep someone’s attention for an extended period of time. We’re always concerned with ‘cutting through the noise’ in the over saturated media market. Rather than being the loudest or the brightest, you can entice your audience to come to you by becoming a source of entertainment.

To do that most effectively follow these guidelines:                                                                                                                                                                       Be Likeable – Podcasts can be fun, and people want to listen to something that will make them feel good. You will not get listeners if your podcast is too dry, or too heavily focused on a product or service. People respond to good humor and humility.

Also, your host or hosts should be upbeat, funny, authentic, and people who sound like they know what they’re talking about.  Production values such as music, good sound quality and a well planned script can also add an air of professionalism to your show. More on this later.

Don’t come on too strong – Mention your company only once or twice during the podcast (perhaps once at the beginning and once at the end). Your podcast shouldn’t be about you, but about your audience. What do they want to know? How can you use your knowledge to fill that niche?

Don’t use jargon – It’s important that your audience knows what you are talking about. If they don’t, they will surely get frustrated and turn you off.

Here is an example of a format a health Insurer could use:                                                                                                                                                  

After an audio brand and music interlude, the hosts should introduce the show with a recurring theme, such as the health tip of the day, and proceed with news on a current issue (such as heart disease). The hosts would then provide information to the listener about measures to prevent this issue from affecting their lives by promoting health guides, their website, and any other resources they can offer for further information. The host could then close the show by reminding the listeners of the company sponsored 5k that’s coming up.

This is a brief description of how a podcast might go. In my next blog, I will discuss how to create a podcast and distribute it to the masses.