Cyber PR Social Media Food Pyramid

It happens to me all of the time when I teach social media. Faces go blank, frustration begins to settle in and then I hear:

“I just don’t have anything interesting to say.” OR “I don’t want to share what I’m eating!”


You do things we mere mortals are totally enamored by you create businesses, you make art, you play music, you get up in front of people in public!

So please do not tell me you have nothing interesting to say. I ain’t buying it.

All you are missing is a System for Social Media Success.

The inspiration for this hit me while I was teaching a client in my kitchen… THE FOOD PYRAMID!

Now, I’ve been told they don’t actually teach this in school anymore… but for those of you old enough  – it’s that chart they brought out when we were in 2nd grade to show us how to eat well-rounded meals? I have re-visioned it for you.

Most people are only serving their tribes one thing consistently and are trapped either being boring or over promoting – This is like eating plain bagels over an over again.

We might want a burger, or green healthy salad, we want some candy!

We want the protein but you keep serving bagels, bagels, bagels!

Luckily, social media is a learnable skill. To ratchet up your social media effectively and manage it easily, there are only five kinds of activity that you need to engage in. Feel free to mix and match within these activities in order to suit your comfort level.

Use these as a guide to mix and match them to suit your comfort level (just like your diet, eat what feels right for you)


Servings (Recommended Frequency): 3 – 4 out of every 10 posts

Make sure you’re in a two-way conversation with people consistently

imgres Facebook: See something interesting on a fan, friend or band’s Facebook pages? Don’t just “like” it, write a true comment about it and get more involved. Facebook: See something interesting on a fan, friend or band’s Facebook pages? Don’t just “like” it, write a true comment about it and get more involved.

images Twitter: Send messages to people or mention you are with them by using the @ sign and their username (For Example: I’m @CyberPR). Retweet (RT) Tweets you like by others.

url Blog Reading: read and share great posts on your socials and leave comments!

Tumblr-3.5-for-iOS-app-icon-small Tumblr: Tumblr is a simple to use blogging platform that will allow you to comment on and re-blog others’ links, quotes, videos and songs with a click of a button.

YouTube-icon Youtube: Bonus! Make custom video comments or greetings with a smartphone; post them as comments or contributions. Subscribe to other people’s channels, and comment on their videos. A brand new service called Viddy which allows you to capture quick, 15 second videos that can be posted to Facebook or Twitter. Jason wrote a Musician’s Arsenal Guide to Viddy that will better explain how it works.



Instagram: Like and comment on others’ photos!



Servings (Recommended Frequency): 3 out of every 10 posts

All the best social media users know this and use it well. This takes all of the attention off of you and puts it onto others, and people will appreciate your kindness because you are recognizing them in front of new potential fans and followers and therefore helping them get known.


 Quote people you like by sharing their profiles and videos on Facebook and share (re-post) on your page.  Also link to articles and interesting things that catch your attention.

images Twitter: Use hashtags, @’s and RT on Twitter – talk about why and how particular tweets influenced or touched you by using to track the effectiveness and to shorten your Tweets.



Servings (Recommended Frequency): 2 – 3 out of every 10 posts

Content may be king but content curation is queen!

378838-rss-icon The best part is you can set up an RSS reader to pull interesting content for you so you don’t have to come up with anything brilliant – just select what you like and share it. And if it’s interesting to you it’s probably interesting to your community.

Then all you have to do is grab the content you like and share (remember to always give credit where credit is due).

Music: Use Rdio, Spotify, or Soundcloud to share songs, albums and playlists 

Recipes: Post links to foods you like from Pinterest, Epicuious or TheFoodNetwork

Media: Post book reviews, music reviews or film reviews

Blogs: News, politics, celebrity gossip, parenting, fashion, art, sports – all make good topics for people to connect around



Servings (Recommended Frequency): 2 out of every 10 posts

Visuals are extremely effective. And they mix up your strategy nicely.


Everyone loves Instagram take photos often – and tag!



Mix up your Tweets with photos & videos – they go straight into your feed and they get stored on your homepage – bonus!

pinterest-icon-220x213 Pinterest is a wonderful way to share photos of anything you are passionate about and create boards for your own content and anything you sell.

YouTube-icon Post videos on your Youtube channel, embed them and post across socials too! They don’t even have to be videos that you make on your own. They can be videos that make you laugh or subjects that are thematic to your niche.



Like: FATS OILS & SWEETS (Use Sparingly!)

Servings (Recommended Frequency): 1 out of every 10 posts

Of course, these are OK to do once in a while, not in an over-hypey, annoying way.  Just like treating yourself to a great pastry or some fries: it’s OK – but not too often!

It is after all, vital to tell people if you have an album coming out, a new track, a show, or anything that’s newsworthy, noteworthy, and important for your fans and followers to know about.

Don’t forget about your specific calls to actions or these won’t be fruitful.

So – Choose from Groups 1-5 and mix it up and soon you will be fully engaging people easily and naturally, without thinking. Just like eating!

9 Critical Things You Should Know About Publicity Before You Make Your First Move

You have your vision and you’re eager to make that first move in the world of PR. But before I jump into what you’re here for, the nine critical things you should now about PR, we need to be sure that your ready to begin such a relationship with the media. It’s not a matter of feeling ready, it’s a matter of being ready.

Before you even begin thinking about PR, you need to have what I refer to as your social media house in order. This is your foundation. It is vital for your PR success that you have a presence sufficiently fleshed out on the internet from your website to your blog to your Twitter page. You won’t get the results you want from your PR campaign if you don’t have a strong internet presence.

With the unbelievable number of publicists flooding the inboxes of the media, you can count on the fact that these editors and writers will be checking each submission’s social media presence as a means to weed out who not to cover. As always, you want to have the edge. Having a presence doesn’t mean having more Facebook likes than everyone else. It means having consistent activity online and engaging with your fans.


Once your social media house is built and stable you can begin thinking about amassing the publicity you’re looking for.

Let’s get started!

1. What Is Publicity Exactly?

Before we delve into specifics, let’s make sure we have the basics covered. Her are some definitions of what publicity is exactly, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Publicity – “An act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support. Also: The dissemination of information or promotional material.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Publicity is precisely all of these things.

A publicist is hired as a member of your team to represent you to the media. Media is traditionally defined as editors and writers of newspapers, magazines, and television. More and more publicists are covering Internet PR, like my company. However, not all traditional publicists do this, so make sure to ask before you hire.

A publicist’s job is to liaise with the press. In other words, a publicist establishes working relationships between you and those in the media. You should not expect them to get you any type of specific marketing deal. Publicists don’t make sales. A savvy and well-connected publicist may be able to hook you up with above-mentioned, but it is not in his or her job description.

2.  You Are the Visionary Here

Remember, as the entrepreneur, you are the buyer, and you are shopping for PR. You’re in the driver’s seat. It’s your money and your vision that enables publicists to stay in business. You have to choose someone you like, who jives with your vision and your short-term and long-term goals. You know that everyone on your team has to be on the same page for you to advance. All too many times I’ve heard that a publicist was hired in spite of the hiring individual’s personal opinions. You should like your publicist, and they should be the right fit for you.

3.  With Publicity, You Pay for Effort – Never for Results

I’ve had many disgruntled individuals call me and say, “I hired a publicist and I only got six articles. That cost me $1,000 per article!” Unfortunately, this is not how you quantify a PR campaign. How you quantify a PR campaign is by how much buzz (i.e. Facebook activity) and feedback you are receiving during and post your PR campaign. You pay for the amount of time, effort, and consideration the publicist makes on your behalf. Now, of course, you should get some and even many results. Getting nothing is totally unacceptable. But you never know when your publicist’s efforts will show up months, and sometimes even years, after your campaign is complete. Not everyone who is going to see your Youtube video is going to view it the day you post it.

4. A PR Campaign Needs to Be Planned Well in Advance

For long-lead press (meaning, for example, magazines with national distribution like Rolling Stone), the editors put their publications to bed three full months before they are published. So, for example, if you’re launching a product in October, you must have it ready to go in July. Of course, not every PR campaign focuses on national press, but no publicist will take you on with zero lead-time, so you definitely need to prepare lead-time for every scenario.

Recommended Publicity Campaign Lead Times:

  • National Campaign – 3-4 months before the release
  • Tour Press Campaign – 4-6 weeks before the shows
  • Local Campaign – 4-6 weeks before placement
  • Online Campaign – 2-3 weeks before placement (minimum)
    • (Placement = blog article, review, podcast/radio interview, etc.)

5.  The 4 Components of a Press Kit

In today’s digital world, a thorough one page press kit consists of three parts: the bio; the photo; the articles, quotes & reviews; a downloadable or physical sample.

The Bio – Create a one-page bio that is succinct and intriguing. You have an original story; tell it! I strongly advise hiring a bio writer (this should cost between $200-$500). If you are not ready to pony up the cash, consider enlisting an outside source to help you. I find that people who are great storytellers make great bio writers.

The Photo – Arrange a photo shoot; if you take this seriously, you will benefit tremendously. Create a photo that is clear, well-shot, and attention-grabbing. If you have a friend who knows how to use PhotoShop, enlist him or her to help you do some creative and fun editing. Always utilize your resources!

The Articles, Quotes & Reviews – Getting that first article written about you can feel daunting. Two great places to start are your local hometown papers (assuming you don’t live in NYC or LA), and any relevant websites or blogs you like.

A downloadable or physical sample – if you have a producer example like an eBook or a PDF send a link so the journalists can download it! Or if you have physical examples pay close attention to the way you pack it and present it through the mail

6.  Publicity is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

There is no top 40 publicity chart. With the number of stimuli consistently coming out into the marketplace, it could take months longer than your publicity campaign runs to see results.

7.  Online Publicity Is Just as (If Not More) Important as Offline Publicity

I would argue that online PR is more important, because today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s recycling (and that’s if you even get today’s newspaper). Most articles you find in printed newspapers and magazines are just as easily accessible online. Online publicity goes up fast, and it can be around for months and sometimes for years. The internet also provides a platform for you to discuss articles in a public arena (i.e. comment sections, Twitter). More people rely on the Internet as their main source for news, so Internet placements are absolutely wonderful and totally legit, and they can help your Google rankings as well.

8.  Publicity Does Not Make Sales

If you are hiring a publicist to see a spike in your sales, I have news for you: There is absolutely no correlation between getting great PR and making sales.

PR is designed to raise awareness of you in the press, to help build and share a story, as well as build up critical acclaim. Of course, a great article can lead to sales, but this is not it’s direct and immediate purpose.

9.  All Publicity is Good Publicity

I know we have all heard the phrase “all publicity is good publicity”, but it’s beneficial to truly understand this. If one of your goals for PR is to get your name or brand out there (and this should be a goal), the truth is that the average person remembers very little of what they read. People only retain a tiny percentage of what they read. Readers and internet scrollers are not going to remember a lukewarm or mediocre review. I mean when was the last time you remembered the subject of a tepid review?

And never ever take your own PR too seriously. As my favorite artist Andy Warhol once said, “Don’t read your press; weigh it.”

Your Marketing Plan is Your Future – Do You have One?

STEP #1: Set Your Goals (Short term / Long term)

When approaching a plan start with where you see yourself in 18 – 24 months and work backwards

Add goals for every 3 months 3, 6,9,12-month, etc.

If you are a newbie at Social Media consult an expert to establish reasonable growth goals for your niche.

TIP: While you are at this don’t skip goals for your personal life too! As a wildly busy entrepreneur, it can be really easy to allow work to take over your life plans – so build your life into your plan as much as possible.

STEP #2: Identify Your Niche & Leaders in it!

Choose 3-4 to start and get granular!

Remember “Rock star” is not a niche but Gluten-Free Rock Star sure is! :-)

Once you have identified each one, look for the thought leaders in each niche.

Look at what other thought leaders are doing and picture yourself collaborating with them (instead of competing!)


STEP #3: Create Your Signature Story

Start with: Why is the reason I want to do what I do?

Does it come to you because you saw someone in your life / family suffer and you could solve the problem?
Does it come from divine inspiration?

Do you want to change the world by helping people?

What’s your mission behind wanting to tell your story?

TIP: Make sure you can tell your story in all formats – short (think about a tweet), medium (think about a Facebook Post) and Long (think about your website or a talk)

TIP: Our Team Can Write one for you if this is not your forte

STEP #4: Create Your Customer Archetype

Start by giving yourself at least a full hour to really think this through! Nailing this is key!

If you get stuck or if this all feels like too much we would be delighted to write a full marketing plan for you.

  • Name, Age, Gender
  • Married, Single, Parent
  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they vacation?
  • How much money do they have (income)

Write down as much information as you possibly can about your ideal customer in her / his own voice.

STEP #5: Build / Revamp Your Website w/ A Blog

For Step 5 I’ll say these 5 things 😉

1. Use WordPress

2. Don’t spend more than $1,500

3. Link your socials

4. Keep it updated every week

5. Make sure your brand carries across the whole site (and socials)


STEP #6: Attend To The 6 Rooms of Your Social Media House (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blog, Pinterest, and Your Newsletter)

To help you spring into action, I have put together this bulleted attack plan so you can work your way down the list and implement!


Outline your desires, angles, news, updates and content strategy (remember to diversify your content and NOT just self promote).

Optimize your Facebook Fan Page & Personal Page (if you use it for promotion) to more effectively brand, and market to your customer base and obtain deeper engagement.

Create relevant status updates for your Fan Page and interact with fans on your behalf. Cross populate blog posts and Tweets.

Monitor Insights (analytics) to make sure status updates are posted at optimal times, e.g. when followers are most active and responsive.

Strategize on special opportunities such as contests, newsletter sign up drives, E for M (email for media), or similar widgets and charity tie-ins. 


Think about your tweet angles, news, updates and content strategy (mix it up!).

Add hundreds of new followers each month – find people you like and see who follows them then run down the list and follow all (don’t think!).

Tweet updates based on your personal interests, and angles (charities, politics, hobbies, etc.).

Ensure followers are engaged with you by sending @’s, RTs, and DM’s.

Use to monitor analytics to make sure tweets go out at the optimal times, e.g. when followers are most active and responsive.

Strategize special opportunities such as contests, newsletter sign- up drives and charity tie-ins.


Go over your desires, angles, news, updates, and come up with a content strategy to create content (i.e will you need to hire a videographer etc.) and calls to action

Drive views to your channel by cross-populating your videos onto 
your Twitter, Facebook, and blog.

Engage all of your new followers and ensure that you are following, subscribing and having two-way conversations when they leave comments
Strategize special opportunities such as contests, newsletter sign- up widget and charity tie-ins.


Schedule a monthly strategy session with yourself to organize and integrate your likes, interests, and unique story so that your online voice and brand gets communicated effectively on your blog.

Create ideas that you want to blog about that are relevant, consistent, and tie in with your overall brand and message.

Ask fellow peers to write guest posts to add on a biweekly or monthly basis (depending on desired strategy).

Drive views to your blog by cross posting links onto your Twitter and Facebook pages and pin them on Pinterest.


Pinterest is retaining and engaging users as much as two to three times as efficiently as Twitter.

Engage with potential fans on this addictive platform but repin what they post, repin at least 10 images a week


If you don’t have one commit to starting one. Write it every month and focus on adding new people every month. Use Mail Chimp. It rocks.

Social Media Pyramid

STEP #7: Create Consistent Compelling Content (3 C’s) Follow my social media pyramid to guide you on posting and choosing effective assets.

Here’s to a powerful fall and a new invigorated marketing plan for you!


If you get stuck or if this all feels like too much we would be delighted to write a full marketing plan for you.

The Truth About ROI and Social Media

I just got back from lovely San Francisco, where I participated in Social Media Bootcamp with an amazing group of colleagues: CC Chapman @cc_chapman, Kim Garst @kimgarst & Amber Naslund @AmberCadabra. We delivered 3 days of lessons to get your head around how to prepare for and rule a great social presence.

I premiered two new 90-minute talks. The first was about identifying your niche and the second was on thought leadership.

Here is a teeny excerpt from the niche talk that addresses the #1 question I get asked from potential clients at Cyber PR®. It’s always about ROI (return on Investment). The question: “If I invest money (and time equals money) in social media, how soon will expect to see it come back to me?”

And I think every good businessperson should think this way, and this is a valid question to ask, except in social media, it’s the wrong question to ask.

Watch Why below…

How and When to Evaluate the Success of Your Social Media Strategy

For those of you who don’t like watching videos here’s a summary:

Don’t Measure Social With Crude Data…. Ever

The benefits of social media can’t be measured with crude data, especially for small business. I consider anyone who is a creative entrepreneur, solopreneur, or artist of any type, a small business. Adding up any money you may spend on a solid social media plan and gaging it with immediate or short term ROI is a terrible mistake.

Social Media Is Like A Great Cocktail Party

Equating money with ROI in social media is exactly like getting angry if you go to a cocktail party and you don’t make money… You should think of social media as a great party.

What do you do at a party?

You go there because something about it was attractive, or someone invited you. When you get there, you visit with friends or you meet interesting people. You don’t just dive in and put yourself on new acquaintances. You ease your way in: You ask: “Do you know the bride the groom?” or you say, “Aren’t these pigs in a blanket delicious?” or whatever you say. Keep in mind that this is great etiquette for social media.

ROI Can (and Will) Come Back Years After You Plant The Seeds

The ROI can come back years after you plant the seeds. It happens to me all the time. People will reach out to me and say, “I just read this great article you wrote about how to be your own publicist” and I think I wrote that article in like, 2002 (really, I did). But the beauty of social is: It lives on forever. If you have a blog this is especially true.

Guy Kawasaki author of one of my favorite books Ape, Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, talks about the time commitment it takes when building a platform (in the context of authors, but it applies to everyone) he says it takes about 18 months to even get anywhere when you’re building a platform. So keep that time frame in mind before you jump so quickly to ROI.