Hughes PR

Back it up – the importance of social media record keeping

Kate Potter writes…

More than ten years ago, I kept an online journal. It was so long ago, that it wasn’t even called a “blog” in those days! I put a lot of effort into writing about my thoughts, ideas and experiences, over a period of about 18 months.

Then one day, it was gone. I went to login to my account, and I was greeted by a note. “Sorry!” it cheerfully said. The note went onto explain that the owner of the site had somehow managed to lose everything, due to a server issue. All of the content, thousands of people’s blog posts and journal entries, were irrecoverable.

Being a naïve 19 year old, using the Internet for five years and never encountering this problem before, I hadn’t thought to back up my journal entries using Word or a similar offline program. Unthinkable, now.

And yet, users of social networks still trust these networks to keep their precious content safe for years.

There was a case a couple of years ago when Flickr accidentally deleted thousands of a user’s photos – thankfully now restored. While this case was a high profile example, there are many cases of users’ data going missing, such as when smartphone apps shut down.

So, what to do? Back up your online content. Do it now.  Check your Facebook account and back up all your data (go to “Account Settings” and click “Download a copy of your Facebook data”). Don’t forget Instagram, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger, the list goes on. For platforms like Twitter you may need to manually back up all your data – Twitter is rolling out a “download my Twitter history” option but it’s currently only available for selected users. It may be worth checking back sporadically to see if the option is available to you to save manual backing up.

If you manage social networks on behalf of an organisation, make sure you include data back up and record keeping as part of your social media policy – who will be responsible for this task, how will it be done, and how often? Those who manage accounts on behalf of Government agencies may be required to keep this information as part of the state Records Act.

To avoid anything untoward happening with your online data, make sure you have a system for backing it up. What better way to show how far you’ve come with social media?!

Hughes PR can help you manage your social media record keeping, as well as your social media network management, digital media strategies and policies. Contact us for more information or to discuss your requirements. 

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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Digital Media, Hughes PR, Public relations

Bringing your blog to life

Catherine Bauer writes…

Tap, tap, tap.Blogging

Exasperated groan.

Delete.

Silence (or thinking music).

Tap, tap, tap.

Those are the sounds of a frustrated writer – be it journalist, columnist, blogger, novelist, student – whatever.

Writing doesn’t always come easy – even to someone who enjoys it or who writes for a living.

More than a few of Adelaide’s PR consultants have a journalism background and are regularly asked by clients to help write columns or blog posts.

A good column or blog requires more than just the ability to articulate an opinion. Your opinions have to make sense, provide insight and be convincing. And ideally, they must be entertaining. They can be more intimate, informal and conversational than a lot of mainstream writing.

Here are a few tips that might help you with any New Year blogging resolutions.

Write as you would speak – don’t be formal if you’re not. And don’t be informal and lighthearted if it doesn’t come naturally.

Don’t be long winded – a rambling rant that takes forever to reach a point is blog poison. Get right to the point ASAP.

Write with conviction – put forward your opinion as something you truly believe in. Argue your case with conviction. Don’t sit on the fence. Be definite and be prepared to stand by your statements.

Use facts – back up your arguments with facts.

Be critical – people like reading columnists who dare to criticise. Naming names might create a bit of controversy but as long as you do not libel anyone and don’t go overboard in your criticism, it works well to make your column an interesting and exciting read.

It’s ok to be passionate – a ho-hum piece of writing is akin to a flaccid handshake – or being flogged with warm lettuce, to borrow from former Prime Minister Paul Keating. A soft or passive voice isn’t one for a columnist or blogger. If what you’re writing about doesn’t excite you, don’t expect your readers to be engaged either.

Have a point – if you’re going to raise an issue, you should also suggest a solution – not to is pretty useless.

Come up with some posts for the blog bank – this is a good idea if you’re a regular writer. Keeping up a series of blogs or columns can be onerous, especially when you’re not faced with some good juicy issues to tackle. Find some ageless subjects that aren’t time sensitive. And write ahead at those times you’re feeling creative, rather than at a time your stressed or busy and the words have to be painfully extracted.

Finally, don’t enter the realm of sharing your views, opinions and experiences unless you have a thick skin!

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

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