Sunday, June 19, 2011

5 ways to improve your Twittercue to get your message out

By Tracy Jones

Since I wrote about the Twittercue back in April, we’ve seen an amazing take-up of this idea by social media-savvy PR professionals. (read the original post)

A Google search of the term “twittercue” pulls down more than 2400 results, a far cry from the first time we searched the term and got just 12. Our blog posts have been tweeted hundreds of times by converts and about 10 other blogs have carried posts on the topic.

Thanks everyone for spreading the word, although we’re still working on getting Wikipedia to accept Twittercue as a new term.

From watching the words spread, we’ve picked up a few more suggestions on how to make a Twittercue work better for you:

  1. Tweet your own Twittercue. PRs who do are more likely to see their post retweeted, sometimes hundreds of times.
  2. Keep your Twittercue to 120 characters or less, otherwise Tweeps have to edit your original post before retweeting. Remember: you want them to Tweet your exact words.
  3. Make sure you have a link back to your online media release so people can get the full story.
  4. If you are writing a Twittercue in an emergency situation, make sure your tweet is self-explanatory. People don’t always switch between Twitter and a web page if they are on their smart phone in the aftermath of an earthquake.
  5. Add appropriate hashtags.

We’d love to hear about your experience with Twittercues and find out if they have been successful for you, so please post your comments to allow us to pass your success on to others.

Twittercue: 5 ways to improve your Twittercue to get your message out #PRtips #socialmedia 

Monday, June 06, 2011

Darwin woman honored as a Queensland Disaster Hero

A Darwin businesswoman is being honored as a Queensland Disaster Hero by Premier Anna Bligh in Rockhampton tonight.

Accountant Rosemary Campbell went to the aid of her former home town Theodore, which was devastated by the floods in December and January.

The partner of Darwin firm Merit Partners established the Theodore Flood Recovery Appeal, raising $320,000 to date and giving a helping hand to local residents and businesses.

Rosemary said while the award recognised the many people who donated to the appeal in cash and in kind.

“The floods devastated many parts of Queensland and I wanted to do something to help my old home town,” she said.

“With the support of people across Australia, we’ve been able to help Theodore come back to life.”

Theodore was completely evacuated as the flood waters rose, with few in the town escaping the devastation. Virtually every business went under, thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed and residents were forced to come home to a sea of mud.

Using Facebook to promote the appeal across Australia, the Theodore Flood Recovery Trust used an innovative approach to help the town. Much of the money raised was given to local residents as vouchers that could only be redeemed in local businesses.

“Our goal was to maximise the benefit to all of Theodore, helping both residents and businesses and keeping the money in the town. Without a viable business community, Theodore would suffer a double blow from the floods,” Rosemary said.

To donate to the appeal visit:

Twittercue: #DarwinNT woman Rosemary Campbell honored as QLD Disaster Hero. #topend #qldfloods 

Friday, June 03, 2011

5 steps to engagement through social media

By Tracy Jones

If you’re thinking about getting into social media, you need to employ the principle of MATES – Monitor, Act, Talk, Engage and Sustain.

We’ve coined the term MATES because it emphasises what communicators know to be the most powerful aspect of social media – its ability to engage in meaningful conversations rather than just mindless promotion.

These five steps will help you get started.

MONITOR: Start your social media journey by looking at what others are already saying and doing in the social media sphere. Google like crazy. Do some searches in Twitter. You may be surprised what others are already saying about you, your brand, your products and your competitors.

ACT: Take the plunge and set up some accounts. Start with Facebook and Twitter then add to your armory as you get more comfortable.

TALK: Now it’s time to say something. Start small by retweeting or sharing what others are saying. You’ll get bolder as you go along by adding your own original content and thoughts. Share your knowledge and expertise with your friends and followers. The most influential participants give something of themselves to their audiences.

ENGAGE: Now it’s time to become a real participant. Comment on other people’s posts. Reply to people who talk to you or about you. Say thanks to those who pass your posts along.

SUSTAIN: Now you’re in the space you need to participate at a sustainable level. Have a strategy for how often and when you will be posting and commenting. Dedicate resources to the task. Make it part of your job, not just a tack-on at the end of the day that is quickly forgotten when things get busy.

Creative Territory offers a mentoring package to help executives get social online. The package includes an analysis of your business and personal needs, setting up your accounts, three hours of coaching at your desk and three months of ongoing support and mentoring. Contact to find out more.

Twittercue: 5 steps to engagement through social media. #PR #socialmedia

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Alice Springs Electricity tariff trial closed to new participants

Participation in an Alice Solar City trial which aims to shift the time of day residents use electricity, has been snapped up by over 370 residents - exceeding the program’s target.
“The Cost Reflective Tariff (CRT) trial is now at capacity and is closed to new participants”, said Sam Latz, Alice Solar City’s Acting General Manager.

Under the CRT trial, participating householders have moved from being charged a flat rate for their electricity consumption, to a peak / off-peak pricing structure instead.

This means their power costs more during peak periods (9am – 6pm Monday to Friday) and less in off-peak periods (6pm – 9am), encouraging them to ‘shift’ their power use, which in turn aims to reduce the peak load on the town’s generators.

“By reducing the peak loads on our electricity network, we can help defer expensive investments in increased capacity, and reduce pressure on electricity prices”, said Sam Latz.
“We have seen CRT customers shift their power use for things like putting on their pool pump or a load of washing in the evening, turning off unneeded appliances during the day, and being mindful of when they use the booster on their hot water system.”

“Alice Solar City will now focus on monitoring the consumption patterns of CRT trial participants, producing results that will inform future energy policy.”

“Our target was to have 350 customers in the CRT trial, and we are pleased that residents have been so keen to get involved. In addition to those involved in the CRT trial, 275 extra customers who installed rooftop solar with Alice Solar City are automatically put on CRT.”

“This is a total of 645 residents participating, and Alice Springs is one of the few places in the country where this sort of technology is being trialed.”

All CRT participants have also been given an In-house Display. By touching the portable LCD screen, householders can see their overall electricity consumption, a breakdown of their peak and off peak electricity use and CO2 emissions by day, week or month and power costs for the current month.

“Normally, the only feedback or information we get about our electricity consumption is once every 3 months when we get our electricity bill. This technology instead gives information in real time to householders.”

“The In-house Display allows them to become smarter with their energy use by giving them live information about their electricity consumption and helping them to make more informed decisions about when they choose to use their electricity.”

The Alice Solar City project is part of the Australian Government's Solar Cities initiative, which is helping change the way we think about and use energy. Trials involving governments, industry, businesses and residents across Australia are helping create a new energy future for Australian communities.

Twittercue: Participation in Alice Springs electricity tariff trials exceeds expectations & is now closed to new participants #alicesprings #topend

For media enquiries please contact Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or (08) 8952 9412 or

About Alice Solar City

The Alice Springs Solar City Consortium is led by the Alice Springs Town Council and includes broad community support from the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, Tangentyere Council, the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce, the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre and the Arid Lands Environment Centre. Funding sources include the Australian Government, the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, and Alice Springs Town Council.