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Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

August 15th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 8/12/14: Twitter Testing Abounds, Facebook Ditches Like-Gating and More

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Welcome to the Voce Student Weekly Reading, your guide on the latest communications industry trends, job listings and career information. It’s everything you need to know to go from aspiring communications professional to interview-ready applicant!

Social Media

Your Twitter Feed May Soon Be Filled With Accounts You Don’t Follow

“The social platform, which is known for subtly trying out new features among a small pool users, is experimenting with its core feature: the follow system. This week, a Twitter user reported seeing tweets in his feed from an account he didn’t follow, because that account was followed by someone he did follow.”

Voce Insight – Suggested Twitter content for new users could help them become more engaged, but Twitter also risks irking existing users. Adding to the already considerable noise on Twitter might be a bad idea – but this is why the company is “testing” and not “implementing.”

bethere: A new social network to help you have a great night out

“bethere is designed from the ground up to help you socialize with friends better. It lets you share where you’re going to be, and see where everyone else will be too – think of it like ‘checking in to the future.’”

Voce Insight – bethere sounds like a direct competitor to Foursquare’s Swarm, which was created to help users make location-based plans with their friends and also features a check-in component, as Foursquare once did. It will be interesting to see the growth in location-based planning apps like these two.

Facebook nixes ‘like-gating’

“If you’ve been telling people who visit your brand’s Facebook page, or apps on your page, to “like” those things to get coupons, enter contests, or otherwise earn special rewards they wouldn’t otherwise get, you have until Nov. 5 to stop.”

Voce Insight – Everyone will like your free stuff, but it doesn’t mean they like your brand. Emphasis should always be placed on quality content that garners genuine interest, rather than schwag and artificial likes.

Public Relations

Is Soft Language Killing Your Pitch?

“Soft language can ruin your pitch regardless of how well-intended it might be. My favorite example of soft language is from a student’s resume I received for an internship. To dress up the description of a waitressing job, she noted she excels in suggestive selling.”

Voce Insight – Honesty and economy with words will be appreciated by your readers. Being direct increases the chances of your message being received and understood.

1 Pitching tips from 500 online publishers

“Writers are receiving more pitches than ever. At some top-tier publications, writers receive more than 38,000 emails each year, and two-thirds of those emails are from people vying for press attention. About eight percent get pitched more than 100 times. With that much volume, it’s easy to see why every pitch isn’t going to make the cut.”

Voce Insight – In order to save journalists time and foster good relationships, first know what they write about before reaching out. Second, get to the point quickly in your note – what product or service are you pitching? How much does it cost? Is is available yet?


How to Stand Out at Your Next Networking Event

“Your goal for every networking event is to turn initial contacts into valuable relationships. In order to make this happen, you must overcome the discomfort associated with networking. You also have to be willing to introduce yourself to individuals and make a name for yourself.”

Voce Insight – Remember that everyone at a networking event is looking to make a connection. Keeping in mind that the potential employers you’re meeting don’t want to see you fail makes it easier to talk with confidence.

3 LinkedIn Features That Help You Network Better

“LinkedIn has a huge user base that you can’t just turn you back on and it is indeed a good way to connect with other professionals. It’s also not starved for features and here are three that can help you interact with your connections better.”

Voce Insight – Finding how few degrees of separation there are between brings people together. Moreover, putting a familiar face and a name (and possibly a recommendation) next to your own creates trust from potential employers.

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Filed in Career Development, Public Relations, Social Media, Weekly Reading

January 10th, 2014

Voce’s 2014 CES Media Dinner

As in years past, Voce Communications marked another CES with its Annual CES Dinner, a gathering of Voce clients, employees and the top tech journalists in the industry. Far away from the crowds at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event offers a reprieve from the CES hustle and bustle, while providing a chance to spend time conversing with peers and catching up with friends over great food and drink.

This year, the lounge at Koi inside Planet Hollywood was taken over by our clients from PlayStation, Applied Materials, Sony Entertainment Network and SanDisk,  with more than 30 tech journalists from outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, CNET and others.

You can view more photos from the event on Flickr here.

As we reflect on CES 2014 where wearable tech and curved displays took the spotlight, we want to thank those that were able to share in our very own CES event this year and throughout the years.

We look forward to hosting you again next year!


Filed in Uncategorized

August 15th, 2013

Remembering Amelie

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In memory of Amelie LeMoullac, one of our beloved family members here at Voce/Porter Novelli. We miss you dearly. We will miss your smile, your humor, your wit and your friendship. You are irreplaceable and unforgettable.

Our thoughts are with Amelie’s family and friends.

Filed in Voce News

July 9th, 2013

Introducing PNConnect

(NOTE: This was originally posted on the PNConnect Blog)


For several years now we’ve been working with some of the biggest brands in the world on the execution of their digital strategies. Our focus has always been on the new ways we could help our clients create business value, be that for the purpose of increasing awareness, driving engagement, acquiring customers, cultivating loyalty or, as was most often the case, all of the above.

Over the years, how our clients departmentalized our work would admittedly fluctuate: sometimes it was defined as social media marketing, sometimes digital marketing. Often times these definitions stretched across the paid, earned and owned spectrums. Regardless of what definition was used, from our perspective there was always a high degree of overlap in the motivations and mechanics of these programs, as well as patterns of success — much of which we observed was heavily anchored and driven by strong content publishing strategies.

This being our experience, about 18 months ago we began quietly building a new service team within Porter Novelli called PNConnect that was uniquely focused on one question:

“How can we help brands think, act and operate more like publishers?”

We think the notion and significance of “brand as publisher” is a marketing model shift that many companies are just now discovering and discussing. And we think our insight and perspective on this shift is not only differentiated, but field-tested, which is why the time is right to formally introduce PNConnect today: pnconnect.porternovelli.com.


We built PNConnect to take the best elements of Porter Novelli’s social media marketing, web development, creative production, and advertising services, and blend this expertise together to create a global service team that’s focused exclusively on solving the new content challenges that brands today are facing.

We’re big believers that content publishing is a multi-dimensional sport — that there are premium content experiences that can complement and elevate a brand’s day-to-day publishing cycles; that development trends, like responsive design, can create new efficiencies of scale for reaching people across screens; and that small, smartly timed content promotions can be just as effective (if not more) than big overpriced creative.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll have much, much more to share about our team, our experience and the approach we’re taking with PNConnect. You’ll find all of that here first.

UPDATE: PRWeek wrote this news piece about Porter Novelli/PNConnect earlier today

Filed in Voce News

June 6th, 2013

Voce Weekly Reading: 06/06/13

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Weekly Reading

May 2nd, 2013

Voce Weekly Reading: 5/2/13

Filed in Weekly Reading

April 30th, 2013

Stop By And Meet Voce

Voce’s having an open house. Come by our San Francisco office and meet the most energetic, creative firm in Silicon Valley and learn what Voce is all about. No need to RSVP. Just stop by and find out what we’re doing to fire up public relations and social media.


  • 550 Third Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94107

Filed in Voce News

April 5th, 2013

The Battle for Your Attention (Later, When You Have Time)

In the last couple weeks Amazon rolled out a “Send to Kindle” button that would let readers of websites, including WordPress blogs (via a plugin), send a post or article to their Kindle for reading at some point in the future.

Similarly, Pocket has introduced a “Save to Pocket” that can be added to blogs and sites in the same manner as a “Tweet” or “Share” button that lets people save a story to Pocket so they can dive in and read down the road.

Both of these tools operate under the assumption that while the reader may be busy now they will have the time to read/watch/view it in the near future. What strikes me about this is that this is exactly what RSS is good at; time-shifted reading with the option to save something for later when you have more time to digest it. But both of these tools are acknowledgements that the flow of information is different now and are meant to adapt to this new reality. Instead of subscribing to a bunch of RSS feeds people may be reading more on Twitter. So after clicking a link someone has shared there can bring them to a page that looks interesting and, via one of these buttons (or browser bookmarklets for Pocket and other tools), save it for when they’re on the train or elsewhere with time to read it more fully.

Flipboard, which recently rolled out new functionality allowing people to create their own magazines filled with constantly updated curated content you think is interesting, also plays in this space, bringing together stories you haven’t had a chance to read yet. That one obviously takes the next step and feeds your vanity by allowing others to subscribe to and follow your thought leadership in addition to acting as a repository for stuff you just want to read yourself.

If I were to guess I’d say the “read it later” industry is poised for a bit of innovation as companies compete to be people’s preferred option for time-shifted reading. As media consumption patterns continue to shift and change there will be companies that will want to be the ones that most easily facilitate that new reading workflow.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Blogging, Publishing Programs

April 4th, 2013

SEC Clears Up Social Media Confusion

But the SEC has now found that companies *can* use social media platforms to announce information and make statements like this – as long as investors are told to look there. So the key point here seems to be that as long as investors – and others – know that statements will be made on Twitter, Facebook or other platforms, the onus is then on them to  check those platforms regularly so they’re not left behind.

Read more at the Porter Novelli Blog.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Publishing Programs, Social Networks

April 2nd, 2013

The Emerging Need for Hashtag Search

If you’ve been part of this social media party for more than a few years you likely remember when Technorati was an indispensable part of the marketing and monitoring toolkit.

Technorati was great because while Google, Yahoo, Ask or some of the other search engines that were around at the time worked well for web-wide discovery, T’rati allowed you to not just search blogs specifically but also search for tags and categories. So you could not just find everything related to “movie marketing” but also refine your search to look for posts that had been tagged with “movie marketing.” There was a taxonomy to the early social web that brought similar information together under similar headings.

As Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms came to the forefront we started to lose that taxonomy. You can’t categorize your Twitter updates as “Social Media” or your Facebook post as “Digital Publishing” the way you can on a blog. So we started to lose some of that aggregated community knowledge.

Hashtags have emerged as the taxonomic currency (an excellent band name) of the current version of the social web, having been adopted by Twitter (where it was originally a user-generated feature), Google+ and Instagram for the time-being, with Flickr beginning to integrate them and it being part of Facebook’s roadmap for getting more real-time conversations (and subsequent ad dollars).

But what’s missing is the Technorati for hashtags, a universal search point that stretches across and brings in content from all platforms.

While I have little doubt such functionality will eventually become part of standard search engines that doesn’t really get to the point of what’s needed. While having hashtagged social posts be part of a standard page of search results would certainly be inclusive, it doesn’t provide the kind of actionable intelligence that can be drawn out of social-specific results.

There are certainly limitations to this kind of search being implemented. Chief among them is that many of the platforms that would need to be indexed don’t want to be part of a larger ecosystem and are fine with their own walled gardens, thank you very much, no matter how much they might talk about connecting with outside websites.

But as hashtags become more and more part of the public conversation – watch a major network TV show and you’ll see at least one as a transparent bug in the corner of your screen – there’s going to be a need for this sort of collection. Those TV show calls-to-action to use a hashtag rarely specify a platform to use, de facto leaving it up to the audience to decide what they’re comfortable with.

A recent study showed most people use hashtags either for discovery or for some sort of self-expression. Respondents found it useful for searching for and connecting with brand publishers and about 40% will click on a hashtag to see what everyone’s saying about that topic, though it’s safe to assume what they’re seeing is specific to the platform they’re on.


So it’s hard to imagine companies who are trying to rally people around these conversation hubs not putting increased pressure on those platforms to open up so they can monitor the entire conversation in one place.

The social web has traditionally relied on taxonomies in some form or another to help make sense of the chaos. To bring out the signal from the noise. But that necessitates a single point of search. That needs to happen sooner rather than later or we risk losing all that great information that’s sitting out there, just waiting to be surfaced.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Blogging, Publishing Programs, Social Networks

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