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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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What’s up with Luke Armour?

Hi. I’m Luke Armour. You may remember me from such memorable moments as Friday FrivolityA Virtual PR Murder Mystery, and even sometimes some thought-provoking articles and podcasts.

Recently I made a career change and left my position at Fleishman-Hillard. Many factors contributed, including a lengthy commute, work load/type, travel and being too far from my growing family for too many hours a day. If you’ve ever driven in Cleveland during the winter you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying. Add another 60 miles to that and you’ll wonder how I managed for 3.5 years. I sometimes do.

I enjoyed my time at FH, learned a lot, made some friends in house and on the client side, and have many fond memories. But it was time to move on.

In the short term, I am conducting some freelance work as a marketing and communications consultant. I have my eggs in a basket or two for the time being. I’m closer to home (read: in home). I’m pretty happy.

So, with my reduced commute and fiery new take on life, I expect to be making this blog a more productive and interactive venue…again.

Thanks for your patience and hope to see you around. Feel free to connect with me here, on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

I’m Going to Podcamp Ohio

Are you?

Podcamp Ohio goes live this weekend in wonderful, wacky Columbus Ohio. In the spirit of unconferences everywhere, it’s FREE, fun and guaranteed to be educational. The 2008 version is the first and I have to applaud the organizers of this event led by Angelo Mandato. I’ve been on the email list for the planning committee and the work they’ve put into this is incredible. I did my share by complaining and offering unsolicited advice. They’re probably all like, who IS this Armour fellow anyway? I’ll be sure to provide more Kudos, I’m sure, after the event, but I wanted to get that out here.

So, Podcamp Ohio, the details as Miss Abby Laner so excellently details them, uh, in detail:

WHAT: A conference that helps connect people interested in blogging, social networks, podcasting and new media. Attendees can learn, share, and grow their new media skills with others.

WHEN: June 28, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

WHY: You will learn all sorts of really cool things about the various aspects of social media. It’s also a great way to meet new folks who love to do the same things as you! (translation: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK)

Your favorite Ausssie (I have no way of knowing if that’s true) Paull Young and I will be presenting an interesting look at the world of social media with our “What NOT To Do: Podcasting and other Social Media Anti-Tips” session. Due to the Law of Two Feet, there’s sure not to be a full chair in the room when we’re done.

To see the full list of sessions, please click here.

I’m looking forward to meeting Abby (I’m assuming that’s her on the left, I stole the photo from her post) in person as well as the infamous Constantin Basturea (whose name you may recall from my Murder Mystery virtual geek dinner, yes I’m still plugging that thing), the Ohio-native-turned-New Yorker Michael Denton of whom I’ve heard so many disturbing things, and Todd Cochrane, who I’ve actually talked to on the phone before and whose podcast I sometimes listen. Also, of course, fun to see Kait Swanson and Mr. Young again.

As soon as I get some twitter and blog tags, I’ll be sure to post them here so you can keep up with our weekend exploits. Follow me!

Fleishman-Hillard Digital Adds One

What do the wrist watch, cable television and Luke Armour have in common? That’s right. Eventually they all go digital.

I’m happy to announce that starting June 3, yours truly will join the digital team of Fleishman-Hillard in Cleveland

Update: I thought I’d get a little more specific since I’ve been on the job for a week now. Part of FH’s commitment to digital is providing full-service and integrated digital media solutions across traditional, online, experiential and mobile channels. We provide social media counsel, training and outreach to and on behalf of our global clients. I was brought on, in part, for my experience with podcasting and blogging, but our work covers online communities, social networks and many other social media initiatives. My role is focused almost exclusively on helping to develop social media strategy and executing it. This is going to rock.

I’ve really been impressed with Fleishman’s commitment to digital communications the last few years and with the people on its team. Over the last few months I’ve had a chance to interact a bit more with some of the locals.

I’m pleased to be joining technomarketer Matt Dickman, tradigitalist Nader Ali-Hassan and Lynn Eastep, who is really her own adjective – and those are just the brainiacs in the Cleveland office. Fleishman has digital specialists located across North America, Europe and Asia, including strategists, developers, designers and online communications experts. I’m thrilled to be joining such a powerful team.

This will be my last week at BlogTalkRadio, but I’m sure to fire up The Rundown occasionally. I also want to thank the team at BlogTalkRadio for their friendship and opportunities. I wish them all the best of luck!

I’ve a bit of a drive ahead of me, so podcasters – you know who you are – get your call in lines ready.

Geek Dinner Cleveland with Shel Holtz

Cleveland The venerable Shel Holtz will be in Cleveland next Wednesday, 4/9, for an IABC event. So he and I are organizing a geek dinner in honor of the occasion. Yes, a real geek dinner. With actual people and real face to face interaction.

If you care to join us, drop me an email or leave a comment on this post (with your email of course, it won’t show). Not sure where we’re going yet, that will greatly depend on how many people commit, but I’m also willing to take requests for good places to dine. We’re planning on 6pm, downtown Cleveland. Once we have the final count, I’ll email you all the place.

Photo by spatulated

Podcamp Ohio – Just What the Doctor Ordered

Podcamp OhioI recently got word – first from Kevin Dugan and then from Angelo Mandato, one of the spearheaders – that there will finally be a Podcamp Ohio. I’m stoked. Rest assured I’ll be there, maybe speaking, but there for sure. Will you?

I’ve yet to get involved in the planning (bad, Luke, bad!), but Angelo has been heading up the charge to organize PodCamp Ohio and doing a fine job. Over the past month or so, they’ve got a location and launched a Podcamp Ohio web site.

PodCamp Ohio will be on Saturday, June 28, 2008 from 9am to 5pm at the ITT Technical Institute in Hilliard (just west of Columbus), Ohio. The organizing committee is using all the available tools, except one, I don’t see BlogTalkRadio on the list…hmm. If you’re interested, you can stay up to date with Podcamp Ohio with:

Don’t forget to pick up your logos for your own site!

If you think you might be there, drop me an email or leave me a comment. Could this be the end of my Meet Up Envy?

Good Story, Bad "Invisible PR,"

There’s nothing like getting a story in a big paper about a client or your business. As the press grows more and more hyper-local with each passing day, PR people always need to be thinking of great local angles to make the story work for both the reporter and the client.

Another great thing about PR is to make sure the client or business is the story, not the pitch or the PR person. The Bad Pitch Blog detailed a great example of a pitch so good, it became part of the story. But it worked all the same.

armour-btr.jpgSo, yes, there are times when you have to break those rules to help get the story told. And that’s why my goofy face is plastered on the Your Business Solutions section of today’s Akron Beacon Journal.

Caller, You’re on the Air“, by Beacon Journal business writer, Paula Schleis, sums BlogTalkRadio up with this subhead: ALL YOU NEED IS A PHONE, COMPUTER.

Since becoming the public relations coordinator for BlogTalkRadio in August, Luke Armour said the Web site — which allows people to host their own free, live call-in talk shows — has surprised him in two ways: What it’s used for. What it’s not used for…

[and my all time favorite quote] ”You can host a show talking about your cat if you want,” he said.

Read the rest of the article > >

Hey, if it works, it works. I was pleased I had something to offer. I was pleased I could help craft this story with a local journalist. And I was really pleased that there was coverage of BTR and it was good.

Not so pleased about me becoming the “basement blogger” stereotype, but, hey, at least I’m wearing pants.

Or am I?

The sidebar of the article details some of the fun content on the network.

Photo by Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal

BlogTalkRadio Adds Social to Internet Radio and Podcasting

At the risk of turning my personal/professional blog into a billboard for my employer, I’m posting this post. I can’t help it, it’s too exciting and also one of the reasons I haven’t posted anything else since my last BlogTalkRadio post.

Today we launched a new site with new features and great new social media components. It adds more “social” to podcasting and Internet radio than ever before.

One of the biggest benefits to podcasting has also been one of my biggest complaints: asynchronous communication and community building. We all love podcasts because they’re “on demand.” We can listen when and where we want. But there’s always been that lack of immediate interaction. Most podcasts I listen to are community based and comment driven, but there’s that gap among when it was recorded it to when it was downloaded and when it was actually listened to and, finally, when it a comment was sent in.

For Immediate Release hosts Hobson and Holtz tackled this problem by having a few SkypeCasts in the past. Those were great shows and allowed the audience to directly interact with the hosts and each other. They had even set up a text chat on the backend.

But BlogTalkRadio does all that for you now. And it’s one of the reasons I joined the team. It brings community close to home. Well now it’s gone one step further and added a social networking component and text chat to the site. Hosts and Listeners can set up profiles, link to each other and build a bigger, stronger community on the network. I’m excited about it. Plus, cool new logo. Check out all the new stuff.

If podcasting was something you’ve wanted to try, but didn’t like the technical aspect of it, try BTR. Live, easy and still delivered via RSS.

Oh, and in full disclosure, I work for BlogTalkRadio if you haven’t figured that out by now.

Update: CEO Alan Levy has a good run down of the new features with a top level perspective.

Yours Truly Joins BlogTalkRadio

blog-logo-beta.gifWhat’s bald, exceptional in front of large groups of people and travels a lot? That’s right, Mitch Joel!

But in completely unrelated news, I joined BlogTalkRadio! Not simply as a host, but as a member of the team.

To this day when I mention podcasting, I still get strange looks from the people I’m speaking to. Only half of the people who have heard the word “podcast” even really know what it is. Only a fraction of those remaining people have ever listened to an actual podcast. Granted, I live in Ohio, a place not overwhelmingly known for its lightning adoption of new technologies. Oh, sure, our folk invented human flight and the light bulb, but even Edison was shocked to see his family’s old house still lit by lamps and candles over 40 years after he patented it.

But that’s not my central point. I’m very pleased to announce that I am the PR Coordinator for this incredible social radio network. The team at BTR is an energetic, smart group of people from whom I expect to learn a lot. I will still be based in Ohio, so those of you who appreciate my rural isolation can continue to enjoy that caustic, desolate side of my writing. Also, because of the nature of my job, I’m hoping to have more time to wax lyrical about PR and marketing on this very blog.

In the meantime, I encourage you to read my first post on the BTR blog where I discuss my attraction to the BlogTalkRadio platform and my role as PR Coordinator. News Release about it there and here. I urge you to check out the service. I find it to be the answer to podcasting for the masses as well as taking the podcast community to the next level. We’re also rolling out a new website in the beginning of September, so if you find yourself raising an eyebrow due to the current site – just wait.

You ain’t seen or heard nothing yet.

Special thanks to my ‘mate’ Paull Young, without whom I wouldn’t be able to compare myself to someone and say “well, thank God I’m not that guy.” Oh, and he introduced me to Mr. John C. Havens, which was very good too.

Updated links 8/24/07 

Meet Me in New York – how big can it be?

I’ll be attending the AAAA Digital Conference for Agencies this Thursday in New York City if anyone happens to be going. I’m hoping to meet up with superman Paull Young and one of my PR heroes and maniacal genius Constantin for lunch as they work just a few blocks away from the conference.

My agency is developing my digital skills so I’m joining the CEO and a couple of the principals as we head to NYC for the day. It’s a one day conference, we fly in and out the same day – so there won’t be a lot of room for chit-chat or dilly-dallying (is that really a word?). Since we’re leaving that day, I’m hoping to stay to the end of the conference for “How a PR Agency Does Digital” from an ad perspective, but I’m not in charge of our schedules.

I really looking forward to going, but it is an Ad conference and in my experience, those people tend to lump PR into one giant publicity/event/stunt-management blob. Yes, I’m aware of the irony that I’m lumping ad agency folk into one giant doesn’t-understand-pr blob.

I’ll let you know how it goes, drop me a line if you’ll be there or live in New York City – how big can it be?

Let’s Bum Rush the Charts

The Bum Rush The Charts blog says it all. Not only is it a good idea, but Penn makes it a good cause for a different reason. Here’s a snippet from the BRTC blog:

On March 22nd, we are going to take an indie podsafe music artist to number one on the iTunes singles charts as a demonstration of our reach to Main Street and our purchasing power to Wall Street. The track we’ve chosen is “Mine Again” by the band Black Lab. A band that was dropped from not just one, but two major record labels (Geffen and Sony/Epic) and in the process forced them to fight to get their own music back. We picked them because making them number one, even for just one day, will remind the RIAA record labels of what they turned their backs on – and who they ignore at their peril.

I’m a fan of Black Lab, I fell for them back when they released Your Body Above Me in 1997. I’ve listened to a few newer tunes, but I still love that old record. I’m looking forward to getting back in touch with Black Lab. I’ve also found out they re-released Your Body Above Me with some original pre-label-touch-ups and tracks cut from the first release.

You can read more on numerous other blogs by visiting Technorati here. Again, I’ll finish up with a very succinct message from the Bum Rush The Charts blog:

If you believe in the power of new media, on March 22nd, 2007, take 99 cents and 2 minutes of your time to join the revolution and make iTunes “Mine Again”. . . Nothing would prove the power of new media more than showing corporate media that not only can we exceed their reach and match their purchasing power, but that we can also do it AND make a positive difference in the world. If we can succeed with this small example, then there’s no telling what can do next.

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