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.

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