For many people involved in public relations and marketing, the notion that people would flock to sites comprised largely of images (no witty set-up lines, no pay-offs) may seem inexplicable. But the fact is that image-based sites like Pinterest and Instagram (along with video-based sites such as Viddy and SocialCam) are gaining an amazing amount of traction.

According to shareaholic, Pinterest now gets more traffic that Twitter or Bing (and almost as much as the two combined). It still pales in comparison to Google, and has a fifth of the traffic Facebook does. But its traffic is on par with Yahoo and StumbleUpon—and growing fast.

Read more: "Pinterested" in Expanding Your Clients' Reach?

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By Chuck Malloy

Take it from this experienced news hound. Personal relationships with reporters and editors are more important than ever for those in public relations. It also helps to add a dash of compassion and understanding for the jobs they do.

While personal relationships have always been a big part of the PR business, the ground rules are a little different in a time when newsrooms are cutting their staffs and adjusting priorities. Kenton Bird, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho, tells me that the hardest-hit papers are mid-sized metros such as the Idaho Statesman and Spokesman-Review (Spokane). Smaller papers, such as the Lewiston Morning Tribune and Moscow-Pullman Daily News have been relatively stable in staff size.

Read more: PR and Personal Relationships

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Businesses can lose money due to poor writing that wastes time and alienates customers. To get our message across, we need to use clear and concise writing that makes it easier for people to take the action we want them to take or to understand the point we’re trying to make.

My colleague, Leslie Jones, and I teach a writing class at our state agency to help employees develop clear messages. We’ve created the following tips for clear and concise writing to improve emails, letters, and other types of business writing.

Read more: Tips for Clear and Concise Writing

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by David Proctor

Just the phrase "pet peeves" is enough to make any communicator salivate, especially those who deal primarily with the written word. We all have them. They are like fingernails on a blackboard – for those old enough to remember what a blackboard is.

For some, it is misused punctuation that drives them crazy. For others it's misused words or passive construction. For a lot of us, it is all of the above.

I don't claim to be a grammar expert. I need editing just as everyone should, and I still make my share of mistakes. This post may contain some. Split infinitives, for instance, don't bother me a lot. And I end sentences with prepositions on occasion because it sounds better than the alternative. I think it was Churchill who pointed this out when he said, "Ending sentences with prepositions is something up with which I will not put." And if he didn't say it, he should have.

Read more: Pet Language and Punctuation Peeves

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Welcome to 2012!

As we leave behind 2011, with new resolutions and a whole new year in front of us, it is time to do some housekeeping. As professional communicators, we know what we need to do and we understand the need to do things efficiently and timely.

Now is the time to put some serious thought into what you intend to do in the new year and how best to go about it. Setting goals, evaluating audiences and budgets are important, but the best way to ensure success is in the time you put into planning.

Read more: Welcome to 2012!

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