Carefully Crafted on August 02

A Guide to ifttt for PR Pros

This is a guest post from Geben Communication account coordinator — and our resident ifttt expert – Marty Hess (@MartyHess.)

The Geben office is no stranger to the occasional water-cooler chat, but the next two weeks worth of conversations are going to be dominated by one topic: the London 2012 Olympics. Watching the best athletes from around the world compete for glory every four years elicits an indescribable thrill that we can’t help but share with one another. This year’s games were already being deemed the “most social Olympics ever,” but ESPN has created yet another way to feed our Olympic addiction by partnering with web automation service ifttt.

If you haven’t heard of ifttt before, think of it as having “your people” take care of things for you without actually having people. You can add various social media and web services to your ifttt account and create “recipes” to trigger if certain things happen. For example, with just a few clicks, you can setup ifttt to text you when someone on Team USA breaks a world record as soon as it happens.

ifttt is good for a lot more than just updating you on who’s winning in table tennis. With access to more than 50 web services, you can program a recipe to do just about anything you can imagine. I’ve compiled a list of potential recipes that may come in handy in the day-to-day life of a PR professional.

  1. Create a Twitter List of People Who Use a Certain Hashtag: Whether you’re tracking a trend or event, or trying to get a new Twitter chat off the ground, this ifttt will help keep your Twitter feed organized.
  2. Backup E-mail Attachments to Dropbox: How many times have you gone back into your inbox to search for an important document only to find that you deleted the e-mail? Don’t ever let it happen again with this recipe.
  3. Post Your Instagrams to Tumblr: The one that started the ifttt craze at Geben. Instagram already has a “Share To Tumblr” feature, but this recipe allows you to add photos to a group Tumblr instead of your personal one.
  4. Change Your Twitter Profile Picture to Your Facebook Profile Picture: Two social networks updated in half the time. Holy productivity!
  5. Get a Text Message with the Weather: If you’ve ever walked out the door in the morning only to run back in to grab a coat or umbrella, this recipe is for you.
  6. Create a Voice Memo and Send It to your E-mail: Quick! You have a great idea, but you have no pen and paper. What do you do? Stay calm, and dial on. Call the ifttt hotline, leave a message to yourself with your thoughts, and have an MP3 of the memo sent to your e-mail.
  7. Send an E-mail to Call Phone: Most PR people don’t let their phone leave their sights, which makes losing it all the more traumatic. If there’s no one around to help you look, just send ifttt an e-mail and it’ll call your phone to help with your search efforts.
  8. Text Reminders for gCal Events: Don’t let another meeting sneak up on you by setting up text reminders 15 minutes before gCal events including the title, time, and location.
  9. Daily Wake-Up Calls: I’ve been late to start the day on more than one occasion because I accidentally hit “p.m.” instead of “a.m.,” but this recipe makes sure you won’t oversleep by giving you a call at a specified time on certain days. You can even set up multiple calls at various intervals to make the “snooze” button a thing of the past.
  10. Text to Escape: The ultimate tool to escape an awkward situation. Send a text to ifttt with your S.O.S. and they’ll give you a call so you can come up with an excuse to exit the conversation.

This is just a sampling of what ifttt is capable of doing, and new services are still being added. Experimenting is encouraged, so give it a spin and let us know of crazy recipes you can cook up!

Have you ever used ifttt? If so, what are your favorite recipe creations?

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