Tag Archives: social media

Is That a Press Release in Your Pocket…

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Why is it so many PR people can’t find love? We’re just like everyone else, so what makes it difficult for all of us flacks? My assumption is because we are all workaholics and have a 24/7 commitment to our job.

There is also the fact that we spent so much time building relationships with media we forget how to act “normal” in our own personal lives. I guess the fact that most of us can talk nonstop for hours and a love interest can’t get a word in doesn’t help either. . . .

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Play nice…unless we don’t know who you are…

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In such un-Cog-like fashion, this will be brief. Well, because there’s only so much we all know about The Cog.

I made a comment on Cog’s Gear Grindings a while back regarding the “sheep mentality” in social media, particularly on blogs and Twitter. A little bit of, you can’t possibly love everyone’s blog you comment on, and a little bit of, are we just being nice to each other because life’s tough? Okay, it wasn’t that sour.

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PR Time Warp: The Palace

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How did social networking get to be known as “Web 2.0”? Somehow it makes the first generation of the Internet seem so unconnected and solitary. Coming from that generation, I can tell you that the Internet was not so solitary but we didn’t necessarily use the Web for our interactions with each other. America Online was its own stand alone service but was so successful because it was all about the chat rooms and interaction, there was IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and there was even a virtual world: The Palace.

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Mobile Technology: The Next PR/MarComm Frontier?

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In the grand scheme of things, our constant, seemingly never-ending discussions and Twittering and blogging about the evolution of PR/marketing/advertising and how cool social media is will eventually die down, and we will get back to our normal—albeit now drastically altered (hopefully for the better)—professional and personal lives.

So rather than talk about what is currently going on in the social media landscape (look, a new Twitter app came out . . . and another!), I’d like to actually think about what we *might* be talking about a year, two years, or five years from now. Specifically, mobile technology and just how big of an impact it’s going to have on our lives, particularly in the PR world.

Look around you; the damn things are everywhere. You can even take a cell phone into a delivery room now and tweet while giving birth! Crazy, I know. But that’s just it: The effect mobile technology is going to have on communicators in terms of how we get messages across to key influencers, and how we engage the public, will be enormous. Far bigger than what is currently going on in the social media landscape. We’re talking about a technology that is now in the hands of more than 82 percent (250 million) of Americans and approximately 50 percent of the world!

But it gets even better: A recent MediaWeek study showed that 1 in every 7 minutes of media consumption is now done through mobile technology. Think about that for a minute: That great op-ed you wrote for your client that’s read on an iPhone now by the most tech-savvy around us? Give it five years. Everyone in your community is going to be instantly reading it on their smartphones, tweeting it back out to their followers (if Twitter still exits in five years . . . .), and sending it all over their social media network(s) to audiences you could have never even dreamed of.

Or even cooler, the fact that very soon (as in, it’s in its infancy now in the U.S.), marketers will have the ability to embed special 2-D barcodes into posters, shirts, billboards, practically anything, and someone with a mobile phone can take a picture of it and get all kinds of cool promos, buy movie tickets, or even get train times sent directly to their phone. Don’t believe me? Check out this piece from The Economist for a view into the not-too-distant future.

So what does that mean for you, the PR guy, the marketer, or ad man who is desperately trying to keep up with the current changes? Well, I hate to tell you, but it’s only going to build from here. And that’s actually a good thing. Because while the last five years in our business has seen a rapid growth and movement toward expanding from traditional services and offerings, opportunities are going to continue to arise that will keep us busy—and hopefully—excited for many years to come.

I envision a future in the PR world where certainly ideas like the social media news release, Wikis, and other mobile-friendly formats will become even more prevalent, as brands quickly realize that there are far more efficient and cheaper ways to reach their targeted consumers than the traditional giant, static billboard on the side of the road.

Where do you think the PR, marketing, and advertising industries are moving? Are the technologies and ideas I noted above going to be part of this movement, or are these just flash-in-the-pan ideas? Let me know!

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You don’t know me!

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No, seriously, you don’t. You might have a clue about the ballpark range of my age because of my photo here, you know where I work (because I’ve told you), and you know that I at least have a degree in Public Relations.

So why are you still reading this post? Who says I’m the authority here?

Allow me to explain the questions I pose . . . .

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Blogs are for Dialogue; Twitter is for Snippets

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Blogging now, party of one
If you had come to me a month ago and asked about my blogging experience, I would have sheepishly admitted to merely reading blogs and been quick to point out that I did not comment on them, despite an often overwhelming temptation to do so.
Fast forward a month and I’m blogging for the #PRBC and for Co-Communications (http://cocommunications.wordpress.com/).  So why the drastic change?
Some conversations cannot be restricted to 140 characters.  While one could conceivably labor over dissecting their message into multiple 140 character tweets, it isn’t the same as a carefully drafted, thorough response.  Blogging affords the opportunity to leverage media placements, visuals, multimedia and commentary in a cohesive message that is carefully packaged to best illustrate a point.
In part, this is why the #PRBC is blogging—because all of our perspectives, experiences and tips can’t be crammed into 140 characters . . . and because we know that some topics warrant an in-depth conversation.
Some points needn’t be explained . . . and so we call them tweets!
While it only takes seconds to craft a tweet, it can’t always carry an entire message.  So we stick to the messages that can be effectively delivered in 140 characters.  Examples of such include links to interesting articles with a couple of words stating your opinion on same, reactions to an event or experience, small talk, tips, and witty banter.
It doesn’t take a blog post, or blog comment, to communicate the basics or point others in the direction of valuable content.  And in many instances, we just want to encourage others to look at something—form their own opinions—and pass the content along.  All of which are effectively and succinctly communicated through tweets and retweets.
Point . . . Counterpoint
While Brown’s examples of #journchat (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23journchat) and #blogchat (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23blogchat) (and to which I will add the recent #prstudchat (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23prstudchat)) have effectively sustained dialogues on Twitter, I firmly believe it’s the nature of the content that allows these forums to succeed on such a concise medium.  With #journchat and #blogchat, it’s the strength of a question and answer format that allows them to thrive in a 140 character format.  For #prstudchat, it’s the question and answer format coupled with the fact that most answers come in the form of tips.
Inversely, were #prstudchat to pose questions which asked for both tips/advice and illustrations of the importance of each, it would be better suited to a blog dialogue, where messages could be conveyed in comprehensive responses, not bound by a 140 character limit.
Speaking of points . . . .
So after all of those examples and comments, I must have a point, right?  (At least we hope I do!)
Blog comments and tweets aren’t competitors.  They are merely different models for delivering a message, each of which has its own merits.  So what’s your next step?  Comment on this post if you want to have a dialogue with me, or start what could become an in-depth debate.  If you just want to say you read it or share a tip with your tweeps, package it inside a tweet.

After reading Danny Brown’s recent post ‘Is Twitter Killing Blog Comments’ I couldn’t resist answering the last question he posed – ‘What’s your take?’

While I could go on for paragraphs rallying in support of Twitter and defending its merits as my social media platform of choice, I’ll spare you the cheering and keep it simple: Blogs are for dialogues.  Twitter is for snippets!

Blogging now, party of one

If you had come to me a month ago and asked about my blogging experience, I would have sheepishly admitted to merely reading blogs and been quick to point out that I did not comment on them, despite an often overwhelming temptation to do so.

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Guest Post: Twitter as a study in human behavior

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[Editor’s Note: We are graced with contributor post on our first day from Josh Sternberg.  PR BreakfastClub is happy to accept outside articles.  Check here for information on submitting a guest post.]

I want to preface this piece by saying I love Twitter. Maybe not as much as I love my wife, or baseball, or even a good burger, but I enjoy the opportunities Twitter provides: learning about people through discussion, learning about brands, getting information that I normally wouldn’t think to research, etc.
However, Twitter is also a great study in human behavior, as Twitter is just a microcosm of our society whereby the cliques that form on Twitter are for the most part the same cliques that are found in high schools. This has become more evident since the passing of John Hughes. As I watched my Twitter stream recite quotes from his coming-of-age films, I started to view Twitter as nothing but a social media breakfast club. In fact, I’m writing a post on a blog called: PR BREAKFAST CLUB for crying out loud!
In January of this year, I made the conscious decision to at least TRY to go to one industry event a month. So I find myself at some place where a bunch of people are on a stage playing a game; I believe it was a “guess that meme” game. And as I’m standing in the back, nestled between the bar (ironic since I don’t drink) and a few people I’ve met over the years, it strikes me that I’m bored. And I’m bored because the people on stage are clearly having a great time, only I don’t understand why. Turns out, it was all a gag…all inside jokes that if you had no idea who these people were (like me) you wouldn’t find it funny. So I left.
Twitter is the same way. Look at this blog, for example. It was started because a bunch of excited, young, talented PR people decided they wanted to share content. Each day, the hashtag #prbreakfastclub or #prbc is attached to the end of tweets so that people know they are part of a group. I like the idea that complete strangers have formed bonds online and can work together and hang out offline. That said, it reaches a point of ridiculousness (at least for me) when we start seeing “Top 50 people to follow on Twitter lists.”  (http://prsarahevans.com/2009/08/voting-now-open-for-the-2009-top-50-tweeples-to-follow/)
(In fact, in this Twitter-age, it seems as if persistent Tweeters can be more influential than industry experience. For example, a 23-year-old with thousands of followers can position themselves much better now as an influencer compared to 5 years ago when a 23-year-old would most likely be fetching coffee for a more senior person. Now, I’m not one to say that youth isn’t valuable to an organization/brand/whatever, but since today’s barriers to entry have been demolished by the democratization of media, if you’re loud enough, you gain influence. But that is a topic for another day.)
I understand these lists are for fun, and the creators of these lists make that point very clearly. But there are a lot of periphery people who use Twitter (not to mention the overzealous, self-important, vapid self-promoter who uses these lists as an opportunity to say how great they really are) who don’t know this. Even more important is that this philosophy of fluffing up your online buddies diminishes the overall value of the content provided by these people; mainly because there are always people that will be let off a list.
These lists are emblematic of a culture that needs constant approval to validate their existence. (Hell, a study was just completed where 57% of young people believe their generation uses social networking sites for self-promotion, narcissism and attention seeking.) Now, this is not to say that we’re these narcissistic vultures who provide no value to anything and just let the drivel drip from our fingertips onto the keyboard. There is some value from these lists, mostly opening up new avenues of learning. The problem is that these lists are blinded by the little piece of world they exist in. There are some great people on this list, but how many of them are connected to each other compared to those not on the list?
It just seems as if it’s a matter of who you know, not what you know. Where are the academics, the reporters (yes, there are a couple), the athletes, the thinkers, the movers, the VCers? Just because your world accepts that certain influencers should already be followed, the rest of the public typically has no idea who these people are. This is a myopic list at best and a sycophantic list at worst. But that’s the nature of lists, isn’t it?
And you may have though throughout this rambling post, well, you’re not on the list and that’s why you’re grumpy. As Groucho Marx says, “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.” On the flip side, please retweet this article so that people can read what I’ve written. In fact, I think I’ll post a link to this article every 5 minutes over the span of 24 hours just to make sure my legions of followers know that I’ve written something very profound.
RT Pls.

I want to preface this piece by saying I love Twitter. Maybe not as much as I love my wife, or baseball, or even a good burger, but I enjoy the opportunities Twitter provides: learning about people through discussion, learning about brands, getting information that I normally wouldn’t think to research, etc.

However, Twitter is also a great study in human behavior, as Twitter is just a microcosm of our society whereby the cliques that form on Twitter are for the most part the same cliques that are found in high schools. This has become more evident since the passing of John Hughes. As I watched my Twitter stream recite quotes from his coming-of-age films, I started to view Twitter as nothing but a social media breakfast club. In fact, I’m writing a post on a blog called: PR BREAKFAST CLUB for crying out loud!

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