“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Chris Heuer, The Conversation Group”

Like the cold winter wind, today’s biting “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” will chill your bones!

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This week, socialTNT met up with Chris Heuer, partner at social media communications firm The Conversation Group. He’s also an executive and cofounder of the Social Media Club. In today’s episode, Chris tells us his definition of social media and proclaims that PR is dead.

When Chris and I met, we started talking about his book, a discussion of social media tools for internal communications. He enjoyes bouncing ideas off of people to spawn creativity. He also prefers working in collaborative, Socratic environments, so it’s not surprising that Chris cofounded the Social Media Club as a venue to share ideas about emerging media. This manifested itself throughout out our conversation; every time one of us would say something clever, he’d jot down notes in a a Moleskine notebook, potential ideas for the book. After a few minutes, our chat diverged away from his book and into a discussion of social networking, disposable attention, and brands.

As Brand managers everywhere try to stifle social media and maintain a uniform brand image, Chris promotes opening up. Instead of silencing employees, companies have to let go. To maintain, companies have to trust and educate their employees. To support his theory, Chris broke out a power point slide with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

“I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but
people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not
to take the power from them, but to inform them by education.”

Fun Facts About Chris

  • Once taught Interactive Advertising at the Miami Ad School
  • Has a Virtual Assistant outside the country
  • Does not have or use an RSS reader
  • Is a hit-and-run Twitterer
  • In July 2007, married Kristie Wells, VP of Customer Advocacy at Joyent, the company that used to host Twitter
  • Prefers in-person, real world communication over its online counterparts, but you can still find him on Facebook and LinkedIn

Ever wonder exactly what social media is? Chris’s succinct definition is not to be messed. He also explains what changes Public Relations and Marketing will need to make in order to stay alive. Check it out:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Wow. A lot to chew on. Is PR dead? Has social media killed it? What do you think PR will need to do to evolve? Is Schizophrenic Branding a problem? How do marketers deal with multiple voices coming out of their company? Let us know in the comments.

Quick Note: Today marks the first day socialTNT’s “3Q’s in 3Min” is available for download on iTunes. Yup, that’s right: Now you can view our video interviews with today’s top reporters and social media experts anywhere you want. Watch us on the train, at the gym or even at the break room of your stodgy PR or marketing firm. The last seven episodes are currently available in high-quality video, with the full library coming soon. Oh, and it’s all available to you for FREE! 🙂
Christopher Lynn - socialTNT - socialTNT

Also, don’t miss a post: Please add socialTNT to your RSS reader [what’s that?]. Better yet, subscribe to socialTNT by email!

[The above photo, “Utterz Meetup House of Shields – Chris Heuer” by Brian Solis, is used under Creative Commons]

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4 Comments

Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Enterprise Public Relations, Internal Public Relations, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

4 responses to ““3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Chris Heuer, The Conversation Group”

  1. A beard-less Heuer! Looking good. And sounding right on.

  2. Every time Heuer says “PR” in this video (and by extension, every time you write it in your post), I need to replace it with “traditional media relations” if I’m going to agree at all.

    Chris even says that we can now finally communicate directly with the public rather than indirectly via the media. That alone signals that PR isn’t dead. It’s just now reborn (remember his phoenix idea?).

    Another reason PR’s not dead, in my eyes: I consider this PR… http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/11/25/the-four-tenets-of-the-community-manager/

    (That’s the second time today I’ve linked to that Owyang post!)

  3. Mike:

    That’s a great point. If PR is “public relations” instead of “press relations,” then maybe we are moving back to our core mission.

    For me, PR is about getting your product/service or company exposure to as many people as possible. If that means engaging in discussion with pre-existing communities or picking up a phone and calling a reporter, both are great ways of building awareness.

    Marketing, Advertising and PR have all relied too heavily on traditional media. As the way people exchange ideas and share information changes, traditional media decreases in importance. If advertisers, marketers, PR peeps–or even journos for that matter–continue to use traditional media for support, once it’s gone, if they haven’t adapted, they’ll fall flat, imho.

    Agree?

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