Monthly Archives: March 2008

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Cathryn Hrudicka, Creative Sage”

Pollen outside? No problem. Today’s “3Q’s in 3Min” is 100% Allergen free!

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.

Today, socialTNT sat down with Cathryn Hrudicka, Chief Imagination Officer and Founder of Creative Sage. She also helps out with the Social Media Club here in SF. Today, Cathryn tells us her number one tip for PR pros and give some advice to companies planning their social media strategy.

Growing up with a father who ran an ad agency, Cathryn was always exposed to copy editing and idea generation. He also instilled a sense of entrepreneurship in her; it’s not surprising that Cathryn now heads a firm that consults on PR, marketing, and innovation strategy.

Over the last 20 years, Cathryn has done it all. A musician, Cathryn started out handling the PR and marketing for bands in which she played. From raising millions of dollars as development directors for non-profits to producing talk shows and broadcast, she is truly a woman of many trades. She moved to tech PR in the 90’s, developing ways to reach communities when the web was still one dot oh. 🙂

Fun Facts About Cathryn:

  • Originally came to San Francisco to go on a road trip to Alaska. She never left for Alaska and hasn’t left the Bay Area.
  • Once acted as publicist for a Grateful Dead concert.
  • Lives in Berkeley.
  • Uses interesting methods of creativity to fuse left and right brains to create business strategy ideas
  • On twitter, tumblr, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Has a social Entrepreneur Squidoo lens.

In the following video, Cathryn lets us know what she loves about Web 2.0 and gives PR peeps some seasoned advice. Oh and small biz or marketing peeps, there’s some stuff in there for you, too!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What’s the best thing you can do with Web 2.0 that you couldn’t with Web 1.0? What’s your best advice to those launching a social media campaign? Let us know in the comments!

No time to watch the video at work? Get “3Q’s in 3Min” free from iTunes and watch it on the go!

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

[The above photo, “Cathryn Hrudicka” by Randy Stewart, is used under Creative Commons]

4 Comments

Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

“Killing the Buddha: PR 2.0 and Social Media Marketing Nirvana”

“Embrace nothing:
If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.
If you meet your father, kill your father.
Only live your life as it is,
Not bound to anything.”

–Buddha Shakyamuni

Blogs. Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. What do they have in common? They’re all amazing tools for increasing communications and strengthening connections. Nothing more.

Sometimes communities get so distracted by the messenger that they forget the message. Yes even we purveyors of messaging in the PR and marketing trades are fallible to shiny things. Taking some queues from the Buddhist philosophy, let’s take a step back and make sure we are all on the same page.

As Brian Solis discusses in this post, PR 2.0 is the evolution of public relations. At its fundamental root, public relations and marketing in the new media era is about building relationships. The tools and technology come secondary.

According to my “Effective Public Relations” text book, “Public relations is the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whoms its success or failure depends.”

Let’s compare that with Brian’s definition of PR 2.0:

PR 2.0 is the understanding and practice that communications is a two-way process and incorporates the tools, principles, strategies, and philosophies for reaching, engaging, guiding, influencing, and helping people directly in addition to the traditional cycle of PR influence.

Public relations has always been about building relationships. At one point, the press release was an effective way to reach target audiences. Then it moved to broadcast and print, both one-sided forms of communication. Now, the public has the tools to write the news and create the content.

The once silent masses now have a voice, and that voice is found on social networks, blogs, and forums. That voice is in the form of audio, video and text. That voice has the potential to spread ideas rapidly and more effectively than ever before. Instead of talking at an audience, public relations and marketing now have to engage and build a relationship with that voice and all its praise or critcism.

PR 2.0 is about listening, knowing your audience, what they talk about, how they communicate and meeting them on their court. It’s not about using Twitter cause company XYZ is, it’s about finding the best way to interact with and engage your audience and those talking about your brand. It’s about figuring out the best way to ignite those communities into rapid discussion about your brand. That’s the philosophy; the tools come secondary.

add to del.icio.us :: Digg it :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: :: TailRank

Don’t miss a post: Add socialTNT to your RSS reader [what’s that?]. Better yet: socialTNT delivered to your InBox!

[The above photo, “Thailand – Ayuthaya 5 – Buddha head” by mckaysavage on flickr, is used under Creative Commons]

2 Comments

Filed under Best Practices, Community Relations, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“PR Firm 2.0: Lights. Camera. Action!”

In December, socialTNT posted a piece calling for a change in video strategy. Today, we propose a change in the way PR folks look at content creation. Whether blogger relations or the social media news release, the way we share information has been forced to evolve. As 2008 unfolds, the PR Agency is transforming into a full service studio.

PR professionals spend several hours each week writing press releases. This form of content creation got an upgrade a couple of years ago when Todd Defren unleashed his Social Media Press Release template into the wild. [DISCLAIMER: I’m honored to work daily with Todd at SHIFT Communications.] Because the new release contained multimedia aspects like video and audio, PR peeps had new channels of content creation to whet their creative appetites.

Along with the evolution of the press release, the last couple of years have seen the rise of the blog as thought leadership tool. We’ve also seen many new technologies emerge that help increase communications and connections between people. In order to better reach their target audiences, the firm of the next decade will offer a full suite of options incorporating social media, including video production, podcasting studios, and live video capabilities.

Think your client’s industry isn’t ready for video? Think again. Last year saw an increase in videos watched online. It’s not just teenagers; it’s everyone, including people involved in industries like security and health care. Also, direct from the trenches: more and more editors are asking for video or audio assets with the release. If more publications are hungry for video content, give them what they want.

It’s up to us to get creative and produce compelling content that people will want to watch, listen to and share. We’ve got to flex our brains and figure out new ways to move beyond the press release. Some ideas for ways to supplement traditional outreach: behind-the-scenes with developers, demonstrations, talks with the founders, live video-conferences, or any other valuable content that niche audiences might enjoy.

Let’s move past the release to get our message out. Let’s move beyond the blog to build thought leadership for our clients. In addition to great writers, let’s hire video editors, directors, radio show producers and anyone else working in distributing non-written messages. It’s up to each one of us in our industry to grow with the times, not linger in the dust.

So how do you move past the press release? What is your vision of the firm of tomorrow?

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

[The above photo, “Raton et piers” by Nika on flickr, is used under Creative Commons]

1 Comment

Filed under Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Rants, Social Media, Video

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jon Swartz, USA Today”

After Spring Break hiatus, “3sdays 3Q’s in 3Min” is back with a star-studded episode.

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. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday socialTNT meets with Jon Swartz, Technology Reporter at USA Today. Over the last year, Jon has moved away from covering just security. His beat has really moved to include social networking, big firms like Yahoo and AOL, and tech from the West Coast point of view. In this week’s episode, Jon share some of the social media elements USA Today is rolling out and also tells us why he loves social networking for PR.

Jon has been covering technology since 1987. Working his way through the ranks of MacWeek, San Francisco Chronicle and Forbes, Jon now resides at USA Today. If you have a non-gadget tech client, he may be a good contact. Pitch him before 11AM PT.

Fun Facts About Jon:

  • Learned the ins and outs of PR (including a blog and YouTube video) while on tour for his upcoming book with Byron Acohido, “Zero Day Threat,” discussing how banks and credit companies help hackers steal your identity
  • Microsoft is to Apple what Hillary is to Obama. Discuss.
  • Not on Twitter, but on LinkedIn
  • Thinks Walt Mossberg could beat Ed Baig in a mud wrestling fight
  • Has season tickets to SF Giants
  • Starts his morning with print editions of New York Times and LA Times. Then moves into WSJ Online and GigaOm.

If you haven’t seen some of the cool things USA Today is doing with blogs and video, check it out. Watch as Jon tells us more about his beat, explains how social networking has changed the PR pitch and then completely HIJACKS my interview!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Have you included social networking into your outreach? Do your spokespeople include their facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or IM when speaking with reporters? Should they?

No time to watch the video at work? Get “3Q’s in 3Min” free from iTunes and watch it on the go!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

“Punk’s Not Dead: Rethinking SXSW Criticism”

Whether Twitter, blogs, or the Main Stream Media, the topic this week has been the SXSW festival. Many in attendance feel the Conference and its presenters just don’t get it. Is it the promoters’ fault, or the audience’s? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

In this corner, the Returning Heavy Weight Champion: The Organizers

I grew up in Texas and have attended my fair share of SXSWs. As an indie/alterna-kid In junior high and high school, I always followed SXSW. After graduating high school, I moved to Austin for college.

Originally, SXSW started out as something that was a celebration of independence and musical innovation. As it increased in size, it seemed, to me, to lose its edge. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great place to see some of your favorite bands, but if they play there, they’ve probably already made it big in the underground. The real music is out on the streets, in garages and in hole in the wall bars.

The traditional conference model was, at one time, a great way for professionals to get together and talk about what’s going on. The SXSW organizers have assembled a good line-up of industry relevant speakers, but the way people exchange ideas has changed. Social media tools like blogging, Twitter, YouTube and streaming video have changed the way people communicate. That’s why, for me, looking to SXSW for innovation is like reading news from 2006; it’s great if you want to track progress, but it’s not going to tell you what’s on the cutting edge.

For interactive media, the truly innovative strategies and tools are being discussed in the blogosphere and, more rapidly, on Twitter. You don’t need to pay money to go to a conference; you can suck it all up here for free. But for the people who don’t have time to scan feeds or follow 500 Twitter friends, the traditional conference model still works.

And in this corner, we have the Underdog: The Audience

In the music realm, the majority of the attendees are usually suits and big wigs who want to get wasted and feel like they are a part of the underground again; anyone truly punk or indie can’t afford the price tag or goes to the unofficial events. The majority of attendees want to find out the next big thing to market and consume. And you’ll never be able to please anyone that wants instant enlightenment but doesn’t want to fall in the mud. Because they’ve built up this event and these speakers as having all the answers, when the audience sees the man behind the curtain is human, they throw tomatoes in revolt. In terms of social media, they want the tools and secrets, without taking the time required to learn and process the philosophy.

If you are a regular reader of this blog–or follow me or Marie on Twitter–you are probably more like one of the indie-kids. Remember: You don’t go to SXSW to see cutting edge, you go to see bands that have already had hits in the alterna-scene. Be realistic with the event, and you’ll have fun.

Aren’t happy with the conference? Next year plan your own rebel panel. Punk kids organize unofficial shows to protest the commercialism SXSW has become. Also, part of being indie is supporting your local scene. When was the last time you attended or organized a tweet-up, social media breakfast or event? Do you blog, share good links, tweet your ideas?

Who’s to blame? Let us know in the comments. Also, what suggestions do you have for organizers to help them embrace the hard-core fans? What can you do to increase understanding of social media?

add to del.icio.us :: Digg it :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: :: TailRank

[The above photos, “rock ‘n roll face” by BohPhoto and “Mons Punk” by To Tof on Flickr are used under Creative Commons]

2 Comments

Filed under New Media, Review, Social Media

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Matt Mullenweg, WordPress”

It’s Thursday afternoon, and…yup, that’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Minhittin you on your iPhone. You can go ahead and answer.

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.

Today, socialTNT chats with Matt Mullenweg, Founding Developer of WordPress and Founder of Automattic. Besides this humble blog, WordPress also powers the New York Times, Fox News, CNN, All Things D, GigaOM, TechCrunch, and many others. In this week’s episode, Matt suggests big media is whole-heartedly embracing the new media, and shares his tips on how best to control brand image.

Just barely 24, Matt Mullenweg is revered by both the blogger and open source communities. That’s because WordPress, one of the top blogging platforms on the Internet, empowers millions of people to create daily. It’s also completely open, so anyone can develop plug-ins or integrate it without licensing fees. Whether WordPress.com for consumers or WordPress.org for Enterprise, I don’t think there is a better selection for blogging.

It’s a busy time for Matt and the Automattic team. In January, they released Prologue, a micro-blogging WordPress theme that enables Twitterstyle communications to increase collaboration within companies or work teams. On the day of the interview, Matt had just announced the hire of Andy Peatling. Since Andy had developed plug-ins to create a social network, Chickspeak, built on the WordPress Multiuser platform, speculation ran rampant through the blogosphere of a WordPress move into the social networking space. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, WordPress is releasing a major update, WordPress 2.5, in the next couple of weeks.

Matt loves MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. He doesn’t think there will be one SocNet that rules them all. Instead, Matt sees a diverse online world with as many social networks as there are hobbies, interests or personalities. WordPress, however, doesn’t want to be a social network; Automattic’s vision is to provide smooth running machinery that works behind the scenes to make it easier for people to communicate and express themselves.

In his blog post discussing the new hire, Matt says, “Someday, perhaps, the world will have a truly Free and Open Source alternative to the walled gardens and open-only-in-API platforms that currently dominate our social landscape.”

With the upcoming release of WordPress 2.5, bloggers can expect several major upgrades. The Editor has been completely renovated with a more streamlined look, fullscreen writing mode, and increased ease of media integration. Flickr fans watch out: WordPress 2.5 allows bulk uploading of photos. Photos can also be tagged and commented on. Video and audio are also easier to embed within posts.

Fun Facts about Matt:

  • He’s originally from Houston
  • Plays Alto Saxophone
  • Automattic is funded by True Ventures, the VCs who also back GigaOM
  • No surprise that GigaOM is his favorite tech blog, but have you looked at another fave: the comedic musings on Stuff White People Like
  • Avid photographer, has a photo blog, PhotoMatt
  • Sorry ladies Matt’s got a GF

Wondering what the Blogmeister thinks about branding? Check out the video below. He also gives tips on how to track communication for global teams, and cheers on Fox News.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Is proper hiring and training the solution to ensure your brand image is maintained? What social media tools do you use for increased internal collaboration? Is big-media really embracing social media? Let us know in the comments!

No time to watch the video at work? Get “3Q’s in 3Min” free from iTunes and watch it on the go!

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, “Matt Mullenweg” by Drew Olanoff, is used under Creative Commons]

1 Comment

Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Future of Media, Internal Public Relations, New Media, Social Networking, Video Interview

“LinkedIn’s Outlook Toolbar Grabs You By the vCard”

Today’s post was written by contributing writer, Marie Williams.

LinkedIn Logo

Whether Journalist or Public Relations professional, your contacts are your currency. Last month, socialTNT gave TechCrunch40 darling, Xobni, a test spin. This month, the socialTNT BetaBreakers team put popular professional social network LinkedIn‘s Outlook Toolbar through our rigorous testing process.

All You Ever Need to Know: The “Grabbing” Function is Magic

  • By far, the best thing about the toolbar is the “grab” function. It makes it devastatingly simple to transfer contact information seamlessly into your Outlook contact list.
  • How it Works: When you have an e-mail open from the person you want to add, highlight their signature block, click on the little grab button on the top right-hand corner of your menu, and voila! All the contact information is entered in the appropriate boxes. Sometimes fields get switch, such as “company” and “title,” but it’s a small inconvenience that doesn’t detract from the feature’s utility. Check out the screenshots below for a visual:

[Click to enlarge]
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

  • Just do it: If your contact list is key to your business success, you cannot be without this amazing resource. Go download it. NOW. 🙂

There’s No Place Like LinkedIn Home to Manage Your Networking Savvy

  • Your LinkedIn home page can be easily accessed through your Outlook, and the interface is clean and aesthetically pleasing. It’s easy to track your inbound messages, friend updates, profile views, and all the other features that LinkedIn provides.
  • Bottom Line: If you live and die by your LinkedIn network, you will love how simple it is to manage your connections without ever leaving your inbox.

Don’t Press That Button! The Danger of the Dashboard…

  • The toolbar’s “Dashboard” feature lets you see contacts to invite to LinkedIn, contact information updates for your LinkedIn friends, and keep-in-touch reminders. It’s a hybrid of your e-mail and your LinkedIn account homepage.
  • If you press the button, it takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes to load, which is a long time for us ADD techies accustomed to split second satisfaction.
  • Why you should pass: Xobni’s search function is way more intuitive and lightning fast. The utility of the information on the dashboard is negligible and more easily found via Xobni.

Hello Promo!

Beyond the uber useful grab tool, 85% of the LinkedIn Outlook toolbar is clearly a promotion of LinkedIn’s contact management services and will only work for you if you’re a) already an avid user of the network or b) think you want to start becoming more involved in that community.

That’s a Wrap

Our overall impression is that while Xobni reigns supreme when it comes to inbox add-ons, LinkedIn’s grabbing feature makes it more than worth the download. Think of Xobni as your full-service inbox search solution, while the LinkedIn toolbar provides some “Ah ha!” features you’ll come to rely on. If your a LinkedIn Junkie, download it NOW!

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

5 Comments

Filed under Beta breakers, How To, Product Review, productivity, Social Media