Monthly Archives: May 2008

“We’re On Vacation”

Hey everyone:

Sorry for the radio silence. We’re both on vacation. Marie is preparing for a big move, and I’ll be doing a little fiction writing. We’ll be back next Thursday with “3Q’s in 3Min.” In the meantime, catch up on all of this season’s interviews on our blip.tv channel page.

Again, thank you all so much for continuing to read and watch socialTNT. 🙂

Have a great holiday!

Chris

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“3Q’s in 3Min: Sarah Lacy, BusinessWeek”

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

It’s a heat wave in San Francisco, and today’s “3Q’s in 3Min” guest is guaranteed to turn up the heat.

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.

Sarah Lacy on Sarah Lacy by Brian SolisA couple of weeks ago socialTNT attended Girls In Tech‘s Femme-Power roundup, a gathering for professional women and female leaders. While there, we had the pleasure of speaking to BusinessWeek’s Sarah Lacy. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Sarah shares her thoughts on issues affecting women in the business world, and explains how women are selling themselves short.

Today marks a huge achievement in Sarah’s career, the publishing of her book on web 2.0 moguls, “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0.You can find Sarah in her “Valley Girl” column in BusinessWeek or as a co-host on the recently launched Tech Ticker spot on Yahoo! Finance.

Sarah also achieved brief notoriety last March from her now infamous–and highly played-out–Mark Zuckerberg interview at SXSW. Whether you like her or not, Sarah is an important female figure in the tech industry and provides invaluable insight into the conundrum many of us face as professional women.

When it comes to the workplace, Sarah says women don’t believe in themselves enough and should be more aggressive and self-promotional. As a woman, I tend to agree with her. I often struggle with tooting my own horn or spotlighting my capabilities. Sarah sees this as the reason why women don’t have as large a footprint in most industries.

Take the PR/marketing industry. Long considered to be a woman-dominated profession, but when you look at the loudest voices in the blogosphere, women make up a much smaller percentage. Off the top of my head, I can list 5 well-known PR/marketing blogstresses: Kami Huyse, Susan Getgood, B.L. Ochman, Yvonne Divita, and Lauren Vargas. On AdAge’s Power 150, Kami Huyse could only find 20, as she points out in a post highlighting the “top 20 women” on the list

Kami’s post, written nearly a year ago, found that of the Power 150 in 2006, only 13 percent were women. No offense, fellas, but that number is a tad disconcerting. In an industry with approximately 70 percent women, men take nearly 90 percent of web-based thought leadership. This highlights the need for events like Girls in Tech to help encourage and nurture the growing confidence of the female workforce.

In the video, below, Sarah explains how the tech industry hasn’t changed for women during her 10 years in journalism, and discusses her difficulty finding stellar women in the tech/business world.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Do you think women need to be more aggressive? What prevents women from becoming more powerful in the boardroom? Will women ever step out of mens’ shadows to play a larger role in business? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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 out: Got RSS? [what’s that?]. Or, start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox!

[The above photo, “Sarah Lacy on Sarah Lacy” by Brian Solis, is used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Social Media, Video Interview

“3Q’s in 3Min: Joel Postman, Socialized”

A little late–technical difficulties–but still equally full of content, it’s last Thursday’s “3Q’s in 3Min.”

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, journalists and marketers on the future of media.

On a particularly sunny afternoon last week, we met with Joel Postman, Principle at Socialized. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Joel talks about obstacles publicly traded companies meet when trying to launch a social media campaign and how to defeat them.

When I first met Joel at a Social Media Club event last fall, we discussed the valuable possibilities social media presents for internal communications within large companies. As Director of Executive and Internal Communications at Hewlett Packard, Joel was exposed to the special problems large corporations encounter trying to maintain relations between employees and management.

This week Joel and I chatted about external communications. Being a publicly traded company, you are beholden to your share holders. You’re also closely monitored by the SEC. That means all outward-facing information has to be passed to legal teams for approval.

Such stringent controls might hinder or deter corporations looking to launch a social media campaign. It shouldn’t. It might be a delicate balance to strike, but corporations don’t have to compromise conservatism to engage with their customers, let go of their brand and institute social media campaigns. Key element: educating your employees about what they can and can’t speak about.

Fun Facts about Joel

  • Launched Socialized in January 2008
  • Spent four years as Senior Speechwriter for Sun’s Chairman, Scott McNeally
  • Working on a book to be published in November, SocialCorp, to help corporations walk the delicate line
  • We’re both fans of legendary SF house music DJ and producer, Mark Farina

Watch as Joel offers his top tips to corporate spokespeople trying to get involved in social media and helps corporations figure out what they can’t talk about!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How does social media strategy differ for a publicly traded company? Do you work with or in a corporation? What are some of the challenges you or you’re clients have experienced? How did you overcome them? 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 out: Got RSS? [what’s that?]. Or, start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox!

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

“Gina Responds! And: About Yesterday’s Post”

Late yesterday, I received the following email from Gina. My reply is further down the page:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your email. My name and further explanation appears on the
wiki, which anyone can leave a comment on. (You just need to log into
PBwiki to do so.)

Also, as I say on the wiki, I welcome story pitches to tips@lifehacker.com.

Have a good weekend,
Gina

I also received some Tweets and emails saying yesterday’s post/email was a little harsh.

The post was about accountability, communication and education. If someone creates something that could impact people’s pocket books, that person should take responsibility for their actions. Especially if that person is already involved in social media and understands that nature of how it works.

On Gina’s blog and in her books, she helps educate people by offering tips and tricks to do things more effectively. That’s what was so irksome about the situation. She could have easily taken the same amount of time to write an educational post–or really any post at all–and could have positively affected the conversation.

My reply to Gina is below. As always, please feel free to comment.

Hi Gina:

Thanks for your email, and thanks for changing the wiki. I’m 100% for sharing opinions. I also 100% understand your frustration.

From what I can see from your blog, you and I both have the same goal: to help and educate. That is probably why I found your actions so upsetting. Instead of using your talent and skill to help people learn and perhaps prevent the mistake, you chose a negative action. You used your position of power and influence to negatively affect an industry on which you rely. You may say, “I shouldn’t have to educate people on how to do their job,” but you do it daily on your blog.

Check out these posts from Mashable and this one from ReadWriteWeb. By offering tips with best and worst practices, these guys are helping to make it easier for themselves and the PR pros that pitch them. After receiving several really really bad pitches of the course of a few days, I also posted “Luke I Am Your Blogger, How to Pitch From the Dark Side” as a way for me to vent my frustrations. It also allowed me to use my unique role as both blogger and PR pro to help others grow from my experience.

Remember, what you say/post can affect people’s pocketbooks. Please think about that and look to find ways to positively impact the conversation.

Thank you,

Chris

Don’t miss a post: Got RSS? [what’s that?]. Or, start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox!

[The above painting is by my favorite guerrilla artist, Banksy. His book says “Copyright is for losers,” so I don’t think he’ll mind if we use it]

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Filed under Blogger Relations, It's A Conversation, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“Unsubscribe Lifehacker: My Email to Gina Trapani”

This morning, the Twitterverse was a flame after Gina Trapani from Lifehacker tweeted a link to a wiki she had created. The wiki, PR Companies Who Spam Bloggers, is a ready-to-paste-into-your-spam-filter list of domains belonging to a good chunk of the tech PR firms out there. Her response, thus far, has been linking back to this blog post from Matt Haughey. [UPDATED: Gina emailed saying she had changed the wiki to include attribution and reasoning. See the email, my response and my reasoning behind this post here.]

In the past, socialTNT has responded with blog posts on how to increase communications (you can find those here and here). Since there is no attribution on the wiki, I had no clue who had created the until someone shared Gina’s original Tweet. Because I found this semi-anonymous approach to be rather old-school in nature, I decided to send her the below email. It may be a little harsh, but the bottom line is that her actions affect the wallets of PR professionals everywhere. If you find my email to be a little agitated, you might prefer Todd Defren’s open letter to Gina or Brian Solis’ post discussing PR “spam.” Also, please feel free to unsubscribe Lifehacker from your RSS feed.

What do you think of Gina’s actions? Or my email? Please share your thoughts.

—————–

Hi Gina:

My name is Chris Lynn. I edit a blog called socialTNT. Our mission here is to create a discussion between PR Pros, Marketers, Bloggers and Journalists on social media and its role in our respective professions. While not as big as Lifehacker, we still receive a nice amount of traffic. I would love to expand socialTNT into something larger, but I don’t have a lot of extra time to invest. You see, I work full-time as a PR professional.

As a PR person in the new media age, I work daily with bloggers and journalists, sometimes through the phone, sometimes through email/twitter/IM. No matter what the medium, I try to devote 100% of myself to the process. I say “try” because we all have bad days, but it’s a job. I’m sure you have at least one post that wasn’t your best, so maybe you can empathize.

After I finish working 9 hour days, I come home and work on the blog. That can mean anything from reading through my feeds to planning the interviews, tweaking layouts, researching emerging tech, or just learning editing software. Then I write about it. I try to stay tuned into trends in media, marketing and PR–like I said, I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I do have a lot of ideas.

With my professional life (both with the blog and at the agency) I operate on these 3 principles:

  1. Accountability and as much Transparency as possible
  2. Communication and Conversation
  3. Education and Peer Development

Your wiki doesn’t do any of the above. [UPDATED: Gina emailed saying she had changed the wiki to include attribution and reasoning.] Sure, you semi-transparently Tweeted the link. Those who stumble upon the wiki won’t know this. By cutting off domains, you stifle conversation. Had you blogged the list, there might have been debate/discussion in the comments. Yes, Twitter is a discussion, but it’s not particularly contiguous, nor is it associated with the list. Finally, your post did nothing along the lines of education. In my eyes, your move was an aggressive one that came from a place of anger instead of looking towards understanding.

In the new media age, information is currency. By limiting the flow of information, you could find yourself bankrupt. Just remember: there’s always another up-and-comer in the wings who might just be a little thirstier than you. Oh, and another thing about the new media age: your audience is fluid. As soon as they find something better, they are quick to change their click.

In true liquid fashion, I’m exercising my right to click by unsubscribing Lifehacker from my RSS feed until the wiki is removed or until you start a more genuine dialog–on my blog or on your own. [UPDATED: Gina emailed saying she had changed the wiki to include attribution and reasoning.] I don’t support negativity. At all.

Just remember that your flippant actions and comments can affect the livelihoods of real people with real families. Please don’t take that lightly.

Best,

Chris

Don’t miss a post: Got RSS? [what’s that?]. Or, start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox!

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Filed under Blogger Relations, It's A Conversation, Public Relations 2.0, Rants

“PROGRAMMING NOTE: 3Q’s in 3Min Delayed”

Dear friends of socialTNT:

Sasd MacLast night, my MacBook decided it wanted to be ornery. I tried repairing the OS, but that didn’t work. I ended up having to do a clean install of Leopard. After that didn’t work, my happy MacBook has to spend today at the Apple Genius Bar. Luckily I had an archive (Thanks Timemachine!), so they were able to restore my data. There is still some software that needs to be reinstalled, but the interview slated for today will be up tomorrow.

Thanks for your understanding.

Best,

Chris

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“Yahoo’s Jerry Yang Doesn’t Understand Blogging”

Jerry YangThis weekend, all eyes turned to the blogosphere to watch as the Microhoo deal fell through. Jerry Yang, CEO of Yahoo, also turned to blogging to plead his case. Sadly, the blog became a PR mechanism and one-sided message delivery system. Take a look at a few quotes:

“Our first quarter was probably one of the most exciting quarters in our history in terms of delivering innovative products and services that really move the needle and make a difference for our users and customers: Acquiring Maven Networks. Launching Buzz, OneSearch 2.0, voice-activated mobile search, video on Flickr, Shine….”

“So, what’s next? With Microsoft’s withdrawal, we’ll be better able to focus our energy on growing our industry leadership and maximizing value for stockholders. We’ll continue to execute on our plan — making your Internet experience as personal, relevant, open and social as possible, serving advertisers so well they insist on working with us, and opening up Yahoo! in a way that developers dream of.”

It’s a great letter to shareholders–or a press release–but it’s not a blog post. As we’ve mentioned before, a blog is a conversation. If Jerry wants to use it to put out company messages, that’s fine, but what’s the point. He’s losing a chance to re-energize the Yahoo user base.

Take a look at sampling of some of the comments:

A user named Jive sums it up best: “Above all, listen to us, your consumer, because we use your products and have specific wants, habits, usage etc.”

Wanna make it back on top, Jerry? Here are some suggestions:

  • First off, read and respond to some of the comments on this post. There are a lot of people with great ideas. You also need to think about the harsh criticism and respond thoughtfully.
  • Ask questions and listen.
  • Set up an Ideastorm type forum for people to leave suggestions and then close the feedback loop. Let users know they are being listened to and that their ideas are gaining traction. You want people to know that Yahoo! has changed? Show them by letting them get involved in product development.
  • Set up a community manager and go address the concerns in the blogosphere head on. Let them know that Yahoo wants to embrace the Internet again. Stop thinking 1.0 and start embracing your users and their voices.

Jerry, I love Yahoo. You guys have so many great properties, but they are all disconnected. If you read the comments on your post, you’ll see many users feel the same way. You’ll also see that most of them still love Yahoo. Give them something to get excited about. Your users make or break the company. If you listen to them–and interact with them–they will welcome you back with open arms. I guarantee it.

What do you think? Did Jerry’s post legitimately address user concerns? What do you think Yahoo should do to reengage its user base?

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Filed under Community Manager, It's A Conversation, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media