Category Archives: Future of Media

“Breadcrumbs: Using Curiosity to Strategically Reach Audiences”

Last week, Robert Scoble declared Tech PR useless.  My response, a light-hearted post to shake off the negative energy, called for change within the PR industry.  Many of you emailed me asking about the future of PR and marketing, so today I wanted to share those thoughts.

Changing Landscape

The founders of our industry, in my opinion, did not intend us to be keepers of the keys and intermediaries, but actual creators and facilitators.  The original press release was not an announcement, but rather a creation of compelling content that editors wanted to print.  They looked for stories to tell and then pitched these to reporters.  And it worked, as long as the mainstream media was in control of the information.

Things have changed.  Today, the Mainstream Media is struggling and the walls are crumbling.  The rise of the Internet has moved content consumption online.  Also, thanks to social media, everyone has the ability to create content themselves.  Translation: The Internet is a REALLY REALLY noisy space.

Information Overload

Technologies like search and RSS feeds make information easily accessible–but they never seem to find *exactly* what you want.  Also, social networks and bookmarking sites have added the human element to finding content, but even that isn’t always enough.  With traditional media, reporters distilled the real world into articles.  Likewise, bloggers take information on the Internet and present what’s good.

With decentralized information filtering, how do we make a significant impact to reach our audience, whether they are bloggers, reporters or consumers?

Curiouser and Curiouser

If I understand Robert and the other Tech bloggers, they are finding information through community and curiosity. They listen to what others in their online peer network (whether Facebook, Friendfeeed, Twitter, RSS Feeds, etc.) are saying/sharing.  They also track and discover products and services the same way consumers do: word of mouth and surfing/searching.

What does this mean for PR and marketing practitioners?

  • The goal is to leave breadcrumbs your audience follows to find you as if by magic
  • To do this, we have to think like our audiences
  • Instead of asking “What do we want our customers to think?”, we have to ask “What are our customers interested in? How can we reach them?” and “What can we teach them?”
  • We no longer create stories, we look for conversation
  • We execute strategy to reach audiences where they share ideas
  • We engage in industry wide discussions with our clients as the moderator

We Are The Music Makers, We Are the Dreamers of the Dream

Instead of just producing viral videos, widgets, blog posts and (gasp) press releases, let’s create content people will want to consume.  Let’s build rabbit holes of discussion that our curious audiences can crawl into.

The ultimate goal: Be known for facilitating stimulating conversation around topics related to our clients/services by creating content our audiences will be interested in.

How do you see the future of PR? How do you inspire curiosity and conversation to energize communities and build awareness?

[This post inspired by a conversation with Tim Dyson, CEO of Next15 (the holding company that owns my firm, Text100) and numerous conversations with Todd Defren and Brian Solis]

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[The above photo, “Down the Rabbit Hole” by valkyrieh116 on Flickr, used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under Future of Media, It's A Conversation, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“Video Sneak Peak of New WordPress ‘Crazyhorse’ at Wordcamp 2008”

socialTNT spent our Saturday at Wordcamp 2008 learning about all things social media and blogworthy. You’ll be seeing the results of what we saw in future posts. In the meantime, we did manage to video a demo of the new WordPress (aka Crazyhorse) given by Liz Danzico and Jane Wells.

WordPress designed Crazyhorse after they laser-tracked the eyes of bloggers as the interacted with the dashboards of their own blogs. Sounds hot, right? Wait till you see the video! (Apologies in advance for the shakiness!)

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To see full coverage of Wordcamp, check out ZDNet for Andrew Mager’s Liveblogged post of the event. Also, check out TechCrunch’s coverage of Matt’s State of the Word keynote.

Don’t miss out: Grab our RSS feed! [what’s that?]. Or start your morning with socialTNT in your InBox! Or read Chris 24-7 on Twitter!

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Filed under Blogging, Future of Media, New Media, Recap, Video

“Finding Balance: Developing Your Company’s Social Media Policy”

\Back in the early 1990’s, email over took the phone as primary business communication tool. As more of their employees used email in their personal lives, companies struggled to figure out how best to integrate its use in the workplace, while still managing company interests.

Today, corporations are faced with an onslaught of new communication technologies, making it even harder to adjust. Their biggest fear: proprietary information getting unwittingly leaked by an employee on their blog or through Twitter.

My article in today’s Media Bullseye discusses what companies like Sun Microsystems and Dell are doing to ensure employees know how best to utilize these new technologies. Also, I ask experts for best practices when developing a social media policy for your company.

In the piece, Joel Postman (check out Joel on 3Q’s in 3 Min), Principle at Socialized, gives 3 tips for developing an effective internal social media policy. You’ll have to go to the article to see those, but since we are all about transparency here at socialTNT, I wanted our readers to get the inside scoop. Below, I’ve posted some excerpts of my email exchange with Joel that weren’t included in the article.

What steps has your company taken to develop its social media policies? Share your tips in the comments. Oh, and check out this great article from 1998 in the New York Times on the evolution of Email Etiquette.

Excerpts From Email Exchange with Joel Postman on June 26th, 2008:

  • Were you at Sun when they developed their social media/blogger policy? I was not. I did write the social media policy for Eastwick Communications. This document served as the basis for several client social media policies.
  • How would you best describe Eastwick’s social media policy for employees? Eastwick’s social media policy applies to all employees, whether they blog or not, and covers all use of social media and social networks at work and away from the office. It is an extension of the agency’s standards of business conduct and reminds people that they represent the agency in everything they do, and should always act in good faith on behalf of the agency and its clients. Employees are entitled to have a private life, and private use of social media, but when they are talking about anything that might relate to the agency’s business, or when it is clear they are affiliated with the agency, this should be considered when blogging, posting comments, using social networks, etc.
  • If so, who wrote it? Did employees give input into the process? Several employees as well as senior executive management gave input, as did the agency’s lawyers.
  • Before posting your own post or responding to another post, was there an approval an approval process? None of the social media policies or agreements I have developed included a mandatory approval process for blog posts or comments. The very first draft of Eastwick’s social media agreement came back from the lawyers with a clause requiring executive approval of all blog posts, and the executive team immediately agreed to delete this clause. I advise clients against any formal review or approval process. The keys to ensuring appropriate blog posts and compliance with company rules and legal requirements are training, a clear blogging strategy, and a solid social media agreement that informs people of their responsibilities.
  • Did Sun do any “best practices” type training? When I was at HP, we had blogger training for executives. I did not manage this, the web team did. I am currently working on executive blogger training for a publicly held company. The focus of this training will be social media etiquette, legal compliance, and the company’s blogging strategy.

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[The above photo, “Getting Dublin Moving” by The Labour Party used under Creative Commons]

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“3Q’s in 3Min: Geoff Livingston, The Buzz Bin”

It’s May Day, and people all around the world are marching towards better rights for workers. That’s right, people everywhere are chanting for more time on Facebook and the ability to watch “3Q’s in 3Min” at their desks.

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.

Last week while at Web 2.0, we caught up with Geoff Livingston from the Buzz Bin. From media relations to branding and online marketing, Geoff’s fifteen-year career has covered the full gamut of communications. Geoff’s blog is a must-read for anyone pursuing new media marketing and PR, and his book, “Now is Gone” should be required reading for marketing executives. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Geoff breaks out his crystal ball to look into the future of marketing and PR, and gives some practical advice on strategy.

In the age of new media, the same principles for marketing and PR strategies remain, it’s just the tools that have changed. Instead of trying to force the strategy to fit the tools (blog, twitter, video, etc), Geoff reminds us that it’s important to choose the tools that best work with the strategy we implement.

One of the first steps to developing any strategy is knowing your audience. With social media we have more chances to form conversations and relationships with our audience. Geoff stresses that we have to meet them on their turf, using the tools and platforms they use. It’s part of Geoff’s theory of learning to “think liquid”–move with the community without getting hung up on one particular tool.

In the video below (probably sTNT’s most raw video to date), Geoff postulates the future of communications and the steady march towards humanization of marketing. Oh, and he’s tired of talking about blogs.

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So how do you perceive the future of PR and marketing? Is it more humanized? 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!

[The above photo, “You Da Man” by CC Chapman used under Creative Commons]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Blogging, Future of Media, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

“Top Tech Bloggers Define Web 2.0”

Last week, all eyes were on San Francisco. Up north in Sonoma, the NewComm Forum debated how to incorporate social media technologies with communications (Step 1: Add socialTNT to RSS reader). Down in the city, the tech community rallied around the Web 2.0 Expo. But two years after Tim O’Reilly defined the emerging technologies, many are still left scratching their heads and wondering what the eff Web 2.0 is.

In 2006, Tim O’Reilly, founder of top tech publishing company O’Reilly Media, gave his compact definition of Web 2.0:

“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere called “harnessing collective intelligence.”)

Now let’s compare that to what top Bloggers Dan Farber (CNET News.com), Marshall Kirkpatrick (ReadWriteWeb), Mike Butcher (TechCrunch), Dean Takahashi (VentureBeat), Scott Beale (Laughing Squid), Josh Lowensohn (Webware).

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For me, Web 2.0 is multifaceted:

  • Platforms and tools that increase communication, collaboration and connection
  • Software built around communities
  • Open platform with applications that run in the cloud
  • User-generated content or data creating two-way exchange

It’s also a term of reference for the phase of evolution of the Internet in which we currently reside. Marketers like it too!

Next steps (Web 3.0) [UPDATE: Check out this post from ReadWriteWeb on Web 3.0]:

  • Connect disparate communities with data portability and openID
  • Platforms and tools that help sort data so users can find what they want and interface with it where and how they want it
  • Build infrastructure to allow full integration of Web 2.0 aspects with traditional networks

How do you define Web 2.0? Where do you see the Internet headed in the next 5 to 10 years? Let us know in the comments.

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“Web 2.0 Expo, Day 2: Marshall Kirkpatrick, Loic LeMeur, Simeon Margolis”

Web 2.0 Expo LogoWeb 2.0 Expo marches on, and socialTNT has been there day and night. On Thursday, Day 2 at Moscone Center, socialTNT ran into ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick , Loic LeMeur from Seesmic, Simeon Margolis from Utterz, the Seybold Report’s Chuck Lenatti and BlogTalkRadio’s Hilary Leewong.

In today’s short video montage, we talk with folks on the floor about monetization and marketing strategies, explore the collaborative aspects of social media, and even learn a little French. You’ll also see how all the VC-funded open bars and late night geek-out chats have finally caught up with me.

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Social Media, Social Networking, Video Interview

“Preview: NewComm Forum 2008”

If you’re a new media fanatic living in the SF Bay Area, this week is like Christmas. With all the new tools being shown off at the Web 2.0 Expo, and all the great minds talking at the NewComm Forum, it’s pretty easy feel over stimulated. socialTNT makes it easy by giving you our top picks at NewComm.

http://newcommforum.com/2008/?p=25Put together by the Society for New Communications Research, the NewComm Forum is now in its fourth year. After last year’s rocking event in Vegas, this year’s event in Sonoma County should offer a more relaxing–but equally stimulating–experience. Check out our top 5 “must sees” at the year’s event:

5. Opening Keynote with Joseph Jaffe

We’re big fans of Joseph’s Jaffe Juice and its fully-integrated approach to social media. By Looking at conversations with consumers through all media and across the marketing and advertising departments, Joseph helps us understand the true impact of our campaigns. We also like his sense of humor.

Session Mood: Let’s give ’em something to blog about…

4. Detour Ahead: Closing the Road to PR 3.0 featuring Darren Barefoot, Constantin Basturea and Brian Solis.

Always ahead of the curve, Constantin’s New PR Wiki has been a staple since 2004. We hear he’s also doing some pretty cool things at Converseon. If you don’t know, Brian Solis is on the forefront of fighting for “2.0.’ His man-on-the-scene bub.blicio.us blog, combined with PR 2.0, might make you think he spends all his time at his computer, but somehow he manages to be EVERYWHERE.

Session Mood: Futurama

3. A Conversation With Jim Long, Tom Foremski, and Shel Isreal

Brilliant. New media. Line-up. Mad props to Jenn McClure and crew for getting NBC to let go of Jim (aka newmediajim) long enough to appear on stage with these two pioneers of the new media space. Tom gave us some valuable insight last fall when he appeared on socialTNT’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” and Shel is such an icon, he has people lampooning him with puppets. Expect nothing but an interesting discussion on the state of the media.

Session Mood: Eureka in the Tweet

2. Building Your Brand With Conversational Media featuring Kami Watson Huyse and Geoff Livingston

Kami Huyse and Geoff Livingston are some of the top feeds in our Google Readers. Check out Kami’s recent case study examining the ROI on social media and the launch of a new roller coaster at Sea World. She’s a stickler for tracking and measurement, and is therefore an important voice in the progression of social media PR and marketing. Geoff’s Buzz Bin is like a workbook for new media marketers and PR peeps–and don’t forget his book!

Session Mood: Energized

1. Perspectives on the Social Media Release featuring Todd Defren and Maggie Fox

This, to us, is without a doubt, the social media PR Thilla in Manila of 2008. That makes Jenn McClure into Don King, and we’ll let you decide who is Muhammad Ali. Todd Defren is the inventor of the social media news release. He’s also our colleague at SHIFT. Maggie Fox from Social Media Group has worked on Multimedia Releases for Ford Motors (See our analysis of one of her campaigns here). It will be interesting to see what Maggie thinks of Todd’s SMR version 1.5, just released last week.

Session Mood: CATFIGHT!

These are just a sampling of the amazing sessions in store in Sonoma. We also hear there will be some great research released this year, with topics including new media influencers and implications for PR, customer care and brand reputation in the social media age, and how to measure progress in communities.

Sadly, socialTNT will not be able to make it this year. Due to client work, we will both be at Web 2.0 Expo. You can, however, catch us at the Social Media Club Tweet-up tonight at Adobe. Geoff Livingston and Brian Solis will be there to talk about their book. Hope to see you there!

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Filed under Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media