Tag Archives: Social Media

“Why the Publicity Bubble in PR Begs Popping”

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

There’s been talk lately about the PR pro’s evolution from publicist to social media strategist. While I wholeheartedly support the increased attention to social media, the underlying message is disconcerting. For too long, media relations and the hot pursuit of “ink” has been our reason for being. Let’s pop that bubble right now.

PR has never meant press relations, but to look at the industry’s widespread propagation of that mantra it would seem that is the case. How is it that we term ourselves publicists, when our true role encompasses so much more? Perhaps if we treated the industry as a more strategic practice instead of focusing on getting a stack of clips, we’d have more seasoned and capable professionals in the field instead of an army of cold callers smiling, dialing, and pissing off droves of journalists and bloggers in the process.

It’s interesting that despite the growth of social media and the decline of mainstream media, the importance of the latter has stayed virtually the same. There’s still a lot of resistance, most of all from PR professionals, to admit that traditional media relations is declining in importance and we live in a brave new world where social media is taking over.

A hit in the Wall Street Journal is a great coup and will no doubt cement the reputation of your brand with your consumers, your business partners, and your competition. But it’s becoming less and less valuable to the bottom line as social media grows exponentially in influence.

One example that continues to blow my mind is when a client of mine was included in a Thanksgiving-day GMA segment – a major accomplishment for our team. The client saw thousands of inbound leads occur as a result and was pleased as punch with the results.

Imagine his (and our!) surprise when a few months later, when we secured the client blog coverage on TMZ – which was still a relatively small celebrity-focused news site at the time – to phenomenal results that blew GMA’s out of the water. When a niche-focused Web site can bring in more bang than a nationally-syndicated morning show, you stop and pay attention.

The Internet tips the scales in favor of social media by making it far easier to track online coverage that leads to site traffic, leads from that traffic that convert into sales, and gauge customer opinions by participating in the online discussion.

Beyond online coverage’s potential for being far more successful than mainstream media coverage, the possibilities for community engagement is endless and gives companies a better chance than ever before of dialoguing with their most important publics: The end user. These direct-to-consumer conversations are arguably the most important for a company, and PR can strategize for and drive those conversations.

Social media provides PR professionals an opportunity to take back their rightful role as big thinkers, strategists and high-touch relationship builders, relegating media relations to a more modest (and arguably more deserved) position with the rest of a company’s key audiences.

It’s no wonder most clients still value the old school “ink” and pooh-pooh social media coverage as a lesser accomplishment when we so poorly represent ourselves as mere media lackeys. Yes, it’s time to expand beyond the publicist role, but in the process, we should realize that we never should have represented ourselves so narrowly in the first place.

Contributing writer Marie Williams also blogs at www.flackette.com about PR and agency life. Connect with her on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

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[The above image, “POP!” by N1NJ4 on Flickr, used under Creative Commons]

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Chris Parandian, MobileDiner.com”

Pardon our radio silence; we’ve been at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas. (Almost) live from Vegas, it’s “3sdays 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. 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.

Chris Parandian Filming by Jeff PulverWhile at CTIA, socialTNT met up with MobileDiner.com‘s Chris Parandian. If you or your client is in the Wireless space, pay attention. In today’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Chris tells us more why he loves social media and shares his CTIA show faves.

Unless you’ve got the clout of GigaOm or TechCrunch, most bloggers don’t blog full time. Whether full-time or not, most bloggers are pretty passionate in the niche they cover. Chris is no exception.

Offline, Chris works as a mobile policy consultant. Not surprisingly, MobileDiner.com is a forum for consumers and feds to learn about the ins and outs of wireless policy. Don’t let the nichey-ness scare you, Chris also covers mobile startups or innovators that change the ways people connect and communicate. He’s also the founder of the DC-based, new media firm Tin Can Communications, so you’ll also notice posts on social media or marketing and PR.

Chris and I have been following each other on Twitter for sometime. Last month, he also covered news from one of my clients, so it was great to finally meet him in person. Even though both of us were over-stimulated and running on little sleep, we had a great conversation.

In the following video, Chris tells us more about his blog/beat and explains what he likes most about social media. He also drops his best-of-shows at CTIA 2008.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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[Above photo courtesy of Jeff Pulver]

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

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Connie Reece, Every Dot Connects”

It may be overcast outside, but today’s “3Q’s in 3Min” guest will brighten your day.

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.

During a recent trip to Austin, socialTNT met up the lovely Connie Reece, founder of social media marketing consultation firm Every Dot Connects. She’s also the Executive Director of Social Media Club, and Twitter friend to all. In today’s interview, Connie outlines her definition of social media and explains how she has been using new media tools to put the “fun” back in fundraising.

I can’t really remember exactly how I met Connie. It was either when someone responded to her on Twitter and I looked her up, or after Jeremiah Owyang’s piece on building a Twitter community. In either case, I’m so happy I met her; Connie’s warmth shines through ever Tweet. Whether someone is tweeting about the death of their cat or a knee injury, Connie is always there to send words of encouragement. That’s why I lovingly call her the Twitter Mom.

When Twitter friend and future business partner Susan Reynolds was diagnosed with cancer in December 2007, Connie decided to use her connections–and Twitter–to help. Twitter users created PEAvatars to show solidarity with Susan while raising awareness. The Frozen Pea Fund, founded by Susan and Connie, sprang up organically to raise money for breast cancer research. [For a great case study on the Frozen Pea Fund’s effective use of Twitter as marketing/pr strategy, check out this piece by Michael Allison.]

More About Connie

  • Recently purchased a beautiful island on Second Life
  • Had to cut her RSS feeds from 300 down to 50
  • We are both alums of University of Texas at Austin
  • Is on Facebook, Flickr and Utterz

Connie’s fascinating, sociological Venn-Diagram explanation of social media is not to be missed. Find it–and more on the Frozen Pea Fund–in the video below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How do you define social media? Do you agree with Connie?

Over the last few days, Connie has been very ill. Please send her your well wishes.

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[Above photo, “Inspired by Color,” by Connie Reece”]

[This post was originally published Thursday morning, but was taken down because YouTube kept registering the video as not available. I uploaded the video again this evening and re-published the post. Sorry for the delay.]

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