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Archive for May, 2009

now is gone

May 30, 2009 1 comment

I’m reading another interesting PR/social media book. This one is called now is gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs, by Geoff Livingston, with Brian Solis. Here are a few tidbits:

  • “PR 2.0 embraces transparency and enables stakeholders in the company, its team, and place in the market and in the future. It encourages participation in online networks and communities in order to spark conversations to help people solve problems and discover new solutions.”
  • “This is our chance to not only work with traditional journalists, but engege directly with a new set of accidental influencers, also known as enthusiasts or citizen journalists. We can talk with customers, now also content producers, directly.”
  • “With the injection of social media tools into the mix, people now have the ability to impact and influence the decisions of their peers and other newsmakers. The wisdom of the crowds is creating diverse markets that drive microeconomies and dedicated ecosystems that are defining the social economy.”
  • “It’s incumbent upon communicators to learn new media, not just on a theoretical level, but as practitioners.”
  • “Blogs and other media offer more raw and authentic information, which readers increasingly prefer over what they perceive as the older, more detached quality of traditional news sources.”

Great stuff! These are the types of thoughts that go through my mind as I expand my communications toolkit with blogging, live-chatting, podcasting, video and the like — supplemented by an increased amount of time devoted to public speaking, attendance at networking events, and one-on-one meetings with PR pros and social media enthusiasts.

These are exciting times. I welcome your thoughts.

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Facebook: The latest numbers

Inside Facebook reported today that 60 million Americans use Facebook in a month. (The number of people ages 55 and older declined, though.) I shared a link to the article on Twitter and, of course, Facebook. Somebody asked me what this all meant.

Well, I think it means that we have a powerful communication channel full of opportunity. Already, I’ve used it to enhance and supplement my face-to-face networking. It has helped me land an interview on a radio program (with the minister from my church), secure a speaking engagement (at the local PRSA chapter), and get the word out about important events offered by my employer. It’s becoming ingrained in our strategic communication efforts at work.

I’m sure you could add to the list. After all, you’re most likely among the millions making good use of this new communication medium. I welcome your comments.

You’re on the air!

A couple of  Cincinnati PR pros that I highly admire stress the importance of hands-on work with the latest communications technology. It helps a lot to have the knowledge and experience of getting your hands dirty and doing a project yourself.

With that in mind, I’ve started experimenting more with video and audio.

It’s been quite a learning curve for someone with a background in writing and strategic PR. (I had worked with a professional video company on projects and did a weekly 60-second report on a radio station years ago, but nothing as direct as this.)

On the video end, I’ve been shooting clips with a Sony camcorder, doing basic editing with Adobe Premiere Elements, and posting on YouTube. We’ve also ordered a flip camera at work.

With audio, I’ve been using a digital tape recorder to post a simple 90-second “weekly headlines and how-to’s” podcast on an RSS feed. It also posts on iTunes. And I’ve started testing Blogtalkradio. Here is a link to two test programs about the power of social media.

I see tremendous power in audio and video–and plan to incorporate these tools into my communication strategies.

Any thoughts about video and audio, especially about self-production and publishing?

Mike, the social media farmer

Being an active participant in the world of social media reminds me of gardening. First, you prepare the soil and plant some seeds. Then, you nurture the plants, giving them tender care and pulling any weeds that inhibit growth.

Some of your plants thrive. Others wilt away.

With help from some excellent teammates, I got my social media soil ready by (in this order) doing an RSS feed, audio podcast, blog, live online chats, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, Facebook profile, group and page, and Blogtalkradio program. I also tried several other social media practices. Some at work; some personal.

I planted seeds by following and friending people in areas of importance to me — public relations, marketing, social media, cancer research and the like. I nurtured them by doing posts and status updates — a mix of personal and professional information. I tried to provide info that would be of use to followers and help them get to know me better. I commented on their posts and updates, and tried to offer encouragement and helpful information.

I continue to weed by unfollowing or hiding those who distract me from good use of my increasingly limited time. Sometimes, I find I made a mistake and replant them in my social media garden.

The harvest started almost from the beginning. I’ve made literally dozens of good friends and business contacts. I’ve learned a great deal from some generous and highly intelligent people.

The process never ends. Just call me Mike, the social media farmer.

The New Rules of Marketing and PR

May 13, 2009 1 comment

Listened to a really interesting program on www.blogtalkradio.com today — an interview with David Meerman Scott, author of  The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Here are a few highlights that I tweeted during the hour-long program hosted by Zane Safrit:

  • Many social media initiatives take time. May not cost $, but you have to invest time. Blog posts
  • @dmscottgot great exposure for his Wold Wide Rave book with a tweetup opening the stock market
  • Hundreds of universities using The New Rules of Marketing & PR by @dmscott as a text. Huge increase in adoption of its ideas since written.
  • Nobody cares about your products except for you, says @dmscott. Lose control (give stuff for free, lose control of messages). Put down roots
  • Create triggers–and encourage people to share. Point people to your virtual doorstep
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Do it. Create something that’s incredibly valuable (for your target audience). Text. Video. Photo. Audio.

I thought this was great stuff. What do you think?

Facebook: Page or Group, or both?

Several people have asked me recently if their organizations should have a Facebook Page or Group, or both. I’ve been experimenting with both in my day job at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services.

Here are some tidbits from The Facebook Marketing Bible by Justin Smith:

  • “Pages and Groups have some similarities. Which makes more sense? The answer to this question depends on the goals of your campaign.”
  • Benefits of pages: Good for regular communication with large numbers of people. Can view demographic information.
  • Benefits of groups: Good for maximizing number of people due to the invitation feature. Better potential for growing much faster.

My research seems to indicate that organizations should have a fan page if it helps them further strategic goals.( They’re a free and easy way to do marketing.) Then, they can set up groups to support campaigns or subgroups.

For example, some churches maintain a page for their organization, while their youth organization has a separate group on Facebook.

What has been your experience? Let’s learn from each other.

Don’t forget the basics

When developing a social  media strategy, follow the four-step process — research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Define strategic audiences (those that could make or break your organization).

Determine the most-effective channels for reaching those audiences.

Come up with compelling messages that will help drive behavior you desire. Select your spokespersons–and coach them.

Create goals, strategies and objectives. Choose evaluation methods.

Follow these steps, and you’re in for some great success!!!