Archive for October, 2009

Framing the issues

October 31, 2009 2 comments


Dr. Lawrence Wallack

Last week, I had the honor of giving an hour-long presentation about social media at a breakout session at Prevention in Progress: Domestic Violence Prevention Summit 2009. About 150 domestic violence prevention experts from across Ohio attended the conference at a lodge about 40 miles east of Columbus.

I thought I’d learn more about root causes of domestic violence while hearing keynote speakers. Instead, I got a compelling lesson in using public relations to address the problems that plague our society.

Dr. Lawrence Wallack, dean and professor of public health, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University, delivered the compelling talk. He has appeared on Nightline, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, the Today Show… even Oprah!

His keynote presentation was titled Framing Issues Using America’s Second Language: Community, Prevention and Social Justice.

Wallack called individualism the first language in American culture. He said that a second language, community, contains the values that can be tapped to drive social change. We can come together to advocate for policies and programs that proactively address core issues such as lack of affordable health care and education. It won’t be easy, though, in a culture that stresses individualism and a strong mistrust of government.

His talk was mostly academic, so I asked for concrete examples. He pointed to smoking and drunk driving as areas where a sense of community mobilized advocates to push for major changes. He suggested that I share stories that don’t just portray people as victims of domestic violence, poverty and child abuse. I can include a call to action in the stories.

Of course, I was tweeting his comments on Twitter and status updating them on Facebook. Social media provides us with a great toolkit for building powerful communities, groups that can advocate for positive change he suggested.

What do you think about this — social media as a method for building community and ultimately addressing the ills of our way of life?

Categories: Community, Social media

More social media party animals

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment
Effective use of social media builds powerful networks

Effective use of social media builds powerful networks

Within minutes of last week’s post, I started thinking about other Cincinnati-area social media enthusiasts. Here are a few more to add to the list. Please feel free to add others — and don’t be offended if you’re not here. I’ve literally met dozens of great people here in Who Dey Land.

Julie Bogart (@julieunplugged) — One of the premier bloggers in the area. Really knows how to build a community online: In her case, around the area of home-schooling. Huge Bengals fan.

Mandy Jenkins (@mjenkins) — She is on the cutting edge of the future of journalism, leading the Cincinnati Enquirer’s online efforts. Funny. Shares insightful info. Steelers fan. 😦

Joe Wessels (@cindaily, several others) — Joe has been blogging, podcasting and otherwise reporting online for a loooong time. He is a well-known local personality who shares lots of great info.

Barbara Baker (@barbaraKB) — Barbara is passionate about social media. She’s always up on the latest trends. Like most of these folks, she’s a regular at meetings of Cincinnati Social Media and other old-style face-to-face social media events.

Jim Sutter (@JamesRSutter) — Jim is a video/Web producer with more than 20 years of experience. He does a nice job with an online newsletter — and puts a lot of energy into Clermont County meetings. He organizes Tech Tuesday and pulled together a Clermont County Social Media bootcamp.

Jason Bayer (@jmanstudios) — Knew Jason personally before continuously crossing paths on the social media trail. Found out he’s been doing Web development for a long time. Very respected. Great guy who knows a lot about social media.

Melissa Currence (@currencem) — Has done a great job with social media for Talbert House, a major Cincinnati-area social service provider.

Katy Crossen (@kate_the_great) — Does a lot of fine work for the United Way and other social causes.

Chris Kemper (@chriskemper) — Incoming president of the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Thanks to Chris, I’ll be back on the chapter’s leadership team six years after serving as president. He invited me to fill a new role — social media chair. Chris does a great job promoting Cincinnati in social media.

Well, I’ve got more popping into my mind now, but I think I’d better cut it off. Feel free to suggest more in the comments, or to add yourself. The more the marrier!

Welcome to the (social media) party!

October 17, 2009 6 comments

Celebrate good times

Celebrate good times!

When Cincinnati-based public relations pro Kevin Dugan (@prblog, Strategic Public Relations blog) introduced me to Twitter, he sent a tweet saying something akin to “welcome to the party.”

I’ve heard others since compare social media strategy to attending a party — and the way you interact with people at the gathering.

Who do you speak with? How long do you talk? What topics do you discuss? Are you serious, or playful, or both? Are you hoping to share something with someone, or ask them a burning question? And so on…

With that in mind, here are some of the Cincinnati people I love to have at my social media party — whether on PC, wireless laptop, BlackBerry or (best of all) in person:

Kevin Dugan (@prblog) — I make it a point of reading every post on his Strategic Public Relations blog. His tweets are very informative and fun. He gives great talks. Just a good all-around person.

Daniel Johnson Jr. (@danieljohnsonjr) — Daniel knows a lot about social media tools from firsthand experience. He does a fantastic job uniting social media enthusiasts through New Media Cincinnati (@newmediacincy). A sincerely good, genuine person.

Krista Neher (@kristaneher) — Krista speaks around the world about social media, especially how organizations and individuals can use it to further strategic goals. Yet another great person, an internationally recognized social media guru who is kind and nice. We’re lucky to have her in Cincinnati.

Debba Haupert (@girlfriendology), Shannan Boyer (@mommybits, @shannanb) and Laura Deaton-Moriaity (@lmdeaton) — Founders of Cincinnati Women Bloggers (@cinwomenblogger). Three amazing woman who use social media to better our world. Knowledgeable, hard-working, fun… Great folks.

Michelle Beckham (@michellebeckham, @c3createconnect) — Excellent social media trainer. Had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with her this summer. Also very community oriented. Learned a lot during a successful career at P&G.

Jennifer McClure (@cincyrecruiter) — Shares lots of great info for job seekers through Twitter and her blog. Seems to be attending a workshop or seminar somewhere all of the time, and educates others about what she’s learned. Another friendly person.

Dan Lally (@DanielLally) — Lots of great knowledge about strategic public relations and social media’s role in it. Wonderful sense of humor. Excellent presenter.

Jacke Reau (@gamedayjreau) — Has helped bring Cincinnati PRSA into the social media world. Gives lots of workshops. Share insightful PowerPoints on SlideShare. Went to a great school! Ohio University.

Kendra Ramirez (@kendraramirez) — High energy social media expert who gives many presentations about the topic. Was on a panel with her at Bold Fusion earlier this year. See her at events hosted by New Media Cincinnati, Cincinnati Social Media…

Tami Boehmer (@tamilb) — My wife has been using her new Miracle Survivors blog to inform and inspire those affected by cancer. Of course, I think the world of her — and love to have her at my parties.

Gosh, I’m just getting started. Don’t worry if you’re not on the list. I’m going to add to it in upcoming weeks. There are lots and lots of you who will be invited. I admire and appreciate many of my new social media pals, such as you!!!

PS: I would love for you to invite others. Please use the comments section.

Social media strategy takes teamwork

October 10, 2009 4 comments

A quarterback captures an MVP award and rewards his linemen with dinner, a ring or a vehicle.

An actress wins an Academy Award and thanks her agent, publicist…

A doctor secures a huge research grant and insists that her lab staff get recognition.

A public relations professional gets accolades for researching, planning, implementing and evaluating a social media/networking strategy and…

Hey, that’s what this post is all about.

Thanks to some very supportive folks at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services — especially Director Moira Weir and Communications Manager Brian Gregg — I’ve gotten some unexpected recognition this past year or so.

Moira has been very supportive of social media/networking as we look for innovative ways to serve strategic audiences during a time of staff reduction and record workloads.

Brian continues to encourage me to forge ahead in this pioneering area — helping me stay focused on the vast potential that lies ahead.

And my Communications teammates efficiently carry out their important roles, freeing me to work with social media.

Laura Van Houten stepped right in and took over the internal communication program that I managed for nearly a decade — until taking on external communication strategy in August 2007. Penny Hedrick does a fantastic job helping us do more with video. And John Cummings contributes impressive work in his role as adoption and foster care recruitment manager, despite major layoffs in his unit.

Our Information Systems team has been a major help. When we lost our Web developers to layoffs, IS’ top manager (Brian Frondorf) educated himself about Internet development and took on the work that they did. He has always been an advocate of using the Web to serve our clients. Our PC techs do a wonderful job of helping me as I test all sorts of software platforms. They’re always up for the adventure!

Our program experts, some leery at first of this new technology, have come to see its value and dedicate their time and energy to it.

The list goes on and on. At the higher level, county leadership has embraced social media — a low-cost, highly effective way to communicate with strategic audiences.

Yes, it takes teamwork for an organization to carry out a social media strategy. Thanks everyone!

Are you a part of a great team? I’d love to hear about it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tweet, tweet… some guiding principles

October 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Twitter-LogoAfter being on auto-tweet for a few months (as @MikeBoehmer57, @HamiltonCoJFS, @NTUnityCincy), I've been rethinking my Twitter strategy in recent weeks.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Twitter has helped me build and nurture a number of positive relationships. I’ve had the opportunity to learn a great deal from many people and, hopefully, share some of my knowledge and experience in return. We’ve had some laughs and offered support as we advanced in our professional and personal lives.

Twitter also has allowed me to keep strategic audiences updated at work, through @HamiltonCoJFS. It has permitted me to let people know about upcoming events at my church, @NTUnityCincy.

After reading dozens of articles and blog posts, attending many workshops, talking with a wide variety of social media pioneers, and using Twitter pretty-much daily for almost 18 months, I'm formulating some guiding principles for my use of Twitter. I want to stress that these are subject to change as I walk a bit further along this path of discovery.

(1) Stay away from politics and religion, except maybe in direct messages (DM) with like-minded folks.

(2) When someone follows me, follow them back. Unfollow if they over-post, offer information not relevant to me, do mean-spirited tweets… Possibly follow again down the road to see if they've changed. Maybe connect on LinkedIn or another social media network.

(3) Be positive. Don't use as an outlet to vent or complain.

(4) Offer encouragment to followers whenever possible. Thank them when they retweet (RT).

(5) Try to share helpful links related to public relations, marketing and social media every day. Give more than I take.

(6) Help people promote worthy causes, especially those related to cancer research or support.

(7) Build and nurture relationships that will help maintain a positive image for my employer. Share information that will help our customers, especially those looking for employment or services to help them during extended unemployment.

Those are some that come to mind at this time. I'll add more as time goes along. I welcome any ideas, and would love to hear your guiding principles when it comes to Twitter.