ver the past year or so, I’ve gotten into something I never thought I would get into when I was younger – running. This past weekend, after about 3-4 months of training, I completed my first marathon and while I didn’t quite get the time I wanted, I not only feel accomplished, but even more driven. I know I can do better and I am already trying to lay out races throughout the year to prepare for another marathon.
A recent article in the Boston Globe Magazine caught my attention for a combination of right and wrong reasons. Sporting the title “The Revolt of the Unpaid Intern,” the piece struck me as a somewhat “breathless” condemnation of internship programs in general. The front-page photo of a hapless “intern” schlepping coffee and an armful of papers for filing didn’t help.
Have you thought about the potential of mobilizing your entire workforce through social media rather than one or two individual voices? What are the steps to harness the power of social media within the organization? I’ve been doing a lot of work in the area of social media policy development, training and governance over the past few years. A friend and colleague, Eric Schwartzman (@ericschwartzman), CEO of social media training provider Comply Socially, shares my passion for educating companies on how they can leverage social media effectively.
On November 12, 2009, I participated in the Vocus PR Planning Considerations for 2010 Webinar. I discussed the challenges of PR planning for 2010 and how to plan for the “unknown, unknowns.” When I think about the “unknown, Unknowns,” I feel that just being in public relations means always planning for the unexpected, based on our roles and responsibilities. We’re seen as the “conscience” of the company, reputation managers and damage control officers. Social media communication adds a whole new level of complexity to our planning process.
I had heard a great deal about Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) from my peers long before I even purchased his book, Crush It. They told me that he was extremely driven, energetic and so enthusiastic that he couldn’t help his use of profanity (often apologizing that some day his children would be watching his Wine Library TV videos). The first question that came to my mind about Gary was: how does a guy from New Jersey (my home state) turn a business under $10 million dollars into a $60 million operation? Was it a combination of luck, skill and timing?
We’re nearing our 4th #PRStudChat and with each and every Twitter discussion our community grows. Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) and I have been trying to keep the sessions dynamic, creative and exciting with interesting guests and challenges for participants. This session will not be any different. We announced the discussion as “Career Day” for the #PRStudChat participants. Our other special announcement is the introduction of Angela Hernandez (@angelahernandez), as our guest, student moderator that day. For those of you who do not know Angela, she is President of PRSSA at Central Michigan University (CMU)
It’s the week before the PRSA International Conference in San Diego, California and I’m thrilled to see that there’s excitement and discussion around this year’s conference. I’m hoping to generate more conversations with the short video that I’ve prepared. Since I recorded the video a few new developments have surfaced. For example, my panel session has expanded. Kami Huyse, APR and Principal of My PR Pro, now joins myself and Author and Chief Interrupter of crayon, Joseph Jaffe and Author and Founder of Ariel Publicity and CyberPR, Ariel Hyatt to participate in a dynamic panel session that we hope will get people thinking and speaking their minds.
It was an honor to be an international keynote at the PRIA National Conference in Brisbane, Australia. The program was held at the Sofitel Brisbane, a beautiful hotel in the heart of the city. I was able to walk around the day before the conference to see the sights of the City and to check out the local shopping.
Trust lies in the heart of a strong relationship. It can be very hard to achieve and once you have earned it, you would never want to do anything to break that bond. The book, Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) and Julien Smith (@julien) teaches you how to gain trust or influence on the web, which definitely has its challenges.
Our October 21st #PRStudChat Challenge was a big hit! The PR discussion between students, professors and PR pros with @missusp as our special guest (she was fantastic), attracted around 409 contributors and there were approximately 1,995 tweets (we were trending for a little while). Our community is growing and the amount of information and insight being shared is incredibly valuable. The #PRStudChat challenge, with over 40 schools participating, helped to get everyone excited and revved up for a dynamic discussion. Although the conversations started long before the actual chat session, the group discussed everything from ethics and social media communications to the purpose of our blogs and the importance of learning web technology.
I just spent the last few days in Houston. I presented at the “Social Media for Executives Event” via Skype about PR 2.0 and Community Building: How to Turn your Employees into Brand Champions. I also presented to the participants of SchipulCon 09 on Putting the Public Back in Public Relations. Although I love presenting, I think the best part of both events was the Q&A and feedback that I received. I learned a great deal about myself, my presentation style and what an audience wants from a presenter. So, I’d like to share some thoughts with you.
Recently, the FTC revised its guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Effective on December 1, 2009, bloggers are required to disclose any material connections to brands in the content that they publish. Until today, there was no simple disclosure solution. DigComm (short for the Digital Communications Group), a company that specializes in development of digital communications tools for PR and social media agencies, has developed Cmp.ly, which could be an extremely valuable and easy solution for bloggers, marketers and content providers moving forward.
When I was at the #IMS09 conference, I got into a discussion with a fellow PR colleague about free monitoring tools (beyond Google Alerts). He had mentioned that his office had very little resources and that it was difficult to find the budget for all of the things that needed to be done in both marketing and social media marketing. I offered him our Free Tools Matrix as a way that he could see what types of gratis resources there are on the Web to monitor the conversations and to see how to connect with key influencers.
I had the honor and the pleasure of participating on a panel at the Inbound Marketing Summit (#IMS09) in Boston on October 7, 2009. I joined several colleagues including Jason Kintzler of PitchEngine (@jasonkintzler), Melanie Stachowiak of MarketWire (@melaniestack), Paul Roetzer, PR 20/20 (@paulroetzer), and David Weiner, PR Newswire (@davidweiner) to discuss the state of the PR industry and PR 2.0, with a strong focus on the value of the news release vs. the Social Media Release in a changing Web 2.0 world. Well suited for this discussion were panelists from two PR agencies, two wire services and the founder of a Social Media Release platform and social network that enable PR to effectively package stories with social content.
In November, I’ll be moderating a panel at the PRSA International Conference in San Diego with several noteworthy authors. I’m really excited to have Joseph Jaffe (Join the Conversation), Ariel Hyatt (Music Success in Nine Weeks) and Juliet Powell (33 Million People in the Room) joining me for the panel session. We will be discussing the topic PR 2.0: R(e)volution. As a Public Relations professional, I’ve found the word “Revolution” or “Revolutionary” to be over used. I guess it’s because of the many news releases I’ve seen over the years that have talked about, “Our revolutionary or groundbreaking brands, products and services that will change your business, industry and the world.” For me to place Public Relations in the same sentence as the word “Revolution” – this is no ordinary shift for the profession.
I’ve spent years discussing the many change in Public Relations as a result of Web 2.0 and social media communications. I join my peers in tackling the challenges and embracing the benefits of these changes. As we teach our brands how to adapt, adjust and take advantage of a new approach and tools, we help them to find transparency, a human side, and the ability to reach their customers and other stakeholders with a customized story in a more meaningful manner. The result: they experience direct conversations and build better relationships.
There are a couple of Twitter books on my reading list including Twitterville by Shel Israel (@shelisrael) and Twitter Power by Joel Comm (@joelcomm). However, what I’m finding is that through experimentation with Twitter chats, I’m learning by doing and there are some excellent practices that I want to share.