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14 Comments

  1. Paul Sutton
    May 17, 2010 @ 6:17 am

    Superb article, Deidre (again).

    Listen, listen and listen again! There are so many knowledgeable and talented comms pros out there who are now within touching distance (sort of) via the social web – make use of them, strike up a relationship! I’ve been working in PR/comms for 15 years but have probably learned more in the last 6 months by integrating myself into the Twitter community than in the previous decade.

    There’s a real community spirit online and your last point – giving back – is what it’s all about. The new breed of PR person shares ideas, thoughts and opinions with peers and works in collaboration. Join them and you’ll go far!

  2. Deirdre
    May 17, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    Hi Paul! Thank you very much! I appreciate you sharing your insight and I couldn’t agree with you more about the new breed of PR people who share ideas, thoughts and opinions. We are working in collaboration and if we stick together, learn together and keep sharing, we will go farther in our field then in years past.

  3. Laurent
    May 18, 2010 @ 3:22 am

    Deidre
    My 2 cts…
    You said “But, when I say listen, I mean to all types of conversations, everywhere and in every situation.”
    My opinion is that it’s important to clarify the ‘who’ as part of the listening. After all, while talking is an activity that scales (i.e: you can talk to millions of people if you get your slot into a broadcast channel), listening doesn’t scale very well. I tried to listen to 2 people at once in meetings and always end up having to ask one of them to stop and take turn.
    My point is that what you said is correct but you have to find the “who matters”. If you’re a marketer in the beauty industry, listen to the right ‘communities’ which could be the beauty community (1000s of beauty passionistas share their opinions and experiences on a daily basis) or other relevant ones. I would put a premium on listening to the ‘influencers’ who are positioned as a proxy between you and your customers.
    Then it’s correct to try and listen to all types of conversations not only those that “are talking about my brand” which is what I see happening so frequently. Nothing wrong about that but it’s important to go way beyond this.
    Does that make sense?

  4. Deirdre
    May 18, 2010 @ 8:49 am

    Hello Laurent! You are absolutely correct. You must know the “who” part and why it matters. I meant that as we listen in on important conversations, for example, on the micro level within your own organization, it’s an opportunity to hear underlying messages and tune into the needs of the higher ups. Listening requires a lot of of filtering, especially in the social sphere (your example of the beauty industry is a perfect scenario). The listening I was referring to was after you have selected who it is that’s important to to listen too and how you can fine tune your skills even more. Thanks for sharing your insight!!

  5. Stevan Schwartzenberger
    May 19, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Thank you Deirdre for the advice! I graduated college in Decemeber 2007 and immediately moved to New York to pursue a career in Public Relations. My first two years in the industry were spent learning the ins and outs of traditional PR practices, which I still use on a day to day basis. I recently moved companies and in the past two months, I have been trying to emerse myself in social media. Your advice to experience all of the changes (especially the technology), and how they affect your client’s as well as your own brands reinforces just how important it is to dedicate yourself to learning the new wave of Public Relations. I am finding that posts like these and following pros like @MarkRaganCEO and @mashable on Twitter are just as valuable to me now as learning to write my first media alert was to me two years ago. Thank you again!

  6. Kelly_Steffen (Kelly Steffen)
    May 20, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

  7. MyPRGuide (Armando Clarke)
    May 20, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

  8. Deirdre
    May 21, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    Hi Stevan! Thank you for sharing your experience in PR and it’s great that you are embracing social media. I think that having the blend of traditional PR practices with a strong knowledge in social media communications can open many doors for you. Best of luck in your PR journey and don’t hesitate to reach out to say “hi” or for advice in the future 🙂

  9. Stevan Schwartzenberger
    May 21, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Will do, thanks Deirdre!

  10. Monika
    May 22, 2010 @ 1:26 am

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Paul you mentioned PR experts on Twitter, could you recommend some to start following??

    thanks! 🙂

  11. Deirdre
    May 22, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    Hi Monika, you may want to check out @joelcomm (he wrote Twitter Power) and Shel Israel, @shelisreal, author of Twitterville.

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