PR Pros Embrace Social Media
When Mary Henige, Director, Executive & Strategic Communications at General Motors spoke at the PRSA Detroit Conference, she stated to fellow PRSA members, “Most people when they heard the PRSA Conference was in Detroit said…Ewww Detroit,” I have to admit that I was among the people who shared that sentiment. However, I was pleasantly surprised at my arrival that the accommodations, the City’s sites and by the pride of the Detroit people that my perception had changed. Of course, as long as I didn’t watch the news, Detroit’s ranking got higher in my book.
The PRSA event focused on strategic public relations practices and the (r)evolution of socialized media. From the exhibit booths to the speaker presentations, there was a tremendous fascination, excitement, and, in some cases, concern as to a best practices approach for use of these social media tools. I was in the Marketwire booth (for the second time this year) signing my PR 2.0 book. What a fun and easy way to spend a few days. I spoke to so many different Communications professionals about the changes in the public relations landscape and the challenges facing their brands in today’s markets. I especially enjoyed seeing all of the young aspiring PR professionals who look like they are ready to tackle the world!
Most of the discussions I had surfaced around PR 2.0. Being in the Marketwire booth was a natural fit for this discussion. Marketwire is a very forward-thinking and progressive wire service. As a matter of fact, one of their new offerings is PR 2.0, which incorporates social media elements to optimize your communication (through blogging, viral marketing and social networking). Marketwire has a social media release that allows your news release to “Go Viral” in the blogosphere with tools including Digg, Del.icio.us, and Technorati, to name a few.
I think that in general, PR service providers have to take the pulse of the market and I was impressed by many of the services that I saw being offered in the PRSA Exhibit Hall. In addition to Marketwire’s innovative approach, I also found the following companies of interest:
- Burrelles/Luce: I’m happy to share that the company is upping their game and updating their approach to monitoring with iMonitor, a new monitoring service that lets a brand access all information from a single portal. iMonitor provides users with the ability to organize, share and tag coverage and use unique tools to analyze various metrics.
- Radian6: I had a demo with Radian6 and I think they have a great dashboard monitoring service. Radian6 has a social media monitoring solution that allows you to identify your key words, discover the abundance of communication on your brand and then analyze and engage with customers.
- dna13: Although much larger than the needs of my small agency, I can see why Edelman has adopted the dna13 platform. Dna13 allows you to manage media monitoring, directories, analytics and reporting.
- Influencing.com: With a similar and proven format in Australia (for the past eight years), this company states that its social wire tool reinvents the wire. It uses a Twitter-like format and offers two-way interactive communication between Influencers and businesses. The basic service is free and it looked interesting enough to warrant a test drive for potential future use.
Overall, the PRSA Conference was an event jam packed with more knowledge than anyone could possible absorb in a few days. I heard grumblings here and there about the ways that the conference could be improved (for example “Blogspot” didn’t have enough computers), but other than that most attendees walked away with more knowledge, new contacts, better strategies and hopefully the opportunity to improve their PR practices.