Working on Your PR 2.0 Raw
I know I’ve blogged about the concept of Working on your “PR 2.0 Raw” in the past. I remember, as if it was yesterday, when a former journalist (now turned blogger) was asking me a few questions at a tweetup about little while back. After our discussion, he said, “I can tell you’re a PR person… you need to work on your raw.” I didn’t take this as an insult; on the contrary, it was a call to action to “Be Myself.”
Today, when I interviewed with Tatyana Gann (@smokinhotpr), on her SmokinHotPR BlogTalkRadio show, we discussed how you have to “Be Yourself.” The discussion stemmed from something I read on Tatyana’s blog. I noticed that her blog had an About Section that included a Personal Development Manifesto. Three important attributes to development are mentioned:
1. We must be committed. We must have the right mindset and believe in ourselves not someone else.
2. Commitment will bring clarity. We must be clear all disbeliefs. We must clear the path to success by eliminated dirt, mud and weeds growing on the way.
3. We must be consistent. It will teach us to overcome fears. Fear is the biggest doubt people have.
Toward the end of her piece, one of the last statements, which for me, captured the essence of what we all need to learn about social media. She said, “One more thing…do not forget to be yourself.”
Think about it: Be Yourself. No more canned messages. Media training doesn’t work in the blogosphere.
Can we all learn to be ourselves and not revert to our messages after years and years of training in the PR profession? I think we’re able and quite capable, as soon as we realize that social media communications is less about what we want to communicate and more about really helping someone and offering valuable information. When you’re a peer in a community, you interact on a level that allows natural and transparent communication…very open and human.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we don’t abide by the social media guidelines, policies and procedures developed by our companies. Of course we should always have respect and responsibility and yes, there will be those who are “official” representatives of the company designated to discuss specific areas of expertise or to give the company’s official point of view. However, it’s important to keep in mind that as you are participating in social networks that you should be able to develop your own unique voice.
When I think about the way that brands allow their employees to participate in social media outreach, the same holds true. I also believe there is an instant conflict between the true nature of social media communications and how brands want the corporate representative (the media trained or polished representative) speaking on behalf of the organization in social networks, or designating the corporate representative as the only person authorized to post on the company blog. My immediate reaction, “the media trained corporate representative, doesn’t work in the social sphere. That’s a disservice to the brand. If there’s no transparency, then there’s no trust.”
I’ve been through the media training process, and was taught how two bridge back to corporate messages, how to get an elevator pitch across in 30 seconds or less and how to answer rapid fire questions. There’s still a time and a place for our executives to use this training, it’s just not how we should represent ourselves or our brands in the social economy. Media training does not give you a unique social media voice or personality.
When we work on our PR 2.0 raw, the benefits translate into real conversations with people and actions, behaviors and outcomes that have value. The real value is in the relationships that we forge, as we tear down the layers, lift up the veil and let others know what we think and feel. This is PR 2.0 raw and it needs to be a part of our social media best practices approach. Have you worked on your PR 2.0 raw lately?
Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR
March 1, 2010 @ 10:01 pm
You are so right. We as PR professionals have often pushed our “raw” aside. Our professional or maybe really who we’ve worked for has caused us to live in messaging and bridging often showing lack of emotion while we are filled with great passion about what we do. (Not to say those skills don’t come in handy in tight personal situations) I have to say being a consultant for the past 3 years has allowed me to rediscover my “raw”. Through Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, I’m actually showing people who I am and it feels great. It will take time for us to rediscover our “raw”, but I have a feeling more will.
March 2, 2010 @ 9:10 am
Hi Ann Marie! Yes, we do tend to put our emotions aside for the messages and bridging back to topics. It’s so good that you are rediscovering your “raw.” I feel the same way over the past couple of years. Twitter, Facebook and my blog have definitely helped. Thanks for sharing your thought on the topic.
March 3, 2010 @ 2:35 am
What a pleasure to see this blog post! I think we all must be natural and never force ourselves to be something else to make our readers feel better. The magic spark we create in PR 2.0 will only happen when we are true to our values and core beliefs.
I think each person, each blogger, each writer has something they can offer that is very valuable and as I was reading the other day the book by Seth Godin “Linchpin” he said something profound that even we must always be in creative flow and be ourselves and that creative sparks create success and the rest of the time we do same things as everyone else.
I think we need to stop worrying about what impressing others but focus on showing consistency on what we represent and that will establish more trust.
Thank you Deirdre
Helena Summer Medena
March 3, 2010 @ 12:21 pm
Sometimes, it feels as if there are only 10 books written and they just get re-written.
Indeed, there is huge fear about shining. Most of us have been traumatized (in some way or another) in the childhood and are now insecure to the level that we dont even know who we are anymore. Just because we “like” someones style, doesn’t meant that we are empty.
I see this on FB so often. We use smart quotes from worlds leaders, and yes, they inspire the world, but I come to your page because I want to hear what YOU have to say. If I want Einsteins quote, I know where to find it.
This all tells me how important Emotional work and self growth are in the business. MUCH more than we think.
Stay Original! Stay who you are! Stay Delicious,
Helena S. Medena
March 3, 2010 @ 12:23 pm
Hi Tatyana! Thank you for your thoughtful insight. I have to pick up a copy of Seth Godin’s Linchpin. I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately. Will add it to my 2010 reading list. You are absolutely right! Focusing on what we represent and who we really are will build trust in a relationship.
March 3, 2010 @ 2:39 pm
Hi Helena! So true…in business there is a lot of Emotional work and self growth that needs to be done by business professionals. By learning to Be Yourself, this is definitely the first step. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog.