This week I offer you the first of a series of guest posts, this one focused on using social media to drive successful events IRL. Thanks to my good friend Francisco Garcia (no, not the one who plays for the Sacramento Kings) for taking time to share his experiences here on the blog.
This week, let’s take a moment to look at PR / Public Relations for a moment. PR has long been a primary way by which companies of all sizes influence public opinion, build brand awareness and familiarity, and create general goodwill toward a brand.
With the latest social media tools and networking capabilities, there has been a great deal of debate about how PR is changing. Some speculate that the discipline is due to become obsolete, others advocate a revamped approach, and still others merely see today’s PR environment as a small offshoot of how we have always done it.
The old adage It’s not what you know; it’s who you know may be seen as a tired cliche in many circles these days, with good reason. This is what you’d expect from overused analogies like this one.
Tired or not, it is still absolutely a fact. Thought leaders spend unbelievable time and effort trying to hammer home this message in an online context, wrapping words like social networking, social media, social graph, and other terms around it in hopes of getting the message across.
The problem? Well, there is a forest, and there are some trees, but are they one and the same? Not really…
Let’s take a quick break from the serious topics today. In a recent conversation with a colleague of mine, I sat and watched as he struggled to come up with a new analogy for social media as a whole.
Of course, through those struggles, we both realized that it’s not quite the easiest thing to liken to another concept. At the same time, many people had already attempted to do so.
In honor of his struggles and our on-the-spot realization, I present to you the following possible analogies for social media. These all include citations if you wish to learn more about the thought process for yourself, and I’d welcome any commentary on whether you agree or disagree with my assessment of each.
Everyone out there is talking about social media, the new opportunities and risks, and how to best use it. In response, your peers have begun an aggressive push to figure out what the various tools, sites, and techniques can offer their business. This is a great thing, one that I’ve been cheering on since the start.
In reality, we’ve only taken baby steps toward really getting this all figured out in both a personal and business context. With so much left to learn and so many different opinions about this fast-changing area, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of mastering some new tricks.
Really got your attention with that headline, didn’t I? It’s not just a ploy to get cheap clicks.
Enough with the Hype
As you are surely aware by now, I’m a huge fan of social media, new media, social networking, sharing/bookmarking, and pretty much every other cool social offering out there. I spend countless hours playing with different services, sites, and techniques on a weekly basis. Heck, I’ve met some good friends and amazing colleagues through various forms of social networking.
It amazes me to see so much dry, ineffective marketing out there, much of it brought to market with large budgets and huge teams of professionals executing on it. And really, it’s quite easy to fall into groupthink when so many cooks are at play in the proverbial kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you can’t execute effective marketing messaging, campaigns, etc. with a team-based approach. Quite the contrary, I’m actually saying a couple of things.
It finally happened to me. I never thought it would, but it sure did.
What am I talking about? Information Overload
The news sort of came out a bit under the radar, but Twitter announced a very interesting change they are implementing on their blog (March 9, 2010). Positioned as a response to phishing, they will be changing URLs in Direct Messages to their own twt.tl shortened redirects. Essentially, they can then track for bad behavior and block the URL altogether if the target web page is found to be malicious.
Last week while traveling to San Francisco for the RSA Conference 2010, I finally took the time to figure out how to use TwitPic from my mobile phone. It was like a revelation! For those of you who follow me, you may have seen as I posted various photos from the trip out there, my dinner the first night, etc. I had a shiny new toy!