Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Many (mistakenly) believe that "blogger engagement" falls under the social media rubric, when in fact, it resides squarely in the traditional PR realm, albeit with a nichified, if not quirkier media channel. (On the other hand, the creation of corporate or special interest blogs do qualify as bone fide social media endeavors.)
For the last ten years or so, I have presided over the Publicity Club of New York. Our mission has evolved, but the core goal of enlightening PR peeps to work more effectively -- and less annoyingly -- with the "media channel" has persevered. Recently, I began to ponder whether the advent of social media would relegate the words "publicity" and "publicist" into the PR lexicographer's graveyard. I mean doing "publicity" just sounds anachronistic, doesn't it?
Yet, after every one of our luncheons, which feature top-tier journalists of all stripes and flavors, I'm reassured that the art of pitching/engaging/enticing reporters, bloggers, producers and individual "influencers" remains a vibrant, vital and valued dance -- from both sides of the media relations equation.
In March of 2005, a month before this blog was born, PCNY featured a panel of up-and-coming bloggers, all of whom are A-listers today. A year and-a-half later we hosted a group of tech influencers. Our most recent panel featured leading broadcaster producers from "The Takeaway" to "GMA." And in September, we heard from some of the new breed of influencers/conversation catalysts (pictured left to right): The Times's Brian Stelter, paidContent's David Kaplan, Mediaite's Rachel Sklar (who's kinda sore at me right now...long story) HuffPost's Danny Shea, and The Business Insider's Nich Carlson.
I tell you this because we digitally recorded all the insights these journalists shared with the 100-150 NY PR pros that typically attend our luncheons. So if you have some time over the long weekend, I encourage to visit this page on the PCNY website. Down the right column are the panels we've hosted with links to the audio of each panelist's opening remarks.
Heres to better media pitching, I mean engagement, I mean dialogue. Whatever!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Both stories touch on the old and the new, the yin and the yang, the steadfast and the social sides of our dichotomous profession. The first piece gave props to Hollywood PR peeps for putting butts in seats, and perhaps saving the studios millions in ad spending.
"Over at Disney, publicity executives are coordinating their efforts more closely with those of their advertising counterparts: If the P.R. team for the company’s ABC unit can land an article about “Dancing With the Stars” on the cover of TV Guide, for instance, the network will make certain not to also buy advertising space in that issue to push the show."(Gee, I haven't read TV Guide since, well, Jeff Jarvis was TV critic there.)
The tactics cited brought back memories of my earliest days in the PR biz handling publicity chores for films like "The China Syndrome," "Absence of Malice," Alan Alda's "Seduction of Joe Tynan" and "The Four Seasons," to name a few. Some things change, some things remain the same:
"'At least with publicity — placed stories — there is a feeling that the message has gone through a filter,' said Paul Pflug, the co-owner of Principal Communications, a public relations firm that specializes in entertainment. 'Journalists and their editors had to consider the pitch worthy of space. The message has been vetted in some way.” He said an article was more valuable to the studios because it is more credible to viewers than an ad.'Ahhh. The media filter as a third-party endorsement. Now there's a revelation! So where does Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube, etc. fit in the movie marketing media mix?
"Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have also changed the publicity game in Hollywood. The P.R. apparatus has largely assumed the responsibility of monitoring, shaping and creating attention on that part of the Web. Movie characters now have Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, for instance. Guess who updates the accounts?"But, the Times reporter also singled-out the old-fashioned press junket (for Vince Vaughan's "Couples Retreat") as a cost-effective vehicle for bolstering media coverage:
"Universal Pictures...decided to stage a lavish junket, one of those all-expenses-paid promotion-a-thons for writers and TV reporters. Instead of hosting the event at a Los Angeles or New York hotel, as is standard practice, Universal flew the participants to Bora Bora... It cost about twice as much as a standard junket, but generated at least four times as much media coverage, the studio estimated."So much for that tactic. The movie bombed, and now the FTC is investigating the bought-bloggers of Bora Bora. (Just kidding.)
Moving on from Sunset Blvd. to Wall Street, The Times's "Week in Review" tapped some of our industry's bold-faced names to opine on the Goldman Sachs conundrum. Notably absent from the piece were The Street's biggest players including Kekst and Co., Brunswick, Abernathy MacGregor and Joele Frank... These firms likely recused themselves given the proximity of their
current client work to these very issues.
Still, there was no shortage of PR strategists pouncing on Goldman with advice in hand, according to company CEO Lloyd Blankfein:
"...he spoke with barely disguised disdain in his voice about the work of the image consultants, reputation experts and public relations advisers who are beating a path to his door, and to the doors of other Wall Street banks vilified for their profits and million-dollar bonuses at a time of continuing economic pain. 'Some people come in and say, ‘You are doing too much. Don’t say another word.’ Other people say we should get on the talk shows.'"The talks shows?
The question of how Goldman should neutralize the growing chorus of reputation-tainting critics recently was raised at the Council of PR Firms' Critical Issues Forum. My old friend Susie Gharib of "Nightly Business Report" suggested that Goldman allocate $20 billion for those in need. This PR vet piped up that this kind of gesture would be seen in the media as a PR ploy.
In case you were out of the country, last week the embattled company finally did announce plans to set aside $500 million (or less than 3% of this year's executive bonus pool) to "help thousands of small businesses recover from the recession." Harvard's Michael Porter and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffet were added to the PR mix for good karma. Yet, as anticipated, The Times editorial board saw it like this:
"It is hard to take seriously Goldman’s claim that the program was not motivated by its public relations problems. The money will be welcomed by the recipients, but if Goldman wants to make a meaningful contribution, it would have to be in the billions and aimed more directly at taxpayers."One of the experts tapped to opine on the challenge was the venerable go-to New York PR man Howard J. Rubenstein who argued for a more effusive mea culpa:
“They should be taking advertisements, they should hold seminars, news conferences. This is a time for gratitude and attitude. One letter to the editor, one news conference, one speech does not make an image."Pretty standard stuff, if you ask me, though not without its value. Can these traditional tactics by themselves alter public opinion in today's changed media ecosystem? Is anyone at Goldman actually listening and engaging in the online conversation? Should Lloyd Blankfein or someone around him allocate some time to earnestly blog (or tweet) about the company's present peccadillo?
As much as PR has changed, compelling content and a commitment to open communications remain paramount. They should have a permanent place in the domain of seasoned (and social media) PR pros who seek for their clients a surer path to redemption. As Richard Edelman noted:
"...one of the best things Wall Street could do now is clearly 'explain how you make your money and why your business model makes sense for a stakeholder society.'"The choice of channels (eg, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, MSM...) are secondary to message and meaningful dialogue.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Today, I had the pleasure of participating in PR Camp New York. The use of the word "camp" in a social media context probably has its origins from the pod(casting) camps made popular when podcasting had what was then considered Twitter status.
Dan Greenfield came in from Atlanta to preside over the confab at the 92Y in Tribeca. And in spite of a surplus of social media gatherings this particular fall season, today's event drew a diverse mix of more than 100 PR peeps and marketers from the agency, non-profit and corporate spheres.
I was woven to Zontee Hou, a Gen Y'er who overseas social media for Lion Brand Yarn, which just won a Groundswell and PR News Platinum Award. Yes, for yarn! Our topic:
"Talking about the 'Y' Generation: Tapping the Social Media Expertise of Young Professionals to Reach Your Audience"
I then asked whether simply having a Facebook account really qualifies one for the keys to the social media kingdom. Isn't it less about age and more about being a new media "maven" that determines one's aptitude for carrying this hot potato? Someone in the audience then noted the paucity of Gen Y'ers who preside over today's most popular blogs. Another person said that familiarity with news groups and BBS offer historical perspective that Gen Y'ers don't have.
So why is it that companies and agencies invariably put Gen Y'ers in charge of their social media programs? I suggested (half heartedly) that it's because Gen Y'ers are glad to take the $35k annual salaries budgeted for such positions. Seriously, though, it was agreed that the generation born after 1980 is very conversant with the Internet, and exceptionally passionate about making things happen...yesterday.
So what can Gen Y'ers and their older work colleagues learn from each other? In my breakout group, one 20-something described a session she held for her CEO in which she outlined what Facebook "Fan Pages" could potentially mean to her company's brand. Another person of a more advanced age talked of mounting an internal audit to learn the degree of employee engagement with the social graph. With this data in hand, he then created specific social media guidelines for deployment throughout the enterprise.
In the end, most agreed that Gen Y'ers do appreciate the guidance they receive from their older colleagues, i.e., ROI, brand-building, and guidelines for engagement. One F-H assistant account executive even said that her boss, an account supervisor at the agency, reviews all her client tweets before she tweets them. Now that's cross-generational teamwork!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It was a "house-ad" from Dow Jones that amazingly targets...the PR professional. Yes, the lowly PR professional.
Frankly, I had very mixed feelings about this ad that touted Dow Jones' alleged "new" approach to media targeting. From its news release:
"For communications professionals, the increasingly fragmented media landscape adds to the challenge of quickly finding the right journalist or blogger who will be interested in their story," says Martin Murtland, managing director, Dow Jones Solutions for Communications Professionals. "Dow Jones Media Relations Manager helps media relations professionals build media lists and personalized, highly relevant and more effective pitches based on the stories the journalists or bloggers have actually written or communicated."On the one hand, the product serves as an unabashed validation of the approach pioneered a year ago by MatchPoint, the PR search application I helped co-develop with eNR Services. It's not every day that one of the world's most prestigious news organizations endorses (or even discusses) a specific approach to media relations.
MatchPoint's (patent-pending) technology identifies relevant journalists based on how closely their cumulative bodies of work match the search query (e.g., keywords, pitch letter or news release). It broke from the entrenched PR Spam-producing approach, which uses vague titles or listed beats as a means to find "the right" reporters.
On the other hand, I was put off by Dow Jones' claim that it is:
"...the only media relations tool that links journalist and blogger contact data with the articles. posts and tweets they're writing today."So much for truth in advertising. If it's any consolation, I did have chance to take the Dow Jones product for a test drive at the recent PRSA International Conference in San Diego. I approached the booth, and who was there ahead of me smack in the middle of a product demo? None other than Jack O'Dwyer, the entrenched chronicler of all things PR.
Jack asked the booth's proprietor to do a search with the keywords "PR" and "advertising" for newspapers and wires in the New York market. After a few seconds, the results appeared -- all 58,000 of them -- with a sports writer atop the list. Nowhere to be found were The Times's Stuart Elliott or Stephanie Clifford, the NY Post's Holly Sanders Ware, or even The Wall Street Journal's Suzanne Vranica or Emily Steele.
The person who demo'd the product explained that the search needed to be "refined" to elicit more precise results. I'd say take a ten-day free trial of MatchPoint. If you like it, sign on for $75/month for a license covering two computers. (Don't ask about the cost to subscribe to the Dow Jones app.)
Monday, November 16, 2009
I choose to audit the panel called "Real-Time Marketing: Operationalizing the Use of Social Media," which featured SM luminaries Jennifer Zeszut (Scout Labs) who moderated, Peter Kim (Dachis Group), James M. Smith (Disney Online), Randy Ksar (Motorola), Aaron Dignan (Undercurrent), Valeria Maltoni (SunGard Availability Services), and Shiv Singh (Razorfish). Here are some select tweets:
@conversationage (Maltoni): Social media is helping us close the loop between prospecting and nurturing customersImmediately following the panel, I was approached by two reps for Scout Labs, stemming, no doubt, from this tweet:
@peterkim: social media is just another on-ramp as part of an integrated campaign. not a be-all, end-all
@jenniferland: if people are complaining about their cable service, this is a perfect op for NetFlix to engage
@jenniferland: [Unlike years past when it was difficult to identify specific customers], Twitter offers "a huge firehose" of feedback
Disney Online's James M. Smith: We have to be careful about marketing to kids. Moms are another story
Motorola's @djksar: Started with podcasts to elicit feedback for its android products
@shivsingh: client Victoria's Secret's FB fan page has 1.8 million fans. No prob finding customers
@shivsingh: Victoria's Secret solicits its FB fans to vote for a visit to their campus
@peterkim: product development: sounds great in theory... a car? no. car accessories. yes.
@PeterKim: if we can't [use SM to] operationalize new product ideas, we have to at least to pretend we're listening
@djksar When taking customer feedback, important to double-back to create evangelists
@Peterkim called the groundswell that succeeded in reviving the TV show "Jericho" 'squeeky wheels' The revival failed.
@conversationage: it's hard to have a personality on Twitter with a logo showing
@shivsingh: Humanizing company shouldn't be the sole objective. Think carefully thru lens of brand, e.g., Disney
@peterhimler: Web 2.0 Expo - Host Scout Labs gets plaudits from #opsocial panelists, even though service, in my opinion, not best-in-classI sheepishly explained that after seeing The New York Times coverage of the company, I asked for and received a demo of the company's conversation mining application. At the time, I thought it fell short in key areas, but then again, it's no secret that true sentiment analysis remains elusive for most companies operating in this space...today. Maybe it's time for a re-visit?
I did find time to talk about the changing agency biz with the always insightful Peter Kim (at left), formerly w/ Forrester, now a managing director at Dachis Group working from Boston. Here's the audio from our talk. (RT: 4:27). I also ran into the inimitable Stowe Boyd and met Nilofer (@nilofer) Merchant (who has a new book "The New How" on the horizon) and O'Reilly's VP, marketing, Christine (@christinew_) Walker.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This followed our PCNY media event this week, which sold out, the PRSA Int'l Conference, which drew thousands, and the Council of PR Firms' Critical Issues Forum that also played to a full house. Could it be that the economic tides have finally turned as Council president Kathy Cripps suggested yesterday?
After arriving, I took my assigned seat at the digital video-themed breakfast table, deftly hosted by Weber Shandwick's VP, Social Media, Chris Vary. Joining us were Vary's LA-based colleague and the agency's EVP for Digital Strategy and Operations Chris Perry, Walmart's director of corporate affairs for the northeast region Steve Restivo, manager of digital communications for Beltway-based Gibraltor Associates James Davis, and several others.
This PR vet asked whether it's worth posting one's video beyond YouTube to which Vary suggested that there are 12 primary video-hosting sites he recommends -- from Vimeo to Veoh. (Vary must like those V words.) Someone then asked about another "v" word -- viral, and specifically what are its ingredients. Perry strongly advised against producing a video with the goal of seeing it go viral. Rather, he suggested, use digital video as a means to fill an informational or utilitarian need.
None of us could figure out whether the party-priming video for the Windows 7 (Tupper-wear like) launch was purposely produced as an exercise in banality. We all acknowledged its million+ views, not to mention the derision it spurred from more than a few influencers in the digital sphere. It simply had an old-school PR-centric VNR feel to it -- not good.
We finally debated whether it made sense for someone from Walmart to avail him or herself on video in the immediate aftermath of last year's Black Friday "stampede" sale in which a store employee was trampled to death. There was a question about whether words alone would be sufficient to satisfactorily quell heightened emotions. It was decided that they wouldn't, and that tangible changes were in order. Those changes are now getting media attention.
I enjoyed the PR Week Next conference in spite of having to break for a lengthy client media interview mid-stream causing me to miss the panel featuring Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs, Columbia Journalism School, Gordon Crovitz, formerly of Dow Jones and today the founder of Journalism Online, and Brian Stelter, media reporter for The New York Times.
What differentiated this gathering from others was the preponderance of PR pros from the corporate side of the industry equation. I did catch the digital discourse with Kelly Groehler, senior manager, corporate public relations, Best Buy Co., Inc., Christi Day, online spokesperson and emerging media specialist, Southwest Airlines, Sarah Molinari, corporate communications manager, The Home Depot, moderated by Jen Houston, SVP, WagEd Studio D.
It prompted me to start a new Twitter list on Listorious featuring Corporate Social Media Influencers. I also ran into my friend and former colleague (twice over) Peter Land who let on about his fresh new gig as SVP, communications, PepsiCo Americas Beverages.
Lisa, Julia, Erica, and Rose - good show! (More here.) Hope to see you at PR Camp in NYC next Friday.
Photo: PR Week executive editor Erica Iacono with Tom Kunz, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC (by Peter Himler with Canon PowerShot SX20 IS)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I would have liked to have lingered another day (SD is such a fab city), but today PCNY held its own confab in NY where 160 PR pros heard producers for GMA, Nightline, The Takeaway, Dr. Oz and Beet.TV share what's what in the broadcast biz.
Back to sunny San Diego. PRSA's powers-that-be had the acuity to invite the namesake of the world's top-ranked blog to address the SRO PR crowd. Ms. Huffington offered her deeply accented (think Eva Gabor), but very clear perspectives on the PR profession (i.e., she recognizes and appreciates our purpose in life) and insights on the changed media landscape and news gathering process.
Here are a smattering of paraphrased quotes from her session for which she was intro'd as "a major player in the new world media" -- @AriannaHuff at #PRSA09:
"...this is an amazing turning point." [for news consumers]"Ms. Huffington was then joined by Wendell Potter, the former in-house communications exec for CIGNA who had the courage to expose his former employer -- at great personal and professional risk/expense -- for the misinformation the insurance giant spewed on health care reform. Frankly, in my professional opinion, the industry practice of creating "front groups" (for astroturfing purposes) poses the single greatest reputational risk to the PR profession today. (And between you and me, there isn't a large agency that doesn't do it.)
"...the press release is becoming more and more obsolete...even though we still do it at the huffington post."
"..the more social tools we use (fb, twitter, blogs) the more powerful the resulting action becomes."
"...viral communications is affecting everything you communicate."
"...MSM suffers from ADD, while online media suffers from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)."
She extols virtues of citizen journalists [to the detriment of traditional journalists], citing "Off the Bus" experiment in '08
"...for a story to stand out, it needs drama, eg, the balloon boy (or 'the attic boy')..."
She supported Joe Biden's call to withdraw from Afghanistan, but used the headline "Joe Biden Should Resign" to incite drama.
If she hadn't "framed" the Joe Biden story that way, instead of 1000 visitors, it wouldn't have gotten the kind of mass attention that it did
"...there are a million and a half homeless children in country, what if we constructed a giant balloon?!"
"...in many of the causes you're going to support, touching people's hearts is more impt. than touching their minds"
"...it's a real exciting time to be in PR and journalism professions" it's all about listening now, not just talking."
She offers PR peeps the opportunity to write on HuffPost "because that's how we grow."
"It [the media] is no longer about proprietary content anymore, ubiquity is what matters" [no paid walls]"
Here's what @WendellPotter had to say:
He talked about his HMO employer going to great extents to hide funding of front groups [astroturfers]To listen to the entire keynote, click here. Excuse the quality. (TRT: 52 mins.)
"I would suggest [to others} to do 'an ethics check," e.g., is your job something you're proud of doing?"
@ariannahuff "...there has to be a moral foundation to capitalism [cites economist Adam Smith]
@wendellpotter "...soon after obama healthcare summit, he [Potter] knew promises of industry support were "disingenuous" and "duplicitous"
"...health insurance industry talking point was "uninsured are uninsured by choice" a devious term he [potter] coined.
"...purposely deceiving people is just done, i.e., front groups. it's accepted by the industry."
"...with decline of msm, we are all now self-selecting, which makes it easier for special interests (teabaggers) to flourish."
@arriannahuff "I think [PR pros] are held in higher esteem than Congress."
@wendellpotter "...younger generations have pretty good "BS filters" [Not sure I agree ph)
He read JFK's "profiles in courage," richard branson's "screw it, just do it" when faced with prospect of never working in corp pr again
Receives standing ovation from PR crowd for his courage to stand up to healthcare insurance biz's deceptions.
Later that day, I had the good fortune to preside over a thought-leading panel with the title "The Nexus of PR and Social Media." (Yes, groan, anoooottthhhheeerrrr social media discussion.) Joining me were Top Rank Results' Lee Odden (@leeodden), Fleishman Hillard's Jessica Smith (@jessicaknows), former Sony Electronics corp. comms chief Rick Clancy (@rickclancy) and Converseon's Rob Key (@robkey). Ground cover from the audience was provided by the socially savvy Greg Jarboe and Sally Falkow.
The goal was to examine both the new and the old in an effort to get a fix on what core PR competencies transcend the new world PR order. For example, I rhetorically asked the question: is traditional media relations on its way out? I cited the number of agencies whose clients still sustain them through mainstream media relations ONLY.
This is where Greg Jarboe weighed in with some very sobering stats (for MSM only-focused shops):
"According to The State of News Media for 2009, which is published by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, 5,900 full-time newsroom jobs, 11% of the total at America's newspapers, were cut in 2008. By the end of 2009, newsrooms of American daily newspapers may employ 25% fewer people than they did in 2001.
Ad Age estimates that just under 150,000 people worked in magazines in 2008, down from about 170,000 in 2000. And in local television, news staffs, already too small to adequately cover their communities, are being cut at unprecedented rates."
Read his post from Search Engine Watch. I chimed back that media relations is alive and well, and that the media universe is actually exploding when you consider the blogosphere and individual influencers (on Twitter and elsewhere). Greg quickly reminded me that my question pertained to "mainstream media."
We did end up concurring that blogger relations/engagement does not fall under the "social media" banner anyway. It's traditional media relations, albeit with a different breed of media who gerninate their posts from many sources outside the PR realm. What about bloggers being bought? Well that's another subject, also covered by the panel.
Friday, November 06, 2009
She certainly pulled out all the props, including a copy of the healthcare bill wrapped in some kind of twine, a group Pledge of Allegiance (to which the Congressman who led it forgot the words), and a healthy heaping of political wack-a-dos who today pass for Republican leadership. This included crass conservative shock jock Mark Levin and House Minority Leader John Boehner who mistook the U.S. Constitution for the Declaration of Independence.
And let's not forget the TV-ready nasty visuals Ms. Bachmann's teabagger followers brought to her party (which didn't seem to bother the Minnesota or Ohio Reps.). These included posters with images of bodies at a Nazi death camp, our President painted in white face a la The Joker, and an assault rifle with the caption "Come and Take it."
Shocking, but sadly effective. One cable outlet called it "a major rally," in spite of the fact that it only drew a couple of thousand people, while The Times paid attention in its paper edition, and on its The Caucus and Prescriptions blogs. Ms. Bachmann's press aide, who quit this week, must be kicking herself.
In a battle of the Republican beauty queen bimbos, we couldn't help but notice the PR tactics of Ms. Bachmann's primary rival for the hearts and minds of America's uninformed. Sarah Palin has a date to speak tonight at a pro-life event in Wisconsin. Instead of embracing the standard GOP theatrical tactics to garner media interest, Ms. Palin has banned all media from the event.
What's more, she also intends to muzzle the audience. CNN's Political Ticker reports:
"But Palin appears to be doing her best to keep a low profile on this trip: no press will be allowed into the Milwaukee auditorium where she will speak and those who have paid the $30 admittance fee are unable to carry in cell phones, cameras, laptops, or recording devices of any kind."The Bachmann-Palin Overdrive contrasts with two more subdued, but nonetheless effective pro-healthcare reform public appearances this week. The first featured the brilliant Bronx HS of Science grad and first-term Congressman from Florida Alan Grayson. Rep. Grayson did the math and then took to the House floor to read the expected number of people who will die in every Republican Congressional district as a result of no healthcare insurance.
The second had our President make an unannounced stop to the White House briefing room to inform the press that both the AMA and AARP have endorsed the Democrats' healthcare proposal. Some say this upstaged the Bachmann event.
Personally and professionally, I prefer my healthcare histrionics to be fact-based and more reflective of the crisis at hand. On these measures, Mr. Obama and Mr. Grayson clearly prevailed. If only the rest of cable-crazy America felt the same way, not to mention the media that caters to them.
Update (11/9) - Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman weighs in.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
He definitely thought I was either drunk on the Kool-Aid or in need of a new life.
Just as the number of new media confabs have proliferated in recent years so have the number of published works heralding in the new world order. Many pros have forsaken these longer form media, replacing it with the Twitter cooler for keeping abreast of the changing times. Even the RSS-reader crowd has opted for the even more real-time Twitter stream for their news and info.
What you read and whom you follow speak volumes about who you are and what you know. In a New York Times media panel I recently moderated, pre-Twitter Lists, I asked NY-based tech reporter Saul Hansell what he regularly read. His answer -- paidContent, Silicon Alley Insider (now The Business Insider), TechMeme, and a few others -- provided a window into his editorial mindset, but for PR types, some insight into how his story ideas germinate.
Twitter, RSS and random web surfing aside, PR peeps should pay heed when those enmeshed in the new media/marketing space take the time to provide context to today's changed landscape. So I thought I'd compile a smattering of recent book titles worth exploring:
- Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li's Groundswell
- Jeff Jarvis's What Would Google Do
- Ken Auletta's Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
- Shel Israel's Twitterville
- Chris Brogan and Julian Smith's Trust Agents
- The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging
- David Meerman Scott's New Rules of Marketing & PR
- Paul Gillin's The New Influencers
- Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge's Putting the Public Back in Public Relations
- David Kirkpatrick The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that's Connecting the World (Jan 2010)
- Tim O'Reilly and Sara Milstein's The Twitter Book
Enjoy and prosper. (If there are others that merit inclusion, please send along.)
Photo: Bryan Derballa/Wired.com
Monday, November 02, 2009
I can't recall another more buzzed-about (and time-consuming) software application release, but then again I happen to follow Tweeps who get all a-twitter over such things. Isn't the quick uptake of Twitter Lists driven by the same sensation one feels by sharing his or her music playlists, i.e., Check out these artists I follow. Don't I have good taste?
Still, I wonder, will Twitter Lists go mainstream or stay relegated to the domain of the digital cognoscenti? I mentioned their debut at a small dinner party over the weekend, and eyes glazed over. My wife poked me to change the subject. ("You dweeb!") Oh well. Wrong crowd.
So what do Twitter Lists mean for you, PR peeps? Everything and nothing. If you want to keep abreast of real-time trends (eventually impacting all industries), then it's a God-send to be able to more easily create and follow lists of individuals driving or reporting on these trends. Conversely, if you want to accelerate the PR industry's march into oblivion through the taint of blind or uninformed story-pitching, then ignore Twitter Lists (and Twitter for that matter).
Here are links to a smattering of notable observations and resources regarding Twitter Lists since their universal debut several days ago:
- Listorious (@listorious) - How prescient that the company that started Muckrack (journalists on Twitter) and the Shorty Awards would also launch a site that would capture and organize the exploding multitude of lists on Twitter.
- Robert Scoble (@scobleizer) is no stranger to the tech and social media trends enveloping our world. He immediately embraced the democratization of Twitter Lists and set about the time-consuming task of curating his own followees. Hey Robert, thanks for doing this. Ever think about taking a break from the social media swirl? There's a world-class golf course right near your home. (Now that would make news: "Scoble Takes a Day Off to Play a Round of Golf")
- Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) "I just took a look into creating my first ever Twitter list. I’m listed on over 1500 at this writing, so I figured I’d give it a go. Immediately, I realized what I’m not going to like about them: they will exclude people..."
- Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) "Amazing how many Twitter lists have 0 followers. How will they be spread?"
- Wall Street Journal Digits Blog - "The Twittering Masses Get Lists"
- The New York Times social media editor Jen Preston (@NYT_jenpreston) "We'll soon be launching a landing page w/directory to NYT Twitter lists. Suggestion for a list? Send to email@example.com
- digital media|minute "How Twitter Lists Can Kill Google"
- PR Newser (@prnewser) "What Twitter Lists Mean for PR"
- TheNextWeb.com - "The Brilliance of Twitter Lists and Suggestions for Improvements"
- Read Write Web - "Ten Twitter Lists You can Grab and Embed Right Now"
This PR pro currently has nine lists he follows, a number that is sure to grow. Still, I tweeted the following over the weekend:
So where's the app that will let me merge (and de-dupe) Twitter lists into one Twitter-Cooler uber-stream?
I suspect that Listorius, however fab it is today, will quickly atomize diminishing its utilityDon't get me wrong. I love Listorious, and frankly, it's the only game in town right now. My advice: take a visit and drill down to find those lists, and the curators thereof, worth a follow. Not unlike Guy Kawasaki's AllTop, it lets you easily keep abreast of what impacts you (and your clients), but in real time.