A discussion on the future realities of the Public Relations field as we know about it:
Say something that is worth re-Tweeting. Peter separates Twitter into two segments:
- Yogurt – 'I'm eating yogurt'
- Informational yogurt – 'A new yogurt spot opened and is giving off 50% on yogurt'
Press releases will be dead incredibly soon. Agencies that are smart are dedicating people just to Social Media. New grads are already familiar (Social Media = ability to screw up to a much larger group of people in a much shorter amount of time)
Be doing SEO on your releases – add pieces of your press releases on your Blog posts, podcasts and other sites. Let reporters access your information how they want it. You write a press release as a formality. Tell your story, use keyword density and change what you share. It's not how you share, but WHAT you share – that's how your compel reporters.
You now have the ability to reach your clients directly – go to them! When is the last time a reporter covered a story on your company because of releaseing a press release? Probably never or in an incredibly long time.
Now more than ever, you need to know how to write – write well, write succinctly (140 character attention span for many) and write optimized text. You should be looking at your press releases as writing them in a way that you would want to read a story in the NY Times.
ADOS – Attention Deficit Ooooh Shiny = we've all got it.
Corporate culture is changing, the new guys replacing the old dead white guys in corporations are struggling in the economy and having to support their parents. It's not if you're caught, it's WHEN you're caught when not being transparent – and it'll suck.
Even if your brand shouldn't be Tweeting, you should be LOOKING at Twitter and monitoring updates. Companies should be getting reports from PR companies on what the buzz is on various social networks.
Everything you listen to tells you how people are sharing, interacting and treating your brand. You need to be tracking a variety of networks and engage in each of them. There is separate richness in each network. If you're not tracking this stuff (or having your agency do it) then you are losing out.
If you call yourself a Social Media Expert, first thing that people do is look at your Twitter followers. If you have good things to share, there will be a solid number of people following you. This goes for any industry – dentists that are experts should have people wanting to talk to them about dental crowns. Walk the walk.
Interesting Twitter customer service example – annoyed Tweet about McDonald's not serving burgers ready to go behind the counter at 10:54am (lunch starts at 11am). A few days in another state, has a McDonald's gift card for $200 waiting in his hotel room with an apology note. McDonalds was paying attention.
- Own your own name on all social networks – don't have to use them all, just grab it before it's gone
- Listen – know what people say about your
- Turn to an intern who has already been using this technology – let them teach you. Don't ever think that there isn't any more to learn. Learn how to Tweet from them, then teach them what to Tweet. You have the business and marketing knowledge, learn the technology from them.
Not always old school vs. new school – completely depends on your audience. NPR story today saying certain print publications are thriving because of their audience (not sitting at desk all day on the Internet). Not everyone is like you. Think outside the box.
Broadcasting messages at audiences is dead. PR is NOT dead. It's all changing.
There is a creepiness factor that people will just have to work through – companies will increasingly engage people individually. Problems get solved, people get happy, done deal. It's just new. Every conversation requires a unique response. That is how you build relationships.
Random Skittles photo thanks to Flickr user pApEr.lip — this year at SXSWi there was an annoyingly large number of mentions on the "failure" and "outrage" over the recent Skittles campaign. Well, I say well done Skittles. We've been talking about you all week and you are pretty much all I am wanting to eat right now.