Happy Thursday, world. Despite the unfortunate month of Junuary, summer is here – the sun is shining, the birds are chirping (dare I say, tweeting?)… and that brings me to point of this blog. Social networking is in overdrive right now, don’t you agree? Companies everywhere are realizing the importance of having online identities and now the race is on for the perfect 2.0 company case study. It’s all over the news – a Google News search on “Twitter” comes back with over 96,000 articles in the past month alone. Last week, the #140 conference dominated trending topics across the board. Are you tweeting more than your competitor? Perhaps your company is leading the proverbial pack when it comes to industry online networking. But, let’s be honest… in this hyper-connected online world, which is fueled by social networks, it can be time consuming to manage all your online identities! I guess that’s why some companies are hiring people whose sole job is to monitor Twitter. I mean, really? … I guess I wouldn’t have minded being a “Twintern” back in the day!
In fact, a lot of how businesses communicate today is a result of the younger generation’s overwhelming adoption of services and tools that hyper-connect, and sometimes even overexpose. High school students that were once obsessed with getting their prom pictures on Facebook as quickly as possible, are now finding those skills valuable as they enter the working world. Funny how things turn out. It requires the ability to quickly manage thoughts, happenings, opinions and reactions. And, business leaders are realizing that, rather than being a victim of employee blogs… or Twitter accounts… or Facebook pages… (oy!), they too can create their own identity, allowing them to control their messages, kind of. Reputation preservation aside, it gives companies the ability to participate in conversations that were once limited to customers and outside parties only. Sure, corporate opinions are always taken with a grain of salt by consumers, but at least they have the option to participate, and maybe even influence!
But, I digress… it’s hard to digest it all (check out Cathy’s previous blog on tools to help you with that, k?), and more and more articles are appearing daily, touting the importance of nurturing online visibility and reputations. Tweet as much as possible, blog three to four times a week, update that Facebook status once a day, join 10 new LinkedIn groups… got it? Good!
As evidence from our previous blogs, we believe that, at the end of the day, quality content is still regarded as most important. We could Tweet until we were blue in the face, but would you really care to read that the Metis team is eating lunch at Bostonian (for the 5th time this week)? Actually, if you are anything like us, you get supreme enjoyment from those that Tweet Too Hard.
Just food for thought on this Thursday afternoon… Gotta go! (Time to Tweet again… J) Keep on fighting the good fight.
Cathy recently wrote a blog about relationships that I completely agree with. Bottom line: If you don’t have a good story or angle then it doesn’t matter who you are “friends” with – they can’t always help you. That being said, it’s good to have a relationship with the right people when you do have that great story.
Lately in the journalism world, you make a relationship one day at a specific outlet and you are saying “see ya around” the next. But don’t be disappointed because, if the relationship is solid, then the contact will resurface, writing for three different outlets that are applicable to three different clients. Laid off journalists are looking for work and pitching their writing capabilities any where they can. We see it on media briefings all the time. They ask: “How can I help you on other levels? Are you hiring?”
Don’t underestimate the power of these freelance contacts. They can write for outlets ranging from TechTarget.com to Fortune Small Business to FOXNews.com to Woman’s Day Online… Cultivating relationships is more important than ever. Tweet them, connect on LinkedIn, shoot them an e-mail, call or Facebook them – Just stay in touch! Obviously, I am not saying you should bother them every second of every day but make sure they don’t forget who you are while they are out pitching articles. Continue to build your relationship, by relating to them and letting them know they can trust you. Why? Because they don’t get paid if you don’t deliver. Therefore, they must trust you.
The “T” word (as in trust) is monumental for a reporter when it comes to trusting a PR person with their paycheck. They want to know: Will they answer my questions? Will they get the information I need? Will the customer really be available to provide me with good ROI that my editor will like? Will they get me that photo? And, most importantly, will they do this to meet my deadline when the interview is Monday and I need this all by Thursday?
Some PR people aren’t good at maintaining relationships with freelancers. Find the ones that excel at it because these days, the ones that can cultivate the relationships are the ones that will take the pressure off the internal PR/Marketing department to drive X amount of traffic to the website, reach X amount of prospective customers in the financial industry or get in front of that investor audience you’ve been looking for.
Twitter is a great way to connect with people and stay updated with more news and information than you can possibly imagine. The opportunities are limitless on Twitter and so is the time you can spend living in the Twitterverse. Hours can quickly pass by as you read, talk and add your updates. Here are some of our favorites tools to help you make the most of your time on Twitter.
Twitterfeed automatically Tweets your blog posts from your RSS feed.
TweetDeck is a desktop tool for managing your Twitter account, updates and followers.
Twtpoll is an app for conducting polls.
Twitpic lets you easily post photos.
Twitsnearme shows you local tweets based on your location.
Twittervision is a mashup of Twitter and Google Maps that geographically displays tweets. You can see who’s tweeting in your neighborhood.
Twitterless provides you with information about who stops following you. It also charts your history of followers.
TweetPsych gives you a psychological profile of a person’s tweets. It’s best used if you have over 1000 updates.
I love the Paradise. (Affectionately, thedise.com) It’s a great venue to see both up-and-coming and established acts, right in the city. You can buy tickets at the box office and avoid the additional fees from Live Nation. You can always find a great place to stand during the show, there’s hardly a bad view in the house. Maybe I love it so much because I’ve always seen stellar performances there… Well, either way, every Bostonian should experience a concert at the Paradise, so go do your part!
This Wednesday, I had the pleasure of listening to a few hours of tunes from the French alternative rock band, Phoenix. Playing together since 1996, their first album was released in 2000, featuring one of their most popular singles “If I Ever Feel Better.” They knew they wanted to be popular in the U.S., so despite French being their first language, wrote and recorded all of their songs in English. It may have taken them a while, but nine years and five albums later, the band is really starting to take off in the States. In fact, they just played on SNL on April 4… Check ‘em out!
The pervasiveness of Twitter has gotten even crazier the last few days. Is this the beginning of the “Electronic Revolution” as heard on NPR just this morning? As we watch the Iranian election news unfold, protesters are updating the world through Twitter and I keep thinking how powerful this social medium has really become. It’s insane and admirable at the same time. Insane in the way it is clearly overtaking the world, and admirable because it was invented and implemented without a business plan attached. (Not a knock on Twitter’s founders, just reality.) The fact that the U.S. State Department, who usually doesn’t take an interest in start-ups, talked Twitter into delaying a network upgrade that was scheduled for Monday night to protect the interests of Iranians using the service to protest the presidential election, is baffling. Mashable is even reporting that there are 221,744 tweets per hour from Iran at peak. And, not only that, but while the front pages of the Iranian newspapers were blank where censors had whited-out news stories, Twitter was delivering information from the streets, in complete real time. Sad, but great. See my previous post on “Is Free Content King in Journalism?” Well, it is now. And, if the journalism world doesn’t adapt – well, forget it.
We’re up to our eyeballs in Tweets in every way. Twitter is monitoring every human process that takes place during a global crisis. Speaking of managing all this interaction, check out our client ActionBase. They manage processes between individuals at organizations in Microsoft Outlook to help them stay compliant. How about a product that manages and controls your Tweets for compliance reasons in organizations? I’m waiting…
Every day there are discussions about how important “relationships” are for PR executives, with extra emphasis placed on social media. So many experts talk about how now, more than ever, in this world of social media, relationships are so important. When were relationships not as important in the past? They have always been top priority but they will only get you so far.
The exchange of ideas and knowledge between audiences has only gotten more exciting as there are so many new ways to connect with people. Social media gives everyone a voice that wants one. That’s more ideas and sources for everyone who trades on information. Instead of the past where PR folks relied mainly on the phone and the fax, you can now search online for more background information. Instead of waiting every Monday morning for all the trade IT and business weeklies to arrive and receiving the newspapers everyday to read, we have the Internet too.
We are all processing information much faster these days but the fundamentals are still the same. You still have to do your homework. You still need to have a strong working knowledge of your outlet, audience and beat coverage. Providing the industry with timely and relevant information is always the most important priority and that will never, ever change.
Finding a common ground is always great but it’s always about the story. Regardless of whether you and a journalist share a mutual love of antique trains, Wilco, Fenway Park or dance movies, it’s always about the “so what?” If you don’t start with a great story, no one will care. If your news is meaningful, people will respond.
The market is abuzz about the new Google Wave, a real-time communications platform that is in limited release to developers now and will be generally available later this year. Google Wave lets everyone participate, edit and collaborate in one online location. According to the creators of Google Wave, “A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.”
Mashable has put up some fantastic articles discussing Google Wave and its many features. The opportunities are limitless with a platform like this that brings together all the best parts of online collaboration in one place. You can embed the conversations into any blog or website, and share the Wave with an even wider audience. It’ll be exciting to see what the developers do with it.