Posts Tagged ‘Media’

On September 17th – Dan Lyons of Newsweek published an article that caught my attention at the time, entitled: Don’t Tweet On Me: Twitter shows that stupid stuff sells.

Despite my initial desire to respond, for some reason or another, I never took the time or simply forgot. The article recently resurfaced in a brief flurry of online dialog and once again drew my attention – Why is their so much Twitter Hate, especially amongst journalists at reputable media powerhouses like Newsweek. so I’ve crafted a rebuttal:

Dan – You make some good points, but you’re clearly lacking an understanding of the direction in which our cultural interests are shifting, namely, the increasingly micro-targeted and smaller scale interaction between consumers and producers, niche audiences and publishers of content with such a specific focus that it automatically establishes a relationship between themselves and their readers, as it caters to their individuals desires.

That’s what Twitter does – it allows people to form their own content creation communities. The lines between producer and consumer go from blurred to nonexistent. Celebrities & CEOs once on higher ground, off-limits to the masses, now stand on even footing, interacting as equals, obviating the need for paparazzi and mainstream media, I wonder if your vehement criticism and narrow-minded view of the platform stem from the fact that it will one day (soon) displace you and your journalistic brethren who fail to embrace the medium as not just valuable to ‘Us,’ but essential for you.

The posts on Twitter that you refer to as inane or stupid are publishers and producers relinquishing control of their material to their audiences. After all, their reader/viewership is what gives these individuals value, so the greater the control one can give them over content produced, the more likely that content will be received positively by that audience.

If people want it, who are you to say it’s ‘stupid’ simply because it’s different than what you want? If people can make money or increase their personal brand and value by catering to the wishes or the their audience or population at large, they’d be stupid NOT to do so.

In fact, this concept takes us back to your obsolescence. As a journalist, you are used to answering to yourself and other internal authorities. But at many big brands are learning, control over content is no longer in your hands (if it ever really was), it’s in the hands of the masses. Telling the public what they want to hear that or what they’re saying is stupid won’t change the fact that you are losing control. Sorry to break it to you…but until you embrace the stupidity of twitter and other likeminded platforms, you are destined for a short-lived career.

Personally, the reporter’s, bloggers, and journalists whose work I read on a regular basis are those that converse with me on Twitter. Those who tweet, not just about what story they’re writing, but about eating lunch or hating on a movie – mundane, maybe. But not stupid – and do you know why? Because it humanizes them. It acknowledges that they are just like the rest of us, or, more accurately, that the rest of us are just like them, acquiescing to the degrading boundaries between producer and consumer. That’s why I don’t read the New York Times or Newsweek, cover to cover, but I do read the articles and stories written by media personalities I know, I like, and with whom I relate and identify. Such is the direction in which media is heading – one of niche audiences and targeted content, personal branding, and relationship building. As a reporter whose entire industry is in the throes of upheaval – I’d suggest rethinking your definition of “stupidity”

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I Can’t Tell You How Excited I Am To See Google Sidewiki’s Potential Actualized. Unfortunately, As Marketers Have Done With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, (MySpace – Remember Her?) And Every Other Facet of “The Social Web,” Sidewiki provides yet another means for those who just don’t ‘get it’ to exploit the system and barrage us with broadcast, branded, messaging.

Until now, this usurpation of online communities and the manipulation of our fundamental human desire to generate content and share information has been limited to custom-tailored (if we’re lucky) invasions of specific platforms or desperate attempts at creating their own.

Convo 1

Convo 1

Sidewiki, has, without a doubt, an enormous potential – one to utterly destroy any limitations or barriers on the “information sharing” currently allowed by the internet. We’re looking at the possible information exchange of exponential proportions. Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be the tool that unlocks the whole of the internet to the pervasive, abusive tactics of irresponsible marketers.You know the type – the ones who build facebook pages that collect dust and twitter accounts that auto-follow and auto-DM promotional messaging.

I sincerely hope that Google has developed, within it’s algorithm, protection from this parasitism but I fear that these individuals, for all their irresponsibility, have one talent, namely, circumventing those protocols. Take a look at this video – What stops me from using sidewiki to just hop from site to page to blog, highlighting portions of text and promising readers further explanation, only to lead them elsewhere – a deceptive practice that seems to be aligned today’s spammy zeitgeist.

What do you think? Are you more excited for the evolution of the social web potentially facilitated by Sidewiki? Are you confident that Google has taken the necessary precautions to keep spammers from hijacking this tool  and isn’t about to provide unlimited access to anyone who wants to litter your website digital post-it notes, maliciously intended, or otherwise?

If this is web 3.0 – I’m scared.

UPDATE: 9/24/09 – Check Out These Two Other Awesome Posts On The Topic:

Google Sidewiki: Danger (By Jeff Jarvis On Buzz Machine)

Google SideWiki Extorts Google Network Participation (By Gab Goldenberg on Search Engine Journal)

Fear of Google’s Sidewiki… (By Justin & Jesse on Extreme Discovery)

Convo 2

Most Religions, Cultures, and Belief Systems have incorporated into their respective routines and rituals a daily affirmation or recitation of core philosophical truths, a practice meant to condense and convey an entire ideology into a short, easily digestible, reminder of who we are and what we believe. Religious or not (I, for the record, do not adhere to, or believe in, any organized religion), the following axioms may simultaneously serve to enlighten and appear as mere common sense. Either way, for those of us in the media business, as traffickers of information, we have an obligation to scrutinize and skepticize the data on which we stumble upon. Whether it be a CNN Article, A Blog Post, A Tweet, or ‘Latest Medical Breakthrough in Weight Loss Technology.’

We, as Human beings,  have a unique passion for information. We crave it. Our Curiosity as a species defines us. Our resulting understanding of the world and its mechanisms is the foundation upon which our modern lifestyle delicately balances. As such, we are predisposed and evolutionary motivated to seek out new and useful knowledge – But we have a responsibility to question every quanta of novel date and sensory stimulus we encounter so that we don’t act on or propagate falsehoods.

Courtesy of Buddha,

  1. When In Doubt, Trust Yourself.
  2. Do Not Believe In Something Simply Because You Have Heard It.
  3. Do Not Believe In Something Simply Because It Is Found In Your Religious Texts.
  4. Do Not Believe In Something Merely On The Authority Of Your Teachers And Elders.
  5. Do Not Believe In Traditions Because They Have Been Handed Down For Many Generations.
  6. But When You Find Something That Agrees With Reason & Is Conducive To The Good & Benefit Of One & All, Then Accept It & Live Up To It.

Alternatively, You May Better Relate To Jack Johnson‘s It’s All Understood:

I was reading a book
Or maybe it was a magazine
Suggestions on where to place faith
Suggestions on what to believe
But I read somewhere
That you’ve got to beware
You can’t believe anything you read
But the good Book is good
And that’s well understood
So don’t even question
If you know what I mean

Thanks for stopping by!

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Today’s Top Posts and Articles – Everything Social Media, PR, Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Twitter, Internet, Media & TV.

If you have any other articles or posts you think should be on the list – email me or @/DM me on Twitter.

Enjoy:

Beer Sales Sputter During Key Fourth of July Holiday – AdAge

‘Family Guy’ abortion episode unlikely to air on Fox – Life Feed

Deloitte network melds expertise, social affinities – Ragan Report

Could this be the end of electric power cords? – Los Angeles Times

Facebook Makes Baby Steps Towards Its Twitter-Like ‘Follow’ Feature – TechCrunch

Three words every PR pro should ban – PR Daily

Lab Watches Web Surfers to See Which Ads Work – New York Times

AOL Webisodes Put Kids in Space – AdWeek

HOW TO: Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn – Mashable

CNN’s iReport Vandalized Again With False Report Claiming CEO’s Death, Coke Binge – Business Insider

It Doesn’t Matter if the Client is Ready for Social Media – PR Squared

Grifters defraud artists in twist on ‘Nigerian scam – Portland Press Herald

Facebook loses sizzle for Martha Stewart – CNET

5 More Things You Do To Get Business On Twitter – TwiTip

Top 10 Tasteless Ads – Time

NPR’s Digital Makeover: Can the mainstream media learn anything from National Public Radio’s new look and business plan? – Newsweek

You Know You Have a Communication Problem When… – Little Pink Book

Q&A: Probing the Amazon-Zappos Deal – BrandWeek

Social entrepreneur finds money-making power of Crowdsourcing – Chicago Tribune

Use Your iPhone to Track your Happiness – Fast Company

105 Twitter Applications for PR Professionals – Everything PR

Is ‘kick-ass’ appropriate for a press release? – AdFreak

Yahoo Refines Image Search to Trump Google – eWeek

Bing to Power Yahoo Search? – Mashable

Tappening project takes on the truthiness of bottled-water ads – BrandWeek

19 Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets – Closing Bigger

The Future of Twitter – Time

Full Disclosure: Sponsored Conversations on Twitter Raise Concerns, Prompt Standards – PR 2.0

The 10 New Rules of PR – Jeff Bullas’s Blog

Tweetmeme accuses Retweet.com of stealing its code – TechCrunch UK

How to pitch USA Today’s bloggers – PR Daily

What Social Media Can and Can’t Do for You – Future Now

73 Ways to Become a Better Writer – Copy Blogger

LaunchSquad – Best Time To Be In PR – Silicon Vally Watcher

PayPal Case Study – Social Media Ignorance – Social Media Today

Time.com brings news to BlackBerry – CNET

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Media, in all its forms – new, old, traditional, print, digital, social, etc. – has evolved to the point where the lines once separating production and consumption, brands and their patrons, outlets and readership, are blurred, if not altogether obliterated. Of this, there is little doubt. But it raises a vast multitude questions that plague many of us who reside in this nebulous field that is Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing, Communication, Customer Service, and Social Media.

Question #1: Under Whose Aegis (of the aforementioned disciplines) Does The Realm Of Social Media Fall?

Marketers would argue…well, Marketing, for obvious reasons. To those outside the industry, and thus unfamiliar with its nuances, this is often the first inclination. Others might try to woo you to the side of Customer Service, winning you over with tales of happy customers who have had their problems solved upon textually screaming “Help! My PC Crashed,” unknowingly calling forth a veritable army of Dell’s finest minds who scour twitter in search of such opportunities. As a Publicist & Digital Strategist, I would have posited only weeks ago, and still might, that Social Media and platforms like Twitter & Facebook, should be run, or at the very least, curated and moderated, under the auspices of the Public Relations Department or Agency. Why PR? Because Public Relations is about defining and promoting a brand through said brand’s message, values, and principals. While traditional media was a one way vehicle, social media, by definition, is an open conversation. Public Relations professionals can, and do, continue to take that message and engage consumers and mass audiences, but now on the level of the individual or micro-community, as this degree of interactivity is presently expected of, though not necessarily delivered by, most brands. The popularity of blogging and platforms like Twitter, built on an ongoing public dialogue, allow publicists and digital strategist to identify, interject, and engage those who would be interested in learning about and associating with the brand’s values and core beliefs. Facilitating this discussion, in my opinion, should fall to those who have been doing so until now…publicists.

Question #2: Who Made The New York Times (or WSJ, CNN…) King?

That is to say, we live in an era characterized by the public’s ability and desire to produce and disseminate their own content, whether via Blogging, Tweeting, Facebook, YouTube, FriendFeed…etc. So, why do brands still rely on traditional media outlets to broadcast their message, insisting that these are the more powerful channels? Obviously, most reputable organizations have, at this point, begun reaching out to bloggers and utilizing social sites. In this light, a Daily News article begs the question “Will it matter who you watch anymore?”

My answer would be a resounding NO. In fact, for people and brands alike, I’d go so far as to pose a corollary that may be even more telling of our times, “Why should I watch them, when they should be watching me!?”

I recently attended GasPedal’s Blogwell Conference in Chelsea Piers, at which I was privy to the social media insights and experiments being conducted by some of today’s most recognized national brands, including, Microsoft, GE, Coke, Nokia, and Johnson & Johnson.

GE struck me as really having taken advantage of some of these sentiments, in the creation of their GEReports website, which acts as a hybrid between blog & media outlet. The site is designed to serve as an additional voice for GE and a portal for niche audiences to find relevant, interesting information – an innovative and seemingly effective way to employ social media and capitalize on the public’s unwavering desire to be heard and have their specific interests catered to. Yes – I ended a sentence in a preposition…deal with it.

After fighting my way through the crowd, I was able to catch GE’s Communications & Social Media Specialist, Megan Parker who kindly informed me that one of the foci of the site, and the primary basis for both content and measuring success, were the comments posted by their readership…and I thought “Brilliant.”

I pondered the connection between these questions and concepts for a while, implicitly understanding a significant relationship existed between them, but unable to articulate it, even to myself. That is, until I came across a series of blog posts rallying the PR industry to step up and embrace the evolving landscape of media. Almost simultaneously, though perhaps not coincidently, I stumbled onto a twitter conversation about “People Relations.”

Ari Herzog directed me to a post by David Mullen in which he coins the term (as far as I understand it) People Relations, resultant of a discussion with Shannon Paul. The post, The “P” in PR Should Stand for “People” is an enlightening one and hits on some very interesting and very true points about today’s society.

As Mr. Mullen eloquently puts it,

Shannon Paul suggested that integrating social media into communications strategies was putting the “P” back in PR, renewing a focus on public instead of media. I agree with Shannon a bit, but wanted to up the ante.

Shouldn’t the “P” stand for People? My wife and I aren’t a public. We’re people. I’m willing to bet you’d say you’re people, too.

Yes, I know that “public” refers to groups of people, but that still feels a bit cold to me. This is more about changing our mindset, for those of us who need it. People expect more personal relationships and one-to-one conversations. People want to share their dreams and fears. People want to be heard. People want connections.”

I say, we take this one step further. These once disparate, yet intimately intertwined and overlapping, arenas of PR, Communication, Customer Service, Advertising, Marketing and Social Media, are now coalescing and ‘People Relations’ is the resulting amalgamation. A new industry is developing, borne of necessity & experimentation; Social Media agencies, in order to actualize their eponymous mission, must become People Relations agencies, and they must draw lessons from their predecessors in order to succeed.

The New York Times & CNN are no longer the kings of content and the importance of blogger relations, so recently the epitome of successful digital marketing, is now losing meaning (though not value), as everyone’s voice becomes equally valid. I don’t need to be an avid or established blogger to tweet a scathing, 140 character, early adopter’s review of some new tech gadget that can result in the same damage as a comprehansive, half page analysis David Pogue might give the same product in the New York Times a month later. As soon as I have an opinion on anything, I have a plethora of media vehicles – textual, graphical, audio/visual, even musical – at my disposal by which to express myself.

One does not need to be a veteran video journalist to capture groundbreaking events on a phone and upload it to YouTube (or snap a shot of a plane in the Hudson River and ‘twitpic’ it before major news outlets are aware of what’s (not) flying. Not to mention the ever growing mass of new media celebrities such as lifecaster, Jill Hanner, comedian/musicians Rhett & Link, and the TMI group, whose show was recently picked up by an NBC outlet, all of whom must have ventured to, at some point, ask themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, “Why rely on Big Media to broadcast our content when we have the means to do so ourselves?”

People Relations means catering to each and every individual – it means that marketers, publicists, customer relations specialists, and advertisers must understand – The single person is no longer a small fish; individual voices rival, or have the potential to rival, even the largest, most authoritative of the old media outfits. This is why & how brands should employ twitter. Not by barraging innocent followers with an endless stream of promotions and marketing propaganda; nor should they limit themselves to mere customer service. They must learn to treat each and every individual, to the extent that it’s feasible and cost effective, as if they were the editors of the Wall Street Journal, the way tech start-ups have come to treat TechCruch’s Michael Arrington.

The sense of entitlement associated with today’s youth and adolescents will only grow with each new generation. Publishing giants will flail and fall, and eventually fail. And while the rest of us wax nostalgic, this ever-growing legion of young producers will simply proclaim “New York Times? I AM the New York Times.”

Please…Feel Free To Share Your Thoughts & Share This Article!

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1. A Prerequisite When Hiring New Talent -Basic Knowledge of HTML & Web Design

Right now, the realm of social media is up for grabs. Marketing and advertising agencies are vying for the rights and for PR to remain in the game, publicists need to do more than develop the ‘creative’ behind digital campaigns. Whether it’s simple HTML coding for helping build out a clients blog, or fully developing website widgets and mobile and Facebook apps, having knowledgeable developers and programmers on staff is essential on claiming the social media territory in the name of PR and wresting the burgeoning landscape from the hands of competing industries.

2. PICK UP THE PHONE (But Don’t Leave a Voice Mail)

The media is shrinking and, as an unavoidable and unfortunately consequence, journalists, sadly, are being laid off in droves. This means fewer reporters covering a greater quantity of topics and beats and receiving more emails and pitches than ever, making it all the more difficult to get noticed/be heard. Thus, placing clients in top tier outlets has become as hypercompetitive as the job market itself – Catching the receptive ear of a friendly journalist, never an easy task, has become a more difficult feat that it was only a year ago. The easiest way around that – PICK UP THE PHONE. That doesn’t mean barrage the media with a never ending stream of emails, follow-up calls, and voice mail. But if you target your reporters and outlets well and understand the deadlines and time constrains of their daily routine, a well place phone call can go a long way. And it seems a lot of PR Pros…myself included…have forgotten this once-popular means of communication in light of the ease of email.

3. Predict & Preact!

Read & React, the old M.O., worked pretty well for a while. Now, however, reactive methods are obsolete as headlines fly in and out of the public’s attention so quickly, by the time you read an article in a mainstream media outlet or see it covered in the news, get your client’s perspective on the issue, and start pitching it, the story is long dead and the masses have shifted their interests to a dozen other fleeting topics. The key is to identify trends and popular stories before they hit the airwaves and papers. A few years ago, one could argue that this is easier said than done, requiring psychic powers. I’d posit that now, with the advent and growing popularity of twitter and news aggregators like digg, spotting the trending topics is easier than ever. If a publicist is good at his/her job, Predictive and Proactive pitching is not only possible, but crucial. If you are familiar with an outlet or a journalist’s goals and interests and with what issues (or gadgets, or causes, etc…) the masses are currently consumed with, this should come naturally. You should be looking for tomorrow’s headlines, not today’s.

This preemptive and instantaneous approach isn’t just essential for publicists to understand, it’s also vital that clients are fully aware of the immediacy and urgency entailed in effectively capitalizing on current, or soon-to-be current, events. A publicist’s best efforts are only as successful as the client will allow. Ensuring that your client ‘gets’ the need for a timely response will allow you to capitalize when you do spot that topic that fits perfectly into his/her area of expertise and is about to break out of the niche into the mainstream.

4. Corporate Blogging/Social Networking Policy

Many PR Pros & employees already are, and should be, utilizing social media in their daily activities. However, when it comes to blogging and engaging the public on open platforms, speaking as the voice of an agency or on behalf of a client can be dangerous, despite all the potential benefits. Thus, policies, procedure and protocol for such engagement are necessary to ensure that both the firm and its clients are accurately represented.

5. Training ALL Employees in Basics of Social Media

Again, if you or your employees aren’t targeting your outreach to bloggers, micro-communities, and the appropriate niche audiences found online, you are missing out on reaching a vast population that want to hear your (client’s) message. Most likely, this isn’t due to apathy or laziness, rather a lack of understanding. The world of social media is evolving so rapidly, it’s difficult for even the youngest and brightest to keep up. Routine training and briefings updating employees on the latest and greatest social and online media is a must.

A Note

As Always…I’m Looking Forward To Your Thoughts & Feedback. Agree with me, Argue with Me, Either Way – The Value of Any Blog, Mine Included, is dependant on the thoughts of its readership and the quality of the commentary…So Please: Share your insights on the matter – How do you think PR Firms & Publicists should Adapt? Can We? Am I Wrong? Is PR Destined for Obsolescence? Is Social Media Fated to fall under the auspices of Marketers and Advertisers? You Tell Me!

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Also, My Boss, Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations has put up a new video on this very topic. You can see it, below (it’s short). You can also subscribe to the 5WPR Youtube Channel Here. Enjoy!

Last Week, David Mullin Posted a Great Article “We’re Setting Up Young PR Pros for Failure.”

Today, Meg Roberts Posted a Follow Up Piece “Are We Forcing Social Media Tunnel Vision on Young PR Pros?”

In it, she wonders”

“are young PR professionals being set up for failure because they aren’t being given enough opportunities to investigate and learn traditional tactics and strategies?

As companies continue to look at younger staff members for social media expertise, senior employees, recent graduates, and interns should work together to ensure young professionals have well-rounded task lists that include a variety of skills necessary for communication campaigns – both online and offline.”

I think she’s really hit the nail on the head. I’ve heard many stories, including my own, of young PR pros who have become the de facto social media experts at their firms, purely predicated on age.

Personally, I’ve embraced this role, as I’m passionate about social media and I do have a background in traditional PR as well, so I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on crucial work experience (yet). But this isn’t usually the case and I fear that she is correct – people in our generation are almost obligated to focus on social media, precluding them the necessary experience of traditional PR and media relations.

Not only that, but despite the popularity of social media and digital campaign, the actual ROI of social media is still very much disputed, and if things continue to move in this direction, we may very well be setting ourselves up, not just for failure, but for lesser value in the workforce.

I think this is indicative of a larger problem as well – the idea that social media campaigns are inherently, or should be, independent entities, intentionally disparate from traditional media endeavors. This is a MAJOR problem IMHO. I won’t knock Social Media, I can’t seeing as it’s probably my future and is my passion. However, even the best social/digital strategy must be integrated into a larger PR or Marketing approach. SM on it’s own can only do so much and go so far. Traditional marketing & PR tactics must be used in congruence with an online approach in order to capitalize on any successful social engagement on behalf of the brand or company.

These problems are intertwined. Social Media isn’t something that one person should be tasked with, nor is it a campaign in and of itself. A firm, properly employing social/digital strategy, would do so by training all employees to complement their traditional PR/Marketing with the added benefits of social media outreach…something that many are hesitant to accept.

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MuckRack is a work of art. Pure & Simple Genius. Similar attempts have been made to categorize journalist activities on twitter, but they have either been static databases and require updating or poorly designed and organized.

MuckRack is none of those. It live-streams journalists’ tweets and can be sorted by beat and/or outlet.

The best part, IMO is that since it’s built on built on a Twitter API – You can login to the site with your twitter ID & Password and by hovering over a reporter, editor, anchor or producer’s tweet – you can follow them, retweet, and even reply to them!

The only – and I really mean only – drawback as of now, is the fact that it won’t tell you which journalists you’re already following. Theoretically, you can click to follow the same reporter over and over again…but that minute waste of time is a small price for the overall value the site provides.

For PR professionals, Muckrack (also found on twitter @Muckrack) is resource of amazing potential. Beats listed range from business to travel to digital to world news to sports and outlets include pretty much everything: TV, Print, Radio, and Online.

The list of features goes on:

  • Users can rate Tweets as “Newsworthy,” “Witty,” or “Insidery.”
  • The sidebar informs you of trending Muckrack Topics.
  • Anyone can easily add a journalist not currently listed in the Muckrack Database.
  • The site also lists Designers, Developers, Celebrities, Musicians, VCs, Athletes, and even pets.

MuckRack was founded by Lee SemelAdam Varga, and Gregory Galant of Sawhorse Media and Aaron Taylor-Waldmanof Pixel Pusher.

The About section aptly poses the question:

What if you could get tomorrow’s newspaper today?

Now you sorta can, by tracking the short messages on Twitter written by the journalists who do the muckraking for major media outlets.

Muck Rack makes it easy to follow one line, real time reporting.

Check it out…seriously…Best. Site. Ever. (For PR Pros, Anyway).

Muckrack

Muckrack

Christine Perkett recently wrote an interesting and provactive piece for her blog, Perkett Persuasion.

In it, she reminds us that PR is not dying but evolving. Media is changing and for PR firms and professionals to survive, we must evolve alongside it and adapt in order to really take advantage of  everything these changes offer.

Check out her post here: Your Turn: What Can We Do Better in Public Relations?

And Check out this post by David Mullen in which he Coins the Term ‘People Relations’ – Brought to you by @Dmullen @Ariherzog @shannonpaul & @missusp – The “P” in PR Should Stand for “People”

I think blogger relations and people relations have really gained value. Word of mouth no longer means generating buzz and executing stunts, it means keeping a consistent and constant dialogue with your audience or consumer base. Obviously, as twitter evolves and becomes more of a mainstream platform, this type of engagement should be a focus in PR. Similarly, blogs are powerful a powerful and influential medium that has come to rival the even the greatest of traditional media outlets, especially when catering to a niche market. Keeping up what blogs are popular, who blogs about what topic…etc is incredible difficult because it changes every day. But for social media people, this opens the door of potential exposure, if handled correctly. As print continues to flounder, people will turn to blogs and hybrid sites that combine brand blogging with user generated info (like Gereports.com – not affiliated with them in any way,just a good example). Everyone is now both a consumer and producer. Relying solely on traditional media for outreach isn’t taking advantage of the fact that everyone’s voice is equally powerful and valid, and continues to gain authority as social media evolves. The fact that this world is ‘online’ gives a lot of people who have been in PR for a long time, the feeling that it’s not a credible medium and that it’s not valuable. As such, social media or blogger relations…and ‘people relations’ aren’t taken seriously. Blogs are spammed, twitter is used to feed useless updates about company news or brand deals…and the potential is never seen and those feelings are validated because no effort is made. We need to, as an industry, learn to respect the online community and understand that individual people are as important as major newspapers & that doesn’t devalue our jobs, rather, it provides us with an unlimited number of outlets to work with. Understanding that will help take PR to the next level. Change = Good

Today, Tech Bloggers are playing Kids at the Candy Store, as they attend Amazon’s Press Conference (Kindle DX Launch), Tweeting, Live-Blogging, and generally soaking up all the Kindleness they can.

But what caught my attention is the Amazon Press Release (http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1285140&highlight=)  announcing that several major Newspapers will be offering a subsidized Kindle DX to interested parties…BUT ONLY TO THOSE WHO LIVE WHERE HOME DELIVERY IS NOT AVAILABLE!!! WTF

Amazon Kindle - Newspaper Launch Press Release

Amazon Kindle - Newspaper Launch Press Release

The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post to Launch Trials Offering Kindle DX to Subscribers Who Live in Areas Where Home Delivery is Not Available

Yes, Congratulations are in order. Newspapers are starting to catch on. But this half-assed move won’t take advantage of everything the kindle can offer these publishers.

  1. Printing Costs – If they made the Kindle Available to ALL subscribers they could cut down on the enormous financial drain entailed by the printing process, not to mention all the trees they’d save. One large initial cost of supplying reduced priced Kindles to subscribers vs. the prolonged costs of printing and distribution – I’d say this one’s a no-brainer, but that’s just me, I’m no financial guru.
  1. Mobility – The New York Times is launching their Adobe Run Times Reader 2.0 desktop application, which is all fine and dandy, but isn’t conducive to our mobile lifestyle. People need a compromise between reading the news on their Blackberry/iPhone and traditional print papers. That’s where the Kindle comes in…something we can use on the bus or the train…without squinting.

In short – Newspapers and the Kindle are made for each other. I don’t know if this quasi-partnership is just a testing phase for a bigger move (which I really hope it is), or if these Newspaper Execs still don’t get it.

Thank you Rob Pegoraro for bringing this to my attention. And stay tuned for his coverage on the topic for the Washington Post at http://washingtonpost.com/robpegoraro.

kindle-twitter-timeline1

Please share your thoughts!