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Social Media 101


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A primer for PR people on social media.

A primer for PR people on social media.

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • 1. Social Media 101 Jeremy Pepper, Director of Communications
  • 2. The Rise of Social Media
    • Blogs – both corporate and news
      • Networks include WIN, Gawker Media, B5 Media
      • Individual blogs having influence
    • Podcasts and Vidcasts – the rise of the online VNR and ANR
    • Social Networks – from MySpace to Facebook to LinkedIn
    • Wikipedia – the knowledge and ignorance of the masses
    • Bookmarking – Delicious, Digg, Sk*rt, Magnolia
    • Y! and Google Groups – still powerful, still influential, still social
    • Message Boards/Newsgroups/Forums – the original social media, with large readership and influence
    • Messaging – from AIM to YIM to Twitter to Pownce
  • 3.
    • Simple, to the point, paragraph
      • Use name
      • Be upfront and honest and simple about the reason you’re emailing
      • Let them know why you are contacting
    • Same with Message Boards
      • Do not SPAM or go into boards
      • Look for admin email address
        • Let them know why they should care
        • Short and to the point
    How to do Outreach
  • 4.
    • Social Media is not an end-all, be-all
      • Part of the communications mix
    • Should be treated like another tactic
      • Unlike media, cannot be controlled
      • Unlike media, cannot be harnessed
      • Unlike media, does not honor NDA or embargos
      • Unlike media, bad pitches are mocked & exposed
    • Transparency
      • Hot button issue is full transparency
        • Lack of transparency easily backfires
    From a PR POV
  • 5. Best Practices
    • The basic rules of social media outreach
      • Honesty and transparency
        • Be upfront and truthful when working with bloggers, podcasters and other social media outreach
      • It is not about the corporate marketing message
        • It is about sharing information and access
      • Social media outreach needs to be very on point to specific, appropriate bloggers
      • Bloggers have sweet spots and points of interest, and they need to be taken into consideration before any outreach is done
      • Readers can syndicate content easily via RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds
  • 6. Rules of Engagement I
    • Become involved in the community
      • Read appropriate blogs and comment with insightful comments
      • Blogs are written in first person, require a full time commitment, and must not be ghost-written
    • The purpose of blogging is to let the personality come through
      • The best blogs are ongoing, interesting and have a distinctive point of view
    • Beyond blogging are the comments with each post
      • Comments are part of the conversation and community
      • Need to be responded to in a timely manner
  • 7. Rules of Engagement II
    • Forget what you know about PR
      • Social Media is about relationships and friendships and being human
    • Social Media can be cranky
      • If the pitch is bad, expect to be exposed
    • Bloggers can be overly cynical and critical
      • Avoid “marketing” at all costs
      • Be open, upfront and honest in your pitch
      • Tailor the angle to focus on blogger’s niche
      • Be knowledgeable, timely and succinct
      • Gauge interest, gain permission to send material
      • Always include relevant links for more info
    • Tread very cautiously
      • Be sure what you’re pitching is super-relevant
      • Digital cameras for Photo enthusiasts, food and events for foodie bloggers, political books for activist bloggers, etc.
  • 8. Rules of Engagement - III
    • Be prepared to be ignored and/or insulted
      • No corporate speak, marketing or overt messaging
      • No press releases as cut-and-paste or attachment
      • Provide links to appropriate material
      • Short and to the point
    • Monitor conversation in real-time
    • Forget about the follow-up call / email
    • Keep expectations realistic
    • It is about engaging the community
      • Two-way dialogue, a conversation
      • Comment only when appropriate – do not comment for comment sake
  • 9. Message Boards: Two Types
    • Model A
      • Go through the moderators of message boards
      • Be very informal and friendly
      • Offer yourself up as a conduit to the company
      • You are the go-to person to get what they want
      • Offer up information / access / samples
    • Model B
      • Join the message board
      • Be fully transparent - who you are, what you are doing
      • Participate and answer questions in a timely manner
      • ABA - always be available
  • 10. What’s Next?
    • The growth of Widgets and Virtual Goods
      • Tools for bloggers and Websites – also known as blog bling
      • Can range from video widgets to weather – almost anything you want
      • Desktop or Website widgets – live on the desktop, in Google Deskbar, in Mac OSX, etc
      • Virtual Goods are an offshoot - gifts you can give on any site
    • The growth and convergence of social networks
      • From Bebo to MySpace to Vox to LinkedIn to Facebook to Ning
      • Getting to the community, wherever they are
  • 11. Take Aways
    • Blogs are not a fall-back if the traditional press does not bite
      • The press needs to write
      • Bloggers choose to write
    • It is about “community”
      • Moreso than journalism
      • If you are not part of the community, you are an interloper / intruder
    • It is not MR – it is CR
      • Media relations is not social media, it is traditional media
      • Social media is community relations – think of how you work in the community