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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Nothing warms my day like an article filled with social media statistics. (I’m being serious.)  I know that 82.4% of all statistics are made up on the spot, but I’m inclined to believe the findings of Ketchum’s recent Traditional Media vs. Online Media report as reported by Mashable.

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Bottom line:  more people are getting their news from network news (local and national) and local newspapers than blogs, the Internet or social media sites.

I’m not surprised.  How about you?

Here’s where the good news comes in.  According to Mashable:

– Blogs are now used by 24% of Internet users, up from 13% in 2006

– Social networks are now used by 26% of Internet users, up from 17% in 2006

– Videocasts are now used by 11% of Internet users, up from 6% in 2006

Also growing, RSS feeds and Podcasts.

So what do we do with these statistics?

Blogging:

I am a big proponent of Corporate blogs and suggest that nearly all of my clients start one.  Not only do blogs allow for Corporations to control their own message, but they also have the opportunity to give a corporation a human-feel.  The best Corporations understand how to disseminate their news in a fun-to-read manner.

Sometimes, a Corporation shouldn’t blog.  If a Corporation doesn’t have the ability to post updates consistently, has difficulties with the approvals process, or can not answer comments in a timely manner, I do not suggest blogging.

With the rise and public acceptance of blogs as legitimate news combined with usage of RSS feeds, will we as a society ultimately prefer to receive our news from Corporations themselves?

Social Networking:

Pretty much everyone participates in a social network on a personal level in one way or another.  Even my mom listens to Pandora radio both at home and on her iPhone.  (My mom is not very tech-savvy, but I love her anyway.) What should businesses do to reach the 26% of Internet users partaking?

Social networks are not one size fits all.  In other words, while MySpace might work for a band, LinkedIn might be best for a company looking to focus on expanding their sales efforts.  Likewise, Twitter might be best for a marketing organization.  There are many social networks to choose from and they should be chosen wisely.  It is better to be effective in one social network than participate poorly in many.

For a decently comprehensive list of Social Networks, and to see if your username is available, check here.

Videocasts:

Videocasts (or podcasts with video), are on the rise.  I can’t figure out a reason why I would create one for me YET, though I am starting to find lots of compelling reasons for my clients to create them.  If you are speaking at workshops, trying to have a more personal connection with your followers or just want to take your podcast to the next level, this is a growing area worth considering.

RSS Feeds:

It does surprise me that MORE people don’t use RSS feeds. I subscribe to everything I find interesting and by using RSS feeds, my life is simplified greatly.   I never thought it would be possible that I could read all my news on one page, share from that page, and talk about the news.  If this doesn’t stick as the number one way of receiving our news as a society, I REALLY wonder what will.

Traditional Public Relations:

Most importantly, we can’t yet forget about traditional public relations.  We still need to build relationships with our local newspapers and broadcast journalists and pitch them with compelling, interesting news.   There is no such thing as one size fits all public relations.  Our industry is growing.  I will continue to get all my news online, and in all likelihood, my mom will get three newspapers delivered every morning until the newspapers are cancelled.

Public Relations is about delivering the message to EVERYONE.  And while Social Media is certainly rising, it’s not time to forget where we came from just yet.

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The problem:

Honestly, NO ONE in the world could be a more HORRID PR practitioner than Lois Whitman-Hess.   You didn’t hear about her?  Click here, or here.  This is a woman who thinks that just because a reporter is attending a tradeshow, they HAVE to meet with her client.  This is a woman who CALLS 45 reporters at the Wall Street Journal in ONE day.  This is a woman who spams journalists like it’s cool.  This is the kind of PR practitioner that makes bloggers think “PR” is a bad word.

WE GET IT.  There are some REALLY HORRIBLE public relations practitioners out there.

The solution:

Bloggers- I want to ask you a HUGE favor for 2009. HUGE.  I want to see one of you- one of you with the respect of the entire PR industry start a new blog or weekly column.  It will be called: The PHENOMENAL PITCH BLOG or something similar.  In this blog/column, you will call out the most outstanding PR pitches you have heard and call out the individuals who pitched.  This will be the anti-blacklist.  (The White-list.  Generic.  You get the idea.)

The philosophy:

I don’t think people learn from rants.  (Ironic since I am writing one.)  I think people learn best from shining examples of good.  In 2008, we’ve suffered through the economy, and if there is one thing that social media has taught me, it’s that (most of the time) positivity rises to the top while negativity sinks, ignored.   Maybe if we have a list of GREAT PR folks, people will strive to MAKE the list.  Let’s give PR people something to strive toward, not a list of avoid.

What now?

I’m one person.  A PR person, a blogger.  If you agree, if you want to see the PHENOMENAL PITCH BLOG come to life… forward this blog.  Who will do it for us?  For the WHOLE public relations industry?

I would be forever grateful.

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It has been speculated by the new (fabulous) blog Lalawag that Qwitter has possibly gone under.   Article.  Could it be?  (Wahoo!)

For those unfamiliar, Qwitter is/was a Web application that e-mails Twitter users (who sign up) every day notifying them of fellow Tweeps who stop following their micro-feed.   While interesting in theory, what followed was an onslaught of Tweeps complaining about being “Qwit,” threatening to un-follow anyone who un-followed them and really, general high school patheticness on a massive level.

I never signed up for Qwitter, and this is why:

1) Not every person I find valuable is ALSO going to find my tweets valuable.  Should this offend me?  No.  We all have different offerings/services to provide to the greater community.  This is what makes Twitter great.

2) If I Tweet 140 characters, and someone doesn’t like what I have to say and therefore un-follows me, I am not going to change the way I tweet and “who I am online” to please one person.

3) When Twitter started, there might have been an unwritten code that if I follow a person, he/she should follow back. Given the size of Twitter now, those codes are off.  I follow over 500 people, and honestly, my favorite Tweeps are getting lost in the information shuffle.  At some point it’s IMPORTANT to be more selective to serve your business needs.

4) Finally- why?  What did I stand to gain to find out who was quitting my feed and when?  I would rather focus on the positive and learn about my new followers.

Services like Qwitter reinforce the feeling that social media can be just like high school.  If we put the focus on how many people are our friends or who quit today, we lose focus on what we stand to learn today.

I would never wish for a company to go under.  But in hard economic times, I would prefer that social media, and social media tools help us as a community stay in touch with positive forms of networking  and helpful dissemination of relevant information.

What do you think?  As always, I welcome your feedback.

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