Monday, November 30, 2009

Examples of PR/Marketing Strategies Using Social Media

Sometimes, it helps to see case studies of how others are doing things. For some reason today, I've come across several articles and blog posts that point you to some examples of how organizations have used social media as a communications strategy. Take a look!

"10 Social Media Campaigns that Rock! Learn How to do the Same!" ThoughtPick blog (June 8, 2009)

"iPhone Apps Put Brands in Hands," list of the successful brands and apps that best fulfill the promise of utility -- as well as some prominent missed opportunities, by Brian Morrissey (Nov 30, 2009)

"Twitter Success Stories," report details how 11 innovative businesses and associations use Twitter to improve their marketing and business objectives. (2009) [PDF]

"26 Social Media Marketing Examples in Detail," by Lisa Braziel (September 09, 2008; dated but useful)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Helpful Tool Created Jeremiah Owyang on the Eight Stages Of Listening

The decision to use social media at the organizational or corporate level requires looking at the culture of the organization itself. Are you ready to be in real conversation with your customers or partners? Are you ready to listen?

Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group has developed a web strategy matrix that he calls "The Eight Stages Of Listening." I like it because -- like most things in life -- it's not an all-or-nothing approach. Take a look and see where your organization is in the matrix. It's a good tool as we set goals for 2010.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's ahead for PR? – Congrats to For Immediate Release's 500th Podcast!

I know I have recommended to you on this blog that you listen to the For Immediate Release podcast, hosted by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. And I still do. It is an excellent podcast that is currently an hour twice a week. I know that sounds like a lot to listen to. But frankly there is that much happening in public relations – or as Shell and Neville put it, at the intersection of communications and technology. Each podcast is packed with information, case studies, resources, reports and data that you can use in your practice. It's excellent free professional development.

So why am I bringing it up again? Well, something special is happening with FIR tomorrow. FIR will be posting its 500th episode. Did you get that? They’ve done this show twice a week 500 times!

Shel and Neville have invited listeners to share what we think they will be reporting on during the next 500 episodes. So I thought I’d share some of my predictions and see what you would add.

1. Shel and Neville will be talking about the use of 3D avatars online across platforms. The 3D virtual web will no longer be limited to special programs like Second Life and gaming programs. It will become part of the natural course of our use of the web. I have confidence in this prediction because Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, when they were on a stage together, predicted this as well.

2. I also think that nanotechnology will be the poking its head into the communication world. I have no idea in what way (if I did I’d be talking to a stockbroker right now). I just think it's going to be something we will paying attention to.

3. And of course, during the next 500 episodes there will be talk about new (misguided) studies showing that the latest communication tool is a “drain on worker productivity.”

What do you think?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Finding The Perfect Definition

Today I attended the PRSA National Assembly as a delegate for the San Antonio chapter. The national organization was attempting a massive rewrite of the organization’s Bylaws, a task that has preoccupied the group for nearly 2 years.

While I was honored to attend and vote on behalf of the chapter, there are a number of things about attending an assembly of this nature that are extremely frustrating. Early in the process, we debated the merits of how to select board and directors, how the nominating committee should be comprised and other details that were mostly about housekeeping and governance.

Surprisingly, many of these items were contentious to a significant number of chapters, sections and districts.

No single item was more contentious than the basics of defining who should be allowed membership in the organization. Article III, Amendment 109, in which the organization was attempting to add the words “and communications” to every reference in the Bylaws, was the most hotly contested of all.

Semantics underpinned every aspect of the discussion, with repeated references to the concept of “expanding the definition of who can come into the tent” and many speakers spoke for and against who and what we should be called, what our job titles currently reflect. One speaker even quoted a textbook definition as part of the argument for striking the more encompassing definition.

What was disturbing about the discussion is that many speakers in favor of the amendment had a “sky is falling” approach to any changes which would expand the definition of public relations. Those who opposed felt that they already had a more encompassing definition of what they do and wanted the amendment to reflect that diversity. What delegates didn’t really consider is one of the keys to membership in the organization in the first place is that 50% of a members’ activities be focused on public relations. (Already part of the bylaws and not considered at all today).

In the end, the group voted 151-117 to keep the definition of public relations pure. This was a victory for some and a great loss for others.

Next year, I think I will propose an amendment at the assembly in which we debate the validity of including the word “society” into our name.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Apply for Free PR Counseling for San Antonio Non-Profits

There are just a few more days left before the application deadline. Non-profit organizations in the San Antonio area can submit an application to participate in our chapter's annual Giving the Gift of Guidance luncheon (on Dec. 3). Every year, PRSA, which is made up of public relations professionals, invites non-profits to send up to two representatives to its December meeting. Each non-profit will be matched with a group of PRSA members who will spend the entire luncheon consulting with the non-profit to develop a basic public relations plan. The Gift of Guidance program is absolutely free. It’s PRSA’s way of supporting charities and other organizations who contribute so much to our community. The non-profit representatives are also PRSA’s guests for lunch.

The deadline for applications is Friday, November 6. Applications may be sent to Trisha Box at