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Archive for the ‘PR Conferences’ Category

Virtual Reality: New Platform for Media Relations

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Second Life Session

Virtual Reality and 3D platforms not just a child’s game. “Second Life: The Dream Platform for PR Professionals,” was the last session I took while attending PRSA International 2008, but it was one of the most effective. Why you may ask? Because Second Life isn’t just about creating an avitar and playing in a virtual world it is about jumping on board to the future of interaction.

Second Life not just another social media site, and these statistics prove that:

  • 14 Million Users
  • 100 Countries represented
  • 35 Million hours spent on Second Life a year
  • $1.5 Million UDS earned per day on virtual goods
  • 35 Median age of users on Second Life

What do these statistics say to us? They say that there is an untapped market that is not declining, but growing rapidly. 35 is the median age of the user, there are 14 million users in over100 countries, and $1.5 million dollars are made each day. This tells us that Second Life is not going anywhere but up. Vitrual worlds are now not only for children they are for adults.

Craig Newmark Keynote: Social Media and Democracy PRSA 2008

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Craig Newmark

Listening and continued engagement. This is how Craig Newmark, creator of Craigslist, explained the success of his business during a PRSA International keynote address: “How Social Media Creates a More Democratic Society”. Newmark explained that you have to do what makes sense and continue to engage your community. By engaging you build a culture of trust where shared values are expressed and followed. Success is achieved.

Craigslist is almost 99% free, with only 1% being charged for a services. To be successful Craig Newmark realized that he didn’t need to overtly charge the public who viewed and used Craigslist, but instead offer services to help cultivate and aid in the public’s growth. By helping to shape your community you are helping people try to succeed. You are doing well. Craig Newmark beleives by doing well in his business strategy he is doing good in his community.

“To do well in business by doing good,” is the simple business philosophy of Craigslist. PR and Social Media has a bad rap as not being a service for anyone but ourselves, as not being honest, but we are doing well in business, we help promote small businesses, we encourage growth of communities. Aren’t we doing good for society.

Giving Back To Those Who Impact PR – PRSA Keynote Mitch Albom

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Mitch Albom PRSA 2008

Tuesday’s with Morrie, the bestselling memoir by Mitch Albom speaks of the influence that we all possess as individuals. How we all have a certain power to cultivate the people we encounter. Morrie Schwartz was a professor of Mitch Albom’s when he was an undergrad. Morrie helped shape the way Mitch thought and the way that Mitch viewed his future. One man influenced another and from that a great journalist, sportscaster and motivational speaker emerged.

As PR and Media Relations Professionals we have influence on people. Every day we are shaping the way people view our clients and their products/services. We have the honor of cultivating the way people view what we have to say. We can impact society. Mitch Albom’s question as keynote speaker for the PRSA International 2008’s last day conference was, “Are you impacting people in a positive way? Are you learning from people as you are influencing them?”

PRSA 2008 New Influencers of Social Media Marketing

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008


New influencers are creating new sources of media, who are these new influencers? You, me and even Joe the plumber. How is this possible? We are now publishers we are able to report, comment and even create news content, we have the news and the media is now coming to us.

Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers, states that there are Ten Secrets to Success of Social Media. But to understand these we must first realize that traditional media is declining and that search is the new circulation. Once we understand this we as PR professionals will be able to understand how each person is an influencer of media marketing and will become more successful in our marketing and media strategies.

Secret # 1- Don’t Fear Negativity. We must learn to accept that we cannot control what people say, but that we can contain negativity to a certain degree. There are always going to people that may disagree with what you say or what you do, but the trick is to realize it and accept it. If you make a mistake fess up to it. After all if you don’t and it is proven that you were in the wrong you are just adding fuel to the fire.

Word-Of-Mouth Media Relations: What Really Works?

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Word of Mouth Online or Off – What’s The Difference?

What are the most commonly used marketing objectives? What variables are used when planning a marketing strategy? What is the most influential contact point? These questions were the opening of, “Marketing, Media and Word of Mouth.”  We know the answer to all these questions right?

  • Awareness
  • Target
  • Word of Mouth

Presenter Jeffrey Graham, executive director, customer insight, The New York Times, stated that, ” there is a huge disconnect when it comes to word of mouth and context.”

What does this mean? For a person just starting out in PR and Media Relations it means we may be overlooking a significant part of our target market. By not paying attention to where information and opinions about our clients or their services are coming from we are missing what could be a either fatal or significant loss or win for out clients. How does this really effect us and our clients? Gabriel Tarde stated, “Conversation is the strongest agent of imitation, of the propagation of sentiment.”

PRSA International 2008: Evolution of Communication

Friday, October 24th, 2008

PRSA Conference 2008 Detroit

Constantly things are changing, communication itself is experiencing a renaissance of change, but can we handle it? Detroit, MI – once the center of the motorized world – is experiencing a rebirth from industrial motor plants to hosting international conferences like PRSA International 2008. If this once industrial city can evolve into a  robust and vibrant city of culture and information, then we can learn to adapt our methods of communication.

The programming of the 61st PRSA International conference demonstrates that once traditional approaches of PR are now giving way to a digital world.The first conference session that I will be attending is titled, “Word-Of-Mouth Online and Off: What’s the difference?” The session is going to examine how traditional word-of-mouth sells, the messaging is the same, but how we communicate that message is changing.

Example, in the 1920’s people found out how amazing automobiles were, this was done by talking to people that had one, had seen one or had heard about them from someone else. Now almost a hundred years later automobiles are advertised by word of mouth, on the radio, in newspapers, on social media sites, on television and on the internet. By learning how to evolve messaging we are able to influence our customer base and increase our clients ROI.

From the Horse's Mouth: 11 Tips for Pitching Reporters

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Afternoon Sessions 002

One of the most valuable resources at an event like the recent Media Relations Summit conference in San Francisco is the opportunity to listen to what journalists themselves have to say about how they interact with PR people. I attended several panels with reporters from publications ranging from the New York Times to CNET. The reporters were fairly candid about works and what does not. Here are some key tips I gleaned from the summit reporter sessions.

  • Reporters STILL hate PR spam and irrelevant pitches. Such tactics are unlikely to generate coverage, it turns out. Shocking, I know.
  • The press release is still important. With all the talk about new media, I was surprised to hear virtually every reporter sing the praises of the good old fashioned press release, which they use to ensure accuracy and to organize information.
  • Print journalists are no longer breaking news. This is a major change that has happened over the last several years. Now, more than ever, journalists are looking for stories that analyze recent news trends. Online media, on the other hand, can be fiercely competitive for breaking stories.

Do it Wrong, Stupid! Mike Moran Keynote

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

“Do it Wrong Quickly: What Corporations Need from PR in Today’s Transforming Marketplace”Mike Moran begins the afternoon keynote with what is perhaps the most salient point of the whole conference. We don’t need to be the expert in new media or blogs. We need to be the expert in how to solve our client’s problems. Otherwise, we might as well give up. We’ll never be the blog expert because the blog experts exist, and they’re not getting any dumber.

Moran’s tone is optimistic, and not at all condescending, which is a refreshing change from many speakers on this topic, who seem to want to tsk-tsk us for not having discovered social networking years ago. Oh, and they are eager to inform you that whichever social media platform you have succeeded in engaging was obsolete in 1999. Moran eschews alarmism to good effect.

PR types tend to view new media as a sort of death knell for Public Relations. Moran sees them as an opportunity. The new model allows Public Relations to deliver hard results where we know we are making an impact on behalf of our clients. We can target more closely, measure results more accurately, and respond more quickly to customer feedback.

Blogginz Yer Presentationz – Scoblizin Yer Paradigmz

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

So, between Lee Odden losing his camera in the bay, and my failure to bring a charger to town, this will be less-than-visual post. Feel free to Google for a stock photo image of Robert Scoble, if you want the full effect.Scoble begins by informing us that he doesn’t have slides, but rather wants to give us a glimpse into his life. This sets the tone for a very informal presentation that introduces a variety of new social media platforms (even I wasn’t familiar with FriendFeed, but then, I’m something of a dinosaur). As such, I’ll give you all a very informal blog post.

Among his Twitter friends are none other than Barack Obama, yet more proof that his campaign is making an earnest effort to engage new media. I suppose all the campaigns have some social media presence, but Obama seems to be the only one effectively using it. A blog is just a blog until someone reads it. Then it becomes a tactic.

I am familiar with sliderocket, but Scoble illuminates perhaps its most valuable feature, which is version control. Presentations tend to be collaborative efforts, and revamping existing presentations to accommodate edits can be a chore. PowerPoint in real-time is a powerful idea, I think.

Evergreen Magic: How To Make News When There’s No News

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Afternoon Sessions 008

“Evergreen Magic: How To Make News When There’s No News”

This session is being introduced as PR for the “little guy”. That’s apropos. After a series of case studies highlighting all the great work Disney was able to do great things (on a shoestring budget, or so we were told), it’s hard not to wonder what a company with lesser brand awareness can do to create ripples.

Sandra Fathi begins by citing a familiar dilemma. Company a buys company b and launches product x gives reporter z’s, unless your company happens to be Microsoft (or, say, Disney). Her advice is to marry the message to the reporters needs. This should seem obvious, but it is vitally important to sell the importance of this to the client.

To the specific advice, Sandra proposes that smaller companies “ride the wave of trends”. Well, yeah. Isn’t that what public relations people do? Easier said than done, though, eh? Sorry, I’ll keep the cynicism in check. So what does she propose?

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