Mastering the social web and its application to PR requires some study. Not the textbook sort. Rather, by taking the time to source and subscribe online to some of the leading blogs on the topic. And that is what I set out to do - hours and hours ago.
I ended up selecting 10 that included those that got top kudos in the social media category (like mashable and chris brogan) and those that got a two thumbs up for PR (like Ogilvy’s PR blog, PR squared and PR blogger). And of of course, I needed to include on the list Copyblogger - as I am primarily a copywriter by trade.
Why did I choose these? Well… a few reasons.
1. They were recommended as top blogging sites in their categories - based on my google research. Ya can’t beat google for helping you find stuff!
2. They seemed to present a wide array of blogging styles and perspectives, from the colloquial, over-clever and geekspeak rants to the clear, well organized and sensible information-based and trend sharing variety.
3. They did not overly offend or confuse me when I opened them up. Some others that I did not select did.
Now I have to admit as a writer, I am a sucker for clarity, strong analogy and clean organization. No-one seems to do this as well as Chris Brogan. But I did get some good insight from the Ogilvy PR blog that managed to explain to me the new Facebook trend of timelines in a clear way I could grasp. (I had previously laboured though a few other blogs on the topic that left me a bit confused.)
I also particularly enjoyed Danny Brown whose recent post “Lessons from an Asshole” (excellent atttention-grabbing blog post name) served to engagingly demonstrate just how visible we all are.. and how we need to practice proper etiquette and manners on the social web.
What I tend to enjoy least are some of these more self-indulgent posts. The “… oh by the way, we are hiring - come work for us!”… Or: “We interrupt this blog to wish a happy anniversary to our partner Marv!” Puh-leaase! I am now subscribed to read about trends and best practices… and not about the boring details of your agency, recruitment plans or recent promotions you are offering.
So now I shall continue to satiate myself on knowledge as the daily or weekly feeds pour in. Today I am full to the brim - fed up to the brain with feeds.
What did you learn today from your favourite blogs? And do you share a similar discerning view when it comes to your blog subscriptions?
Yes, I admit it. I was one of those cynical communicators who just a few years ago thought if I ignored Twitter, maybe it would just go away. Like that monster in the closet when I was a kid. Or a bad smell.
Sure, I used myspace for my music - and facebook to connect with friends. But for my serious clients? Hah! What use could my insurance CEO, corporate security executive or automobile marketing director client ever have for these silly social sites???
But low and behold, the social web has not faded away. It has become the way of the future not only for people but for companies of all sizes - to connect, influence, research, improve reputation - and yes to sell and market products and services.
Now I am convinced it is time to expand my rudimentary understanding of it - and become a credible advisor and strategist on behalf of those that trust me!
To begin, I present for you some preliminary thoughts on why communicators like me need to take this whole facebook-twitter-foursquare-digg-myspace-youtube-linked-in nonsense seriously!
Seven Simple Reasons Communicators should WAKE UP to the SOCIAL WEB
1. It’s here to stay.
There are a gazillion statistics out there on the growth of facebook, twitter & youtube. Just this morning on Breakfast Television they read a list of Ten Things I Cannot Live Without. I believe the Internet and facebook were 2 and 3, - right after “air”
2. Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors than those that do not blog
- This according to a 2010 study by Hubspot. Are you going to let your clients lose out?
3. Consumers exposed to a brand on social media are 2.8% times more likely to search for that brand’s product on a search engine
- according to a 2009 report by Group M search. It is up to us as PR experts to ensure our clients services and products are present and accounted for!
4. You can conduct instant market research via surveys and polls
- Twitter is evidently specially great for that. I want to test it out soon. Have you yet?
5. Get valuable customer feedback - for better or worse
- It’s about creating a dialogue to genuinely find out what your company’s customers, employees and other stakeholders are thinking
6. Create a community of influence
- If you build it right, they will come - Make it compelling and engaging and you can create a tight-knit community of raving fans and influencers that spread the word about you
7. Remember, if you are not there - your competition will be!