Category Archives: public relations

Social Media = Two Way Communication…

The bulk of my days consist of brainstorming ideas for clients on how they can use social media to engage their consumers. Those brainstorms then turn into proposals, some of which get passed through, while others fall by the wayside. Though it can be a pretty frustrating job, ideation without promise of creation, there’s a certain level of satisfaction that comes from having pretty candid conversations with clients about how to or in some cases how not to engage with social media. The one piece of advice that I can’t stress enough is – don’t half ass it – of course, put in a more gentler way. 

Consumers aren’t stupid. For years they’ve been bombarded with one size fits all messages that are pushed their way in traditional mediums, but today they know exactly how to tune them out. Better yet, they know how to get the ear of brands, which was unheard of quite a few years back. If you’re going to play in the “social media” world, whether you’re a major consumer brand or an indie musician, there needs to be a level of authenticity. 

Yes, at the end of the day, there are marketing objectives behind using social media tools, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be honest. Don’t just let your customers or fans (in the case of musicians) hear your voice or be privy to “exclusive” content – but be aware of the conversation going on around you or in most cases about you. It’s simply not enough to just read comments or blast out twitter messages to the masses. So what if you have a myspace page, facebook page, or even a YouTube channel. You may gain a few followers here or there, but how are you sustaining that following? 

By using social media but not engaging in two-way conversations with your followers you’re stating two things:

1) their opinions don’t matter

2) you’re jumping on the bandwagon.

Consumer brands, with the help of public relations and marketing professionals, are realizing that they can’t just play in the social media space just to be there. They realize it’s not all fun and games, that the online space can quickly become a very unsociable place. However, if done properly, they can reach consumers in ways never before possible and create unique user experiences that have powerful, long lasting effects. Same goes for musicians, especially indie musicians who are at a distinct advantage over major label artists since they are in complete control of their content and in essence their brand. So, are you using social media the way it was intended?


Youngie Does TV…

My buddy Paull Young was interviewed on Fox Business’ “Happy Hour” on how companies can use social media tools to reach the proper audiences. He’s a smart fellow, but so are all Aussies (according to Paull).

As a bonus, here’s a few fun Paull facts: he likes turtles and marshmallows (not necessarily in that order).

Check it out:

Post CES Thoughts…

So my newbie experience at CES is now over and I even resisted temptation to play Sheryl Crow’s “Leaving Las Vegas” as my flight lifted off the run way. That was more of a result of being too exhausted to scroll through my iPod than anything else. How sad is that?

First thing I did when I got to the office today was send a note off to my good buddy and an editor at a trade publication. We had been corresponding during the show, mainly setting up plans for next week, but he also tolerated my complaints about my throbbing feet while sympathizing with me. Every gal needs a friend like that. 🙂

I received his response almost immediately. After welcoming me back, he asked a question that has absolutely stunned me.

“What was the coolest thing you saw at CES?”

After pondering it for a few minutes all I could come up with was:

“Honestly, I don’t REMEMBER anything I saw. I was too busy running around for clients. The only thing that got my attention were the custom paint jobs on the cars for in-car tech room.”

Yes, you read right. I attended the largest CE tradeshow where companies of all sizes come to boast about the “greatest x” and the “slimmest y” and the thing that will “revolutionize the way we z” and all I remembered was custom paint jobs on cars. That is pretty sad.

CES was somewhat of a whirlwind for me. It was my first time at the show, but also my first time in Vegas. I was so concentrated on being at my clients’ booths at such and such time that I found myself racing through exhibit halls, mainly due to being completely lost, dodging people and praying not to be late.

Also I contracted a serious case of what I’ll call “trade show neck.” See, everyone at these events wear badges with their name and company affiliation. Taking it one step further, the badges are color coordinated to match industry categories (i.e., press wore red, exhibitors wore orange, buyers wore black and so on)… So “trade show neck” is the act of straining to the point of discomfort in order to READ another person’s badge either from a distance or even during a personal introduction. I can’t tell you how many people I met over the course of the week and don’t recall not one of their names because I was too busy reading their badge! I realize badges are nice for identification purposes, but they should do a study on how they negatively impact personal relationship building at events.

Giving myself another few hours to digest Matt’s original question, here are some other highlights:

Saw more HD tvs than I’ll ever need to see

All the majors (Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Microsoft, etc.) had massive booths (to be expected), but aside from their size, they didn’t impress me.

Gibson tent was killer, some really cool guitars for demo — only wish I got to see Rocco DeLuca perform.

Attended AMG/Macrovision event (full disclosure, they’re my client) at the MGM Grand/Sky loft suites. Typically reserved for high rollers, experienced the most amazing view of Vegas I could ask for.

Ran into DJ Skribble — he was at the show some audio/auto company.

Saw Danica Patrick at the booth – she was hugging some scantily clad chick also signing autographs.
Saw Mad Mike from “Pimp My Ride” resisted all temptation to go up and say “you’ve been PIMPED” while flicking his shirt collar.

Photographed a massive Gwen Stefani at the HP booth for my friend Mike.

Shared a cab with the most jaded industry guy EVER who vented about all things CES related, particularly companies who lured him into meetings with the promise of something grand only to be time wasted. (withholding name/company out of niceness of my heart.)

Received a funny text from Eddie: “Where the f have you been? & have you ever heard of”

On redeye home, sat next to a youngish businessman, with an English accent, who laughed (silently) the entire way home while watching “Run’s House” repeats.

Won $100 bucks playing BlackJack on my last day there. Finally couldn’t resist the temptation and you can’t beat a $5 minimum table. Proud of myself for not only winning, but walking away up and hanging on to the cash.

Overall, CES was definitely an experience and I got to see (some) of Vegas. You can check out more pics here.

Social Media Breakfast Wrap Up

I’m a bit late with this wrap up, but I’ve been offline for a few days. On Tuesday morning I attended the first “Social Media Breakfast” in NYC. This was a very casual meet up to get acquainted with other folks interested in social media and communications.

The event was sponsored by Text 100 and Converseon and organized by Aaron Urhmacher and Paull Young. They arranged to have Eric Krangel, Reuters’ virtual world reporter on hand to provide insight as to where he sees social media headed and how journalists and PR pros can work together to create dynamic stories. Being a virtual world reporter, Eric concentrated on Second Life and interesting opportunities for in-world marketing. I’ve dabbled in Second Life a bit, but haven’t really got caught up in it, so it was interesting to get his perspective on it. It was also fascinating to hear about unique marketing campaigns he’s experienced in SL. The main takeaway from the session was that there’s a passionate audience in SL and as communicators we shouldn’t shun them, as they represent a niche market with buying power.

Aside from learning more about virtual worlds, it was a great opportunity to meet up with several folks I converse with (almost) daily either through Twitter, or IM, or email. It’s nice to be able to finally put a face to their avatars or screen names. It was also a pleasure to meet new friends and hopefully stay in touch.

Attending SMB was a great learning experience for me. In PR we’re always talking about building a community, at least, that’s what our goal should be. So it’s nice to see PR professionals out there establishing a community amongst ourselves. I guess to be cliche, it’s practicing what you preach.

Looking forward to the next SMB meet up. Feel free to view pics of the event at my Flickr.

Social Media Breakfast, NYC

Received a tweet from my good friend Paull Young, inviting me to they upcoming Social Media Breakfast in the city on December 11th. Pretty excited about it. I don’t get to attend many events lately as I work outside of the city, so it’ll be nice to finally meet a few of the folks I converse with via email, Twitter and a few other networking sites.

Eric Krangel, virtual world reporter for Reuters, will be on hand for the discussion. Definitely looking forward to hearing some of his thoughts on how social media is impacting the journalism/communications field.

The breakfast is being sponsored by Converseon, Paull’s company, and Text 100. It’s free to attend so if you’re interested in social media and communications, you might want to check out Paull’s blog for more details on registering.

See you there.