Social Media and PR 911 – Stop the presses!

It’s not social media if the rest of the PR industry isn’t socializing…

I was a last-minute invite to the Bulldog Reporter Advanced PR Technology in Practice event in San Francisco on Friday to discuss Social Media and successful examples in today’s PR landscape.

I joined Sally Falkow, a fellow Social Media Club member, and Eric Schwartzman, on the “Brave New World of Social Media” panel.

Topics included:

- How Will Consumer Generated Media (CGM) Change PR Forever
- How PR Can Tap into New Social Media Networks

Presentation at Bulldog's Advanced PR in SF 11/10/06

In the middle of my presentation, I realized that the panel might have been a little ahead of its time. While many in the audience blog, many didn’t. And, just because many PR pros blog, it doesn’t mean that they fully understand Social Media.

All of us in the Social Media realm are flying so fast and so high that we are definitely soaring over everyone’s heads – not just at the conference, but everywhere. In all honesty, this was a very insightful week, and the conference was just the icing on the cake for this realization.

This week, I wrote a series of “How to Write Social Media Press Releases” (Article #1 and #2) which culminated in the transmission of an actual Social Media Release which announced the articles and a “how to write SMPRs” template. This was my way of trying to help the masses tap into the world of SMPR. I worked with the execs over at MarketWire, and we were able to get it out over the wire. But after this week, I have reached the conclusion that these articles also need perspective and the explanation of social media and the elements that make them social – and also why.

Christie Goodman captured it best in her post, “Questions About Using the Social Media Release Format.” It was definitely an eye opener. In an impressive move, industry leaders simultaneously jumped in to help out. Kudos to Todd Defren for jumping in to also provide some helpful explanations, in his post “Basic Answers to Some Basic Questions re: Social Media News Releases.”

Mark Goodyear also had a great post that attempted to help explain things a little better in his comprehensive article, “Social Media for Dummies (and Parents).”

What I’ve learned this week…that we, as a community, need to help each other advance, while also helping everyone else “get it.”

I’ve proposed to Bulldog Reporter, and will also reach out to other organizations including PRSA,, LACP, PRWeek, among others, to work with the Social Media Club to host a series of day-long, maybe even two-day, conferences dedicated to explaining social media, one panel at a time. We can even have representatives from popular social networking and media sites on hand to answer questions, help set up accounts on-the-spot, and maybe even sponsor the events.

Here’s what I see…with everything relating back to how it benefits advertising, PR and marketing:

Session I – What is Social Media and Social Networking
Session II – What is Social Bookmarking
Session III – What is Social Photo and Video Sharing
Session IV – What are Social Content Websites and How Do They Work
Session V – What is a WIKI
Session VI – Explaining tags
Session VII – Distribution Channels, Wire Services and RSS
Session VIII – Blogs, Podcasts, Vlogs
Session IX – Social Media in Action
Session X – Blogger Relations
Session XI – Search and metrics

Of course there are a ton of other topics worth reviewing and considering. If this interests you, let’s talk. Maybe we can actually get this conference rolling.

For the complete slide deck from my presentation, jump to flickr.

For an interview that we did with Robert Scoble on Social Media, click here.

And by all means, run out and buy The Cluetrain Manifesto. It was published in 2000 and it predicted this shift and it explains, from a business perspective, the power and benefits of social media.

Also, many thanks to Greg Narain who helped me while we attended the Web2point2 conference in SF. Also, Giovanni Rodriguez, also helped me simply by publishing this brilliant post.

Please for this story at NewPR!

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  • Connie

    Belated but sincere thanks for your series of posts on how to write a social media release. I also followed the discussion surrounding Christie’s questions, and I put all the information I learned to use in developing my own release.

  • Mark Goodyear

    This comment came as a bit of a shock to me: “In the middle of my presentation, I realized that the panel might have been a little ahead of its time. … just because many PR pros blog, it doesn’t mean that they fully understand Social Media.”

    I’m no social media expert, but I’ll continue to fly by the seat of my pants. Because nothing like this has happened to publication since Gutenburg.

    Thanks for the link, Brian. I’m just trying to hold onto all of this in my head.

  • jenmcclure

    Great post Brian. I have also discovered that there is a very wide range of understanding, adoption and experimentation with social media across the PR industry.

    Social media presents a very exciting opportunity for the profession, and the Society for New Communications Research would be delighted to work with the Social Media Club to help provide education and support to the industry.

    Also, as you know (because you’ll be speakingt this event) the SNCR be holding the 3rd Annual New Communications Forum (www.newcommfourm.com) in early 2007 to address these topics.

  • maggiefox

    I think you’re right on track with your notion of taking a step back and making sure that everyone actually understands social media before leaping in. There is a learning curve, and just ’cause we all get it (and spend a ton of time in the space) doesn’t mean that everyone else does – especially when, let’s be honest, many execs are still wrapping their heads around the whole “Internet” thing.

  • Anonymous

    The proof of Goodyear’s authority thesis is that conferences and businesses are seeking out people who blog on social media (i.e., doing PR for social media itself) instead of the people who have been doing social media for a long time for other projects. ;-)

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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