PR Roundtable Discussion: Advice on Media and Blogger Relations

Aaron Brazell, Director of Technology at b5media has lined up a handful of well-respected voices on both sides of the PR game to host a “roundtable” discussion on Social Media. It’s a five part series with the third post running today at Technosailor.

The roundtable includes Doug Haslam, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Cathryn Hrudicka, Marc Orchant, and yours truly. Click here to read more about the participants.

Question 5: What advice would you give to your own industry in engaging the other side?

Brian Solis: Chris Anderson summarized it best, “I only want two kinds of email: those from people I know, and those from people who have taken the time to find out what I’m interested in and composed a note meant to appeal to that.”

What’s it going to take for PR to reflect that sentiment and honest plea for relevance? It should be common sense. But it’s not. Common sense is all too uncommon in almost everything we do these days.

So to help PR “pros” stop pissing-off bloggers and reporters and start building meaningful relationships with them, here is a list of things to live by:

Remember this is about people

  1. What do you stand for? Answer that first before you try to convince people that are busier than you why they should take time to stop what they’re doing to pay you any attention.
  2. It’s more than doing your homework. To some doing homework is building lists. Figure out what your are representing and why it matters. How does it compare to other things. What do people need? What are their pains?
  3. Practice saying it aloud in one-to-two minutes or less to a friend or in front of a mirror. Seriously. It works. If you don’t get it no one else will.
  4. Less is more. Find the right people, not just because you read their profile in a database, but because you read their work and understand their perspective.
  5. Engage in conversations outside of when you need something.
  6. Build relationships not lists.
  7. Humanize the process and remember that this is about people
  8. Stop whining and making excuses. You are responsible for your actions so arm yourself with what you need to be successful.
  9. Stop sending press releases without summarizing what the news is and why it is IMPORTANT to the individual person you’re sending it to.
  10. Remember the reputation and the future of PR is on you. If you’re not in this to do your job better, then ask yourself why you’re here. If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.

The Series:

Question #1 - What do you think the biggest challenge is for the Public Relations industry to fully embrace social media?

Question #2 - What does the concept of “brand” mean to you and how do you see the concept of brand protection (or the concept of “open source brand”, so to speak) being transformed in the internet age?

Question #3 – How can bloggers work more effectively with PR people?

Question #4Is “outing” a wayward PR agency or individual an effective way of dealing with the problem of misfired pitches?

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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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