Social media isn’t about the tech

Last week I had the privilege of chairing a discussion on what social media means to businesses with my Bristol-based colleages.fridge-twitter

Now usually such discussions tend to focus on Twitter and Facebook – and we did discuss both in earnest. However, this time conversation turned into more of a philosophical, and at times ethical, dimension on how people communicate. (Well aside from the fridge twitter talk. Thanks to Marc Cooper of the Bristol Evening Post for remembering this bit).

Although there was some sceptism on what the future holds for the likes of Twitter, a point we all agreed on was that irrespective of the technology, people will always be interested in knowing what others are up to and people will always want to tell others what they’re up to. In my opinion, this is why a Twitter-esq service will always be around even if the technology that facilitates it changes.

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Twitterati don’t mind Twads

Perhaps the ad model is the way forward for Twitter to make money. That said I’ve never clicked on one.
clipped from mashable.com
Thank you for voting!
I’m happy to have multiple ads if it means Twitter gets better 19% (112 votes)
I can deal with ads, but Twitter needs to limit them 31% (190 votes)
Ads are fine, but only certain types 23% (137 votes)
I don’t want ads: there are other ways to make money 27% (166 votes)
Total Votes: 605
  blog it

Are you a courageous PR?

It’s taken me a while but I’ve moved my RSS feeds from NetNewswire to the web sensation that is Feedly.

I’ve been eying up Feedly for a while now (although I fully admit to not knowing how it worked) and just decided the best way was to just to dive right in a road test it.

Picture 9

I went through the exact same process with Twitter, RSS, Yammer a many other social media tools.

Ok so some didn’t work out but others have proved invaluable.

Social media has certainly changed the game for PRs. Gone are the days of faxing press releases out as the main stay of the job. We now have a myriad of tools. As PRs advising clients on which ones to use, PRs must be ready to ‘get down and dirty’ to find out what they can do.

To coin a phrase from a colleague, “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.”

There are a lot of soc med frogs out there but quite a few princes as well.

140 characters – what’s the worst that could happen?

At a recent event organised by my agency (LEWIS Social Media summit) I got into a debate with a client and a colleague about whether it was right for a company to trust its agency to run its Twitter stream.

On one hand, my colleague didn’t feel this was right and the agency was overstepping the mark.

“It would be a logistical nightmare having to get tweets approved,” he argued.

Taking another stance, my client didn’t think it was in the spirit of Twitter for a PR agency to take this role.

I’m a bit uncertain about this one. I speak to journalists, analysts and other influencers all the time explaining to them what my clients do and stand for in my own words (of course this will largely incorporate the client’s messaging and principles).

I agree in the case of an official statement being made, it should be the official spokesperson for the company speaking, tweeting, blogging or providing the comment.

But for casual industry observations, can a PR person really do that much damage with 140 characters at their disposal?

If they can, maybe they’re the wrong agency.