Today marks a bitter-sweet day: It is the day I make the jump from over to Blogger.

I tried to make it work, but the free/hosted version of WordPress was just too constricting and I needed my (customizable) space.

Thank you to those who have hung around here for a while and checked out a few of my posts. I especially want to thank the handful of people who were interested enough to comment on some items I have posted.

To Thank you for your time and space. I will be taking my posts with me when I go and eventually this space will go away.

It’s time to move on. Goodbye WordPress. Hello Next Communications n Blogger.


Social Media: Under Construction

On Wednesday, July 9, Terry Morawski and I collaborated on a social media presentation for the Greater Fort Worth chapter of PRSA:

Under Construction

Social Media: Under Construction

Social Media Under Construction (PDF)

Social Media: Under Construction (PPT)

Social Media: Under Construction (Slideshare)

I am looking forward to reading the comments and feedback from the attendees.

Who are the people in your Twitter-hood?

Using Twitter for PR efforts should not be seen as a suggestion, but rather a necessity.

Now, in no way am I advocating PR professionals join Twitter and start pitching away at any and all journalists they find. This is a bad idea and will get you blocked faster than you can say, “SPAM-a-lama-ding-dong.”

What I find necessary are the useful things about Twitter that every PR person can and should use:

  • knowledge finding
  • personal branding
  • community engaging
  • relationship building
  • idea banking
  • advise seeking

If you keep some of these things in mind, I believe PR people will start to get more out of Twitter than you previously thought possible from this useful application that asks the question, “What are you doing?”

Why do I believe this? Because our organizations or clients are made up of people and not pitches. Todd Defren of PR Squared puts it this way:

In the Social Media era, getting better at Public Relations means getting better at the Relationships, not the Publicity. [emphasis added]

If PR people believe the statement above, then we can be better at putting into practice the statement below:

…public relations builds relationships and creates an ongoing dialogue of interaction and involvement with an organization’s target audiences and those who influence those audiences.

How do you use twitter? Are you using your twitter-hood to its potential?

Musical Inspiration for Social Media

Rent Signage

Originally uploaded by m_halminen

“Why are you so in to this social media stuff?” I get questions like this from family, friends, colleagues and I haven’t really been able to nail down a good explanation that suits me…until now.

I have found some social media inspiration in a song that helps explain why I am so fascinated in social media. It comes from one of my favorite musicals, Rent by Jonathan Larson.

La Vie Boheme

To days of inspiration,
Playing hooky, making something
Out of nothing, the need
To express-
To communicate,
To going against the grain,
Going insane,
Going mad

Now, I will probably not immediately start singing when I am asked again, but I may hit the high points of why social media resonates with me.

Days of inspiration…making something out of nothing…the need to express, to communicate…

These are things that make social media so interesting to me. What makes social media interesting to you?

Side notes: Rent is leaving Broadway on September 7. The Rent Web site and other related sites have some interesting examples of social media in action: Rent Countdown Blog, EverythingIsRENT You Tube Channel, Goodbye, Love Message Board, Speak Your Heart Forum, and others. While I did not get to see the show on Broadway, I did get to see touring casts in Dallas and Fort Worth and they lived up to expectations.

POST starts with “P”

I am reading Groundswell by Forrester Research’s Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. This book is easily one of the most intriguing professional books I’ve read in a while. According to Li and Bernoff the groundswell is:

A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.

While I don’t particularly care for the name they chose to describe the social media phenomenon, I do appreciate the terrific insight and research they’ve provided.

One graphical representation from the book helps explain the Social Technographics® Profile in the form of a Ladder to represent consumers’ social computing behavior categorized by participation.

Social Technographics Ladder

The social participation rungs in the ladder are (from bottom to top): Inactives, Spectators, Joiners, Collectors, Critics, and Creators with explanations of each. The authors provide various samples of profiles to help drive home the point that different people come to you and your company or organization at very different levels of social media participation.

The POST Method

There are implications for business in assessing participation, especially when one applies the POST method for a social media strategy:

  1. Assess the social activities of your People;
  2. Decide what Objectives you want to accomplish;
  3. Plan your Strategy for changes in customer relations; then
  4. Decide on the suitable Technology or technologies to meet your goals.

I was struck by something so simple, but could have serious implications for those interested in social media if forgotten: The POST method starts with “P” for People.

People Matter

If you don’t have your people, (audience, stakeholders, customers, community, or any other term you use) your social media strategy will be much harder to effectively implement and accurately assess.

To often Communication/PR practitioners are presented with the challenge of adding a social media to their communication efforts and they jump straight to the latest and greatest social media technology with buzz.

I am all for jumping in and experimenting with social media mainly because you are more credible if you’ve experienced the various forms of social media. This holds true even if you outsource.

However, I caution (from experience) that your community participation assessment should come first.

If the biggest sin in social media is inaction, then I think the biggest mistake is not knowing your people.

Social Media for the Newbies, Act III

Now for some free pointers from one of the trailblazers in Social Media, Brian Solis. Check out The Essential Guide to Social Media – A Free eBook. Did I mention that it’s free?

So what are you waiting for? Get Started. Be informed. Get in the game.

Blocking Social Networks


Originally uploaded by vedo’s pics

Many organizations choose to use internet filters to help stem the tide of unwanted and/or inappropriate content for its users. Education, specifically school districts are no different. I can understand and appreciate the necessity of keeping young internet users away from highly inappropriate Web sites in an academic setting.

However, I have a problem with the reasoning behind some of the filtering. For example, in our district, LinkedIn is blocked because it falls under the social networking category. My response is: SO WHAT!? Shouldn’t we be encouraging professional sites that could help with connections for internal and external communications.

I don’t appreciate “social networking” as a category being blocked for users. I think it implies that an organization does not value the concept of professional/personal communication experiences.