Posts Tagged 'PR'

Social Media Specialists Are No Longer Needed

If you’ve been in this business for any length of time, then its time to take your collective aggregate knowledge of social media and add it to the overall mix of what you know and do. We’re at least five years in and I want you to quit being a social media specialist, because you aren’t one any longer. Simply put, and I’ve written about this at various points in the past, we’re all becoming social media generalists.

I used to be  an SEO specialist until  what I did just became a small  part of the daily mix of things that I did for our clients. There was also a time where I used to do nothing but manage PPC campaigns until it just became part of each clients overall web marketing strategy.

We all did something before social media

We all could mildly claim that we are or were bloggers at one point in time, except that it’s now merely part of what we do for our clients and respective companies. Same with video/vlogging, same with social media optimization, same with email marketing, same with creating websites, designing logos, writing copy, and creating tag lines; at one point in time it was unique and special but now-it’s just a sum total part of the collective us. We’re pulling from our collective experiences now. It’s natural and expected.

By now social should be a small part of what you do, but not all of what you do- At least for some of you. In fact, and I know a lot of you who fall into this category, there was a time where you owned social media and no one else could touch you. You were oracles of the social media soundbite.  Not anymore, social media knowledge bearers and practitioners are multiplying like rabbits and they know the game just as well as you do except…

You still have an advantage...

When I first got started in social it was for reputation management purposes and even then it wasn’t as much about the conversation as it was about understanding social media and its relationship to search… or I should say a blogs relationship to search (Facebook and Twitter weren’t even part of the conversation yet) Back then, a lot of you SEO’ers were merely concerned or wondering how to hyperlink signatures with keywords-I know that’s what I did, but then I evolved and so did you. Case in point.  I can bet all of you who have had a blog longer than a year can now spot a noob to the blog scene. How? When you get comment spam from people who insist on hyperlinking their generic, lame, weak, comment to a no-follow keyword based signature, you know… and you ask “Did they really just do that”? You’ve evolved.

Let’s digress

Things are changing. skill sets are changing- for example, if you are a PR practitioner, when did it become imperative that you understood how to not only write for your client, but also how to write for search? Or where the title of the promo piece was as important as the content contained within? Or better yet, when was it asked of PR practitioners that they had to understand the value of making connections with people in social networks? or starting blogger outreach campaigns? The PR person of today has many skills across multiple disciplines. They have to have them to survive.

Things change, people learn and skills evolve.

For Marcom people adding social to the mix is just another in the long list of things that are now just part of the job description. Yes we all still have to deal with the pretenders in the space, the snake oil salesman if you will, but for a lot of us, social is just part of the mix now. There was a time where I hated hearing the comment, “Yea but there is no ROI in social”; Now? I love to hear that comment so that I can fire both barrels of justification back at them. I’ve evolved and so have you. Marcom people need to know social, marketing, writing, PR, email marketing, advertising and design. Do they have to have deep knowledge? No, but give me breadth if I can’t have depth.

The next act

You see for a lot of you, your baseline level of knowledge in social now sets you up for what’s next. For those of you with an agency background, social is now just a part of what one does when creating a campaign. In some cases it’s the cornerstone, in others, it augments. Same with design. It’s a given that sites will have social components now-The hard part used to be finding people who could carry out the idealistic social initiatives aligned with the campaign, not any more. The troops are waiting for their marching orders.

Now social media failure isn’t so much based on the unknown or the person with a lack of knowledge, as much as it is based on a weak strategy, poor management, the wrong KPI’s or bad tactics. For a lot of you, you are the ones that will lead the charge into the new era of well rounded, seasoned generalists with skill sets that cover, tech, social, marketing, pr, and web. That’s the person I want and that’s the person that brands need.

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Is social media territorial? Should it be?

I was walking the dog the other night and watched as he “marked” his territory and naturally I thought about the  natural Tug-o-War that occurs with social. The desire for different departments wanting to own the “rights” to social media. Why do you think that is? Look at how strongly some people feel about the subject!

Danny Wong, the co-founder and Lead Evangelist for Blank Label says that PR should own social media because that department knows “what the appropriate messages are for the company’s followers.”

According to Chris Koch’s B2B Marketing Blog He just comes right out and states, It’s official: Marketing owns social media management, in which I agree with his next question, Now what?

Chris Kieff strongly believes, as usual, that it’s the bailiwick of the HR department and that HR should own social media; and if you don’t think there’s an opinion on that, look at the responses he got to his post

Lastly, Steve Radick thinks we all own social media. Wait cancel that, he thinks no one owns social media.

Now I’m confused.

But let’s think about this for a second. A dog marks his territory every day. The same territory every day. Why does he do that? Because another dog came along and marked the exact same territory as his own as well. This happens every day without fail. So the dog marking dance happens every day without fail. Sniff, then mark. Over and over and over again.

It’s simple really, it’s  not about ownership, it’s about establishing that you as an organization, are consistently there every day,  and making sure others know that you were there…every day, and that you are going to be there…every day. That’s all consumers want.

17 Tweetchats for Social Media, Marketing and PR folks

Yesterday I threw out a tweet about 125 twitter chats worth checking out on Google Docs. I thought I might condense it a bit and focus not only on Tweetchats that I was familiar with, but also those that would benefit the Social Media, Marketing and PR folks out there, and which also had solid participation as well. If I have left any out, please drop me a line and include it in the comments section.

1) Hashtagsocialmedia-#socialmedia Of course I’m partial to the one I co-founded with Jason Breed Advancing the Business of Social Media every Tues noon EST. New topics & new industry thought leaders and A-listers host the tweetchats. Great discussions. all archived and easily searchable

2)#4change is a monthly tweetchat on how social media is helping to create change

3) #b2bchat is a weekly conversation for B2B marketers; Thursdays 8 pm Eastern.

4) #Blogchat is a chat on Sunday nights from 8-9pm CT that was started by @MackCollier to discuss blogs and best practices.

5) #Brandchat is a discussion between experts, strategists, and those interested in learning more about personal branding and managing their personal brand.

6) #Hcsm The Health Care Communication & Social Media community hosts a weekly Twitter conversation about communication and marketing practices by Health Care organizations, including use of social media

7) #Innochat A Tweetchat on innovation

8. #Journchat Conversations between journalists, bloggers and public relations folks started by Sarah Evans

9) #Kaizenblog Discusses using kaizen in *business strategy* Started by Valeria Maltoni

10) #pr20chat PR 2.0 chat for conversations about PR related issues and SM implications, started by Beth Harte

11) #SEO411 Weekly chat to collaborate with colleagues and other marketers about their questions and ideas about SEO.

12) #SMCEDU Discussions about Social Media / Higher Education

13) #Socentchat A monthly discussion on social entrepreneurship, focusing on a particular topic or field each month, eg. Mobile Innovation; Fostering Soc Ent at universities; Support Women; eHealth; etc.

14) #Socpharm Weekly chat on pharmaceutical marketing and social media.

15) #Solopr Open discussions that serve as a companion to the SoloPRpro.com blog, designed for independent PR and MarCom pros – and those who’d like to be. Active hashtag throughout the week, with chats taking place on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET, Started and run by Kellye Crane

16) #TNL TNL is TalentNet Live. the #1 monthly hashtag chat for recruiters on Twitter that takes place the last Wednesday of each month at 9pm Eastern at #TNL. Login at RecruitingBlogs.com

17) #U30pro The chat that focuses on issues and trends surrounding young professionals.  All ages welcome and encouraged to join.

15 reasons to love social media

My last few posts have been about the darker side of social media and thus I wanted to clear something up.  I am the biggest champion of social media that you will find and here’s why. I may get a little spicy sometimes, but that doesn’t diminish all the “good” things about this crazy space and all that it delivers to us daily. So get a gander at these 15 reasons and when you’re done reading them add your reason to the mix.

1)  Today I have a very large network of close and semi-close contacts that I can reach out to at a moments notice. Chances are, you do too! 4 years ago, I did not have anything remotely close to this type of network.

2) If I need a really good PR firm for example, I can contact that person today and we’d know each other well enough to have a very nice conversation… without the usual vetting process. The confluence of PR and social media ain’t no coincidence.

3) If I wanted to have someone guest post on my blog and bring their incredible smartness and knowledge to the table, all I have to do is ask. Have you ever thought of asking someone? You should. There might be some really smart folks in your network and you might not even know they are following you!

4) If I have to refer a killer web design person to someone, I can do that in 5 seconds. I’m sure you know of someone too. I could come up with a list of 10 in no time.

5) Need a good email marketing company? I know one or two. In fact, I got to know someone from a pretty cool company just in the last 2 months,  Thanks network.

6) How about a good social media monitoring company? I can help you, I know a few good people there. What’s great about this one particular company? They don’t push the product, they just act like normal people should act.

7) Want to know who you need to contact in regards to social media and non-profits? Here’s one for you. Thanks to social media, these people have a chance to influence us in a way that allows us and them to make a difference in this world. We need more of that.

8. Because of social media, my network, no matter how jaded or pissed I can get sometimes, allows me to  get jaded and pissed… and they’re ok with that. They still like me in the morning. :)

9) Social media has allowed me to contribute to one book and create a rough draft for another. It’s allowed me to present at conferences, write articles in magazines and speak on the radio and create projects that connect some very dynamic people together.

10) Without social media none of us would be allowed to share the cool things we are doing 24/7/365. That doesn’t mean we always care about all of it, but you have a channel to express yourself now that you didn’t have before.

11) If I need help, all I have to do is ask. Need proof? Check out the 50 people that have hosted Hashtagsocialmedia. I asked and they said yes.

12) If I’m asked to help or assist on something, and because I generally know who is doing the asking, I don’t hesitate, thanks to social media.

13) Because of social media, when I meet someone for the first time, like a Jason Falls for example, I generally am “not meeting” them for the first time. We already know each other.

14) Because of social media, we have something to talk and write about every day.

15) If I didn’t know you before and now I do, chances are it’s because of social media.

At the end of the day, it’s still all about the relationships, the connections, and the conversations. For that, I’m thankful.

The Ideal Skillset for a New Hire for an Agency

I made a comment earlier to someone that it is really hard to find someone or people that have depth and breadth across the board. In fact this exact discussion took place at Social South late in the Summer by a pretty smart group of folks worth following on Twitter. The group included  Scott Schablow, Tom Martin, Jason FallsDavid Griner, Beth Harte and myself.

The question or challenges continues to present themselves to me and that is, trying to find someone with a blend of skill sets that can take on the challenges that this new marketing and communications world has presented us with.

What types of skills are needed? Here’s a quick list that I threw together, I know I’m missing some obvious ones, if so let me know.

  1. Understand the nuances of customer service and why the customer matters
  2. The ability to understand technology’s big picture as well as the small stuff
  3. PR skills-“the how tos”, “the whys”; and “the what fors”
  4. Soft listening skills
  5. The ability to write a blog post with tags, links and proper attributes
  6. Know how to comment on a blog and why
  7. Know how to post a blog post and where
  8. SEO skills-How to write for SEO
  9. How to write PR releases with SEO in mind
  10. An understanding of social media
  11. A deeper understanding of social media
  12. How to use Twitter and what the purpose of twitter is
  13. How to write an email-I know it sounds simple but…
  14. How to create an email blast and send it properly
  15. How to write a proposal
  16. How to monitor a brand across multiple channels
  17. An understanding of basic HTML. CSS would be nice
  18. The ability to use Photoshop to some degree
  19. The ability to use a MAC or a PC well.
  20. The ability to present in front of a group-speaking skills, remember them?
  21. The ability to create a PowerPoint presentation
  22. An understanding of UI-know what sucks and why
  23. The ability to manage your time effectively
  24. Know how to prioritize
  25. Know what web tools can make your job better and make us better
  26. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion,it matters
  27. The ability to share and be selfless, it’s important
  28. The ability to learn quickly and absorb it
  29. The understanding that everything that you create digitally, now is this close to being consumed publicly.
  30. The ability to change direction on the fly

Though it would be nice to find the person that had half of the skills mentioned above or perhaps knowledge or understanding of 3/4 of them, I know that might be asking too much. If I can get someone who knew a few of them, that’s a start.

Does this seem like I’m asking too much of college graduates? I don’t think so. This is a new world where having expertise or a degree in one discipline just won’t cut it anymore. Our industry requires that you have knowledge in lots of areas. It almost demands it. The good news is that a lot of graduates and individuals are already armed with these skills. The bad news is, it might be changing tomorrow.

14 social media and marketing podcasts worth listening to.

mic

You know what I love about podcasts? They are archivable, searchable and hands free. Which means that I can listen and learn while I’m doing other things. In the social media and tech space, I think its critical from a business standpoint to continue to grow and learn and stay ahead of the curve.

With that being said here are 14 social media , marketing, and new media podcasts that do just that-allow  me/you to learn. Coming from some of the true leaders of thought and innovation, these should help you achieve what you need most in this industry. Knowledge.

1) Quick-n-Dirty-Brought to you by Jennifer Leggio (@mediaphyter) and Aaron Strout (@aaronstrout) they talk about social networks and social media case studies, and talk with social media thought leaders- as well, they bring their certain style and panache to each podcast. Smart.

2) User Friendly Thinking interviews subject matter experts and industry thought-leaders on topics related to web design, content management, Internet marketing and social media. The show is hosted by CEO John Munsell and marketing director Paul Chaney from Bizzuka.

3) Diva Marketing Talks What can I say about Toby Bloomberg that hasn’t already been said? Add a great podcast to the mix and just be a sponge and learn about social media marketing.

4) Dishy Mix You want content? You want variety? This site and Susan Bratton brings it to you.

5) FIR is a twice weekly podcast covering new media, technology and PR,
provided by Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, this podcast is very current and will always keep you in the new media loop.

6) Marketing Over Coffee Wait long enough and  John Wall and Chris Penn are likely to talk about anything, however they do focus pretty heavily on the tech, digital media space. Great variety here though.

7) Managing the Gray All around good guy, C.C. Chapman uses his podcast to help business professionals and individuals stay up to date on what is happening in the world of social media.

8. Marketing Voices I’ve been a big fan of marketing voices and Jennifer Jones for awhile now. Jennifer interviews leading marketers and business executives who are changing, or trying to change the marketing landscape.

9) Twist Image Mitch Joel is pretty dialed in. Don’t think so? Look who he has on and look at the topics he chooses to tackle. Plus his sight is bangin.

10) Jaffe Juice One of my faves, each week marketing dude and extremely tongue in cheek provacateur Joseph Jaffe discusses the world of new marketing, media and PR.

11) The Marketing Edge,  is one of the longest running marketing and PR podcasts. Be sure to check out the great summary posts by host Albert Maruggi

12) Find and Convert Wait till you see the list of topics and guests that Bernie Borges has on. Great topics and great content are a winning combination.

13) School of Social media Focused on Web2.0 marketing strategies, the show is produced by Ken English, the BlogTalkRadioGuy, and the Niche Prof, aka Dr. Ron Capps, for the School of Social Marketing and the Social Radio Network.

14) Connected World David Jacobs provides Connected World Radio, produced every Tues and Fri,  featuring a quick thought about an aspect of social or new media.

Have I missed some that might be a great addition to this list?

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17 things that a social media consultant, agency or customer can’t do for you.

learn

This started as a post that was born out of frustration. After about 4 rewrites, I have softened it enough that it now speaks as a document that the client, the consultant and the agency can speak to when they begin talking to each other. I have not even covered strategy, objectives, scope or expectations, but at least we have a starting point.

This is not meant to be snarky, ok maybe a little, but it is meant to be somewhat of a cautionary post as well. Part of it being that I have made most of the mistakes myself. I’ve learned from them and yet, I still make them, because what I am still learning is that no two clients are alike. The dynamics are not called the dynamics for nothing! Feel free to add to them as well.

  1. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to “do a blog”.-Just because they want you to do it, doesn’t mean you can. It’s not right for every business but let’s say it is. You just might not have been built for it. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that the assumption can’t be made that everyone is capable of writing a compelling blog with compelling content.
  2. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to do “social media”. You don’t do social media. If you’re an SMB or department head and you hear that, look at your phone and say you have to take this call..
  3. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you how to write for SEO, the User, AND for Social. It’s not easy, it’s time intensive, and not for the faint of heart and probably not in their DNA. Though it is a great quality to possess. If they are asking or expecting you to, be afraid, be very afraid.
  4. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to understand the relationship between search and social. Why? It’s an art as much as it is science and to be honest, why should they? It’s not what they do! Should you take the time to at least understand the dynamics? Yes.
  5. A social media consultant or agency can’t, won’t, or might not teach you to understand when it’s appropriate to not to do something with social media. Why? It’s not in their best interests. What you might not hear is that some aspects of social media are just not right for every business. Let’s not jam round pegs into square holes just for the sake of getting the business. As a decision maker always ask why. It’s you’re right. Which leads to #6.
  6. A social media consultant or agency won’t teach you to understand the why. Why? Because they don’t really care about theory, they might not get it, nor do they want to spend time educating you. You need to take the time yourself to understand the why. Preferably before they come calling. Make them squirm. Dazzle them with your knowledge.
  7. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to know when not to pimp your stuff. Why?  Because if you think it’s the right thing to do and you’re a traditional marketer, chances are, you’re going to do it anyway. Like the analogy of the actor who thinks he always has to be “on” when he’s in public. You don’t always have to pimp your stuff.
  8. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to be yourself. They can tell you, they just can’t teach you. You will figure out that being authentic goes a lot further than #7.
  9. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you how to have real conversations. You know the difference, really…you do! You have them at the dinner table every night. That’s real.
  10. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you how to have real online conversations that result in business. Slightly different from #7 but no less impactful or important. The gist being that you can’t force the action.
  11. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you how to not be disingenuous. You’ll find out real quick how this one works. It’s generally when you learn what the word flame means in the online world and the only voice you hear is youw own.
  12. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you how to not be overt and blatant with your marketing message. Why? You’ll think that it’s the right thing to do to, until you see otherwise. See #10
  13. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to have your “ah-ha” moment, you’ll know when it happens. You will have it. Though they may have the skills to set up a moment for you, they’re more fun when you have them on your own time.
  14. Agencies can’t teach patience and perseverance- they don’t care. That’s not their business model. Though that is a cornerstone element of social media.
  15. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to want it- if you don’t want it, then you won’t want it…this speaks to #17
  16. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you to write FBML why? Because chances are they don’t know what it is. They will  just outsource it
  17. A social media consultant or agency can’t teach you how to “be social”…You just have to try.

Hopefully you can’t take these nuggets for what they are-lessons learned.

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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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