19
Sep
08

first day at uga connect: social media roundtable

We’ve just wrapped up our first session of the day at UGA Connect, a roundtable discussion of current issues in social media. With so many educators and professionals present with such diverse backgrounds, the conversation stayed lively and interesting! Both the educators and professionals at the roundtable had some great suggestions for organizations looking to engage through social media. One of the most engaging social media discussions brought up by Dr. Karen Russell was “Stupid Things PR People Do,” which is briefly summarized below.

1. Sending Spam

  • Many organizations think “opt-in” e-mail lists are an invitation to send spam; they aren’t.
  • Bloggers usually don’t appreciate being sent press releases (the Chris Anderson incident, of course, was mentioned). Don’t send them press releases unless you have engaged them personally and they have granted you permission.

2. Spam commenting

  • e.g. “I loved your post! Now check out this [irrelevant] link!
  • It’s easy for bloggers to see when comments are not authentic. To appear legitimate, it might be best to e-mail the blogger instead of posting this type of comment.
  • Josh Hallett warned against using the cliche ice breaker “I’ve been following your blog for a long time…”, as many bloggers can easily tell if a person is lying.

3. Bad Pitches

  • Don’t send a pitch that’s not pertinent to the blogger or his/her audience. Period.
  • Hallett argued that there is very little difference in pitching bloggers and traditional media gatekeepers; relationship-building is a must.
  • Besides, social media makes it easier for ticked off bloggers to call out people/organizations using lazy PR tactics.

4. Using irrelevant social media tools

  • Some clients want the “bright, shiny” new social media tools regardless of how relevant it is to their audience. Avoid client pressure, and only use the tools you need.

I had the opportunity to pick Josh Hallett’s brain about some of the current ethical concerns over social media in journalism, and here’s what he had to say.

More UGA Connect attendees with be joining us tonight for dinner at the Foundry Park Inn, and the rest of the Connect team and I are looking forward meeting everyone and getting some great insight on new media from keynote speaker Peter Himler.

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1 Response to “first day at uga connect: social media roundtable”


  1. 1 Sarah
    September 20, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Great summary of the first day, Christie. I particularly liked the podcast concerning the ethics of Twittering high-profile, yet sensitive items like funerals. I thought Josh’s comments were right on target when he said that you have to appreciate the context of the Twitters and that you may be Twittering for a small audience who understands the context, even in the larger audience doesn’t understand. I guess the question remains do you supply the information for the good of the few and/or how do you inform the masses in such an abbreviated channel. As he said, we will need to watch the ebb and flow of future events. Thanks again for the great follow-up!


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