Posts Tagged ‘social media


More Facebook tips from Dr. V

Many college students remember Facebook’s earliest days, where the community was exclusive to college students (and they liked it that way, thank-u-very-much) and unadulterated by advertisers. Today, many corporations view the social networking site as a wealth of customers, conveniently separated into interest groups, that they are desperate to tap into.

Indeed, many companies have tried to engage the 100+ million Facebook users through ineffective (often gimmicky) paid ads, Facebook applications, “Fan” pages and more. Since Facebook PR is still in the experimental stages, what works so far and what doesn’t? Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu (I will now refer to her as “Dr. V”) offered us several tips:

  • Since Facebook has more than 100 million users and 55,000 networks, companies need to identify the subcultures and publics on the site with common traits.
  • Most Facebook users will not use Facebook as a way to communicate with a company, and will not seek out a brand on Facebook. They will only engage with the organization on Facebook if it is one they feel strongly about (example: I love musician Pete Yorn, so I joined a PY group on Facebook).
  • Corporations should avoid “Trying 2 Hard 2 B Kool,” and carefully consider whether their presence on Facebook will be useful/ appropriate.
  • When considering whether your company/ client will “fit in” to the Facebook community, ask yourself if there is anything you can do to help with relationship maintenance, self-presentation or impression management. If so, Facebook PR might be worth a shot!

On a lighter note, Dr. V also offered a link to answer the age-old question: What the heck does “Poking” mean!?


Public Relations on Facebook

The second session began with Mihaela Vorvoreanu, a professor from Clemson University, speaking on how to use Facebook and the public’s perspective of it. 

The topic focused on how Facebook is not about the technology, it’s about the culture.

When a company is thinking about joining Facebook, you have to have a planning period. You should practice using the technology, listen to the conversation, and talk to your audience before diving in.  You want to focus on a long-term relationship, so take your time.

It’s all about relationship management and self-presentation.

During Vorvoreanu’s research on students, she found that they would be interested in good deals or discounts that are relevant to them and exclusive to Facebook. It’s about making a unique reason for people to visit your company on this medium rather than their main Web site.

So does your organization fit in?  Do the research and find your audience.  There is room on Facebook for your company, as long as you do it right.

Thank you Mihaela!


Public Relations: What has and hasn’t changed

Peter Himler was our keynote speaker at the Connect dinner last tonight at the Foundry Park Inn.  He talked about his thoughts on Public Relations explaining that many are using social media but there is still a need for using the PR basics as well as traditional media.  Some of the points he made are:

  • The challenge with mainstream media is it’s so fragmented, but companies still want it.  That is how they measure results.
  • Public Relations is still measured by the amount of print and air time we get.
  • Clients must be online so that they are searchable.
  • We are in a kind of “ying yang situation” according to Himler. We are trying to move forward with social media but are getting pulled back with the continued need for traditional PR.

Himler also stated that Public Relations has a great future because practitioners don’t have to filter through journalists anymore.  They can finally speak directly to the audience and create a more authentic message. 

Many examples were given on how companies are listening to online conversations.  One company was Comcast.  They responded to a customer who was complaining on Twitter about how Comcast kept not showing up for their appointment.  Nice job Comcast!

Once the bad pitching topic came up, Himler had his opinion on the important things to remember when creating a pitch: Keep pitches short, sweet, relevant and CONVERSATIONAL.

Himler really feels like Public Relations touches all media and everything we do. This is why he focuses his blog, The Flack, on that topic.  Thanks for speaking Peter!


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.


Attend UGA Connect… even if you’re not in Athens

Connect is only two days away now, and we’ve set up a number of different ways to attend the conference virtually. Of course, you can watch this space for regular updates on the blog. Grady students will be posting audio and video in addition to text updates. Our Flickr photostream is ready to go, and the most recent pictures will show up here on the blog. (@hyku, this one’s for you.)

You can also follow @UGAconnect on Twitter. Our hashtag will be #connect, so you can watch Twemes for Connect-only updates from all the attendees — we expect @paullyoung to be particularly active, but we’ll be encouraging all the attendees to register, so be prepared for an active Twitter stream.

Speaking of streaming, Dr. Kaye Sweetser is going to live video/chat stream her presentation at 11 a.m. on Saturday, so check in here for instructions on how to watch.

“See” you on Friday and Saturday!


I want to go to Mars too!

If you wonder why Elizabeth Albrycht is talking about going to Mars someday or about the large hadron collider (It’s the largest particle accelerator in the world. Don’t worry I had no idea either), it’s because she loves “big science” (and has the science fiction novels to prove it).

She started in management consulting (after she and an aptitude test she took in high school decided PR was a good route for her) but has spent most of her career in technology, hence the love of “big science.”

Her reason for speaking at conferences is to create more discussions about the changes social media technology is bringing to the profession. It wasn’t easy for her to start speaking at conferences, she had to co-launch a conference (New Communications Forum) to “break in.”

Elizabeth is so fascinated by the changes in PR that she has moved from day-to-day PR implementation to studying some of the big issues that she thinks PR will have to deal with such as digital identity and the emergence of decisions in online environments. She is currently researching this topic while living in Versailles, walking the same paths that Marie Antoinette did.


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