Why I love #BeMyGuest Month

11 03 2010

Guest Post by Lauren Novo

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In case you haven’t heard, March has been dubbed a month of mutual blogging. Adam Vincenzini and Emily Cagle recently launched the initiative, calling bloggers to write at least one guest post for someone else and to feature at least one guest blogger on their site.

Already, the #bemyguest hashtag has exploded on Twitter. Bloggers from all industries are uniting, ready and willing to partner up.

It’s pretty awesome and this is why I love it:

It’s an easy way for bloggers to meet and get to know each other. I’ve had no problem connecting with other public relations students and professionals because of hashtags like #PRStudChat; #HAPPO; #PRSA; #EntryPR; etc. But beyond a PR pro-to-be, I’m also a dedicated blogger, and I’m glad to find an opportunity to get to know others, regardless of their industries.

I love featuring guest bloggers. It’s quite ironic that this new initiative started just days after my two month long, “Art of” interactive series ended. But that doesn’t mean I can’t and won’t participate. And even though this is primarily a blog about PR, social media and life as a student/young professional, I’m looking forward to finding someone outside that niche to contribute.

As I just mentioned, I’ve established myself as a PR pro-to-be blogger. However, there’s more to me than that. I’m an avid movie and theatre goer. I love board games, big cities, Disney World and chocolate. I want to publish a book one day and I’ve had a lifelong desire to be a Tap dancer on Broadway. This month, I’d like to write a guest post for a blog unrelated to PR. I want to move outside my niche and just have fun writing. [I already have one opportunity coming up at The Next Great Generation Blog. Stay tuned for my post about what the movie 500 Days of Summer says about Gen-Y!]

So yeah, that pretty much sums up why I love this new initiative. And now I ask: who will do me the honor of guest appearing on my blog? And who can I write for? Remember, I’m not looking for a PR post transaction.

Happy Blogging, All!

Learn more about Lauren and read her blog a laurennovo.wordpress.com.





Who owns social media? Are you in the ring

10 03 2010

Guest post by Beth Carroll

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2010 has already become the year for social media. While 2009 was spent learning and testing, it’s only in the past month I’ve noticed clients dedicating bigger budgets to the social web.

Social networks have become slicker and more marketing savvy. Facilities such as Twitter’s new local trends have allowed us to be more sophisticated in targeting messages to the right audiences and mobile technology has given rise to a new generation of location based social networks such as Foursquare.

As the budgets increase alongside the opportunities, the fight for ownership of the social media realm has got serious.

A new specialist agency is born every day, in house teams who have been experimenting in an unstructured way are starting to form strategies, ad teams believe they own everything and even customer services wants in on the act.

While I believe there is a place for social media across an organisation, there must be someone leading the herd for strategies to be implemented coherently.

Not surprisingly, for me the responsibility has to lie with the PR team.

We’re experienced in knitting together different strands of the marketing mix to create holistic strategies. And social media is about communicating messages effectively through conversations – that’s what we do.

The question is, will we win the fight? Read an issue of PR Week from 2009 and you will see social media discussed at arms length as a new and scary entity. This year, the gloves are off and PR Week is now running a blog called Firehose specifically dedicated to discussing issues within digital media.

PR agencies small and large are honing their social media offerings – some, such as Cow PR’s Rabbit, have created specific digital offshoots.

We may be performing well in round one but there’s still a long way to go before the bell rings.

Only results will reveal the true victors.

About Beth Carroll

Beth is head of social media at Ash Communications in London. She is a fan of social media but also likes chickens and rock climbing. To find out more about Beth, check out her blog sociauxanswers.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @beth_carroll.

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Crises: The Twitter Effect

8 03 2010

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Guest Post By David Clare

In Public Relations crises happen all the time. Hopefully not all the time for your organisation, but in the entire industry they happen quite often.

An organisation would hopefully have some sort of plans to call upon when a crisis presents itself. Quality issues management before hand would see to that. These plans would have information on who to communicate to, how to communicate and more importantly what to communicate. The key to handling a crisis is therefore communication.

Communication has changed a great deal in such a short time. Social Media is the new kid on the block, traditional media and heavy users of old formats were wary of this new medium, many barely recognising it as any more than a fad. Now it is commonly accepted that Social Media is important for communication, since it is the format a vast majority of an organisations publics will use.

In a crisis there is one perfect contender for the method of communication… Twitter. This Micro-Blogging Social Network is perfect in the event of a crisis. Tweets are short and to the point. Information in a crisis is not always available, and going on the radio, television or interviews for print would require spreading any information available pretty thin.

Twitter can update using whatever information available, even with little information it could look more substantial due to the limitations of 140 characters.

Twitter has reported many crises now, The Miracle of the Hudson River Plane crash is a major case study. This story broke on Twitter, and the first image of the plane was on TwitPic – which also crashed, due to the high number of people trying to access the image.

Others disasters have occurred and the stories have broken on Twitter. The Jakarta bombings in 2009 and the Turkish Airlines plane crash in Amsterdam. Some may not break on Twitter, but the publicity is multiplied by the sheer amounts of tweeting. From my own observations Haiti was a trending topic non-stop for three weeks.

What needs to be done now is for organisations to use Twitter more and more in crisis management. The tweets are perfect for updating publics and journalists. It can also help the image of the organisation in crisis. By simply using Twitter it sends out the message that you are willing to communicate, listen and sympathise with people affected. The Marriott group had this exact reaction when they used Twitter to communicate after the Jakarta Bombings mentioned earlier.

So when you create your Twitter plan, don’t just use it for customer service, think of the bigger events that may occur. Plan now for using Twitter in a crisis, and in the unlucky event a crisis may occur it should be a smoother ride.

Check out David and more of his ideas here: www.theprview.co.uk

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