Nutrition Byte: Conscious PR Choices on the Social Media Plate

  Nutrition-Byte-Conscious-PR-Choices-on-the-Social-Media-Plate-V2 copy

“An information diet is not about consuming less; it’s about consuming right.” The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption

Conscious new-age information diet

Because social media, especially for business, remains relatively new—be pragmatic, oh ye enthusiasts and detractors, the majority of channels and tools aren’t even a decade old—as a hybrid public relations and social media specialist, to a certain extent I use this Bytes from the PR Sphere column as a “test” kitchen, suggesting atypical (from the norm), attractive and tasty organizational narrative (public relations) recipes for social business success.

Wherever possible, I’ve been pointing to examples where the results are being served up successfully, particularly in companies of at least 100 employees (i.e., where one person isn’t wearing multiple sous chef hats of responsibility and accountability). Yet I offer that just as great chefs constantly refine and modify recipes, based on changing needs or tastes, social media plates in the great buffet of offerings also need to be examined, including who should do the actual cooking.

I haven’t moved off a belief stated in my introductory post that public relations should oversee the (metaphorical) kitchen, but effective this Byte I’m recommending a somewhat modified bill of fare, whilst still retaining essential nutrition needed in a healthy social business diet. More on this later.

Overseeing the social business kitchen

Public relations should have an overseer role in approving the social business menu (even if conceived by other specialty chefs or departments) in order to:

  • ensure a consistent, honest and healthy information/content diet (i.e., communication of pertinent information)
  • help to raise the organization’s profile (i.e., promotion and effective persuasion)
  • successfully involve as many employees as feasible; and
  • reflect the culture.

Per Sean Williams about admirable qualities in PR practitioners (his PRoust Questionnaire answer #7):

The willingness to raise important questions (we frequently are the only ones with an appropriately broad perspective) and [have] the resolve to stand up for the cause of communication in the organization.

In company kitchens this includes an awareness of third-party regulations, standards of preparation and behaviour, monitoring what the competition is up to, as well as what various publics are saying, etc.

Despite public perception of PR being somewhat glamorous—or alternatively, the occupation of carefree and unethical scoundrels—in fact it’s a demanding role, not for the faint of heart. The social business aspect only increases the workload and accountability, not to mention the vulnerability of being an organization contact and spokesperson during a crisis. And now there’s so darn much competing information being produced for consumption, to capture attention, hearts and mind share, generated by competitors, online media, bloggers and every person with a Twitter and Facebook account.

A lot of it is crap. Yet a lot of people quite happily are consuming it. You know, like junk food.

If you are in the communication business in any capacity, I recommend you read Clay A. Johnson’s The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption. It is one of the primary inspirations behind not only this Nutrition Byte, but a deliberate complementary post on my primary blog PR Conversations, The communication process more important than outcomes.

The Information Diet is succinct, yet packed with lots of nutritional information and suggestions for deliberate information consumption-habit changes. I’m actually flipping around its focus on information consumers to information creators—so that in the design process, you have the end “conscious” consumer in mind—especially the ones who are first going to do the research and find your social business through search rankings. Think of it as my digital public relations orange to another person’s Apple…. ;-)

Evolving social business menus, improving nutritional content and ensuring high standards

“Consume [or create] deliberately. Take in information over affirmation.” The Information Diet

In keeping with a food analogy, do you remember how just a few years ago Spanish-style tapas were all the rage in so many restaurants?

At first it was great, but it quickly became a little tiresome, eating basically the same tasty little snack food served up in restaurant after restaurant. If you searched a food site like Yelp you’d be inundated with suggestions for places offering tapas. Metaphorically speaking, where would your social business small-dishes “content” offerings turn up in the search results, due to this lack of differentiation on menus? How often would you find tapas a truly satisfying meal? Would your friends telling you about the best place to eat tapas be convincing enough to make you visit the restaurant seven days a week?

Why have I focused on content and search versus enthusiastic recommendations by friends? Because in my complementary post on PR Conversations, I reference some exclusive-and-approved information Neal Schaffer shared with me about how the most important ingredient in a blog remains content, and not comments, engagement and/or endorsements and shares…and that this ethos is borne out regarding how the vast majority of Windmill Networking readers arrive as a result of indexed and authoritative search rankings on specific topics.

Great, unique, authoritative content rules: information specific to your social business, provided by subject experts who are at the top of their game.

That’s what you want to have on your menu. It’s what should be on your mind in the process of devising the menu. That’s what gains your social enterprise search and in-real-life authority, differentiation and business through social properties. If you’re lucky, you will get endorsements of loyalty and participation from the organization and people that matter—perhaps your B2B partners. Your salespeople will thank you for it.

So, will you go for cream cakes or add nutritious greens into your social business information diet?

Although I used a different framing analogy and tact in my PR Conversations post, the deliberate menu “design” focus and “conscious consumption” food analogy did play a role. My co-editor, Heather Yaxley, provided a great comment, which included:

“….PR Conversations is about digesting real cognitive ‘food’ not fast, feel-good processed, feed-me-quick snacking. It takes time to read and think about PR Conversations posts on the whole, and as with Benita’s King III reports, they become a classic ‘meal’ that is discovered and returned to over and again.

We like a strong, informed, narrative and care about what is being said, allow posters the time to express it and encourage a clear, but considered way of conveying the narrative. The downside is that this can come over as a bit worthy—like eating your greens instead of a naughty cream cake. I don’t believe we do take ourselves too seriously and we enjoy a debate (throwing around the cream cakes and lobbing a healthy vegetable or two) and welcome those who want to join our food party.

The popular Twitter post proves we can deliver a tasty, appealing snack, too, but it still aims to be real sustenance and not something light, fluffy and forgettable.”

Menu design

“Nutrition isn’t just about what or how much to eat, it’s about eating balanced meals. Just like the new recommendation graphic from the government, we’ve got to come up with a healthy means of consciously consuming information…. [let’s] label all our info-nutritional information, carefully and ethically.” The Information Diet

We’ve now reached the More on this later section of this Nutrition Byte, where I’m recommending a somewhat modified bill of fare, whilst still retaining essential nutrition needed in a healthy and balanced social business diet.

I don’t think any social businesses are doing this so far.

Smart companies already include icons of social media properties on websites and/or blogs–Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. This is smart. Also smart is to have both of these media properties remaining at the heart of your social business and as your primary public relations channels—because you “own” the real estate. All other social media properties are third-party businesses, which means they get to set the rules or TOS and how they make money—almost always by advertising.

If you haven’t included icons on the website and blog, get them up as soon as possible. But if you’re just including them, here’s my suggestion to you:

Set them up similar to a restaurant menu, including grouping them as distinct areas. Instead of appetizers, mains and desserts, maybe:

  • Public Relations and Corporate Communications
  • Marketing, Advertising and Sales
  • Customer and Technical Services

Some other suggestions:

  1. You don’t have to have different accounts for the different areas (i.e., the same Twitter account could appear in two or all three places), but you shouldn’t place Facebook under Customer and Technical Services unless, in fact, you are prepared to handle those areas through your FB account.
  2. In my opinion, you should be honest and ethical about where marketing is going to be done, instead of trying to disguise it as corporate communication or relationship building. People are much more receptive to all of the wonderful contests, promotions and branding that marketing devises and is responsible for, as long as they know at the front end that this is what the platform will focus on.
  3. Be sure to be consistent in your information. Individual platforms should indicate what department is responsible and where to find other information and contacts—like public relations.
  4. Think of the various government-generated food charts about a proper diet—an analogy used in The Information Diet—when devising your balance of properties and department “lead” contacts, and make it reflective of your actual organization’s resources. You don’t want to imply a huge customer service contingent behind the Twitter account if, in fact, it’s one person handling corporate communications as well as customer tweets of outrage.
  5. And that’s another thing. Always include the office contact information, for people who want to deal with employees one-to-one, by telephone or email. No one should be forced to use social media platforms; rather it should simply be another choice.

But marketing, one plea from a public relations practitioner who has been there: let your friends in PR have a look at the ad campaigns before you stick them up on Facebook, etc. Because if you create something you think is quite clever and  funny, and it’s actually really offensive to many—it’s public relations who is going to be stuck cleaning up your lack of judgment and the outcomes impact on the reputation of the social business.

Likely thesecret sauce of success will remain the ingredients that are unique to your organization–remember, it doesn’t matter in which department, “culture eats strategy for lunch“–but when serving up information on social media plates for conscious consumers, work to ensure that the portion sizes of the various offerings make sense. Not to mention well prepared, by those best-suited to know how to cook them. Your social business reputation depends on this considered focus and information-diet process.

Your turn

What do you think of my suggestion to incorporate a clearly articulated menu of social media offerings on your website and blog?

Who is best-suited to lead and have day-to-day accountability for the various platforms’ efforts?

Which ones should have crossover responsibility and why?

Alternative question: what are you doing in your social business to provide a nutrition-based diet for information consumers?

Judy Gombita
This monthly Social Media and Public Relations column is contributed by Judy Gombita. Judy is a Toronto-based public relations and communication management specialist, with more than 20 years of employment and executive-level volunteer board experience, primarily in the financial and lifelong learning nonprofit sectors. She is the co-editor and Canadian contributor (since 2007) to the international, collaborative blog, PR Conversations. +Judy Gombita
Judy Gombita

@jgombita

Sr/hybrid (social) public relations & communication management strategist. Mindful curation @PRConversations. Heart: travel, film, theatre, opera, books & food.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW on @CommPRObiz with former @NYTimes @stuartenyt: From Magazine Inserts to Social Media http://t.co/OfCYkHsWf4 - 5 hours ago
Judy Gombita
Tailwind

Comments

  1. Bob Geller says

    Very strong post Judy, with some key questions as the end which we should all take time to consider.. especially loved the part about “flipping around its focus on information consumers to information creators—so that in the design process, you have the end “conscious” consumer in mind”

    • says

      Thanks, Bob. I really appreciate our ongoing reflections on the best way to build a “menu” of content-rich offerings for social business.

      Recently  I’ve had different conversations with Neal Schaffer (who appears in the first-written PR Conversations complementary post, as do you…), Joe Ruiz (who wrote his own “ingredients” column, which published just this week–I was able to sneak in a link to it at the 11th hour), Craig Jamieson, Amy Stephan and so about how it really is very gratifying about how contributors to Windmill Networking are in sych, about the key focus and needs/wants, to build an effective social business.

  2. says

    Dang girl now I really like you.  This is a very in-depth view, with great analogies.  Can you teach me to write this beautifully.  Let me pass this baby on now.

    • says

      Can you teach me how to be as incredibly generous and gracious as you, Michele? Thank you so much for your kind words, promotion and request to be a LinkedIn mate.

      FYI, I did listen to your radio show with BC’s Dave Reynolds, because I noticed the tweets about Neal being mentioned. That was an incredibly interesting discussion the two of you had, about being a generous interviewer (my interpretation). I’m hoping to meet Dave IRL soon, when he comes to Toronto to visit family.

      Wishing you a great weekend (it’s a long one for Canada) and a Glorious Fourth, Michele. Thanks, again, for all of your kindnesses today, across a host of social media platforms (this blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are the ones I know about). Cheers!

      • says

        Michele – I would say one reason why Judy’s writing is so engaging is that it is carefully crafted ‘to order’ (to continue the food metaphor).  She takes time and detailed attention in working out her menu of ideas, selecting the ingredients (words, phrases, etc) carefully and putting them together as a tasty meal.  With her byte series, we also have a series of courses, that work superbly together.  She also ‘studies’ widely and learns from those experiences in enjoying the cerebral food produced by others.  That’s clear from her response to your own work too.  

        • says

          Thanks, Heather. It’s interesting how we get to know one another, coming from different paths (in social media). I’m pretty sure I first recognized Michele’s Twitter handle (@prosperitygal) because of the #usguys hashtag. And that’s definitely where/how I got to know @DaveReynolds. But Michele, I believe, knows Neal Schaffer more because of their Triberr relationship. The difference between Michele and so many of the Triberr RT’ers (in my opinion), is that she ACTUALLY READS the posts.

          This is the second time she’s commented on one of my columns. It was probably after her first comment that we also followed one another on Twitter.

          Another Twitter (chat)/Triberr connection (chat for me, Triberr for Neal) is Caroline Di Diego (on Twitter she is @casudi). Caroline had been advocating for social media to be used a lot for customer service and/or marketing, instead of public relations. When we dug a little deeper, it’s when I realized that most of her clients are startups, with really small staffs. That’s why I deliberately built into this column the bit about how most of my information is aimed at companies of “at least 100 employees.”

          I suspect most startups, if they do make use of PR, outsource it to consultants or small agencies. That makes sense and is what I would recommend.

          Talking to people in different sectors and occupations/disciplines really is very helpful in providing the most useful information about PR and social media, for the greatest number of people….. That’s the generous way to do it, n’est-ce pas?

  3. says

    Judy – where do I start? The pithy prose, of course, but the substance demands attention. Hello, @PRNews @PRweek @adage?  #2 in your “other” suggestions about being honest when marketing is happening, versus trying to cloak it in other guises — this is why the US regulatory authorities are treating so much comms activity as advertising – indeed, people are being fooled into thinking that commercial speech is no such thing. There are myriad implications to disguising one’s objectives, not least the loss of trust and reputation we PRs supposedly are the guardians of. The metaphor of food is quite helpful, too, as marketing typically is more sender-focused (this is what you are going to eat) versus receiver-focused (what do you want to eat?). Ack, I could go on and on, but will just share your post early and often. Thanks for your usual (and in this case even better than usual) bill of fare. 

    • says

      Greetings, Sean! Before I address your comment, I wanted to point out that PR Conversations’ PRoust Questionnaire (I quoted your answer #7) is unique content we (Heather, Markus and I) devised when we relaunched, as one thing to set our blog apart from the others (and we’re doing really well when it comes to search and owning PRoust!) .

      I really do pay attention to the various answers provided by practitioners and academics, and the ones that resonate as particularly apt, I look to use (profile or repurpose) somewhere else down the road. I’ve already quoted Toni Muzi Falconi (twice) about his answer to “Who has great public relations.” Once here in a Bytes from the PR Sphere column, the other time was as part of my framing post for the #KaizenBiz chat: Working Towards Incremental Respect for PR. Of course in that post I also quoted your (in)famous line: “All marketing is communication, but not all communication is marketing.” :-)

      I don’t know if you had a chance to read the complementary PR Conversations post, Communication process more important than outcomes, but I did indicate that we did not focus on posts with a “pure marketing-oriented (or IMC) viewpoints.”

      Like you, I tend to separate corporate communications/public relations from “marketing PR” content–although I have happily and successfully done some great marketing PR over the years (usually focusing on the people behind the ideas and how the product or service can truly benefit the end users and/or be a different experience from the norm. But all based on truth, not hyperbole).

      I don’t know if you picked up on my point about PR’s overseer role:

      “In company kitchens this includes an awareness of third-party regulations, standards of preparation and behaviour.”

      Understanding “third-party regulations” would be the “US regulatory authorities” you use as an example. Marketing may knowingly or unknowingly break the rules, but it’s public relations who will likely be in the cross-hairs….unless it stands up for communication in the organization.

      Thanks for the writing props–coming from you (whose writing I knew and admired before I knew you personally), it means a lot.

  4. says

    Judy – just to clarify something, when you talk about using three distinct areas of PR/corp comms, marketing/advertising/sales and customer/technical services are you doing so in terms of dividing up the areas of responsibility internally or suggesting these terms are clearly visible to those engaging with an organisation’s social presence?  

    I appreciate what you are saying about clarity of purpose of a message being evident – although I don’t think communications is always that simple.  In terms of customer/technical services, yes, it is helpful to know exactly where to go to get help or perhaps where support or operational matters are discussed.  Also, if I want to purchase something, then knowing where to find details, deals and so on is helpful.  The difficult area is that picked up by Sean as well in terms of clarity of objectives.  Even if it is clear that some communications present a table d’hôte option as opposed to a la carte, the corporate waiter (PR/marketing/etc) is always working to persuade you to dine at the organisation’s table.  N’est pas?  

    Is it really possible, or desirable, to be indicating that this option is more honest than another?  Is it about provenance (a term increasingly promoted for food) and evidencing the veracity of a communication regardless of whether the intention is to persuade or inform?

    The recent UK issue over footballer Wayne Rooney using his personal Twitter account to promote sports brand Nike comes to mind.  The advertising watchdog insisted the message should have been clearly labelled as a promotional message, where the company argued the public was aware of the commercial arrangement – so ‘buyer beware’ if you like.  Is it really so simple as identified something as  paid or owned content?  

    • says

      Heather, a short answer to your first question: both.

      I have stated in the comments section of a Windmill Networking colleague’s post that, more and more, I’ve come to the realization that a truly effective social business is going to be one that accurately reflects how the organization operates, in an “honest” external manifestation.

      In my Culture Byte, I talked about some CEOs seizing upon social media during recent recessionary times as a “silver bullet” for marketing messages. But it doesn’t matter if a company is in “the business for business” (a primarily USA mantra, built into the country’s DNA for at least the last century), not all employees are involved in marketing. 

      My three-part division of areas was simply a suggestion. It won’t work for all organizations, especially ones that are not B2C. I can tell you that when I thought about the division, I had specific case studies in mind.

      For example, the 2011 Susan G. Komen debacle, whereby its Facebook page was basically hijacked in terms of ITS mandate and organizational narrative. Suddenly the USA Planned Parenthood’s wants and needs were taking precedence, rather than what SGK is supposed to be about: raising funds for research to FIND A CURE for breast cancer. The fact that an NGO (PP) provides basic healthcare to lower-income American females and the conventional wisdom that a private foundation does not have the right to make its own funding decisions and is supposed to simply hand over funds because many Americans think that PP’s service are a viable alternative to socialized medicine, is another conversation, specific to the USA where healthcare is commoditized and women’s reproductive rights are highly politicized.

      But because the conversations were taking place on a third-party social-media platform and because SGK apparently did not have a senior communications/PR person on staff (or, initially, a reputation/issues management PR agency on retention)—not to mention some dubious “cause marketing” agreements it had entered into in the past, per Pink Ribbons, Inc.—it was fair game that all of the criticisms could happen—because nowhere was it indicated where was the best place for people to weigh in if, in fact, they hoped to receive responses about rationale, within a reasonable timeline, directly from SGK representatives.

      So, like my example of one person being behind a Twitter account in various roles, I would ask the question about how many SGK-affiliated people were available to monitor and respond on Facebook—which was designed primarily for its fundraising role—in addition to answering inquiries from the mainstream media, government, etc. (The public relations strategy was brilliant by Planned Parenthood, although I would contend that it wasn’t 100 per cent honest. For example, it took awhile for reps to be upfront that it only gave referrals for mammograms, rather than providing them, directly.)

      When it comes to indicating options and being honest, please keep in mind that I am talking about the “conscious” consumer of information (per The Information Diet), not the find-it-quick and e-yell opinions loudly on various platforms until attention is paid. And I consciously decided not to get into the fascinating “confirmation bias” sections—that so many social-media-active people indulge in—in the interest of length and clarity.

      Separating corporate communications from marketing, I actually have a specific topic in mind, but based on past experience of floating out an idea in advance and seeing myself be scooped—albeit not at all the way I plan to approach the topic or final conclusions and suggestions I will reach—I don’t actually want to state it here. Let’s just say that it’s an organizational narrative communication area, rather than a marketing tactic.

      On your topic of persuasion, I’ve stated in Connections Byte that I believe the majority of public relations connections continue to be built offline, not online. And it’s in those fairly intimate relationships that the most effective persuasion takes place—think of the editor of an industry publication, whereby you are comfortable enough about your persuasive relationship to pick up the phone and say, “I wanted to share with you something new that we’re implementing that I think is particularly interesting,” as opposed to “spray and pray” lame news releases or random phone calls to various publication departments/visits to a variety of blogs, etc. 

      Again, do you think that the “conscious” consumer is taken in by traditional PR/marketing “persuasion” tactics? They are researching on specific areas. So, unless conscious consideration and design of specific topics being searched online is part of your (marketing) PR strategy, likely it won’t get indexed for authority in terms of online search from a persuasion POV. Remember, Bytes is about the intersection of PR and social media for business.

      And that’s my final counter point: we’re talking about a social business, not an individual, like your Wayne Rooney example. I would say what Nike needs to do is be more honest about which “celebrities” it is making use of for marketing—and on which platforms. In North America athletes and other celebrities also need to prove now that they are actually using the product or service they are endorsing, by law.

      I was afraid this would turn into a very long response comment, and it has proven true. But I want to end with this final observation, tying into both my posts on the “conscious” consumer aspect. By very deliberate design on Neal Schaffer’s part dating back to at least a year, our various contributors’ section areas are indicated clearly and honestly on Windmill Networking. I know that if someone tries to post about a topic that crosses over into another contributor’s area, it needs to be justified as to why…and I understand that sometimes fairly substantial rewrites take place. Alternatively, we link to one another’s posts to demonstrate the crossover. I did it with Joe Ruiz’s “culture” post on this Nutrition Byte (albeit not overtly); likewise, Joe referenced my May Culture Byte. But it’s not about the gratuitous linky love that happens on so many blogs—it’s more that as a collaborative group of contributors, many of us are feeding off of one another’s thought processes and innovative social media concepts and helping to build a body of knowledge and content that, consciously digested as a whole, can help companies become effective soc

  5. tonimuzi says

    Wow!
    Difficult for a non fanatic, but very very interesting and well written.
    One of our better bloggers in Italy, Biagio Carrano, has just written a post http://www.ferpi.it/ferpi/novita/notizie_rp/media/dal-web-testuale-al-web-visuale/notizia_rp/44625/9 (in italian of course) where he cautions that the growing trend towards the visual versus the verbal digital environment not only reduces our ability to grasp content seriously but also reduces complexity to very simple graphics….. thus enhancing easy, populist, get.rich.quick solutions to political, economic and social issues.
    Of course this is my interpretation of his post (also not very easy to read for me).
    If you agree maybe the narrative menù (of course you cannot exclude short cuts all together) should also include a starter, an entreè etc…. in other words different courses with different levels of both visual and verbal  contents?
    I am not certain to have made mysef clear..but I tried. cheers Judy

    • says

      That’s a really interesting comment, Toni, on several levels. Especially for a “non-fanatic.” (Which is itself an interesting comment, considering that it was you who founded PR Conversations in your late 60s….I take it you see blogs as a publishing platform, as opposed to a social-media channel?)

      I’m primarily a “words” person, preferring to illustrate my thoughts via metaphors and analogies, rather than graphics (such as the popular InfoGrams or Wordl–word clouds). Both on PR Conversations and here (Windmill Networking), I do make a point of breaking up copy through the use of sub-heds, bullets and lists. Plus the occasional use of a second colour. So, I guess I could say that I instinctively do what you recommended.

      I don’t know if you (or other regular readers) are aware that one thing I’ve done that is different from my esteemed colleagues is to give my column a name and use the same graphic, month after month. I decided at the front end that I’d rather nibble away at various areas of public relations and social media in each column–i.e., take “bytes,” rather than write about “in the news” companies, etc.

      I told Neal more than 10 months ago that I would really like a “spherical” fruit with bites out of it–he found me this apple, which I really, really like. It’s interesting in that this month Neal temporarily forgot, and had another graphic in place before publishing. It was actually a really great graphic of a chef in a kitchen, surrounded by all kinds of vegetables and with something simmering on the stove (other than the fact that it was a male chef, it would have been great). As much as I liked it, having the apple graphic is part of the visual cue I decided upon for this (thematic) column, so we agreed to revert to it prior to publication.

      Italy is country of such powerful design elements (I recently finished reading the somewhat-bloated Steve Jobs biography–right after finishing The Information Diet. Jobs apparently admired so much of Italian beauty in design and materials). Do you think that aspect being baked into the DNA of Italians means that they are more receptive to visual imagery? On the other hand, almost all of the Italians I know (personally) are eloquent and persuasive talkers–yourself included.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Toni, especially as it was without any prompting on my part. (I suspect you saw the pingback on the The communication process more important than outcomes post.)

  6. says

    Hello Judy,

    This post is very useful to me to define a social medial strategy for both my blog and my company. I have been battling internally with the question – how much is too much and how little is too little – your post gives me some great “food” for thought AND for action.

    Thank you as always,
    Regards,
    Suchitra Mishra

    • says

      Thanks for weighing in, Suchitra. That’s gratifying to hear that this column is having an influence on thinking strategically about your (new) business. I think it’s a misconception that I write this column for others employed in public relations (most of whom, to be honest, tend to focus on “marketing communications” or “marketing PR”). I find that many people in that role are resolute that public relations is narrowly defined: under the “big marketing tent” and mainly “used” to sell the company’s widgets, etc., to the consumers and via “third-party validation,” such as mainstream media and (now) bloggers, etc.

      I don’t know if when you first set up your blog (how long has it been?) that you were already considering striking out as an entrepreneur. If it wasn’t deliberately strategic, it certainly was so in hindsight. Even though I knew you a bit through Twitter chats, it was in reading your various posts I realized how accomplished you were in a professional capacity. And in blogging about business, you already have a long-term and long-tail body of critical thinking as a result of indexed and authoritative search rankings on specific topics. Didn’t you indicate that your more “personal” posts received more comments, but that your business-focused ones actually had more traffic, particularly from NEW readers?

      Ergo, you are doing your own public relations–reputation, value and relationship building–for both yourself and your new business, via social media.

      Congratulations on that, my engineer friend. (Speaking of which, I think engineers are going to be the dark horse of success in social media, as they are finally going to receive the recognition they deserve about contributions to companies. Financial people are another group.)

      • says

        Thanks, Judy. Yes, when I started my blog (with your direct encouragement)  around 8 months back, the intent was to experiment with building a personal brand. Down the line and with the guidance and knowledge absorbed from my network built through Twitter, it evolved into a Subject Matter Expert blog – and did help me make the shift to from employee to entrepreneur. And yes, through my blog and the community formed through twitter and google, the opportunities available to me have expanded considerably.

        Didn’t realize that I was doing PR though and achieving the PR objectives, till you just pointed it out. 

        Best Regards,
        Suchitra Mishra

  7. says

    Someone asked Who should social media report to?

    The organization of an enterprise may depend on whether or not the organizer has either an MBA, some other advance degree or is an entrepreneur. In any case, the organization lineup below calls out two vital functions: Communication and Marketing. In a more comprehensive chart these two functions should be on line with Finance, Operations Human Resources and others.

    CEO/President

    Vice President (Director) of Communication

    Public Relations Manage
    Advertising Manager
    Social Network Manager

    Vice President (Director) of Marketing

    Market Manager
    Product Manager
    Research Manager

Please Leave a Comment!