Great news, Jeremiah Owyang is joining The Altimeter Group with principal, Charlene Li. The growing company is focused on providing strategic advice about emerging technologies. The plan is to provide ongoing support to companies about how to implement and use technologies within a company. Leaving the implementation to internal staff or agencies. The Altimeter Group will help prepare and deploy the strategy for how emerging technologies are deployed.
Jeremiah Owyang was a colleague of mine at Forrester Research he did a great job there using social media for research development and analyst relations.
I recently wrote about the engagement report prepared by Charlene Li and Wetpaint, this report is really helping the industry on the issue of engagement, I am sure the new Altimeter Group consulting strategy will help companies with emerging technologies.
Looking for a product manager who can talk about their use of semantic technologies for a panel discussion on 9/17 in Waltham, MA.
Not really looking for a
semantic technologies vendor, but rather a product manager who has used
a semantic technologies product in their work as a product manager to
gain insights into products and customers. Vendors could recommend a
There's a documentary attached to the Mad Men DVD series that describes the culture of advertising and Madison Avenue in the 1960s. After watching the documentary, one idea that was emphasized was that advertising developed the American Dream. And the American Dream in 1960 was to buy products that demonstrated you have arrived in middle class America.
I was thinking that now advertising is not as effective as it once was, who is promoting the idea of the American Dream? And what role does social media have in defining today’s American Dream? Does this mean your peers, friends and families are developing the American Dream?
Also, given the recent concerns about pay per post and the influence of consumer product companies on bloggers, is the web evolving to the point where bloggers are becoming a proxy for advertisers? Susan Getgood discusses more on this idea of advertisers using bloggers as a proxy, and describes the pitfalls of the FTC. Even if you do disclose payment or receiving a free product, I wonder are today’s champions of the 1960s idea of the American Dream, bloggers?
Looking back in time, even if its only five years ago can give you a perspective on where you are today. And that’s what I’ve been doing while celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Global PR blog week by interviewing a number of the alumni of the event. The blog week was a virtual conference of PR bloggers. But the event did not just attract PR professionals, as we discover in today’s interview with Lindsay Olson, as Lindsay is a recruiter in the PR industry. Not only did I ask Lindsay questions about the conference but also some questions about her thoughts about the importance of social media but also how important social media skills are today for today’s communications candidates.
Lindsay’s story about the global pr blog week is not just a professional story, the event has great personal consequences as she met her husband through the event.
John: What did you learn from the Global PR Blog Week?
Lindsay: This event brought together many of the early PR bloggers' ideas and experiences into a week of interesting online discussions, which helped me get a better grasp on industry trends. Although I'd always been an active follower of what was happening in the PR field, this event helped shape my views on the importance of having a strong online presence. At that time, I wasn't blogging and even though I was aware of its growing importance, it still took me a few years to come around. The event laid the groundwork for where I am today.
John: Reviewing the post(s) you wrote for the Global PR Blog week, what has changed? What has not changed since you wrote your post?
Lindsay: Social media has continued to grow and the tools PR professionals use are expanding beyond just blogs. The main point of my post was how PR professionals may be viewed in the eyes of a potential recruiter through their online presence. This has become a growing concern for most as Facebook is opening up to the general public and Twitter is becoming a more mainstream tool. Not just bloggers, but everyone, are becoming much more aware of how their tone and the subject they tend to write or tweet about shape their online presence and may affect their career.
John: Recruiting and PR have been two professions that became immersed in blogging early on. From your perspective as a recruiter for the PR industry, why do you think the communications profession got involved so early on with blogging?
Lindsay: Well, communicators love to talk and spread their ideas. Blogging gave communications professionals another platform to quickly distribute their messages to a broader audience - something very appealing to anyone who is in the profession and loves to write. As blogging and social media gained momentum and the communications industry began to feel the pressure to counsel their companies/clients on how to deal and communicate in a new environment, it grew increasingly necessary to become familiar with and aware of these new types of tools. John: Looking back over the past five years, how has social media become important to employers and candidates, both for skills needed for employment and for using social media to demonstrate expertise?
Lindsay: More and more of our clients are asking for candidates who are well-versed in social media. Employers expect communications professionals to be able to counsel them about why they should (or shouldn't) be involved in social media. So much has developed over the past five years. Four or five years ago, it was all about blogs and now we have a whole assortment of tools to learn and use to communicate. Knowing when and why to deploy these tools is becoming a concern for organizations. While social media is becoming much more important, it's necessary to note that employers value a well-rounded communications professional. Those candidates who can demonstrate they have both traditional and digital skills are highly valued in the current market.
John: Give an update on what you've been doing in the last five years. What you are doing now?
Lindsay: I've continued to run my public relations staffing agency, Paradigm Staffing. I've moved from New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina and work remotely here with a small team supporting the hiring needs our U.S. and European clients.
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't blogging at the time of this event, but I finally put an end to that in mid-2008 and launched a blog (http://LindsayOlson.com) about PR and recruiting and to help advise job seekers and companies on the best hiring practices. I'm also very active on Twitter (@PRjobs) and Facebook, and I write a bi-monthly guest column on MediaBistro's PRNewser blog.
On a personal note (yet very relevant to PR Global Blog Week), I got married in February 2008 to Matias Dutto (a 2004 and 2005 participant). We met the week of the 2005 event because of the connection and we were both living in Buenos Aires. A few years later, we married and we're now expecting our first child in September!
In Beth's article she describes how Planned Parenthood has built an infrastructure for content creation based upon monitoring the community.
"Planned Parenthood has built the infrastructure to be successful. Their online services department is in charge of web site presence, email messaging, and social networking. They work in collaboration with the communications team. As Tom Subak mentions, "But something was missing: The intersection of content that we create with what our supporters create. It doesn’t matter whether it is on our web site or somewhere else. There are millions of stories inside of Planned Parenthood – the stories are incredible. We put a human face on our work and what we’re doing. With our stories, we try to figure out how to get more people engaged and change the public’s view. We now have a department called the New Media Content team. Their job is to create, edit, repurpose, identify content across all our channels. Where does this all come together – part of the organization that is thinking about content – in the way that content exists in now. It doesn’t matter where it is or who created. Another thing to is that it doesn’t matter where the content lives – we’ve been creating widgets that can placed anywhere – not just on our site""
In the comment section I suggested companies and organizations follow three strategies when it comes to social media content creation and also direct engagement.
1) Content Marketing: You can create content that is relevant and engages people because it is valuable. Perhaps by providing a how-to, or connecting with some emotionally. The strategy for content development is based upon SEO strategy or your understanding of what valuable in the industry.
2) Content Marketing through social media monitoring: Creating content based upon the monitoring of social media, as you describe in your overview this is what planned parenthood does with its New Media Content team. The team creates, edits, repurposes, identifies content across all our channels. I differentiate this approach from strategy one, because there's a more formal system set up to monitor the community on the web.
3) Social Media Engagement: Engagement occurs when there's a team set up to engage your community on the web about your brand or organization. You answer comments on the community member’s web site; write content about them on your own website. I think there does have to be some context, such as relationship or context within the industry.
I suspect that direct engagement occurs naturally within all three strategies, but what I suggest is that there's a definite choice on the part of companies and organizations about which strategy to follow, as each strategy requires the commitment of resources.
The concepts of inbound marketing and content marketing are relatively new, and both theories focus on the idea that success in social media comes from building the infrastructure to develop a constant stream of content that’s relevant and valuable to your community. Yet I often see little discussion about creating the necessary infrastructure for engagement when discussing content marketing.
I do understand that some companies also conduct engagement as well as following a content marketing strategy, but I think it is really important for companies to understand the value of dialogue to the enterprise. Customers turn to evangelists, customers service, and product marketing.
Marketers are familiar with the concept of creating advertising or campaigns, so the approach of content marketing is an easy next step, especially when you consider that search engine optimization has always been about creating great content. In some ways, the term content marketing is all about SEO. I think if you ask most marketers what their marketing goals are online, they would say lead generation or achieving higher rankings with SEO.
Content marketing put in the context of a marketing department that understands SEO makes absolute sense. This is one reason why the concepts of inbound marketing and content marketing have grown so rapidly, the ideas are not a great leap from existing approaches in SEO and SEM.
Here I'm going to sound rather pompous I am sure, but I've been a blogger since 2003 and the PR and Marketing community five or six years ago was heavily influenced by the cluetrain manifesto and the concept of conversations. PR and marketing bloggers, people who wrote blogs and were involved in the community had come to understand the value of dialogue and conversation as well as content. Look at what the community was writing in 2004 during the Global PR blogging week to understand the focus of the community at the time.
My thinking about how companies use social media has always been put in the context of the practical, how do companies use social media for business, how do they build the necessary infrastructure to be successful? Many of the case studies that convinced me that social media was valuable for an organization described how content creation was a primary reason for starting a blog or other social media technology.
I've discovered the companies that were really successful in social media also put time and effort into direct outreach to their community, and I’ve personally experienced this in my own blogging efforts, here at PR Communications or in the many blogs I've run at the companies I've worked at or helped start with clients over the years. Lastly, the concept of engagement outreach was discussed by the community five years ago in the virtual conference Global PR blogging Week.
I think content marketing can be successful and is a good next step for companies thinking about using social media. The concept makes logical sense to marketers familiar with SEO. And marketers can outsource content development to other writers. Here I think some people in the industry might criticize me for suggesting hiring a writer to create content and posting that content on a blog when the writer is not an employee of the company is unauthentic. Well you'd be right, but I think it also depends how a company represents the content, does the writer have a byline.
By the way, while I'd certainly recommend a content marketing strategy for a company website, I really think a company should not create content within social media by outsourcing that content unless they are transparent about the action. But I'd not going to spend too much time on attempting to police the industry, why? Because the floodgates are already open. The industry would be better off spending time on developing case studies that demonstrate why building engagement outreach infrastructure is the next step after content marketing.
I'd suggest while you might achieve good results from creating content, from higher SEO and some engagement, if you don't build an infrastructure for monitoring the web, discovering brand mentions, and also industry references, and then triaging those opportunities for response and engagement, no matter how big a content development infrastructure you build a company will not be prepared for crisis communications incidents without the infrastructure for successful engagement outreach in the community.
The leaders in the community of social media; Dell, Comcast etc, are not following a content marketing strategy, they are following an engagement and community management strategy. See Charlene Li's and Wet Paint's EngagementDB research and website for more evidence of why the depth of engagement influences results. Certainly start with content marketing, but move to an engagement strategy once you’ve built the case for building the necessary infrastructure.
Really social media engagement and content marketing are all a matter of resources, it’s a lot easier to hire a writer to write content, than it is to hire someone to respond and manage a community, both strategies can be successful, but the question is can you get a better ROI from engagement. I believe so.
Blogging is all about starting a conversation with another individual. I don't mind if someone from a company posts useful and relevant information on my blog. But that information has to be within the context of an existing conversation. I reserve the right to delete or edit content and links from comments on this blog if I think you are just making a sales pitch or trying to increase your SEO standing.