Tag Archives: executive publicity

A Social Media education: Most people just don’t know what we don’t know!

“My middle-schooler created her own Facebook page . . . How hard can this social media thing really be?”

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say this or something similar.

When it comes to the use of social (or NEW) media, most people just don’t know what we don’t know!

Quite correctly, it is easy to set up a Facebook or Twitter account or virtually any other social media account. You navigate to a web page, add some information, create a profile, hit a few buttons and within minutes you’re chatting with friends, updating your status, and discovering who likes what books or TV shows or whatever else someone chooses to share. YES practically ANYONE can do it. . . and practically EVERYONE does (at last count Facebook had 600 million active accounts worldwide).

But is that all there is to social media? Hardly.

Many companies, from corner convenience stores to Fortune 100 giants as well as senior level professionals, executives and celebrities, use social media quite effectively to aid their marketing efforts, develop or enhance their personal or business brands, and create publicity and buzz.

It’s a relatively level playing field, as long as you know what you’re doing. Of course, therein lies the dilemma.

Exchanging updates and pithy quotes with friends does not a social media strategy make . . . at least not if your goal is to position yourself as a thought leader in a particular area of expertise or to engage in conversation about the value of your product or service to consumers.

To do that, and to do it well, you need a social media strategy that keeps you front and center and on message, as well as a tactical game plan for how you will implement, sustain, and refocus efforts as necessary to give your social media strategy legs.

So while practically anyone can start “sharing” online, including you or your middle-schooler, more than likely you won’t know what you don’t know.

• What can you reasonably expect to gain through social media? What results are you hoping to achieve?
• What social media sites should you join? How can you decide?
• What tools will you need to optimize your activities? What’s available and how do you avoid becoming a 24×7 slave to social media?
• Do you know how to operate within the confines of social media “etiquette”? Do you know best practices and what’s acceptable and what’s not?
• How will you use social media to demonstrate value so that customers and prospective customers want to engage in conversation with you?
• How frequently should you add fresh content?
• What will you discuss? How will you say it? More importantly, why will you discuss a particular topic?
• How will you invite others to join the conversation . . . and what do you do once they join to keep them engaged?
• How can you ensure your content is something people will want to keep and share with others?
• How will you measure the response?
• How will you know if you are successful? How many fans or followers do you need?
• If your social media efforts are not meeting desired results, what can you do to improve performance?

Social media success depends on a Social Media Publicist/Manager—a specialist trained in optimizing social media activities and maximizing efficacy—to see what’s working/what’s not working on a daily if not minute-by-minute basis. It takes a human mind and not just another computer application to make judgments on what makes good content, what stories to promote, where to promote them and when, and how best to connect with a target audience.

As a business owner, executive, or solo professional, you owe it to yourself, your business, and your customers and prospects to recognize what you don’t know about social media and bring in the experts to help you rise above the clutter and begin reaping the benefits of greater brand equity.

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Social Media/Online PR for Business Promotion–Don’t Try This at Home…

…if you don’t have the time or experience to produce and manage it (best to leave it to the traditional promoters and publicists of the world).

Online/Social Media is the reality of our world these days–it truly is “new media channel” for personal and business PR, promotion, marketing and advertising. It has also become one of the best new tools for job search and recruiting.

There is absolutely no shortage of social media coaches, seminars and books on this new hot topic. However, these particular platforms can usually only provide a short-term solution or even simply overwhelm those who are new to social and online media production and management. Unfortunately the real work comes into play after the meetings and workshops are over! Social media strategy is one thing, but the implementation and management of it all is a whole other job in itself.

While many companies are slowly embracing this fact (hiring social media managers to work alongside marketing management), most business people may not think of outsourcing this new and very constant personal professional business task!  If you think about it, this type of service may not be so much of a luxury these days, but really MORE of a necessity especially for busy professionals who know they need to be more in tune with their personal online PR and reputation management and who do not have the ability or time to concentrate on it all–above and beyond their core business tasks.

I recently commented on a very good blog post by a “social media expert” who wrote about the five key success points of social media management (or something along those lines). While I agreed with most of what she wrote about, I did not agree with her in regards to the fact that since social media should be handled personally by the person or business that chooses to participate in this new media channel. I commented to her (on the blog) that this “rule” of social media production and management should not always be the case—and for the majority of people who are using online or new media to promote their personal professional brand, service or products.

Social media is no different from traditional media and if you want it to work and provide the best results (ROI), you better have a background in PR or marketing, the experience and ability to produce creative and engaging collateral, the ability to handle crisis management issues (that happens more and more now with new media being so wide open) and the time to manage it all on a consistent basis—or it will absolutely do NOTHING for your personal brand or business.

It’s a shame that there people out there getting other people to believe that a quick seminar or coaching session will help them learn how to be more in synch, and in tune with social media (for their own professional or business brand) and that just because “social media” is based in such an open type of forum (over traditional media), that they MUST produce and manage it all on their own. Even Reality T.V. programs are produced and directed by other people (kidding, but true). Just because social media is online it should not give people the license to think that they can or even should try to handle their online Personal PR initiative—and whether it’s for their own personal or business brand. If also takes a lot of time and effort and it really is a whole other job that should not be taken lightly.

With close to 25 years of PR/marketing experience, I’ve evolved my own professional/business brand into the production and management of social (new) media as it started to surge in the early 2000’s, but I also didn’t dive right into it as an expert! I slowly submerged into it. Believe it or not traditional publicists and marketers are still catching up and trying to infuse new media in with traditional practices. Then there are all the new “social media experts” who usually have limited traditional and basic PR or marketing experience—no one is an expert. Social Media or Online PR as I like to call it is NEW and things change every day–its growth is unprecedented. If anything, the expertise is really more about the ability to stay on course and change and adapt as new techniques, tools and platforms change or come into place and then continue to develop, build and manage it to ensure it creates a return on investment. The expertise falls into place from there.

Staying on top of all the learning and tasking can be overwhelming for most business people–which is why personal web/social media managers can provide a very necessary service to support business professionals in a similar manner to how most celebrity, government official and company brand personas are handled and represented on the web. I actually think that most businesses and professionals need web and social media managers even more so. Many celebrities have the down time to manage their own social media and online PR, but most do not. Being online in a professional manner is also about maintaining reputation and image—which is what a publicist or third-party should always handle as it is.

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PERSONAL PR FOR NON-EMPLOYMENT SEEKERS: Now is NOT the time to “hunker down” and be invisible!

As any of you may or may not know, I am constantly pounding the pavement to educate professionals (all levels) on the importance of having PERSONAL PR/Web 2.0 and Personal Branding  in place now and for the entire span of one’s career!  Putting good Personal PR into place is not just for people who need to look for work, business or press. If you have not noticed, the way in which the world of business rolls these days is very different.  Just because you are WORKING does not warrant the fact that you can go underground.

I just got a wonderful note from the Editor of Execunet (this goes to a  great number of people of course) — it sets the stage and tone of my message perfectly. The issue here again, is having the time to be able to stage one’s own personal promotion when one is buried, or deeply focused, etc.  A personal publicist/promoter/producer can help create the stage and keep it in lights!

September 21, 2009

Dear Laurie:

We’re always cautioning executives not to “hunker down” at work. They also shouldn’t bend, cower, hide, kneel or crouch. But the current economic environment may make employees feel like throwing on a cloak of invisibility to avoid being noticed, believing they will escape the lay-off list.

Yet, during periods of job growth and prosperity, career planning and maintenance are often overlooked because of the perceived abundance of opportunities available.

Those who are fearful keep their head low to miss the ax; those who are busy at work have their head down in deep focus. But denial and complacency share a characteristic: inaction, which can derail a career for those who are unprepared.

Despite the recent economic instability, fewer corporate leaders feel prepared for job search than they did in years prior. According to ExecuNet’s 2009 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, just 43 percent of executives claimed they are ready to look for a job, compared to 56 percent in 2008 and 69 percent in 2007; another 24 percent reported this year they were unsure if they are ready to look for a new position.

It could be that “prepared” seems less defined against a recessionary backdrop, and fewer executives feel confident about how to launch a job search campaign in this market. But many of the old rules still prevail, albeit with some amplification and 21st century tools:

  • Focus, define and envision what your next role looks like.
  • Create messages that communicate the problems you solve to your target audience.
  • Identify the online and offline opportunities where you can best help others.
  • Become known for your expertise so others can refer and recommend you.

Robyn Greenspan
Editor-in-Chief
ExecuNet
Robyn.Greenspan@execunet.com
295 Westport Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
800.637.3126

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. HSM has extended a special 2-for-1 offer to Executive Insider readers for their annual World Business Forum, held October 6 and 7 at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, featuring President Bill Clinton, George Lucas, Paul Krugman, T. Boone Pickens and many other inspirational leaders. 

  

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Social Networking = 1 part of a Personal PR/Networking and Marketing Effort!

I am VERY into social networking AND naturally, part of my business is to get clients into and produced on social networking (as well as manage and educate them on the process) or in some cases, build up clients who are already into it  — if they are just beginning or just don’t have the time to do it (read on).  As a publicist, I have to say the social networking is one of the best and cheapest ways to “get PR” – BUT it does not happen overnight or that quickly (even if you have the biggest network known to man).  People are into their own thing and most (while they will not admit to this!) are just not into “helping friends get connected” so that their friend can find a job or business etc. in hopes that that friend will then help them get connections and connected to do the same. Do you know what I mean? 

I just got invited to join a social networking site called: SALESCONX (www.salesconx.com). This is a social networking site that actually will PAY!  INGENIOUS! This is a way to actually get people to refer more often – because hard cold cash is involved).  I am not sure how it will work out – sounds very good – (pretty new deal), but Salesconx offers members three primary ways of earning referral fees:

  • List a Connection for Sale. Know of a colleague, customer, partner or investor looking for a particular product or service that you don’t offer? Do you have a relationship with a sought after decision maker? Determine your own referral fee for this connection and add it to the Salesconx listings. Salesconx buyers request to purchase an introduction to this person from you – for the fee that you have already determined.
  • Browse their Database for Connection Requests. Every day, Salesconx members are posting Requests for a Connection, or a request for a lead.  They have members offering superior referral fees for sellers who are willing to put them in touch with that right person.
  • Refer another experienced, qualified professional. Salesconx members earn $20 for each approved, experienced professional that they refer to our community.  

Okay that is all really great to know and well; I can’t say how long it will take for every person known to man looking for leads and referrals to jump into Salesconx.  I wish them well and I think (I know) I will try it out.  Now I can say this:

  1. Social networking takes a ton of time (I, for one, spend at least a few hours a day on my own stuff – and well, I COULD spend the whole DAY and days on end if I could, but I have clients that need this more than I do so there you go) – and so who has that much time in a day (extra that is) -to work a network unless they make social networking a full time job in the beginning (after a year or so you are pretty free and sailing along, but even then you still have to “work it” and maintain everything and keep it your information fresh and updated. 
  2. Social Networking it is a now very a useful tool for personal publicity, branding and marketing and will soon to be an overly necessary tool when it comes to doing and making business (happen) and getting publicity. NOTE THE PHRASE:  “soon to be”?   Yep – “soon to be” is a key point here. 
  3. NOT EVERYONE is a writer or even wants to write (about their own greatness – it’s bad enough to have to write a resume for most people) and if you want your social networking to be viable (and buzz worthy in the social networking communities: YOU BETTER HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY AND YOU BETTER BE ABLE TO SAY IT WELL – or you will go unnoticed – no matter how many “friends” you have in “your networks!”
  4. Again – social networking (and media) is TIME CONSUMING, but most of all
  5. NOT EVERYONE IS INTO OR EVEN THINKS ABOUT SOCIAL NETWORKING AND NETWORKS (AT LEAST JUST YET) and not everyone thinks social networking is necessary or an end all when it comes to finding talent, opportunities, new business deals etc.  So working your publicity and marketing in more than just one (social networking channel) is still SO NECESSARY.  I am thinking social networking will probably be the mainstay when my kids are in the business world (they are 2 and 8 right now – LOL).

Those of us working (or playing around) in the social networking bubble have a hard time REALIZING that MOST of the business world and society in general is still really far behind in this area (this social networking as well as social media era that is). Heck I am currently trying to educate my brother (43 yrs old, high school teacher and coach and MBA) on the whole thing – he is on Facebook and still thinks it’s a place to post pictures. 

All kidding aside, Social Networking = 1 PART of Personal PR.  I am just saying that when you want visibility (PR, marketing, whatever) – to create opportunity, sales (whatever), you need to work a plan that is involved in more than just ONE channel – right?  Companies selling products and services, after all, still rely on a blend of stuff like print ads, television advertising (and the like to include: www.spotrunner.com or www.rippletv.com), event marketing, press/media covered news stories and events, traditional email and mail marketing pieces, tradeshows, etc. etc.  So all I am saying is that Social Networkers should not rely on JUST social networking and traditionalists should not rely on what they have always known to work in days gone by! 

A modern Personal PR plan of action (especially for those looking for new opportunity – as in JOBS and new business!) should equate to: 1/4 Social Networking +  about 1/4 Social Media = 1/4  (blogs, online video/audio/etc.) + 1/2 DIRECT PUBLICITY and INTRODUCTION CAMPAIGNS (to include some PRESS/MEDIA PLACEMENT (IF applicable) and some good old fashioned “door knocking” to and belly-to-belly talking (even if it’s over the phone or email).   REMEMBER: NOT EVERYONE IS AS INVOLVED IN SOCIAL NETWORKING OR MEDIA AS WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO THINK!  Those who are ONLY in the traditionalist mode will miss out on a lot if they do not social network or try to get some social media built up and those who are ONLY into doing every bit of networking, self publicizing, branding and the like ONLINE via social networks and media could also be missing out on a ton of opportunity by refusing to work in a more traditional channel as well.

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