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Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

I’m only a few posts in to the new direction of this blog, and I already feel like I need to make a clarification. I’m talking here about publications. Now, I realize that the automatic reaction when I say “publication” is to think of a printed newsletter or magazine, but this is only one piece of the puzzle.

In today’s Web 2.0 world, social media is a buzz word and companies keep asking how they can use blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., to connect not only with their customers but with their employees as well. Online publications are one way.

You can have a publication solely online. Don’t restrict yourself to printed items that have to be mailed. While there are some industries that definitely need the latter, as the population becomes more tech savvy there will be more companies that can successfuly achieve the purpose of an internal publication through an online publication. Future posts will get into more of the details of strategies and functions an online publication can have, but for now I just want to ensure your mind is open to a publication world beyond the printed word.

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My company is just jumping into the social arena with a new Facebook page, Twitter account and hopefully soon, a blog. As I’ve been watching it unfold and participating in the process when I can, I have noticed how easy it is for one person’s voice to become the voice of the organization. It is an issue that all businesses must face when they enter Web 2.0. If only one person twitters or if only one person writes the copy on the Facebook page then how is the company’s voice being portrayed?

I know people from my company read this blog and so with a small shout out to them I bring up some points you may want to consider as your company enters the social media realm:

1. Think about the reasoning behind each social media outreach. Why do you use Twitter? Are you trying to be an expert in your field? Improving customer relations? Making business contacts? For KGBTexas, I believe the original purpose was to show our clients that we knew what Twitter was about. Okay, now that we’ve become mini-experts, what is the point? Why have a business account when your employees could (and already do) have their own? 

2. Keep that goal in mind throughout the lifecycle of the process. It is easy to get caught up in social media. You can easily spend hours every day connecting with new people, reading the words of experts and commenting on their thoughts. However, you came into this realm with a purpose in mind. Always ask yourself if what you are doing is to reach that purpose. If your goal is to obtain new clients, then use your Twitter account to do that. Be in circles with the types of businesses you serve. 

3. Convey personalities correctly. A main benefit and excitement of social media is that it allows everyone to display their distinct personalities. However when you start social media for your business you have to decide how those personalities will be conveyed. If the business has a Twitter account then the business’ point of view should be conveyed — not the person running the account. If you create a blog you get a few more options. Maybe you only have one author and that author represents the business’ voice. Or you let multiple employees write and each have their personality showcased. Do this with individual author pages where each employee writes his / her own bio. The same with a Facebook page. Let each person have a photo and write his / her own bio. If you’re going to let the individuals be shown let them fully embrace their personalities, their likes and dislikes and their beliefs. 

Obviously the more employees you bring in the more time you are taking away from their work. However, that is what social media is about. Your business isn’t about the work of just one person, so your social media efforts shouldn’t be too.

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“Although it is now cheaper to launch an initiative leveraging Web 2.0 technology – it requires qualified and passionate people to make them successful.” – David Armano (as quoted on Ann Handly’s 50 Social Media and Marketing Predictions for 2009).

How true is this. You’ll notice that the most successful people on Twitter or the most successful bloggers are the ones who get giddy about what they are writing. The love this stuff. They live and breathe social media and want to help others live their passion. This is an important idea for PR agencies to take notice. You can’t automatically turn the Web development guy into your agency’s blogger. Or your best writer may not be your best Twitter. A social media campaign doesn’t automatically mean your senior account executive or your new college-grad hire is right for the job.

Pick a person who gets excited about social media. Form a team of people who want to learn. Social media requires too much effort and attention to others to try to force someone into this role. You’ll have much better luck with those who get giddy about blogging.

However, just because someone spends half their day on Facebook, they might not be able to successfully run a campaign for one of your clients. You have to balance the passionate with the managerial skills needed to make the PR campaign a successful one.

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