Personal Space

Personal Space

Meet Duke, the Bernese Mountain dog and Shadow, the barn cat. Like so many in the age of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Duke sometimes loses track of what’s appropriate for public consumption.

For those of us who get uncomfortable when someone stands a bit too close, social media can feel like the entertaining but discomfiting exchange between baseball manager and ump. It’s great theater, and we want to be in on it, but out of range of the spittle.

I, for one, think there is such a thing as being too social. Too 24/7, too Oprah, too Tokyo-subway-at-rush-hour. Who hasn’t cringed after reading some post and thought, “too much information?”

So I’m exploring whether it’s possible for a privacy-inclined PR expert to engage in The Conversation happening about my clients in social media without injecting too much personal trivia into it…to maintain a comfortable space between what I do for a living, and living.

Along the way, I guess I’ll find out if having an unlisted phone number, or tuning out of Twitter for a day, or ignoring an invitation on Facebook means professional obsolescence. If I forget to launch TweetDeck in the morning, and don’t check in for a day or even more, will the sky fall?

If 90% of my posts are strictly about business, or my clients’ business, will anyone ever read my Facebook wall or follow me on Twitter?

I suspect the answer is yes, because like me, some of you are tired of reading posts about someone’s lost car keys, or burnt pot roast, or airport delay. I think there may be others who are craving an exchange of information with more import.

So here’s the moral: I think old-school PR has a lot to teach word-of-mouth marketing. The value of maintaining confidentiality…the power of staying on message…brevity…not calling until you have a real story.

Soon I’ll write a few thoughts about what social media have to teach traditional PR. I’ll let the animals at the barn help. In the meantime, what do you think?

Merry Ann Moore

I'm a comms pro who brings the romance and excitement of digital to the old standbys. Like just picking up the phone and calling a reporter after retweeting a story. I cover the waterfront (communications strategy, content marketing, web content, branding, email marketing, more) but don't pretend to be an expert in it all. After work, I'm probably cycling, walking the dogs, chaturanga-ing or watching international soccer or the USWNT. Pet peeve: overuse of the word "passionate" in every business profile you read.

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