PR & Social Media Case Examples: Old & New School

PR & Social Media Case Examples: Old & New School

Cleaning out files, I came across materials from a 2004 seminar I attended, Hot Tools in Internet Marketing.

If there was any doubt, this vintage gem illustrates how fast things are changing in the business of building awareness and demand in a Web 2.0 world.

Microsoft’s Newsbot was the big news in news search tools.  Blogs were “probably a fad,” according to one expert, who shall remain anonymous.  Newsgroups, the ape ancestors of modern social networks, were gaining influence.  A plus for publicists: there was no need to order reprints of articles mentioning clients, since “most publications now have online archives.”  Sending email attachments such as press releases were a no-no, since they could kill the connection if received on a Blackberry.  The press kit had been modernized into an envelope containing a burned CD.

Yet, the principles of persuading people of the value of a product, cause or issue are the same as they were in the 80s, 90s and oughts.  A few:

  1. Determine what media and people constitute the strongest influencers;
  2. Put energy into cultivating personal relationships with them;
  3. Communicate via short, compelling messages;
  4. Set the terms of the debate by being quick out of the box with your position.

It’s the channels for getting your information to your audiences that have changed.  Word-of-mouth via the social web–inbound marketing– has supplanted outbound direct mail and mass market advertising.  Bloggers are competing with editors as the arbiters of what gets published/broadcast/read/seen/heard. Email marketing has replaced the corporate newsletter. Economical video tools have put video production within the grasp of anyone with a Flip or mobile phone. Breaking news comes from Twitter feeds and cell phone photos.  Going shopping no longer means just the mall, or a mail-order catalog, or even Amazon; it’s everything from redeeming a mobile coupon, to browsing Facebook shops, to bidding on eBay, to supporting micro-enterprises through Etsy.

To be successful, organizations must build and nurture online communities of supporters, who know their conversations and opinions have power.

Check out my portfolio for case examples of effective approaches, old and new, to common PR and marketing challenges.  And let me know what else you think is changing about public relations in the Web 2.0 world.

Merry Ann Moore
merryannmoore@gmail.com

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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