Putting the Public Back in Public Relations

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If you’re a newcomer to the world of social media communications, it is my pleasure to introduce you to prolific social media specialist Brian Solis.

I’m writing from PRSA Digital Impact Conference, which just officially opened in NYC this morning with a keynote from Brian, co-author the new book “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” with Deirdre Breckenridge.

Brian spoke about how social media is enabling wired public relations practitioners to demonstrate ROI through direct communications with every day people, and here’s what a got from his talk:

  • Media relations is no longer enough.  Are you a publicist, or a communications expert?
  • Who are you writing for, journalists or the public?  If you’re writing for the public, the press release format isn’t going to cut it.
  • Using interns to tween (twinterns) is a bad idea, because they have the least amount of investment in your organization.
  • Community managers are competing against public relations.
  • Social media gives you the ability to be as influential as the people you want to reach.
  • Social media gives PR people the ability to change behavior, and measure those activities.
  • Tastemaker relations, which involve pitching influential consumers instead of journalists, is among the most successful tactics he’s currently employing, but tastemakers don’t respond to press releases.
  • Social media clients like Friendfeed and PeopleBrwser, which aggregate social media activities from multiple social networks, are the future of online PR.
  • We used to think about the best time to put out a press release, but now we think about when the best time to Tweet is.
  • The social web requires a human voice, which is very different from the voice of the press release, which is the voice of the committee.

In addition to live blogging some of the sessions at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference, I’m tweeting with the hashtag #PRSAdi (formerly #digimpact) and will be uploading pictures to Facebook.

This is my second year chairing the conference.  This year I have the honor of co-chairing with blogger Elizabeth Albrycht.

This session, and others from the PRSA Digital Impact Conference will be available as podcasts in the coming weeks and you can stream them online, subscribe via RSS or pull them right into iTunes.

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