With more than 30 sessions related to social media management at this year’s PRSA 2010 International Conference in D.C., it is clear that figuring out social technologies is a priority for public relations professionals, even if it takes them out of their comfort zone. Public relations is about controlling your message, but trying to take control in a communal environment is often a losing battle.
2010 International Conference: Powering PRogress's archives
“If you don’t value relationships, you will never value social media.”
That was the rallying cry of Charlene Li at the PRSA 2010 International Conference:Powering PRogress.
After her highly-anticipated keynote address, which wrapped the three-day Conference in D.C., I got to sit down with Li, co-author of the best-seller “Groundswell,” author of the new book “Open Leadership,” and founder of Altimeter Group, to discuss some of the hottest topics related to social media. Nothing was off limits!
My Backstage Interview with Charlene Li
- It can be kind of scary engaging with new technologies. What is your advice to marketers who are just getting started using social media?
Tags: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Professional Development and Training, prsa conferences, PRSA International Conference, Social Media
Okay. I admit it.
I took my 10-year-old to the PRSA International Conference this year. And yes, I worried a little about what people would think. After all, who takes a kid to a professional conference (and actually makes him attend meetings and sessions)? Would people judge me as a bad professional for having my child with me? Worse, would people judge me as a bad mother?
In the end, I figured that if anyone could take a child with her to a conference, it should be me, the chair of PRSA’s own Work, Life & Gender Committee. After all, if I’m not going to model work-life integration for my peers, who else is going to do it?
Bill Tancer, author of “Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters,” and self-proclaimed ‘data-geek’, walked on stage and won the crowd over with an engaging story on prom dresses.
He led off with a quote from Walker Percy: “To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something.”
From there he took us on a journey, showing how people say one thing, but search will reveal another. It is unwise for public relations professionals, who need to not only understand the latest trends, but to be a step ahead of them, to ignore what search can reveal. Tancer advised tools like Google Trends, Google Insights and real-time social search engines like Tweet Cloud to get us started in the right direction.
I noticed that Charlene Li’s was the most cited name by PRSA attendees in the Tweet Cloud just after “PR” and “Social.” Clearly she made an impression.
“Create your social networks internally first,” said Li at the closing keynote. “Find your voice.”
Charlene Li has always been a “good get” in public relations circles. Forrester is perhaps the best industry analyst firm, and Li, Josh Bernoff and Jeremiah Owyang once comprised a triumvirate of analysts you wanted to “get” for a client or your company. Now she and Owyang have started Altimeter Group on their own.
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