ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
March 2, 2009

PR-Driven Online Communications, Before It’s Too Late


Inside organizations right now, factions are jockeying for control of the Web site. When it comes to public relations, online newsrooms have replaced press kits, and social media tools like Twitter, Flickr, Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook are being used to extend reach and build community. But the online communications reins are held by marketing and IT, as often as they’re held by public relations. Lest we be relegated to ribbon ceremonies, special events and trade show swag, public relations needs to be able to convince management that it can and should ride the online communications charge.

To help advocate for public relations-led online communications initiatives, Elizabeth Albrycht and I are chairing the second annual Digital Impact Conference: Learn to Profit From New Media  on April 30–May 1 in NYC. Our objective is to create an opportunity for ourselves and our colleagues to soak up applied knowledge, methodologies and quantitative research and reinforce our digital future in the workplace.

We don’t have everyone, but together with Barb McDonald, Judy Voss and Colleen Seaver from PRSA, we’ve developed what I think is one of the best speaker lineups ever assembled for a social media public relations event, and here it is:

  • Michael Brewer is going to present on how and why to weave YouTube into public relations campaigns. 
  • John Cass is going to talk about what it takes to sustain an online communications initiative.
  • Francois Gossieaux will reveal the secrets of building and sustaining sticky online communities.
  • Rachel Happe will show how social media is essentially redefining the organizational  chart.
  • Peter Himler has a blogger relations panel with top bloggers.
  • Rob Key will discuss public relations campaigns comprised of listening to and participating online.
  • Lee Odden will search engine optimize a press release live.
  • Christopher Penn and John Wall will reveal how to defuse an online crisis.
  • Steve Rubel is going to tell us where we’ll be five years from now.
  • Tom Smith is going to present his global study on social media adoption rates.
  • Brian Solis is going to talk about how social media can generate ROI.
  • Don Spetner of Korn Ferry will reveal what it takes to compete in tomorrow’s public relations job market
  • Corinne Weisgerber is going to show how to use Twitter in a public relations campaign.

I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and learn from these experts, and I hope you’ll consider joining me in NYC on April 30–May 1 for what will probably be one of the best social media communications conferences in 2009 for public relations practitioners looking to take the online communications reins.

If you’re brand new to social media and looking for a quick primer first, consider attending the upcoming New Media PR Boot Camp: Learn Social Media Strategies for Effective Public Relations. This workshop, which I designed for digital immigrants like myself, lets you bring your laptop and get step-by-step instructions on how to monitor new media, blog, podcast, SEO and much more. 

Then, bring your newfound social media fluency to The Digital Impact Conference: Learn to Profit From New Media and learn about strategy, mapping new media channels to objectives and how to build a business case for public relations-led, online communications program that win budget approval. 

Tweet me @ericschwartzman for more information, or subscribe to the On the Record…Online or Marketing Over Coffee podcasts. We’re planning on releasing a mash-up episode shortly with more conference details. Or register before March 30 and take advantage of the saver rate [PDF]. 

Hope to meet you there!

Eric Schwartzman, founder/chariman, iPressroomBy Eric Schwartzman, founder and chairman of public relations services provider iPressroom, managing director of Los Angeles public relations firm Schwartzman & Associates, and executive producer of the PRSA award-winning public relations Podcast “On the Record…Online,” has nearly 20 years of experience as a marketer and a public relations practitioner and specializes in helping clients integrate all aspects of Web-based communications into mainstream public relations, corporate communications and marketing campaigns.

Join Schwartzman at his two-day seminar “Social Media and New Media PR Boot Camp: Learn Key Concepts and Techniques of  Effective Online Communications” on Thursday, February 25–Friday, February 26, 2010 in San Francisco, CA and “Social Media and New Media PR Master Class: Fine-tune Your Strategic Understanding of Social Media” on Friday, March 26, 2010 in New York, NY!

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