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.
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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.
With all the buzz surrounding social media, it seems that speechwriting may be becoming a “lost art” in the PR trade today. Our profession seems to have gone from authoring 14-minute speeches to typing 140-character tweets for our clients.
Or has it?
Ian Griffin (@cheshirelad), a freelance speechwriter, told us otherwise in his PD session on “Speechwriting in the Age of Social Media: Magnifying the Impact of a Speech.”
Tags: pr+social+media, Professional Development & Training, PRSA, PRSA 2010 International Conference, prsa+conference, public relations, social+media, social+media+writing, speeches, speechwriting, writing
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