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How PR Professionals Can Participate in New Media

How PR Professionals Can Participate in New Media

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Published by david_spark
This article offers actionable advice for PR professionals on how to engage in the new media space. Inside you’ll find coverage on ten important issues including “Who are the top influencers in your space,” “Know WHEN people are talking about you and your clients,” and “Dealing with bad publicity online.”
This article offers actionable advice for PR professionals on how to engage in the new media space. Inside you’ll find coverage on ten important issues including “Who are the top influencers in your space,” “Know WHEN people are talking about you and your clients,” and “Dealing with bad publicity online.”

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Published by: david_spark on Aug 11, 2009
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07/28/2010

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be the voice
How PR Professionals Can Participate inNew Media
By David Spark, Founder of Spark Media Solutions, LLCMay 18th, 2007Public relations professionals de
nitely see thevalue in new media, but that doesn’t necessarilytranslate into their own participation. To berespected as an online communicator, one must beonline and engage. Proper use of these tools hasbeen de
ned by the online community. They dictatehow one must engage. You can choose to ignore theuser established protocols and be ignored, or worse,ridiculed. If you’re a PR professional recommendingnew media to your clients, then you should be anew media participant yourself. The question is howthen should you participate?Below is real world advice on how PR professionalscan participate in the new media world. It wasoriginally produced for a public relations event andincludes advice provided by:Greg SterlingSterling Market Intelligencegreg.sterling@gmail.comhttp://gesterling.wordpress.com/Chris PetersonChautauqua Communicationschris.peterson@chautauquacom.comhttp://www.chautauquacom.com/Special thanks to both Chris and Greg for theirinput on this document.David SparkSpark Media Solutionsdavid@sparkmediasolutions.comhttp://www.sparkmediasolutions.com/
© 2007, Spark Media Solutions, LLC.
 
How PR Professionals Can Participate in New Media© 2007, Spark Media Solutions, LLC.
Page 3
Losing control over the conversation
In the past couple of years, all of marketing hasbeen turned on its head. Marketing organizations,public relations, advertising agencies, and anybusiness that’s happily controlled their messaginghas lost control. The marketing conversation isnow in the hands of consumers turning to trustednetworks of friends, family, and even completestrangers who have built up reputations, oftenonline.
Here’s how you do it:Don’t rely on traditional marketingcommunications
- Traditional methods of marketing communications, like press releases,are no longer relevant. Journalists used to haveto rely on these devices to know about or launcha story. Today, online in
uencers, who are notnecessarily journalists, are not moved by pressreleases. They’re interested in conversations.Communications must be conversational.
Shift from messages to content-basedcommunications
- Singular messaging especiallyfor “considered purchases” is not enough to make asale. Instead of getting people to stay on message,shoot more for stories. Stories are more impactful.
Fueling conversations with content
Traditional PR is often about media relationsand delivering a story that is “on message.” Now marketing, including PR, has to get morein the business of creating content that may beinformational and/or entertaining. That content canfuel conversations and purchase behavior. Similarto advertisers creating content when televisionstarted, today, marketers have to be in the businessof content development.
Here’s how you do it:Find the stories
- Where are the stories of yourproduct or service. The story is not how one coulduse your product. The story is how someoneactually has used their product. Success with somefailure adds to the humanity of the story.
Follow social bookmarking and newsrecommendation sites
- Sites like Digg(http://www.digg.com/), del.icio.us(http://del.icio.us/), and Newsvine(http://www.newsvine.com/) offer socialbookmarking services where the community of users can recommend stories and Web sites they
nd interesting. Those stories and sites that are of the greatest interest get more recommendationsa.k.a. “Diggs,” “votes,” or “links.” Keep an eye onthese sites as they’re very telling as to what people
nd most interesting. Although note that the siteDigg, which is the most popular, is heavily skewedtowards the politically minded geek set.
Fuel the conversation
- Once you have storiesand know what peaks your public’s interest,you must tailor that content in a way that fuelsdiscussions. For that to work, the content mustbe authentic, credible, and compelling. At thispoint, you need to completely forget about forcingmessages. Your goal here is about getting people totalk about your goods and services from the heart.
 
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Become a participant yourself 
If you want online respect you’ll need a signi
cantand honest presence online. The easiest andsimplest way to do this is to start a blog. Onereason to have a blog is because when you startcommunicating with someone, they’re going towant to know who you are and what you do. Writingan introductory email won’t cut it. They’ll want tosee your public pro
le and what you write about.
Here’s how you do it:Create a blog
- Wordpress(http://www.wordpress.com/) is easy to useand set up. It’s free. But most importantly it hasthe largest developer community around it so if you want to add elements to your blog, you can.Blogger and TypePad are also easy to use but theydon’t have the
exibility to grow and customize likeWordpress.
Write an about page
- Explain who you are andwhat the blog is about. Maybe add a list of yourclients. Include contact information (email and if you want, your phone number) as well.
Make a few blog entries
- You’ve got to
ll it upwith something. Start off with three entries. Speakpersonally about your business. Keep this in mindas you’re writing: You want to be seen as a voice inyour industry. What do you have to say that wouldbe of value to your colleagues?
Tell all your friends about it
- This is not asituation of “If you build it, they will come.” Youhave to let people know you’re out there.
Who’s talking about you?
If you or your company are out there in the publiceye, you’re going to want to know who’s talkingabout you.
Here’s how you do it:Search the blogs
- Use Technorati(http://www.technorati.com/) to search yourname/company or if your name/company iscommon, search on your blog URL (i.e. just search “sparkminute.com” instead of “David Spark”). Byusing linkbacks (a.k.a. trackbacks or permalinksthat specify a speci
c blog post), Technorati shouldbe able to
nd sites that are linking to your site.Check out the Technorati Tools section(http://www.technorati.com/tools/) for widgets andlinks to scan the Web for discussions.
Search podcasts
- Podzinger(http://www.podzinger.com/) is a great searchengine for podcasts. It actually searches thetranscribed discussions of a podcast. Type in yourname or business and see if anyone has beentalking about you.
How PR Professionals Can Participate in New Media© 2007, Spark Media Solutions, LLC.

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