When Social Media Becomes Unsociable

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Watch live video from Fleishman-Hillard Channel on Justin.tv

Social Media Week is upon us here in New York. Our team is excited to play a role in this first ever event and get out to do some real networking.

So much of our social media consulting at Fleishman-Hillard is devoted to helping organizations understand and adapt to the conversation that surrounds. Some of the common questions we get include:

  • How are we being talked about online?
  • How much influence does social media have?
  • How do we integrate social content into our marketing and communication programs?
  • Can we take control of the situation?
  • How do we know of we’re having an impact?

These types of questions inspired the topic of our “sold out” roundtable session being hosted at Fleishman-Hillard this evening, “When Social Media Becomes Unsociable“. More often than not, the phone rings for us when you know what hits the fan. As companies adapt to and accept the influence of unfiltered customer opinions syndicated via social media, they must decide how to engage. Even what appear to be the best plans can backfire in an uncontrolled environment like the blogosphere. Things can appear to be unsociable.

So what can your organization do? Well, be sure to check it at our event at http://justin.tv/FleishmanHillard at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. You can also follow our tweets by tracking #SMWNY.

I plan on asking our panel some of the following questions:

  • Have we entered the era of unsociable media?
  • What is the role of social media in modern marketing?
  • What does it take to be successful in social media?
  • Where is social media going?
  • What do you do when the conversation turns sour?

If you have any additional questions, shoot me an email, leave them in the comments section on this post or reply to me on Twitter (@dbradfield).

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The Changing PR Landscape (PRSA teleseminar reactions)

Once again I had the pleasure of sitting on one of Peter Himler‘s legendary panels. Today I joined Peter, Adam Christensen (manager of social media communications at IBM), Stacy DeBroff (CEO of MomsCentral) and Max Kalehoff (VP marketing at Clickable) for The Changed PR Landscape: What Works, What Doesn’t.

It’s amazing how insufficient 60 minutes seems when you’re discussing the most significant evolution the public relations industry has ever seen. There is so much to talk about. Topics during the session ranged from:

  • companies managing their viral and Google footprints
  • how much time an organization should devote to managing social media initiatives, 
  • leveraging employees as online ambassadors and corporate representatives
  • using social media to collaborate, inspire and motivate action, and
  • the role of search in communications.

We really only scratched the surface. The first half was an opportunity for each speaker to talk about what they do and comment on where PR is headed. The second half opened lines to listeners to ask some really great questions.

  • A team of county public affairs professionals from North Carolina asked how they could capitalize on social media at the local government level and they were directed to Personal Democracy Forum.
  • A PR consultant cited an encounter with a client disappointed that her work landed an article on a Wall Street Journal blog, but not in the print edition. I argued that there is great value in this since that content will remain accessible for a longer period of time than an article in the print edition that may appear online, but may only be accessible to subscribers. Reader commentary and reactions to the blog could improve credibility of that coverage. Stacy also suggested that a placement like that can be linked to from other sites and used in ongoing PR initiatives.

Determining value and quantifying ROI is a major hot button for many PR professionals. Why should they integrate social media? What does success look like? We talked about quality vs. quantity of coverage as a major point of distinction in social media. Digital communications allows you to pinpoint the audience and reach those that genuinely care or affected by your offering. You can also measure direct response as a result of social media.

So many topics. So little time.