Its My Business and Your Business

stopThe ongoing demise of traditional media is having a major impact on a wide variety of industries not the least being in the traditional PR business.

So in putting together the Grumpy Old Mangers Guide to Social Networking we are highlighting the opportunities that this change opens for our business as well as many others aiming to attract consumer attention.

When I head renowned PR Industry Guru Brian Solis say “while some are already predicting the death of PR, I fundamentally believe it is the death of PR as we know it.” I sit up and take notice. But I am somewhat relieved when he he goes on to say “As long as communications professionals want to learn and improve their craft, then we are positioned for evolution.”

We began this evolution to PR2.0 using the tools e and tactics of Web 2.0 around 2 years ago so we are now we placed in the evolution of our busines.  Now we are turning our attention to helping our clients embrace the same thinking in marketing and growing their bsuiness.

While many industry expersts predict up to 70% of today;s PR firms not surving while the ramining 30% will have to re-invent themselves I would not be so bold as to make such predictions.

However very rcently we read a report in the business section of The Adelaide Advertiser about a major business taking a strategic change in direction and targetting a younger market we decided to look at how they were doing this.  We know they are represented by one of this city’s prominent PR firms so we thought we may have something to learn…..   and we did!!  That prominent firm may well be one of the 70%!

There was no evidence on their client’s site of Web 2.0 – No blog, no Twitter, no Facebook, no LinkedIn etc etc in other words no clear attempt at engaging the younger market in conversation with a view to conversion. No attempt to build word of mouth other than via the article in the traditional media from what we could see.

Further while the PR firm does have a Twitter Account, and  a Facebook page they don’t appear to have a Blog and their website is currently down being renovated …   Why do people do that?   It is so easy to keep the current site while the new one  is being developed….   so I dont get why you shut up shop effectively while you paint the walls (do it when you customers aren’t around surely!!)

So here’s the classic example a company knows what they want to do in terms of marketing they go to the expert but with the world of PR/Marketing/Media but they are still not getting the right advice in our opinion.

As such I have written more on this on our website and then when the Grumpy Old Man’s Guide is launched soon we will provide the why and how to be part of the evolution in the way companies will build brands, clients and business now and in future.

While Social Netwrks and Social Media are the new and to sume percieved as difficult to understand they are mewrely part of the ongoing evelopution in communicatiosn that is The Internet.

The whole concept of the Internet was very much based on a form of social networking from the start. It has a evolved from Bulletin Boards, Forums and Email back in the late 1970’s to Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc today. The major differnece being today’s tools are much more urseable and useful as we set out to prove in our e-Book.

Advertisements

Me 2.0

First there was Web 2.0 which defined the tools and tactics that have driven the web to be more interactive, conversational… a two way street.

Then I noted PR 2.0 …communicating directly with the market not just the media, so I started this blog to write about things I find relevant to my business eNova Communications in the Web 2.0 world.

Now it seems that if you have a website with Web 2.0 facilities or more specifically a blog on any field of expertise then you append 2.0 to to that business category …. so we have Health 2.0, MLM 2.0, Real Estate 2.0, Marketing 2.0, Wellness 2.0 etc etc… and just to cover the lot Enterprise 2.0

This raises the question is there any relevance at all to whatever 1.0 was ….. and now I am hearing about 3.0 what the hell is that?

But for now I guess its time for me to refer to myself from now on as me 2.0!!! Or should I perhaps change my name to Rick Carter 2.0 … perhaps?? Or would I need a blog about myself to justify that??

Or perhaps we should just stop defining and labeling what we do and Just Do It

Rick Carter 1.5(maybe)

Its About the Discussion not Dialogue

For some time I have been trying to convince a number of my clients to not only set up their own blog but to participate in relevant industry blogs.  But they have concerns about being open about what they do and allowing competition to know too much … and also give credence to the debate about their products and those of the competition.

But I believe some info that I have gleaned from a recent column by Jeremy Wolf, VP Text 100 Asia-Pacific in B+T mag www.bandt.com.au has provided me with some good ammo to continue to nudge my clients.

“Historically advertising has been described as a monologue, the best public relations as a Dialogue and now social media must, of course, be a discussion.”

He also provides a great analogy to position social media in a context that many in sales and marketing will understand.

Social Networking Interactions are similar to those that occur at a trade show. “while you cant control everything that is said and on behalf of your company, most of the time employees manage to give effective product demos to groups of customers and prospects, interact with snooping competitors and chat with passing journalists. At times it may be chaotic, but its organic and it works.”

But what doesn’t work in Social Networking as a half hearted approach. Without open two-way conversations it is not possible to influence discussions while building credibility and add value.  No matter what people may say it is important to acknowledge what they say and give them the opportunity to consider your point of view.

Blogs and social networks give us all the opportunity to add our voice to any relevant discussion and in doing so become an influencer by adding real value.

This discussion can now often inspire news stories in the traditional media and as such further develop an accurate picture of the company, products, people and directions.

It is an opportunity too good to miss out on…. I think.

But its not easy as Jeff Guin says of his experiences having recently taken a part time role as adjunct instructor in the capstone “campaigns” course for PR majors at the local university

In PR, we’ve always had to be used to the idea of understanding highly technical concepts in widely disparate fields, then plan a strategy to communicate the information to a dozen audiences via two hundred “target” media outlets. Ah, those sweet simple days.

In the wake of Web 2.0, PR folks are the new working mothers of the world. We nurture our audiences in our social media cribs (aka networks) and instill in them the confidence to join the conversation hoping for some as-yet-undetermined benefit when they “grow up.” Oh yeah, we still have to fill our traditional roles if we want to keep Big Daddy happy in the boardroom.

Oh so true!!

Now I should be Tweeting???

Just when I get serious about Blogging I find out I am still behind the times. I am into LinkedIn, Facebook, Pulse, Sqidoo but then along comes Twitter.

I first heard about it when a LinkedIn contact told me that I should be Twittering too. So I checked it out, joined up and had my first brief tweet but I really couldn’t see any value other than letting people know where I was…if I wanted them to know.

Now that I have read a recent post on www.Ragan.com (an excellent source of info on all areas of Communications) I needed to have a more serious look.

In this post Michael Sebastian michaels@ragan.com had the following to say:

Bloggers praise Twitter and its business uses as they ditch blogging for tweeting

Twitter is the Web 2.0 application you hear about, maybe try, and then quickly determine is foolish. At least it seems foolish: You communicate with your “followers” worldwide through 140 character bursts.

One year later she has sent 10,000 Tweets (Twitter posts) and amassed 2,500 followers (which is a lot)—many of them executives, journalists and, perhaps most important, potential clients.

Laurie Fitton at Pistachio Communications who works with businesses and individual speakers to improve their presentation skills said

“All my work now comes from people I know through Twitter. All of it. Not only do all my clients come from Twitter, by the time someone contacts me, they thoroughly understand how my mind works and have already decided I am the one for the project.”

Twitter is an evolution of social media; it’s called “micro-blogging,” a kind of blend of text messaging and blogging. A number of communication bloggers have deemed it the Facebook of 2008. Most bloggers in the tech world and many in the corporate communications realm tweet as well as blog. Some bloggers have even ditched the medium altogether to become full-time tweeters.

I am off to check it out more seriously so next time I might Tweet you instead of Blogging you!!

The Value of being LinkedIn

I also published my previous Post on a specialist Real Estate Blog a few days ago and as a question on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com)

So far I have not received any feedback on the Real Estate site but LinkedIn has yielded great results in the same amount of time.

Within five minutes of my post I had responses from three people in various parts of the world providing responses with many more following in the next 24 hours until my question dropped out of the top few on the page.

This has told me that LinkedIn can be a very valuable source of instant feedback from a wide variety of people with vast expertise and experience in the relevant area worldwide. This has resulted in my encouraging all of my contacts to use LinkedIn and use it as a research resource not just a directory.

I will publish The Real Estate Gobbledygook Manifesto on here in the future once I have complied all the info I am receiving.

Real Estate Goobledygook…

My company is currently engaged by a Real Estate Agency to assist them in rebranding their business – they want to be seen to be different but not too different. This has led us to look closely at many of their rivals and their culture.

The question I would like to raise here is in relation to the language of Real Estate. Quite clearly they do not write or speak to be read or understood by their buyers. At auctions the verbage and tone are to say the least boring and outdated. To be told that we are in leafy…; close to cosmopolitan; looking at a house with 3/4/5 bedrooms etc. is surely a waste of our time and theirs. Quite clearly those attending know where they are and why and from our research find this approach condescending.

And then the ads – fabulous, fantastic, enormous – are commonly used. I personally would like to read about the benefits of buying the property not endless exaggerated features taking up space that the vendor is paying for not the Agency!!

As a result of all of this and a brilliant book I have been reading The New Rules of PR and Marketing by David Meerman Scott I would like to compile a list of the most jargon-laden phrases and overused, irrelevant words used in Real Estate. In his book, Scott analysed Media Releases for technology companies and found words like next generation, robust, world class to be very widely used and very widely ignored by those that they were aimed at.

I suspect much the same is the case in Real Estate. They clearly don’t write to be understood by buyers, they don’t auction to impress buyers. Perhaps they aim to impress each other.

In our research the most common view expressed of Real Estate Agents is that they are too introspective and their biggest problem results from this – They Dont Know What They Dont Know!!

Look forward to your assistance in compiling The Real Estate Goobledygook Manifesto.