This is the second installment of a weekly four part series that asks four questions about the relationship between PR and social media in 2009. This week I’ve been lucky enough to get the thoughts of Chris Brogan.
Chris Brogan is a ten year veteran of using social media and technology to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Chris speaks, blogs, writes articles, and makes media of all kinds at chrisbrogan.com, a blog in the top 20 of the Advertising Age Power150, and in the top 100 on Technorati.
I would argue that 2008 has been the year of Twitter – what do you think will be the big social media development in 2009?
2009 will be the year of better stream management. FriendFeed points to the start of this, and when we talk about this, let’s realize that 2008 was the year of Twitter for early adopters. It’s just coming into the eyeballs of the mainstream media, but you’re not yet hearing about it in the public just yet. I think there’s a 2009 for Twitter in the mainstream eye, and that the early crowd will be figuring out what’s next with making our own hand-picked streams.
What do you think is the best way for PRs and marketeers to use Twitter to build relationships with journalists?
Be human. Be helpful. Talk about things other than your clients and their products. It’s something we call “be there before the sale” in our upcoming book, Trust Agents. Don’t just talk to people when you need something from them.
What sort of risk do you think there is of PRs being ‘forced’ to use Twitter by their clients to broadcast their messages, and will this lead to companies auto-following each other to see what they’re upto whilst the rest of us ignore them?
The risk will be simply that the new intended audience won’t listen. But I’d offer that the agency hasn’t done a good enough job educating if they find themselves in that position.
Last one! PR has managed to get itself into quite a tangle with bloggers this year, such as TechCrunch and Lois Whitman-Hess – what’s your top tip to PRs approaching bloggers?
My best advice is to realize that bloggers rarely play by the same rules as traditional media, and that they are each different. It’s not always the PR practitioners’ fault that they can’t keep track of who likes to be treated which way. My top tip would be to build a human relationship with the bloggers you want to reach when there’s news, and to talk with them when you don’t have a pitch as well.
Many thanks to Chris for taking the time to answer these questions! Next week, the views of Sarah Blow.