PerkettPR Interviews Robert “Scobleizer” Scoble, Part 1: tech, blogging, social media & more

In PR, it’s important to pay attention. Paying attention means listening, reading and following – especially when it comes to industry innovators. One of the biggest tech influencers we follow is Robert Scoble, otherwise known as “Scobleizer.”

While Robert now has a corporate job as a video blogger for Rackspace – where he is building a community for people fanatical about the Internet called building43, he has long been a technical evangelist. Also a published author of Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, with Shel Israel, Scoble is probably best known for his blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technical evangelist at Microsoft and is now unarguably one of the top tech blogs around. Scoble also used to work for Fast Company as a video blogger, where he learned his fair share of dealing with PR people.

PerkettPR sat down with Scoble recently and asked his opinion on everything from how kids influence his perspective to what his favorite sites are (hint: tweet, tweet) and how he uses them, to what he wanted to be when he grew up. Here, in Part I of our two-part series, you get to know a little bit about how he got started (there were only about 200 blogs around when he did!).

 

 

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/14/2010

Peter Himler recaps the opinion that traditional Search Engine Optimization is dying – as proclaimed by Gary Vaynerchuk during his speaking session at last week’s Internet Week in NYC. The post also provides opposing points of view from Jeff Jarvis and Lee Odden.

You Have To Have Thin Skin

It’s common to hear that putting yourself (or your brand) out there in the social media space requires a thick skin. Comments and opinions won’t always be in-line with your beliefs or mission, and your response to those needs to be timely, yet thoughtful. This post from Mitch Joel explores the idea of wearing a “thin skin” instead. I like his angle.

Five Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations News & Trends
This post from Barbara B. Nixon on her Public Relations Matters blog provides PR students and practitioners with five simple ways to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping up with the fast pace of the PR world.

Intuit Fails Big Time to Communicate During Service Outage
B2B Marcom Writer, Diana Huff recaps Intuit’s bad decision to stay silent during their recent service outage this week, only to post an apology and an explanation for the downtime on their site after systems came back up about 24 hours later.

Robert Scoble on Being a Spokesperson and a Reporter
Andy Plesser from Beet.TV shares this candid interview with Robert Scoble that explores the “issues facing companies who are seeking to use Web video to enhance their image.” Stay tuned for PerkettPR’s own multi-part video interview with Robert hitting our blog next week.

 

 

Image Credit: Heather Hoesly

I Know You, I Know You

At last week’s PRSA T3PR conference, one of the audience questions to me was whether or not today’s “marketing celebs” overshadow their clients. The question was asked with the comment, “I know a lot of the marketing ‘Twilebrities,’ for example, but I don’t know any of their clients.”

My reply was that I didn’t think it was an issue – that maybe you are not the client’s core audience and therefore the marketer hasn’t promoted any of his or her client news to you. You may know the marketer because he or she talks about marketing, business, PR, social media – all things you would want to be paying attention to as a fellow marketer. But, if their client sells widgets and you don’t buy widgets, it makes sense that you wouldn’t know the client. In fact, dare I say the marketer might be doing a bad job – over-promoting his or her own work to the wrong audience – if you did know all of his or her clients. Wouldn’t it get annoying if they talked so much about their own work – instead of promoting to you what you find valuable, such as shared insights, experiences and – when the time or circumstance is right – client news, products or services?

Here’s an example. A year ago I had a conversation with Jason Keath, founder of SoFresh, a social media conference for marketers. At the time, he was consulting for several companies on marketing and social media. I paid attention to Jason because he’s a fellow marketer and I was interested in his posts about marketing. I learned about some of his client work as well – but to this day the only client of his I remember is one that I was personally interested in (because it involved shoes). Likewise, I follow other industry colleagues and competitors because I’m interested in their marketing and PR insights, not necessarily because I’m interested in their clients’ products and services. I remember the ones that do apply to me – something I would buy or use – but I pay attention to the marketers because I think they have smart things to say about marketing, PR and social media opportunities and challenges.

Some, like Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution, I learned about and began listening to because she’s a PR veteran and I am interested in learning from her. Now, as a lover of fashion, I also happen to pay attention to her client work. But even if I weren’t a fashion fiend, I’d follow what Kelly does because I value her stories and experiences in PR.

What do you think? Are today’s influential marketers overshadowing their clients?

PS – Just for fun, my headline’s a nod to an SNL skit. Who knows which one?

Photo Credit: Michael Halsband

Are You A PR Influencer?

Even though 99% of everything you do in PR is on behalf of your company or your client, are you working on becoming an influencer yourself? Our own @missusp spoke last Friday afternoon at the PRSA Technology Conference in New York on the topic of PR professionals as influencers and shared her insights into how our role is changing. She highlighted several PR & digital marketing professionals turned influencers including: Chris Brogan, Kelly Cutrone, Steve Rubel, Peter Shankman, Brian Solis, Scott Monty, Ann Handley, Sarah Evans and more. You can see her full presentation on SlideShare or check out some of the key tips and takeaways below:

  • It’s about YOU – PR professionals aren’t just "flaks," we’re tastemakers — choosing to work with the best and brightest upcoming brands, products and services. Embrace your role as an influencer and share your thoughts, insights, opinions – we have a better chance than ever to show how intelligent we really are.
  • Build your personal brand – YOU are your personal brand  and guess what – it lasts forever. Put some care into making sure it’s a brand you’re proud of. Great examples of personal brands include Gary Vaynerchuk, Julia Roy and more.
  • Do what you know and do it well – especially in PR! Bad pitches are now public – often the subjects of a reporter’s wrath – so “do what you already know how to do” but do it well because the footprint you build now will stay with you forever.
  • Share, Share, Share (with your networks) — the difference between simply being a member of a social network and being an influencer is sharing valuable content. Think about how you can help others.
  • Write a book — or at least a blog! PR executives need to be great writers and that means doing it well and doing it often. Blogs also give you another platform for sharing insights and opinions – embracing that role as a tastemaker -  as do Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks where you can be a resource with answer, opinions and thoughts. The point is to write – it keeps your skills sharp and increases your credibility as a PR professional.
  • Don’t say you are (just) in PR — our role has changed and we are so much more than PR pros now. Know the new terms used to describe our profession and make sure you are referring to all of your expertise, as it has now evolved to include digital and social media marketing, for example. As a leader, you should recognize when to change your messaging to meet the growing demands of our industry. You’ll notice many of the best-known PR leaders don’t even have "PR" in their company descriptions anymore. Some do – but regardless, all the strongest marketing influencers today include terms such new media, social media and digital marketing in their expertise description.
  • Make your own rules (within reason) – be bold and innovative. Take risks. Try new things – the best PR and marketing often comes from throwing out the old rules and making your own.
  • Remember it’s all about you (but really it isn’t) — we are all well versed at building relationships online and off and we continue to find new ways to leverage our communication skills for the better good of our companies and clients. Building your personal brand is important, but remember; you are doing all of this for the betterment of your clients and ultimately positive exposure for them. Your own influence on social networks is becoming directly related to how successful you will be with generating buzz for your clients.

Thanks to all who attended the session on Friday and for all the #TechPRSA tweeting. It was a great event!

Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/07/10

Social Media Marketing: You Have To Be Consistent
Congratulations! You’ve just made the first step towards getting your
feet wet in the sea of social media! But, do you have what it takes to
stay afloat? This post by Ely Delaney on Gather.com explains one of the keys to social media success.

The Ten Myths of Creating Web Content
Joe Ciarallo from Mediabistro’s PRNewser shares 10 web content creation myths and tips that bust them as presented by College Humor founder Ricky Van Veen at the Mashable Media Summit.

Social strategy: Web integration to leverage brand advocacy
Charles Nicholls explains why people tend to follow their favorite brands online, and explains how many companies are missing out by not leveraging this “gift horse.”

Coca-Cola Follows a New Social Media Strategy

Natalie Johnson, Digital Communications Manager for Coca-Cola states “When you think about what your homepage is … it’s not necessarily just your brand page. It’s Google.com. It’s Digg. It’s Twitter. It’s YouTube. It’s Facebook.” This post on Popsop.com provides some insite on that thinking and how Coca-Cola is implementing a new online strategy for increasing brand mentions.

Apple’s Worst Security Breach: 114,000 iPad Owners Exposed
The wildly popular iPad suffered its first blemish this week, but Apple recovered quickly. Luckily, I’m still keeping my iPad at the local Apple store, so I wasn’t affected by the breach.  :)

Photo Credit: Janine