Your Turn: What Can We Do Better in Public Relations?

Jeremiah Owyang’s recent Tweet about a question he was asked during a briefing – “What can we do better?” – made me think this is a question we should be asking the industry more often. Of course, we have regular discussions with our clients about what we, as an agency, can be doing better. But as rumors of the PR industry dying continue (by the way, that’s been tossed around for years now), we thought we’d ask you, readers. PR isn’t dying – rather, it’s changing. But change is good – and we want to hear your thoughts on how PR should evolve and improve.

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It seems there are a lot of opinions out there about what PR is doing wrong or failing at, but very often these complaints are hollow – there aren’t specifics around what companies would like to see more of other than “media coverage.” So how can we as an industry improve? What do you think PR professionals could do better or differently? If you’ve got an opinion on the subject, here’s what we’d love to hear from you:

- What do you think PR professionals most need to improve or change? (We’d love to hear perspective from journalists, business owners, CMOs and VPs, branding and social media experts, etc.)

- In what areas would you like to see improvement? Media relations? Social media? Messaging? Strategy? Crisis Communications? Pitches? Writing? Thought leadership? Other?

- What is PR doing right these days?

- If you work with a PR agency, have they delivered what they promised when you hired them?

We’d love for you to leave your comments here or, if you’ve got a lot to say but want to keep it private, feel free to email me at chris[at]perkettpr.com or fill out our online questionnaire. If interest is high, we’ll gather and analyze the feedback and share some additional insights on how we think PR can improve the problem areas. In any event, let’s stop saying PR is dying. Let’s talk about how it’s evolving.

Thank you in advance!

25 SXSW Attendees Explain Why You Should Attend Next Year…Oh and they did it in two words…

Inspired by Steve Garfield’s video montage “27 People, One Question” I thought it would be fun to do something similar during my trip to SXSW Interactive. Throughout my time there, I had some lighthearted fun with attendees and asked 25 people to give me two words that describe their experience at the event. Some of the responses, both serious and entertaining, came from folks like Jeff Pulver, Chris Brogan, Justin Levy, Jeremiah Owyang, Robert Scoble, Jason Falls, Aaron Strout, and many others. Using my handy Kodak Zi6 HD camera I captured some great footage that hopefully encapsulates what SXSW Interactive is all about and in some cases, just made me go “huh?”

So without further ado, for your viewing pleasure check out what some of this year’s SXSW Interactive attendees had to say for themselves. I am sure you will recognize a few of your friends and hopefully have a few laughs along the way.

A special thanks to everyone who participated and shared their two (and sometimes more) words and thanks for all the memories. See y’all next year – SXSWi 2010!

Disclaimer: The video quality and lighting varies slightly due to the ‘extreme’ shooting conditions of SXSW. :)

Translation: This was my first attempt and I didn’t lug around all the lighting and sound equipment with me for these impromptu shots, so some responses were a little more difficult to see/hear, but you get the point.

Music: Dan Tharp, Guitar Suite I – Movement I and II
Camera: Kodak Zi6 HD

Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/22/09

forrester_graph.jpgB2B Buyers Dig Social Media
Jordan McCollum highlights the key takeaways from Forrester’s recent report on how B2B buyers interact with social media. Forrester clients can access the full report here.

Turning your feed reader into a powerful monitoring dashboard
I’m a big fan of using Google Reader to aid in some of my social media/brand monitoring efforts. Mack Collier from the Viral Garden blog shares some tips and techniques on how he uses it in conjunction with Bloglines.

5 Ways To Find & Acquire Customers On Twitter
These days, the economy forces businesses to get creative when trying to finding new clients. Brian Norgard writes this guest post on the ShoeMoney blog to share five ways you can use Twitter for finding new business.

Twitterville Notebook: Jeremiah Owyang
Shel Israel continues his Twitterville series of posts by interviewing Jeremiah Owyang on the topic of personal brand.

Do You Have the ‘Four As’ To Be a Thought Leader?
Dana Vanden Heuvel writes this guest post on Marketing Prof’s Daily Fix to share the four “A’s” you might need to be a thought leader in your industry.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 01/25/09

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Community Managers Must Deliver ROI: Commandments For Surviving a Recession
Jeremiah Owyang provides sound advice to Community Managers on how to step up their game, provide continuing value and (most importantly) help keep their jobs in these tough economic times.

Are we really ready to move beyond Social Media 101?
Many of us in the PR and Marketing space have been teaching the basics of Social Media for quote some time now. Some might think its time to elevate those teachings to the next level. However, LiveWorld’s social media evangelist Bryan Person shares some incite in this MediaBullseye.com guest post on why that’s not the case and advises those who teach to “keep beating the drum.”

How Lisa Genova used social media to turn a self-published book into a NY Times bestseller
Best selling author David Meerman Scott shares an abbreviated version of fellow writer Lisa Genova’s success in using social media to propel the promotion of her book “Still Alice” all the way to the top of the charts. Her complete success story and many others can be found in David’s latest book entitled “World Wide Rave.”

Podcasters report their top 3 podcasting tips (Part 1 & Part 2)
Marketing consultant Devon Dudgeon shares TONS of podcasting tips in this two part post. The tips were submitted by seasoned podcast veterans around the globe and are aimed at those who have been thinking about getting there own podcast off the ground.

Why blogs matter
“Q: Who reads blogs? A: Journalists”; Shannon Paul delivers another thought provoking post that shows why blogs might just be the ultimate tool in your social media arsenal.

Image Credit (sans modifications): Jade Gordon

Interactive video campaigns begin to emerge

Back in September Jeremiah Owyang created a post entitled “YouTube Videos Get Interactive: Choose Your Own Adventure” that featured an example of a video that makes use of YouTube’s new annotation functionality. This functionality allows content creators to embed notes, speech bubbles and clickable hotspots into their videos after they have been uploaded to YouTube. While this type of interactivity has been possible with other technologies like Adobe Flash, YouTube is making it extremely easy and accessible for all “YouTuber’s” to integrate into their projects.

Being a social media guy and new media creator, I naturally saw some great potential for using these new features as part of a future client campaign. Coincidentally, the opportunity to do just that came about a few days later for our client TeleMessage and their TeamText campaign – geared toward educating consumers (specifically teens and tweens) about the ability to send text to landline.

The result is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style video dubbed “Jenny’s Dilemma,” in which the viewer can choose from one of three different endings to the main story. The correct outcome features a call to action that directs the viewer to a landing site for additional information related to the campaign.

Other examples that use the new annotation functionality include a trivia question from Val’s Art Diary (as featured in Jeremiah’s post) and a racy (mildly NSFW) “choose your own adventure” campaign for the Samsung Instinct mobile device called “Follow Your Instinct.”

It should be interesting to see how marketers integrate this new YouTube functionality into their campaigns moving forward. We hope that you’ll take a look at our submission to the interactive video genre, and let us know what you think!