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What do we do?

5 Dec

Stuart Bruce pulled it all together: we’re still doing public relations, but in new ways.

Society is changing: people want to be listened to, not talked at.

PR isn’t dead, but we all need to change the way we work.

Stuart illustrated the immediacy of social media by showing chatter on Twitter from today’s conference.

Police perspective

5 Dec

Mark Payne heads up PR for West Midlands police.

To use social media, he first had to change the policy on access to popular websites. Young people don’t want to talk to the police, hence the importance of Facebook and YouTube.

Facebook group has 1300 ‘fans’ after two months. Posters, videos and crime prevention advice.

YouTube: allows unmediated use of video messages. Has proved very successful, with a new video uploaded every week. Video posted same day as an operation. Videos get 1000 viewings; they don’t edit comments.

The new news release

5 Dec

Stephen Davies related the 100 year history of the press release.

He talked about his experience of the social media news release, acknowledging Todd Defren.

It contains the traditional elements plus multimedia and social media features. One drawback: people don’t want to have a conversation with a news release.

Measurement – and budgets

5 Dec

Mark Rogers of Market Sentinel made the case for evaluation. You can measure themes in conversation, brand mentions, authority and approval.

It comes down to ‘where are you on Google’? Organic search is key. Contextual links are the answer. This makes conversational networks important.

Social media marketing and online PR are the same thing.

Measuring influence is difficult: you can do it by tracking conversations and citations. Bloggers aren’t normally very important – except when issues arise. Bloggers are gateways for conversation.

Rich content: humour

5 Dec

Frank PR’s Graham Goodkind spoke of the 3D-isation of PR.

Don’t set up a Facebook group, don’t just set up a blog. Engage and interact; have a sense of humour.

PR equals ideas equals content.

Celebrities, sex, humour, human interest work.

The door is open for PR people to own viral marketing because it’s all about the idea.

PRadvertising is the next thing: creating online ads.

Curators and creators

5 Dec

The Guardian’s Meg Pickard spoke about online, global growth. Pushing content is the old model; now we’re in a world of confusion. Content is king no more: now it’s about context.

People and content: they consume it, interact with it, curate it, and create it.

Communities form when people have a motive to communicate – and a means of communicating.

Communication and consultation

5 Dec

We’re a council that communicates, not a social media council said Simon Wakeman. How to reach young people; how to consult effectively?

Social media can reach new groups; it goes beyond one-way connunications, and helps solve problems by encouraging participation and engagement.

Young people in Medway do have access to computers and do use social media. There’s an opportunity to use social media for dialogue and consultation.

Community, not technology

5 Dec

Don’t get hung up on the technology, said Edelman’s Marshall Manson. The issue is about community (or tribes as Seth Godin puts it). It could be a knitting community or a war game community. The key is relationships and shared problem solving.

But technology drives group forming around shared interests. We need to rehumanise communication: by being authentic, transparent, and personal.

Reality check

5 Dec

The day started with a wake up call from Tom Murphy: of course things are changing – but don’t believe the hype. RSS is a great tool, but it’s only been adopted by 11 per cent of Internet users.

The challenge is how to deal with information overload and multiple communications channels. Social media is just another set of tools.