Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PRSA Charlotte Hosts Peter Shankman

Kudos to the Charlotte social media scene for showing up in numbers at PRSA Charlotte's luncheon with Peter Shankman today.

Shankman, founder of The Geek Factory and the famous (at least in PR circles) and free Help a Reporter Out (HARO) service, gave a fun and informative presentation on the past, present and future of social media and communications.

In case you missed it, here are some key summary points from my copious notes:
  • "Viral" marketing is when something is good enough for others to trust and share.
  • Talk to your audiences! Don't waste opportunities to become a resource.
  • Newspapers are NOT dying; condensing and evolving perhaps, but not dying...
  • ...thus we all must work to make information available to our audiences when and how they wish to receive it and provide what they're interested in. Be relevant.
  • Privacy as we know it is dead - get used to the fact that everything I, you, we do is on the record.
  • Refer to Mashable's Top 20 Social Networks and register now (even if you don't use them, claim your spot/name). Check out 12seconds as well - next "big one."
Four keys to being a successful business communicator today:
  • Transparency - as it sounds, tell your clients, investors, employees, etc. what's going on!
  • Relevance - Research, research, research! Tell people things they're interested in/report on.
  • Brevity - max 5 lines w/ no attachment in media emails.
  • Top of Mind Presence - it's good to say "Hello" sometimes without an ulterior motive.
My experience today also confirmed that a) Large amounts of the PR/communication field in Charlotte are using Twitter, and b) Those that aren't using Twitter likely should. Twitter certainly isn't for all businesses or individuals, but from a personal networking and trust/brand building perspective, Twitter = Priceless.

Finally, some resourceful contacts on Twitter from today:
P.S. I shamelessly "borrowed" PRSA Charlotte's logo above. It fit the bill and I included it in my footnotes :)

"Our best thoughts come from others." ~ Emerson