By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PRDude
Earlier today, I had the pleasure of attending the monthly luncheon hosted by my friends and colleagues from the PRSA Chicago Chapter. Those loyal followers of The PRDude know I’m a proud, full-fledged member of the chapter, and I even do my best to promote the Accreditation in Public Relations when I can.
Today, the packed audience gained some great insight into the always-changing subject of social media. Three guys from public relations agencies with household names in the industry presented some great thoughts. My apologies: I did not get the names of the speakers.
Without further rhetoric, here’s what I scribbled down.
- Clients are becoming smarter in the social media world and demanding better metrics to measure results. The challenge remains “how to connect the dots” or results from various platforms. Makes sense to me, and let me add that measurement of defined objectives should be a factor in every public relations program.
- B2B clients are accepting the value of social media and recognize the need to reach a small, targeted audience. And, social media is projected to rise 60 percent in the B2B arena this year. Since my “real job” (I don’t make any money off this, you know) requires I communicate with people in the commercial real estate world, this is good news.
- The death of the “one-way” web site is a reality; communicators who are on the ball transition static sites into “blogging platforms.” Yea! As a blogger and manager of my organization’s web site, this is the best news to cross my desk — er, monitor — in a long time. The speaker who made this proclamation went on to say, “Web site should no longer be full of happy corporate talk. Have your peers become your ‘brand evangelist.'” Don’t agree entirely with this statement, and I think evangelists belong in church or on a street corner.
- Facebook is the most important platform, even for B2B audiences, because that’s where the big dollars are being spent. As long as money continues to make the world go round, I’ll have to agree. But I have read that Facebook has reached a saturation point of subscribers here in the U.S., so it’s focusing on other parts of the world. I do know people outside the U.S. have computers and friends.
- The geographic platforms — Foursquare, etc. — are still struggling for a foothold in the online world. Full disclosure: I registered for Foursquare and only checked in around two times. Both were to the Small Bar, my local watering hole. I know some businesses offer discounts to those who check into their sites. That won’t work at the Small Bar yet. Besides, Parker usually slips me a free pint once in a while anyway.
One observation: I’ve read that good old-fashioned email will someday go the way of the manual typewriter. If that’s true, then why do all these cool new sites require you to register with your email address?