By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
A few posts back, the PR Dude offered some thoughts on Pinterest, the social media platform that has generated the most ink — strike that, the most bytes I guess — since, well December of last year.
I learned about Pinterest the old-fashioned way: I read about the platform, its uses and its growth in the Business Section of the Sunday Chicago Tribune. (Followers of The PRDude know I have fully embraced technology, but will read printed journalism as long as it’s published.) Still a novice Pinner, I do question the design of the logo, which looks like it was borrowed from a fast-casual restaurant.
Since my Pinterest revelation, I’ve read several provocative articles on the platform, which basically lets subscribers “pin” images from websites and those already on their hard drives to boards arranged in categories. Here are two great articles for the uninitiated to consider:
- In this February 7 piece, Jason Falls provides a well-written and researched overview perspective for the online version of Entrepreneur magazine. My biggest take away from the article is the final paragraph: “One thing is clear whether you’re on Pinterest for personal or business reasons: the best images — be they funny, beautiful or thought provoking — attract the most attention and followers.
- Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Grant McCracken takes a more scholarly approach, making a case for the research value of the platform: “It’s a chance to see American culture as if from a glass-bottom boat. Yes, some of it is a little reductive. But sometimes what people stuff into the categories is a chance for us to see exactly what they mean. Pinterest is a little Rosetta Stone, a table of equivalencies.”
Perhaps I’ll craft such erudite and insightful comments after I add a few boards and pin lots of cool and awesome images. But I did add a new category today: “Legends and Leaders of Modern Public Relations.”
Visit my Pinterest profile to see what I posted. I mean, “pinned.” For those who don’t want to make the journey to my profile, I pinned images of four legends of public relations. They’re pinned — I mean “posted” below. These three men and one woman are among the visionary communicators who helped mold the practice of public relations to where it is today for many of us: One built on ethics and full disclosure of information, and structured around realistic goals and objectives and sound strategies. Of course, they never imagined the impact of technology on communications, but I trust they would incorporate digital communications effectively and responsibly.
Do you know who these people are and what they did to help establish modern public relations? If not, google them. If you call yourself a public relations professional, you should know what they did a century ago.
Many more could be added to this list. Share your thoughts. I’ll pin them. Personally.