Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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November 12, 2010

Tennessee’s PR Day 2010 is finally here! #prday10

Tennessee P.R. Day 2010

CLICK on the picture above to be trasported to the P.R. Day 2010 web site!

It is finally here! P.R. Day has arrived at the University of Tennessee and tomorrow I will rest! We have lots of social media on my site:  we have a TWITTER has tag  #prday2010, a fun TUMBLR site, QR codes to intrigue your mind and much more! I hope to meet everyone there!

Here’s the first pic on TUMBLR! Follow us on TWITTER and TUMBLR!

Gotta Go!

Karen

August 29, 2010

Understanding the implications of cloud computing for public relations professionals & researchers

So, what exactly is cloud computing?  Does it mean that there is a computer in the clouds? :)  Nope, but there are several experts and other professionals that have given their interpretation on what exactly is cloud computing.  According to Kevin Hartag, he states that cloud computing is ” accessing resources and services needed to perform functions with dynamically changing needs. An application or service developer requests access from the cloud rather than a specific endpoint or named resource. What goes on in the cloud manages multiple infrastructures across multiple organizations and consists of one or more frameworks overlaid on top of the infrastructures tying them together. The cloud is a virtualization of resources that maintains and manages itself.”  In other words, cloud computing combines several key characteristics in which professionals and researchers in public relations need to be aware of:  it is free information stored virtually on various information sharing sites (ex. Google Docs, Slideshare, etc) and on other servers where people are not necessarily paying for hosting this information.  In other words, what this means essentially is that cloud computing is about putting the information virtually out in the online community instead on their own computers.

Cloud computing seems to be a growing trend, and will only increase to be how people share information and conduct business with each other.  According to a recent post by Mashable referring to a study Elon University did, at least 71 percent of the participants in this study said that people will be working primarily through web-based and mobile apps, such as Facebook and Google Docs.  Here is the link to the Pew Research report on the future of cloud computing – definitely good for public relations professionals to be aware of.  In summary, what this shows is that people are more likely going to be sharing information that is stored virtually on other servers, and are using their mobile devices to share their information directly instead of using their computers or laptops.

However, it is important to look at both sides of the picture – is it really that safe to share information virtually and on other servers?  I do believe that people are still going to keep a main device as a hub for their information – whether it is their desktop computer or their iPad, or another future device – but not necessarily be storing all of their information online.  What happens if someone decides to share everything your agency has done in terms of research and strategic planning with your client’s competitor?  What about your online social media crisis communication plan?  There are so many privacy and trust issues that come into play with this new form of technology, and what public relations professionals need to do at this time is to monitor and be aware of these trends, understand both sides of the picture in terms of the pros and cons, and identify the implications that this has on the public relations profession.

These are just a few of my thoughts on the subject.  I hope you all are having a wonderful day.

Best Wishes,

Karen

August 11, 2010

SM Influencer + SM Visionary = Social Media Provider (SMP) – the future of public relations practitioners & researchers #socialmedia

One of the areas within public relations and social media that is currently being discussed in various campaigns and research project how to reach some of these third-party endorsers, and who these individuals are. Most of the business community calls these individuals social media influencers.

Social media influencers are individuals who have an established presence online and on multiple platforms, and who are viewed as being engaging, transparent in sharing their knowledge and insights to the online community, and are viewed as being a credible source of information.  These individuals also serve as the connecter between multiple groups and communities online – where they branch out their own personal brand to fit the specific audience they are targeting and having a dialogue with.  But there is another term that is circulating online that is similar to social media influencers, but more like visionaries when it comes to new technology and social media.  There are those professionals and researchers that are so cutting edge and innovative in their conceptualization of what is going on with social media that they are light years ahead of where everyone is at in both practice and in research. It is very exciting as an emerging public relations researcher and professional to see some of the work that is being done in this area.

With both social media influencers and visionaries, is one category better than the other?  Social media influencers are considered to be experts, and who are willing to share their knowledge and personalize their conversations with their online and offline audiences. Visionaries fit in the same category, but I would say that they are a few steps ahead of the social media influencers and move at a quicker speed in terms of researching and implementing the new technology in their work.  I would say that a combination of these two groups would be the best of both worlds, which I would conceptualize as being social media providers.  Social media providers are those individuals that can see where the technology is going, how it is going to evolve and change over time, and continue to research this as part of their research line. According to the Keirsey website, a provider is someone who is:

“Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services. They make excellent chairpersons in charge of dances, banquets, class reunions, charity fund-raisers, and the like. They are without peer as masters of ceremonies, able to speak publicly with ease and confidence. And they are outstanding hosts or hostesses, knowing everyone by name, and seemingly aware of what everyone’s been doing. Providers love to entertain, and are always concerned about the needs of their guests, wanting to make sure that all are involved and provided for.Friendly, outgoing, neighborly – in a word, Providers are gregarious, so much so that they can become restless when isolated from people. They love to talk with others, and will often strike up a conversation with strangers and chat pleasantly about any topic that comes to mind. Friendships matter a great deal to Providers, and their conversations with friends often touch on good times from years past. Family traditions are also sacred to them, and they carefully observe birthdays and anniversaries. In addition, Providers show a delightful fascination with news of their friends and neighbors. If we wish to know what’s been going on in the local community, school, or church, they’re happy to fill us in on all the details.”

In addition, they are willing to share this knowledge and discuss the implications of this to both researchers and practitioners alike.  They are able to take these complex findings from the research and able to communicate it to various audiences in a coherent manner.  Also, social media providers have to look at the various scenario they are faced with in practice or research, look at the various possibilities for the new technology, and provide the person / organization the research questions they need to ask in exploring the phenomenon within social media in question, or discuss the various strategies that could be implemented based on the research and new technologies available. The new wave of public relations professionals (both in research and in practice) operating in social media have to be providers.

So, the questions is how do you become a social media provider?  Well, a good starting point is to make sure that you have the resources and materials that keep you updated on what is going on in the field and what are the new emerging technologies.  It is important to make sure that you keep yourself current and up-to-date on what is going on not only in the field of Public Relations, but also in other disciplines that are also studying social media.  Second, look at what are some of the areas or interests among your online community, and think ahead of which sites and research you have seen that could possibly be beneficial in helping this person, professional, or researcher in their job or project.  By taking the initiative of helping someone and providing them with information, you are doing several things: 1) you are establishing a long-term proactive professional relationship ; 2) you are creating your own influence with your expertise in the area of social media, and 3) you are willing to share your knowledge with others, and a little bit goes a long way.  You have to make sure that you are consistent with sharing information and having a proactive and engaging dialogue with your followers and others online.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

August 2, 2010

Meet fabulous new PR & Networking Blogger: Mia Salituro & Networking Newbie Blog

It seems that each day, there is a new blog that emerges and has a specific purpose. More public relations professionals are creating their own blogs and writing about what interests them professionally and personally. There are some that really stand out, and there is a new PR and networking blog that I have started reading that really caught my attention, and it is by Mia Salituro.

I first got an email from Mia a few days ago, and I was very impressed with her email etiquette – she was professional and engaging in her email inquiry about a possible interview for her new blog. Mia has created a new blog titled Networking Newbie, where she will be making new contacts in a span of 30 days. The topic of my interview was to talk about my experiences presenting abroad at the Reputation Institute Conference in Beijing back in 2008, and recently in 2010 in  Brazil.

Mia has certainty made some great connections from fellow public relations professors to influential public relations practitioners around the world. What she is also doing is very cutting edge and a new approach to blogging that is unique, interactive, and very interesting to professors, practitioners, and students in public relations.

Thank you again Mia for the opportunity to talk with you on my experiences abroad, and I wish you all the best with Networking Newbie! Keep me posted on how it goes! :) Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Best Wishes,
Karen

July 22, 2010

Cyberstalkers & Social Media: A risk and challenge to address in 2010 & beyond

With social media, we have to be aware that it is not only our friends that are viewing this information, but the entire online community as well. Whether you have a personal blog to Twitter account to Facebook and even a Foursquare – it is key to make sure that you are aware that what you say, update, tweet, or share online can be seen by all.

However, on each of these sites – we are networked with friends we know from school, athletics, professional conferences, and current or former work positions. Some you know very well, while others you may not – and there are others that are following your every move online. Numerous discussions have been made in relation to cyberbullies (people that bully others through social media sites like discussion boards or MySpace / Facebook) or cyberstalkers (people that literally follow every move you make online).

An interesting post was written on CNN that discusses some of the different types of people that are online and their online behavior. It is good to know who these individuals are and think ahead – meaning, you have to be aware of all of the possible scenarios that could come out of this. Some things might be harmless, while others you need to take very seriously.

Cyberbulling or cyberstalking is not a new thing that has come out with social media – but the fact is that more people are aware of it and are discussing the risks and challenges that it raises for people. On a personal note, I remember as a track and field athlete back in both high school and college seeing what fans, athletes, and even parents of athletes would post negative things about others on discussion forums and various sites.

It was definitely a lesson to learn at an early age in managing a personal reputation and brand – but it also presented a new issue that people, businesses, and others have to be aware of and constantly monitor. Here were a couple of key points I learned along the way:

  • Document your actions – make sure that you keep those you trust informed and aware of what is going on.
  • Be consistent with your messages and actions online – don’t be angry or aggressive online. Instead, work up a very concise but direct response that you feel that represents your personal brand and reputation.
  • Monitor what is being said about you – being aware of a situation is better than not knowing what is going on.
  • Really take a good hard look at who your “friends” are - decide which people you are really friends with and who you trust, and which ones are not. It is better to focus on quality instead of quantity when it comes to friends.

The thing is that they feel that they can protect their privacy online and identity – but not anymore. There are ways to find out who these individuals are and share this information with the online community. It is good to be proactive in protecting your reputation and understanding what is being said about you online. know what the rules are, and where to get further information on this situation.

These are just a few of my thoughts on the subject.  Hope you all are having a wonderful day.

Best Wishes,
Karen

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