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New Media: High Impact Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts.

2005 November 7
by Mitch Arnowitz

I was recently invited to address a Washington, DC based PR firm on the topic of New Media: High Impact Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts.
Following are my notes from the session. I’ll proubably organize these but wanted to throw them up ‘as is’.
I INTRO
Definitions.
Online tools and how our firm is using them.
Examples, how they’re being used.
II A CONVERSATION
The changing world of communications.
How New Media impacting traditional print and broadcast?
What are some of the pitfalls for PR agencies as New Media takes hold?
III TRENDS, BEST PRACTICES
Strategies & Trends to stay tuned for.
Best practices, lessons learned.
IV CONCLUSION
How can Strategic Help its Customers Get their message into the Marketplace?


I INTRO
Definitions
Wikis- Website that allows a gp of like minded people to build, edit and modify content in WSWIG environment.
Podcasts- a prog recorded into MP3 file that is posted online. You can listen to it online or download and take it with you. Self-published syndicated radio show.
RSS- Really Simple Syndication, also known as RSS or newsfeeds, is technology that allows internet users to easily subscribe to website content.
Tagging- A tag assigns keywords or categories to your information that others can then share.
Online tools and how our firm is using them
Blog- for relationship building, market research, lead gen, (client) to speak directly to customers (vs through analysts)
Podcasting- add to client website to spread the word and become more of an industry resource.
Wikis- going to use to build a blog
Online PR- fundraising, to get the message out, create awareness around an individual or product, find customers (ecm)
Examples, how they’re being used
Podcasts- IBM- IR, CSCO- News, NASA: science & tech, Whirlpool- focuses on lifestyle instead of product
Wikis- Nokia and Disney for CMS & internal planning, collaboration, project mgmt. LA Times. Best known wiki is wikipedia, an online encyclopedia w/1 million articles, three times that of the online Encyclopedia Britannica.
RSS- Media Newsrooms, press releases- CSCO, MSM: WashPost, CNN, Yahoo
Blogs- IBM, HP, Sun
II A CONVERSATION
The changing world of communications. How New Media is impacting the market and changing the way that companies communicate.
- communications business is changing- cos are beginning to create a dialog by listening to the customers. Getting a voice and giving customers a voice. From that conversation, cos are leveraging best custs that act as a mktg & pr force (Southwest, krispy kreame, Firefox, iPod)
- customers and prospects are getting brand & product info away from your company. You have to be aware and potentially offer input when necessary.
- the changing landscape. PR now includes GRM, SEO- getting the story out, getting the word out
How is New Media impacting traditional print and broadcast?
Credibility- MSM woes vs bloggers that talk about transparency
Audience- TV vs New Media that continues to grow and segment the pie
Financial models- recent announcements by NYXs and Google
Communication models- MSM continues to broadcast while New Media engages customers and prospects and build relationships
Distribution- WashPost print vs newsletters, RSS, post.com, blogs
- New Media is targeting key audiences- through SEO, by sending messages to those that might be receptive, by asking for feedback, getting customers involved and if they like it- to pass the word along.
- Accountability- ROI for search, lead gen campaigns, customer service functions- offline- control the message. jeff jarvis dell sucks campaign/BW.
What are some of the pitfalls for PR agencies as New Media takes hold?
- we have to potentially learn a new way to communicate with nw media publishers like bloggers (pitching the press is different)
- crisis communications takes on a new urgency- cos are scrutinized for HOW they react to a situation. Kryptonite bicycle lock could be undone with a Bic pen (Ingersoll-Rand)
- there’s more work to be done!
- (PR News article on market research, competitive intelligence, brand protection) (site tracking tools, social bookmarketing, RSS directories, aggregators, news search engines)
- still early which means client learning curves, evangelizing and that means time!
- can’t take a message back once you put it out there. People will say disparaging things about your company.
- customers (or at least the bloggers tell us) want companies to discard corporate brochures and get a voice, to get away from the buttoned-up controlled corporate speak.
- bloggers aren’t accountable, the same rules don’t apply. -you don’t know who these publishers are and what their reach is.
III TRENDS, BEST PRACTICES
Strategies & Trends to stay tuned for.
- Web 2.0- the next generation of Web social networking, collaboration, technologies like Ajax.
- the way that people get their news is changing
- syndication (“stickiness-> syndication”)
- disruptive technologies like blogging will continue to flourish
- companies are starting to watch what people are saying about them, beginning to understand the value of being aware if not engaged in the conversation.
- Citizen media will continue to grow- natural disasters, products
- cos will continue to build relationships directly with customers and get better at it!
- websites are being built with blog like features that encourage interaction
- everything old in new again- RSS are newsreaders, push vs pull, community building, does anyone remember the bubble?
Best practices, lessons learned (strategies, messaging, executing or getting your message out)
- Be transparent- let people know if there’s an agenda.
- Own up to mistakes and react quickly
- Take a conversational tone in your messaging- consider it a dialog not necessarily a broadcast
- Don’t try to completely control the message
- Listen to & leverage passionate customers
- target your messaging to specific audiences
- make it easy for customers to do business with your clients company (to pass the word along: download pages used in WOM campaigns, don’t set up barriers through IA, navigation, usability
- remember- it’s not about the technology but the people!
- it’s all about value, I call the ‘what’s in it for me syndrome’
IV CONCL
How can Strategic Help its Customers Get their message into the Marketplace?
- by helping clients listen and participate in the conversation. Participation builds brand recognition
- by helping clients become a resource for different issues & topics. by helping them stay abreast of their industry through market research.
- by executing WOMM Campaigns that create excitement and ID passionate customers
- by building relationships now with bloggers and other publishers so that when you have a story, they know who and where you are


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