Last Wednesday my public relations class was visited by Christine Cox and LuAnn Glowacz from the PR Channel group based in Austin, Texas. LuAnn stressed the importance of using social media, but using it responsibly.
“Social media should be controlled through PR because it can be dangerous,” Glowacz said. “Social media isn’t a strategy it’s a tool. You have to have a reason, to use it, you have to have a plan.”
We have to open a twitter account this week to become familiar with the website and its use as a social media tool, which seems to be a step in the right direction since just about everyone has one, (expect me as of right now), the key is to use it effectively though which is the harder part.
I learned a lot from our guest speakers on Wednesday, and they gave us a lot of advice and a few things really stuck with me especially a few things about getting into the field. Cox had a few tips to our class about starting out.
“Be open to new things, be confident, but not overconfident.”
In a year where millions of gallons of oil were spilled into the gulf, and basketball icon Lebron James shot loyalty in the foot to play with some friends, Tiger Woods meteoric drop from popular approval was probably the biggest public relations related story.
Going back to the night of Thanksgiving where Woods crashed his Escalade into a lamp-post a media firestorm erupted surrounding allegations, (most of which turned out to be correct), about Woods and his numerous extra marital love affairs. His image took a huge hit as he lost several sponsorships including Gatorade, Tag Heuer and Gillette dropped Woods as one of their spokesman.
These companies felt it was no longer a positive investment to have Woods be the face of their product and with his very public scandals revealed who can blame them. Woods went from a household icon to public enemy number one in a matter of weeks.
This weekend Austin was hit by a huge event, the Dayglow tour, which promises the “World’s Largest Paint Party.” I was bombarded by fliers over the last week or so for the event and even had some of my friends go to it. The event’s coordinators used Facebook to run ads for it setting up a fan page for the event to get the word out.
The word of mouth was incredible since I’ve been in Austin the only thing that I would say compared to this is ACL and SXSW, pretty good considering it’s a relatively new event starting back in 2006. They had to have a good public relations team behind the party to be so successful. Dayglow proves the importance of social media in today’s society with its popularity growing. It’s pretty impressive for the messiest party you will find.
Getting used to this idea of new media is difficult for a lot of companies that innovation comes as some kind of culture shock. Brian Solis, a world-renowned author in new media, wrote an article on the integration of social media into today’s business world and how it is helping companies move forward during a shaky economy. I just started taking a public relations class and have learned some of the fundamentals that coincide with basic, successful public relations. Solis’ article stood out to me because it pushes two-way communication in business. It’s a simple concept, work with consumers to have better products or services, which makes them happy because they’re heard and they get what they want which also helps corporations because they sell their product at a higher rate.
For years I saw myself as a journalist, striving to become the next young ESPN analyst, but that’s become even more difficult than before with the combination of newspapers slowly dying and the incredible emergence of blogs. But it has helped evolve things in social media and I’m started to realize jobs are disappearing like I once thought they’re just changing, and hopefully for the better. Social media guru, Larry Weber, posted a video explaining the importance of the evolving social landscape, and how keeping up to date can improve media relations between corporations and consumers. It’s obvious that we’re not in the middle of just some fad when Brian Solis and Larry Weber are endorsing this new trend. So with that this blog is born to try to master the cutting edge of the public relation industry in one of its simplest forms.