Keynote – Digital PR Summit – Social Media: What’s on the Horizon (Keynote)

Lunch Keynote:  Social Media – What’s on the Horizon?

Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans)

“What I’m going to say is probably not that cool.”  (But she’s got cool boots on).

In February, she tweeted an earthquake that happened in Chicago, then posted on CNN iReport and before you know it, she had NYTimes and CNN calling about the story, then before you know it, she had business leads because it seemed like she “got” social media.  She said, “I don’t do traditional advertising/outreach for my business.  It takes time to build relationships.”

It’s not about the next Twitter or FourSquare.  It’s about understand how people use online communications and bringing a little structure and focus on how to use social.  It’s about creating tactics NOT around the tools – not platform specific.

Focus on these things first – need to have these things in place:  SMP and ID how organization is going to be structured around SM.

Some guidelines that she outlined:

Find an opp to showcase what you do best.  Many times, you’re going to be the first company to do something in this space.  That’s a GREAT opportunity.

Hijack a conversation.  Livefyer (check it out)

Meet a need in an innovative way – #journchat – online weekly community dedicated to making industry better, networking.

Ask them what they want.  Give them what they want.  If you ask people what they want, you have to be prepared to give them what they want.

Don’t underestimate mainstream or traditional media.

Generate A LOT of quality content.

Do it for a good cause.  She talked about her Blogworld ’09 experience & Beat Cancer initiative.

Give freely, give often.

Questions – what do you think about the recent Gladwell article in The New Yorker?  (Impacting “real” social change.)  She doesn’t necessarily agree with it.  Social media is another tool and it can work and it can be valuable.  If it works, it works.

Question – Can you talk about the Crisis Center experience?  Crisis center came to her and E.D. said, “I heard you do something w/ computers.  The shelter is way behind on payments owed to the state.”  So, they launched a letter of support.  E.D. said they used to have reporters come in and tell about their experience staying the night.  So, Sarah said she would go in and stay the night and tell her community about it (Crisis Overnight).  This was the first time she asked her community for anything.  $161,000 raised over 3 weeks and the doors remain open.

Question – Tips on how to build relationships w/ journalists online.  What works the best is real, engaging conversation online.  If you find something that they’ve written that you like, tell them about it.

Question – smaller groups/non-profits workflow re: social media.  Should we hire an intern to run social media?  Think of dividing responsibilities with current staff.  And change as regularly as needs to change.  Sometimes, unions can change what people can/can’t do.  But if you can adjust job descriptions, you should explore.

2 thoughts on “Keynote – Digital PR Summit – Social Media: What’s on the Horizon (Keynote)

  1. Sarah Evans

    Thank you for this recap, Mike (and glad you liked my boots). I hope the talk provided a starting point for new conversations about social media. Good luck in your work. Best, Sarah

  2. Mike Cearley Post author

    Well, well, well. It’s great to have you stop by, Sarah :) I really enjoyed your talk. You brought up good, relevant points, and I thought the way you structured your discussion spoke to those new and experienced in the space. I really dug the personal stories, too. It seems so easy, but we all love hearing stories. And to my readers who don’t follow Sarah, go ahead, check her out. She’s a smart cookie with lots of REAL experience.

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