Convergence Media Social Networks

Challenging PR Folks

Giovanni Rodriguez, Eastwick Communications, emphasizes social computing in his keynote remarks at the Puget Sound PRSA seminar on Integrating Web Communications in PR Campaigns. PR is not dead, but is going through a metamorphosis. “Many of us are helping our clients (for the first time) to relate to the public.” The tools for this interaction (wiki, blogs) are easy to use. But what are the rules?

Giovanni impled that Wal-Mart’s use (some say co-option) of the blogosphere conflicted with social rules of the digital world. One key point: the digital world is “more open, inclusive and efficient” because of the nature of zeros-and-ones. “Ignore this at our peril.”

Ten short rules:

  1. Be inclusive. Conversation. (See Cluetrain link in my notes.)
  2. Be open. Transparent. (Scobleizer gives Microsoft a human face.)
  3. Be purposeful.
  4. Focus on values. “Build environments where people can join around things that matter to them. The selling will follow.”
  5. Don’t be Groupwise/self-foolish. Motivations are complex – an appeal to self-interest and community.
  6. Leverage the wisdom and power of crowds. Wikipedia. Only 5% of those who use it also author it; 1 million articles.
  7. Wag “the long tail.” The company that first understood this was Amazon; eBay understands it, too.
  8. Build consensus. The NewPR/Wiki.
  9. Replicate the social structure. Wikis from Web2.0; New Communications Forum.
  10. Aim for the big social stuff. Wikipedia. Jimmy is now trying to apply this tool to social causes.

Who is coming to the profession of PR? Journalism, social sciences (sociology, psychology), public policy.

The golden rule of consulting … Spike Lee “I never want to listen to anyone who is not smarter than me.” New media is helping us understand what we do really well.


  • Open blog/wiki, you’re opening yourself to critcism. crisis com -> online communication is about conversation. If someone posts, you have an opportunity to reply. If it’s a big enough community, the people on your side will weigh in.
  • Social context – why do we need these new tools, what needs are being met? It’s a time commitment and we have info overload. It is a problem. Group blogs as a solution to time.
  • How to promote the blog after its launch? How do you keep it real? Use your blogroll strategically. [Blogroll is from logroll : staying afloat together.]

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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