Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Social Media Research

Due to the fact that social networking is such a new phenomenon, it can be very difficult to measure its value. At Razorfish, they are finding ways to quantify the impact that individual users have on social networks. Check out this great slide presentation that explains just how influential social networking really is and how social graphing can help us to understand it.
Welcome to the Social World
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: socialproducts internet)

The "Real Me" Online

In my professional and personal life, I am used to managing many different identities. Rather than completely separate the two, I strive for different facets of my life to intersect. The way I approach my online interactions is no different.

Professors and employers alike will advise that you should very carefully manage your online identity. What you post on Facebook or Twitter has the potential of being viewed not only by your peers, but also by a potential employer. Kelli Matthews of PRos in Training sums it up with, "If you don't want people to know about some facet of your life either a) don't do it or b) don't put it online."

I think this is great advice but it leads me to wonder about the aspects of your life that you want to share with certain people and in a certain context. For instance, many people will tell you that you should not have photos of yourself with a beer in hand on your Facebook page. In my "real" or "offline" life, I certainly don't broadcast my partying habits to the world, but friends, co-workers and even my supervisors are certainly aware that I'm social and go out from time to time.

In the same context, I think that it is acceptable to show photos on Facebook that paint the picture of myself as an outgoing person who enjoys social activities with my friends. Katie Horley of
The World of PR According to Miss Horley wonders if she should delete her Facebook account altogether for the purpose of maintaining a professional identity and settles for cleaning up photos and utilizing privacy settings. These are great steps. For me, I think I will continue to keep the same approach that has been working in real life - by communicating myself through a mix of activities that show I can be professional and have a lot of fun at the same time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Social media elevator statement

Calling all entry-level love social media, right? You have had a Facebook page for years, you watch YouTube on your iPhone and even if you're just starting to get into Twitter, you understand the game. Some of you might even claim that you're a social media expert (which I would advise against).

Now the question is: can you advocate for social media use within your organization?

This is the challenge I found myself up against recently. In attempting to initiate use of social media within various organizations I work with, I've discovered that there is a big difference between using and understanding social media and knowing how to communicate it to others. When recently asked the question, "why should our organization have a Facebook page?" I found myself momentarily speechless.

Fortunately I recovered and managed to share several reasons why I think Facebook is an effective platform for communicating with young people. However, it made me realize that I need to be more prepared next time. My endorsement of social media needs an "elevator statement" - a message that I can quickly use to summarize its uses and benefits. I'll be giving this idea more thought because I want to ensure that my elevator speech opens doors rather than closes them (pun intended). In the meantime, I would love to know - how would you pitch social media to an organization in less than 30 seconds?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogging for Advanced PR Writing

I've recently added a new title to my profile -- student -- and I will be blogging for my Advanced Public Relations Writing class at the University of Oregon. The course covers a wide range of social media and I'm looking forward to learning and sharing ideas with my classmates and professor, Tiffany Gallicano, PH.D. My posts will still be driven by my personal interests, but I'll likely have a new source of inspiration and hopefully a more frequest posting schedule.

If you're interested in checking out the blogs of my classmates, visit
The PR Post.