A lesson in Social Media

Common Craft: LinkedIn made simple

For any of our members who might by wondering how LinkedIn can possibly be helpful, this is a great video from the folks at Common Craft. It is especially relevant for small business owners or service providers to show the usefulness of a network:

 

Thoughts on blogging

from the July issue of the eChaser…PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

Laura Van Hoosier, APR, Greater Fort Worth PRSA
 
As the oldest child, I’ve always had a mind of my own. My mother says that by 2 years old I was giving her direction on our next steps. Now I’ve been inspired by my fellow GFW PRSA members to start a blog, and it’s perfectly in line with an independent spirit.
 
For me, it’s really just a “live, work, play” online journal (nothing as interesting as my high school diary that my mom read) — a wonderful forum to post web sites, updates about my daughters, family happenings and anything that’s in my world. I sent the link to a few close family members, and my aunt in Hawaii wrote back, “BLOG! BLOG! BLOG! We enjoy keeping up with you this way.”
 
Blogger.com was the easiest way to get started, and once I started, I couldn’t stop. Each morning I wake up thinking, “What will I post today?” But it won’t matter one iota if I’m the only one who ever reads it. Already I have enjoyed looking back to reference articles, facts, funny things the girls did, photos, etc.
 
Lisa Gail Barnes, Richie Escovedo, Linda Jacobson, Sarah McClellan-Brandt, Terry Morawski and I are blogging away at fortworthprsa.blogspot.com. To join us, e-mail your blog’s link to the chapter webmaster, richie.escovedo[@]gmail.com, and he’ll post it.
 
You’ll hear how Richie and others have forayed into new media at the July 9 meeting. It ‘ll be a hands-on program, so bring your laptop, and the presenters will walk you through useful tools and tactics you can implement right away for your organization.
 
Here’s to our country’s independence. Yours and mine, too.

POST starts with "P"

This post first appeared on the nextcommunication blog on June 16, 2008.

I am reading Groundswell by Forrester Research’s Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. This book is easily one of the most intriguing professional books I’ve read in a while. According to Li and Bernoff the groundswell is:

A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.

While I don’t particularly care for the name they chose to describe the social media phenomenon, I do appreciate the terrific insight and research they’ve provided.

One graphical representation from the book helps explain the Social Technographics® Profile in the form of a Ladder to represent consumers’ social computing behavior categorized by participation.

Social Technographics Ladder

The social participation rungs in the ladder are (from bottom to top): Inactives, Spectators, Joiners, Collectors, Critics, and Creators with explanations of each. The authors provide various samples of profiles to help drive home the point that different people come to you and your company or organization at very different levels of social media participation.

The POST Method

There are implications for business in assessing participation, especially when one applies the POST method for a social media strategy:

    1. Assess the social activities of your People;

 

  • Decide what Objectives you want to accomplish;

 

 

  • Plan your Strategy for changes in customer relations; then

 

 

  • Decide on the suitable Technology or technologies to meet your goals.

 

 

I was struck by something so simple, but could have serious implications for those interested in social media if forgotten:
The POST method starts with “P” for People.

 

People Matter

If you don’t have your people, (audience, stakeholders, customers, community, or any other term you use) your social media strategy will be much harder to effectively implement and accurately assess.

To often Communication/PR practitioners are presented with the challenge of adding a social media to their communication efforts and they jump straight to the latest and greatest social media technology with buzz.

I am all for jumping in and experimenting with social media mainly because you are more credible if you’ve experienced the various forms of social media. This holds true even if you outsource.

However, I caution (from experience) that your community participation assessment should come first.

If the biggest sin in social media is inaction, then I think the biggest mistake is not knowing your people.

Here’s to your dreams

from the June issue of the eChaser 

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

Laura Van Hoosier, APR, Greater Fort Worth PRSA
 
Here it is almost summertime, and I have amassed a gigantic stack of books I hope to read, ideally by some beach or pool. The Memorial Day weekend provided a nice opportunity to finish two I’d recommend to everyone: “The Shack” by William P. Young and Maria Shriver’s “Just Who Will You Be?” Originally written for graduates, Maria’s book suggests that the time is always right to chase your dreams.
 
Almost a dozen GFW PRSA members have committed to starting the APR exam process. APR chair Kim Speairs, APR, and I are fired up about the excitement in this group. These PR professionals want the APR for a number of reasons, not the least of which is it’s a goal — a professional dream.
 
My daughters had their dance recital Mother’s Day weekend, and the theme was “Wishes, Dreams and Imagination.” In advance of the big day, every dancer completed a flyer that went on display at the entryway along with her photo. Each sheet began with “My wish” or “I imagine” or “My dream is.” Nine-year-old Bryn Van Hoosier completed her message with: “My wish is to get a trained horse that I can ride all the time and groom it sparkly clean.” Pie in the sky, right?
 
How could we have known that two weeks later she would spend Memorial Day weekend at her grandparents’ farm in Weatherford caring for and riding horses her grandfather got for his four granddaughters. As” luck” would have it, a family friend moved and had two older, trained horses for the taking. They just needed a new home.
 
You can only imagine Bryn’s joy. Her smile that weekend will stay with us for a long, long time. There’s joy in Mary and Joe Dulle’s family, too, as their granddaughter, Clara Smith, age 6, returned home from the hospital after being kicked in the head by a horse at her parents’ ranch in Canadian, Texas, near Amarillo. “It´s wonderful,” Mary writes, “what the power of prayer, good thoughts and energy can do.”
 
Sadly, little Juliette Brown’s story had a different ending. The 9-year-old Haltom City girl died after being dragged a mile and a half by a horse near Benbrook Stables. The story touched many, including the Van Hoosier girls. Our sympathies are with the family.
 
Life is fragile, life is grand. Here’s to your dreams. It’s never too late — or early — to start living them.