Achieving Social Media Success With PRSA GA


Welcome PRSA Georgia Chapter's Annual Conference People!

Yesterday I had the most fun teaming with two amazing divos - Dan Greenfield. media consultant Bernaise Sauce (former vp Earthlink) and Michael Pranikoff ( director  Emerging Media PR Newswire. We were Conversation Guides for a session on social media for a great group of folks. The convo went from micro blogging to how to develop a strategy to the difference between an audio file and a podcast. Answer: RSS

As promised, we're happy to share the deck. For those who didn't attend the session there are some great resources including Twitter search engines complements of Michael and an easy to follow 10 Step Social Media how-to get started Process from Dan. Enjoy! Download the_social_media_10_step_process.pdf

From the lunch key note panel .. a few snippets

  • To celebrate GM's 100th anniversary an employees wiki has been established. As employees add their memories a unique view of the company's history will be created. For Mary Heinge, APR communications director, GM Corp., the added benefits include a viral element, a way to involve many people and no book printing costs.
  • Debra Neuman, svp external relations for Care told the group that social media gives people the ability to respond immediately and especially for a non profit ".. your content better be right."
  • Question: Who owns social media? Debra Neuman - "No one and everyone." Love that one.

Facebook_for_old_people Most controversial statement was from Jack Leslie. When the panel was asked about the skills they were looking for in new hires, Jack told us he leans toward people half his age when considering employees with social media skills since .. young people have this built into their DNA. Now perhaps Jack was trying to be funny but the buzz in the ladies loo (Girlfriend you know exactly what I mean.) was outrage that only the Millenniums are perceived to "get it." As one women said to me - Anyone can learn how to put together a MySpace or Facebook page but it takes experience to understand how to incorporate social media into a PR plan or campaign.

I would be delighted to introduce Jack to Shel Israel and Jane Genova and Yvonne DiVita and Marianne Richmond and Rick Short and Elana Centor and Anita Campbell and Merrill Dubrow and Wayne Hurlbert and Michele Miller and Jack Yan and Jeff Jarvis and KD Paine and Dr. Lasky and BL Ochman and Liz Strauss and Dan Greenfield .. well you get the picture. Update: and Paul Chaney!

Sidebar: Thanks to Seth for the graphic of Facebook for Old People.


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As you know, I am an elderly blogger. I can hardly gather the strength to type these words. (Excuse me while I can a short break. . . . Nap over. Sorry to make you wait.)

It's easy to be blind to the fact that we discriminate based on age. Ageism is tricky because some difference are important to keep true and in the light. At different ages our brains and bodies are able to do different things. So, we intelligently discriminate on age as part of life such as choosing when we hand over the keys to our kids and later when we are taken care of by them.

In this case, it's the word social that makes the argument fall down. Were we discussing only tech skills, the argument might hold water. Kids today have more experience and exposure to the technical side of media. However, they grossly lack the social.

The biology says that our hormones rage well through our twenties, which means knee jerk reactions and responses get made. I well-seated thinker has three qualities: experience, skills, and an self worth that has stood the test of a few mistakes.

I've said things in passing that I thought were true. I hope that's what Jack did, because most kids 1/2 my age aren't "seasoned" enough to make what would attract me.

Posted by: Liz Strauss on May 9, 2008 8:17:36 AM

Liz - Love both your humor and your brilliance! Perhaps I should have begun the list of over 20-something social media peeps with a caveat .. age is only a number .. young at heart but with experience.

Posted by: Toby on May 9, 2008 8:36:07 AM

Thanks for standing up for us 40 somethings everywhere.

Posted by: Dan Greenfield on May 9, 2008 8:52:33 AM

Thanks for your insight yesterday during the "achieving social media success" session. It was extremely informative and I've downloaded the presentation. Whew, that's a lot to take in!

Posted by: Ann Warren on May 9, 2008 10:39:00 AM

Ann - Very much appreciate your feedback. It was great fun for me .. as you could probably tell social media marketing is a passion for Dan, Michael and me ;-)

Posted by: Toby on May 9, 2008 10:58:50 AM

Brilliant recap of a fun, info-packed day. The way the three of you presented your information--through the 10-step process--is just what we needed to get going. I especially like the 11th step. :-)

Posted by: Tricia Molloy on May 9, 2008 1:11:53 PM

Enough of drawing lines and chosing sides. This isn't an "A" or "B" thing. This is about a powerful team - and for that we need a blended set of resources. This is an important issue - one that should be approached with great care (for EVERYONE's benefit).

"Older" people can become a bit traditional and set in their ways. And we can often be so busy working with the things we know, that we don't pick up on the hot, new things. But don't forget, older people know a ton of really good stuff, and we have a well-developed "gut" for business.

Younger people don't have "experience" to rely on. Instead, they are in the learning mode - grabbing up things that are relevant and meaningful to them. Unencumbered with "legacy knowledge", less experienced people snap up and integrate the hot new stuff while those with experience apply well-proven tools to our projects.

I try to reach a middle ground, using my experience AND new technology. I find that I simply am not exposed to all the hot new stuff, so I frequently turn to my college-age sons for the 411 on new websites, trends, etc. I try hard to keep up with developments so I can apply them to my business practice. I rarely hear of people my age (48) interviewing twenty-somethings (or vice versa) on these matters. I think it is critical to do so.

Then, I go beyond that. Thanks to Toby, I started blogging years ago, then I recruited about a dozen others to join the ranks of corporate online personalities ( I now find myself learning (in our monthly bloggers meeting) from people who weren't born when I started working at Indium, and they learn from me and others. We have about a 40-year age span on our blogging team.

If you have the resources, I strongly suggest joining forces with people of all ages, backgrounds, etc. and making your team stronger. It isn't about you, me, him, or her. On a high-performance team, it is about US.

Posted by: Rick Short on May 12, 2008 12:58:25 PM

It is always risky to draw such a black and white line in the sand such as "age" but it did get people talking. There is an odd thing happening right now - it really is not about age or occupation - is it about your geek factor.

Simply put - do you love the social web and live in it on a daily basis? If you do, you are a native and you speak the language, which is distinctly different than tossing around the buzzwords which any hack can pick u from reading a few blogs.

My straight-A Univ of Mich nieces are not as social web savvy *for business* as I am in many ways tho they have been on Facebook longer. They are there as students - I am there as a business person.

The good news/bad news here is that we are seeing how truly nuanced life is, not the pretend black and white most of us were raised on.

Please add me to your "over-50 and s/he gets it" list!

Posted by: Roxanne Darling on May 22, 2008 8:26:12 PM

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