Shel Israel explains it beautifully:
The essence of social media is that it is humans. Humans connect to humans and they form communities. They own their communities, brands don’t. The perspective of traditional marketing is to take a message and find delivery channels to inseminate into people’s foreheads. This is not social. Social is for a marketing executive to start a blog and ask people why they hate his marketing efforts–then listen–really listen to what people say the way Dell has done and a few others are trying to do.
I can’t wait to share this quote with my PR students. I love it because it explains something that I’ve been thinking about… what happens to cultures and communities when corporate interests intervene (or try to own communities/conversations). This quote explains that one of the things that happens is that the conversation loses its humanity and authenticity. It becomes hollow. It ends.
Silly, what comes to mind is Suze Orman’s line: “People first, then money, then things.” – what a good lesson to teach my PR students!
Related post: The only real social networks are personal ones
Here’s a conversation that was going on on twitter the other night among PR practitioners. Read from bottom to top. Paull Young asked about the importance of teaching the new generation of PR pros (that would be you, PR students!) citizen journalism skills. Read and see for yourself what skills are important, and do your best to learn them.
Don’t know who these people (kamichat, prblog, ikepigott, paullyoung) are and why their opinions matter? It’s worth your time to figure out, trust me! (hint: see my blogroll)
I promised my students I’ll make available a list of books about the “magic” public relations planning formula: GOST (Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics).
So, here are my favorites:
- Strategic Public Relations Management by E. Weintraub Austin & B.E. Pinkleton (2006)
- Strategic Planning for Public Relations by R.D. Smith (2005)
- Writing Winning Proposals: PR Cases by T. Hagley (2005)
Students often ask me about how to write a cover letter, so I thought I’d compile some tips & info:
A word of advice for students:
- don’t ask professors how to write a cover letter. There’s so much information out there, show me you can teach yourself. You’ll ask me later to write a recommendation letter, and all I’ll be able to think about is how you couldn’t figure out something as simple as how to write a cover letter…
- it’s OK to make an appointment and ask a trusted professor to look over your letter.
- do make an appointment with Career Services and ask them to critique your resume and cover letter. They’re much more tuned in to the market than professors.
For faculty: here’s a guide on how to write a letter of recommendation.