The Knot Makes Case for Hybrid Media At Business Wire Event

June 26, 2008

More than 150 professional communicators gathered at the 3 West Club in Manhattan earlier this week for Business Wire’s panel discussion, “A Social Media Conversation: How PR, IR & Marketing Professionals Can Engage and Participate in the Social Web.”

Peter Himler, President of Publicity Club of New York and founder of Flatiron Communications moderated the panel which included Melissa Bauer, Senior PR Manager of The Knot, Ryan Block, Editor-in-Chief, Engadget, Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager for Google News, Peter Hershberg, Managing Partner, Reprise Media, Rob Key, CEO & Founder, Converseon, and Jim Nail, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, TNS/Cymfony.  PRNewswer did a nice recap and you can also listen to the webcast.

The Knot\'s Interactive Press Releases Deliver Hits and Views

The Knot’s case study in utilizing many of the new tools and strategies discussed seemed to strike a chord with attendees. Bauer’s slidedeck demonstrated in detail how the company uses ALL types of media–from Facebook, video-on-demand and interactive press releases to traditional media pitches and hard copy national and local magazines.

Let’s hear it for hybrid media.

From IROs to Engineers: Grappling with the Groundswell

June 17, 2008

The Groundswell, by Charlene Li and Josh BernoffLast week I spoke at two panels in California. The topic: new media. At the National Investor Relations Institute Conference in San Diego, my friend Rob Williams at Dell assembled a robust panel on blogging for investor relations officers (IROs).   At the Design Automation Conference two days later in Anaheim, Scott Sandler of Springsoft organized a session for engineers on navigating new media. A 90-minute train ride separated these two disparate audiences, but what struck me besides the glorious California coastline was how both groups are grappling with the Groundswell.

The Groundswell, written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, is the best book to date written on social media. Rich in case studies, data, and readable prose, the authors decipher the social web’s tools, technologies and tactics in terms that nongeeks can understand. Read this book!

Its most relevant thesis for professional communicators is that people are looking TO EACH OTHER for news and information, rather than to traditional institutions like corporations. While this is no surprise, what distinguishes Li and Bernoff’s work from others is how it convincingly presents Web 2.0 as an opportunity, not a threat.

Is it alot of extra work to understand the Groundswell? You bet. One of the best quotes of the DAC panel was a frustrated marketing exec who groused: “Great, so we’re all publishers…now we have to do that, too!” This marketer longed for the days when a print ad in an engineering trade publication accomplished the task of getting a software firm’s message out.

Is the Groundswell scary?  As Li and Bernoff point out, “It isn’t comfortable at first.”   For IROs and others trained to control the flow of their company’s information to Wall Street and elsewhere, giving up control to gain influence is counter cultural.  And yet the IROs who attended our panel were open to the change.

Many would argue control has always been a delusion–all the more reason to invest in understanding.


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