Archive for July, 2008

Natural Disasters on Twitter

Courtesy of Twitter

Courtesy of Twitter

People were announcing the earthquake that happened in California earlier this week literally the minute it happened. In the Twitter graph above it shows that people were Tweeting about it literally 9 minutes BEFORE the Associated Press reported on it. NBC News announced it within 5 minutes of the quake, which is how I found out about it. It would’ve been great if my dad was on Twitter, so he could have updated his status and told me he was ok, rather than me dialing his number repeatedly for 20 minutes, continuously getting busy signals.


During the horrific quake in China this summer, Twitter was again the outlet that allowed people to inform the world about the terrible earthquake that took the lives of so many several minutes before the news reported it. New media is allowing the average person or the world traveler to become a news reporter. Twitter as Newswire?


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PR Uses for Facebook

While making my transition from simply a personal user to a professional user, I am learning how to use platforms like Facebook for more than catching up with long-lost friends from middle school. I know that marketers can use Facebook to reach the college-aged group. Companies can use marketing tools to find the exact group you are looking to reach and then tell them about events or products, specifically aimed at the 20s age group. But, I have found this great article that gives many other ways you can use Facebook for public relations purposes. Jon Greer, Catching Flack blog, lists way PR pros have used Facebook.


“For instance, there’s an incredible group on Facebook called “If I can help a reporter out, I will.” It’s run by a New York PR guy named Peter Shankman, and it revolves around a marvelously simple concept: Peter fields inquiries from journalists seeking sources, he posts the requests, you reply back to him if you can help the journalist, and he puts you two together. it has been likened to ProfNet, which runs on a similar idea, but a) ProfNet costs money for PR people to join and b) there’s no honest broker in the middle of ProfNet.”


You can create or join an affinity group. There are multiple PRSA local chapter groups, as well as local PR Meet and Greet groups. There is also a reporter who is requesting people to write their story pitches on his Wall, because all story pitches shoudl be clear and transparent. These are all ways that I had not thought of and has given me ideas of ways to use Facebook for PR and has opened my mind to think of new ideas.

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One Second…I Just Got a Text from BXVI

Pope Benedict XVI is now sending daily text messages to the World’s youth, for daily inspiration. He signs each text with the tagline, “BXVI”. I absolutely love how cool The Pope is. He has an iPod, red slippers, and is sending text messages. You have to go where your audience is. Even the Vatican understands the evolution of marketing.

Here is a picture I took when I was one of the chosen few (well, chosen 9,000), who got to see the Pope from the South Lawn of the White House when the Pope came to America a few months ago. It was an amazing event.

The Pope, President Bush, and First Lady Laura Bush

The Pope, President Bush, and First Lady Laura Bush

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Endless Opportunities

Depending on your line of business, the possibilities are truly endless for bringing New Media into your communications plan. Chris Brogan has listed 50 different ways you can incorporate Social Media into your business.  They range from adding social bookmark links to articles and releases on your website, to simply researching other sites such as Twitter,, Mofuse, and to get ideas. He has really covered all bases.

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Applying Strategies and Outcomes

More proof that New Media has helped businesses and interaction between people. There is a lot of discussion that innovations, such as email and Facebook, have basically stopped people from talking to each other altogether. Like the psychologist from my previous entry was discussing how Social Media has ruined human interaction.


To a certain extent this is quite true. I can’t even count the number of times I have spoken to a colleague through email that was literally in my line of sight. I do prefer to speak to people in person, but for many reasons, things like email have advanced our lived and productivity well beyong what it was before. Facebook takes it a step further by having more interaction with people through Facebook than you have in-person. You can always see how someone is feeling or what they are doing by simply checking their status, rather than just asking how or what someone is doing.  


The Aberdeen Group recently did a study titles, “Customer 2.0: The Business Implications of Social Media.” Social Media has certainly changed the way regular people interact with one another, but it is mentioned in the study that Social Media has completely changed how customers have come to expect a certain level of interaction with companies. There is as much as 84% difference between customer satification of a company that has explored some sort of interaction with their customers and those that have not. This is certainly enough to look into how to use Social Media in a way that works best for your company.


Working for an association, it has been a challenge to find ways that are appropriate to incorporate Social/New Media into the communications plan. I believe the definition of New Media is very flexible. We made small changes such as audio recording or video recording rollout announcements of major studies and posting them on the website as podcasts or video. This may seem very basic, but when you are starting at square-one those little changes make a big impact. We then used this as a member service and advertised it on the member-only section of the website. The organization needed to start at square one to become introduced to the New Media arena. I think the number one rule is to go to where your audience is. You can’t just start at creating a Facebook application, if that is not where your audience is.

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Psychology of Facebook?


I was reading the Express Washington Post paper this morning on the Metro as usual, when I came across a teaser for a story titled, Facebook Psychology.


Facebook is the new DSM. You know, the way black is the new white; 50 is the new 40, and my mother’s high-waisted pants are now in vogue. DSM, for all of you fortunate enough to never enter a psychology class, is the budding psychologist’s bible: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — the book that explains ourselves to…ourselves (insert Austin powers humor). For all intensive purposes, they operate one in the same: by creating a profile (of grander proportions than MySpace), the user can allow whomever they want to view their lives.


I consider myself a moderate user –yes I am constantly checking updates on friends (or more often not, enemies) profiles, checking to see if they updated their favorite music or the last time they changed their status. For some reason, I care — I’m a caring person, and I want to know how these people’s days are going. For instance, the user will ALWAYS manipulate their profile, if it’s a moderately bad day, read: today was the worst day of my life; I hope I can go on living tomorrow. If said poster is my enemy, everything just got better in my world, small victories, small victories.


Like anything, a user is capable of contracting addictions. I like to consider myself still in control. Shortly after college, I was like a recovering addict, with that rectangular Facebook patch on my shoulder. Perhaps Facebook is an outlet for our psychological disorders — I have watched the rise and fall of plenty of relationships and friendships through the site, where the slightly off picture post can ruin three years. For me, Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with long-lost friends, maintain relationships with family and speak to those dear to me in other countries — I can’t complain, and instead of mocking its users, I champion them. Then of course there is that ability to always keep a close watch on those foes; like I said, small victories.

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SlideShare: Bringing your PowerPoint Presentation to the World

I have always thought of PowerPoint as an extremely boring thing you have to watch during staff meetings. The second I see a PowerPoint when I come into a meeting, I sit down, let out a big sigh, and whisper to myself, “Lord beer me strength” (a quick quote from The Office). Usually, because most people simply read word for word from each slide. I want someone to show me something interesting. But because there isn’t much out there to replace the PowerPoint presentation, we will all have to live with it.


Well, SlideShare, has somewhat modernized the PowerPoint presentation. Think of it as the Flickr or YouTube of presentations. It allows you to post your presentation for everyone to see. And because it is not accompanied by anything else, I feel like people have tried to put a little more pizzazz into their presentations before posting them. Well, at least for the ones I looked at about “New Media”. They are full of color and not just Microsoft background templates.


So I ask, as did Stefanie Olsen on, can Slideshare really make PowerPoint more interesting?

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