Ogilvy Blog: Social Media and PR

11 11 2008

John Stauffer interviewed me for Ogilvy’s 360 Digital Influence blog at the Grunig Lecture a week or so ago. Here’s the interview he posted on the blog:

I enjoyed the conference and the chance to hear from John, who discussed public relations and social media, and offered some interesting insight on measurement and evaluation. Frankly, I think these are the kinds of discussions we need to be having–practitioners and academics need to work together to navigate PR’s relevance in social media, and create innovative ways to use the medium to help organizations build relationships with a public base that is evermore technologically savvy and has more access to interact with organizations on a personal level.

The First Annual Grunig Lecture

4 11 2008

I had the supreme opportunity to attend the Univ. of MD’s first annual Grunig Lecture this past Thursday. This inaugural event in what is to be an ongoing series at UMD was appropriately themed around the timely-issue of public relations and social media.

A few tidbits I found particularly interesting:

  • First, a little shameless self-promotion. Following the introductory hour and half of round-table discussions, a few of my students approached me all agast because what I had been saying for the last few months (that the future of PR is social media, and their success in the field will depend greatly on how well they can manage that space) was right on target. What can I say? It’s nice to be validated in your opinion, even if it takes someone else (or even two or three someone elses) to prove it to your students.
  • I enjoyed an hour long round-table discussion from Ogilvy’s Online Strategy guru John Stauffer.  I found it particularly interesting how focused Ogilvy is on bringing clients into the online space using digital points and metrics as evaluation. I think we’re seeing an unprecedented era in public relations in which practice is led by measurement. And this is most likely because it CAN be.  More interesting than how beneficial social media is for enhancing public relations’ reach and relationship-building with publics is the conversation around just how much easier social media makes it to evaluate public relations.  And I think that web visits, page ranks, and unique views are just the tip of the Iceberg here.
  • On a side note: I was honored to be interviewed by John for the Ogilvy blog, and trusting that my answers to his questions were somewhat intelligible, I’ll be posting a link to the blog once it’s up.
  • Richard Edelman, the CEO of the agency that bears his name, was the keynote speaker. His remarks were engaging, as he sought to show how social media is redefining PR’s role in the organization. He introduced a public engagement model of public relations which I’ll discuss a little more extensively in an upcoming post.  He also made a bold declaration, saying that the future of public relations will be played out on SMS and mobile technology, more than it will be played out on blogs, Facebook, and other social media resources. I have to say that I had never considered that, but it makes perfect sense. If the drive for information is driven by immediacy, I can’t imagine any more immediate tool than an Apple 3G.