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Clout? Influence? Power?

In Posts by John Peterson on April 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Social Media has changed our lives. This comic displays the change in how social media has been perceived since 2006. It focuses on the topic of discussion in our social media class a few weeks ago, new influencers. It is worth a look and you will likely laugh a bit at the illustrations depicted. It even includes our good buddy Brian Solis in one comic.

The comic points out the comedy of the ever changing goal of using social media (having the most friends, communicating with the most friends, or the one with the most friends talking about a topic or brand). It even discusses the use of paid Yelp reviews in 2006.

It is important to realize the power of being a influencer. Most of us in this classroom will not achieve that sort of status. Unless we begin being a source of information or known as a reputable source. One way to begin is to look at the Klout Website which calculates a score to represent your influence based on multiple algorithms across multiple social media platforms.

The thing audiences need to be aware of is the power that these influencers have and that now advertisers are paying to get attraction from these influencers.


SEO Continues to be PR’s Great White Buffalo

In Posts by John Peterson on April 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm
Search Engines of the Web

Search Engines of the Web

I was searching the internet the other day and saw an interesting article about search engine optimization. With previous html experience I thought that I had a basic grasp of it, but oh was I wrong. Search Engine Watch’s article analyzed the myths in the PR field when dealing with Search engine optimization.

From my experience with html I understood the importance of meta tags and key words used within the website’s code, but this article didn’t mention this as being relevant or important at all. Where I have been missing out all these years is the amount good links on the site. Good links make connections across the web and provide ranking systems for search engines. Google sees how things link and drives traffic to websites that they find to be ranked higher or be more relevant.

I never realized the importance of permanent links that don’t go away. Neither did I understand the importance of not just having a consistent communication with just a select few but that it is far more important to obtain constant coverage from new links and sources. I think many PR people also make the mistake covered by question 10. Anymore blogs can be even more important of a contact that a traditional media outlet.

Far more can be learned from this article. I encourage you to look further into it.

Sometimes Sparks Lead to Wildfires

In Posts by John Peterson on March 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Students Rush Court Following Win Over Kansas (LG Patterson Photo)

This past week the “new influencers” showed their abilities and power in the college basketball coaching shake up. It’s March Madness and I could careless about what is taking place on the court, I am fascinated by the sideshow going on as colleges are snagging new coaches to lead their teams.

This past week, Coach Mike Anderson of the Missouri Tigers stepped down from his position and took the vacant seat down south at Arkansas. In the past this would have been found  out at the press conference held by Missouri’s athletic director, Mike Alden, last Wednesday. However rumors have been floating around for over a week that Anderson was eyeing the opportunity, even though stating earlier in the month that he hoped to retire as a tiger and promised a championship to the state senate.

Due to social media, the internet knew before Anderson even had time to tell his players that he was leaving. Rumors spread like wildfire from a Twitter post from Chris Lincoln, sports director of KTUL-TV in Tulsa, “reports out of Arkansas say Mizzou coach Mike Anderson to be introduced tomorrow in Fayetteville as Razorbacks new head basketball coach.” This ended up catching much criticism and scolding from the journalism community as well as tiger’s fans but ended up hitting the nail on the head. Many Mizzou fans became aware from a link from a page that over 174,888 people have liked automatically when listing their favorite sports teams on Facebook. The page is not affiliated with the University but still led many people to believe it was. Feeding the fire.

Before you knew it the team resorted to listening to the internet too because it was the quickest way to hear information.

It  came to a point that fans saw the event as Anderson looking for another pay raise that was undeserved. Anderson was allowed to speak with Arkansas by Alden. Now the tigers are hoping to entice a new coach to lead them to a long awaited “Final Four” and hopefully a national championship. In the mean time Mike Anderson became a trending topic on twitter instantly at 7 o’clock when the news broke and by the 9 o’clock press conferences fans nation wide were voicing their ideas for replacements online.

Imagine how this would have occurred without social media? Chris Lincoln is a “new influencer” who not only broke a story but was certain enough to put his name on it a week before anyone else would. “Rumors” are already flying on Matt Painter of Purdue to be meeting with Mizzou, but hey sometimes sparks lead to wildfires and point to the truth.

The Most Overlooked Part of PR is Evaluation, Social Media Can Help

In Posts by John Peterson on March 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Facebook Insights LogoThrough all of my classes in school one thing has almost always been reiterated, evaluation of your campaign proves if you were successful or not and is many times overlooked or difficult to measure. Social Media has made it possible to change that problem.

Many times bosses want to receive data and solid information coming back from their PR representatives in regards to campaigns. Facts and figures along with additional analysis determine the success of the campaign. Now with the rise of the internet it is possible to run analytics numerous things:

  • How many visits to the site
  • How many repeat visits to the site
  • How long they navigate your site
  • How they found your site
  • and much more

Now those same abilities have been brought to social media. A PR person no longer has to be a web developer to get the feedback on their messages. Facebook has just advanced their analytics program, Insights, to become a real-time metrics provider. Outside of school I am the social media account representative for two small businesses and I noticed the updated abilities when it distributed on March 9.

I now have the ability to post a status, then see the number of impressions that it gets as well as feedback. The account is still in its beginning stages but plans are in order to drive business to them because the owner of the company was excited about the ability for me to export the Insights analytics to Excel and send them to him. For more information on Insight’s new abilities check out Mashable’s Article

How Do You Tame a Client With Tiger Blood?

In Posts by John Peterson on March 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm
Charlie Sheen Twitter Profile Image

Nearly Overnight Sheen Acquires Over 900,000 Twitter Followers"Winning!"


If you read this in don’t laugh right now you either (A) haven’t heard any of Charlie Sheen’s rants or (B) are a publicist or (C) don’t have a sense of humor.

These past few weeks one of my class’s curriculum at school has been about media training section, and Charlie Sheen’s antics spur me to wonder about a lot of things. First how would any publicist deal with this? How could CBS ever try to put Charlie Sheen on its payroll? Well pretty quickly you realize that with the way Sheen is handling it, almost anyone would quit everything and walk away. Good for him for making a change to sobriety and being there for his kids. However statements like telling your kids that you are a “rock star” and that are proud of what you did, which happened to be “epic”, is ridiculous.

Where am I really going with this is a question that I have been wracking my brain about for a while. Who runs celebrity twitter accounts and Facebook pages? We can tell Sheen is running his Twitter. The use of the hashtag “Tigerblood”, and his own crazy twitpics are confirmations of that. Do actions such as Sheen’s over the past few days make public relations practitioners cringe?

I imagine so. PR Pros should be on their phones right now setting up meetings with their clients to coach them on the use of Social Media as well as traditional media training. There is much to learn and quickly. This isn’t just about entertainment PR. Loose cannons in a corporate atmosphere can negatively affect a business’s bottom line.

Find your staff members or clients with “Tiger Blood” and tame them immediately.

Spectacular Reaches Far Beyond Venue Doors

In Posts by John Peterson on February 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm
Winter Jam At Sprint Center in KC - Courtesy of Winter Jam's Facebook Page

Winter Jam At Sprint Center in KC - Courtesy of Winter Jam's Facebook Page

How do you want to promote your event? How do you get the public excited about your event? More event organizers should take a look at how Winter Jam Tour Spectacular is keeping up with the new age of public relations.

Using modern social media and promotions 10 christian artists are performing in 47 cities this year. Not only are the performing they are filling seats, all of them. Now this would be pretty understandable, except I’m not talking about filling your high school’s auditorium or at the state fair. I’m talking about The Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO which can hold over 19,000 people. Not many groups can claim to have been able to do that at the Sprint Center, the list would include Elton John, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire & George Strait. Those are some pretty big names to be compared to. Even stranger is that Winter Jam doesn’t sell tickets online, only at the door, but for the entry fee of 10 dollars the crowd grows quickly and packs the house. Finally all the money goes to the Holt International Charity.

Winter Jam has been discussed frequently on the christian radio stations within the area. That alone could have filled the stadium, but it wasn’t enough for this entourage. The were passionate on spreading the word of their faith and the event.

In order to get engaged with their listeners they created an interactive website. Viewers could find out everything from FAQs to information about upcoming shows, and even the ability to take a banner advertisement and embed it on the viewer’s own web page. They went further by allowing not only a person to see the artists playing but included a sophisticated website where they could listen to their music as well.

Then they did something many have difficulty with, they created Twitter and Facebook pages in which their main focus wasn’t to be advertising. Through Twitter they have over 4,000 followers and on Facebook they have more than 99,000. That is for this year alone. Next year they will have to create a new page. That is publicity that many business owner’s would sell their arm, leg, first-born for. How do they do it?


At every tour stop they hide VIP passes somewhere nearby the stadium and posts a picture to FB and Twitter, and it’s finders keepers. While in line yesterday I received the tweet on the location. It nearly caused me to go on a mad dash through the crowd, but then I realized if I was beaten to the VIP passes I would lose my spot in line as well. This is only a small gimmick that they have put together.

On February 5th they hosted an event online to do a Q&A with Michael from the band RED on Ustream. The number of viewers spiked instantly and it gave a chance for fans to interact. In the past they have also had live streams with other artists on tour. They also include behind the scenes videos of the artists on tour and shared with their audience moments they would actually care about, their sunday worship.

After every performance they repost and respond to what people are tweeting and posting to them. They aren’t just acting, but reacting. Such as yesterday when the Sprint Center had to turn hundreds if not more people away because it was full. The Winter Jam artists listened and one of the bands, Sidewalk Prophets, went out into the crowd outside and played an acoustic set for everyone who couldn’t get in.

Let’s just say Winter Jam will be around for a very long time, and filling every seat along the way if they keep it up. Others should attempt to follow their lead and even discover the next way to engage their audience. We should all strive to be Modern Lee Social.

Progressing to Make Good on an Old Oath

In Posts by John Peterson on February 15, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Ivy Ledbetter Lee wrote a creed, the Declaration of Principles, the first articulation of the concept that public relations practitioners have a public responsibility that extends beyond obligations to the client in 1906.

“This is not a secret press bureau. All our work is done in the open. We aim to supply news. This is not an advertising agency. If you think any of our matter ought properly to go to your business office, do not use it. Our matter is accurate. Further details on any subject treated will be supplied promptly, and any editor will be assisted most carefully in verifying directly any statement of fact. … In brief, our plan is frankly, and openly, on behalf of business concerns and public institutions, to supply the press and public of the United States prompt and accurate information concerning subjects which it is of value and interest to the public to know about.”

Lee made it simple. We are open, we are accurate, and we supply the truth on subjects that society is concerned in knowing more about. Lee is heralded as the “father of modern public relations” along with Edward Bernays. We believe that the title must be changed. Lee may be the father of public relations, but only of the 1900s, modern public relations have taken on a new form. Social media and new forms of interaction have taken precedent over the press release. There are no longer the presence of media gatekeepers. News is instant, and can be updated 24/7 for all to witness. We are not a dying profession. We are progressing to uphold his creed.

We are Modern Lee Social