Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Help A Reporter Out

This morning I bounced out of my springing and budding farmland wonderland into the Burlington metropolis to hear Peter Shankman speak. My awesome PR apprentice, Emily Bellmore, went as well. Hosted by Fuse Marketing - the hip, innovative leader in youth marketing - this event was well attended by many in the VT PR scene - many of whom belong to said Google Group - VTPR.

Peter Shankman is a sort of PR Lord in my opinion because he is so real, says it like it is, and is just plain right. As a fan and active proponent of these qualities, I found it so awesome that he was saying what I have been saying - social media makes PR have to be real, honest, and a true conversation!

And if you don't believe me or want to squabble about the integration of social media into your PR, this guy stood on a NYC street corner in the late 90's with a cardboard resume on and handed out resumes all day in the NYC cold (not the same as VT cold, but still cold when dressed in a suit and cardboard resume). Um, yeah, he got like 400-something phone calls, 70-something job interviews, and 30-something job offers. Kind of reminds me of one of my most fantastic interns who mailed out a pillow case with her resume ironed on it and said, "sleep on this."

Anyway, Peter Shankman, operates the website and media/PR service - Help A Reporter Out (HARO). For those of you who have been getting random media leads from me and wonder where I get them - from Peter Shankman.

His entertaining speech this morning at Burlington's Courtyard Marriott touched on four aspects of what social media is and how it has affected traditional public relations (these are Rachel Carter PR interpretations):

1.) Transparency - There is no more hiding behind the marketing of what you say anymore because it's all about what others say and who hears them. Admit it when you're wrong or you'll be crushed.

2.) Relevance - Stop telling people crap they don't want to hear!

3.) Brevity - The average person moves on from your message in 2.7 seconds so not only will the page long pitch be too long, the paragraph one has runs its course as well. In fact, if you're still reading this blog you are a sought after statistic!

4.) Top Of Mind Presence - I feel much more at ease at the fact that I never seem to have any time because I am always spending so much time networking an chatting and hanging out with peeps online. It's all about being top of mind!

Thanks Peter for liking Vermont and clarifying what seems to me should be obvious, but obviously isn't! You rock!

PS - I had to share this picture I found - the essence of Peter's great personality he displayed today and what great PR for Harrah's Resort.

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