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Carreers: How to Improve Your Social Media IQ (reposting)

This was posted prevously but because of the vagaries of technology was formatted incorrectly and I thought it was worth reposting correctly.  

This was posted prevously but because of the vagaries of technology was formatted incorrectly and I thought it was worth reposting correctly.

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I’m live blogging today at a BullDog Reporter bootcamp with social media pros Sally Falkow and Doug Hay of Expansion+. Hmm. Well actually this series of posts began as a live blog. However, when I reread what I wrote I realized I needed to hang up my live blogging shingle. So here is an edited version, which I hope is a little clearer. In any case, hats off to folks who can live blog coherently while they are participating in a conference.

The Bulldog workshop is to help public relations pros get up to speed on social media. Most of the 60 or attendees were women, which shouldn’t be surprising since public relations is a female-dominated field. Now, why that’s the case, could be the subject of an article or book, let alone a post.
Meanwhile, back to the workshop.
I

t kicked off with a great definition of a social media campaign:
**A successful social media campaign must establish and sustain conversations online that shape perceptions.**

Sally and Doug then laid out how, in case anyone had blinders on, that it is becoming a social media-driven world.

• 1 out of 20 users go to a social network when they go online. And 22 percent of US consumers use social networking sites, up from 17 percent in 2006.

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• The old media world is shriveling: consider the LA Times recently laid off 250 folks; the Baltimore Sun and The New York Times each terminated 100 employees.

• The PR dynamic has changed from Push PR to Pull PR. Instead of thrusting press releases into media’s hands with the hope that they will write something, PR people need to write copy that naturally pulls people in. Interestingly, we actually have more control today than in the old days.

Think about it for a minute. If you ever sent out a press release, pre-Web 2.0, you never knew if it would see the light of day. While today, if you send out a press release through a press release distribution service, you know it will end up on Yahoo News and Google.
Similarly, PR people need to recognize that the goal posts have changed. Instead of just aiming for The New York Times or any traditional media to write about you or your company, you need to get into the search engines.

Google, as Sally put it, has become the new home page. It’s where anyone looking for a product or service typically begins. And, to insure you’re on Google — and high up, not in the low rent back pages, you need to optimize your press releases with the right keywords. More about that in Part Two.

Meanwhile, if you want to start promoting yourself online, here are a few steps:

• Step Number One, according to Sally, is to listen. All the rules of polite conversation apply. Sounds simple but how many people start spouting without engaging.

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Step Number Two, Uncover what communities you should target. Get to know the power users of those communities.

Wendy Marx, Personal Branding and PR Specialist, Marx Communications

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About the author

Wendy Marx is President of Marx Communications, an award-winning boutique B2B Public Relations agency known for turning companies and executives, including start-ups, into thought leaders. Follow her on Twitter @wendymarx and on Google+ @ plus.google.com/+wendymarx.

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