The New Social Media
 
Greetings!

When it comes to Social Media you probably fall into one of two camps:  you're waiting for the fad to fade away, or you've jumped in with your own web 2.0 plan and are testing the waters.  For those of you waiting for Social Media to go by the wayside, think again because the experts say it is here to stay.  For those testing the waters -- bravo!    

Social Media - The Power of Many

 
Traditional mass media is being joined by vast numbers of influential, albeit small special interest, voices with a huge reach via the web.  What's dubbed Social Media is simply the collective impact of individuals whose voice can be shared and heard throughout the globe.  Social Media isn't just MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, it also includes bloggers, media sharing like YouTube and Flickr, virtual worlds, social news such as digg, newsgroups, forums, podcasters and individuals.  But most importantly it includes your audiences:  customers, prospects, employees, investors, partners, media, analysts and others.  Social Media brings forth all the powerful aspects of word-of-mouth with the reach and speed of the Internet.

 

For all its hype and somewhat mysterious ways, Social Media makes good marketing sense and shouldn't be overlooked.  Not convinced you are ready to join the blogosphere with your own voice, create a viral campaign or hire an SEO (search engine optimization) guru?  Perhaps one of the easiest ways to understand and get involved in the Social Media game is to publish a Social Media News Release.  

News Releases Get Social

Social Media Releases (SMRs) are designed to spur conversation, engage the reader and can be easily shared.  Instead of simply issuing a traditional news release over a news wire, which may also include a few hyperlinks to your web site and a photo, why not expand this concept with audio and video files, social media tags, a comment field for reader feedback and a story that is written to appeal directly to your audience?  Think in terms of exchanging information not delivering a message.  The SMR is a launching pad for conversation and will help you connect one-to-one with your audiences.

 

Put the Public Back in Public Relations

For many a marketer, public relations is synonymous with media relations.  True, media relations comprises a very large share of time in PR.  And rightly so, as we seek to embrace media as a credible method to reach target audiences made up of individuals that could not effectively be reached in any other fashion.  Of course, mainstream media is still a very important part of generating awareness and credibility, but now the power and influence of Social Media adds another dimension.  No longer are we limited to the media as our only channel to reach our audiences. 
 

Mainstream Media Meets Social Media

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Recognizing the power and influence of the individual, Time Magazine put a mirror on the cover of it's December 2006 issue and called You the Person of the Year.  A tribute to how user-generated content from blogs to social networking is 'framing the new digital democracy.'

 

While there's been much debate about the merits of established media verses the voracity of social media, the two camps are happily thriving together.  The relationship is symbiotic and fascinating!  Mainstream stories are commented on and interpreted by Social Media, creating a new life and depth to the story that can't possibly be attempted within the confines of broadcast or print.  

 

Conversely, mainstream media is commenting on what is happening the realm of Social Media: interesting videos making their way around the Internet, discussions on top political blogs, opinions of special interest groups, etc.  In fact, bloggers have been credited as keen watchdogs when mainstream media strayed from the facts and lifted topics back to the surface for debate.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about Lages & Associates and our PR programs click here

 

Let's Talk

 

Want to learn firsthand how Social Media can work for you?  Enlist the power of a Social Media Release where a shared story creates influence.  If you'd like to learn more and see samples of SMRs, please email me at beverly@lages.com for your copy of 'Reach Your Publics and Spark Conversation.'

 
 
Beverly Lages
Lages & Associates, Inc.
Public Relations for High Technology, Emerging Market and Software Enterprises
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phone: 949-453-8080