Postings from the Edge

Global PR, new PR, social media and printing ink

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Are you a Poet or a Plumber?

Just back from the launch of Poets and Plumbers in Vanløse Bio in Copenhagen where 250 people met up to hear about a new initiative to get the classic and on-line marketing world to understand each other and work closer together. (Disclosure: one of my business partners is one of the founders).

Bringing together the Poets (brands, storytelling, visuals) with the Plumbers (data, processes and ROI) in an online/real world connected way is a great idea.

The presentations and ideas were excellent nearly all round. Two things stood out for me though: that the emphasis is on Poets becoming more Plumber-like and that there wasn't enough emphasis on listening to consumers.

To take the first. For a few years, I've been a member of 26, a group of business writers who have the goal of bringing more creativity into the workplace. That has shown me that even Plumbers can be Poets - I'd like to see more people recognise and work with that. We need to narrow the understanding gap from both sides.

Secondly, there was too much mention of terms such as "online mass media" and "online channels". Despite the fact that many presenters talked about engagement and involvement, not one of them mentioned ways of how to listen. Too much of the talk from Plumbers was about getting people to the shop - instead of getting the shop to the people.

In the context of the general high quality of the event these are minor points perhaps. But when Poets and Plumbers  come together they need to really grasp the idea that the internet is a collection of linked human beings not "demographics" or "users".

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

EXCLUSIVE! New Media Release group includes amateur

It looks like that my 15 minutes of fame has arrived. The satirical PR blog Strumpette has continued its slightly peevish campaign against social media with a  new video featuring a Brian Connolly interview with the Social Media Club's Chris Heuer. But wait, there's more!

NOTE: This interview was made possible by the New Media Release Workgroup and the tireless efforts of Shannon Whitley, Alison Minaglia, Andy Arnold, Dan Zarrella, David Weiner, David Parmet, Jason Ryan, Michael O'Connor Clarke, Paul Dyer, Paul Pritchard, Steve Kayser, Susan Watiker, and Todd Van Hoosear. Special thanks to Todd Defren for inventing the SMPR.

... says Brian.

Well, I'm honoured to be in the same list and it would be lovely to think that the work will now come flooding in, but the truth is a bit more prosaic. I'm not worthy.

I didn't join the working group because I'm a guru or aspire to guru status, but because I felt I didn't know enough about social media releases. I still don't and that's why I continue to follow developments at close hand, rather than making snarky comments from the sidelines. Certainly, social media releases, rich media releases, press releases - call them what you will - are an easy target and people talking about them can have a tendency to be, erm... unfocused on occasion.

Am I an evangelist? No. Am I interested in new ways to do my job better and help my clients get their messages across? Of course I am.