Posts Tagged ‘#journchat’

Meeting and Conversing: Real Life vs. Online

Friday, February 5th, 2010

by Colleen Flood*

Flickr Image: jaffry, grace and eliza

Flickr Image: jaffry, grace and eliza

While attending a luncheon in NYC yesterday, I initially sat at an empty table with a colleague from BurrellesLuce.  We sat across from each since we are often together and had just had a lengthy chat in the cab ride over.  A very nice person came and sat to the left of me and we started chatting.  I learned about her business, what types of clients she worked with, where she lived and where she has lived, among other things. I also met the person to the right of me and learned her interesting story as well.  I found this sort of face-to-face engagement to be very different from my most recent online networking situation.

First, let me start by saying that using social media as a networking tool is all pretty new to me still. (I have yet to network on #journchat or some of the other networking areas available online, but look forward to getting involved in the future.)  However, the Twitter networking event that I did participate in, while interesting and informative, was very fast-paced and, at least for me, also very limited as far as networking opportunities.  I could not really get to know the attendees in the way that I would have liked.  I met some very interesting people online, don’t get me wrong, but did not take much away from this initial experience.  Perhaps I need to network more online or become more immersed in the social media universe to really feel and establish the sort of connections that physical industry events provide. 

I think part of feeling a lack of connection can be attributed to feeling as though my online relationships are not real and I often find myself becoming shy towards my online contacts. (And I am guessing, that I am not alone and that others may feel similar.) I can almost compare this to email vs. picking up the phone.  I like to talk to people so I will often call a colleague or client to converse about a business matter.  However, I find many people have gotten away from this and instead request an email. While email is a wonderful thing and I could not live without it, I have determined that much of the business I do could be done more efficiently and effectively with one simple phone call rather than a string of six emails back and forth.  Maybe I’m old fashioned but a conversation whether it’s face-to-face or on the phone helps me to connect and form much more intimate bonds.   

Even so, I am thankful for the relationships I have made online. I would likely never have met these people if it weren’t for social media events and look forward to meeting them in real life someday.  I do think once I become more immersed in online networking/friendships I will be able to keep up my contacts easily through systems like Twitter.  I’ll know more about people by following them and seeing their updates. In the end, social media can be a very powerful and effective tool – helping me build and maintain relationships – but it is just one tool in a much larger communication toolbox.

What are your thoughts on online vs. real-life networking? Do you think one necessarily replaces the other? How do you establish and maintain good relationships regardless of the medium?

*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Being a Public Relations Mentor

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Mentoring is an opportunity to pay it forward. Seventy percent of jobs are found through networking, according to a BusinessWeek article.  Lori George Billingsley, director of issues communications at The Coca-Cola Company and past PRSA multicultural communications section chair, claims her mentor of 18 years has been instrumental in helping her secure all of the PR jobs she’s held.  PRSSA has gone as far as dedicating an entire month (October) as being PRSA-PRSSA Relationship Month to encourage mentor-protégé relationships between the professional and student societies.

In researching being a PR mentor, I found quite a bit of good information on how to find a public relations mentor, where to find a mentor, and finding the right mentor; however, I wasn’t able to find much on being a PR mentor. 

Let’s face it, we’re all doing twice as much with half as much time these days (or at least it seems that way). So why should you invest the time to mentor?  Here are my three reasons for becoming a mentor:

  • Good way to learn.  I’m not necessarily talking about “reverse mentoring,” but it may be as simple (and enlightening) as discovering a new slant on an old strategy, method, or practice. Furthermore, you’ll encounter your protégé’s world and take away that experience. You may even learn something about yourself in the process.
  • Expand your network. Many of us work in non-traditional work settings these days, participate in webinars versus group meetings, and generally have less face-time together. Whether you work in a traditional office setting or not, mentoring is a great way to expand your reach. Your protégé today may be a hiring manager or client tomorrow.
  • Return the favor. “Pay it forward.” “Share the wealth.” However you want to phrase it, it just plain feels good to help others. When you mentor, you leave a legacy of sorts – your work ethic, character, experience, and even your professional personality are instilled into your mentee. 

Still believe you don’t have time to be a mentor? Then, how about participating in social media conversations or participating in Twitter chats such as #PRStudChat, #u30pro, #journchat, or #solopr just to name a few. Arik Hanson thinks this sort of “virtual mentoring” is the wave of the future per his recent vlog post over at The Spinks blog.  BurrelleLuce’s own Valerie Simon agrees, commenting “While there is certainly an important value in that old school (one-to-one, face-to-face) mentor/mentee relationship, virtual mentoring offers an important opportunity to gain access to a broad gamut of leaders.”

I’m eager to hear about your mentor relationships and thoughts.

Twitter #journchat: Insight on Pitching and Analysis

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Valerie Simon

PitchingI am new to Twitter and on Monday I participated in my first ever #journchat. An interesting mix of journalists and PR professionals provided a lively conversation that spanned a variety of subjects. The two topics I found most compelling related to pitching and analysis. Can Twitter be used to pitch journalists? And regardless of the method, is it possible to successfully pitch in 140 characters? As @CMM_PR pointed out, “The blogosphere is humming with blogs about how PR Flacks are trying to perfect the 140 character pitch. Is it worth the effort?”

 @arikhanson seems to think so, “From PR perspective, 140 characters forces us to refine our pitch. Get to the nugget. To the point faster.” In today’s fast-paced environment, brevity is essential. Case in point: @DeRushaJ, a journalist, told the group, “I have to pitch to my newsroom bosses and catch their attention in about 140 char. PR people should pitch me in 80.”

Understanding measurement was also a hot topic of conversation. For the PR folks on the chat, it was apparent that analysis is more important than ever. @bosilytics raised the question, “How difficult do PR folks find it to find the analysis they need. not #’s but insightful data” While @kanter noted that “the most important part of analytics is not the numbers, but how you harvest insight” But how do you define insight?

At BurrellesLuce, our clients have told us that they need a clear picture of their relevant coverage. This includes both customized quantitative and qualitative data, as well as expert analysis of the nature and reach of their coverage. They need measurement metrics, content evaluation, executive reporting and competitive studies. And of course, with time and money tighter than ever before, it is essential that the reports come ready to present to the board, client or prospect.

If you are curious to learn more about smart measurement, I’d like to invite you to join my colleague Johna Burke, VP, BurrellesLuce,  who is teaching a free PRSA webinar: How Smart Measurement Can Help You Survive the Media Revolution

For those of you on Twitter, I’d recommend that you stop in the next #journchat (every Monday evening at 8pm eastern). It’s a nice opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with a diverse group of PR professionals and journalists. And if you have any other suggestions of similar groups for this Twitter newbie, I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment or send me a tweet @ValerieSimon.