The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations hosted last week it’s annual Social Media conference. Focusing on how social, digital and mobile channels are changing communications and business, the #CIPRSM team brought together some leaders from the worlds of mobile, analytics, finance and international diplomacy to discuss the future of our profession.

I attended and chaired the panel on #SocialMedia across international border with Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director for Corporate Communication’s Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) and Noriyuki Shikata (@norishikata) who is the Political Minister to the Japanese Embassy to the UK.

I put together a review of the conference on Storify (#CIPRSM Share This Conference: A Review). If you are on this network then do follow me.

 


 

#CIPRSM Share This Conference: A Review

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) this week hosted a social media and public relations conference in London. Speakers shared insight on how technology is reshaping pr, reputation management and management consulting.

 
  1. Technology is reshaping the public relations and communications professions. Social networks have connected people, they have empowered them and given them a platform through which they can share their thoughts and opinions. And because of the rapid adoptions of smartphones and tablets consumers and stakeholders are sharing their views from wherever they are.

     
    Delivering the opening keynote to this conference the Economist’s social media editor Tom Standage shared with us the real history of social media, all the way back to Roman times!
  2. Literacy widespread in Roman world & Tom Standage comparing it to social media of the time #ciprsm conference
     
     
  3. Fascinated by @tomstandage keynote at #ciprsm on how social media “has been around since Roman times” pic.twitter.com/HS4nGJn2u7
     
     
  4. What did the Romans ever do for us? Social Media says @tomstandage illustrating his point with a Roman iPad #CIPRSM pic.twitter.com/IDV54Tq11Z
     
     
  5. Tom (@tomstandage) didn’t waste any time in telling us that social media is not a fad. In fact, what social networking channels do is return us to communicating before the recent era of broadcast mass media.
  6. “Coffee houses were the hubs of choice in the past” – nothing changes! @tomstandage #ciprsm
     
     
  7. Fascinating argument from @tomstandage that social media as we know it is a rebirth, cycling back to pre-mass media, pre-19 century #CIPRSM
     
     
  8. “Social media doesn’t cause revolutions but helps them along by synchronising opinion and acting as an accelerant” @tomstandage #ciprsm
     
     
  9. Social media is at least 2000 years old. Mass media in 20th century was an anomaly says @tomstandage #ciprsm
     
     
  10. @tomstandage Brilliant, but a question – should’ve asked, has old ‘broadcast media’ times tought people (orgs) to ignore listening first? 🙂
     
     
  11. @twofourseven Yes, I think it has. When you’re used to one-way/broadcast, it’s hard to adapt to two-way/social
     
     
  12. The conference was then divided into two work streams in the morning, the first of which focused on Mobile Media and the Visual Web. Running concurrently, work stream two looked into Audience and Online Habits.

     
    In session one we had Founder and CEO of Kred Andrew Grill (@AndrewGrill) and #CIPRSM’s own analytics expert Andrew Smith (@andismith). The conversation was all about analytics and understanding influencers and the capital that people gain through social networks.
  13. Panel sessions are under way, with @AdParker @AndrewGrill @andismit on ‘Understanding social capital’ #ciprsm pic.twitter.com/imULmiuAPf
     
     
  14. “CMOs want to see big numbers for impressions, it’s b**l s**t” @andrewgrill #ciprsm
     
     
  15. @AndrewGrill says we need to package #social propositions to the C-suite in their language #CIPRSM
     
     
  16. Need to speak C-suite’s language says @andrewgrill – slide showing how ‘Digirati’ organisations 26% more profitable as an example #ciprsm
     
     
  17. As you all know, I am a big evangelist of mobile in communications and business development. Mobile has positioned itself to be at the heart of how businesses and services are developed and delivered. They are also at the centre of how people today share insight and information. Mobile can crunch the time it takes to build or break reputations.
  18. Mobile has changed everything in comms, pr, #socmed and digital @ilicco tells #ciprsm. Of course he’s right….
     
     
  19. LBI’s @ilicco discussing digital dualism at #ciprsm – we are the same online as we are offline. @Pontifex agrees: precisebrandinsight.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/the…
     
     
  20. The big debate came with regards to how mobile is used – an essential question that is often ignored. Ilicco Elia (@ilicco) highlighted the case of Starbucks that has started to pull people from across departments to work on solutions for their customer base. Of course, for us, the consumer, we don’t see them as solutions. I see seemless interaction as common sense!
  21. How many departments need to be involved with mobile? All of them – @ilicco #CIPRSM pic.twitter.com/jYpg2yxZXk
     
     
  22. #socmed engagement forces organisations to collaborate internally to to deliver a better consumer experience -insight from @ilicco #ciprsm
     
     
  23. The brilliant @illico talking about mobile at the CIPR social media conference #CIPRSM
     
     
  24. Meanwhile 33-Digital’s Peter Sigrist (@psigrist) discussed the rise of wearable technology. Sigrist says that PR agencies need to stop recruiting art graduates or those with a PR 1.0 degrees, a point that I’ve been echoing for 3/4 years.

     
    I’ve been arguing that our profession needs mathematicians, coders, designers, analysts, data scientists. Yes, like 20 years ago it was all about social psychology, today it is about understanding our audiences and designing experiences that resonate with how they have been conditioned.
  25. @psigrist now up at #ciprsm talking about mobile and the future, wearable tech and how information flows fast and free.
     
     
  26. The public does the talking in today’s world of media campaigns says @psigrist. Linear 1-way broadcast is ineffective. Damn right #ciprsm
     
     
  27. “PR firms need to better understand data and start employing mathematicians not art graduates” says @psigrist. #CIPRSM
     
     
  28. After lunch we had two further work streams. As an International PR Social Media Consultant and Digital Strategist I brought together two leaders in their respective fields, Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director for Corporate Communication’s Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) and Noriyuki Shikata (@norishikata) who is the Political Minister to the Japanese Embassy to the UK. Up for debate was how to use social media across international borders. An essential point given that social channels today cut straight through borders and jurisdictions.
  29. For Financial Services, China matters on social, says @allanschoenberg. Deliver local language content there. #CIPRSM
     
     
  30. @CMEgroup‘s social media timeline. Innovation is what @@allanschoenberg does in terms of comms. #ciprsm pic.twitter.com/awcTkNx6Hw
     
     
  31. Importance of using the right platforms in different regions vital to success in financial markets says @allanschoenberg #CIPRSM
     
     
  32. Following Allan we had Noriyuki Shikata, a leader in eDiplomacy. Nori shared with us his insight on how social networks were used by the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan following the great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. For the government of Japan it became an essential tool in engaging with the international community.

     
  33. @norishikata talks about Social Media strategy for Japan and fitting this with western concepts and crisis comms #CIPRSM
     
     
  34. Social media is one important element of public diplomacy, global comms and global comms engagement. Totally agree with @norishikata #ciprsm
     
     
  35. Lessons from @norishikata on international crisis comms in aftermath of Japan Tsunami – put data in context, use 3rd party voices #CIPRSM
     
     
  36. “Effective social media use in crisis management from CEO/leaders could be way to demonstrate leadership” @norishikata #ciprsm
     
     
  37. @norishikata talks about combining traditional and social in international comms. Not understanding cultures cannot be an excuse! #CIPRSM
     
     
  38. Really enjoyed hearing @norishikata – has a calm, measured way of presenting & is gently persuasive: powerful combination! #ciprsm
     
     
  39. The session following ours focused on digital and social commerce. Speakers focused on using social and digital channels to support sales and how sales should be owned by everybody in an organisation, especially with the influence of social channels.
  40. To use social as part of sales process you need to understand customer behaviours says @katyhowell #ciprsm
     
     
  41. Rounding off the conference we had Nick Jones (@NJones) from Visa Europe. A former head of COI.
  42. #ciprsm Keynote @njones ‘BAU is the things we do again and again that make money’. Social Media BAU
     
     
  43. Liking the phrase “business as unusual” from @njones #ciprsm
     
     
  44. At #ciprsm @njones cites @brands2life research that says more and more journalists are being measured on social media sharing of content.
     
     
  45. Fact is that reviewing this conference, we can see that the communications landscape has already changed. It has changed because people have adopted technology, they have turned to social networks and mobile devices to share more, to discuss and debate, all through channels that we can listen in.

     
    Organisations though still retain their 20th Century broadcast mentality. They talk and expect you to listen. Yet the more that people talk, the more that people share the more empowered they become. The faster they expect answers and service, let it be from the private or public sectors.
     
    As a result, business has to change, the delivery of public services have to change. Digging your heads in the sand only goes and creates opportunities for others. And those that are risk averse have more to gain.
     
    Public relations today is more than just about reputation building and management. It is about business development. People who work in public relations need to remember that it is our skill in understanding the public that sets us apart. Let’s change how we work.

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#ShareThisLive
Share This Live – How Social Media Is Changing Business and Communications

Last year, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) published a book with short essays from some of the UK’s leading communicators and digital strategists. Entitled Share This the aim of the first book was to establish social and digital as a core skill in 21st Century Public Relations. This year we are publishing it’s follow-up, Share This Too.

The books, the first of which the first of which was published to great acclaim, see contributors outline their vision on how social media, digital media and technology are changing not just how perceptions are built and protected, but how businesses are established and managed.

Share This Too aims to expand on these initial essays, to inspire and lead a way to better engage with audiences for better businesses, services and engagement.

On Thursday 11 July the CIPR hosts at Microsoft in London it’s second social media conference where influencers from PR, journalism and the business world, will share insight on how these channels have helped them improve engagement.

Speakers include Digital Editor for The Economist and Editor-in-Chief of Economist.com Tom Standage, Head of Mobile at LBi, ex-Global Head of Mobile at Thompson Reuters Ilicco Elia and Digital Development Editor at The Guardian Joanna Geary.

I’ll be charing a session on how social media can facilitate business change and using social across international borders. This is the subject of my chapter in Share This Too, which is an area that is often ignored by certain communication ‘professionals’. The assumption is wrongly made that because the majority of social networking channels originated in the US, the language of choice must therefore be English. But language is only a small part of issues that have to be considered. Cultural differences comes into play as well, which when considered can help drive up engagement. We will be debating this and so much more on the day.

Speaking on my panel will be the Political Minister and Embassy of Japan to the UK, Noriyuki Shikata and Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications Allan Schoenberg. This is a not to be missed session with leaders PR leaders from the financial and diplomatic worlds.

A limited number of tickets for the Share This Too Live Conference are still available here.

I hope to see some of you at the conference!!

Evening Standard 2013 Budget Leak
Evening Standard 2013 Budget Leak

The London Evening Standard came under fire today for breaking the strict embargo placed on the 2013 Budget, as the newspaper published details of the Budget on Twitter before George Osborne took to the dispatch box.

The Standard shared a picture of it’s front page that detailed the 2013 Budget on Twitpic, an image that was picked up by MPs in the House of Commons and Journalists that were covering the 2013 Budget.

While the image was quickly deleted from the social network, the damage was done. Research from Topsy.com (select cached Page) reveals that over 2,000 viewed the image. It also got retweeted by Sky’s Adam Boulton (@adamboultonsky), The New York Times Sarah Lyall (@SarahLyall) and other influential journalists and bloggers.

The paper’s Political Editor Joe Murphy (@JoeMurphyLondon) was forced to issue an apology on Twitter even though it was certainly not him who shared that image. Editor Sarah Sands meanwhile issued the following statement, ‘An investigation is immediately underway into how this front page was made public and the individual who Tweeted the page has been suspended while this takes place. We have immediately reviewed our procedures. We are devastated that an embargo was breached and offer our heartfelt apologies.’

For some reason Osborne’s advisors chose today, when all eyes would be on him, to unveil his Twitter account. An odd choice of day given the Chancellor’s unpopularity in the polls and how the public share their views online. A very bad call in my opinion.

Twitter is a news channel, one that because of today’s real-time digital age can inflict greater damage. And while embargo’s have been a traditional tool in the armoury of PRs, in today’s digital world it is a public relations professional job to maintain total control of the story, especially a story which contains market sensitive information. Twitter and digital are hard to control. Conditions on the sharing of content online must have been secured.

It’s been a bad day for HM Treasury’s PR team, but a worse one for the Evening Standard.

Twitter is changing public relations. It’s making media outlets more competitive. As some on Twitter have said, The Standard’s story was just ‘too hot off the press’. Don’t take it for granted!

The end of Google Reader, but not for RSS feeds
The end of Google Reader, but not for RSS feeds

In a recent blog post Google announced the closure of Google Reader. The service, which is an aggregator of content served by web feeds, will cease on 1st July.

Google reader has become an essential tool for journalists, PRs and those in communications roles in business and the public sector. It has allowed users to subscribe to websites and content that used RSS web feed formats.

The announcement by Google in it’s blog ‘A Second Spring Cleaning‘ took many by surprise as the service is still very popular with influencers in media and communications. In a Sysomos blog post a few days back Mark Evans states, ‘When It Comes to Digital Influencers, Blogs Rule.’

Google Reader went live in October 2005. It was created by by Google engineer Chris Wetherell (@cw), Mihai Parparita (@mihai) and Jason Shellen (@shellen). Former Google Labs Product Marketing Manager and now Instagram founder Kevin Systrom (@kevin) was also responsible for pushing it out of the Google Labs team.

In the past five years, Reader has been adopted by a wide group of people, especially journalists and those working in communications roles in business or the public sectors.

Journalists have been using Google Reader to aggregate RSS links. It has enabled them to be alerted when an organisation in a sector they cover updates their website. Reader has also allowed them to monitor independent bloggers that could be first with insight and so be valuable independent commentators. And while we have taken to Twitter and other social networks, RSS feeds today still enable us to get the content, from the coal face, and without the noise.

Visiting Professor at London’s City University’s School of Journalism Professor Paul Bradshaw (@PaulBradshaw) is a fan of RSS feeds, having taught students about the value of feeds in his Online Journalism Courses.

Even for PRs, Google Reader has become an essential tool for monitoring content online. And the fact that Google Reader is cloud based is another reason why those working in-house or agency-side have it as a default tool on their desktop, mobile and tablet.

The fact is that while Google has killed Reader, it has not killed RSS feeds. And while a campaign has been started that asks Google to save Reader, it is unlikely to change the search giants decision.

If you are scratching you head and wandering what to do, then for the time being you need not panic. Google has given us three and a half months until 1st July to export our feeds and find an alternative service.

I use Silvio Rizzi ReederApp (@ReederApp). On Twitter, Silvio posted  yesterday, ‘Don’t worry, Reeder won’t die with Google Reader.’ This app enables me keep my feeds synced while I am on the go, hence the value of it being cloud based.

Paul Bradshaw has a Google Doc that lists all alternative RSS aggregators. A great document and one that’s worth a look.

And once you have found you alternative this Lifehacker post gives you details on how to export your feeds from Google Reader and import them to your new service.

For me, the essentials for an alternative include:

  • Be a cloud service – you can access your feeds from you desktop, mobile and tablet
  • You can star and tag content that you read
  • You can share content across your networks – Twitter, Evernote, Delicious
  • It have a Bitly functionality
  • It has search capability.

So, in short, what I want is for Google Reader to stay with us!!

***UPDATE 17/03/2013***

Social Times reports in a post ‘Why Google Is Really Pulling The Plug On Readerthat the reason behind Google’s decision to kill Reader is ‘that Google will launch mobile news subscriptions to compete with Apple’s lucrative Newsstand.’

Writing in Social Times Cameron Scott (@ConcertoMates) reports, ‘A former Google Reader product manager offered a different, but complementary, analysis on Quora. Brian Shih argues that Google repeatedly endeavored to pull technical staff from Reader and reassign the staffers to social products.

Shih’s account suggests that Google saw Reader as competition for Google+. The company may want its users to rely on Google+ to get more Web content in one place.’

Meanwhile BuzzFeed is reporting that Google Reader drives more traffic than Google+.

CIPR Share This Launch at Google Campus (Image from Gorkana)

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (@cipr_uk) Social Media Advisory Panel (#ciprsm) has this week announced its objectives for 2013.

During the forthcoming year the panel will focus its effort on updates to its Best Practice and Wikipedia Guidelines, a specification for the skills for the future PR practitioner and guidance on social media and the law. It will also be working on Share This Too (@sharethistoo), a follow-up to Share This – the bestselling book it produced last year.

Set up in April 2010, the panel – which I’ve had the pleasure of being a member of since it was founded three years ago, brought together some of the communications industry’s leading digital and social media thinkers. The aim was to establish best practice and share knowledge with public relations and communications professionals by brining together experts in social who work in a range of disciplines ranging from public and government affairs, to consumer, international and brand development.

Let’s remember that while people today use these channels as a matter of fact, companies, brands and decision-makers are still cautious and suspicious of engaging in online conversations with their publics. It is this misunderstanding that we are committed to challenging.

In 2012, the panel developed industry-leading guidance and events including:

  • Social Media Guidance (PDF) – a best practice guide to social media for public relations, downloaded more than 4,500 times in 2012.
  • Social Media Measurement Guidance (PDF) – a practical guide to measurement resulting from the panel’s relationship with AMEC, downloaded more than 1,500 times in 2012.
  • Social Summer – a series of evening events around the country on various aspects of social media, attended by more than 500 people in 2012.

Today perception and reputation is shaped by people – by how they are connected and how they share their thoughts and opinions.

Brands can no longer rely on ‘push communications’. Social is very public, and is transforming how public and private sectors organisations communicate and engage with consumers and stakeholders.

You can follow members of the panel through this #ciprsm twitter list I have set-up.

This is an exciting time to be in public relations.