All Posts By

Marijean

Twitter: Why We Care What you Had for Breakfast

By Communications

cerealI can’t tell you how many times this example has been thrown my way, as a challenge to the relevancy and purpose of Twitter.

“I don’t care what you had for breakfast!”

“Why would I care what someone had for breakfast!”

Why breakfast? I wonder.

Of course the people tossing out the Most Important Meal of the Day with the bathwater haven’t experienced Twitter and so, I struggle to find the most polite way to tell them they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Of course Twitter users are tweeting about more than their bagels and schmear or their $5 lattes. But let’s say, for fun, that for a day, everyone on Twitter tweeted their breakfast. Now that would be VERY interesting to those people over at Dunkin Donuts. And to the mom and pop coffee shops in your town. And to Eggo and to the billion dollar breakfast cereal industry. If all those breakfast-interested parties were also on Twitter they could ENGAGE with those Twitter users and ask them why they prefer, say, Bodo’s to Panera, or Mudhouse to Starbucks.

But you don’t really care about what your customers are thinking, saying and doing, huh?

On a personal connection level, say I’m tweeting my breakfast from a local coffee shop and learn that someone I know via Twitter only is there, or on her way there and at last! We will meet! And a friendship that had heretofore only been online, is now in real life and that is why we care what you’re having for breakfast.

At Work? Watch What you Tweet

By Uncategorized

A groundbreaking ruling will be handed down by the Supreme Court this summer, when a decision will be made regarding the privacy of text messages (and other, similar content such as Tweets) created on company-owned devices.

I’d be surprised if the final decision on this is anything other than the rule that’s existed with e-mail — that if it’s on a company computer, it’s not private and your company has the right to access the information. Even though we all “know” this by now, or should, it takes cases like these to remind us there is never any real anonymity or privacy in Web-based communication — and if you’re using a company-owned smart phone or computer to conduct illicit communications, well, you are doing so at your own peril.

It will be interesting to see how the official ruling turns out.

Arrogance and the Social Media “Expert”

By Uncategorized

I eschew the term expert when talking about social media – preferring the term “specialist.” I don’t think anyone can be an expert in social media – with a field so new and ever growing and changing there are only specialists – people like me who devote lots of time and energy to staying on top of the game. I think there are people who are passionate about social media and the power it holds, but to call oneself an expert smacks of an undeserved arrogance.

A word about arrogance, though, as I acknowledge that those of us in this field have a certain amount of it. I argue that it has been necessary and it is an attribute that has grown out of a need to be absolutely convinced and convincing when sharing the benefits of engaging in social media for business. We are the self-taught forerunners of this field who have spent, in most cases, the better part of the last seven years defending the internet. We’ve had to stare down corporate leaders afraid to dip their toes into online waters and demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

When most of us started in this area the word blogger was said in the same tone as cancer; bloggers rose from the pasty-faced basement dwellers to a chosen few who make millions and others who just make a difference. By definition, a blogger almost has to have some level of conceit to trust that their thoughts and online ponderings would be of interest to anyone at all.

I’ve been part of an audience of those learning at the feet of those who have taught social media in the PR industry, this guy, this guy, this guy and this guy in particular. They all have one mannerism in common – a dismissive shaking of the head when a member of the community begins down the road of denial (it won’t work! we don’t have time! we can’t allow our people to self-publish! we need control!). I’ve noted this move and truly don’t find it arrogant (although corporate leaders, uncomfortable still with this deep end of the pool into which they’ve been thrown most likely do). I find it admirable – and it’s that confidence, that absolute gut-deep knowledge that you’re right and you know what you’re talking about and can prove it that I believe I’ve realized for myself. Does that make me an expert? No, but I’m practicing that head shake for the next time a doubter is in the room.

Answering your questions about PR and social media

By Uncategorized

I get a lot of questions about how to use social media and sometimes more specifically, social networking for business. The PR industry and traditional news organizations have been grappling with how to integrate social media as well; how to do it, and how to do it well. From years of study and continued immersion in social media and PR — I get this — and I’m here to answer your questions.