(Photo Credit: The Age)
I have a confession to make. I read the Sports section of The Washington Post
each day before I even skim the headlines of the business section and I listen to The Sports Junkies on my commute, not WTOP
Blame it on my dad, he taught me to sing Hail to the Redskins long before I could count to ten or say my ABCs.
So it comes to bear that I was listening to The Sports Junkies this morning, on a day that one of our summer interns came back to present a research paper that she did for a PR class on the topic of social media press releases. It was then that a beautiful connection between my sports addiction and a career that leverages technology to communicate presented itself in a most unexpected way. It took the form of Agent Zero, Washington Wizards Guard Gilbert Arenas
, and The Sports Junkies discussion about a blog post
yesterday from Arenas that declared that theres no such thing as a shark attack. Definitely entertaininglikely borrowed materialArenas asserts that if a human gets bitten by a shark in the water, its because they are trespassing. However, if a shark walks on land and finds you at home on your couch, then, and only then, is it an attack (much more entertaining than Morning Edition, no?).
Fast forward to our Lunch and Learna well-researched presentation that discussed the viability of the traditional press release, which according to our intern Charlotte holds about a 50 percent chance of survival based on perceived need in todays marketplace. In getting to understand the overall philosophy of the social media press release and its components (which for me boils down to "forget the fluff and take your message online"), Charlotte concluded, Its all about the blog. Indeed.
I have no idea whether Agent Zero issues press releases and if he does whether he links to del.icio.us
or uses Technorati
tags. What I do know is that hes a great case study in using blogs to extend a brand and shape perception. What do shark attacks have to do with pro basketball? Absolutely nothing. What does GIs musing on shark attacks have to do with being voted a starter in this years NBA All-Star game? A whole lot.
For all intents and purposes, just a couple years ago Gilbert was an emerging business (second round draft pick to be specific) who tapped into the blogosphere to build his brand. He gets it. He gets that a blog is best when its authentic and he gets that its an outstanding way to interact with the influencers in his communitythe fans and sports journalists to be specific. Need proof? Agent Zero was a name given to him on the blog Wizznutzz. The Arenas Express Card invitation to his 25th birthday party, nickname change to Hibachi and assertion that he had predicted his game-winning shot against the Utah Jazz on January 15, 2007 all got substantial media coverage andoh yeahI already mentioned the little feat of being voted to the Eastern Conference NBA All-Star team.
You could imagine how delighted I was when I could share this observation with our team and shrug off the morning's guilt of sports headlines before the Tech Thursday. Thanks Dad.
Hat tip to Dr. Karen Miller Russell
, my Public Relations Management professor from my days in the Grady College
at the University of Georgia
, for pointing me to this post in her recap
of the weeks best PR-related posts. On Monday, Rohit Bhargava called out
five lessons hes learned on getting quoted, linked to and discussed by other bloggers on his Influential Marketing Blog
. Rohits lessons are sound, and echo a few conversations Jen Becker and I had with a client earlier this week about social media strategy, so I thought they were worth sharing here. What are the five lessons?1. Target new audiences
Continually use blogging to start conversations around topics that may interest and engage new audiences. Check out Johns post
on webcomics as a good example.2. Give them something to share.
Soundbites, soundbites and more soundbites. Just as we counsel clients to deliver crisp messages during media interviews and communication with other audiences, it is equally important to keep the message tight online.3. Offer a linkable and useful resource.
Build a community that knows it can count on your site as a top source of information on a given topic and youll keep them coming back for more.4. Join a buzzworthy effort.
As Rohit said, You don't always have to create something original in order to add value. He cites his post
about the Facebook effort to save Business 2.0 as a good example, and Id have to agree (after all, I did weigh in
on that topic too!). Heck, this very post is another example of that premise.5. Make it easy to contact you.
Social media is about creating a dialogue, and it is about transparency. If readers cant join the conversation, whats the point?
(Photo Credit: Virginia Commission for the Arts)
Another nod to this region, and to the state where I make my home! Not only is Virginia For Lovers
, but it's now nationally recognized as Virginia for Business. I'm happy we are able to contribute toward the job growth, standard of living and quality of life.
A recent Forbes study placed Virginia
tops in the nation for the best place for business, quoting some notable names of businesses thriving in this region.
Now if we can just solve the Northern Virginia traffic problem...