Creativity, From the Archives

Random Thoughts

These are some random thoughts that hit me when I was walking the dog last night.  I hope you find some of them useful.  I’m pondering which of them to expand on as upcoming blogs posts.

  1. “Fact Vomit” stories
    1. For Buddha’s sake, New Media and social media outlets have given you the opportunity to write and present your information creatively and with conviction. Take advantage of it!  Don’t just regurgitate stale talking points, tell a compelling story in video, text, audio, images, whatever you can think of!
  2. Blogging and remembering your audience
    1. This is one reason that blogger engagement, not “blogger relations” ala media relations should be the coin of the online realm.
    2. You want to engage your audiences, being part of the greater conversation, not seen as trying to buy their interest in your organization or your products (ahem, I’m looking at you Jeff Jarvis) ;).  Because then it’s nothing more than trying to buy press, which you, or the hapless blogger you talk into supporting your products will be ridiculed for. Especially if the blogger doesn’t disclose that they received free swag from your company before writing about it.
    3. Law of Observation – The results of an experiment are altered just by observing the scientific trial. Same applies to social media when you give free goodies to bloggers – even subconsciously you are influencing bloggers.  This was one of the complaints about the press by bloggers, especially in politics re: access.  Why is it different now?
  3. Why “blogola” is wrong
    1. Blogging, YouTube, Podcasting and other New Media technologies lowered the bar for your average person with some insight and an opinion to become “media outlets.”
    2. That said it also lowered the bar for ethical journalistic rules (which isn’t a misnomer, if you look at a lot of media outlets, they have strict rules on what can be accepted by reporters – turns out you can’t even ask a reporter to coffee to discuss stuff) to be applied to these New Media moguls as well.
      1. They want a place at the table, now they have to live up to some of those responsibilities as well.
    3. It shouldn’t be a problem for PR people, and reporters, to expect the same ethics from bloggers or online reporters, as bloggers expect from them.
    4. Again, this is why you should focus on setting up your own social media program, putting your resources into that, and becoming part of the discussion (where you can have some of that discussion on your own blog – aka home field advantage) instead of trying to use 20th century PR tricks on a new breed of reporter.
  4. When on your blog, YouTube or Twitter you need to consider whom it is you are really talking to. You might think you are only crafting a message for your investors, or another narrow target audience and forget that other audiences (employees, customers, government regulators, etc). You need to keep that in mind when writing your posts.
  5. Twitter Limitations
    1. You can’t turn complex issues into 140 character sound bites.  These issues usually need nuance and explanation.
    2. You should take these opportunities to drive people back to your blog or digital newsroom for more information.  Think Iron Chef, here is the big dish with all of the great ingredients (blog, video, press kits, position papers, etc) in it. Take advantage of it and explain your position on your home field.
  6. Authenticity Counts
    1. Keep this in mind when you are addressing multiple audiences through multiple media outlets (new and old).
    2. Speak from the heart, don’t couch your words in corporate-ese BS.
  7. Social Media PR “Mind-Melding”
    1. Remember, when you are writing from the heart, to look through the eyes of your audience. I know it’s cheesy, but if you take the time to step back and look at things through the prism of their experiences, rather than yours, you will be better able to understand their fears, hopes and concerns.
    2. When you truly understand your audience (not just superficially, but really understand them) you can communicate with them in those words and thoughts.
  8. Be Yourself (see #6, #7 above)
    1. Connecting with your audience is truly a two way process.  This takes time to talk with your audience, and to be yourself at the same time.
    2. “to thine own self be true”
    3. The values and personality that make up who you are will show, and will help you connect with the people you are trying to reach.
    4. What do you stand for?  How does it show?
    5. You want to be known for your actions.  It’s cliché, but they speak louder than words, and by letting your actions speak for you, people will begin to infer who you are and what you stand for (what “the message” is) through those actions.
    6. Anyone can say “the message,” you have to be “the message.”
    7. Show, don’t just tell, or tell at all.
  9. “Be the Message”
    1. be the message you want to be
    2. Be authentic
    3. Be comfortable in your own skin.

10. Shoshin – the “Beginner’s Mind”

  1. One of the greatest things about Shoshin is the idea that all avenues are open to you.  There are no limitations because you don’t accept limitations, you’re still new and you don’t know any better.  It’s the old argument that the reason you did something “outside the box” and it worked was because you didn’t know any better to know that it wouldn’t work.

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