PR’s new tech-literate age

Yesterday, I picked up one of the kids I nanny from school, and we were talking about the difference between school and uni (he’s not even mid way through second semester, and here I am ready to embark on about 2 months of holidays).

Will (aged 13) then asked me what I wanted to do after univeristy. My answer? “I’m not really sure. There are so many things I could do, really.” Surprisingly, he proceeded to give me a long list of things that I could do: work in communications for Ferrari, work in events, manage awesome footy players and more – his list was longer than mine!

His knowledge of my soon-to-be profession really startled me. It was so different to the conversation I had had not even 3 weeks prior with his dad. Tom was unable to grasp what PR was, let alone give me a list of possible vocations.

Let’s compare the pair. Will: male, 13, recently joined facebook, wants to be a zoologist. Tom: male, 40-something, occasionally aware of the on-going’s on his wife’s facebook, stockbroker. On one hand, Will was aware of PR in it’s newer form – PR 2.0 (or perhaps 1.5) if you will. Tom, on the other hand, knew very little of PR, but was aware of the umbrella of “communications”.

Funnily enough, I have found that younger generations are more familiar than older generations, unless they work either in the field or in conjunction with the field. I must then pose the question: is it technology that is bringing our work to the world’s attention? Admittedly, it was always there – simply unnamed and unnoticed. And what it is now is far from where it started.

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Where Kami Hyuse disagrees with the idea of PR 2.0, I’m finding the evolution of PR to be enthralling. Really, it is what drew me to the profession in the first place; the idea that there would always be something new and different. I’m all for change.

 

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Social Media; friend or foe?

So you’ve landed the PR job of your dreams, (no) thanks to Klout, but what about the effect that social media has on the company you now work for?

For companies who (without your expertise, considering that you are a new employee) chose to dive (or were thrown by their now retrenched previous communications expert) into the deep end and joined every social media possible, perhaps a step back is on the cards. A “cleanse” of sorts to clean up all ten different – and most likely unnecessary – social media networks.

There are now so many channels, aside from the original media, that we have the pleasure of monitoring, updating, linking, tweeting, retweeting that our intended messages are sure to be lost somewhere in the abyss that is the internet.

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This is where social media niches come into play… or they would, were they easily accessible to the simple (read: tech illiterate) PR masses. 

I agree with Erica Swallow in that social media can be beneficial and useful, if and when you find the right platform for your audience. Finding this audience, however, can be a difficult task, there are naturally stereotypes for each social network, but what about the exceptions to the rules? Are we willing to risk a (most likely minority) audience in order to focus our social networking on one specific area?

In my opinion, these exceptions should be forgotten. The fewer networks you have to look after the better. If we can find the ones that are best suited to our company and we pick the top few, there is less to monitor and more time to tailor our messages to each network.

Let us know what you think: Share your experiences with or opinions of social media in PR below.

Image c/o Design Beep

Measuring your Klout in the workplace

Measuring your Klout in the workplace

When was the last time you went for a job interview? For me, it was over a year ago, however recent reports I am hearing about social media’s influence on job interviews has me scared to ever leave my current position.

For those of us who are (blissfully) ignorant, workplaces now have a new means of measuring an applicant’s – pardon the pun – Klout when interviewing for a job. What is it? Klout is a measure of one’s social media influence. It takes into consideration your followers on Facebook and Twitter, how many times you are “liked” or “retweeted” and gives you a score from 0-100. Many employers are supposedly taking on those with a higher Klout score, who might be more influential in the workplace.

Theoretically speaking, if a company were to have social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare and Google+, then a Klout score could be made to measure it’s influence too.Image

Trevor Young argues that Klout doesn’t just measure your followers, but that the algorithm used measures your True ReachAmplification and Network Impact, however he doesn’t have me convinced. My thinking is that your followers play a major part in your score – how else could Justin Bieber have a perfect score of 100?

Klout’s CEO Joe Fernandez claims that his site, and the scores that he (once upon a time manually) produced/s are a form of empowerment for the little guy, but what about the little guy who, like me, doesn’t want to be hired because of my social networking status? I’ll admit that in this day and age, social networking capabilities are important, but I don’t think they should be a deal maker or breaker.

Let us know what you think: Share your experiences with or opinions of Klout below.

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