Posted in Campfire

Today I attended PubCampMS 2011 at the University of Southern Mississippi. This was the first time I’ve ever attended an unconference, a very nice change from often poorly formatted PowerPoint presentations with a quick 2 minute Q&A where nobody really talks. The purpose of PubCampMS is to have an open discussion on all things social media.
I went today not really knowing what to expect. I was surprised to see many seasoned PR/Marketing professionals in the room, many I have worked with in the past. As we all talked about the basics of social media and new ideas and tools to use, there was always this underlying tone: How do you present yourself or your company on social media outlets, there are no set rules. Do we act strictly professional, or do we add a little personality? Do we just tell our audience what we want them to know, or do we engage in conversations, both good and bad?
My general thought is to treat social media the same that you would having a customer in your store. Social media allows you to reach a larger audience then you ever could before. Not to long ago if you wanted the public to know about something your business you had to write a news release, send it out to all the newspapers, tv and radio stations, and hope that someone will do a story on you. Now, with social media you can release that information quickly and reach a large audience that is already engaged with you. Most news outlets are all using some sort of social media, so it’s a good idea to Like or Follow the various news outlets in your area.
Five years ago, there were no iPhones, no Android powered phones, no Twitter, and Facebook was still only available to select college students. The next five years are sure to change even more. For this reason, as you work with your brand, marketing and PR, you must keep up to date with all of the latest tools. But remember, the core idea of PR will never change, only the tools used to deliver the message.