Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Social Media Webinar with Eli Singer


Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in a virtual conversation with Eli Singer of Cundari and about 200 other PR professionals from across Canada and around the world.

Hosted by CPRS, the Social Media (SM) Webinar offered an insightful discussion on the application of social media in two specific case studies (the Art Gallery of Ontario and the World Wildlife Fund-Canada), as well as the emergence of the social media news release (I refuse to call it a press release, sorry, Eli).

The discussion was a great catalyst for thought. One statement I particularly appreciated was Eli’s emphasis that social media are social first, and media second.

“It’s not about technology and web sites,” he points out. “It’s about people and how they connect with one another and share experiences with one another.”

As PR professionals, I think it’s paramount that we don’t lose sight of this very fact; media should exist to somehow link people together, not further disconnect them by creating virtual silos.

This past winter, our Post-Grad PR students here at Loyalist had the opportunity to host Pam Davis, Marketing Director for WWF Canada, who expanded on the use of social media in the organization’s Save Our Climate campaign. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience (so much so that one became an intern there this spring). You can learn more about WWF’s social media approach at the WWF Canada blog.

As PR educators, we cannot ignore the enormous impact and potential of social media on our profession. That’s why social media will weave a thread throughout all of our curriculum this fall.

Brand storytelling continues to evolve with the emergence of each new medium; but when you come right down to it, it’s still storytelling.

And they all blogged happily every after.

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