Thursday, July 15, 2010

Figuring out Social Media

I attended a Girls In Tech “Click” event which coincidently was the same day I finished reading Brian Solis’ book, Engage. Here are my thoughts…

Now that I can call myself a PR professional I have to say that the way social networking was in college was completely different. I thought I was savvy I thought I knew Twitter and Facebook… but, I know oh so very much now! Twitter was used on a personal level and now it’s become my professional portal to connect with reporters and various members in the industry.

For those who are not currently getting down and dirty in the world of twitter, Solis makes a great point, “Business will evolve, customers will gain in prominence, and brands will humanize – with or without you.”

I couldn’t have realized this more than I have in the last seven months. By engaging in social media, facebooking genuine and real queries to those who can provide me with thoughtful answers, I’ve been able to get the answers I want.

At the Girls to Tech Event in San Francisco yesterday co-author, Ori Braffman, discussed the psychological and biological occurrences when a networking connection is made.

He cited a study where three women attended a 20 session seminar. The first woman only attended five times, the second 10 times and the third 20 times. All three women were told not to talk to anybody and sit in the back of the seminar. When other audience members who attended the seminar nobody remembered any of the women however they thought (through "subconscious connection") that the woman who attended all the sessions was the nicest.

I’m a fervent believer that a good PR professional knows (or will one day know) when s/he is becoming a pest. Only making connections when the particular PR individual needs something and offering nothing in return. When speaking to David Gelles, reporter at the Financial times who owns the Social Media beat, he said he simply wants to meet somebody who has something interesting to say. It shouldn’t be rehearsed and it shouldn’t be frivolous. Frankly, following David’s advice simply means you be yourself, right?

Ori discussed being vulnerable to the person you are networking with. I think this is great advice, whether in your personal or professional life if you’re genuine about your fears, your pride, and your goals the bond is strengthen. Of course, there is somewhat of a paradox to online relationships (as is mentioned in 2 Lessons from Google’s 216-Page Social Media Manifesto), “We seek information from a broad network of people, like Yelpers and blog commenters. But we want to share information with a much narrower network of people.”

I know this post was a little all over the place, but there’s a buzz of social media information floating around in my brain. I’m loving putting it into action – great way to sort it out ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: In My Humble Opinion by Tom Foremski

I’m currently reading Tom Foremski’s book – In My Humble Opinion.

The company I work with has a good relationship with Tom and I’ve been well acquainted with his work and writing style. He’s the first person to leave a high profile newspaper (The Financial Times) and start full-time blogging.

As a young PR professional Tom’s book has been very very helpful. He discusses his experiences in the Silicon Valley and proposes some very interesting new ideas to the way traditional PR is done.

For example: Press Releases. Tom discusses the tedious process (not to mention hundreds of dollars) that goes into press releases. From the first draft, to the last draft to the approvals from the company’s attorneys – press releases are tedious.

While I agree that press releases are tedious, I think they’re necessary to some degree. When I worked for the Purdue newspaper, The Exponent, we were very attentive to all the press releases the university put out. We were able to understand what the University thought was important and write accordingly. As an independent school newspaper we were able to choose what we wrote about and sometimes we didn’t even discuss trivial releases the University announced. However, the fact that we had access to them and knew what was going on was helpful.

The book poses an alternative for press releases that are amazingly endearing. The following keeps the good and does away with the square style of the traditional release.

The alternative proposal to press releases:

“Deconstruct the press release into special sections and tag the information so that as apublisher, I [Tom] can pre-assemble some of the news story and make the information useful.”

In detail, Tom suggests that a brief description of what the announcement is be provided but the spin of the story be left to the creative energy of the journalist. Since journalists will apply their own spin to the story anyways why bother including a spin I the press release?

Some other suggestions include:
• Provide a page of quotes…
o From CEOs
o From customers
o From analystis
• Provide financial information in different formats
• Provide links inside the press release copy
• TAG everything so journalists can pre-assemble stories

I think the reason press releases are sent out is to gain media attention and clearly “release” the information to the press (and public, of course). I do think packaging up information so that journalists don’t have to sift through junk would make their lives easier, which is clearly something any PR professional wants to do (especially when garnering coverage!).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tech Competition - ARM vs. Atom

“Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress,” Herbert Hoover.

Being in the tech industry has introduced me to tons of literature about competition. It’s invigorating to read and understand all the competition involved within the industry. After reading all the predictions and hearing/reading of all things tech I think I'm ready to make my first and foremost tech prediction (even so, keep in mind I'm new to the industry and am still a sponge and learning)

I wanted to discuss the Arm vs. Atom debate that has spurred. Granted, I’m a little late to join the conversation but better late than never, right?

Prophecy has it that ARM’s Cortex-A9 netbook with a Linux-based operating system could potentially sell at a price point that no Intel and Windows netwbook could match. Okay, not prophecy, rather Dr. Robert Castellano, an analyst with The Information Network is certain that the Cortex-A9 multicore processor is a serious challenger to the Atom.

Now, for all of you non-techies out there, you’ve all heard of Intel! Of course you have. If my five-year-old nephew sits on the piano and tries to match the Intel jingle, I know YOU have heard of Intel.

Mario Morales, an analyst with IDC was quoted in EETimes regarding this competition. “You don’t want to burn Intel,” he said. “If I’m an AsusTek, I need to get processors for my other product lines from them.” Indeed, Morales believes that he envisions Intel on the top of the netbook market many years from now.

ARM is not the only one that Intel has to worry about. AMD and Nvidia’s Tegra platform will be fighting for a chunk of the market as well. Although there’s some competition it’s important to note that over the past quarter of a century, Intel has become the leader when it comes to microprocessors.

Frankly, it’s quite safe to say that the company has covered everything: desktops, laptops, CPU’s and considering all that success perhaps doubting the Atom may just be because it’s the newest to the family. The Intel family aims to develop every device from the grandest server to the humblest media appliance – a”continuum of computing,” as Paul Otellini says which spans through various tiers of power. The ultra-low-voltage versions of the chip helps position Otellini’s continuum into the handset, media player, smart Tv, and digital electronic device world.

End result – I’m thinking we’ll see Intel prevail (here’s to my first prediction of the Future **see previous entry**)