Public Relations professionals face the challenge of mastering social media so they can make fresh, creative recommendations to their clients , according to John Bell, Managing Director of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide’s 360 degree Digital Influence. Bell presented a workshop on using the social media to engage in a 360-degree conversation with customers and other audiences.
Responding to a question in the session, John said that public relations people need to stop considering themselves only as the "arms and legs of media relations," but must be proactive in learning as much as they can about how to engage in social media.
Bell talked about deepening levels of consumer engagement with companies, ranging from the simplest interaction of branded online entertainment up through the more complex engagements of content creation, social collaboration like bookmarking, wikis, tagging and voting, up through content co-creation like consumer generated ads and crowdsourcing.
The goal is to create shareable content that is useful; to consumers. A campaign for Aveeno included creating a relationship with street artist Julian Beaver, famed for ultra realistic chalk paintings. Check out this video and this Flickr site created to support the campaign.
More later. Have to prepare for my session on podcasting for thought leadership.