Sunday, October 25, 2009

Taking control of your social media

Over a year ago I wrote a peeved post, Me and the bad pitches: Or why bloggers get peeved by marketers. In it I shares how a bad PR pitch from someone representing a product I actually loved turned me off.

The product, in this case, was a show, Spring Awakening. The PR person in question wanted free promotion from me, and when I asked about a couple of media passes to review the show, they went dead silent. As I explained in my post above, it was a good idea to approach a blogger who had already raved about your show, a true brand fan, but that wasn't one of them.

Here we are, over one year later, and I received an email not from a PR firm, but from the blogger for the touring company's blog, Totally Trucked. Pun, the gender-neutrally-named blogger in question had found my post and reached out.

First, I have to say: Impressive to find my post. It doesn't exactly come up on page one of the search for Spring Awakening blogs.

Second, Pun apologized for my prior bad experience with their brand (because, yes, that PR person's blunder reflected on their brand) and admirably addresses each of the complaints I made in my afore-linked post. Finally, Pun shares something that I think more and more companies are realizing and acting on, namely:"...we are coordinating outreach on the national level now--many local presenters do not have sufficient experience with bloggers."

OK, so maybe "local presenters" isn't a universal term and specific to this genre of company, but the point is that the show went beyond simply having their own blog...they realized that reaching out to the blogosphere should come from deep on the inside too.

Now, am I saying a marketing person, or even a PR person, can't be authentic, can't be "on the inside"? No. I'm a marketer; I believe we are typically pretty damn passionate about what we market.


Don't abdicate the responsibility. If it's your brand, your company, you will be held responsible for what happens in its name. Social media as a marketing tool isn't something wildly revolutionary anymore. The slack people will cut you is getting shorter and shorter. We expect you to know better. We expect you to care about what kind of outreach is being done in your name.

Maybe that doesn't always mean taking that outreach "inside", but whoever is doing it better have access to the inside. And buy-in from the inside.

The hottest fan-passion can cool. Don't let it happen to you while you're not even looking.

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