Communications Trends for 2010 (Part 1)

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Marketing and Public Relations, Trends, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Does the start of a new year inspire you to think about the future?

Me too.

And what about those resolutions? Now comes the time to see if we really intend to keep them.

Per my recent post, Why You Should Make A New Year’s Social Media Resolution, one of my goals is to be more engaged with cyber pals, through real conversation, and perhaps meeting up in person.

Also, I plan to step up commenting on other blogs and share more space on my blog for people whose ideas and opinions I admire.

To get the latter resolution rolling, I asked several Twitter pals for thoughts on what they foresee as top communications trends for 2010. My friends could respond however they liked, and this included our speaking via Skype.

All brought up good points to ponder. Ideas offered cover various dimensions of the communication continuum. So much so, I’m breaking things up into two posts. Here’s Part 1:

One-way communication continues to fall by the wayside

The rise of social media continues to rock advertising, marketing, and public relations. Foundations that have stood for decades are quaking, as channels shift more decisively from monologue to dialogue. Here are forecasts from people in the thick of it.

Marketers must build trust and relationships

John Lichtenberger, publisher of Advertising Compliance Service, a reference service for attorneys and advertisers. Twitter: @AdvertisingLaw

“One trend that I expect will accelerate in 2010 and beyond is the continuing paradigm shift away from delivering one-way advertising/marketing messages to using social media to promote a company and its products. Marketers will continue to find out that it is much more effective to establish dialogue and relationships than it is to attract attention in the old way – via traditional advertising. In fact, they will probably have no other choice but to embrace this new medium. Consumers are spending more and more of their time on social media – old-school advertising simply is going to miss out on reaching them.

As we enter this new decade, marketers will need to learn how to effectively use social media to communicate trust first – and worry about sales later. It is not a medium that is at all conducive to the “hard sell”. Some marketers will find this fact out the hard way. But many more will surely learn how to become more adept at using social media effectively. It will be interesting to see the evolution of how businesses will use social media to communicate their company message in the months and years ahead.”

Wider and deeper engagement is essential for marketing and PR

Valeria Maltoni, professional marketer and brand strategist. Blog: Conversation Agent. Twitter: @ConversationAge

Direction for all communicators (marketers, PR people) in 2010.

“You will need to become actively involved in facilitating the active participation of the whole organization to the company’s branding efforts. If you’re not already, it’s time to become engaged with curating industry conversations and analysis to provide senior leadership with insights about market and customer demands.

From learning about what to listen for, to figuring out how the company needs to engage in the knowledge flows, you will need to have sharp focus to zero into what matters and soft eyes to see the big picture. Because customers, prospects, partners, and employees are spending more time online, you will need to become adept at observing and synthesizing trends, building community, and translating that information into action plans.

Communication is the exchange of information that connects to common goals. From multimedia content creation and story telling to value creation through context and calls to action, you will need to become the most adept at spotting opportunity, digging deeper, and bringing the right people to engage in the dialogue and deliver results – as outcomes and contribution to the bottom line.

Time to step off the comfortable side lines and get in the game. You will be accountable at every step of the way. That is good.”

Power to the people: PR goes back to its origins

Beth Harte, Community Manager at MarketingProfs. Blog: The Harte Of Marketing. Twitter: @BethHarte

“In 2010, public relations will revert back to its origins and there will be less focus on media relations (i.e. publicity). The origins of PR include building mutually beneficial relationships with the publics that can make or break an organization’s business and brands. With more publics using online tools as a mechanism for word of mouth (positive and negative), networking with like-minded people, and product/service/organization information it’s imperative for organizations to focus their attention to building those important relationships. Public relations will include things like: online community relations, proactive issues management, and less pitching and more strategic placement of content.”

Searching and sorting through content on the web

A growing number of tools enable us to publish content, to include blog posts, videos, photos and more. We have many ways to project our voices and engage in virtual conversation with any number of participants. Consequently, it’s getting mighty crowded out there on the web. Which brings us to these next few trends, which by the way, were conveyed in conversation over Skype:

New ways to manage and search content

Avi Joseph, web sociologist/strategist. Founder of SC Media, Twitter: @Avinio

“Mobile will be much more like a laptop and in the end it won’t be just a social web but a social mobile strategy. It will be a little bit different…. Geotagging is a step that we are beginning to see slowly entering… You will see much more news and social sharing by mobile.

We will see the boost of social network search. It will be less important to be on the first page of Google results, but it’s going to be more important to be on the first page among your community, your social circle.

You can see already that Google recognizes this. Google has the power to collect information for all social networks… I think what Google will do is when you open a Google profile account, and then every time you open an account on a social network you add it to your Goggle profile, Google will collect the information from there and will show it on your social results.”

Tamping down the fire hose: knowledge curation

Bill Ives, consultant and writer who helps firms and individuals with their blogs and other social media. Blog: Portals and KM. Twitter: @BillIves

“People are overburdened with information overload… It’s definitely a fire hose. The amount of content has grown exponentially and a lot of that content is just crap and you need to sift through to find the gems.

That’s where tools that enable us to filter, and human filters, like you and me for each other, can help. So I see knowledge curation as a trend, both the need and the tools for doing it. And if there is a tool that you can put in the hands of the average user… so that’s it’s as easy to use as Twitter or Facebook, I think it will be hugely successful. The need to make sense of an ever-increasing amount of content will continue for business and the individual consumer.”

Many thanks to John, Valeria, Beth, Avi and Bill for offering your insights. And readers, I recommend you follow these folks on Twitter. Each one is a great source of information and conversation.

– Deni Kasrel

Do you agree with these thoughts on communications trends for 2010? What other trends do you see for the coming year? Please share. Comments welcome.

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Free E-Book Of Social Media Insights for 2010

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You know the adage “it’s the thought that counts” when it comes to giving?

Well, ’tis especially true in the blogopshere, where valued free gifts abound — in the form of useful content — on a regular basis.

This time of year, certain bloggers are extra generous; as is the case with one of my faves, Valeria Maltoni, who created a free e-book that’s one of those “gifts that keeps on giving.”

How can social media work for your brand in 2010?

Maltoni is the astute mind behind the popular blog, Conversation Agent. An expert in marketing communications, customer dialogue and brand management, she has lots of friends in the biz, 10 of whom contributed to Marketing in 2010: social media becomes operational (a link to download the e-book is at the end of this post).

As Maltoni explains, her e-book is predicated on the notion that:

“Execution in social media enriches brands and the people or tribes that make them work. It means you are changing the world and allowing the world to change you as a business in commensurate parts, while you interact with it.”

Maltoni is a deep thinker, and so are the pals she asked to ponder variables and propose directions that make social media marketing operational; such as objectives, strategies, tools/tactics, people, and measurable goals. The result is a revealing collection of well-considered insights from individuals who are all actively engaged and practice what they preach.

Contributors and articles are:

These assorted articles explain how, in the coming year, companies must be savvier, more serious and more strategic in how they plan and execute social media programs. They assert social media marketing is no longer optional, but a must-have, to be integrated and aligned with overall business goals and objectives.

2010 is the year a clearer picture develops, such that experimental theory settles down into best practice. Along with prognostications, there are directions for how to execute best practices to ensure your social media marketing success.

Each author is a prominent blogger in his/her own right and the e-book provides valuable perceptions — you’ll want to keep it on hand for reference throughout 2010.

And again, to download the e-book, click on the link at the end of this post on Maltoni’s blog, Conversation Agent.

-Deni Kasrel

Why not check out this valuable free e-book and then share your thoughts on its content? Comments welcome.

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Wonder Gals of Web 2.0

Posted on September 10, 2009. Filed under: Marketing and Public Relations, Outstanding Communicators, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SuperwomanA Twitter pal recently turned me on to an article titled Wonder Guys of Marketing 2.0. The post highlighted five “marvelous people” who are responsible for popular blogs and big ideas.

The five guys are: Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Hughes, Brian Clark and Michael Arrington. All stand out in the world of Web 2.0. To find out why, read the Wonder Guys piece.

But enough with the boys club routine. Does Web 2.0 have a glass ceiling?

Me thinks not.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves. They’re blazing trials and are true thought leaders whose ideas and opinions matter. And so I present the first installment of Wonder Gals of Web 2.0.

Toby Bloomberg

Toby Bloomberg Best known for Diva Marketing Blog, Bloomberg has been in the web trenches since the late 1990s. Savvy and street-smart with a down-to-earth attitude, Bloomberg helps demystify marketing and social media while having fun along the way. Her jaunty Diva blog consistently ranks among the top in its field and she makes things even livelier with Diva Marketing Talks , her podcast series, featuring chats with other media hotshots.

A staunch advocate for employing blogging as a means of personal empowerment, Bloomberg’s compelling Blogger Stories project compiled tales “of how the blogosphere has touched people’s lives and, in doing so, opened the door to new way of creating relationships and opportunities.”

This clever Wonder Gal created the first business book using Twitter as a distribution channel and content platform. An active organizer and speaker for multiple organizations, she also heads Bloomberg Marketing, a strategic consultancy.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre BreakenridgeBreakenridge wrote the book on public relations as applied to Web 2.0. Make that two books: She’s author of PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences and co-author, with Brian Solis, of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. Both take a penetrating look at how social media and other emerging technologies affect the ways and means of public relations.

Breakenridge also penned The New PR Toolkit: Strategies for Successful Media Relations and Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy, plus she’s a university professor; so her knowledge runs deep. In writing, teaching, and speaking engagements Breakenridge is a thoughtful passionate force for “reinventing the PR industry.” She was among the first to call out the seismic shift in 21st century reporting and news distribution and the subsequent rise of direct-to-consumer communication.

Proving she can both teach and do, as president of PFS Marketwyse, Breakenridge leads a full-service enterprise that enables companies to bolster brands by integrating traditional and new media marketing.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington Whether or not you agree with her politics you can’t deny that Huffington has rocked the blogosphere. As co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post she pioneered the notion of blogs having a real seat at the news table and legitimized bloggers as authentic journalists.

The HP has grown into a powerhouse publication. It’s now one of the most widely read and influential media brands on the internet. Huffington’s clout enables her to attract an impressive array of contributors, making The HP an entertaining and stimulating source of news and views.

This noted political pundit keeps current with media trends: In mid-August her site launched HuffPost Social News which uses Facebook Connect to enable readers to create social news pages. The author of 12 books, Huffington was cited in 2006 by Time as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People and named Media Person of the Year in 2008 by I Want Media.

Charlene Li

Charlene Li Recently making headlines for enticing web superstars Deborah Schultz, Ray Wang and Jeremiah Owyang to join her company, Altimeter Group, Li is an oft-quoted seer of the cyber scene. She’s co-author, with Josh Bernoff, of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, a prescient and practical bestselling book on how businesses can benefit from social media.

The smarty-pants Harvard-grad honed her analytical skills at Forrester, a leading market research company; and as an early proponent of the power of the web, in the 1990s Li created the concept for and launched the internet publishing division of Community Newspaper Company, where she brought 120 community newspapers online.

Li’s into identifying and finding solutions to business problems: Having observed how certain companies have a tough time adopting a social media mindset, part of her current research revolves around studying and resolving a leading obstacle in this regard; corporate aversion to risk.

Li’s many kudos include being acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology and being named Visionary of the Year by Society for New Communications Research.

Valeria Maltoni

Valeria MaltoniA marketer, consultant and prolific speaker/presenter, Maltoni advises CEOs on best practices for managing corporate image. Online, she’s recognized for the prodigious content of her uber-popular Conversation Agent. The multi award-winning blog is distinguished by its incisive interviews with individuals from all aspects of the business communications mix, as well as for Valeria’s viewpoints on subjects that veer from the big picture, to small yet important details.

Forthright and provocative, this Wonder Gal calls it as she sees it, often in a bright staccato style that lays out precisely what’s on her keen mind. For instance in a post about company blogs she writes, “Your blog WILL suck at first…. As you become more familiar with the space, and the tool, your efforts will improve.”

Fast Company snagged Maltoni for its Customer Conversation blog and she built one of the publication’s first online communities.  Her words of wisdom also appear in Marketing Profs Daily Fix, Marketing 2.0, Social Media Today and The Blog Herald.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar WeinbergA web bio for Weinberg states that “Tamar is a member of just about every social network that has a name,” and that’s the truth. She’s also an avid blogger and opinion leader who currently contributes to Real Simple, Lateral Action, Mashable and Techipedia, the latter being her personal blog that explores and explains social media and internet marketing. This self-described “tech geek” knows the web from top to bottom, including pay per click, system administration and search engine optimization.

Besides blogging for Mashable, Weinberg is the site’s community and marketing director, where, she says, “my job is to make our valued members happy.” She finds time to be a media consultant for Say It Social, she’s an editor for Pistachio Consulting Touchbase Blog, and is an independent social media marketing consultant.

With that load only a Wonder Woman could squeeze in writing a book, and Weinberg has done that, too. She penned The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. Released in July, it’s already a must-read guide for learning the intricacies of how to make the most of the many nodes of the socially networked web.

More Wonder Gals?

So that’s the first installment of Wonder Gals of Web 2.0. It’s a terrific group of individuals who’ve done great things to educate, innovate, build community and otherwise move the social web forward.

There are surely others worthy of the Wonder Gal moniker.  But I don’t have all the answers — let me know who you think deserves to be on the list.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think about these Wonder Gals of Web 2.0? Who did I miss? Comments welcome.

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