52 PR Pros Shaping the Conversation on Twitter

July 30th, 2012

Top PR people on Twitter? You can find a dozen public relations expert lists with no real rhyme or reason, in fact many of the lists base their inclusion solely on the frequency of using the PR hashtag. Or the list includes companies who simply promote their work and their clients, but who contribute nothing to conversations or the industry.  Turning to Google Search, other top lists are dated from 2008, and some of those folks aren’t in PR, or have new jobs or aren’t with us anymore. Interesting note, even PRWeek analyzed their so-called Power List and noticed that only 22% of them are actually active on Twitter.  Not so much a “power list” then is it? It’s the Gen X in me, but just because you’re in a senior position doesn’t mean you’re powerful in an industry going through dramatic and very public changes.


Not one to just complain, I created a solution – a list of PR pros who contribute and shape the conversations around communications.  In a rather unscientific manner, I set the following criteria:

  • primary job is public relations or communications
  • has been active on Twitter at least 6 months
  • minimum 1,000 followers with at least 2,000 tweets and not an auto-bot
  • participates in the conversation and offers, adds, or shares value
  • based in North America
  • not an industry resource (e.g. PRWeek)
  • and is a real person

 The result?

52 PR Pros Shaping the Conversation on Twitter  (and listed in alphabetical order because who wants to rank by influence, frequency or heaven-help-us a Klout score.)

  1. @allanschoenberg
  2. @andrew_shippr
  3. @arikhanson
  4. @armano
  5. @augieray
  6. @beckygaylord
  7. @bethharte
  8. @briansolis
  9. @carenwest
  10. @chuckhemann
  11. @commammo
  12. @conversationage
  13. @dbreakenridge
  14. @davesaunders
  15. @elissapr
  16. @fredmcclimans
  17. @ginidietrich
  18. @jasmollica
  19. @jasonfalls
  20. @jaybaer
  21. @jeffespo
  22. @jgoldsborough
  23. @jspepper
  24. @kamichat
  25. @karenswim
  26. @kdpaine
  27. @keithtrivitt
  28. @kellyecrane
  29. @lenkendall
  30. @lizzharmon
  31. @loudyoutloud
  32. @mackcollier
  33. @marc_meyer
  34. @markwschaefer
  35. @mdbarber
  36. @michaelocc
  37. @mindofandre
  38. @missusp
  39. @mpranikoff
  40. @nflprguy
  41. @pmgnicole
  42. @pprothe
  43. @pr_couture
  44. @prcog
  45. @prtini
  46. @rexr
  47. @shonali
  48. @steveology
  49. @steverubel
  50. @tamadear
  51. @tdefren
  52. @valeriesimon

This is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good, solid start. Feel free to add more to the comments or let me know who you’d knock off the list.



Social Timing: When to Tweet

June 25th, 2012

“When should I tweet if I want to be noticed?” This may be the most common question we get from clients, friends and fellow tweeters. Thanks to the team at Fuse Works Studios, we’ve got this great infographic to share the answer:

twitter best practices maximizing your tweets infographicA Twitter infographic by Fusework Studios

Get Started: Set Up on Twitter and Start Tweeting

January 18th, 2011

It’s already mid-January and on your to-do list was to get started with Twitter. It’s not too late – that’s the nice thing with social media – it’s rarely, if ever to late.  Twitter is a short-messaging platform with great reach to audiences, in fact, according to the research more than 51% of Twitter users will follow a brand or company. Twitter works on multiple levels and has far-reaching benefits. But let’s save the sales pitch and just help you get started. Here’s your step-by-step approach to setting up and to starting to tweet:

1. Go to www.twitter.com

2. Register as a new user

     a. You’ll need a Twitter user name (and yes you can change it later) so keep it simple and avoid punctuation or complicated spellings if possible

     b. You need a 100×10 image (also called an avatar)

     c. You need a bio – 140 characters; key words matter (searchability), if as you’re representing your company, state it (transparency) and finally, caution: this is public

NOTE ON MOBILE:  You can check Twitter and send Tweets from your mobile phone. In fact, many people use Twitter exclusively from mobile phones. On the home page of Twitter are options for downloads at the bottom of the page.  E.g. For the iPhone, HootSuite or Tweetdeck are free options and both are very easy to use; simply download and install from the Apps Store.

What Do I Say?

Now that is the real question isn’t it? The best way to think of what to post is: What has your attention right now?  While Twitter asks you, “what’s happening?” that’s not necessarily the right question to consider.  Describing, sharing, or posting what has your attention is a bit more specific, and quite honestly, interesting.

Tweets tend to fall into three categories: personal, conversational, and promotional.  Almost all successful people on Twitter blend these three categories.


How Do I Tweet?

1. To post a “tweet” simply enter in your 140 characters and hit update

2. If you need to include a URL, use http://bit.ly to save space

3. If you “re-tweet” someone else’s post, start it with RT @theirname

4. If you want to direct message (DM) someone simply exchange the “@” for a “d”

5. If you reply to someone, simply go to the right of their post and you’ll see an arrow icon, click on it. 

     a. this leads you to an update box that has @theirname in the box

     b. this is considered an “open conversation”

     c. take it to DM if you go to more than 3 back-and-forths, otherwise we’re all just eavesdropping

A few notes on etiquette:

  • Understand this is social media and not broadcast media (or think of it as no one likes someone who only talks about themselves)
  • Do not send off 20 tweets in a row or send tbd tweets – you can lose followers
  • If you post someone else’s tweet, include the RT and credit in your post
  • If you and another person have more than 3 replies on the same topic, take it offline or to email
  • Some text-speak is common, such as “IMHO” (in my humble opinion)
  • All of this is in a public domain – heed proper caution


Now there is a lot more to Twitter, but this will get you set up and get you started. There is lots of help out there to help explain how to follow people, the etiquette and the lingo to Twitter. But for now, just get started. And be sure to follow us at www.twitter.com/cloudspark.

Mad Libs: The “Year of 2010” Version

December 21st, 2010

Welcome to the end of December, the end of 2010. This is the time of year when we see plenty of “Top 10 of 2010” lists and summaries of the past year (along with a few predictions for the upcoming year). Yet in spite of the pundits and the headlines from national news outlets, I wanted to informally poll my friends and social networks to see how they’d headline the year.

Why? Despite the headlines and top stories, we tend to have our own filters and perspectives on what represents a whole year. 

So we posed the question in Mad Lib format: “2010 Was the Year of _____.” From our network, here are few of the results that came our way:

 “2010 Was the Year of the American Identity Crisis” – @tarynp

 “2010 Was the Year of the Lady Gaga Meat Dress and Tea Party Politicians (both over the top!)” – @theshiramiller

“2010 Was the Year of the Someone Else’s Life. (therefore, I call dibs on 2011!)” – @aparkour

 “2010 Was the Year of Writing, Social Media, and Mostly Good Times in a Bad Economy” – @georgiawebgurl

 “2010 Was the Year of the Social ‘Me’ versus ‘We’” – @alizasherman

“2010 Was the Year of the iPad (of course!)” – @eholtzclaw

 “2010 Was the Year of Blame” – @raidschmitt

“2010 Was the Year of Competing Rights” – @looking_glass

So what was the year to you?

Online Privacy: Your Social Chatter Reveals More than You Know

August 12th, 2010

Earlier this week, we shared a small social experiment – we were able to discover key details and specific information by browsing the social media profiles of four people we recently met at a local networking event.  The results surprised us and got us thinking more about how casual people tend to be in very public places online.

Are you careful about what you say in public places? Do you ever really know who you’re talking to at a party? Do you mind if people eavesdrop your conversations at Starbucks? Do you let people read your laptop screen while you sit on the airplane? You’re probably socially attuned to all of these and careful about information that you’re revealing when you’re interacting this way in the real world, but you think differently about privacy in the online world. People tend to have this inflated presumption of privacy and they’re less careful about what they reveal. If fact, your privacy expectations and behaviors may be altered if you begin to think about a reality analog to the different types of social situations that you’re encountering through social media. You would probably be surprised how much people can learn about you because of the way you’re treating the online world differently than you act in the real one.

Let’s look at real-world analogies of the most common social networking sites and see how it might make you think differently about your privacy expectations. When you interact with people on Facebook, think of it as how you might act at a wedding reception. You either know everyone there or you have met a lot of them or, at the very least, you trust that they’re ok because the bride and groom invited them there. So you can let your guard down a little bit, share pictures, even drink a little too much and say stupid stuff. But you don’t really know everyone there, do you? You can’t be sure that everybody there was invited to the wedding. So you can’t completely trust everyone there, but on Facebook you pour your heart and personal information out on the table for everybody to sort through it.

If Facebook is a wedding reception, then Twitter is neighborhood bar on a Thursday night. You know a couple of people there, maybe even some good friends, but you have to assume everything you do and say in that bar might be heard by anybody. And you have no idea who those people are or if you can trust them. And who is the creepy guy that’s hanging around and listening to everything you have to say? You might reveal some personal things to your friends, but other people are listening.

If Twitter is a neighborhood bar, then social sites like Chatroulette or adults in MySpace are a shady nightclub downtown. You can’t really trust anything you hear or see there, but you might go there to let loose and have fun sometimes. Or maybe you just go there for bands that you like. You’re definitely going to see a different crowd at that nightclub then you might at the wedding reception last weekend, so you probably are going to put your guard up a little bit. You definitely can’t trust much of anything you see or hear there, and there might even be illegal things around. Plus, nightclubs never seem to stay open for very long.

If you don’t go to bars, then LinkedIn is much like your last professional networking meeting. You go to those types of events to meet like-minded people and to make contacts for business development, job searching or to just grow your network. You have casual and professional conversations with people and hand out business cards, but you don’t normally walk around handing out resumes. But that’s what you do on LinkedIn, right? Except on LinkedIn, the whole world can read all of those details, not just the self-selective group at your networking event. And again, these are people that are a step above strangers off the street, but you’re still not going to reveal tons of personal details to them until you get to know them, or when you run into them at a wedding.

If people thought about these real-world situations a bit when they are interacting socially in the online world, perhaps they would reveal a little bit less. Would you walk in a bar and tell everyone all of that?

If you’re on social media, guess what? You reveal more than you know.

Online Privacy: What Your Social Footprint Leaves Behind

August 10th, 2010

The debate on privacy in the social space took another huge leap this past week. The Wall Street Journal’s ran an in-depth, investigative series titled, “What They Know.”  The eye-pooping, jaw-dropping insights in the series (here, here and it continues here) left little doubt that your digital footprint is easier to track and identify than you might realize. But The Wall Street Journal has a big staff, time to investigate, and an editorial directive to find the story.

What could a person like me find out about, say, some people they met at recent networking events?

From a recent handful of business cards I gathered at a networking event, I poked around on social networking sites to see just what people reveal about them to the rest of the world – without cookies, spyware, or other data-gathering tricks. This was a simple search to see just how much I could learn about four people.  What’s surprising is that I found a lot of details that I’m not certain these four folks know just how much they’ve put out there. Among the details, I learned:

  • where they went to college
  • where they went to high school
  • how old they are
  • where they live
  • where they were born
  • what nationality they are
  • what religion they are
  • everywhere they’ve ever worked
  • how many kids they have (I even got to see photos and videos)
  • what their spouses do for a living
  • who they voted for in recent elections
  • what their primary hobbies are
  • what movies they had recently seen
  • what bands/music they like
  • what books they’ve read in recent months
  • what restaurants they’ve been to in the last month
  • and where they’re traveling to right now


Remember, this was just me, looking at public info they’ve posted on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others. 

So what are you opening revealing about yourself? Perhaps more than you know.

Social Media 101: A Primer for PR Pros

May 7th, 2010

Today, I presented at the PRSA/GA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Ga.  This presentation to PR professionals focused on providing the basics of social media – definitions, demographics, and details – they would need to enhance/advance a company’s brand.  It was also the first time I debuted the new Prezi format, which won rave reviews from the audience.

What else would you add?

Get in the Conversation: Twitter Chat List

March 31st, 2010

If you haven’t experience the phenomenon of Twitter chats, you’re missing out on excellent crowdsourced learning and sharing.  There are nearly 80 chats happening each week in topics ranging from agriculture to web journalists. We’ve put together a list of Twitter chats relating to our worlds – marketing, PR, social media, and business – all noted with their days and times.* While we’d love to list things like DesignChat (Wednesday, 8pm CT), we’re trying to stay focused and not list every chat we’d like to follow. 

 If you’re running your own business, or just trying to learn more about marketing/social media/pr you can follow the conversations, pose questions and participate. You can learn a lot to apply to your business.

Oh, and if you miss a chat at the time listed, you can also search by its hashtag for past conversations; many chat hosts will post summaries on their own blogs.

Feel free to share what chats you find worthwhile. If you just can’t get enough, you can find a full list of chats, by checking here.

Name Day Time Hashtag
Innovation Thursday Noon – 1pm ET #innochat
Small Business Tuesday 7pm – 8pm CT #smbiz
Small Business Chat Wednesday 8pm – 9pm ET #SmallBizChat
Under 30 Professionals Thursday 8pm-9pm ET #u30pro
B2B Marketing Wednesday 7pm – 9pm CT #b2bmktgchat
BrandChat Wednesday 11am – Noon ET #brandchat
Healthcare Marketing Friday Noon – 1pm CT #hcmktg
Integrated Marketing Wednesday 8pm – 9pm ET #IMCChat
Neuromarketing Thursday 7pm ET #nmchat
SEO Tuesday 2pm-3pm ET #seo411
Travel/Tourism Marketing Thursday 3pm – 4pm CT #mrktchat
Public Relations      
Analyst Relations Monday 1pm-2pm ET #archat
Entertainment PR Tuesday 8pm-9pm ET #entprchat
Healthcare PR/SM Sunday 8pm-9pm CT #hcsm
Internal Comm Monday 12pm-1pm CT #icchat
Measurement PR Tuesday


Noon – 1pm ET #measurePR
PR 2.0 Tuesday 8pm-9pm ET #pr20chat
PR Students Wednesday Noon – 1pm ET #prstudchat
Solo PR Wednesday 1pm-2pm ET #soloPR
Sports PR Thursday Noon – 1pm ET #sportsPRchat
Journalists Monday 7-10pm CT #journchat
Web Journalists Wednesday 5pm-7pm PT #wjchat
Event Professionals Tuesday 8pm-9pm CT #eventprofs
Social Media      
BlogChat Sunday 8pm – 9pm CT #blogchat
Social Media RoundUp Tuesday Noon -1pm #socialmedia
Social Media Wednesday 1pm-2:3-pm ET #smchat


*Times for chats are based on US time zones: ET is Eastern Time; CT is Central Time; PT is Pacific Time.

How Social Media Can Change History

July 17th, 2009

While we can get lost in the details of social media, its rise as new channels and its growth and accessibility around the world is changing the very fabric of societies.  In this outstanding presentation by Clay Shirky at TED, he offers a mesmerizing look at how social media and texting are changing – and have changed – our understanding of world issues and events.  This video is certain to inspire you to start a conversation, listen to the news more closely, and most importantly, to step back and look at how our undestanding of news and events is direcly influenced by citizens’ experiences.


 What do you think?

CEOs Can ‘Get’ Social Media, Start with the Right Conversation

July 13th, 2009

On the heels of the recent research released by UberCEO that CEOs are social media slackers, I was making a social media presentation to a large group of CEOs last week… a bunch of folks with the same questions that my clients ask, “Is social media a fad?” and “Why should this matter?”  Even though UberCEO’s report provided great insights into the current adoption of social media by Fortune 100 CEOs, I kept coming back to a more basic need to build understanding of how consumers have shifted, from passive to active, to get their attention.


How did I start the social media conversation with this group of CEOs? Well, I started by asking a series of questions:

·          how many had smart phones – about 80%

·          how many have been on Google in the last 48 hours – nearly 100%

·          how many had seen one video on YouTube in the last 3 months – 100%

·          how many have read news or a news article online in the last 24 hours – 100%

·          how many had used the internet to snoop on a competitor? or make a purchase? or find the latest links schedule? – nearly 100%

·          how many had used a ratings review service, like for a car, movie, or restaurant – about 30%


I didn’t ask how many were on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social media spheres – my main point to this group was that how they use the internet on a personal basis is similar to how their customers are using it.  And while some of these questions are related to search and not social media, it’s the behavior and the channels that I wanted this group of CEOs to focus on. 


And with those initial questions and a few comments on my end about the rise of the active consumer as the intro, you could see a few a-ha moments happening. I went on to share an interactive presentation on just what is social media and why its influence is important and growing (including the latest numbers from Neilsen).  When I wrapped up, I got a lot of thanks and plenty more questions which reaffirms that these business leaders want to understand this without the pressure of being early adopters or prolific users.  But for the first time, for many of these executives, they “got” why social media matters because I started the conversation with them as consumers and not CEOs. And that understanding may be the start of something more.


What do you think?

There's no need for the social media conversation to lead to chaos.

There's no need for the social media conversation to lead to chaos.