Linkedin: Quite possibly the most overlooked social media tool

Social media as an accepted stand-alone public relations practice remains just a few years old, but for some reason I still find it easy to think that there is little new under the sun.

After all, if we break apart social media into their functional pieces the actual act of sharing information today is not much different from it was when the young PR industry was ruled by guys who walked newspaper newsrooms drumming up interest in their clients’ news. Continue reading

The problem with #hashtags: @BAFuture’s #Imstuck

Hashtags are a tough deal. I really encourage anyone deciding to use a hashtag to do some research before picking a hashtag that will support your message and strengthen your branding.BAF App

Earlier this week, Building America’s Future released a new mobile app that helps people tell Congress when they are stuck in traffic. The app encourages users to copy BAF and share on Twitter when they have sent a message to Congress.

The app received some great coverage and I’ve watched for some backlash toward the app since it appears to encourage drivers to send messages while they are behind the wheel. I know that it doesn’t directly encourage distracted driving, but the idea that someone would send a message to Congress while stuck in traffic kind of infers that. 

Still, the app seems really smart and I’m intrigued. But the hashtag, #imstuck, seems to have landed with a thud. I’ve compiled a few of the items on Storify.

I truly wish the folks much success. We need all the awareness we can get for transportation in Congress. But maybe we need a better hashtag? 

Wasting time on the company dime? Build a social strategy for internal audiences

How much time to do you spend on Facebook? How about Twitter?

As a communications professional, probably quite a bit of time. According to Facebook’s IPO filing earlier this year, the average Facebook user spends more than 12 minutes a day using its site. That does not include time spent using Facebook’s mobile apps.

According to ComScore, Americans are spending hours and hours every month on social media sites like Pinterest (1 hour and 17 minutes), Twitter (36 minutes), LinkedIn (17 minutes) and even poor Google Plus (6 minutes).

While we talk a lot as communicators about what that means to our external marketing efforts, time spent on social media is becoming a serious issue for transportation agencies concerned about how their employees are spending their days. Are they wasting time on social media, or are they being more efficient?

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Technology Helps Overcome Hurricane Sandy

Like millions of people living along the East Coast this week, I hunkered down and waited out “frankenstorm” that was Hurricane Sandy. My family and I were glued to Facebook and Twitter, in addition to local TV channels and CNN.

I was supposed to be in Utah today to participate in a panel discussion on the use of social media by transportation agencies in the public involvement process. But by Sunday afternoon it was clear that the storm was so huge, my most reasonable plan should be to stay home and make sure my family was safe. My Utah hosts suggested that if conditions allowed we could still have me participate in the session via Skype or Google+Continue reading