From now on I’m calling Linkedin “InkedIn” because it can generate PR buzz

Posted by Dan Keeney

I have to admit that I ventured into social media reluctantly, believing that the tools were primarily used by misfits who had too much time on their hands. Those who have seen my presentation on dealing with bloggers in a crisis have heard my scorn firsthand. For the most part, I think bloggers are people who are seeking some fleeting acknowledgement of their self-worth. They pontificate on things about which few have more than marginal knowledge and they gather in packs to shout down dissenting opinions.







 
 “Crisis Communications: How to Recover from a
Black Eye,” was published in Perspectives
To a certain extent, I think I’ve been proven partially right in that initial assessment. Snarky cynics make up a far greater percentage of bloggers and people who post comments than they represent in the offline world. If that was not the case, you would be stopped in the street and ridiculed if your shoes didn’t match your belt.

But I have also been proven partially wrong. Social media tools have proven to be valuable in promoting my own small business and in helping me to help my clients. The most recent example of this is the publication of the story, “Crisis Communications: How to Recover from a Black Eye,” in Perspectives, which is a publication for the insurance brokerage industry. I was featured as an expert source in the article. And I owe that to LinkedIn.

Several months ago I noticed that LinkedIn has groups, so I looked at the groups that some of my connections were members of and I clicked to join them. I am now a member of groups of PRSA members, Accredited PR pros, independent PR practitioners, University of Colorado alumni, Loveland High School alumni and several others. I’ve actually found the groups on LinkedIn to be a great way to derive value from what otherwise seems to be a fairly stale way to connect with business peers and colleagues.

One day, someone posted an inquiry on the LinkedIn PRSA group seeking an expert in crisis communciations. I actually thought she was seeking someone who could provide some advice, so I responded. She actually was writing a story on the subject and we proceeded to do an interview. 

So without LinkedIn, I wouldn’t have gotten that valuable visibility for my crisis communication practice. My involvement on Twitter has prompted similar interview opportunities. Tweets have also sparked reporter interest in client activities. I regularly tweet about my client Saint Arnold Brewing Company, which always seems to have something going on. This week, they’ll be part of a contingent of small brewers heading to Austin to advocate for the passage of a bill that would allow Texas craft breweries to sell beer to visitors to take home with them. A few tweets on the subject peeked the interest of several journalists and boom, the founder will be live on the radio Thursday morning.

With the encouragement of Ed Schipul and his team at Schipul – The Web Marketing Company, I have embraced Flickr, YouTubeFacebook and others. Each has provided some degree of revelation. For instance, through Facebook I have reconnected with my core group of high school friends who haven’t been together in 28 years. On Flickr, I was able to track down great photos of client events — much better than our official photgrapher took. Through YouTube, I connected with a passionate supporter of my client’s products who offered to create a video to promote safety and save lives. And so on.

So mark me down as a blogger who thinks bloggers are narcissistic know-it-alls who spend entirely too much thinking about and promoting social media. And I just posted about how great social media is.

Please forgive me if I stare at myself in the mirror the next time we’re together.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 10:34 pm and is filed under Future of PR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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