David Meerman Scott: The Sage of New Media

February 27, 2009
photoofdavidmeermanscott_0063Not since the lessons of man were laid down on papyrus has one book so succinctly held the virtues of a way of life. Apologies in advance to anyone offended by that initial statement and comparison (whispers: because I was referring to the Bible), but the scope of importance that David Meerman Scott‘s The New Rules of Marketing & PR spans requires a lofty description. Scott’s New Rules is the go-to guidebook for anyone and everyone in the fields of marketing and public relations. From the undergrad to the company president, this book should not only be required reading for anyone who wants to learn and understand how to use new media to promote their organization, it should be a bedside tome. Scott has succeeded in explaining how to use new media, from blogs to podcasts and site content to viral marketing (and social media and search engine optimization and like a trillion other things), to take your organization into the new and necessary future of marketing and PR. New Rules is a godsend for anyone who wants to know, thinks they know, or doesn’t know a thing about how to effectively use new media.
The Bible of New Media

The Bible of New Media

Following up a masterpiece is never an easy task, just ask J.D. Salinger or Hootie & The Blowfish. Scott, however, seems poised to keep the streak alive with his latest offering entitled World Wide Rave. You may be asking, “What the heck is a World Wide Rave?” Well fear not, my companions, Scott has an answer for you. According to the official World Wide Rave site, a WWW (for shortsies) is “when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.” Well that sounds positively splendid to me. Who wouldn’t want that? If you’re on the Web, you’re there for a reason, and that’s because you want people to hear what you have to tell them. Learning how to bring the world where you want them sounds like a nice size target audience, no?

The New Testament

The New Testament

I encourage you to get to know Mr. Scott and his work. In fact, if I were you I’d just buy copies of both books right now. I’ve already ordered my copy of World Wide Rave and a second copy of New Rules, because when you refer to Mr. Scott’s wisdom as much as I do, it’s better to have a back-up for when you can no longer read through the highlights, dog-ears, and notes in the margin.


Get Your License to Drive…New Media

February 21, 2009

Turn into New Media

What if during all of that time you spend on Facebook and using “the” Google (thanks, McCain) you were actually developing skills you could use in your career? What if you could actually earn credit by using them and the rest of the Internet even more than you do now? Well wipe the drool from your laptops and dream no longer, my friends (ibid, the Maverick). Michigan State University, always a forerunner in the field of communications, is once again ahead of the game with their latest course offering entitled, “New Media Drivers License.” Taught by leaders of the old and new schools of communications, Dr. Richard Cole and Ingenex CEO Derek Mehraban (sort of like the Butch and Sundance of cool teachers), NMDL takes you on a journey through what you thought you already knew and makes you realize you didn’t know much at all.

NBDL Instructors: Butch Cole & The Ingenex Kid

NMDL Instructors: Butch Cole & The Ingenex Kid

You’ll learn how to use social networks like Facebook and Twitter, search engines like Google and Yahoo, YouTube, blogs, and podcasts to advance yourself academically and professionally. This is one of those classes that you tell your friends that you’re taking and they can’t believe you’re actually getting credit for it. The only difference being you’re actually going to use every single thing you learn from Day 1 in class to your last day on the job…and love every minute of it. So what are you waiting for? Sign on, sign in, and sign up. Then again, if you don’t know how do to that yet, you need much more than a New Media Drivers License.

PR: The New Priesthood?

January 23, 2009

When I tell people that I’m studying for a career in public relations, I’m invariably asked the same question: “So what kind of job can you get with that?” My usual answer is, “Well, any kind of job.” That’s the great thing about PR. As Al Pacino, playing John Milton/Satan in the film The Devil’s Advocate, once so succinctly stated about being a lawyer, “Because the law, my boy, puts us into everything. It’s the ultimate backstage pass. It’s the new priesthood, baby.” To me, that’s PR. Every industry that’s worth its salt needs to communicate with its publics, and that’s where we come in…it’s the new priesthood, baby!

The thing about learning PR is that there is no right or wrong on answer on how to approach a problem. It’s all about having that common touch…either you got it or you don’t…and building upon it along the way. However, there are a few time-tested ground rules that every practitioner should have in their playbook.

In searching for a useful site about public relations that contained these standard rules, I came across Rohit Bhargava’s excellent (and pertinent) “Influential Marketing Blog“. In his two most recent posts he discusses what it is both PR practitioners and journalists (the PR man’s (and woman’s) most immediate and important audience), should know about themselves and one another. I think Bhargava’s most important lesson, however, is that reputation matters. If words are our stock-in-trade, then reputation is the quality of our goods. Your word is your bond and trust matters, or people won’t be buying whatever it is you’re selling. In this industry, a tarnished reputation is rarely resurrected. On the other hand, a good reputation will not only open doors, it will take you as far as you want, in whatever you want.

I guess maybe that’s the difference between us and lawyers.

The Glory that is Google Reader

January 22, 2009

For someone who considers them self fairly savvy in the ways of the Internet, I really don’t know too much about what Google can do for me outside of finding information on anything I could possibly imagine…oh and zooming in on any location on the planet (Google Earth). I occasionally use Google Docs, but that’s about it. I still don’t use Google Calendar, I just remember where I have to be. I don’t use Google Groups, just Facebook or mass texts/emails. I don’t even know what Google Analytics is (but I’m gonna find out, don’t worry).


This brings us to Google Reader. I had a vague idea of what it was all about. I knew that it essentially let you read what you wanted to read from all over the Internet in one place. That may sound like a simple explanation, but after checking it out, that’s really about what it boils down to…and I have to admit, IT’S FANTASTIC. As someone who tries to keep up with the news from around the world, sports (fantasy and reality), weather, various blogs, and a plethora of other things on a daily basis, Google Reader truly is a transformational tool. Instead of me trying to go into detail on the finer points of the application, here is a video that explains what Google Readers does and how to do it:

If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what would. But seriously, instead of having to individually type in every URL for the site you want, or scrolling through all of your bookmarks, you can wake up, turn on, and tune in to everything you want to know from everywhere you want to get it. I would say its only drawback is that it does take a bit away from the personalities of each individual site, but it surely makes up for it in the amount of information it allows you to cover with it’s organization and time-saving ability.

Sometimes I like to check out the New York Times for the latest news and editorials, The Daily Beast to get a mix of news and entertainment, ESPN.COM for my sports, and so on and on and on. Instead of having to go to each site individually and not knowing if I’d missed anything or forgetting if I’d read something, Google Reader takes care of all of that for you in one place. I’ve already added several new sites to my daily consumption since I began regularly using Google Reader this week. I am a permanent fan and I already feel smarter for it.