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Digital Impact Recap: Danny Sullivan on Search and Social

June 27, 2013

This year’s two-day Digital Impact Conference, themed “Social Business: Strategies for Success,” kicked off this morning at the New York Hilton Midtown.

After welcome remarks from PRSA President and COO William M. Murray, CAE, Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land gave the opening keynote address, “The New Face of PR: How to Tap the Power of Search Engines and Social Media.”

Sullivan began his presentation by demonstrating how to use the new Google Glass and spoke on how connectivity will be critical for communicators going forward.

He noted that while he is not a PR professional, he’s been a journalist for 20 years and received many pitches, so he has “thoughts to share on the world of search and social.”

He discussed the ongoing Paula Deen PR crisis and told the audience to realize the difference between “stories read and seen on social media. Know what you said and why you retweeted it,” he said.

“Social media is media,” Sullivan said. “It is first-tier media. It’s not after-thought media; it’s not echo-chamber media. It’s not for discussing real media.”

He noted that The New York Times has more followers on social than those who subscribe to the actual print version. So ask yourself: “Are you using social media to talk directly to your audience?”

Your fans may be able to help and support you within a few seconds like Deen’s did. But be careful — search is also media, and people can reverse-broadcast what they want to hear, he said. Provide links and “speak Web” rather than sending a PDF of a press release.

“Don’t get cute. Live or die by your headline. Honesty is content. Get rid of buzzwords. Do your research. Be a good PR person,” Sullivan said. He closed by offering the audience a list of what he thinks good PR people do:

  • Study our content, to pitch appropriately
  • Offer unique story ideas
  • React quickly and efficiently to requests
  • Offer tips and tidbits that might be useful, even if not for an existing client
  • Are positive, fun and either enjoy the job or give that impression
  • Know that Twitter is a great place to shine, so show a sense of humor

Follow along with the Digital Impact Conference via our RebelMouse page and our Twitter handle, @PRSAtactics. And stay tuned to @PRSADIconf and #PRSADIconf for updates.

Amy Jacques

Amy Jacques is the managing editor of publications for PRSA. A native of Greenville, S.C., she holds a master’s degree in arts journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Georgia’s Grady College and a certificate in magazine and website publishing from New York University.


Richard G. Clancy, III, APR says:

Like Danny's point about showing a good sense of humor - yes, even with the media :) In my life, career and relationships, I've found it goes a long way to achieving mutual success and satisfaction.

June 28, 2013

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