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2011 Is the Year of the Freelance PR Consultant

If you recently started working in communications and PR (and in particular for technology) at either a global or boutique PR agency, do yourself a favor and quit now.

It’s not that the industry is suffering, in fact it’s quite the contrary. No, what’s happening is a revolution in affordable software and browser/app-based social tracking technology, coupled with the ease web2.0 brings to book keeping, accounting, and task/performance management — in short…there has never been a better time to go solo as a consultant.

I’ve made it a personal mission to make this Tumblr blog a place where aspiring PR consultants can look to for real advice and reviews of the tools I am using through a series of posts titled How to Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people?) but I’ve fallen behind. The reason? TOO MANY POTENTIAL NEW CLIENT MEETINGS and the work that goes into getting my current clients great press hits.

That’s sorta of bad news for my potential readers here. But the good news is, I have been spending the time necessary to refine the decisions I am making in order to make better, and more informed posts here.

Moving forward I will complete the series as set out to do in four parts: The Network, The Message (Creation), The Message (Discovery & Dissemination), and Tracking. With posts around each tool I use personally for each area.

I am particularly excited to be able to bring you insight into some new tools targeted specifically towards the PR professional, including BlogDash, and MyNewsDesk.

So bear with me as we work through this new frontier, and I’ll post again soon!

Filed under pr socialmedia consulting incmagazine prdaily web2.0 tools projectmanagement timetracking collaboration blogdash mynewsdesk

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How to Win Friends and Influence Data (err…people?) — The Network Pt. 2: LinkedIn

Your network is your strongest asset as a communications professional. Now, thanks to advancements of the programmable web, one is able to take their network from what were once closed platforms, and interact in exciting new ways for media and communications work.

The posts in this series detail our approach around the following networking tools we have picked to focus on at MaintainPR: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Reader, Techmeme, Flowtown, Klout, WeFollow, Listorius, and PostRank Connect.

The Network Pt. 2: LinkedIn

Back in the beginning of this month, amid the Angry Bird creators getting $40 million, and a whole slew of pre-SXSW mobile social group messaging announcements, a little web business called LinkedIn took some new features live. “Signal,” and “Today,” are both a kind of layer (with the former being for search and the latter for discovery)  for getting pointed towards the right topics through the help of your network.

I find LinkedIn to be indispensable, as I’m sure most do in the PR/Communications field, and have always respected the foresight of Reid Hoffman…especially admiring his ability on the business end to actually MAKE REVENUE! — and so it prides me to say that these two tools are well worth time and investment. Both “Today” and “Signal” add real value to the existing discovery methods powering them (Twitter and StumbleUpon for now) and also allow you to see which news your network is sharing the most on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Today, which you can access here, gives you a kind of Flipboard-inspired UI view of current stories discussed and shared in your network. At the top you’ll find a timeline of the most shared across all industries. Then a little further down, you get a breakdown by industry you follow. So for me it’s: Public Relations, Internet, and Online Media. Be sure to scroll all the way down and check out more suggested industries if you’d like to expand your news filter. I found the choices the site was making based on my connections to be great. You can even set a LinkedIn Today digest email to go out to you at a variety of intervals (e.g. Daily, Weekly, Monthly).

LinkedIn Signal is a filter for Twitter. Simple as that. It displays your network’s Twitter posts, and gives you the ability to browse only relevant tweets. So why is this so great for communications professionals? Because of the degree of filtering it offers over Twitter’s own Advanced Search. Take a look at the breakdown:

As you can see from the list of filters…and the added ability in Signal to just see trending links, it’s of massive value for staying on top of your industry without drowning in the “What I ate for breakfast” posts that litter the Twitterati.

Filed under linkedin twitter pr influence networking tools socialmedia

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Back Up Your Streams Bro
I lost my VOX blog on music and media: ViperFantastic. This post is probably going to cause a few sneers of indifference, because 1) It was a microblogging platform that never really took off anyways, and 2) They purged their servers months ago — after sending warnings to all their users for months.
If we are going to be living in a digital world of lifestreams and public bits, as The Economist and countless other publications and visionaries have been predicting, then heed my advice and back up your shit.
Facebook, the most important stream of them all, allows you to back up your information onto personal storage should anything go wrong with your account. Here is the help section how to.
The other lesson learned for me was to make sure active publishing channels you use have your most current web email. All those warnings from Vox were going to a webmail account I use mostly for testing new services and news alerts.
Damn.

Back Up Your Streams Bro

I lost my VOX blog on music and media: ViperFantastic. This post is probably going to cause a few sneers of indifference, because 1) It was a microblogging platform that never really took off anyways, and 2) They purged their servers months ago — after sending warnings to all their users for months.

If we are going to be living in a digital world of lifestreams and public bits, as The Economist and countless other publications and visionaries have been predicting, then heed my advice and back up your shit.

Facebook, the most important stream of them all, allows you to back up your information onto personal storage should anything go wrong with your account. Here is the help section how to.

The other lesson learned for me was to make sure active publishing channels you use have your most current web email. All those warnings from Vox were going to a webmail account I use mostly for testing new services and news alerts.

Damn.

Filed under lifestream socialmedia data facebook vox microblogging bestpractice