Social Media for PR (a presentation)

You don’t necessarily have to “do” social media — it pretty much goes ahead and does you. The question is how much you want to try to shape what it’s doing.

For those of you who weren’t at the presentation at the University of Washington last night, a little explanation: Every year I give a short talk to a PR class at the university about social media as it’s used in the PR field. As you might expect, this talk changes rapidly as trends in social media change (Remember when Twitter was the hot, new thing?). This year I nearly entitled it “Social Media for Facebook.”

I promised the class that I’d post the slides from the talk, so here’s the link to the slide presentation in full-size PDF form.

This being a “new-style” presentation, the slides are meant to be used in conjunction with a talk that is pretty much counterpoint: questions for the audience, stories, and case studies. Molly Haas, head of PR for Northwest Folklife, joined me this year and she walked through the slides of Northwest Folklife’s social media presence (2010 contrasted with  2011), talking about what social media had been crafted by her team and what had “just happened.”

This slide deck is illustrated with examples of Northwest Folklife’s social media presence, but I’ve done customized decks for several of my clients and for prospective clients interested in “getting into” social media. As the presentation points out, you don’t necessarily have to “do” social media — it pretty much goes ahead and does you. The question is how much you want to try to shape what it’s doing.

The “done” list

Most of us talk a lot about our “to do” lists, but not much about our “done” lists.

Most of us talk a lot about our “to do” lists, but not much about our “done” lists.

But science fiction author David Levine and marketing ninja Seth Godin are known for publishing their “done” lists. (Here’s Seth’s for 2010.)

I find that a “done” list is a great baseline for creating a better “to do” list for next year. What do I wish I had done? What do I wish I had done more of? What do I wish I’d done differently?

Here’s my 2010 “done” list:

  • Wrote a successful grant for the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
  • Wrote my first ebook, Take Control of iPhone Basics, published as part of the Take Control ebooks series in October, and launched the blog iPhone 4 Tips.
  • Appeared on two radio shows (MacVoices and Tech Night Owl) to promote the ebook.
  • Rejoined the Northwest Folklife board, filling the unexpired term of the late Warren Argo, and took United Way’s training for board members.
  • Wrote a website for a state government agency using “Plain Talk” standards.
  • Wrote six humor columns for a membership publication.
  • Wrote more than 100 blog posts, op-ed pieces, brochures, profiles and case studies for clients.
  • Took fiction writing workshops taught by Ellen Klages and Mary Robinette Kowal, and submitted two stories to magazines.
  • Worked as a volunteer at the Fremont Solstice Parade and conducted training for Northwest Folklife greeter/fundraisers.

Nearly every “done” on the list had a significant obstacle — from mastering new technology to dealing with difficult people — I had to overcome. In every case, the earlier and more thoughtfully I tackled the obstacle, the better the result.

A big thank you to the people who offered me the challenges, the people who mentored me through them, and the people who were there to celebrate with me when I finally crossed the finish lines.

Family news

Hale’s Ales, the Grand Illusion, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Cafe Paloma, the Tractor Travern, and T.S. McHugh’s are hosting events to benefit Northwest Folklife.

Sometimes it takes a sad event to bring you home to your family.

Last month, Northwest folk arts organizer and guru Warren Argo died unexpectedly. The contributions to the community Warren had spearheaded and supported during his life have filled articles, blog posts and memorials in the past few weeks. He was a community organizer in the truest sense of the phrase — and a real mensch.

Fifteen years ago, I had the honor of serving on the board of Northwest Folklife with Warren, who was among the festival founders and perennial organizers. Tuesday night, I was elected to fill the remainder of Warren’s term on the board. I’m honored to have been asked. And I’m jazzed to be back.

It’s a great board, a great staff, and applications for performers for the Memorial Day festival are already pouring in — hundreds of musicians volunteering to play for free. This spring they’ll be joined by thousands of volunteers who’ll emcee, stage manage, greet, guide, and otherwise supplement Northwest Folklife’s small core staff to make the four-day free festival happen — for a quarter of a million visitors.

It’s going to be a tremendous year. Please join us at some of the Night for Folklife events being held in the next month at Hale’s Ales, Lucid Jazz Club, the Grand Illusion, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Cafe Paloma, Laughing Lady Cafe, the Tractor Travern, Eddie’s Trackside Bar and Grill in Monroe, and T.S. McHugh’s. There’ll also be  dances throughout the region. Details here.

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