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Starbucks Starts Listening (and Other PR Blog Jots)

Starbucks Starts Listening (and Other PR Blog Jots)

Coffee Talk
Buzz Machine
I’m as delighted as anyone that Starbucks joined in the “conversation” this week with a social network aimed at engaging customers and getting their feedback on the Starbucks brand. I sometimes think we put too much pressure on companies to join the fun, resulting in sloppy, frantic efforts. This one has worked out splendidly though, and Jeff Jarvis applauds the effort while lamenting that more companies aren’t there yet. “I believe that Salesforce’s Storms are an important new infrastructure for customer conversation — a forum mixed with Digg mixed with a suggestion box mixed with a company blog. I don’t understand why companies aren’t falling over themselves to at least offer their
customers this opportunity. Too often, it’s because they’re scared of what their own customers will say. Except now, they’re saying it on the web anyway.”

Need a Social Aggregator?
Marketing Profs
I am not even as big a “power user” of social media as some of my online colleagues and cohorts, and even I have trouble keeping up with all my various profiles, as do millions of others–that’s where the social aggregator comes in. Scott Monty reviews a number of the handy tools for Marketing Profs, and while FriendFeed has been getting the most juice lately, he recommends Profilactic above all others. ” The single most impressive social network / lifestream aggregator out there is, hands down, Profilactic. Supporting a whopping 155 sites & services, Profilactic allows you
to slow the firehose of information coming at you by allowing you to selectively exclude updates within each of your friends’ feeds. It’s got a clippings feature that allows you collect information that you’ve created and that others have created about you – like a digital scrapbook. And finally, you can create a badge and post your information on your site.”

Spreading the Word
Six Pixels of Separation
I’ve seen several of the bloggers that Sarah “Intelligirl” Robbins challenged to find solutions to spreading the word about social media beyond the already converted, but Mitch Joel’s response is by far the most comprehensive. He offers up 12 ideas for better evangelizing, and moving beyond the “choir” with our preaching. “each – go to your local University and ask the Marketing, Communications, Advertising and Public Relations professors if you can
come into one of their classes and do a guest presentation of New Media, Social Media and Web 2.0. If the reaction is anything like the one I get when I offer this up, you’ll be getting new people to check out Blogs and Podcasts faster than you can say “RSS.” More often than not, Educators are not up-to-speed on the latest channels and, if they are, they still welcome a new, fresh face to connect with their students.”

Mutually Assured Destruction?
Online Public Relations Thoughts
A new survey shows what many have already known and been discussing for years–newspapers are shrinking, cutting reporters, relying more on syndicated content and growing their online presence. Jim Horton laments this change, pointing out that traditional news outlets still play a huge role in public relations, and to lose those valuable relationships hurts the industry. “PR practitioners had better hope that news publishers rediscover the need for enterprise reporting. Like it or not, traditional news organizations are still a channel for the persuasion work we do. Some may think this idea is old-fashioned and that PR has moved beyond publicity, but publicity has not disappeared.”

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