In the ever-changing world of online PR, Stephen Davies is one to watch. His blog was recently named the UK’s “Top PR Blog” and has a daily readership of more than two thousand. Forward-thinking and creative, Davies left distribution company webitpr after helping to introduce Europe’s first Social Media News Release. In September, he celebrated the launch of his newest venture, 3W PR.
3W PR is an online specific PR agency introduced in response to the growing trend of web use by consumers and corporations alike. “My long term strategy will have the company competing with the large, multinational PR agencies in the next five to ten years. Do you think that’s being a little too ambitious?” he jokes.
Davies started blogging in 2005 at prblogger.com, but admits that he has evolved as a blogger since then. “I suppose these days I try to be more ‘big picture’ in my thinking and in my blog posts,” he explains. “I tend to take a more skeptical look at the ‘new thing that’s going to change PR forever’ and focus on the way the PR industry is here and now.”
Although blogs and blogging are more popular in the States than in the UK, British use of social media is huge. In 2007, The London Facebook network surpassed Toronto to become the largest network on the site. Davies has written many blog posts about the growing importance of the use social media in PR, including a recent comprehensive list of UK PR people on Twitter.
Speaking of Twitter, Davies has sound advice for newcomers. “Be nice, be interesting, be yourself and don’t go into sales mode at every possible opportunity,” he says.
One of the reasons Davies has been able to gain so much ground in the fight to be considered a great PR mind is that he reads constantly. “I read to the point where it’s quite worrying how much I read,” he admits. “Reading articles, whitepapers and other people’s blogs is usually where I find inspiration for blog posts.”
In August of this year, Davies blogged that we have entered the “Golden Age of PR,” citing the advent of social media as one of the top reasons. “Public relations is about three things: Communication, reputation and relationships. The same is true for social media,” he says. The similarities between the two are what make them such a perfect match, and it is crucial for PR people at all levels to embrace many types of social media to remain relevant.
“Social media is breaking down walls and stereotypes,” Davies says. “I have a very positive outlook on globalization and I believe social media is helping to make the world a smaller place.”
Another blogger who has certainly carved a niche for herself is Leigh Householder of the Advergirl blog. A self-proclaimed “brand strategist,” Householder was kind enough to record a video response to the questions I had for her. She was on the social media panel at the PRSA conference that took place in October and is a veritable social media connoisseur.
Emily Jeter is a student at Auburn University in Robert French’s class on public relations messages in emerging digital media. You can learn more at http://www.theloveliestvillage.org.