What are the best tools that help PR practitioners perform to the best of their ability?
This is a thought I had a few years ago. I could see that, with the advent of Web 2.0, it would help PR people to know what consumers were sharing about their clients’ products. So, I put together my first cut of the Friendly Ghost Social Media Resource – ‘Friendly Ghost’ because that was my moniker at the time (when we all felt like we were part of the matrix and thought we had to have cool names) and ‘Social Media Resource’ because I couldn’t think of anything snappier.
It was fairly clunky and difficult to follow, being a huge Google Doc. So I acquainted myself with Zoho and turned it into a proper database.
Reaction was mainly positive but some people expressed doubts about contributing to something when they didn’t know who was building it. Fair enough, and even though I tried making it truly crowd-sourced, by giving people the tools to share the interface, it didn’t really take off.
But if the latest CIPR report on the state of the profession is to be believed, then such a resource is clearly needed. PRs are apparently overstressed and unfairly paid, lacking in digital skills and resources. This kind of resource could help.
It clearly needed someone with much more credibility, influence and foresight to kick-start such a project. Stephen Waddington seems to have ascended into the firmament recently, popping up all over the place. A recent tweet of his caught my eye: the PR Stack, in which he invited people to contribute with their favourite tools and how they might be used.
I’ve used plenty of tools in the past, so I jumped in and added my take. True to his word, Wadds has posted an update, thanking the contributors, and so I get a bit of free publicity to boot.
This is great. Not only do we have a cool new tool – which is going to be a mobile app imminently (see above) – we have a community to follow. This community is, by definition, at the intersection of PR and digital, representing the core of people who have feet in both worlds but are also proactive enough to get involved. It reminds me of the good old days where Social Media Club would meet up at the ICA, or upstairs at the Coach and Horses.
So what should you do right now? Follow them, of course. And subscribe to their blogs, if they have one. Wadds has also helpfully put together a Twitter list so you could also subscribe to that.
And one thing I notice when I look at the contributors: they’re all individuals. I think there’s a great opportunity here for an agency to become involved, position itself right at the heart of this intersection, and be part of something exciting and new. And let’s face it, we haven’t had anything like that in social media for quite some time…