Identifying Online Influencers – CPRS Vancouver Talk

So it’s now official, on February 8th, 2012 at 5:30pm I’ll be giving a talk for CPRS Vancouver on Identifying Online Influencers and How to Engage Them. This isn’t my first every “speaking” gig, but this is the first time I’ll be doing this on my own and not part of a panel.

The synopsis of my talk is as follows:

Social Media has significantly grown over the past few years. With a growing number of social media tools and networks there are also a growing number of people who will express their opinions and have conversations with others via these new channels. As a result, there will be some individuals whose voices will resonate louder than others and whose opinions will be heard by a larger group of people. Identifying these core people, or influencers, has become more crucial for brands and/or causes.

Gus Fosarolli, Senior Client Relations Manager at Marketwire, will offer practical tips to help you identify influencers and learn how to leverage them in support of your cause or brand.

What makes me an authority at speaking on this topic? I’ve been using social media for several years now. I’ve seen social tools grow over the past 4 years and I’ve seen some tools fall on the waste side. I work with many PR and Marketing professionals and I understand how important it is for them to understand the power of the online influencer.

I hope you will be able to attend and listen to me speak. I’m very excited about presenting and hope I will give everyone very valuable information that they can use.

My First Web Administrator Website

A few weeks ago I was asked by the Steering Committee of the CPRS 2009 National Conference to help with their website.  They had hired Living Blueprint to help them design a website for the conference (being held June 7 – 9, 2009) which then CPRS would update and manage the content on the website.

As most of you know by now, I have taken on the role of administrating the website. I will be the person to add menu content, create pages, change promotion items etc.  At first I though this would be an easy task, I would just create pages and people would edit the content. Alas this wasn’t the case.  I was stuck with both editing content that already was there as well as creating some new content.

I’m proud to say that the site is finally up! – On-The-Edge

On-The-Edge

They are using Joomla 1.5 as their website administrator tool and it has taken sometime to get use to the functionality of it. I thank all my Twitter pals for helping me through some of it as well as Paul and David from Living Blueprint for their support. I know we we have other challenges ahead as this gets rolling, but I am confident that I will do a great job.

September PR and Teckie Events In Vancouver

Now that summer seems to have gone past (if this weather is any indication), we begin to look forward to the Fall which brings us a few events throughout Vancouver for both the PR Professional and the Teckie Professional.  The following is just  a short list of some of the events coming up in September.

The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) of Vancouver has 2 events coming up.  The first is the Stretching Out Summer – Season Kick Off Social being held on September 9th at George Ultra Lounge in Yaletown at 5pm. I’m actually excited about attending this and checking out venue. This event is free of charge.

Secondly on September 25th at 7:30am CPRS has their Speaker Series Breakfast (sponsored by my employer, Marketwire and Cision).  This breakfast will have Cathy Allen speak about Public Relations in American Politics. The event will be held at the Metropolitan Hotel.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Vancouver will be holding their Annual September Kick-Off: Fall into Autumn with Professional Communicators being held on September 23rd at Steamworks Brewing Company in Gastown beginning at 5:30pm.

I always enjoy the IABC Events, so I’m looking forward to attending this one and running into some familiar faces.

For the Teckies a few more events are happening this month.

Launch Party Vancouver 5 is coming September 18th and will be held at Unwine’d.  For all those not familiar with Launch Party,

Launch Party Vancouver is a lively mixer for the city’s brightest entrepreneurs, tech junkies, and bloggers, who are doing it, have done it or want to make their ideas happen here. The goal of the event is to connect BC’s growing community of Internet and new media leaders with investors and other trailblazers across Canada and abroad.

You can register for the event via Eventbrite.

Of course we can’t forget BarCamp which will held September 27-28 most likely being held on Granville Island.  Based on their Wikipedia site;

BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees.

Currently the event is “sold out”, and you can register for their waiting list.  I’m currently on their waiting list, though I have been told I should be able to get into the event.  You can find out more on their wiki site. I’m excited about participating in the WordCamp and Photo sessions.

Of course there will be the usual Third Tuesday Vancouver and Vancouver Blogger Meetup scheduled in September as well.  This is looking like a busy month and I’m sure just the start of things for the remaining of the year.

Social Media – Speed Dating

Today I attended the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Vancouver’s event on Social Media dumbed “Social Media – Speed Dating” (hey I didn’t name this one).

There was great turn out of PR professionals/communicators and I’m still amazed at the fear they all have about social media. They all seem to be afraid of having a blog, who will monitor it, who will write it, how much resources have to be used.

As human beings we are all afraid of change. I for one was skeptical at first when I entered the blogging world. I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to say on a blog, would people listen to me, would I care. I started off slow. I created a personal blog that would allow my family back east in Toronto know what I was up to. Lately I started to follow more blogs and started commenting on more and more of them. I’ve created a great group of blogger pals, Raul, Rebecca, Tanya, and Tyler (to name a few). They have helped me greatly on this journey.

What I learned today was that people are open to social media, but just don’t know how to start. My suggestion (and for those that listened to me at the event) is to just start slowly. You don’t have to jump into it full force. As some of the round table speakers were saying, start off with an RSS feed on your website. This will allow visitors to your site access your information. Your RSS feed should be on your news release section to begin with. Then monitor it and see how that works out. You might then venture into having your own corporate blog, but limit it at first. If you want to get readers to your blog, start researching other blogs that write about the same topic as you do. Begin commenting on them and enjoy the discussions. Linking back on your blog to other blogs definitely helps and you will start to see results through time.

What I did learn, that I didn’t know before, was how to use digg or del.icio.us effectively. I was always worried about them, but as Natasha Davies from Moonraker Multimedia (sorry the website is under construction) said, create a del.icio.us page for background. Refer to this page on your news release, sorta like an on-line biography (I quoted that term and she liked it) allowing readers to know how you came up with your article/release and what you used as a reference. What I have learned in working for a newswire company is that reporters are lazy and they want all the information infront of them. I thought linking to a del.icio.us page with your research is definitely a great idea.

I was glad I was able to share my knowledge of Social Media to some of the attendees. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I thank all the blogger pals and twitter pals out there for helping me along this journey of social media learning!