Notes for Ragan PR Conference: Day 1 (Robert Scoble, Shel Holtz, Jen McClure)

Thanks Jen McClure for the intro to Ragan group. Kickoff by Fraser Seitel, he really got the room warmed.

Thanks to the Ragan group who’ve produced a very organized conference. Well staffed, well greeting, and well informed.

Having a full track on Social Media for a conference that has been running 10 years is an impressive change. Perhaps next year it would be good to consider a venue that can provide wifi.

My Flickr Set of the conference is here. Tagged: raganpr

Robert Scoble Keynote (A blogger as a Keynote at a Traditional PR Conference, times are changing!)
These notes are incomplete as I had to go on stage and tend to the powerpoint as Robert has having technical difficulties with the presentation not displaying correctly on the screen.

I sat on stage and clicked the next button while Robert stood near the audience. I guess I could stretch the truth and say I was on stage with Scoble on his Keynote –heh.

Robert has some brief notes here

  • Robert Scoble was introduced as the “Internet King” and a “Child of Silicon Valley”.
  • The Hugh McCloud deck was the backbone of the preso.
  • Created the Scoblizer blog that both praised and attacked his own employer, Microsoft. In 1999, there were only 200 bloggers.
  • As Robert kicked off his blog, he was linked to by Winer, and then invited to Woz’s party.
  • Discussed the Vloggercon informal ‘press release’ with 15 bloggers leaving Microsoft. (I was one of them)
  • Audience sizes aren’t really big yet, but they’re growing.
  • has major traffic (60,000k traffic).
  • Videos on Channel 9 received 20 times the traffic than the product pages
  • Ways to get Attention: Be different
  • Use Video
  • Dell Hell Story, how Jeff Jarvis got in NYTimes listen to the grassroots
  • When Robert first started at MS he linked to the “Micrsoft Hate” sites and blogs
  • Gave the Facebook example of how the CEO told the customers to “Calm Down” –not the appropriate response to embrace customers
  • Robert has blogged for 16 days about the HP debacale and no one has left comments on his blog or contacted him. Sheeeeesh.
  • Told story about Channel9 and how that’s an airline channel you can hear the pilots talk –builds trust
  • ZeFrank is a great storyteller
  • Kids in Australia blogged about Xbox crashing and the snowball effect started. Many press folks are focused on one company and have technorati watchlists, they found the story quickly
  • Robert puts his cell phone number on his blog
  • SL has 400k users, still emerging
  • Robert was getting pitched when his mother was dying. Bad timing. Some have called him and were blog readers, but some didn’t even read it.
  • BBC has a great site on what RSS feeds are.
  • See Democracy Now, Zefrank

Jen McClure: The New World of PR
Jen told me the next NewComm forum will be produced by Ragan PR in Vegas, March 2007.

Jen picks up where Robert left off. Robert helped to convince most of this crowd WHY this is important, however Jen’s room was packed as she showed HOW the tools that were used. Observations:

  • She had internet access and was able to show Technorati and Typepad.
  • Jen discusses RSS, Social Networks, Social Bookmarking, and Tagging
  • All of these tools allow for positive and negative feedback
  • Check out Symphony, which does conversation Benchmarking. They have a report that indicates that:
    • 40% of companies said blogs have affected their company
    • 90% of them reported they were in a positive way
  • Case Study about Fedex. One customer had created furniture with fedex boxes, fedex sent a cease and desist. The blogosphere reacted, and Fedex stock dropped (was that directly a cause effect?)
  • Jen stopped doing “traditional” PR about 2 years ago. (Jeremiah: What’s a “Smile and Dial?”)
  • Casestudy: Lonely Girl’s real identity was discovered by Jen’s contact. Tom Forensky’s blog broke the story, major media was contacting Tom’s son who figured it out. So fast.
  • She quotes Scoble: “If you don’t have an RSS feed on your press page you should be fired”
  • Check out, weblog wire, PRweb use these to publish feeds. (Jeremiah: Also consider feedburner to measure how many are subscribing)
  • These tools help to establish thought leadership.
  • Todd Deffran (spelling?) from Shift Communications: The new media press release.
    • Characteristics: Numerous web links in the copy, can be labeled and tagged, Includes a lot of links, Allows media to quickly find. (should link to memes as well)
  • Jen is partnering with Social Media Club, awesome!
  • Spin is not received well from the blogosphere, and story telling replaces Spin. Tell a story, use all the mediums available to you.
  • PR folks are becoming “Media Engineers”, Jen quotes Tom.
  • What’s CGM: “Citizen Generated Media” (I Like that, better than consumer)
  • Next Steps:
    • Gather Examples
    • Launch: Test, Practice, Deploy
    • Monitor and Measure
  • See

Shel Holtz
Shel delivered a strategic overview of podcasting, as well as gave some tactical details on ‘how to’. In true multi media fashion he brought samples of podcasts and a small speaker setup to demonstrate.

These notes are also incomplete as the camera team and I traded spots and I had to move.

  • Publication Methods
    • 56% of podcasts are consumed at the computer
    • Burn to CD
    • Any Portable digital media
  • Discussed iTunes and it’s usage
  • Important message from Shel Holtz: “You don’t need a iPod to listen to podcasts”
  • Who listens to Podcasts
    • 11% of adults have downloaded a podcast
    • Most penetration in 18-54 age range
    • 45% of listenership is 35-44
    • Gender split is even (52% male, 48% female)
    • Educated
    • Affluent
    • Trend Leaders
  • Podcasting Advantages
    • Time Shifted
    • Niche Shifted
    • Detachable
    • Audio
    • Low Barriers to Entry
    • Every other communication channel requires attention, (Jeremiah says: podcasting is an ambient medium)
  • Shel uses Audactiy (free software) to edit his sound files. Took him an hour to learn how to use it, and he’s never worked with audio before in his life.
  • There are 20k independent podcasts listed in Podcast Alley

I’ll post more later, going to Day 2 today. (Day 2 notes here)