Today, I was fortunate to attend a seminar sponsored by Bulldog Reporter on the next generation of PR featuring Brian Solis. Brian is a well-respected PR guy who has been working with and building communities since the mid-1990s. Brian's Conversation Prism has been widely circulated around the web and I think is an awesome tool. (Disclosure: Jess3, the team responsible for the visualizations of the Conversation Prism, are one of our vendors at Widmeyer.) Two things really stuck out for me in the presentation:
The Prism was actually a featured part of the presentation as Brian demonstrated how many people, when first getting going with social media, seem to only think of Twitter and Facebook when it comes to what sites they're going to use. The Prism is a fantastic visualization and tool that reminds you that there's more out there than just those two sites. Its broken into different sections based on categories of sites including video, reviews & ratings, image, document, blog platforms, microblogging, music, and many others. The Prism features all the major networks and tools that are out there and really is a great way to remind yourself just how many different networks there are out there. It's important to consider these when developing a strategy for engagement and presence. There are many that get neglected but may be in fact better places for your brand to engage if that's where the conversation is taking place. The takeaway is that the conversation is bigger than any social network. There are many networks that get left out because they aren't as sexy as the big ones. But after analyzing where the discussions around your brand are taking place, these may actually be more appropriate.
Brian also discussed his measurement tactics and tools. One that he worked on with the folks at PeopleBrowsr, that looks awesome and I'm definitely going to start using, is a project crafted around brands. It's a FREE tool for measuring sentiment. For the most part, Brian's setup seems to be manual when he's getting started learning about what's going on with a brand. I'm actually not surprised at all; I've mostly relied on manual work myself. While tools like Radian6 can provide some neat things, there's still really no all-encompassing solution for social media monitoring. And definitely not one that's automatic. I certainly hope more tools are developed that can automate the process but for now, I think the best dashboard is a combination of tools.
Brian gave way more info and knowledge than I can share here, but I definitely recommend checking him out and seeing his perspective on the way public relations is changing.