Archive for October, 2011

Social Media Saves Us from Jersey Shore

October 28, 2011 2 comments

As mentioned in the previous post, the idea behind this two-part series is to look at a couple of personalities from recent history and see how social media may have changed their path. Part one asked what if Leon Spinks had social media in 1978. This installment will go back another decade to see how social media may have changed the life and career of Michael Nesmith and will explain how his being on Twitter in (circa) 1968 could have meant no Snooki, no Pauly D and no Jersey Shore.

Celebrating their 45th anniversary, The Monkees, yes from the TV show that ended in 1968, toured through my hometown making me wonder, what happened to the fourth Monkee – Michael Nesmith.

Here is an over-simplification of his life. Nesmith was part of the Monkees, a made for TV band that was criticized for not playing their own instruments, and he was also a trail-blazing musician and entrepreneur, that by many accounts was hampered by his being type cast as a former Monkee.

So, how would social media have changed any of this? Well, here are a couple of possibilities.

Controversy: Report Says Monkees Don’t Play Own Instruments. This shocking revelation could have been extinguished with a simple tweet.

@RandomTeenMagazineCira1968: @MonkeeShow tell me it isn’t true? Do you play your own instruments?

@MonkeeShow: Dear @RandomTeenMagazineCirca1968 it is a TV show. Guess what, Barbara Eden doesn’t actually live in a bottle. #IdreamOfJeannie

Read more…


Don’t Miss Out on Social Media

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

With the recent 10 year anniversary came lots of articles and blogs asking what would 9/11 had been like if social media was available at that time. Some of the pieces were good and thoughtful others were, well, not. Either way, it got me thinking of other events or careers that could have been radically different had Twitter, Facebook or even YouTube had been available in a different time.

There are any number of characters from recent history that could make an interesting ‘what if’ subject. What if John Lennon had Facebook or Joe Namath had Twitter back in the day, but whereas I enjoy to follow the beat of a different drum (hint for part II), I’ve decided (in a two-part post) to look at the hypothetical scenario featuring a couple of less obvious personalities.

Long before Buster Douglas shocked the world by knocking out The Badest Man on the Planet, Mike Tyson, Leon Spinks defeated The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, in one of the most historic sports upsets. Of course Spinks lost a rematch to Ali less than a year later and would never again recapture the title or the popularity he briefly held in 1978. But, what if he had a @NeonLeonSpinks Twitter handle?

Spinks, who’s love of the night life was often blamed for his exceptionally short rein, could have been a long time world champion tweeter. Remember, this was a time when boxing was a popular mainstream sport and Spinks was just a couple years removed from winning the gold medal in the 1976 Olympics (yes, Olympic boxing mattered back then too) and he was a fighter people could relate to and more importantly a guy the public wanted to like. Read more…

Why PR in a Vacuum Sucks

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Some interesting conversations came from last week’s assertion (by me) that PR in a vacuum sucks, so let me clarify a few items. While the main point was pretty straight forward, it left a few questions unanswered.

So, what is so bad about operating in a vacuum anyway? Well, nothing I suppose. There are plenty of opportunities for PR folks and agencies to represent clients that desperately need some PR help – even if (maybe especially if) these companies don’t know how to help themselves. This post isn’t about trashing companies that don’t commit to their own PR program, nor is it about criticizing agencies for taking on these clients. This is really designed to shed some light on the fact that as much as we (the PR industry) like to discuss the power of PR and what it takes to be a good client, we rarely discuss the consequences of a program that is operating in a vacuum. This leads to the next obvious question. Read more…