Tag Archive for social media

The purpose of fragmented opinion

Voices in MSM (Main Stream Media) seem to rise in unison on issues which may be acceptable to a social dynamic.

Various opinions surfacing on blogs, which may be nebulous in their understanding, but within those limitations dare to transcend beyond convention. A bastion of rebellion, or so it may be perceived, still descends into opinions which may not be purposefully relayed in the mainstream space.

Hunter Thompson famously said, “There is not enough room for dissenting voices…”
May be this medium can offer that elusive outlet for a thought which may change the world.

P.S. Small post, think at will

Zumbo – The Social Media & PR Pup!

Zumbo, the adorable social media and digital communications and public relations pup!

Zumbo - The PR & Social Media Pup!


Hi there! I am Zumbo. I am 3 months old and already there so much to share. Such is life in the 21st Century, fast, quick, short and simple. Oh bow! That’s exactly how you can describe me too!

So let’s get the obvious out of the way. How did I end up in PR? How did I become fascinated with media? How did I get acquainted to social media and digital media communications? And what could a 3 month old PR pup possibly contribute to the working of public relations and communications? Well, am gonna try and answer some of that here, but most of it will be clear if you read my posts here regularly.

Wait a minute, I gotta scratch… (Scratches with hind leg vigorously…)

I was born out of an idea. Some old guy called Hunter Thompson (Yea the same guy who Johnny Depp plays in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary) created this whole art-form in journalism called Gonzo. It’s gonna be a bit intense, but I promise to keep it light and entertaining. Then again I am such a cute little pup, who wouldn’t want to listen to my stories!

Haan, toh where were we. I was telling you how I got into all this and what makes me the authority to blog about all this high-funda business of communications. Well to start with I am a product of digital media. That doesn’t mean that iPhone and Samsung tablet got together for a night and made me, but the world saw me first on Blackberry Messenger and Facebook. That’s how I got adopted, by the way. After that it has been a whirlwind romance with social media. I got a home and I am grateful!

I am born in this new world of democratized digital media and opinion sharing on the fly! Things like the Egypt revolution, WikiLeaks, iTunes and Flipkart don’t amaze me. These are things that my forefathers had predicted when the internet (ARPA Net) was thought of 40 odd years back. What’s the fuss, I don’t understand.

The first three months in public relations and social media were interesting. They keep complaining that I crap a lot, but whoddathunk it that being full of shit is a good thing!

So I go about my business everyday by surfing the net, watching Facebook pages reading internet usage reports and advising clients on their communication strategy. Well, at least I hope I did half of those things. I start my day with a big ole dump (trust me, it releases the tension) and then waiting for people to tell me what to do next. It sucks that I have to wait for instructions, but they say that I am just a kid with a lot to understand about the complexities of communications. Fair enough, but when you don’t know how to tweet, man that’s seriously messed up! Don’t you think?

I don’t know why people who work with me keep saying “It’s a dog’s life!” Well, firstly I take that as a compliment, it’s not such a bad thing and secondly if you can lick your own privates, what more do you need! But people in communications constantly seem to struggle and stress with what’s coming next. I don’t know what’s the big deal, but I guess am about to find out soon.

More time I spend in this industry, more I am convinced that I have just hit the tip of the iceberg. Water scares me by the way, and I hate my baths! 😉

So keep your eyeballs glued to this space, to know more about “The Adventures of Zumbo!” Your friendly, neighborhood social media and PR pup!

Woof! Back to scratching eggs, I say!


Catharsis: Zumbo’s first day!

The following is written in the early style of Gonzo which means at the very least, a half-assed attempt was made to channelize the ghost of HST. The below documented account is fictitious. Resemblance to any person living, dead or right wing is purely coincidental…well…maybe not…

And if you are wondering what Gonzo is or who HST is, don’t bother

Zumbo, the adorable social media and digital communications and public relations pup!

Zumbo - The PR & Social Media Pup!

I sat there clutching my mouse with all the force that I could muster in my current miserable state. It turns out that original thought can be a tricky proposition especially when the client is hell bent on twisting your arm. It can be quite a strain on the sleeves!

I was frantically typing a press release on how the guy’s daughter lost her bicycle and it was miraculously found in the same place that it was left in the first place, which in his mind was a significant contribution to the nation’s GDP. Besides the irony of the fact that the above mentioned daughter couldn’t ride a bike or didn’t own one, the release had to be done in the next 10 minutes.

My mind started sweating precociously. “Hell…what do I do now?” I yelled across the room. I looked around for some solutions as my mind was in a jimmy state. I saw my colleagues face buried in the ethereal white screen.

He reminded me of the early tribes which sat around the fire hoping the light would never go out, but unfortunately, it always does. Also, his sheep skin cloak and grizzly claws were quite quaint. In spite of myself, I refused to judge. His cologne a repugnant truth that failed to subside, I ventured towards the beast with a stick in hand.

I had to tread cautiously. This animal was not to be messed with. Besides, his mating habits were not well documented as yet. I poked him with the stick to gauge the nature of his alacrity and rate of evasive reflex action. Both were non existent.

This was a safe territory. I identified him as per the standard ‘Do it yourself PR 101’ manual as the blinkered degenerate who would know what to do next as per procedure. My guide to all questions which posed a moral, ethical and professional dilemma was right there…or so I thought.

”Umm…its simple draft the release…” said he of the finger which drips with fresh nose cheese.

“But the daughter doesn’t even own the bike…” I retorted much violently. My cape fluttering in the wind as I stood on
MoronMountain with the vast expanse of derelict facades of grim conformity spread in front of me.

In my infinite wisdom I pronounced “Fuck you man …. Screw the Guy… I don’t think this is worth it…!”

I felt a tug on my super moron resistant cape and I heard Dog Wonder barking away in the distance. My sixth sense was tingling! I turned around precociously, with one hand firmly on my machete. There stood the biggest man I have seen like a shadow of a mountain. My heart started pounding…my pulse racing…I caught a glimpse of the lurking menace.

Phew…it was just Olga, the cleaning lady. I exhaled a sigh of relief.

“Oh bloody hell…!” I heard a scream. It was my fuckin’ boss with the fuckin’ Guy! And that was my fuckin’ scream!

“Hey what were you yelling boy” asked Q, The Boss.

It so transpired that Olga ‘the hairy cleaning lady with a heart of gold’, had managed to block my view with her broad brooding board body. My super hearing failed me again, may be I was just out of batteries.

As I contemplated the merits of Sony over Eveready, my face was smattered with a spray of spit. It was my boss looking at me gingerly and demanding an answer.

“Nothing Sire” I said, he insisted that we call him ‘Sire’.

”Boy, meet the Guy whose daughter has lost and found the bicycle and it has a huge impact on the nation’s GDP…” Said he of the big head and bouncing arms.

“But Sire…” I whimpered in unyielding defiance.

“Hey… if the guy says so it must be true…” thundered Q.

“Ok Sire.” I caved.

And as I turned around to do his bidding, it happened.

The Guy stepped on Olga’s unforgiving mop and slipped on the drenched floor. The sound of his back bone crunching in utter angst spread a chill through my spine. In that brief moment the Guy had broken his back. He lay there insipid and innocuous to the passing frantic blinkered degenerates.

There was the ray of sunshine which I hoped for, in that cluttered, claustrophobic room chilled with the AC’s unrelenting icy blast which put a smile on my face.

“Guy in Coma, Situation may worsen nation’s GDP”

I typed smiling a satisfied smile as the news blared over my station “Reliable Industries Limited Chief to launch Nation’s first thought trading stock exchange…And this is just in…On the eve of this momentous event his daughter seems to have misplaced her bicycle…”

Social Media and Pharma

This is a chronicle of my experiments with social media, web 2.0 and digital communications which details industry updates and analysis from India and around the world

Mea Culpa: Lessons learnt from a blogging break

As a social media practitioner and a communications person, I often find myself advising people to stay connected and contribute to the broader blogosphere and the micro blog community in which they exist. Which indicates, that one must keep publishing fresh work, filled with insight, opinions, views, and just about everything under the sun at regular time periods.

The advantage is not only that you retain your reader’s interest but also, search engines love updated content and crawl your property often.

By default and not design, if you noticed, the last post I have written on this blog is Feb 1 2009!!
It’s just a matter of hectic scheduling and work-life priorities which kept me from crushing plastic with flesh.

Also, I did not wish to give in and add to the “lazysphere” by merely adding commentary to the current happenings and trending topics. Don’t get me wrong am not as dead against it as Steve Rubel, but I see his point of view. Especially when I am forced to drudge through mediocrity to get to a great piece of work. But, then who doesn’t!! And if you look closer, 50% of content (may be higher) is merely a re-hash of other people’s stuff.

So here are a few lessons I learnt by not blogging for a month from a social media practioner’s point of view:

1) Feeling of disconnect – I suddenly feel disconnected from the while blogging expereince. Obsessive bloggers claim to have withdrawal like symtoms akin to withdrawal symtoms felt by an addict while discontinuing drug usage. In the first 10 minutes I found it difficult to reconnect with my blogging roots. I realize it’s taking me a lot longer to compose this post.

2) Feeling od detachment – This may be a good thing now, that I suddenly feel detached from my blog. Something which I was vehemently posseeive about a while earlier. Well…it’s all coming back now!!

3) Embassement – Now this one is obvious. Do I need explain more??

4) Writing – Not that I consider my work here, a Shakesperean effort, but I do miss the writing and articulation of ideas as they float through my head.

5) Referencing towards better understanding – I know this one’s sounds a little complicated, but it’s quite simple really. I link and reference content which I have gone through and taken the time to understand. By not blogging, I an just skimming the surface of data that comes my way and leave it in the “later box” for a revisit

6) ‘Link Love’ and Comments – Not much link love or comments here yet, but yeah we do write for an audience don’t we…

P.S. The term blogging break returns about 7,420,000 results on Google

Update 1: March 09 2009 18:10 – Just came across a re blog tool by Zemanta. Where you can jusy Talk about Aiding and abating the laziness. 😛 We have moved to a slothosphere with this!!!

This is a chronicle of my experiments with social media, web 2.0 and digital communications which details industry updates and analysis from India and around the world

Pimp my PR

Simple digital tactics which add that little extra ‘oomph’ to your traditional PR campaign

1) Disseminate press releases on free news wires

Free online press wires can prove to be a handy tool to reach out to target audiences. These distribution services offer a simple solution to generate coverage online.

A brief registration process and few hours of wait is all it takes to publish your release directly on to these platforms. The wonder of push button publishing ensures that the process is relatively hassle-free and 99% confirmed.

Most free PR wires have a respectable web reach with updates searchable on Google, Blog searches, Yahoo and other search engines along with certain blogs and websites which mirror this content. Also it can be used to increase traffic to a website by search engine optimization (SEO).

Some of the popular PR wires are IndiaPRwire, 24-7 press release, PR.com, Sane PR, Newswire Today , etc.

2) Create SMS channels

Social networking has hopped, skipped, jumped and landed on to the dazzling mobile phone. Services such as SMS Gupshup and Google SMS Channels allow you to create a SMS stream catering to a specific topic, sector or company.

So by creating an ‘IPL updates’ group or channel open to subscription, one can forward messages to every constituency of stakeholders with a mobile phone like journalists, analysts, important influencers, etc.

For instance, a day before a major press conference one can just type in the details on the platform online and send it to the entire community which subscribes to the channel as an SMS. Most journalists would gladly be a part of such groups.

3) Video / Photo uploads

This is the often repeated, much abused advice that any social media user will offer in order to increase brand awareness – “Upload your damn videos on YouTube!!”

Now the tricky part is to choose videos you want to put out there, in line with the corporate identity, open to scrutiny and acidic comments within a social eco system.

The same can be done on photo sharing websites such as Flickr, Picasa, etc.

4) Share documents

A journalist or an analyst will forever be indebted if you took up the job of managing client documents for him/ her.

Online document sharing platforms such as DocStoc, SlideShare, Scribd, etc. can act as a repository of documents, a one stop shop for press releases, backgrounders, boiler plates, profiles, etc. for a corporate or individual.

Content sharing is many times done on the corporate website itself, but web 2.0 platforms provide the added advantage of a community and a social network for user comments, feedback.

5) Cross promote links by e-mails

Most conversations which amount to an activity between an urban PR professional and a journalist or an analyst takes place through e-mail. Attaching a client dossier to every email will not only overload the journalist’s mailbox but also, and most importantly, irritate him or maybe hurt his much cherished ego.

So instead of a heavy file, paste a link to documents, pictures and videos from any of the above platforms so that they can be accessed from any location and without much load on the mailbox. This ensures that the endless wait due to limited bandwidth or document size is evaded.

These are just the basic steps that one can take to added a bit of digital pizzazz to traditional PR practices. The digital medium is limitless and the possibilities endless. The only real barrier is initiative…

Social media relevance poll

Take the poll below to determine the response to social media and digital PR in branding for Indian corporates:

Continuing the debate: Todd Defren says…

I was reading Brain Solis’s Essential Guide to Social Media this morning where he emphasizes the need of being immersed in a social community to be accepted and become a part of it. Only this would eventually lead to a sustainable relationship.

To further the observer and user debate, Todd Defren posts that those who are using social media tools to monitor brands, influencers and conversations (in that order because for most that is the priority hierarchy) must be empowered.

I agree with this view, even though deliverables in social media can be measured effectively, is widely considered an ‘all fart no shit’ exercise. So the need is to find that connect with consumers, the end-users, which is must more often than not due to decision levels and dependency which delay the process of engaging.

But you can take it further, into the realm of “Actionable Listening.” The difference here is that the folks doing the listening/responding are empowered to effect change within their organization, on customers’ behalf.

Read on: Actionable listening vs. active listening

Brain Solis, Todd Defren