Rating Social Media Marketing Webinars

January 28, 2009

In the last few days, I’ve been in on several Webinars–some more effective than others.

Hubspot’s “5 Tips for Advanced B2B Business Blogging” was well organized and to the point. ****

Although  host and Hubspot Marketing VP Mike Volpe insisted on calling potential customers “personae,”   (in my book, the persona is the character telling the story as opposed to someone you’re trying to reach)–he did a good job of explaining that instead of using blogs to push your products,  you should offer information that will interest potential customers in order to draw them in.  Among other suggestions:

  • Offer a mix of posts–news, features, opinion, photos video, audio, lists, bold statements, funny bits, email  or videocam interviews–and information about how to get photos, via flickr.
  • Format in a readable way
  • Be patient: this sort of marketing is a marathon, not a sprint,

The webinar video and slides are available at:
you can find  a basic introduction to business blogging at

Elizabeth Marshall’s “Striking Content Marketing Cold” with Newt Barratt, Chris Brogan, and Paul Gillin, the authors of “Get Content Get Customers” was a bit roundabout. **

With four panelists,  it was difficult to know who was speaking.            The authors, who also used (and perhaps coined?)  that peculiar
term “persona,”   focused on what they call “content marketing,”
which involves using (or possibly employing the authors?)
to   use  “story” to bring in customers.

Despite the confusing format, the authors must  have done
something right because here I am spreading the word on their

The webinar may be downloaded from:
Audio is available  at http://authorteleseminars.com/audio
/getcontent1.mp3 and a  written summary, in blog form,  at

Teleseminar: -Build Your Proactive PR Strategy for 2009 , featuring the increasingly visible Peter Shankman founder of  the Geek Factory and HARO (Help a Reporter Out )and Kim Keelor, PR Director of Gaylord Entertainment, was informative  but  included a few discouraging words.

The Vocus moderator, in  good social media  marketing form,
kept discussion of Vocus’ media relations outreach offerings to
a minimum.

I felt  encouraged when Keelor pointed out that PR consultants
seeing “free media” stand to do well as dollars for expensive
advertising sink  in the current flailing economy.

I also  found the advice to target a few key reporters rather
than send releases to huge  list and to use social media tools
like Twitter and Gawker to find out what reporters are
covering–to be right on–especially with reporter layoffs, and
remaining journalists increasingly assigned to  numerous

I was not shocked when Shankman predicted the imminent
demise of the press release–to be replaced by social media
tools used to reach individual reporters who have specific
informational needs.

I was, however, taken aback  when one speaker (perhaps the
unnamed moderator?) expressed anger when  asked
how to find reporters’ Twitter addresses– because he’d
posted instructions several months ago, online. If you can’t
figure  out how to Google to find that information,” he asked,
do you really belong in this [PR]  business?

As a long-time PR practitioner who is relatively new to
Twitter,   I have to ask whether insulting potential Vocus
customers–I mean… personae– who ask honest  questions is
an effective marketing tool.

That webinar and others are available at

The New Cambridge Observer is a publication of  the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, Massachusetts.


7 Responses to “Rating Social Media Marketing Webinars”

  1. It wasn’t the Vocus moderator that expressed anger about finding reporters’ email addresses, it was Peter – that’s just his sense of humor. 🙂 Here is a great resource: http://mediaontwitter.pbwiki.com/. Here is the link @skydiver mentioned: http://is.gd/eenb – 60 NYT reporters on twitter.

  2. Joe Pulizzi Says:

    Hi…the Content Marketing teleseminar did go a “little all over the place”, but I did feel we hit on the main point – that all businesses need to consider themselves publishers or media companies today. If we distribute valuable content that meets or exceeds the needs of our customers, we have the opportunity to begin a trusted relationship with them – what publishers have been doing for years.

    Thanks for keeping this topic apart of the conversation.


    • anharris Says:

      Joe, you make an interesting point–which should provoke some good discussion. I wholeheartedly agree that companies should disseminate solid, trustworthy information–but I’m not sure that I want every business to see itself as a publisher.

      As a former journalist, I believe that traditional news organizations’ “Chinese firewalls” separating publishing from editorial content are key to preventing financial concerns from skewing news. Clearly, finances are now forcing difficult decisions in many newsrooms, but I hope that individual editors and reporters will be able to maintain their independent judgment and “watchdog” role. While publishing is certainly a business, journalists’ main concern should be the public good, whereas for most companies, it is the bottom line.

  3. Joe Pulizzi Says:

    Hi Anita…I agree with you on the role of media. There will (or should) be independent news organizations reporting on important local and national issues. But that’s not really what I’m talking about.

    First, if a corporation puts the needs of their customers first, they will be successful. Second, marketing is publishing and publishing is marketing. If I’m in the design engineering industry selling a product or a service, my main partner may be Machine Design magazine (a trade publication), but they are also my competitor. Why can’t I (the company) provide educational content to my customer just like MD does to their reader. Frankly, in order to survive in the future, companies MUST provide this type of information on a consistent basis. How else can companies be trusted? Not through ads or traditional marketing. Only through giving them something valuable, i.e., information.

    I think we’re saying the same thing, but it was worth expanding on. Let me know what you think.

  4. anharris Says:

    Joe–I see what you’re saying.

    Yes, companies should put out their own accurate informational materials. Responsible, independent publications can help readers and audiences who don’t have time to read everything vet these to sort wheat from chaff.

    Maybe we’re quibbling over semantics, but I’m not comfortable equating marketing and publishing. To me, publishing is a subset, type or form of marketing. That is, marketing is a broader field that also includes product pricing, distribution, collateral material, advertising, promotions, public relations–which in turn includes events, media relations, public appearances, etc.

  5. Joe Pulizzi Says:

    You are right…we could probably go on forever. What I talk about in my speeches is that 90% of business decisions begin online. If that’s true (according to Forrester), then you won’t be found unless you are presenting the information online for people to find you. And for that to happen, you have to be solving peoples problems through text, video, audio, etc…or publishing.

    That’s why content marketing and social media are the fastest growing marketing areas right now.

    Thanks for the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: