18 Jun 2010

Brian and Liz at the World PR Forum

This week more than 400 communicators from around the world gathered in Stockholm for the World PR Forum.

I had the honor of speaking during the lunchtime session about how Obama built his volunteer operation on the ground. The response was great, and as usual there were lots of enthusiastic questions about what might be applicable over here.

But the real star of the show was American social media guru Brian Solis, who held court during the opening address.

He talked about the changing role of PR, from being something event driven (i.e. read our press release!) to something participatory. As communicators we no longer have control over the whole process--as soon as someone reads our message and shares it, anything can happen.

Here are just some of the interesting take-aways from his presentation:

• The lifespan of a Twitter re-tweet is one hour
• The press release is 104 years old, and according to Brian, “it still sucks”
• It doesn’t count if you engage with those who are already following you
• The future of the press release? It will look more like a blog post
• No one department can own social media, it has to be integrated into the entire business (and of course I couldn’t help think of how Obama did this with his campaign.)
• These days your level of influence on-line matters. There are some American companies that won’t hire you without knowing your Klout score, a kind of credit score for the social web.

For more of Brian’s wit and wisdom, check out his website.


Elizabeth Walentin may be new to the blogging scene, but she's an old hand when it comes to strategic communications. An American with five years in Sweden under her belt, her areas of expertise include presentation training, media relations, and political strategy. She is a communications consultant and head of Education at JG Communication.

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