Ottawa Wrap-Up, Conference Follow-up

Wow...what a week in Ottawa. Last Tuesday, I spent my morning having a Social Media Breakfast at Overlay.TV and hearing Fat Canary's Ryan Anderson give a great, quick talk on Reputation 2.0 (thanks for having me out, even though I signed up late).

I think that the breakfast format is a great way to do these things, and I look forward to helping Joe Thornley get them off the ground here in Toronto. As much as I love having a beer and chatting with people after work, I also love going home at the end of the day and would much rather wake up early with a cup of a coffee, some breakfast and an inspiring talk.


On Wednesday and Thursday, I participated in the Advanced Learning Institute's Social Media For Government Conference. Joe Thornley did a great job of making people feel guilty for not using Twitter, and I think there were more than just a few who felt his heat and signed up on the spot.

In fact, Twitter was huge at this conference. In addition to the rookies, there were a number of vets that helped keep the Twitter conversation going. While others were speaking, I found a lot of value in having side conversations with others in the room who I only knew via Twitter.

(For those of you new to Twitter, Mark Goren has two great blog posts about how to get started (part one, part two) and I'd also recomend a post I wrote a few weeks ago)

On Thursday morning while I was giving my presentation about Social Media Releases I was also pleased to learn that the Twitter conversation continued on. I also felt pretty pleased with the fact that #ALI was the sixth most popular trending topic during my presentation, according to As a speaker, it provided me with great feedback about my presention.

It also gives me a chance to follow up with some of the questions or concerns that the audience had at the time.

"Distribution of social media releases is the elephant in the room because wire services can't send out social media releases" tweeted one audience member. While it is true that the actual newswire can't distribute social media releases over the wire due to limitations of the technology on the side of the major media points, newswires like CNW have gotten around this by issuing an SMR advisory over the wire, and by distributing the actual Social Media Release via Twitter and RSS.


I also had a great time at the CPRS Ottawa season kick-off event last Thursday, hanging out with the CNW Group Ottawa Bureau crew and other CPRS members in Capital City (and CPRS Toronto has a lot to learn from CPRS Ottawa, particularly in how their websites are designed and updated...more on this later).

It was a busy week, and I didn't have time for blogging but I've got what I think will be a couple of kick-ass posts brewing up.

If you are reading this because I met you in Ottawa, thanks for checking out BlogCampaigning! You can subscribe via the orange button on the right hand side of this page. Feel free to get in touch with me via Twitter, email (parker (at) blogcampaigning (dot) com) or by commenting here on the blog.


Social Media Release Workshop with Parker

Speaking Gig: Social Media For Government Just a quick heads-up that I'll be leading a workshop about Social Media Releases at the upcoming Social Media For Government conference taking place in Ottawa from September 15-18. From the program description of my workshop:

In this workshop, you will learn about one of the hottest topics in Public Relations (PR) today, the Social Media Release (SMR).

The Social Media Release is similar to the traditional news release in that its goal is to provide journalists with information with which they can craft their story. However, rather than being limited to text, the SMR incorporates multimedia elements. Photos, video and audio can all be included, as well as links to additional resources.

The "social" aspect of the release is the addition of a system allowing users to comment on it, as well as the ability to easily share the release and use or embed its multimedia components on blogs, websites and social networks. From being a static medium designed for one-to-many communications (from one point of origin to many possible readers), the SMR turns news releases into a kind of many-to-many communications tool – allowing people to interact with, comment on, share, and redistribute the content of the release. It can be an ideal way for government agencies to communicate with both professional and traditional journalists and new, citizen journalists like bloggers.

This workshop will consist of a brief overview where you will learn about the origins of the SMR and how it was originally used. We will walk through examples of the social media release that are available today, including examples of successful and unsuccessful uses of the SMR in communications campaigns.

In the second portion of the workshop, we will discuss the ideal types of media to include in an SMR. At this point, we will also discuss when it is or is not appropriate to use an SMR to communicate a message, or whether a traditional release or other methods will suffice. By the end of the session, you will take away an understanding of:

* How to use SMR's to maximize your communications – including examples of successful and unsuccessful uses of the SMR in communications campaigns * When it is appropriate to use a SMR * What you should include in a SMR to leverage the power of this communications tool * The Future of the SMR and how to begin using this new communications tool right away

Attend this session to learn why you need to integrate the use of SMR's into your government organisation now, and gain insight into the future of one of the most widespread topics in PR today.

As this will be an interactive workshop, participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop computer so that we can more easily explore and experiment with these online tools.

Although I do presentations in front of clients on behalf of CNW Group quite often, this will be my first time speaking at a conference. As an employee of a newswire, I have a very unique view of the Social Media Release and I'm looking forward to sharing what I know with a group of people who have paid to learn about it.

Thornley-Fallis' Bob LeDrew and the always-entertaining Colin McKay (from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner) will also be speaking at the conference. For more information about some of the other topics and to register, visit the conference website.