I gave a presentation to the PR folks at the University System of Maryland last week. I want to thank Anne Moultrie for inviting me and Becca Ramspott and Dave Ottalini, my copresenters, for their kindness. Everyone at the presentation was great. I talked about the usual things, how I got into podcasting, the fact that you need to be prepared for the unexpected, what I’ve learned in the blogosphere, our experiments with YouTube, etc.
I found what I’ve found with other audiences I’ve talked to:
-PR professionals have not tried podcasting
-PR professionals have not tried blogging.
-PR professionals have not tried vidcasting.
They haven’t done it for two reasons:
-the intimidation factor
-time time factor
There are no real easy solutions to the above. All technology is intimidating until you explore and learn it. There’s just no way around that. There has to be a learning curve. There has to be frustration. There will probably be a point where you say, “I can’t do this!” But when you succeed, the feeling of victory, progress, self-worth, are really rewarding.
It’s the same with the time factor. As The Wizard of Ads, Roy H. Williams has said often, in business there are only two things: time and money. If you don’t have money, you find the time to do something. If you don’t have time, then you find the money and purchase it.
In my case, I didn’t have the money in my budget. I didn’t really have the time, either. I couldn’t make the money. But I could make the time. I did the initial podcasts on my own time, nights and weekends. Once I understood the technical aspects, I brought in work-study students (modest amount of money) and trained them to do all the editing and mixing, thus getting back my time.
Important point. When I got back my time, I didn’t spend it on the traditional PR activities. I used it to explore more Web 2.0 research and experiments.
I realize that I, like others, make this sound easy. Black and white. It’s not.
You have to play games. You have to broker time and activities. You have to do anything you can to do what you know is important for your institution.
The feeling I get from all the folks I speak to is that they know Web 2.0 is important.
It’s not the future. It’s the now.
They just don’t know how to get there because their deans, VPs and presidents (for the most part) don’t understand things like RSS feeds, podcasts, YouTube.
WAIT! We’ve hit it, haven’t we?
The key to immobility!
In my next blog I’ll tell you what my wife, a PR pro attended the session, told me on the five hour drive home.
It’s something I should have said in my presentation, and something I will say here and in future presentations.
It’s simple, logical and works every time.