Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Ted Weismann

By: Gini Dietrich | April 13, 2012 | 

I’d like to introduce you to one of the smartest PR pros I know.

His name is Ted Weismann and he leads the digital practice at Lois Paul and Partners, one of the leading PR firms in the tech space.

When I speak to CEO organizations, I spend some time talking about the role of PR firms today. It used to be you’d hire a PR firm for their already established relationships with journalists.

But then the tech bubble burst and the 9/11 tragedy enveloped our country and then our economy became almost as bad as the Great Depression and suddenly those of us in the profession realized nothing would ever be the same as it was before 2001.

Ted is one of the few communication professionals who truly understands it. Being in tech PR in the late 90s and early 2000s, he lived it.

I’ll let you tell him about it in his own words (mostly because I think it’s a really good story we can all learn from). He says:

I was managing Sun Microsystems’ product reviews program and seemingly overnight, there were less opportunities to land reviews. Publications were shuttering test labs, not only to cut costs because advertising was still down, but also because IT buyers were blogging about their experiences with Sun’s products. These peer reviews slowly became more valuable than editorial product reviews.

I recognized this and moved very quickly to evolve the product reviews program to incorporate a robust blogger relations element. It became a hybrid program, where we were able to leverage the fact that Sun was a social media pioneer. But I had to work with our team to build the program from scratch, doing social media monitoring before there were tools like Radian6 and Sysomos and learning on the fly the differences between blogger (and community relations) and media relations.

He recently began blogging (he doesn’t blog often enough, in my opinion) at Down to Social Business, where you can find how-tos, case studies, and practical advice. He’s one of a few who truly understand how social media works, how to integrate it with traditional media, and how to measure it.

You’ll learn a lot from following him.

On the personal side, he has two boys and he likes to run. Perhaps I can talk him into taking up cycling instead.

You can find Ted at Down to Social Business, on Twitter, on Google+, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.

Say hello to him in the comments below…and then go stalk him online. YWRI.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • DonnaLehman

    Very nice introduction Gini – and nice for Ted that he has his on PR rep 🙂 Will be clicking on those ‘Follow’ buttons. Cheers.

    • ginidietrich

       @DonnaLehman You won’t be disappointed. He knows what he’s doing.

    •  @DonnaLehman Likewise, Donna. I’ve found so many great new colleagues to follow here. Look forward to following and engaging with you. Cheers.

      • DonnaLehman

         @TedWeismann Absolutely! Gini and her cohort @DannyBrown are wonderful people to hang with IRL too. Had some great conversations and cocktails in NYC at BWENY last year…time for a reprise.

        • ginidietrich

           @DonnaLehman  @TedWeismann  @DannyBrown Oh jeez. Don’t bring him in on this.

  • Hey Ted! Gini’s word is gold, IMO and I’m adding you to my list. I’m sure I’ll be better for it. BTW, I’m a runner too; embarking on my first marathon in three short weeks.

    • ginidietrich

       @Anthony_Rodriguez You are?!? Are you doing it locally? Have you done your long run yet?

      •  @ginidietrich I’m running in Cincinnati; the Flying Pig Marathon. I’ve been training since December and am thankful for the great weather that has helped make it a great training. I’ve reached 20 miles and am doing 22 miles this weekend. That will be the last long run before the big race.

        •  @Anthony_Rodriguez  @ginidietrich That’s great Anthony. Good luck!
          I’m just getting back from a leg injury that shelved me for 5 months. The big race this year is a 200 mile relay (part of a 12 person team) from the White Mountains of NH to the seacoast. Can’t wait.

        •  @TedWeismann  Whoa, that sounds like a pretty sweet race. There is a huge relay around the flatness that is Columbus, OH but I don’t think it would be nearly as rewarding as your relay.

        • ginidietrich

           @Anthony_Rodriguez That’s great! You’re going to do awesome. I’ve run three marathons and have the medals hanging in my office. It’s a great accomplishment!

        • ginidietrich

           @TedWeismann  @Anthony_Rodriguez How many miles, of the 200, do you actually run?

        •  @ginidietrich  @Anthony_Rodriguez Don’t know yet. I’ll run three times in the 24 hour period of the race, between 4-8 miles each time. At least one in middle of the night. It’ll be surreal. 

        • ginidietrich

           @TedWeismann  That’s crazy.

        •  @ginidietrich  @TedWeismann Super crazy. But it sounds super fun.

        • John_Trader1

           @TedWeismann I want in on this race. Maybe I can convince someone in the ATL to have a similar race although its a little farther to the coast.

        •  @John_Trader1 You’ll just have to travel. I do want to want to run the Peachtree 10K though.

  • Total Deja Vu. I read Ted’s story somewhere else. Do you have another Follow Friday with the same history and now swapping photos due to lack of someone for this week @ginidietich 
    Or maybe I ran into tedweismann somewhere else?
    Before he was involved in tech he was a Super Hero like SociallyGenius but with a Mauve Cape vs Forest Green. And he actually leaped tall shrubberies which back then was a first for any Super Hero. But then he went to the dark side got involved in high tech and was addicted to stock options and free foozeball at work. Late nights at starbucks after the dot com crash got him sober and after a year detailing cars found his calling in PR because @shonali was a trendsetter in Public Radio and Ted felt it was an area he could excel.
    Grats on your Follow Friday Ted!

    • ginidietrich

       @HowieSPM  I really should just have you write my #FFs.

      •  @ginidietrich my hourly rate is very reasonable.

        • ginidietrich

           @HowieSPM I can probably get you in exchange for some Chobani.

      •  @ginidietrich Seriously, @HowieSPM is one reason I keep coming back here.

        •  @TedWeismann  @ginidietrich speaking of Chobani i can use one right now. Yes 3 cases of Cho for each Follow Friday I ghost write. Chobani somehow pays me only a case each time I tweet and a big container for each customer conversion I make in the supermarket. It is the new economy and the recession that I work so cheaply. I mean inexpensively.

  • Wow! Truly an honor @ginidietrich . Thank you so much!  Having lived in the tech bubble (no pun intended) for so long, I’ve made it a point to open my eyes in the last several years to the broader community of really smart digital PR pros doing great things across many disciplines. This community you’ve built is top of that list, and I’m humbled right now.
    I know — I do need to blog more, but my clients keep me too busy, which I guess is a good problem to have. Now I have to just get it done. Thanks again!
     @HowieSPM Can I buy you a beer so I can use your great write up as the new copy on my page? You always bring it here.

    • ginidietrich

       @TedWeismann  If I don’t get my blog posts written at 6 a.m., they don’t get written. So I get it. What do you think about what’s happening in the digital space right now with all the money going around? I think we’re headed toward another bubble. We didn’t learn our lesson…and it was only 11 years ago.

      •  @ginidietrich  @TedWeismann Ted if you are lacking clients like me you will have more time to blog. Wait…I only blog twice a week but I think it is because Gini has that blog restraining order me where i can’t blog until I earn 5 @livefyre points here. Sigh.

  • Well Hello there, Ted! It is a great feeling to be featured here, isn’t it? I’m that superhero guy Howie was talking about. I’ve been saying for some time that a TV network needs to pick him up for a variety show… It has “smash hit” written all over it. As for you, sounds like a great story where each chapter will continue to get better and better. I’m going to go stalk you online now!

    • ginidietrich

       @SociallyGenius I love it when people listen to me!

    •  @SociallyGenius Stalk away — although the choice of words is freaking me out a little bit on Friday the 13th…

  • “…overnight, there were less opportunities to land reviews.” 
    Ted, you can say that again.  I thought I was the only one who noticed that the tech product review game fizzled shortly after the dot-com bust.  For tech companies with products, that was once a very robust component of a public relations program, especially in the 1980s and 1990s.  It morphed into scant opps with traditional media reviewers who became bloggers and a new crop of pseudo “review” sites that turned into bottomless pits for products that had slim chances for reviews and sometimes a tough effort to get them returned. 

    • ginidietrich

       @joeldon And it happened with a good majority of traditional media in 2009. How many publications went out of business that year? I can’t remember the exact number, but it was hundreds.

    •  @joeldon Funny this is, there has been a resurgence of review sites and blogs since the Sun experience. They’re just all focused on social and mobile apps. The enterprise tech products are still left out in the cold.

      •  @TedWeismann I hear you.  End of an era.  It was a good run while it lasted and we did make a difference for companies. The market dynamic has changed, along with our business.  Talk about disruption…

  • I’ve been away from my computer all day today, so I’m just now getting caught up on all my blog comments. 
    It’s nice to meet you @TedWeismann and I look forward to reading your blog.  A perspective in tech PR is something I’ve really been craving. 

    • ginidietrich

       @jasonkonopinski  There is this thing called an iPad. It allows you to catch up on blog comments when you’re away from your computer.

    •  @jasonkonopinski Jason – Nice to meet you as well. I hope I don’t disappoint.

  • Robb_Wexler

    Hi Ted…nice to meet you. I believe some of your “cellmates” use our services. Look forward to reading your blog. And make sure you get the really cool parting gifts from Gini in the lobby.

    • ginidietrich

       @Robb_Wexler Why do you do this to me? You KNOW the parting gifts are secret.