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.