PR-Squared's "Social Media Tactics" Series … Using for Thought Leadership

IStock_000003262230XSmallOn occasion I toss out some ideas re: using Social Media tools for PR/marketing purposes.  One of my favorites is using (as described here), but it is still a misunderstood technique. 

I’m going to attempt to describe the idea again below, and use this post as a jumping-off point to start a series of posts on “Social Media Tactics,” in which I’ll lay out some of the wacky ideas that are rolling around my skull. 

I first described “purpose-built” pages when we launched the Social Media News Release (SMNR) template.  The term “purpose-built” is kind of kludgy but… the basic idea was to create a customized account for every MAJOR news release.  In this customized account, the marketers could save a bunch of links that would allow anyone interested in the news to gain more context about the release. 

For example, in your news release or on your webpage you could say: “Today we released MegaWidget.  Go to this page to see 50 links re: our ten prior widget releases; online news coverage about our company and about the widget industry over the past 12 months; a bio on our chief widget officer; etc.” 

Unfortunately, most of the “purpose-built” accounts created to support SMNRs are empty … EXCEPT for the links, i.e., the links are there but, few people take advantage of the fact that allows 255 character spaces to explain WHY each link was saved. 

For example, using the MegaWidget example I’ve invented above, the widget marketer could bookmark a great piece of past coverage and say, Read this article if you want some good historical background on the widget industry…Note that MegaWidget capabilities are talked about as being in the far-distant future but became available with our next release.” 

That’s 215 character spaces – well within the limit – and yet in that brief note you’ve told the reader that this article not only contains good background info but you’ve also been able to highlight the true innovation of the latest MegaWidget!

It gets better (tags!):  The MegaWidget marketer can use tags to differentiate the different links within the account.  Let’s say that the widget industry is notoriously full of misinformation.  Whereas in the past a marketer might wish that untrue/unfair/unflattering articles would simply “go away,” that’s just not gonna happen in the Google Age.  So, the marketer can tag the “bad” articles with a term like “misinformation” and furthermore can add 255 text characters’ worth of rebuttal.  

For example, “This article about the ‘death of widgets’ got a lot of buzz when it came out but events have proven that the widget industry – and MegaWidget - was more resilient than predicted.”  BANG!  Within 180 character spaces and via the telling 1–word tag, “misinformation,” a naysayer is essentially de-positioned.

It gets better (RSS!): If you like this strategy for news releases, you can extend the power of this approach.  Start saving/commenting on industry news a few times per week, e.g., the MegaWidget marketing exec can save/tag/comment on all news of interest to widget-watchers, and this audience can subscribe via RSS to the entire account and/or to the RSS feeds of individual tags. 

For example, the company’s official spokesperson or CEO might subscribe to “” to make sure that they were always up-to-date on any negative press in the widget industry (as well as the official response to such news).

Do this right, and you’ll get reporters to subscribe via RSS to your company’s “daily dose of thought leadership.”  Your company will become known for being savvy, opinionated, and available.

Note #1 – For the purposes of this post, the term “widget” is being used in the generic sense, not to describe Web 2.0 software.

Note #2 – If you’re kinda clueless on and social bookmarking, never fear!  Check out this great, quick video.

Note #3 – The “Social Media Tactics Series” will be an ad-hoc series of posts … so, feel free to check back tomorrow (please do!) but it’s just as likely I’ll wait a day, a week, 2 weeks, etc. in-between these types of posts.  Even then, some of these ideas will be half-baked and your constructive criticism will be welcomed. 

Don’t wanna miss any?  Subscribe!

Posted on: September 24, 2007 at 4:33 pm By Todd Defren
7 Responses to “PR-Squared's "Social Media Tactics" Series … Using for Thought Leadership”


  • Todd Defren says:

    Bryan – ya bastid, you’ve previewed my next Tactics post! ;)

    Daniel – I don’t see any ethical dilemmas with saving and tagging one’s own content; it doesn’t preclude other users from tagging it as they see fit, and meanwhile this approach could make the content more easily discovered by both search engines & users.

    As for Social Media Newsroom examples, I wrote about the GM-Europe newsroom recently. Our clients, Openet and NeatReceipts, have also deployed Social Media Newsrooms to various degrees.

  • Daniel R says:


    Interesting timing, we just discussed with a mutual client of ours, specifically on how to leverage as both a social media marketing tool and as a market research tool.

    Additionally, there is the question of if the marketer should their own website to make sure all the appropriate tags are used; ensuring the website appears for terms people might search for.

    I’m curious on your thought about that? Are there any ethical issues?

    Also, I’m a big fun of your “Social-Media-Newsroom-presentation” PDF presentation. Are there any interesting client examples we could take a look at?

  • Here’s one way that I sometimes use on the internal side in my day job at Monster.

    A colleague and I like to exchange links we think the other should see. The links could be for blog posts we should comment on, or they could be inspiration for future posts on our blog.

    To share one of your links, tag it using the “for:otherperson’susername” format. For example, a link can be shared with me with the “for:bryper” tag. also allows you to keep certain links private, meaning they’ll be hidden from your otherwise public links. You have to activate that privacy option in the “Bookmark > private saving area” of your settings page. Then, check the “do not share” box as you’re saving a new link, and only you (and the person you’re sharing it with) will ever see it.

    This option would work quite well for links you want to share with a client or journalist but keep private from everyone else.

    My only complaint about del.icious — and it’s one that Kami hints at — is that the site just doesn’t *look* very nice. It definitely doesn’t have a Web 2.0 look. Still, if you can get past that, you’ll find is a very powerful social media tool indeed.

  • Mike Volpe says:

    Todd -

    As you know we will be giving the Delicious thing a shot as part of SMNR this week. I look forward to seeing what happens.

    I can tell you is that Delicious is a cool marketing tool just from the ways we have used it already – it has driven a lot of traffic to some of our websites already. In fact, one day we made the front page of Delicious and got a huge boost in traffic (and also leads).

    For any companies that want to know how many people on Delicious have bookmarked your company website, run a free report on and in that report you will see how many bookmarks you have earned on Delicious. This is one way to measure your success.

  • Dave Fleet says:

    Hi Todd,

    Great post!

    I particularly like the idea of combining and RSS feeds to keep internal staff informed.

    I wonder at the resources some of this would take to do, but this is thought-provoking and fascinating stuff.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series.



  • Kami Huyse says:

    As you know, I am a power delicious user like yourself. There are a couple of things I have learned that will help:

    1) Delicious pages are a little clunky looking for the uninitiated, think about adding a widget to your newsroom, website or blog and stream your tags into that widget. Reporters or interested people can click on articles and your 225 lines of text

    2) use delicious as a way to provide important clippings to clients. Your clients can subscribe to the RSS, or old school, cut and paste from delicious into Word. I have done both quite successfully.

    3) Is more of a suggestion to delicious. I would LOVE it if they allowed us to have more than one account under the same user name and password, same as Feedburner or Blogger. Just something to make my life easier. Sometimes remembering which delicious account I am in is taxing, especially when out tagging away.

Show some social media love would ya?

RSS logo Subscribe by Email

RSS logo RSS Feed


PostRank Topblogs 2009 - #3 in PR

View Todd 

Defren's profile on LinkedIn