Social Media has fundamentally changed how we communicate and share information. Many industries have been influenced by this shift and PR could be one of the most effected in recent years. The role of Public Relations is about getting stories told on behalf of organizations to promote goodwill to the public. With social media tools, stories are being told all the time but who gets the attention and when can make or break a business.
This month we asked three experienced PR and branding professionals to talk to us about the role of public relations with the new social media culture we are living in. We discussed how the industry has changed, how social media and public relations go together, how to manage your brand’s perception to the public and some useful case studies.
In other news… we also were in our new location for the first time this month. The beautiful Masonic Temple at 415 Congress Street was a very unique venue. It was same time and same format, just a new location.
What: SMBME 28 – Social Media and PR
Who: Rob Gould, Linda Varrell and Sean Wilkinson
When: Friday, November 18th 7:30am – 10am
Where: The Portland Masonic Temple, 415 Congress St.
How: There is no way these would be possible without the support of our sponsors – Kemp Goldberg Partners, Mainely SEO, Hall Internet Marketing, The Cohen Tracy Team, and the Internet Educator.
With close to 20 years of experience Rob currently works as an earned media consultant to clients, both corporations & individuals. He is also a writer & blogger. From 2005-2011 Rob worked in a variety of positions with The VIA Agency, a full-service advertising agency headquartered in Portland, ME with a satellite office in NYC. Most recently Rob served as VIA’s director of earned media. Prior to serving in that role he was the agency’s director of social media & agency communications. Before joining VIA in 2005, he worked in a variety of positions with PR agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont. Rob describes himself as a pop culture junky & a news addict. He maintains a large following on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Linkedin, Google+, Foursquare, Gowalla, blip.fm & other social media networks. Rob is friendly & he likes to talk.
Linda Varrell, APR
Linda started Broadreach Public Relations in December 2006 as a way to help businesses and organizations tell their story to raise their profile. She is a 25-year veteran of the financial services industry, previously with Northeast Bank. Linda holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and is pursuing a Global MBA. She is active in the community, focusing on Youth Development and Community Service, is an adjunct faculty member at Thomas College as part of their Marketing Department, and works with numerous nonprofit boards.
With a history of initiating and leading high-impact growth and improvement strategies for diverse organizations, Linda has demonstrated her expertise in strategic planning, brand development, media relations, community relations, and project management. She has led numerous initiatives that have increased the market visibility while creating goodwill for organizations with their target audiences.
Sean Wilkinson is the president of the Maine chapter of the AIGA and a principal of Might & Main, a small design and branding agency serving local and national clients from an office in downtown Portland. Sean is a Maine native and a graduate of the Maine College of Art. His associations with AIGA and Might & Main have brought his work to an increasingly wider national audience, but he stays connected to the Portland arts and music community, often trading work with great local organizations like SPACE Gallery in exchange for admission or karma (or both), and enjoys getting his hands dirty screening his own posters whenever he can.
Sean is occasionally an adjunct professor in the design program at Maine College of Art, worked for years as the Assistant for DesignInquiry (formerly Maine Summer Institute in Graphic Design), and is a co-founder of PICNIC Music & Arts Festival. Somehow, he still finds time to get to the ocean on a regular basis, because that’s part of what living in Portland is all about.