Everybody has an opinion. Social media provides an unrivaled avenue to share it with the world. PRWeek examines some of the individual blogs and Twitter feeds that all communications pros need to bookmark.
PR/social media blogs
Seasoned PR pro Arik Hanson's site offers thought-provoking commentary and insight on PR with a particular focus on digital communications. Hanson, principal of ACH Communications in Minneapolis, also shares usable strategies and tactics to develop long-term social media relationships. This blog features equal levels of industry rants and raves. Hanson's approach to sharing the link love makes this a good gauge of who – and what – to know.
M Booth & Associates
Fwd Thinking's daily digest of cool and fun ideas (dubbed “Word. daily.”) showcases the best, and wackiest, developments in brand creation and extensions from across the globe. Put together by M Booth's digital team, this snappily designed blog is the place to go for inspiration for your brand when you don't have hours to search for it.
A blogging forefather, Richard Edelman, worldwide president and CEO of Edelman, has been giving his two cents on communication trends and issues since 2004. The 6AM blog depicts the archetypal PR boss about town and includes name-dropping aplenty, as well as Edelman's views on an extraordinary variety of subjects – from capitalism to brain science. His must-read blogs are lively, challenging, and they never fail to garner substantial industry comment.
Always upbeat and positive, Danny Brown, cofounder of the SRM Group in Toronto, delivers thoughtful and well-researched content through his blog on an almost daily basis. He touches on a multitude of topics, including PR, social media, and online communities, in great detail. His commentary also encourages community building and collaboration. Not one to shy away from tackling industry dilemmas, Brown is also quick to dispel myths and offer business solutions.
Digital Influence Mapping Project
Through his blog, John Bell, MD of Ogilvy Public Relations' 360 Digital Influence, delivers specific advice for PR professionals to identify, engage, and maintain relationships with digital influencers. The blog draws on Bell's own experiences, as well as research and industry developments, to help communicators navigate the ever-changing media landscape. This is a content-rich blog that provides tangible solutions on how to best apply the latest digital innovations to overall business objectives.
The Daily Lark
Colorful and informative, The Daily Lark is Andy Lark's take on industry innovations and issues combined with a healthy dose of ranting. Lark, who is also VP of global marketing at Dell, is, in his own words, a “serial communicator,” and his passion for the industry shines through the broad spectrum of communications topics he ad-dresses. This blog includes lots of helpful resources for PR pros, ranging from digested research and links to useful articles.
Drawing on his decades of experience within big-name firms, Peter Himler's musings and video posts examine what he sees as the often-subtle role PR plays in hard news, politics, corporate dealings, and global issues. Himler, founder and principal of Flatiron Communications in New York, is the go-to blogger for a serious take on PR's ethical undertones, as well as for the latest must-see YouTube video.
I'm working on it
Self-described social media geek and digital native, Becky Johns might be relatively new to the blog scene, but she is already posting insightful interviews with trailblazing social media strategists. The corporate communications pro for Delta Dental also reports widely on communication events and trends in the Midwest and shares her ideas and passion for effective online and offline communications.
Defining the convergence of media and influence
A renowned social media strategist and industry thought leader, Brian Solis' blog is heavily cited – and with good reason. It covers every nuance of how digital and social media are influencing communications and business. Solis is a frequent writer about how the Web has been redefining communications since the mid-1990s and his posts, which sometimes include excerpts from his books, provide essential guidelines on how to leverage social media strategies to support business goals.
A Shel of My Former Self
Through his content-heavy blog, Shel Holtz shares the communications expertise he has gathered from more than three decades in the PR industry. Holtz, principal of Concord, CA-based Holtz Communication + Technology, offers detailed musings on social media and PR, as well as frequent reports from industry conferences and events. In addition, the site features vast resources available to download, including speaking presentations, podcasts, and webinars.
He may be a bit of a self-promoter, but Todd Defren, principal at Shift Communications, does have some great stuff to shout about. Defren's blog, which he started in 2004, shares his seemingly never-ending reserve of social media insight and views on the latest industry research. Like other bloggers in the space, he's always willing to address the PR implication of mainstream news stories. The resources section is a goldmine of tips on how to incorporate social media into daily PR activity, which makes it an ideal reference point if you need a speedy tutorial.
As founder of social media service HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and an agency CEO (The Geek Factory), all-around chatty guy Peter Shankman does not hold back on very much with his blog. In addition to documenting his eventful adventures in social media and industry networking since 1995, Shankman manages to squeeze in tales of his overweight cats and his Ironman training. A true alpha networker – Shankman has his hands in a lot of projects – PR professionals could do a lot worse than plug into him.
The Steve Rubel Stream
Given his day job as director of insights for Edelman Digital, it is small wonder that Steve Rubel uses his blog to exercise his inner geek by identifying and analyzing emerging technologies in the marketing and communications field. The Steve Rubel Stream is a key resource to get an authoritative and honest view on the multitude of tools and gizmos competing for the attention of the PR industry.
The CEO of Arment Dietrich Communications in Chicago, Gini Dietrich vows to “fight against destructive spin” in her blog, injecting a fair amount of humor and humility along the way. Her daily posts address everything from social media to e-mail marketing to proper attire for business presentations. The inclusion of videos and guest bloggers helps add some variety to the piece and her posts always spark a good amount of comments and debate.
A View from Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley blogging stalwart and self-proclaimed “early pioneer” of tech PR, Tim Dyson blends his thinking, and rethinking, on PR alongside reviews and previews of the latest gadgets. Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen, freely exercises his views on all levels of industry issues and offers plenty of unsolicited solutions. It's a good blog to tap into if you need a quick cheat sheet on key industry issues.
Buzz Marketing for Technology
B-to-B thought leader Paul Dunay's blog delves into the many marketing challenges and scenarios the business community faces. Dunay, Avaya's global MD of services and social marketing, investigates what industry trends and developments mean for businesses on a day-to-day basis and takes an integrated marketing approach to finding workable solutions. Well-researched and authoritative, Dunay's blog is a top resource for businesses of all sizes.
President of New Marketing Labs Chris Brogan (pictured right) uses his blog to share his insight and tips on how businesses of all sizes can achieve their objectives through the use of social software, community platforms, and Web and mobile technologies. With a plethora of industry observations, practical steps to improve online communications, and in-depth product reviews, Brogan's musings generate substantial conversation among the blogging elite and beyond.
Talent Imitates, Genius Steals
Self-described geek and chief innovation officer at MDC Partners, Faris Yakob embodies cool with his deadpan views on brands, media, communications, technology, and more. This endearing blog is overflowing with creative inspiration and plenty of real-life examples. With his unique to-the-point delivery, Yakob doesn't hold back z it comes to sharing his views on business strategies and suggestions for how companies and industry can move ahead.
Marketing veteran and director of strategy at social media firm Powered, Valeria Maltoni's popular blog discusses marketing, social media, and PR, and suggests approaches to successfully overlap the mediums. Maltoni firmly believes good conversation can change business and her blog advocates critical thought and a ban on buzzwords. She also includes regular interviews with inspiring entrepreneurs and plenty of case studies.
Seth Godin's Blog
Although he has published 12 popular books, including All Marketers Are Liars and Linchpin, the well-known entrepreneur still manages to blog daily about all things marketing. And between his sometimes esoteric pontificating and self-promoting, there is still good insight and advice on the marketing landscape, which explains his continued following and the prevalent sharing of his content across Facebook and Twitter.
Technology/digital media blogs
EC=MC (Every Company is a Media Company)
Former Financial Times reporter and publisher of Silicon Valley Watcher Tom Foremski has been tracking the shifting media landscape for more than a quarter-century. Through EC=MC, Foremski reports on the business of technology and media and aggregates articles from experts across multiple industries to share what the concept means to them and how it can be applied to day-to-day business.
As the name suggests, this digital news hub examines a multitude of paid content business models from across the media marketplace. In addition, the PaidContent team also provides global business news and analysis around the wider technology and digital media industries. It serves as a great resource for tracking how digital developments are shaping the industry at large.
Social Media Today
Social Media Today is a moderated b-to-b community that brings together some of the industry's best-known commentators (Brian Solis and Rohit Bharghava to name a couple) alongside social media bloggers, marketers, PR and media professionals. The community-building ethos of the site means that, once registered, participants can post their own blogs, create their own profile, leave comments, and connect directly with other members.
Aimed at the tech-savvy set, this popular blog provides endless authoritative content, including detailed news and analysis of Web products and trends. Backed by a large team of writers from across the US, ReadWriteWeb is updated several times a day and is the place to find what's coming up next on the tech front and to understand the impact of current trends.
Popular with early adopters, social media enthusiasts, influencers, bloggers, and traditional journalists, Mashable is arguably the premier destination for anyone trying to make sense of the online universe. Since the site was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore, Mashable has primarily focused on whatever's hot in social media and technology. Today, with its international team of reporters, Mashable breaks the latest Web news, dissects
the latest services, provides step-by-step guides to popular websites, digests research, showcases the best viral videos, and offers tips to successfully operating online.
This spam-free blog search engine includes Twingly Blogstream, a widget that connects traditional media to the blogosphere, and Twingly Screensaver, a visual representation of the real-time state of the blogosphere.
A blog search engine and trend-tracking tool that organizes topics in a trendline to show the popularity of a subject over time.
This blog search engine offers advanced analysis and visualization technology. Tracking more than 47 million blogs, it includes popularity curves, identification of information bursts, and geographical search.
Blog Catalog is a blogger-only social network and blog directory. It provides a variety of tools, features, and widgets to help bloggers connect and share.
A real-time search engine that focuses on sites where information is continuously updated. Sites searched include blogs, the Web, Twitter, MySpace, news sites, and images.
Adam Isserlis, director of digital media, Rubenstein
Connie Bensen, community strategist, Alterian SM2
Charlene Li, founder, Altimeter Group
Chris Thilk, account supervisor, Voce Communications
Lauren Fernandez, community manager, Radian6
Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
David Berkowitz, senior director, emerging media and innovation, 360i
Guy Kawasaki, cofounder, Alltop
Katy Kelley, VP, communications, Carrot Creative
Kelly McCarthy, director, business development, Ruder Finn, North America
Jay Rosen, author, journalist, and NYU professor
Jeff Jarvis, author, journalist, blogger, and professor at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Marc Monseau, corporate media relations director, Johnson & Johnson
Jeremiah Owyang, Web strategist and partner, Altimeter Group
PR professor, University of Georgia
Katie Paine, CEO, KDPaine & Partners
Kellye Crane, PR/social media strategist, founder of Solo PR Pro
Lionel Menchacha, chief blogger, Dell
Louis Gray, VP of online marketing, MySpace
Lee Rainie, director of Pew Internet Project
Pete Blackshaw, EVP, Nielsen Strategic Digital Services
Paul Chaney, Internet marketing consultant
Peter Kim, MD, Dachis Group, NA
Laura Fitton, CEO and founder, oneforty.com
Robert French, PR professor at Auburn University
Robert Scoble, video blogger, Rackspace
Scott Monty, social media head, Ford
Shonali Burke, PR professional and president of IABC, DC chapter
Sree Sreenivasan, contributing editor, DNAinfo.com, professor at Columbia Journalism School
Tom Biro, VP, Allison & Partners