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The new PR gatekeepers

I was given the opportunity by Bulldog Reporter to kick off their all-day event in New York City today, where they are helping veteran PR people adapt to the new opportunities on the Web. You can get my slides for The New PR Gatekeepers, but I enjoyed the questions and the interaction with other speakers.

Bill Barnes of Enquiro passed along a tip I had never heard before—to create a site map of your images on your Web site so that journalists can grab pictures of your company officers, products, and other things they might use in their stories.
SEO-PR’s Greg Jarboe had a pithy quote: “The home page of your Press Room is Google.” Greg says that research shows that the Press Room area of your Web site that you spend so much time on is actually the second place that journalists look—the first place is a search engine.
I also was very interested in Matt Anchin’s perspective on empowering your company to speak in public. Regular readers know that I believe it is imperative for companies to do that, but Matt had a different take. Matt formerly worked at IBM and now handles these issues for American Express. “You need to see what is right for your company,” he says. He doesn’t believe that AmEx can train its employees to answer customer service questions.
He’s probably right. Maybe your customer service people could post on message boards, but you may not want untrained folks tackling those questions. I believe that employees can learn what kinds of questions they should tackle and what kinds they should alert people about. I think AmEx can do this (and must do this) the same way any company must, but Matt is understandably concerned.
Matt may know more about this than me—maybe it’s not right for AmEx. I think more and more of your brand image plays out on the Web and you need to ensure that your company is out there interacting. Matt also said, “I’m happy to see IBM figure out how to do this and then we can do that.” Matt’s right to be concerned about the dangers (especially in a regulated industry), but I think we have to experiment to find out what works for each of us.
Matt is doing that at AmEx and he’ll decide different things to experiment with than IBM does. That’s healthy and natural. Instead of trying to find the perfect advice for what everyone should do, you are better off doing as Matt says and experimenting to see what is right for your company.

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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