by Catriona Pollard
Way back in 2006 – which is a long time in social media – my friend Carol Skyring showed me how to set up my very first blog. I vividly remember writing articles so I would have them ready to upload as soon as I set up my blog.
And that was the first lesson in social media. Blogs aren’t like websites. You upload articles over a period of time – not all at once. It’s just like telling a story: you get to know the characters over time, not on the first page.
The reason I set up my blog was to understand how this new communication method worked. If you are in social media you know that you need to do it to get it. If you’re not in it, you don’t get it! As a communication professional I felt it was important for me to see how I could use it to share my client’s messages and stories.
I have been doing PR for nearly 20 years (yes I know I don’t look that old ) so what better way for me to share my experience and knowledge than through blogging. So I used myself as a guinea pig, and started blogging.
My first blog was http://smallbusinesspr.wordpress.com/which I moved to a self hosted www.PublicRelationsSydney.com.au blog in October 2008. I can tell you, if someone said to me that I would love blogging so much I would pay every month to host my own blog I would have laughed at them. Now I have seven blogs! And the Public Relations Sydney blog was shortlisted as Mumbrella’s Media & Marketing blog of the year in 2009.
A few years ago I had heard about Twitter and thought “Why would someone want to know what I had for lunch?” I resisted, then someone tried to explain it, and I thought “OK I need to do it to get it”.
Well – how amazing is Twitter. I started networking and going to tweetups. I was the only PR person in the room and realised I was an “early adopter”. How funny! I was never into technology and thought it was such a geeky thing to do. Now I have accepted my inner geek. In fact, I have embraced it! Don’t let my exterior PR chick persona fool you!
Professionally I was listed as one of the top 100 PR people internationally to follow on Twitter. Personally I met the most incredible, interesting, inspiring and friendly people. I really believe that Twitter creates this energy where you attract similar people to yourself.
It is a powerful medium, but it becomes extraordinarily powerful when you meet the people you have been tweeting with. I think because you have a shared history and an established connection. So when you meet all the formalities are out of the way and real enduring friendships start immediately.
Northside Coffee Mornings really cemented many professional and personal relationships. One of those relationships was with the lovely Nancy Georges. Hanging out with Nancy is like being plugged in to an electricity socket – so much live energy. An idea about creating a group for women to collaborate and share social media experiences was turned into a reality with the help of the Bella Nancy. It could not have been done without her.
So we now we have Social Media Women where we can tell our stories and create new ones.