Tech & The District » Social Media Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 Tiger and Twitter: The Road to Redemption? Fri, 19 Nov 2010 22:37:39 +0000 Ben Breit Nine words. That’s all it took to set the Twitter world abuzz with gossip and speculation. No, it had nothing to do with your friend’s ground-breaking tweet about the sandwich he was eating at that particular moment, nor was it related to your cousin posting a twit-pic of her dog dressed in a Halloween costume – though we have no doubt that Jasper made an adorable lobster.

What we learned Wednesday is that a nine-word tweet is all it takes – when your name is Tiger Woods.

11:40 AM EST, @TigerWoods: What’s up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!

Within two hours, he had gained 30,000 additional followers.

Before we delve into this, allow us to offer a little background. Tiger Woods – formerly the #1 golfer in the world – joined Twitter on June 26, 2009. That day, he tweeted three times: one referencing his new Twitter page, one referencing his Facebook page, and one referencing his new website. In the 17 months following, Tiger’s Twitter page had not been updated a single time – until Wednesday, that is.

We’ll spare you the soap opera, but suffice to say that the Tiger Woods we knew in June 2009 is a far different person than the Tiger Woods we know now. You might recall how Tiger handled the initial aftermath. A maddeningly vague post on his website after the car crash, followed by weeks of silence as his mistresses grabbed their 15 minutes of fame one by one. Finally, after more than three months, he came forward to admit his wrongdoing in one of the more anticipated and, ultimately, awkward press conferences in recent memory. But, as we all learned in PR 101, a few months of a feeding frenzy feels more like a few years. The damage was inflicted.

All of which brings us to a fascinating hypothetical: what if Tiger Woods had taken to Twitter sooner? Could social media have saved him?

The short answer is no. Tiger’s transgressions were spectacular enough and the circumstances bizarre enough that he was going to take a sizable hit no matter how he handled it. Still, could he have used Twitter to at least soften the blow and shorten his road to recovery? Absolutely.

Like it or not, Twitter has evolved into a critical tool for crisis communications. With Twitter, you don’t need to worry about getting taken out of context by an overly ambitious journalist. It effectively eliminates the middle man and allows celebrity users the opportunity to quickly and efficiently reach their desired audience. Tiger missed out on a golden opportunity to broadcast his perspective directly to his many thousands of followers, most of whom were already pre-disposed to liking and supporting him.

It is certainly true that the nature of his actions dictated that there was only so much he could have done via social media (or any outlet) to stop the bleeding. But perhaps Twitter could have benefitted him by combating elements of the story that weren’t true. Remember, in addition to his later confirmed affairs, wild rumors and innuendo flew regarding alleged drug use and violations of the law – none of which have been substantiated since. Perhaps he could have utilized social media to issue immediate and forceful denials, set the record straight, and possibly nip some of those stories in the bud.

Rather than at least trying to get out in front of the story and define it on his terms, Tiger let the story define him. In turn, he got swept up in a feeding frenzy for the ages and played a starring role in the most epic fall from grace in decades.  Can Tiger get back to top form personally and athletically. As a Ryder Cup fan, we hope the answer is yes! Only time will tell.

Tiger – welcome to Twitter. If only you had taken to it in November 2009 rather than November 2010…

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Do Americans Still Get Their News From Traditional Media? Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:52:23 +0000 Lauren Wilson Newspapers, broadcast media, radio— Are these tools still relevant when it comes to receiving daily news updates? Some argue that traditional media is dead and claim that we’ve moved away from this forum to gravitate towards online media and social media to receive our news.  According to a recent Washington Post article, which discusses findings from a PEW Study called, traditional media is still holding its weight alongside online media.

The article highlights that Americans spend on average 57 minutes getting their news from TV, newspapers, or radio; just as they did in 2000. Can you believe that?  In fact, we spend an additional 13 minutes each day consuming news on the Web. The only thing that has really changed is that Americans have more immediate access to news than ever before.

Where do you get your news from and why? Is it from broadcast, newspapers, radio, Twitter or Facebook? Feel free to comment and let us know!

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“Tech In 5″: Peter Corbett from Digital Capital Week Mon, 14 Jun 2010 15:08:27 +0000 Lauren Wilson Peter Corbett from iStrategy Labs and co-producer of Digital Capital Week joined us in our Hill & Knowlton studios to share all the exciting events that we can’t miss! Digital Capital Week is a 10 day festival in Washington, DC that focuses on technology, innovation and digital activities. Events will take place June 11-20 primarily on George Washington University’s campus and at a series of venues in the Washington, DC area.

In this interview Peter talks about the opening party that happened this past Friday, Media 2.0 Day, and City Camp. Will you be among one of the 4,000 participants that are expected to attend this week? If so, post your comments on the events below and let us know what you thought of them. Follow @DCWeek and @Corbett3000 on Twitter to get all the latest happenings from the week.

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PoliTwitch! Fri, 07 May 2010 20:36:39 +0000 Lauren Wilson

Last Night I attended PoliTwitch!: Public Relations and Politics in the Age of Social Media hosted by Mopwater PR + Media Notes.

On the panel:

•Peter Cherukuri, Huffington Post-DC Bureau Manager
Mark Preston, CNN-Political Editor
Patrick Gavin, Politico-Staff Writer
•Rachna Choudhry, National Partnership for Women & Families-Policy Manager
Jackie Kucinich, Roll Call-Staff Writer

Theme: How social media and new media technologies have influenced news making.

I’ve been to a thousand and one of these panel discussions with top notch journalists usually saying about the same thing. The discussion typically focuses on how Facebook and Twitter are changing/revolutionizing how we receive news. For the first time, I witnessed a group of panelists crush this notion. While social media has impacted the discourse in politics and has advanced issues such as the Tea Party Movement and Haitian relief efforts, last night’s panelists believed that social media was still at its infant stages and by no means the way these journalists receive leads on news stories.

Patrick Gavin, Politico’s staff writer remarked that journalists are still not sure how big of a deal social media is and that most reporters don’t pay attention to comments on a blog. Interesting, I disagree. I think most journalists KNOW that social media is a big deal, considering many are asked to blog in addition to writing print stories and many journalists have twitter pages. I think what Patrick meant was that many journalists aren’t sure how to use social media as a platform in creating their own news stories.

On Twitter— These panelists were right on when they said that “you’re getting the message out to a room full of your friends.” You choose who you follow which lends itself to a bubble of followers. Jackie Kucinich from Roll Call gave an example that Republicans are tweeting to Republicans and they aren’t getting their message out to other groups who they want to influence, i.e Independents or Democrats. When used correctly, Twitter can be successful in building yourself as a brand. However, it is much easier to be a candidate than an elected official using Twitter. There is no filter when it comes to twitter and tweets aren’t fact checked. Some politicians have accidentally disclosed sensitive/private information on Twitter without their press secretaries in sight which has gotten them into trouble on a National level.

All and all, did I learn something new? –Yes! I learned that there are 123 Republican Congressman on Twitter and only 61 Democrats. But really, most importantly I learned that not all journalists think the same way about social media. Some think social media is at its “infant stages”, some think social media is becoming traditional media, and others are over social media all together.

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On the Agenda Mon, 03 May 2010 16:05:07 +0000 Lindsay Campbell Happy May everyone! With a new calendar month to fill, we have some of the latest and greatest tech events happening right here in DC. Hope to see you there!



May 5th-Mobile TECH cocktail DC-Presented by Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series


May 5th Connecting Communicators on Cinco de Mayo


May 6th- PoliTwitch! Political Reporting in the Age of Social Media


May 7thWhat Should the Next Communications Act Look Like? – Meet up at the National Press Club to discuss the recent Comcast v. FCC ruling as well as what the next FCC plan may look like.


May 12thSocial Media: Weapons of Mass Disruption – Taking place at the National Spy Museum to talk about the dangers of social media falling into the wrong hands.


May 15thJournalism Survival Bootcamp at the National Press Club – Stop in to find out what outlets such as AOL, POLITICO, National Public Radio looking for in journalists in this new digital world.



**Also – Mark your calendars for May 21st because the annual DC Techfest is right around the corner! Reserve your tickets now so that you can join in for a full day of different sessions geared towards your liking.

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Is social media just old wine in a new bottle? Wed, 14 Apr 2010 17:09:36 +0000 Lindsay Campbell Yesterday I attended a PRSA event called, “Finding the Intersection of PR and Advocacy to Reach Policymakers and Win on Issues,” where panelist Tom McMahon of Qwest Communications brought up an interesting point that today’s social media directly correlates with traditional PR tactics that have been around for years and that perhaps people are over thinking it all.

 We have been using these same strategies for a long time; social media is just a new outlet for our points of view. Check out a slide from Tom’s  presentation to see how we are still using traditional PR tactics and how they directly correlate with new social media tools.









So perhaps McMahon is right and that people are thinking too much about how to reinvent the wheel with social media. Rather than using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Friendfeed to develop messages, we should be using these sites to propel our messages.  A talking point of just 140 characters, if compelling enough, can get a retweet from well known journalists from the most top tier publications. And a retweet these days, well that’s just an endorsement… 

What do you think? Is social media just old wine in new bottle, or is it much more than that?

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On the Agenda Tue, 13 Apr 2010 17:54:04 +0000 Lindsay Campbell As promised, here are some up and coming events geared for all the DC tech lovers out there. Whether you’re interested in learning more about government relations or just to network, we have events here for you. Hope to see you there!

April 14thThe Washington, DC Blogger April Meetup

April 14th – Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation examines the national broadband plan

April 16thPFF Briefing: Super-Sizing the FTC & What It Means for the Internet, Media & Advertising

April 16th Be There 2B Squared- Official Foursquare Day Event

April 17thTech Options for Mobile BusinessWashington Post tech columnist and Tech in 5 guest, Rob Pegoraro, will talk about every traveler’s nightmare: leaving for a trip and forgetting all your gadget chargers.

April 21st – New Media Tech – April Social Mixer

April 21st2010 State of the Mobile Net Conference

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FTC Updates Endorsement Regs to Address Social Media Tue, 06 Oct 2009 15:44:56 +0000 Vanessa Truskey Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recognized the growing influence of social media on the consumer by introducing new regulations aimed at bloggers who review products and provide testimonials.  According to the New York Times, these bloggers must now disclose any connection with advertisers, including if they’ve received free products or payment from the advertisers whose products they are reviewing.  This will also apply to celebrities.  Ad Age reports that violators could be fined up to $11,000 and could be held liable for false statements, including those made on Twitter or Facebook.

This seems to be a huge win for the consumer:  no more misleading reviews from bloggers whom they consider to be objective third parties.  And while it may plug a revenue stream bloggers came to rely on, in a way, it’s a win for them as well.  It is recognition of their growing influence, something many bloggers have fought for and struck out on their own to prove.

 Tech & The District readers should know that we’ve been abiding by this disclosure regulation since the inception of this blog.  (I’m sad to report we are not flooded with free products or payments for our statements – but that’s why we’ve been objective all along.)   I’m proud to work for a company that has outlined such clear, mutually-agreed-upon social media principles which included right from the beginning a full disclosure of our client links.  You can read all H&K guidelines here – the same guidelines which received kudos from ZDNet’s Sam Diaz  just last week. 

It will be interesting to see how the FTC enforces these new regulations.  In the interest of continuing our disclosures, we did host Sam Diaz for lunch while he was at the Washington Post, but we made him work for that lunch, so it doesn’t count as payment, right?  Just shows the importance of openness and transparency when working on the web.

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On the Agenda Mon, 14 Sep 2009 20:48:41 +0000 Lindsay Campbell September 14, 2009 – A Discussion on the Internet of 2020

September 14, 2009 – Online News Association Meetup hosted by NPR

September 16, 2009 – Web Analytics Usage Among Government and NonProfits

September 16, 2009 – Skip Lunch Feed a Brunch

September 16, 2009 – Social Media Club Meetup – Mainstream Media Using Social Media

September 17, 2009 – Google Analytics 101

September 17, 2009 – Energy & Natural Resources Hearings

September 19, 2009 – How to get Business with Social Media

September 22, 2009 – New Tech Happy Hour

September 22, 2009 – Breaking into Digital Media hosted by National Press Club

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On the Agenda Thu, 03 Sep 2009 15:24:54 +0000 Lindsay Campbell September 8, 2009 – Gov’t. 2.0 Expo

September 10, 2009 – Washington D.C. Twestival

September 14, 2009 – A Discussion on the Internet of 2020

September 14, 2009 – Online News Association Meetup hosted by NPR

September 16, 2009 – Web Analytics Usage Among Government and NonProfits

September 16, 2009 – Social Media Club Meetup – Mainstream Media Using Social Media

September 17, 2009 – Google Analytics 101

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