BL Ochman, author of the What’s Next blog, and a veteran of digital marketing since 1996 and a public relations powerhouse before that, agreed to withstand the crucible of a Twitter 20 interview (20 questions live on Twitter).
Here are BL’s thoughts on blogging, email, social media, and getting the job done right online.
1. @jaybaer: You were a long-time PR genius. What’s the role for public relations in a digital, social media connected world?
- @whatsnext: I still meet PR peeps who don’t know the basics of social media. There is no excuse for that. They need to get up to speed.
- @whatsnext: PR can play an impt role in social media, providing information, concepts, and putting people together. Mostly, they need to educate clients.
2. @jaybaer: You’ve been critical of press releases for years. Do new social media release services like PitchEngine change your mind?
- @whatsnext Nope. It’s the content, no the format of press releases that matter.
3. @jaybaer: What’s the viability of PR connectivity services like HARO and the new @micropr?
- @whatsnext HARO is a great service. I haven’t tried @micropr – but anything that helps connect sources and media is good.
4. @jaybaer: Speaking of content, you do Web site content overhauls and creation. What’s the big mistake people make with their Web content
- @whatsnext Biggest website mistake is not making it clear what the company actually does. And not spending to drive traffic to the site.
5. @jaybaer: How much stock do you put in SEO-optimizing site content? Or blog content for that matter?
- @whatsnext I work really hard to optimize site content and very blog post. I still find natural SEO works great. So few blogs do it!
6. @jaybaer: What are some of the search phrases for which you optimize your own content?
- @whatsnext I optimize my blog posts for online marketing strategy, for my name, What’s Next Blog, & do similar for client blogs & sites
7. @jaybaer: You’ve written about circumstances when companies shouldn’t blog. Advice for how can they actually do it well?
- @whatsnext 9 great reasons companies should blog here http://tinyurl.com4exrj9 #1 is talk about what people want to hear & share
8. @jaybaer: There’s been some chatter recently about Twitter killing the blog. How do you see the future of full text vs. micro-text?
- @whatsnext Twitter isn’t going to replace blogging. I’m sick of stories about the death of blogging.
- @whatsnext The death of blogging is an annual prediction. Those of us who love blogging do it because we like to share info. Twitter is also great.
- @whatsnext Blogging was also declared dead in 2004, 2006 and again in 2007 when @gapingvoid noted, “of course you realize this is all crap.”
9. @jaybaer: Why do you say that? Because Twitter can’t convey fully formed thoughts, or because it’s ephemeral? Or something else?
- @whatsnext Twitter “can” convey fully formed thoughts, but not the reasoning behind them. Blogs can do that better.
10. @jaybaer: Staying on this evolutionary theme, what impact do you see social media messaging, text messaging, Twitter having on email?
- @whatsnext I check DMs before email. I think a lot of people do. Email is a broken idea now. I wish I had a replacement!
11. @jaybaer: I check DMs first too. If we’re moving toward social media messaging for 1:1 what can brands do? Make email more relevant?
- @whatsnext I def read email from people who contribute interesting content on Twitter. I like @chrisbrogan 12:1 rule for soc media give n take
12. @jaybaer: You’ve written about mobile. How can it be used effectively? A lot of cynicism about it among U.S. consumers older than 25.
- @whatsnext Slow to catch up in U.S., but mobile’s an essential component. I need to get more informed about using mobile. Do NOT pitch me!
13. @jaybaer: I’m glad you mentioned pitching. What are the rules of engagement for PR pros reaching out to journalists and bloggers now?
- @whatsnext I’ve written maybe 20 posts on how to pitch bloggers & MSM. nothing has changed! read what we write. Don’t say Dear Mr Ochman &…
14. @jaybaer: You were digital b4 digital was cool (1996?) How does SM fit into the big ditigal tent of search, email, banners – or does it?
- @whatsnext Yes, I’ve been doing online marketing since ’96. Social media is just a fantastic new tool set, an evolutionary process.
15. @jaybaer: I loved your post on the Motrin controversy. Does social media create crises or solve them? SM crisis management services?
- @whatsnext Thank you! Social media shouldn’t create crises, but it certainly can be helpful in solving them just ask Dell
16. @jaybaer: With so much content being created today via blogs, twitter, videos, ebooks, etc. is it harder or easier to be a consultant?
- @whatsnext It’s much harder to be anybody today trying to keep from drowning in the information firehose. It’s a bit much some days!
17. @jaybaer: Was just discussing with @conniereece today, as a consultant is it better to teach clients to fish, or to fish for them?
- @whatsnext @conniereece Interesting ? some clients you can teach to fish, others just don’t want to. the latter are not my faves.
18. @jaybaer: What’s the most over-hyped social media tool or trend?
- @whatsnext Viral video is the most over-hyped soc media tool. It ain’t viral til it is. I got a pitch this morning about a viral video launch
19. @jaybaer: You’ve lived in NYC your whole life I believe. What keeps you there?
- @whatsnext I’ve live on a farm in CT, but NYC is my home. I love that you can see something you never saw before every single day.
20. @jaybaer: What’s your 140-character summary advice for digital marketing success?
- @whatsnext My advice for success in social media: play nice with others, be responsive to ?, and follow the 12:1 ratio of giving to taking