Social Media Case Studies, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Twitter Top 20 Interviews

Shannon Paul – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR

social media strategy shannon paul 300x200 Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PRShannon Paul burst onto the social media scene like a runaway freight train. Her blog is a must-read, and she’s transformed the social media stylings of the Detroit Red Wings, and most recently the innovative financial services company Peak6. Shannon’s insights on attaining internal alignment around social media, and the new role of public relations are highlights of this sweeping live Twitter interview, conducted April 23, 2009.

(photo by David Alston, social media guru whom I interviewed here. He took the photo at SXSW, where I first met Shannon.)

1. @jaybaer: How do you define your “personal brand”? What’s Shannon Paul all about?

  • @shannonpaul: The whole notion of personal branding makes me a little uncomfortable. I’m just me — the anti-brand. icon wink Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR

2. @jaybaer: You have one of the best blog titles around: The Very Official Blog. Where did that come from?

  • @shannonpaul: Why thank you! It was a bit of a fluke – a place holder. I thought it was funny.
  • Plus, shannonpaul.com is already taken — it’s a site for Russian Tea Cookies.

3. @jaybaer: I’ve heard that Chris Brogan encouraged you to start the blog. What’s that story?

  • @shannonpaul: I met him when he came to Detroit.I had already taken a pretty deep dive into social media and was asking a ton of questions.
  • He told me he thought I had great ideas and that I was interesting — just really encouraged me to do it, so I did.

(Note to readers: Jason Falls, Chris Brogan and Michael Gass were among the earliest supporters of this blog. Thanks guys.)

4. @jaybaer: A lot of people (like you) blog personally, and also for a Co. Difficult? How do you balance topics and readership?

  • @shannonpaul: For me, the topics have always been a bit divergent, so it’s not as difficult. For me, the workload is the toughest part.
  • I guess I didn’t really answer that question. Answering everyone can be challenging, too. I tend to put work first.
  • I also stress the importance of my blog @ work. I remind people that my blog is why they wanted to hire me in the 1st place.

5. @jaybaer: You used to be social media guru for the Detroit Red Wings. Does pro sports have it easier or harder re: SM?

  • @shannonpaul: In some ways it’s easier. Fans are actually hungry for marketing stuff unlike in other businesses.
  • In other ways it’s more difficult from a culture perspective. Sports = Player-centric whereas Social media = Fan-centric.

6. @jaybaer: Do you see hockey players jumping into Twitter and video blogging and such the way music, film, and NBA stars are?

  • @shannonpaul: I’m sure it will happen eventually, but the culture issue is one that needs to be addressed. If it does happen, I think corporate sponsors will need to step up and introduce it as activation in a sponsorship program. Incentives will help.

7. @jaybaer: Now you’re at http://peak6.com. Special issues working in the financial services industry? Isn’t B2B SM harder?

  • @shannonpaul: It’s ALL hard. The outward facing part of social media isn’t difficult to me, it’s all the internal bridge building.
  • Also, in some ways, B2B is easier for me because the relationships are much more specific.

@jaybaer: Let me rephrase that. http://peak6.com is a B2C company, but it’s a regulated industry. Tough to cut it loose in SM?

  • @shannonpaul: Ahh, yes, federal regulations do add an extra wrinkle with social media and investing. People can actually go to jail.
  • However, finding creative solutions excites me. I also think it’s cool for SM peeps to see things like Fed disclaimers.

8. @jaybaer: Ahh. The internal bridge-building for SM (h/t @ambercadabra). How are you doing it? How are you building out a team?

  • @shannonpaul: Ignoring regular department lines, while cc’ing everyone to death on internal communication.
  • Also, I feel like I can rock out in a way b/c I understand the web better than most comms people and vice versa.

9. @jaybaer: Is one of the ways to build support for SM to get people aligned on success metrics, or is that not a concern yet?

  • @shannonpaul: I think having the conversation around ROI too early confuses things. I quietly prepare for that discussion…
  • … and wait for the question to arise. If we talk numbers before they understand the paradigm shift, confusion sticks.
  • Besides, pointing to other peoples’ use of communication tools doesn’t mean I know how to use them.

10. @jaybaer: So when is the time to talk ROI? When you know you’ll win? icon wink Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR Do you benchmark vs. others, or look at your own data? (h/t @michaeljbarber)

  • @shannonpaul: It always depends. I like aligning things in terms of business goals – trending. Hits are meaningless, really.
  • I like benchmarking when it makes sense, but it doesn’t always. Metrics to me should seem natural, not like stretching.

11. @jaybaer: You said they ~hired you for your blog. How do you feel about social capital being personal and loaned to the brand?

  • @shannonpaul: I think social capital has always been a factor. That’s why networking is more effective than searching ads.
  • The difficult part is getting the employer to understand that the blog is essential for networking and NOT a personal zine.

12. @jaybaer:  You’re a reformed PR gal. Do you have PR counsel you work with at http://peak6.com? What’s PR’s role in SM now?

  • @shannonpaul: I’m still very much a PR girl. I think the “what it takes” has changed in PR and some refuse to evolve.
  • I will be very active in the PR role at P6. I actually consider social media to be a natural extension of PR.

13. @jaybaer: What does the ultimate social media-aware PR firm of the present look like to you? What do they offer clients?

  • @shannonpaul: They think in terms of foot-to-the-ground relationship building and how to think beyond hits, DON’T charge by the hour.
  • Soc-Med-aware PR firms charge by project and do what it takes to serve. @spikejones said “small is the new big” icon smile Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR

@jaybaer: I agree re: hourly bills. Must stop charging to pound nails, and charge based on knowing where to pound.

  • @shannonpaul: Yes! It’s absurd for an industry that builds “relationships” to charge to maintain the “relationship”. We’re not lawyers!

@jaybaer: I’d argue that many PR folks haven’t been in the relationship business, they’ve been in the distribution business.

  • @shannonpaul: Yes! And herein lies the rub. In many ways, social media is a return to origins of PR. More human, less mechanized.
  • Although I must confess as an information junkie, I like watching how information gets distributed icon smile Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR

14. @jaybaer: As enthusiasm builds internally, how do you prevent the “tactics goldrush” mentality of “Get us on Facebook NOW”?

  • @shannonpaul: I really resist that, but I think the HOW to resist it varies. I phrase other social networks as being outposts….
  • Then ask how why we think we need an outpost in this particular place and how we plan to use it.

15. @jaybaer: Speaking of Facebook, I’m seeing more cos use it as a social media home base, as much as the corporate site. Viable?

  • @shannonpaul: As long as Facebook exists,maybe. I feel like the Sphinx always saying “it depends” but it depends on biz goals/objectives.

16. @jaybaer: What’s your take on Twitter changing? For the better, or for the worse? Not sure @aplusk as #1 is a great sign.

  • @shannonpaul: As far as Twitter is concerned I just feel like I’m along for the ride. I just can’t wait to see where this all goes.
  • Although I’m not crazy about the whole @aplusk frenzy either, but I think it proves that the old ways don’t work anymore.

17. @jaybaer: You rock the conference scene on occasion. What’s the formula for the perfect conference these days?

  • @shannonpaul: People always make the conference great, but I really like having longer hands-on sessions in addition to panels and such.

18. @jaybaer: You were lucky to have done some blog studies in school. What’s your advice for students looking for a SM career?

  • @shannonpaul: I actually created the blog studies in school. icon smile Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR I proposed it and they let me do it as an independent study project.
  • My advice for students looking into SM careers would be to use SM. Start a blog or engage in some other meaningful way.
  • Blogging in a way is like Internet school. You learn how the Internet works from an information/relationship standpoint.

19. @jaybaer: You’re moving to Seattle with Peak6 soon right? Are you going to wear plaid and eat shellfish? What’s your plan?

  • I love shellfish –plaid? I did learn to dress myself during the grunge era – I still don’t understand how to match outfits.

20. @jaybaer: Last one. You’ve got one tweet to help people use social media effectively. What do you say?

  • @shannonpaul: Recognize that the Internet is a social place and that avatars represent real people with real hearts and minds. icon smile Shannon Paul   The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR






Related
  • Pingback: StephanieSAM (Stephanie Miller)

  • Pingback: andygoundry (Andy Goundry)

  • Pingback: shannonpaul (Shannon Paul)

  • http://twitter.com/paulvalach/status/ paul valach

    @jaybaer interviews @shannonpaul ….here’ s what happened http://twurl.nl/viyn5m

  • http://ariwriter.com/ Ari Herzog

    Oooh, Twitter interviews. This sounds fun. Can I sign up?

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Guest Post by Ethan Yarbrough: Lessons Learned

  • http://ariwriter.com/ Ari Herzog

    Oooh, Twitter interviews. This sounds fun. Can I sign up?

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Guest Post by Ethan Yarbrough: Lessons Learned

  • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Oooh, Twitter interviews. This sounds fun. Can I sign up?

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Guest Post by Ethan Yarbrough: Lessons Learned

  • http://www.fuelingnewbusiness.com/ Michael Gass

    Jason,

    How could I have not been an early supporter of your blog with all of the great info you consistently provide, such as the Twitter interview with Shannon Paul.

    I really like the new design of your blog as well. Excellent job!

    Michael Gass’s last blog post..Ad agencies need to arise to the challenges of this new era

  • http://www.fuelingnewbusiness.com/ Michael Gass

    Jason,

    How could I have not been an early supporter of your blog with all of the great info you consistently provide, such as the Twitter interview with Shannon Paul.

    I really like the new design of your blog as well. Excellent job!

    Michael Gass’s last blog post..Ad agencies need to arise to the challenges of this new era

  • http://www.fuelingnewbusiness.com Michael Gass

    Jason,

    How could I have not been an early supporter of your blog with all of the great info you consistently provide, such as the Twitter interview with Shannon Paul.

    I really like the new design of your blog as well. Excellent job!

    Michael Gass’s last blog post..Ad agencies need to arise to the challenges of this new era

  • http://davidwmullen.com/ David Mullen

    Jay – thanks for sharing the mic with Shannon and passing along the conversation for the rest of us to see. She’s ridiculously smart and one of my favorite people that I’ve connected with online.

    As an agency guy, it’s interesting to see your take and Shannon’s take on hourly billings. I’d venture to say that project-based fees are still based on hourly billings, though. You estimate what it will take to get the project done, assign man hours against doing that and multiply the man hours by a blended hourly fee. That’s what most do now, whether it’s project based or monthly retainer. Then, agencies do what it takes to get the job done, and I’ll say that often you still end up “over-servicing” your client based on your original estimate.

    Love the idea of the twitter interview. Hope to see you do it more in the future.

    Thanks!
    David (@dmullen)

    David Mullen’s last blog post..The Biggest Mistake PR Pros Make Every Day

  • http://davidwmullen.com/ David Mullen

    Jay – thanks for sharing the mic with Shannon and passing along the conversation for the rest of us to see. She’s ridiculously smart and one of my favorite people that I’ve connected with online.

    As an agency guy, it’s interesting to see your take and Shannon’s take on hourly billings. I’d venture to say that project-based fees are still based on hourly billings, though. You estimate what it will take to get the project done, assign man hours against doing that and multiply the man hours by a blended hourly fee. That’s what most do now, whether it’s project based or monthly retainer. Then, agencies do what it takes to get the job done, and I’ll say that often you still end up “over-servicing” your client based on your original estimate.

    Love the idea of the twitter interview. Hope to see you do it more in the future.

    Thanks!
    David (@dmullen)

    David Mullen’s last blog post..The Biggest Mistake PR Pros Make Every Day

  • http://davidwmullen.com David Mullen

    Jay – thanks for sharing the mic with Shannon and passing along the conversation for the rest of us to see. She’s ridiculously smart and one of my favorite people that I’ve connected with online.

    As an agency guy, it’s interesting to see your take and Shannon’s take on hourly billings. I’d venture to say that project-based fees are still based on hourly billings, though. You estimate what it will take to get the project done, assign man hours against doing that and multiply the man hours by a blended hourly fee. That’s what most do now, whether it’s project based or monthly retainer. Then, agencies do what it takes to get the job done, and I’ll say that often you still end up “over-servicing” your client based on your original estimate.

    Love the idea of the twitter interview. Hope to see you do it more in the future.

    Thanks!
    David (@dmullen)

    David Mullen’s last blog post..The Biggest Mistake PR Pros Make Every Day

  • http://twitter.com/djwaldow DJ Waldow

    @jaybaer – Love the interview and love @shannonpaul. Love, but not in love with (I reserve that tag for my wife, ha ha). Your Twitter Interview are some of my favorite posts. The casual nature makes me feel like I’m sitting at the rail with you and the interviewee sucking down a cold pint of Oberon (the K-Zoo Bells Brewery reference was for you, @shannonpaul).

    Rock on.

    dj
    @djwaldow

    p.s. happy to see the “followup comments” plugin!

  • http://twitter.com/djwaldow DJ Waldow

    @jaybaer – Love the interview and love @shannonpaul. Love, but not in love with (I reserve that tag for my wife, ha ha). Your Twitter Interview are some of my favorite posts. The casual nature makes me feel like I’m sitting at the rail with you and the interviewee sucking down a cold pint of Oberon (the K-Zoo Bells Brewery reference was for you, @shannonpaul).

    Rock on.

    dj
    @djwaldow

    p.s. happy to see the “followup comments” plugin!

  • http://twitter.com/djwaldow DJ Waldow

    @jaybaer – Love the interview and love @shannonpaul. Love, but not in love with (I reserve that tag for my wife, ha ha). Your Twitter Interview are some of my favorite posts. The casual nature makes me feel like I’m sitting at the rail with you and the interviewee sucking down a cold pint of Oberon (the K-Zoo Bells Brewery reference was for you, @shannonpaul).

    Rock on.

    dj
    @djwaldow

    p.s. happy to see the “followup comments” plugin!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

    @DJ Happy to add subscribe to comments, per your request. Why have I not had this magic elixir Oberon that you reference?

    @David – Delighted to have you here. Big fan of your work. Would love to interview you. I agree that most project-based $$$ are loosely based on hour expended, but I’d still like to see more value-based pricing the way Crispin Porter and others on the advertising side are going. What’s it worth to the client, not how long does it take?

    @Ari – Thanks as always for popping by. Gotta get you in the interview funnel too!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jason Baer

    @DJ Happy to add subscribe to comments, per your request. Why have I not had this magic elixir Oberon that you reference?

    @David – Delighted to have you here. Big fan of your work. Would love to interview you. I agree that most project-based $$$ are loosely based on hour expended, but I’d still like to see more value-based pricing the way Crispin Porter and others on the advertising side are going. What’s it worth to the client, not how long does it take?

    @Ari – Thanks as always for popping by. Gotta get you in the interview funnel too!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jason Baer

    @DJ Happy to add subscribe to comments, per your request. Why have I not had this magic elixir Oberon that you reference?

    @David – Delighted to have you here. Big fan of your work. Would love to interview you. I agree that most project-based $$$ are loosely based on hour expended, but I’d still like to see more value-based pricing the way Crispin Porter and others on the advertising side are going. What’s it worth to the client, not how long does it take?

    @Ari – Thanks as always for popping by. Gotta get you in the interview funnel too!

  • http://www.strategicinsight.com/ Lee Steele

    The success or failure of an interview greatly depends upon asking the right questions. Your questions were right-on and sparked some intriguing answers. Great Interview!

    P.S. How long did this “interview via twitter” take? And how did you avoid thumb cramps?

  • http://www.strategicinsight.com/ Lee Steele

    The success or failure of an interview greatly depends upon asking the right questions. Your questions were right-on and sparked some intriguing answers. Great Interview!

    P.S. How long did this “interview via twitter” take? And how did you avoid thumb cramps?

  • http://www.strategicinsight.com Lee Steele

    The success or failure of an interview greatly depends upon asking the right questions. Your questions were right-on and sparked some intriguing answers. Great Interview!

    P.S. How long did this “interview via twitter” take? And how did you avoid thumb cramps?

  • http://twitter.com/dmullen/status/1628647388 David Mullen

    This is why I heart @shannonpaul. Great interview on SM and PR from @jaybaer – http://bit.ly/Fovfe

  • http://twitter.com/bethharte/status/1629674985 Beth Harte

    @JayBaer has a great interview with @ShannonPaul if you missed it last week: http://twurl.nl/l268oz

  • http://twitter.com/eeUS/status/ VickyH

    RT @BethHarte @JayBaer has a great interview with @ShannonPaul if you missed it last week: http://twurl.nl/l268oz

  • http://twitter.com/socialmedia411/status/1629715985 Social Media Nuggets

    Shannon Paul – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR (Jason Baer): http://bit.ly/J84zw

  • http://twitter.com/testabc1234/status/1629724671 testtesttest

    r: SocialMedia411: Shannon Paul – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR (Jason Baer): http://bit.ly/J84zw

  • http://twitter.com/jenicaivy/status/1629726869 Jenica Norrish

    RT @BethHarte: @JayBaer has a great interview with @ShannonPaul if you missed it last week: http://twurl.nl/l268oz

  • http://twitter.com/innovationtrend/status/1629960467 Social Media

    SocialMedia411: Shannon Paul – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR (Jason Baer): http://bit.ly/J84zw

  • http://twitter.com/rockinrobync/status/1630020798 Robyn Cobb

    RT @SocialMedia411: Shannon Paul – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR (Jason Baer): http://bit.ly/J84zw

  • http://twitter.com/meetrobinthomas/status/1630076314 Robin Thomas

    RT @SocialMedia411: Shannon Paul – The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR (Jason Baer): http://bit.ly/J84zw

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealPRMan/status/ Steve Farnsworth

    The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR http://ow.ly/3Xoj

  • http://twitter.com/vivek1209/status/1661137564 vivek1209

    RT @TheRealPRMan: The Twitter 20 Interview on Social Media and PR http://ow.ly/3Xoj

  • Pingback: adlounge (adlounge)

  • http://twitter.com/adlounge/status/1733571285 adlounge

    @clickflickca Hmm, they’re not going to be video interviews. They’ll be more along the lines of this, http://bit.ly/3HBvBe

  • Pingback: Stock Markets and Social Media? Absolutely!

  • http://twitter.com/rcoriandoli/status/2874990538 Rossana

    Social media in PR: http://bit.ly/bEspA

  • Pingback: Twitter Social Media Leaders Insights

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.