„Go online today, or you’ll end up in a museum.”
That is my favorite Hendrik Thoma quote and mantra . He is neither a PR consultant nor a social media guru but one of only 200 master sommeliers globally. Not just for news on wine from around the world but to serve as an entertaining example of what social media can be used for today, I recommend his website weinamlimit. It goes without saying that Mr. Thoma is marketing himself on Twitter and Facebook, but look him up yourself.
You will find me on Twitter at @MarkusPfl for a consistent impression of me, for instance by looking at my lists: you’ll find wine, running, Munich, fun as well as, naturally, web 2.0 and journalists there. I have a penchant for the latter, having studied to be one. But as the rise of globalization has done away with my journalism “Diplom” degree program in Munich, that academic title has become almost as rare as that of master sommelier.
I’ve retained my knowledge on the way journalists work and media function. The factors of news values (see Galtung/Ruge, 1965) are still relevant and offer a good guideline for PR professionals. A pointer: before drafting a press release, make sure you have enough facts to tick as many of the news value boxes as possible. If you don’t, then better forget about it and chose another means of communication.
The options you have today are manifold: establish contacts through social networks, follow on Twitter, call on Skype, schedule a meeting on doodle, watch and publish movies on YouTube et cetera. As a journalist and PR pro, I am fascinated by the opportunities of publishing on the internet. Never before has it been so easy to work in journalism and never have publishing houses have such a hard time making money off the new medium – but that’s another topic altogether, and one I address at the Ironblogger München or the Munich bloggers’ gathering.
For 20 years now, I’ve made a living in technology PR, experiencing the rise and fall of the big brand first-hand: Compaq acquired Digital Equipment (anyone remember that?), then itself was bought out by HP and I got to work for Novell, who in turn bought German Linux vendor Susi (remember?), and today Oracle is one of our customers, acquiring other companies all the time.
On the topic of incorporating: I learned to love and appreciate whisky while at vibrio, and I keep noticing how much a bar can contribute to teambuilding. You can have Hendrik Thoma recommend a wine online, or you can let us recommend the whiskys at our bar and offer stimulating conversation, contacts, and networking in real life.
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