Peter Shankman’s 4 rules of social media

Picture courtesy of Google images

“We get distracted by the shiny-ness of social media that we forget what it boils down to” said Peter Shankman in his presentation to PR Where UR conference attendees. Shankman even joked that he was diagnosed with something more severe than his ADHD diagnose, something he calls ADOS or Attention Deficit…Oooo Shiny disorder. The one and a half day conference that revolved around social media ended with keynote speaker Peter Shankman.

During his presentation, Shankman lead the audience through the ups and downs in his life that eventually lead him to a career in public relations. Speaking podium-less, and note-less for the most part, Shankman’s personality and honesty was welcomed among all in attendance.

Although I could never describe the presentation in it’s entirety–as Shankman said, “Humor doesn’t translate well on the Internet”–I can synthesize his four rules of social media.

1. You must be transparent. If you’re not, you will be found out. Don’t forget Enron. Privacy no longer exists. “Privacy died 30 years ago. Bury it and move on.”

2. Relevance. People will go somewhere else if they don’t like the way you give them information. You need to ask people how they like to get their information. “Social media is not about being cool, it’s about generating revenue. If you are not generating revenue, then you are wasting your time.”

3. Brevity. In the ’80s the attention span of American’s was 3 minutes. In 2011 the attention span is 140 characters or 2.6 seconds. “Embrace the concept, not the brand.” Learn to write. You can never be to good of a writer.

4. Top of Mind. Personal information trumps professional information. Social media allows you to reach out, but also be the guy that everyone reaches out too. It boils down to engagement.

“In short,” said Shankman, “transparency leads to trust; relevance leads to reaching people in the right way; brevity is a way to get more customers; and finally you must be top of mind.”

Check out Peter Shankman’s blog and/or follow him on twitter (@petershankman).


(Check the PR Where U R website in a few weeks to view video of Peter Shankman’s talk, along with many other conference speakers.)


Filed under personal thoughts, public relations

4 responses to “Peter Shankman’s 4 rules of social media

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