Week 3 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Annie I. Bang

A Conversation with Sean Percival, Internet Entrepreneur & Former VP of Online Marketing for MySpace

By UCLA X425 Student Annie I. Bang

After an-hour-long discussion with Sean Percival, a former vice president at MySpace and an internet entrepreneur who has been highly well-known in digital business, I started thinking about how much we spend our daily lives on social media and what we do with our PR practices these days.Every day, we text, or bbm, or whatsapp, or kakaotalk, and text, and text again. We have hundreds of “friends” that we’ve never actually met. To be 100% honest with you, I sometimes do not know how to stay current in this hyper-connected world.

We’re just beginning to assess how this nonstop connectivity is affecting our social and intellectual lives. It’s increasingly clear that social media is changing the nature of our relationships to each other, to our families, and to the world around us.

Technology is changing so quickly that I can barely keep up. But I’ve learned that we, as PR practitioners, need to follow the trends of the public obsessively because we have become the content-creators who make things vital.

Learning from the “failure” case of MySpace, which had neglected to engage with its users, I think engaging with consumers or users is perhaps the most important, yet the most difficult, element to be accomplished in social media. Here are some of tips and tools Percival shared with us:

  • Create content that people can relate to, such as using nostalgia and humor
  • Use Stumbleupon and Facebook advertising to generate traffic
  • Digg.com
  • launchrock.com
  • Buddymedia.com
  • Crunchbase.com
  • wildfire.com
  • Buzzfeed.com
  • canv.as
  • and look to highly viral content sites like icanhascheezburger.com and fark.com for inspiration

As Percival said, building your online presence is a long-term investment, and it’s certainly not a one-night thing. Let’s keep practicing, learning the trends, and never forget to stay in the loop.

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