Week 6 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Andrea Torres

A Conversation with Marina Gonima & Shannon McPhee of Bender/Helper Impact

By UCLA X425 Student Andrea Torres

Social Networking is the future of Public Relations, but the PR 101 lessons that we all learned in our Communications classes still come in handy. This week we heard from two very interesting women from Bender Helper Impact — Marina Gonima (@oonceoonce) and Shannon McPhee (@shannonmcphee). Marina and Shannon use social media along with all the old reliable Public Relations tools to shape the best campaigns for their clients. I learned so much from these two women that it was hard to take notes and listen, as I wanted to jot down everything that they said.

The first important thing I learned was about seeding content or placing content in a strategic way so that it reaches the greatest number of people. Seeding is very important since the placement of content helps determine the type of response it will get. The ladies spoke about the importance of trending topics to help you understand what is hip will help your clients better engage with their audience. Also our class learned about how to use traditional PR to create buzz for new media.

I have learned about pitching bloggers and pitching the media throughout the past few weeks in our class. Shannon showed us how she uses Twitter effectively to pitch the media. I am now a big fan of muckrack.com – a site that will come in handy next time I need to find a particular reporter to reach out to on Twitter.

As social media continues to expand and more and more companies join the social media bandwagon, the big question involves the future of social media. What is the next tool that my company should use or look into in order to stay competitive? The answer is aggregated media. There are so many platforms that a company can use to reach their public. The future of social media is using all platforms at once. There are many tools such as Tumblr and flavors.me that allow consumers to aggregate their lifestreams. Companies should aggregate their social media tools to ensure that they reach and engage the broadest audience. Thanks to Marina Gonima and Shannon McPhee for sharing their expertise and so many amazing assets that PR professionals have at their disposal if they know where to look.

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