Peter Shankman is Founder of HARO (sold to Vocus) and CEO and Founder of the Geek Factory, a Social Media and PR firm. Peter is also Investor and advsior to multiple early stage startups. The Makegood recently spoke with Peter about redefining journalism, social media monitoring and the future of social networks.
The Makegood: Peter, you lead companies including HARO (Help A Reporter Out) one of the fastest-growing social media services in North America. How does this service help journalists and companies?
Journalists are being forced to do 10x more with 10x less. HARO helps journalists by finding them sources on deadline. We’ve got a pool of over 300,000 sources from all around the world, experts on anything and everything. If a source can be useful to a reporter on a specific topic, all they have to do is reply to that reporter. It’s a free service, one designed to help both sources and reporters, making journalism more useful and more usable to everyone.
The Makegood: You are recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media and PR. In a world where everybody is a publisher, how do PR professionals have to redefine their profession in order to keep up with the emerging competition?
It’s tough, no doubt. PR pros need to realize that they’re up against tons of different outlets of publishing, from the traditional media outlet to the guy with a mobile phone camera, to bloggers, to “gotcha” journalism. The best way for PR pros to succeed is to really know their audience and client. Work closely with the client to find new and exciting hooks that other people have missed, allowing your story to be better told to the right audience at the right time.
The Makegood: Peter, you are the Vice President at Vocus, a provider of cloud marketing software that helps businesses reach and influence buyers across social networks, online and through media. As a specialist in social media monitoring, what tools would you recommend companies to monitor their social media campaigns?
Obviously, I’m a fan of Vocus’ Marketing Suite, which lets any business monitor what the world is saying about them, publish their news and information, and and keep an eye on their competitors, all from their desktop. Honestly, I do my best work with my Samsung Galaxy S3 and a host of good apps that allow me to stay in touch, watch what people are saying, and reply as needed. The mobile world rocks.
The Makegood: PR Week Magazine has described you as “redefining the art of networking”. What will be the new way of networking in the next years?
I see the concept of “friending” and “liking” going away. It’ll be replaced by the simple act of “doing.” If we’re friends with someone in the real world, if we email them, if we text them, if we spend time in the same physical location as them, we’ll be allowed into their network, and them into ours. If we fall out of touch, we’ll fall out of their network. Same thing goes for businesses: If I use your business constantly, you’ll be on the top of my social radar. If you do something stupid and I stop using you, you’ll fall out. It’s the same way things happen in the real world.
The Makegood: Thanks, Peter.