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Social Media is taking over the world

November 18, 2008

Myspace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, the list goes on and on and PR people can’t stop talking about it.  As a group we love to talk and finding new ways to make sure we’re heard is always great, so social media is a wonderful outlet for us.  A lot of us utilize social media in our personal lives to stay connected to friends/family and also to promote ourselves when looking for a job.  Even more, we are using social media with our clients to help combat a variety of issues that may arise.  Todd Defren of PR Squared talked about how social media can even help alleviate and even prevent some of the economic woes that some companies have been feeling.

A museum takes advantage of everything the Internet has to offer
In my travels around the Internet I have noticed that a lot of art museums are beginning to embrace social media and use it to their advantage.  The best example I have seen of this comes from the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

IMA has it all right there on their Web site’s homepage.  If you click on the Interact link it brings up:

  • Links to Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and iTunes
  • the IMA blog
  • the IMA collection of tags
  • and their videos

The museum’s videos are really the best.  They have everything from artist interviews to a curator’s blog to employee profiles.  They make videos that “trailer” their upcoming exhibits and even show viewers how to make origami.  Not only that, but because the videos are on YouTube viewers can comment on them and the museum gets all that great two-way communication going.

Check out this video about the PR person at the museum.

It’s pretty wonderful when social media and art come together like that.  I wish more museums were taking IMA’s example.  A lot of museums have blogs and some even have videos but not to the extent of IMA.  I also really love how all the videos are connected with the museum’s logo, It’s My Art.  Everyone who works at the museum is part of their social media so it’s not all sophisticated curators but even the groundskeeper gets to be part of it.  This really lets the public in on every aspect of the museum creating that great transparency we all strive for.  Seriously, check out their YouTube channel to see how it’s done.

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10 comments

  1. i agree. social media is the next step in public relations. everywhere you look there is some form of social media. museums know that this is the fyture and are using it to their advantage. i think that within the next 5 years almost every website or business is going to be using social media to get the word out on what they are trying to sell.


  2. I agree. I wonder if social media will get to the point of becoming one big advertisement.


  3. I also beleive that this new media outlet is a great boost in the practice in public relations. Millions of people go to places like you tube and flickr to see whats going on in the world. The video clip of the IMA public relations counselor Katie Zarich was great because it was like a behind the scenes outlook of the pr work that she does for the museum. It was a good way to get to know more about the museum, and the thing about you tube is that anyone is able to leave a comment so the IMA is getting direct feedback.


  4. Social media is a fantastic way to reach out to people today. While many people are in between classes or other agendas, they have a tendency to view websites such as facebook and youtube. I know that it is something that I often partake in when I have free time. If all businesses are smart, they will eventually invest in using the internet to reach of to a variety of audiences.
    I also agree with a comment stated above by MichelleLynn85. I believe that social media is already one big advertisement. With facebook, many companies and television shows have profile pages stating information and upcoming events. Personal profiles could also be seen as a “personal advertisements”, which advertises your beliefs, interests and marital status, among many other areas.
    As for IMA’s youtube video about the background of the communications coordinator…it is fantastic. It is a personal approach that allows the public to see what is happening at IMA and how things are changing. Art advocates as well as possible benefactors will take interest in these videos.


  5. Using Social Media to reach people is a very effective form of PR because who doesn’t have a Facebook account or check out YouTube videos. Social media is everywhere and is reaching millions of people everyday. It is a great form of advertising so its no wonder that businesses are starting to join in and creat their own videos or other ways to reach out to people.
    The Indianapolis Museum of Art video gave a very good insight on the day to day things that the PR person at the museum does. This is allowing people to get an inside look and learn more about the business. Not only are they informing people who visit them but they are getting advertisement at the same time. Another great thing that was mentioned in a comment above was that the company recieves direct feedback because places like YouTube allow you to leave comments on the videos.


  6. I really enjoyed this post because it shows the importance in converging the different types of media. I remember when myspace first started everybody and their brother had a myspace page. Years later, myspace is being used as a stepping stone for bands and artists to try and get signed. I feel that social media is the next generation in networking. I myself have a facebook as well as flckr account and I try to network through those websites. When I first started using Social Media I used it to keep in touch with friends. I know use it for better networking in terms of future jobs and job opportunities. There is a downfall to Social Media and networking through the internet. When facebook first started everybody was using it because it was so simple. Myspace had become over run by advertisements and people got tired of that, which is why they switched to facebook. Now, facebook is being over run by advertisements. I feel that Social Media is our future but it should be regulated more in terms of its advertising.


  7. Several years ago, a company called MooseJaw, based in Michigan, began reaching their college age customer base through the use of text messages. They revolutionized the use of social media in PR today. One of the text messages asked the customers to answer whether one of the founders of the company looked like Ben Stiller or not. This seems weird but surprisingly, it caught the attention of many college age male outdoor enthusiasts who replied “yes” and received promotions for their participation. The company received the recognition it desired, developed itself as a fun loving young outdoor apparel company, and the customer had a promotion he/she could not wait to redeem at MooseJaw.com. They also have a quote on the FRONT PAGE of their website claiming that they can be found on Facebook and MySpace. “Moosejaw has 7,274 friends…we want 10,327,” claims their website. MooseJaw has reached number 297 on the Retailer top 500 Guide.
    Sydney Sustarsic Michelle Ewing’s PR Class


  8. I don’t work for Moosejaw…I just like their clothes.


  9. Thanks for the great post as well as the dialogue through the comments. We’re lucky at the IMA because the use of technology and issues of transparency are encouraged and the staff are willing to share their own areas of expertise.


  10. No problem 🙂 I love IMA’s Web site. It is a great example of how PR is changing with new advances in technology.



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