With Web 2.0 making Silicon Valley feel like 1999 again, it can make you feel like you've seen it all before. But one thing that's brand spankin' new... I am learning new PR tricks literally on a daily basis thanks to the role social networking and blogging is playing in this new environment. For example, a former client of mine in the personal tech space has a company MySpace page. Not the fancy pay for play pages, but something they've created themselves (btw, word on the street is MySpace is putting the smack down on these kinds of pages very soon). When you google this company's name, what is the second listing that pops up? Is it the New York Times articles we secured for them? Is it the countless press releases we've done over the past 6 months? Nope. It's their MySpace page.
If you google my name, Bronwyn Saglimbeni, what is the second listing that pops up? It's not the gazillion press releases I've had my name attached to over the past year. It's my LinkedIn profile. With results like that, who needs an old fashioned corporate website?
Net net, companies might want to think about carving out some segment of their PR budgets for dipping a toe into this new world. This isn't just about launching a MySpace page, or initiating a blog that's never updated. It's about taking a look at the world post digg.com, Second Life and MySpace and asking some questions that might be... dare I even say it... fun to answer. Bust out a bottle of bubbly, gather your smartest thinkers and ask, what could I do with viral video to tell a story? What would happen if I replaced the brochureware website front door to include a vlog, or a streaming video showing an every day person using my product? Be playful. Be outrageous. Have fun. Lord knows, it'll be more interesting than "Today, X company, the leader in X space, announced..."