Are you a user of location-based services, like foursquare or gowalla? The answer is most likely no, since a tiny percentage of the population is using geolocation. Yet it was a hot topic at the Digital PR Summit on Oct. 6 because, like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, who knows if it will be the next big thing. So you gotta prepare. PR News hosted several digital PR events yesterday, including the Summit and the Digital PR Awards Dinner in New York City. Hundreds of PR practitioners scored a day out of the office to talk about both the future of digital communications and the current best practices in this ever-changing arena. What is most gratifying about gatherings like this is that there are STILL meaningful face to face gatherings where people come because they want to network and learn. You cannot learn everything you need in your job by Googling. Most studies about the effects of Facebook, Twitter, etc, point to in-person meetings increasing not decreasing. To meet or reunite with 500 people under one roof is validating. You can’t replace face to face. To wit, our keynote speaker at the Digital PR Awards dinner was Scott Heiferman, co-founder of meetup.com, which is an amazing organization that harnesses the power of in-person, like-minded gatherings. You might be one of the 7.2 million members in 45,000 cities who gather around one of more than 45,000 meetup topics. Scott is on to something big (and retro). One of his mottos is to “lead others to lead.” And that’s what we set out to do at the PR News summit by showcasing the thought leaders and implementers of smart digital PR. Check out the tweets on the day’s events at #prnews10. Speaking of Twitter, we asked some of our attendees how they know when they’ve made it as a “digital leader.” One of the responses was: “You know you’ve made it as a digital leader if your kids call you by your Twitter handle.” Welcome to the future.
– Diane Schwartz @dianeschwartz
PS: Meetup has operated without a PR or marketing staff since its inception, but founder Scott Heiferman announced at our PR News event that he is looking for a PR agency to help him out. Email him with your pitch at email@example.com.