My Top Twelve Posts Of 2008

My life, and my career in particular, is drastically different now compared to this time last year. If numerous comments from other people are anything to go by, this site and the posts I write are very different now too.

Looking back over all 220+ posts I’ve written this year, you really can see my life reflected my posts.

So, here’s a quick look back at my 2008 via my favourite posts from each month in the year. These aren’t necessarily the most commented-on posts (I’ve listed those too); these are the ones that I like and which reflect what was going-on at each time.

January – How to use Twitter Packs – and Twitter – Successfully

Twitter played a huge role in my social media activity in 2008. In January, Chris Brogan created a new site to help new users find their feet on the service.

“The idea behind Twitter Packs is simple – create lists of people with shared interests, geography, etc, so that new users can find a few good people to follow and help them get up to speed on Twitter. Chris decided to use a wiki to let the community contribute to the lists.

Great idea in my book.”

Most commented post this month: 42 Top Social Media Tips and Tools

February – Using Social Media To Support Cancer Research 

On February 21, the day before PodCamp Toronto 2008, I announced an effort to use social media tools to raise money for cancer research as I ran the 2008 Boston Marathon. In two months, we raised $2,400. This was one of my proudest – and most satisfying – achievements for 2008.

Most commented post this month: I’m Done with Social Media

March – Enough with Blogger Strategies!

“Social media is about more than blogging or blogger relations. These are two great tactics, but just as with any other communications project you should take a look at the situation and pick the appropriate tools.”

My frustration with social media buzz-words led me to flesh-out and articulate my ideas around a sound ‘baby steps’ approach to the area.

Most commented post this month: Scoble’s Dead Wrong about Twitter

April – Five Tools To Base Your Online Life Around

Throughout 2008 I struggled with finding a social media/life balance. Later in the year I started to find a comfortable middle ground; these five tools largely continue to form the foundation of my online presence:

Most commented post this month: 6 Ways to Make Your Life Easier With Delicious

May – How To Write A Good Communications Plan – Part 1 – An Overview

My first post in May 2008 kicked-off a series of posts on how to write a good communications plan. Later in the summer, I edited and compiled these into a free ebook on strategic communications planning.

This post is still consistently among the most-viewed pages on this site.

Most commented post this month: Same as above. Next-most commented: Why Apple Doesn’t Need Social Media

June – It’s Time to Grow

June marked a turning point in my year, as I made the decision to accept a position at Thornley Fallis and end my time working for the Ontario government. In hindsight, I still have no regrets – I greatly enjoyed my time in the public service but the last few months have been among the most satisfying, rewarding and fun of my career so far.

Most commented post this month: Same as above. Next-most commented: How To Set Up A Simple Online Monitoring System

July – Molson Gives A Crash Course In Relationship-Building

In the summer of 2008 I attended a (award-winning) blogger relations event held by Molson, which started a chain of events leading to a bit of an online storm around blogger relations. I was always amused that no-one who was actually involved in the event (as an attendee or an organizer) had anything bad to say about it; all of the criticism was based on second or third-hand accounts of events. The controversy continues to this day.

This continues to be a useful reminder that it’s all to easy to jump to conclusions when you don’t have the full picture.

Most commented post this month: Same as above. Next-most commented: 13 Tips From My First Year of Blogging

August – PR Does Not Equal Publicity

PR-bashing was a popular theme throughout 2008. All too often, the bashing revealed a complete lack of understanding of what public relations entails. Many people seem to view public relations professionals as little more than publicists. As I wrote in this response to yet another anti-PR rant:

“What about issues management and crisis communications? What about event planning? What about internal communications? What about building relationships between an organization and its publics?

Perhaps part of this common misperception is due to the fact that a lot of public relations happens behind the scenes. You never (or rarely) see the planning behind the issues management process. You don’t see the detailed logistical work needed to pull off a good conference or media event. You rarely see internal communications materials.”

Most commented post this month: Strategic Communications Planning – A Free eBook

September – Anatomy of a Bad Pitch

Towards the end of the year, I found myself thinking more and more about blogger relations. As my blog became more popular, I found myself on the receiving end of increasing numbers of pitches. Meanwhile, I found myself being asked to give input on a number of blogger relations efforts as part of my day job.

In September I received a particularly bad pitch. Rather than just deleting it, I decided to dissect it and offer my feedback on a better approach in the above post.

Most commented post this month: Are Twitter Conversations Dying?

October – Social Media Outreach Won’t Work for Everyone

As my thinking around social media applications for businesses continued to evolve throughout the year, I began to realize more and more that these tools really don’t apply to everyone in the same way.

Some businesses just aren’t yet ready to reach out to their customers online. Some need to take it slower, and begin by listening rather than talking.

Most commented post this month: Twitter As A Hyper-Local Emergency Information Tool?

November – What If People Say Bad Things About You?

Short and simple, this post captures something that can be difficult to communicate to organizations that are wary of involvement in social media, and which I had to explain several times towards the end of 2008.

“”What’s your response to the people who say, “you’re telling us we should get involved in social media, but what if people start to say bad things about us?”

My response to this (any real-time screw-ups aside):

“They already are; you just can’t hear them.””

Most commented post this month: Top 10 Most Irritating Phrases in PR

December – Social Media Isn’t Anti-Social

The more I become embedded in the social media community around Toronto (and wider), the more I find that social media is adding to my social like, not detracting from it. This post was my response to someone who suggested to me that social media is anti-social. Let’s just say I didn’t agree.

Most commented post this month: 5 Lessons About Self-Promotion In Social Media

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.