Top 10 Posts Of 2009

2009 has been quite the year for this site. Traffic rose by more than 140 per cent from 2008, and RSS subscriptions rose by more than 225 per cent. Those stats mean little on their own; however the effect was to enable some fascinating conversations to take place here over the last twelve months.

Here are the top ten posts on this site over the last year, according to PostRank (which generates an “engagement score” by analyzing the type and frequency of audience interaction with your content).

10. Enough with Misusing Social Media ROI, Already

I’m a little tired of abusing the term “ROI” – giving it new meanings just so they can say they’re measuring it. “Return on Interaction”… “Return on Engagement”… enough already.

ROI is a finanical term. It has a set definition, which carries plenty of weight in companies. However, that doesn’t mean you can always relate your programs directly to it.

9. 14 Key Skills & Attributes For New Public Relations Professionals

Public relations has changed significantly over the last few years. Even if you don’t buy into the idea that online communities and relationships are part of the public relations function, it’s hard to deny the rising importance of blogs, the gradual decline of traditional media and the impact that online conversations can have on brands.

If you do believe that public relations should include these new activities, then there’s a whole new board game to be played. This post outlines 14 skills and attributes a new PR professional needs in today’s market.

8. The Bigger Picture On Public Relations

Seth Godin wrote a post in September entitled “The difference between PR and publicity,” saying:

“Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego.

But it’s not PR.”

This encompassed an ongoing theme for me – a broad misunderstanding of what public relations is all about, both by people within and outside the industry.

This post outlines a whole bunch of other aspects to PR beyond publicity, about which most people aren’t aware.

7. 25 Questions To Make Your Social Media Workflow Work For You

So you’ve pulled together a social media team, you’ve set your objectives, you’ve developed an integrated communications strategy that combines online and offline communications, and you’ve won the buy-in you need to start to engage online.

This post outlines 25 questions to help you develop a social media workflow process that works for your organization.

6. 40 PR-Related People To Follow On Twitter (and YOUR 40 Top People To Follow on Twitter)

My suggestions for 40 PR-related people I recommend you engage with on Twitter (interesting discussions guaranteed), followed by the suggestions of readers of this site. Funny how those two lists have merged for me over the last year.

5. When Can We Start To Say “Expert?”

Back in September, I mused publicly about whether the time had come for people to start referring to themselves as “professionals” or “experts” without criticism (seven months had passed since I wrote post #5 above). Ultimately I decided that no, we’re not there yet. Still, plenty of people offered their opinions.

4. Guy Kawasaki Discloses Ghost Writers, Defuses Issue

Ethics in general were a key theme of social media conversations in 2009. When I spotted a post suggesting one of the biggest names in social media has other people write under his name, I paid attention.

I was very impressed that Kawasaki responded to my email to him on the issue, and promptly disclosed the writers in his Twitter bio (that disclosure has since been removed). To me, that defused the issue at the time. Still, it prompted a vibrant and heated discussion.

3. Why Ghost Blogging Is Wrong

The ghost blogging topic rears its head again. In this post I explained why I think ghost blogging is wrong, and offered some alternatives to the practice. I also asked others what they thought. Ultimately, 78 per cent of people said they thought that undisclosed ghost blogging was not acceptable.

2. Five Levels Of Social Media Responses

You’ve leapt onto the social media bandwagon. You’ve dived headfirst into the murky waters of Twitter. You’ve used a few other cliched sayings along the way, too. Suffice it to say, you’re monitoring what people are saying about you and you’re starting to respond to them.

This post outlines five levels of approach to listening and responding to online conversations.

1. 8 Questions to Ask Your “Social Media Expert”

This post was a reaction to the growing problem of self-proclaimed “social media experts.” It gives eight questions which might help to filter the wheat from the chaff.

Amusingly, this post is currently the number one result for “social media expert” on and the number three result on Oops… 🙂

(Image source: Shutterstock)

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