Facebook and ‘Influencer’ Relations

LPP PR Blog - beyond the hype

facebook logoThe conversation on Facebook the past several days has been rather interesting — the new AppFactory fund, 1,000 apps and counting since the launch, etc.  What I’ve thought about the most is the potential contribution Facebook will have on the changing face of media and “new influencer” relations.

Robert Scoble blogged about how someone pitched him on a new iPhone app by posting a message to his Facebook wall.  Mark Glaser started a discussion about what business people can get out of being on Facebook (which spawned an interesting thread about Facebook’s role in the emerging crowdsourcing and open source journalism movements).  David Kirkpatrick’s recent story on Facebook’s strategy cited the growing number of work networks.

Taking all of that into account, I decided to check out who amongst our media friends might be on Facebook.  What did I find?  171 members of the Wall Street Journal network, 162 members of the Forbes network, 46 in the Fortune Magazine network.  And these were the first three publications that came to mind.

Now, it’s quite possible these may be set up for internal networking primarily.  However, reporters are talking about how they are forming relationships and connections with sources through comments on their blogs.  So, it’s not out of the question to think that some also will use Facebook to make connections.

We’ll see how this plays out.  The key, I’m sure, would be in leveraging relationships to be accepted by reporters and other influencers as “friends” on Facebook; respecting their preferences for how they want to receive information; and making sure the information is appropriate taking into account their audience.  I’m interested in hearing from anyone else on how this should be approached.