"Social Media, Splashy Meeting" – by Georgia Hesse

“Social Media, Splashy Meeting”
by Georgia Hesse
In the splashy company of sharks, skates, sea stars and jellyfish, BATW members met at Pier 39’s Aquarium of the Bay on Oct. 20. The unusual evening “mixer” event starred David Perry, principal of David Perry & Associates, a communications firm specializing in social media, among other essential abstractions.
David’s message, welcome to me and (I’m certain) several others, was that “content is king.” He encouraged writers in the direction of “brand focus” (get yourself together) and did his very best (really good) to explain the public relations vs. marketing quagmire. Specific social media examined included YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. He also explained, somewhat surprisingly to me, that women of 50 years and older constitute the fastest-growing population of social media users and bloggers.
Storytelling is, as Perry stressed, the art of the matter. As I listened, I became convinced that, for professionals at least and those who do not care what other writers order for lunch, LinkedIn is the answer of choice. For those scribblers who resent the categorization of “content” suppliers (I’m among them), the term “fresh content” made me realize that here, as elsewhere, there’s room for more and newer voices.
“Social media is dialogue” seemed to me an important message from the evening presentation, and I also learned the expression “#hashtag,” especially geared toward Twitter talk. I suggest you Google it and see what it means of importance to you.
I left David Perry’s company feeling that I had learned something of importance and that, even more important, I have much left to learn about social media.
On a distinctly more familiar note, the Aquarium of the Bay opened in 1966 in San Francisco. Kati Schmidt, its public relations manager, reminded us that it is home to more than 20,000 aquatic animals from San Francisco Bay and nearby waters, of nearly 200 different species. (Do you know a rock fish? Can you spot a rock fish? Have you stepped on a stonefish? Not likely; if so, you might be dead.)
Following Perry’s program, members oohed and aahed through the tunnel tanks on moving sidewalks that travel for 300 feet through Bay water where the captivating creatures of the sea cruise confidently by and above. It’s a wonderment.
More than 600,000 fishophiles visit the Aquarium each year, an impressive number of them enthusiastic children. Check out www.aquariumofthebay.com for further information and diversions. To visit David Perry, try www.davidperry.com.


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