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3. New Practice #3: The PR Technology Te... > Collaborative Social Media Platforms - Pg. 46

46 S ocial M edia and P ublic R elationS What I think has been lost in the hype of Online Influence is the strategic rigor that goes into the thinking around "influence" in the context of PR planning. The idea that influence can be distilled down to some magic number, which will serve as the silver bullet for a campaign, is simply not true and represents an era of very lazy PR. Understanding the influential voices in a space as well as their potential to influence your efforts is very important. But, under- standing that this information is not the end of your work, but the beginning, is essential. The people we have seen have the most suc- cess in this world have used "influencer" data very strategically and integrated this work into their overall campaign goals. Remember, many factors create influence, and you need a balanced approach that extends far beyond the size of someone's network. Although a part of the equation, it's not the determining factor. There are consumers who rely on an influencer for knowledge, and most influencers have varying network sizes. Influence is also based on other characteristics including pas- sion, trust, motivation, and, of course, the value of the information shared. Several of the good social media influence tools include Crowdbooster, Klout, PeerIndex, Traackr, and Twitalyzer. Collaborative Social Media Platforms The social media landscape is constantly changing with new collabora- tive platforms popping up daily. At the same time, platforms less popular go by the wayside, as consumers select the platforms where they prefer to con- nect with peers, share their interests, and spend their time. As a PR Tech Tester, it's your job to know the platforms where your audiences congregate and the technology and experiences they prefer. One of the best ways to keep updated on the latest platforms is to subscribe to blogs/bloggers that report on technology, social media, and latest and most interesting collab- orative platforms for businesses. For example, Mashable.com, TechCrunch, GigaOm, The Next Web, and ReadWriteWeb can give you insight and news on technology and what's currently considered "hot spots" for your audience. You can also follow influencers who have a great grasp of PR, but who also move beyond PR to provide a well-rounded view of social media, technology, and business. Although there are many, several of these top influencers to add to your RSS include David Armano, Jay Baer, Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Jeremiah