A New Direction at Social Realist


When I first launched this blog as NakedPR.com, the idea was to give blunt but useful advice about online PR and social media to small business owners and other DIY-ers. Somehow the audience shifted more toward professionals working in those areas rather than the business owners themselves. And frankly, I didn’t like it.

The only way I was willing to bring back Social Realist was to push back. This isn’t a blog centered around industry commentary. I’m going back to the site’s roots instead, with an emphasis on people who want to use social media for themselves or their businesses in a more independent way.

While you’ll still find some occasional social media commentary here (because let’s face it, there’s an active stupidity cycle in social media) it won’t be the main focus. You’ll instead find many more tutorials, resource suggestions, the occasional review, and answers to reader questions. The site will also still touch on PR issues, but will not look at social media exclusively through a PR practitioner’s eyes. It’s about personal networking, marketing, customer service, PR, sales, and so much more. And we’ll look at all of it in time, starting this week as we dive into the issue of driving traffic through combined social media and SEO without coming across as just another spammy schmuck.

So there’s your heads up — what you can expect here at Social Realist moving forward. It might not be the right fit for all of our readers, but I hope to see most of you stick around. And don’t worry. Less commentary doesn’t mean I’m going soft. My bullshit tolerance meter stands firm at zero.


  • Emily Suess says:

    Sounds great. I’m still subscribed.

  • J Toman says:

    Good for you! Here’s the tricky part, how do you get those people to read the blog? In my experience small business owners have heard they need to have their business on the Internet in some fashion or another, but they’re scared to death of it. They’ll follow anyone who will make the scary stuff go away, up until they don’t get instant ROI, at which point they figure the whole social media thing is a scam. How do you engage that user base, get them to be hands on, show them that it works but it’s not a miracle cure, and that it’s not that scary either, and can even be a little bit fun?

    • I already work with a lot of small businesses and independent professionals, so I have a reach within those audiences. That certainly helps.

      I’ve had an opposite experience from you it seems. I’ve found that small business owners have been the most willing to embrace social media. They just don’t want to hear all the hype some “experts” spew. They want to do it right. But that’s up to the service provider really. If a small business client has expectations of instant ROI, it’s the service provider’s fault. It’s their responsibility to lay the reality out there on the table from Day One.

      My approach was always to point out that, no, it’s not right for everyone. If you don’t have the time or resources to do it right, then you aren’t ready yet. And it’s equally important to demystify social media. There is nothing truly new about it other than the tools. It doesn’t replace the fundamentals. It employs them and complements what businesses are already doing (like taking good face-to-face customer service standards to the Web). When we do our jobs and make it clear where social media fits into their individual mix, there really isn’t any “scary stuff” for them to worry about and little risk of them considering it a scam. If they aren’t ready to embrace it, take baby steps. Come up with one targeted plan (like a contest for customers held through a social media site) where they can see specific results and interactions for themselves. Too many people (and companies) jump in with too broad of an approach, spreading themselves too thin. And then they wonder why they aren’t getting results. I think the reason is usually pretty clear.

    • Rasheeda says:


      You might find this article to be a good jump-off in talking to your reluctant SMB clients about adopting social media–esp. when it comes to weaning them away from the idea of instant ROI:

      “Four Psychological Issues with Social Media Interactions”

  • Lucio Ribeiro says:

    @ JToman – SEO maybe?
    Jennifer, I’m still here, hungry for tips 🙂 Welcome back

  • Larry Allen says:

    What a breath of fresh air Jenn. I love the BS meter comment, that’s my approach on all this stuff. My favorite quote is by Ted Turner who said “only beaten men take beaten paths.”
    Keep up the good commentary.


  • John says:

    Gotta have those tips! Great post… keep up the good work.

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