Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Prior to joining Broadreach in 2012, Kelsey was a scheduler for U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe.
She is also currently a member of the board of directors of the Celebration Barn Theater, based in Maine.
Rogue chat room accounts, politics, and is it true if it's not on Facebook?
I met Kelsey last year when I had the great pleasure of working with her on several projects at Broadreach. I consider her to be a consumate PR/media relations professional. She's also a lot of fun and always a great person to discuss politics and current events with.
As with most of my interviews, what you'll read here is a greatly condensed version of our conversation.
What was your first experience with social media?
"So, my very first use of social media was an AOL chat room with my friend Amy. We were in middle school and we came up with some cool acronym, like her initials and my initials together, to make our username. Then we made up fake identities for ourselves. We kept really detailed notes off to the side about what our professions were and what schools we were going to, because it was important to keep track. We were being much older. We were like, in college. The whole thing was really a natural progression for me. When I was in elementary school, I always played 'college' with my cousin. We would wear ripped jeans and complain about how much studying we had to do. This AOL chat room was the logical next step."
"I had a MySpace account when I was in high school. But, I think more than anything, at that stage in the game, even though I had a MySpace account, it was AOL instant messenger that was my big thing. I loved thinking that I had really cool 'away' messages and a really cool profile, both using really cool quotes. The quotes were very important. I would always have really 'deep' quotes that I would leave for my 'away' message. They meant something only to people who 'understood.' Then Facebook came along and I had some friends from high school who had it because they went to really fancy colleges. So, the second, literally the second, it became available to me, I got an account."
What do you like about social media?
"Personally, I use social media primarily as a tool, either to get information, like I use my Twitter account as my morning newspaper, or to stay in touch with friends and family. I try to keep those two things really separate in my life. I think that from a gathering information standpoint, the thing I really like about using Twitter as my morning newspaper is that I have everything from Slate to Politico to the York County GOP that I follow—and then, of course, there's Nancy Pelosi and Eric Cantor—so there's a whole spectrum. I appreciate that instead of reading one source that has a bias, I'm able to aggregate and build my own source and develop my own perception or consensus of a situation. Not to say that there's not posturing and positioning that's happening regardless, but you're able to get primary and secondary information. So, you read what Nancy Pelosi and Eric Cantor are saying but you also read what Slate and The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are saying. It's great to have all of them in one place."
"I use Facebook and Twitter both religiously. In the morning I always look at Twitter on my phone, usually before I'm even out of bed. Then I look at Facebook, usually before I leave the house, just to check in on what people are up to. I actually have a fair amount of lifestyle stuff that I follow on Facebook, like Portland-centered events and restaurants. I tend to do lifestyle kind of stuff there."
"If you have a free Friday afternoon you're not going to take the time to call the friends who you're not closest to, but if you have a free Saturday morning over coffee you can check in on their news through Facebook. You can see their new house or their new baby or whatever they have going on."
"It's interesting, I'm expecting, and one of my closest friends ran into a casual acquaintance of ours and my close friend asked, 'Did you hear that Kelsey and her husband are expecting a baby?' Our acquaintance responded, 'No, I haven't seen it on Facebook, she can't be.' She refused to believe it was true because she hadn't seen it on Facebook."
What do you dislike about social media?
"If I have a complaint about social media, it's the over sharing. Or, people who have these random and public cries for help and then just disappear when people respond to them. I think they must like the kind of turmoil it creates in other people's lives."
"From the professional perspective, I think it can be funny to look at a politician's Facebook account and to see them looking like an 'average Joe' posting on Facebook. There are also people like Keith Carson, the local weather guy, who posts for himself and I think he does it really well. But then there are other professionals, both locally and nationally, who end up posting like five paragraphs from a speech they just heard or gave, with weird line breaks. I end up thinking, 'I'm not sure you meant to post five full, AP style paragraphs to Facebook.' I always find that really interesting."
"One of the blessings in disguise from my professional life is, because I worked so closely with Senator Snowe, and previous to that on political campaigns, it's been incumbent upon me to "tow the line," so to speak, in regard to publicly posting about my personal opinions. I certainly didn't work for people who I didn't have an affinity with and agree with on their stances on issues, but there are always going to be small differences of opinion. As a result of my profession, I learned to step back and stay out of public debates. I'm really glad that ended up being the case. Now that I'm not in the same sort of position, it's still easy for me, and my preference, not to engage publicly in that way. I'm really happy to have never gone there."
Is there a person or brand that you think uses social media effectively?
Suburban Snapshots - I don’t have a ton in common with her, but she’s funny!
Though I don’t totally align with him, I think @CoryBooker does a fantastic job socially. I'm impressed by how responsive he is to his constituents.
I want to thank Kelsey for taking the time to talk with me about her opinions on, and experience with, social media.
You can find Kelsey on Twitter at: @kelseyelsey
You can find her on LinkedIn at: Kelsey Goldsmith
Kelsey's photo is courtesy of Emily Delamater.
Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.
Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).
Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg
His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).