Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today's Take On Q&A

You've heard of Yahoo!Answers and eHow, but have you heard of Quora?

"Think Wikipedia, but with personality, diverse opinions and frontline insights on happening trends. Think LinkedIn’s Q-and-A function, but with far less noise, spam and overt self-promotion," said Ian Edwards, blogger and author of
"Q: What’s a new tool for public relations? A: Quora." See full article here:

Quora, the Q&A site started by former Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, allows users to post questions, share knowledge and set the record straight on any topic out there.

How is this start-up site different from all the others out there? Take the editing function of Wikipedia, add the "follow" option from blogs and mix in some of the wit/connoisseurship from Twitter and you've got Quora.

It also happens to be a gem of a tool for Public Relations.

Edwards suggests the following as ways to utilize Quora to soup-up PR programs:

1. Build an expert profile. Thought leadership, third-party expertise, punditry, proving credentials — whatever you want to call the efforts put into developing one’s expertise in a subject, Quora is a place to do it. People who are passionate about a topic and are also gifted writers quickly gain notice.

For independent New York City retailer Jay Gurewitsch, an active Quora user since October, his posts on gifts, gift giving and skin care have led to actual in-store sales at his store Arcadia.

“If it’s any indication of the social marketing power of Quora,” he says, “I had three customers over Christmas identify themselves as Quora users and buy products based on my posts. I started Quora as a creative outlet and blogging opportunity to share my expertise in key areas, but the Quora community has been very responsive, supportive and a proven source of business.”

2. Build human capital. Quora is a platform to showcase the expertise of the people behind your brand and highlight transparency.

There are many examples of people on Quora answering questions about the brands that they work for. The trick is to keep the information contextualized, on message and relevant versus promotional and spammy or you will alienate users.

SEO is a factor here. Quora can contribute to a user’s online influence and you can search content by engines like Google.

So far, Quora doesn’t allow corporate accounts. Each question and answer can be tied back to a unique user.

3. Monitor issues and sectors. You can mine Quora for topics and emerging trends. You can also track brand mentions and industry categories relevant to your organization. The questions may be even more telling — and many are waiting for answers.

4. Access media. The answer for “Who are all the journalists on Quora?” includes a roster of about 80 reporters for media such as The Wall Street Journal, tech publications and international outlets. Tech reporters in particular have found that Quora is a valuable source for stories. Reporters have lifted some answers verbatim and reprinted with credit, like op-eds in more traditional media and other blogs. Pitching via Quora is probably not in line with the culture, but breaking news strategically via relevant Quora groups might get interesting notice and pick up.

5. Access CEOs. One early adopter is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who answers questions from end users as a way to build the customer experience and respond to concerns and kudos.

Steve Swasey, vice president of corporate communications at Netflix, says Quora is just one of the platforms that the DVD distributor uses to communicate. He adds that Hastings’ migration last October to Quora was organic versus a planned PR strategy.

“People started asking questions,” says Swasey. “Netflix is an open and transparent company. My CEO blogs, writes with shareholders, deals with consumers. Quora is just another channel.”

His advice: “Make sure public relations is dialed into the corporate strategy. If there is a disconnect between the CEO and public relations, then that’s trouble.

6. Create business opportunities. The contributors who are brave enough to put themselves out there in various debates may be people you want to know professionally. LinkedIn might show you someone’s résumé, but Quora shows you how that person thinks.

Meanwhile, for practitioners looking at building their client list through new expertise, Quora can give a quick primer on an array of new interests that might build a foundation for new client relationships.

What do you all think? Will Quora stand the test of time or is it just a good effort?

No comments:

Post a Comment