National Public Radio has a story on how the professional sports leagues have been setting up "social media command centers to monitor trends and engage directly with fans." When NASCAR runs a race, there's likely to be a spike on its data analytics system in Charlotte, N.C., that allows it "to dissect what people are saying about the sport on social media." It's pretty much the same in the data centers of the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball in New Jersey, New York City, Toronto, London, and Los Angeles, where the centers are located.
When fans tweet or otherwise express themselves on social media, they can win instant recognition with a retweet or other form of response message from the sport they're so avidly engaged in. "And that happy fan," notes NPR, "keeps the NASCAR conversation going and glowing. Marketing consultant Peter Shankman calls that public relations at its finest."
Geez, PR seems to be becoming data, plain and not so simple in terms of the electronic linkups it's prompting. Let's hope it all stays benign. Don't ask me what that thought means, I have no current idea.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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