Pinterested?

Having literally just got to grips with Twitter, and the concept of ‘tweeting’, I turned a blind eye when friends and colleagues started ‘pinning’ various items to my Facebook page and Twitter feed. But I seem to have ignored it at my peril, as Pinterest has become a real talking point.

If you haven’t got a clue what Pinterest is, apparently it is best to ask twenty or thirty something women. Not this one, until now.

Pinterest is perhaps best described as a ‘virtual pinboard’ which allows its users to organise and display recipes, patterns, pictures and videos and anything else of interest on the web. In going about my research I discovered that the website has been around for almost two years but it has only been over the last few months that it has come into fashion, with tracking firm Hitwise stating it is one of the world wide web’s top 10 social networks.

As is often my question when it comes to these social networks, what does this website mean for the world of PR?

The first thing that strikes me is that it is a great place for PR professionals to find ideas and to really get the creative juices flowing. This could be ideas for team brainstorms, or ideas for pitches and campaigns. Working in financial PR can often be dry and it is often said flashes of creativity are appreciated by clients, so this website could be just the ticket.

Secondly, as with any social media website, Pinterest presents the potential to gain online coverage. There are thematic pinboards which mean you can align yourself with a whole host of different areas such as products and technology. It is within these areas that it would be best for PR agencies, consumer or financial, to show of their most recent successes directly to consumers and potential clients.

For consumer PR companies, Pinterest can be used to demonstrate the creativity and flair of a particular campaign or team. Whereas on the financial side, the website would probably be more useful to help key spokespeople gain an online presence and show off their personality by ‘pinning’ their interests or tings relevant to their job role and industry.

Pinterested? Well, the website is technically only open to invited users only but if you go to www.pinterest.com you can easily request an invite and one will arrive speedily.

Before you get started, here are the top three and key Pinterest terms:

Pin: An image added to Pinterest. You can link to an image from a website or upload an image from your computer. Pins can also have captions.

Repin: Once something has been pinned, it can then be repinned by other users of Pinterest. This is how content spreads virally. If you see something you like on Pinterest.com, repin it to share it with your friends and contacts.

Board: This is where your pins live. You can have separate boards for subjects such as a different clients, different sectors or favourite PR tips.

If you’re still not convinced, check out the many other reviews. Time Magazine describes the site as “beautiful bacteria”, could be catching.

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