Congratulations on your nascent social network’s progress so far! Building a new media brand is extremely difficult, but with a catchy name, clean aesthetic, and riding the privacy bandwagon, you’re off to a good start.
Disclaimer: At the Blog Aesthetic, we are agnostic with regard to the marketplace. In other words, we simply call out good PR strategy when we see it. Nothing wrong with being (legally) ruthless in your business approach, and that includes your public relations.
With that said, here are PR considerations of value:
• Know your competition. The big ones are still Facebook and MySpace, but apparently size doesn’t correlate to smart PR. For some reason MySpace doesn’t believe in leveraging golden PR opportunities when they present themselves. That’s a shame, particularly given the news that Facebook’s customer satisfaction index score puts it in the bottom 5% of private sector companies. Then again, MySpace’s reluctance to engage in counter-Facebook PR probably explains why MySpace performed worse than Facebook in the same customer satisfaction survey! Diaspora, the chance to get a huge jump start over the competition rarely appears, so start planning your PR steps now.
• You’re gonna get attacked. The screenshots of Diaspora’s user interface look a lot like Facebook profile pages. Some will give your site the benefit of the doubt and wait until its official launch before passing judgment. Others won’t. We anticipate Facebook won’t pull any punches and will blast your site for stealing their idea(s). The irony of such charges, of course, is that the new Facebook tell-all film “The Social Network” portrays the origins of Facebook as rooted in theft. Still, it’s worth preparing for crisis management on this, data leaks, critical reception, and anything and everything else that can — and will — go wrong when you launch.
• Thought leadership for the social masses. Privacy, privacy, privacy. Facebook can never seem to get it right and strike the right balance for its users. This dilemma offers Diaspora both a chance to distinguish its product from Facebook, and also to spearhead thought leadership on social network privacy issues. If you guys can get this one right at the start, then you’re guaranteed to get a chunk of the half a billion Facebook users out there.
After Diaspora launches, we’ll revisit this blog post and see if our ideas and recommendations held true. We love competition!