Right, I’ve just had my third invitation of the morning to book on a social media course, a Twitter course and a Facebook seminar. That must make an average of about 20 invites a week.
Having looked at most of the topics and some of the outline content it seems to me that all the training is directing delegates to the practicalities of social media rather than strategies or what you actually do when you have a page or whatever. And yes the case studies are interesting but do they really help you decide what you should do?
Before moving into PR during 20 years in publishing running magazines and newspapers nobody and I mean nobody from a brand ever asked to know how the magazine was produced, what paper we used or the make of machine it was printed on. The whole focus was on the content and how we engaged the readers how their ad or editorial was being received and what we were doing to make sure that the communication was gaining the attention of the target audience.
Since being in PR I cannot recall a client ever asking about the detail of traditional media either.
It’s not a revelation that you have to use different language, different topics and a different approach to social media. PR professionals know this and have been doing it since media began. You don’t use the same approach to a national newspaper news desk that you would with a trade magazine or broadcaster. So why is everyone or nearly everyone focussed on the medium and not the message? There are experts to do the technology and their expertise finishes there!
The important part is the strategy and implementation, the crafting of the communication, the monitoring of attitudes and results and before all that the advice on whether to do it or not. PR agencies are best placed to offer this service to clients as what we do best is build relationships between audiences for our clients.
Step one – Social media and digital communication is there and has to be considered as part of the communication marketing plan.
Step two – Define the objectives
Step three – Create a strategy
Step four – Devise the activity and plan
Step five – Implement the strategy and activity
Step six – Measure and refine the activity
Simple really- it’s just a marketing plan. You don’t need to know how to build it – only how to use it!