Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What do we DO, really?

While this comic from All Things D is humorous, it brings up a good point.  What are we DOING really, when we use social media in our professional lives? And if we are truly doing something, how do we prove that to our co-workers and superiors?

When we check our favorite blogs and news sites, we are not just glossing over news for our own entertainment; knowledge of global events, trends and industry-specific news is paramount to the success of a public relations team.  In order to successfully tell our organizations' stories, we must know what is going on outside of our organizational cocoon.  What is the media (both bloggers and traditional media) talking about? And by direct association, what are our publics talking about? In order to partake in the conversation, we need to listen first, and speak second.

Once we have an idea of the conversation taking place online and in the real world, it is time for us (and our organizations) to take part in the conversation. This brings us to the second panel of the cartoon.  Note that it is not simply about 'speaking' in the traditional sense; while posting to Google+ and Pinterest is important to provide relevant content to our publics, we must also engage with them.  "Liking" things on Facebook (and commenting back) is a great start for our organizations.

Lastly, we must prove that what we have just 'done' is truly relevant and vital to our organizations.  As a student of the social media-centric Newhouse school, I see the value of social media management.  However, my future bosses and co-workers may not immediately see that value.  Just as the ROI of public relations can be difficult to prove, so can the ROI of social media management.  We must use social media measurement tools to show that we are influential, relevant and connected among our publics.  Only then can we say, yes, we are actually doing something!

For people currently working in social media management positions, or PR in general, what do you think? How do you prove that you are 'doing' something each day?

1 comment:

  1. Thought-provoking post, Deanna. You're right. Demonstrating that certain tactics are achieving results is nothing new to PR practitioners. Clients always want to see what they're getting for their money. Fair enough. And, in today's techno-driven world, people expect results faster. I agree with you that social media analytics provides us with a greater ability to show our clients just how far their messages traveled and with whom they need to engage with the click of a button.