Do you ‘do’ social media?

On everyone’s mind this week – the results of Jennifer Leggio’s research report: Is ‘social PR’ for real? Which agencies get it?

Leggio surveyed over 600 PR decision-makers in various industries about what they consider important when it comes to ‘doing social media’ and how well they think their agencies are approaching these tactics. Some of the results were obvious: 79% of respondents think it is ‘extremely important’ for their agencies to understand social media strategy, and only 37% think they have a ‘great’ understanding of how to use social media for business themselves. Clearly this is an area where clients see the necessity and need the expertise.

More surprising and somewhat depressing? Not quite half of the respondents agreed that their current agency ‘understands how PR needs to fuel entire business strategy, not just news coverage.’ And as far as social media goes, only 20% reported that their agency recommended social media programs beyond tools to support business endeavors. Says Leggio:

This is scary. No social media decision should be led with tool selection. Companies need to first consider their corporate objectives, then determine where their customers, partners and competitors are, and also consider how such use of tools ties to the corporate culture. Agencies, this relates back to the importance of team members understanding the fundamentals of a client’s business.

With this in mind,  “does your agency ‘do’ social media?” is the wrong question.

Do we ‘do’ social media? The short answer is “Yes.” The long answer is this:

All media is social. To boot, print and broadcast publications are relying increasingly on online and user-generated content, or transitioning to an online-only format. Online influencers (both collectively and as individuals) have gained unprecedented authority in the traditional media.

No company in the technology sector should entertain a PR proposal that lacks thorough consideration of how social media fits into the program – including an explanation of how social media monitoring and participation will be integrated with the rest of the media relations, marketing and lead generation strategy.

So we don’t list “social media relations” on our list of services. Instead, we incorporate social media principles and tools into our client’s campaigns, at both a strategic and tactical level. That way, social media becomes part of what we do for every client, on every campaign.

As long as new social media tools and tactics are being developed, we will continue to find ways to use them to strengthen all of our PR and marketing activities.

What do you make of this research? Agencies can now weigh in with their own side of these issues for a follow-up report: Social PR Survey II: Digging deeper into agency/client relationships – the survey is open to PR professionals at every level, and must be completed by March 31.
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2 Comments »

  1. […] resources, social media, social networking So you’ve got your head around an integrated social media strategy… now […]

  2. […] you’ve got your head around an integrated social media strategy… now […]

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