Social Media - The Big Picture
One of the many challenges in any profession, or indeed life in general, is to step away from the coal face and look at the bigger picture. In the PR sector, traditionally, one route of doing so was to ensure enough time was dedicated to reading the newspapers – actually stopping what you do on a day to day basis and dedicating a specific amount of time to catching up on what’s going on in the world – what sort of stories are making the news, thinking why they are making the news and working out (if it is appropriate) whether you can have an influence on that from a client perspective.
Some have always found that level of awareness more easy than others. If you’re pre-disposed to consume news in whatever format it may come, then that is a real advantage. Having an interest in the wider world and what makes it tick is a should be a key strand of DNA for the PR. In social media agencies and socially focused sectors, making time to take stock is equally if not more important. The nature of the sector is that it is fast and constantly evolving. What was topical and pioneering one minute may be obsolete the next. Naturally this brings with it the challenge of implementation and trying to stay ahead of the game, but it is equally important for the Social Media Consultant to raise their head from the parapet, pause the analysis and optimisation of acquisition, engagement or advocacy for a minute and really take a look around.
From an agency perspective, we have our Social Media Intelligence reports which are researched, compiled and distributed on a weekly basis (You can find them here). Whilst they serve an important tool for clients, they serve an equally important role for us all collectively, not just in terms of the outcome (the stories and developments), but as much in the process. Whether you’re junior or senior, pre-disposed to news or not, the process is effectively the same and it’s an invaluable one. Whether your background and first love was PR, Search or Social Media, the communications business of today is truly integrated and whistles the same tune; the foundations and principles remain the same and it’s just the titles that are different. Right, blog done, back to the coal face...