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Friday, 4 October 2013

Social Media Maturing

Good to see Justin Pearse's blog at The Drum covering Social Media Week. He's reporting that the industry is showing some signs of growing up and becoming part of an integrated digital marketing campaign.

The reported lack of understanding of social media at board level took me straight back to my early days in PR. The marketing directors of large companies, who was often locked in a bizarre fight with the PR team for budget, had a seat at the board table while the PR guy usually didn't - although he was often glued to the ear of the CEO, so wielded considerable influence. It didn't make for happy co-operation.

Now PR is much more integrated with digital marketing as we produce content and links from massive media sites to augment content or inbound marketing campaigns and gain wider influence.

Just as PR had its fights over measuring ROI, so social media has been embroiled in trying to prove its business worth.

Perhaps the most encouraging point for any business owner was the report from Social Media Week that nowadays:
 "If you make a mistake in social media all you need to do is apologise and move on."
For a while the publishing standards that PR and journalism do their best to adhere to were applied to social media, but social interaction is often a quickfire conversation conducted by individuals: not a fully considered statement piece.

Apparently Asda takes it one step further and deletes Facebook posts that don't get 100 likes within a few minutes. Not so long ago big brands deleting posts would be unthinkable.

Many years ago, I was in the rather nice sauna suite at the Royal Commonwealth Games Pool in Edinburgh, looking forward to the deep relaxation induced by the heat on a cold winter's evening. Then in came a group of ladies from a major utility's call centre. They were de-briefing after hours of enduring sporadic verbal abuse and foul treatment as a result of rigid and unbending customer handling rules. Their tales from the customer coal-face left my shoulders higher up than my ears and I exited early feeling more stressed than I arrived.

Hopefully customer service has moved on or customer engagement will run real trouble on social media, even with it's new-found relaxation of standards!

Read the original blog post here.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK.


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