Hello and welcome everyone to Pondering PR – my introductory blog started as a project for the Social Media online course available through Ryerson University.
I have to admit that I’m feeling very much like the photo above – a bit of a dinosaur facing the daunting task of learning how to best use social media. That’s me there writing on the wall :). I only recently started embracing social media, having being dragged kicking and screaming by family members into the Facebook world just a few years ago, and I am still, I shamefully admit, a relative “noob” when it comes to the other social media platforms. I’ve just recently created a Twitter handle, and am slowly wrapping my head around how best to incorporate it into my daily life, and I am starting to learn more about some of the other popular programs. My personal goal is to become very fluent in social media use before the end of this course.
What is becoming extremely evident is the incredible range of possibilities that social media offers – for the public and the business world. Never has the emphasis on the power of relationships and conversation ever been more evident in how we interact and do business today. It’s exciting, and scary, all at the same time, because that level of interaction and expectation of customer service has very quickly become the norm – unheard of even five years ago. What really struck a chord when reviewing our course reading was the point made by John Hayes, CMO of American Express, who stated in an article by McKinsey Quarterly when talking about the role of social media and American Express’ marketing plan with an employee, that “the world is going to decide whether or not this has real value, talk about it, and then position it pretty much how they want to position it. (I) don’t get to control everything that’s said about us, (but) understand, you’re still 100 percent accountable for the outcome.” A daunting task for public relations professionals indeed. And as Haynes noted, not fair for the organization or for the employee.
I believe however that there is great power in an integrated social media public relations campaign to help support customer service in a company and to help launch and position a brand (but as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “with great power comes great responsibility”). I am looking forward to the weeks ahead to learn more about how best to harness it!
Please take a moment to leave me your thoughts – the link for comments is above at the top left. Lets start the conversation rolling!