Social or not – It’s Public Relations. Join the Cocktail Party!

Posted on July 6, 2010. Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , , , , , |

How to explain Social Media to your CEO?

Many times colleagues or clients ask me how to explain social media to their senior management in a compelling way. While every answer depends on the context and objective of why e.g. the CEO should know about social media (a business case, a lead generator, a marketing channel, for reputation management, client interaction…), one picture really got stuck as it tells a simple story. While tools or technology might be new, it reassures us that we already know the basics of how to behave based on previous experience. Jim Tobin and Lisa Braziel nailed it with their book “Social Media is a Cocktail Party. Why You Already Know the Rules of Social Media Marketing”. The story is simple: when joining the online conversation think of it as joining a virtual cocktail party. You then would know how to behave when entering the room, joining a conversation for the first time or how to keep an audience engaged. For example, would you storm into a room of people you haven’t met before and start shouting about your company and its products while throwing your business cards around randomly? If you think about this analogy, you might understand why the classic marketing broadcasting approach might work less in the social media space, while identifying, understanding and building relations with key influencers would be a more successful way. And when you recognize that this approach is not that different from successful PR campaigns than you tell your CEO not to worry that much, as Social or not – It’s Public Relations!

Lars Voedisch leads Dow Jones’ PR & Corporate Communications segment in Asia Pacific, advising leading public relations and corporate communications professionals on media and reputation management.

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