Happy New Year!!! Here is wishing you much happiness, success and conversation for 2009.
2008 was an interesting year, to say the least. While it is still an evolving and unpredictable area, online media was certainly a large part of our world in 2008. We have watched online/social media grow in acceptance and popularity. More and more clients wanted to include online media as a component of their overall communication strategy. Many of our clients increased their use of social or online media and found success in doing so. We also found that we were awarded contracts because of our blended approach – ensuring that the use of social media works alongside traditional communication and that no matter what tools we use, that everything we do is strategic.
With the current economic climate, there are challenges ahead for communicators. Budgets are being cut or, at the least, not being expanded. There is a growing demand for more than “average” return-on-investment from communication departments. This is an area where social/online media can make a positive and strong impact. It is cost-effective, the results are measurable and it can be implemented reasonably quickly and easily adjusted to meet the response of the community. It does take a shift in thinking from the senior team. There is still planning and understanding your audience. You have to make the effort to find out how your community would best like to communicate, but the result is often amazing. We have several clients that were a little hesitant to adopt an online/social media outreach and now, with several successes under their belts, they are embracing it and showcasing themselves as leaders in their industries.
The world is changing and social/online media are a big part of it. Even with the challenges we are facing, there are great opportunities for communicators to help our clients and our organizations to reach out and create meaningful conversations with stakeholders, to extend our communities and to take positive steps toward a better future.