Our friend and colleague Della Smith of Della’s Q Workshops gave an excellent presentation last night for the Canadian Public Relations Society. In the presentation, Della discussed how a communicator can (and should) integrate social media into the communications plan for their organization.
Della and I have developed an interactive workshop for organizations that addresses the challenge that communicators face: How do you integrate social media into your communications plan? This workshop is unique because it takes participants through the planning process and, at the end, they walk away with a first draft of a communications plan that supports their organization’s overall objectives. It’s a working session that educates, informs and creates an end result that will be used. It provides the opportunity to put social media where it belongs, as a part of the overall communications strategy – as a tool.
Della’s approach last night was focused on strategy and, even though Della and I spend lots of time discussing this area, I found the session very valuable. From my experience speaking with clients and other communications professionals, there is a misperception around social media and its role.
We are often asked to develop a social media strategy for clients. In my opinion, you can’t develop a social media strategy. You need to develop a communications strategy that includes a social media component. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, video, podcast, blogs – whatever you use, it’s a tool. Just like a newsletter, town hall meeting, event or news release. All tools or tactics need to support your overall strategy.
The online world has given us more options and more opportunity. The pace, response time and language may have changed, but at the core of everything we do as communicators is strategy.