Integrating Social Media Into Your Communications Plan

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.

3 Comments, RSS

  1. Della Smith May 13, 2010 @ 3:06 PM

    Ruth, I always leave those types of sessions thinking of 10 other sites or ideas I would like to share. Hope everyone who attended gets time to check out the ppt in more detail as some of the case studies truly illustrate effective use of social media. Look forward to the next session on June 9th at the College of Dental Surgeons cool meeting space. Will forward the details once they are confirmed. Cheers, Della

  2. Michele Milot Jul 15, 2010 @ 12:15 PM

    Do you have either a copy of the presentation you could share or just a copy of a communication plan including the SM component? It would much much appreciated.

  3. Ruth Atherley

    Ruth Atherley Jul 16, 2010 @ 8:37 AM

    Hi Michele — we don’t share the plans that we develop for clients for several reasons, including confidentiality. I was a participant in the presentation that I refer to in this blog post – so it isn’t my presentation to share. And as the people that attended this presentation paid to be there, I am not sure it would be fair to them to share it, even if it was mine. Also — just as an aside, this presentation (and the ones we do) tend to follow the Seth Godin school of Powerpoint – we use big images, single words and symbols rather than putting everything we are talking about on the screen. Without the context of the presentation, they wouldn’t be of much value.

    If you have questions about how to integrate social media into your communications plan, feel free to give me a call.

    Ruth

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: