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There is a great blog post on Social Media Philippines that touches on the actions that will create a failure, when it comes to social media. It’s worth a read.

Last week I attended and participated in a presentation given by our friend and colleague Della Smith of Q Workshops. This presentation was focused on how you include social media in your overall communications strategy. What I like about this presentation is that it provides a roadmap of what you should do, as well as showcases what not to do. Della and I present a specialized workshop for organizations where we walk clients through developing or updating their communications plan to include social media. Our approach is always to work with our client to design a proactive plan that includes reactive components, blending traditional communications with social media.

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There is an excellent piece about media relations and the Web 2.0 world on socialmediatoday.com. In it, writer Sally Falkow speaks about the changing world of journalism and how we, as communicators, need to change how we pitch media.

Things are changing drastically. The Washington Post has Newsweek up for sale. Who would have thought we’d see that happen?

There is a blurring of lines between print and broadcast. Print reporters now provide content for their website and often that means video. Broadcast reporters also have to provide content for their website and that can mean written articles to accompany video.

As communicators, it is our role to provide journalists with information in whatever medium they need – quotes, information on your senior executive, video (we used to call it “b-roll” and now it’s just video), stats and facts, etc. And they need to find it ASAP. A good newsroom on a website has this information and it is updated regularly.

Falkow’s article is worth a read. It’s also worth reviewing your website. Does it deliver what journalists need?

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I just read one of the best blog posts ever at lostremote.com. Before I get into that, I have to say that I just discovered lostremote.com today and love it. It is definitely on my must read list now.

The post is by Steve Safran and it is a worthwhile read for any communicator – whether in house, agency or consultant. In this piece, Steve talks about the importance for PR people to develop a good pitch: “signal not noise.” It goes on to talk about how we, as communicators, deal with the challenge of perception. If the CEO believes being on TV is a good thing, then it’s our job to get him or her on TV…or is it?

In yesterday’s post, I talked a bit about the information my friend and colleague Della Smith presented at the CPRS event this week. One of the key points she made was the value of establishing your credibility with the senior team. I think that Della’s point fits well with Steve’s. I see our role as helping to inform our clients – or if you’re in house, your CEO or senior executive – of the value of certain types of coverage from online to TV to newspaper. It’s not always an easy thing to do. Let’s face it, we’re in a shifting world, one that we’re still learning about. That makes for a challenge when you are presenting the rationale to your client or senior executive about why being profiled in a blog or doing video blogs is of value, compared to say, being profiled on the local morning news.

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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.

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