I know we don’t usually post blogs on Thursday, but I was up drinking coffee, watching the national news and reviewing blog posts, articles and online media coverage this morning (which is how I like to start my day) and the fabulous Chris Brogan delivered this directly to me.
Anyone who reads this blog on even a semi-regular basis knows that we love, love, love Chris Brogan. He is smart, insightful, an excellent communicator and he’s authentic. His blog post today is on content creation and audience/community engagement. It is most definitely worth a read. Take five minutes and read his blog post, it will improve how you communicate with and connect with your stakeholders or target audience.
Regular readers of our AHA blog know that we’re big fans of Chris Brogan. He’s smart, he’s talented, he’s kind and he’s generous with his knowledge. A pretty great combination, if you ask us. We always find something interesting on his blog – topics that engage us in conversation and discussion in the AHA office and with clients. One of his recent posts on how important it is for communicators to do more than “talk well” resonated with me. This post is worth a read.
We know that the world has changed and that technology has empowered us – as communications professionals and as people. The use of visuals to tell a story is more popular than ever and more accessible, thanks to widespread access to technology (and the reasonable price tag).
As communicators, we will always be charged with developing positioning and messaging. I can’t imagine that speeches, newsletters or editorial style content are going away anytime soon; however, there is so much more to communicating these days.
We have used both professionally shot and flip style video for many years now. While we are smart enough to know when it’s time to bring in the professionals, we have also learned how to shoot and edit our own guerilla/Flip style videos. We use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (and so many more) – all online communications tools that demand a different understanding and approach to communication, including how to engage with an image or video. Our abilities don’t end there – Paul took a web design/html course so we can better understand what it takes to build a site. Not that we, personally, will build a site, but we need to know what it takes and be able to make minor changes. I am obsessed with online measurement and we have spent time at conferences and workshops focused on how to interpret online stats and measurements. I am continually reviewing the incredible information that can be gleaned on Google Analytics to better understand what works online for our clients and what doesn’t. SEO is another area that it is important for communications professionals to understand.
All of this at once can seem overwhelming, I know. But if you are a communicator, you can choose one area a month and spend a little time understanding how it works and what it means to your organization (or you can just call us and we can help).
It’s important to have at least a working knowledge of a wide range of communication tools and approaches relevant to today’s technology and to the expectations and demands of your stakeholders.
Twitter has solid value for some organizations. A challenge is understanding how to maximize that value. One of the ways to do that is through effective and ongoing measurement. How often are your tweets retweeted? How often do people click on the links in your tweets? And what does that mean for your organization, project or campaign?
We’re big fans of Chris Brogan. He has a down-to-earth approach to marketing and he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks, even if it isn’t the most popular opinion. He has an interesting blog post on location-based social media applications. This created a bit of discussion in our Vancouver PR agency.
Overall, consensus is that we can’t quite find the business use for these location-based social media applications yet. At this point, I can’t think of any of our clients that would benefit. We don’t have any retail clients at the moment and will look much closer at these tools when we do.
On Friday afternoons (especially in the summer), we like to slow down and engage in discussion on how we can provide additional value for clients through new approaches. We don’t bill this time to our clients, it’s just us taking something like Foursquare and having a brainstorm on how it might be used for a client. It lets us get our creative juices flowing and it lets us think out of the box – sometimes way out of the box!
There are times when this brainstorming leads to something that benefits a client and there are times when we just keep hitting dead ends. I think hitting the dead ends is valuable. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what works, in my opinion.
What’s your take? Are location-based social media applications something you would use – either personally or professionally?