Blog Panel – Part 2: How Social Media Will Shape 2010

Blog Panel – Part 2: How Social Media Will Shape 2010

This is the second post in the blog panel series I’m participating in with Krim StephensonJohn Sidline, and Frank Strong.  To view the first post on the biggest lessons learned this year for PR, see here.

In my first post, Blog Panel – Part 1: 2009’S Biggest PR Lessons Learned, I discussed how social media played a pivotal role in 2009 for the PR industry.  Specifically, I discussed the importance of listening and observing social media instead of just participating while also being transparent through your social media interactions.  I believe the lessons we’ve learned about social media, like these, are going to help shape how public relations evolves in the coming year in two main ways:

1. Keep it Short and Sweet

Social media has taught us to keep our words snappy – short and sweet.  With brief status updates on LinkedIn and Facebook, and only a 140 character limit on Twitter, we’ve learned to get our point across as succinctly as possible.  I talked about the importance of being able to describe things concisely in an earlier post, Making a Successful Elevator Pitch, but what’s important to note is where this social media induced trend is taking us.  Social media has not only trained us to deliver our own message in as few words as possible, but has also taught us to read and look for the shortest messages delivered by others.  For the public relations industry, this is an important thing to realize as it is going to affect how we pitch, write press releases, and communicate stories.  All of a sudden, the subject line of your email becomes that much more important since that’s likely breaching the 140 character limit people have become so accustomed to.

2. Measure the Impact

With the growing importance of social media, many companies are going to start wanting to measure the social media impact or effect of our PR campaigns.  Some social media measurement tools like Radian 6 are already on the market, but are still quite pricey.  Measuring the ROI of public relations has always been an industry challenge, as I recently pointed out in my post, How to Measure PR Efforts, and social media will be no different.  But by doing searches on Twitter and tracking fans on your client’s Facebook page for instance, we’ll be able to see where conversations are heading and how people are reacting to our latest PR tactics.

Companies are continuing to invest in social media and will expect to see some direct results from that investment.  In a report from earlier this year, Forrester Research asked 114 global companies with 250 employees or more what their 2009 budget looks like for social media, even during a downturn, and found that 53% indicated an increase in their social media budget.  According to another report, conducted byEconsultancy and bigmouthmedia, they found an overwhelming 86% of companies surveyed plan to spend more money on social media in 2010.  Our clients are realizing social media’s importance, so we should be prepared to show them exactly why and how it is important and being impacted by our PR efforts in the coming year.

See what the other panelists are saying about this on their blogs:

The third and final post in this panel series will be published on Tuesday, January 5th, on what we see as the major changes that will unfold in our industry in 2010 and beyond.  Stay tuned!


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