Digital is a massive opportunity for PR but…

We all have our favorite way of getting a point of view across.  This includes the structure of our arguments and the channels we prefer.  Yet if the digital revolution has taught us anything it’s that people want to consume content and conversations through their favorite channels, not the ones we may prefer.  So it concerns me that so many social media gurus are almost exclusively using Facebook and Twitter to help drive interaction with customers.  My fear isn’t that these are the wrong channels but rather that we are in danger of simply replacing an old set of channels (traditional media) with a new and arguably narrow set (social media).  In other words we are moving from people that were good at getting news media to get our news out, to people that are good at tweeting.  There is surely a lot more to digital than this?  Done right digital is about creating channel agnostic content and by engaging with the customer through their preferred channel (rather than ours).  By driving people to Facebook and Twitter we are being sensible in that a lot of people are hanging out in these places BUT we are missing a huge opportunity that digital creates and that is to be where the customer wants to have a dialog, rather than insisting they play on our pitch.  Some will argue that brands have simply followed customers to these places.  That is only partly true.  Much of the growth of Facebook and Twitter is because brands have adopted these sites.  My message to you is not that you abandon Facebook et al but rather that you shouldn’t assume that these channels are the starting point.  Digital is without doubt the biggest opportunity our industry has seen in decades. Let’s not waste it.

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3 Comments on “Digital is a massive opportunity for PR but…”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by O'Dwyer's, Christopher Martin. Christopher Martin said: RT @odwyerpr: Digital is a massive opportunity for PR, but… (@timdyson): http://bit.ly/e1WhVF […]

  2. Twitter is a social networking site, while nytimes.com is the digital version of the newspaper which is a news organization.

    Let’s not confuse social networking sites with news organization sites. They are indeed different kinds of channels for different audiences.

    And yes, digital is a massive opp for reaching audiences, which is why I launched my first digital press campaign for a client way way back in 1996.

    Thank you,
    Ellen Lebowitz

    • timdyson says:

      My point was that many of the so called social media agencies are trading in news coverage for social media coverage and that I think there’s more to digital than simply swapping one for the other. I worry that some think the switch to digital simply means showing clients how to get attention on Twitter and Facebook.


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