Almost every time I work with a public relations firm or corporation on social media, I hear a version of this statement:
“Us old dogs don’t really understand all this new social media stuff, but we’ve got this brilliant young guy right out of school, and he’s getting us all up to speed.”
Bang Bang. You’re Dead.
If you truly believe that social media can transform brands by flipping the script on the age-old master and servant relationship of companies and their customers, then how do you delegate that assignment?
If you truly believe that social media is more than just a tarted-up version of SEO combined with YouTube videos, how can the most senior people in your agency (or company) decide that they cannot get involved personally?
When TV broke on the scene, did agencies say “I don’t really understand that radio with pictures stuff, but we’ve got this kid who watches it all day. He’ll tell us what to do.”? If you watch and believe Mad Men, I think the answer is absolutely yes. But let’s not make that mistake again.
I’ve worked with some amazing interns, but interns don’t transform brands.
It’s not that they don’t have the smarts. It’s not even that they lack experience. It’s that they don’t have the ear of senior members of the client team.
It Takes a Village
Everybody in your organization – including senior managers and ownership – needs to understand and participate in social media. Period.
Not everyone will be an expert in every aspect of social media. It’s too broad, and the current moves too swiftly. But you can have a shared understanding of why you’re involved in social media and how you’re going to evaluate your success, and then break the execution into morsels that can be assigned to team members.
More so than any marketing or communication development in this last century, only social media participation yields understanding of its capabilities.
Are you ready to drop the pom poms and get your hands dirty?
(photo by Jimmy MacDonald)