Friday, July 25, 2008

With Limited Resources, Should You Spend Them on Social Media or Media Relations?

Check out Experimenting with Twitter: How Newsrooms Are Using It to Reach More Users.

The article, published Sept. 2007, makes the point that "news organizations aren't just writing about Twitter -- they're using it as a publishing resource for readers and journalists. "

For some clients, the real question isn't whether or not you should use Twitter, establish a Facebook page, etc. and maintain a corp. blog, but how to measure the investment and return on the use of resources necessary to generate any kind of "traction."

A good social media campaign takes as much, if not more, time to generate results. For example, you might get followers on Twitter and visitors to your blog, but that same time could be used for media relations that could secure an article.

The people you're most interested in targeting may not read blogs. Or they may not read newspapers.

The answer of the most effective means depends on who you're trying to reach and what media they consume, how they consume it and where.

We've been telling clients to consider repurposing content across different channels. But recently, a client said he never listens to podcasts -- which actually led us to an interesting discussion. In some corporate settings, computers don't have audio cards and don't have iTunes loaded on them, so they can't easily download podcasts.

The question -- whether to allocate resources to a social media over media relations or vice versa -- comes down, for now, to a "it depends."

Of course, last year, the answer was mostly media relations.

What will next year bring? Let me know your thoughts.


Ron Meledandri said...

I think the old saying "Never put all of your eggs in one basket" certainly applies. Unless you know exactly what all of your customers are reading or listening to, you have spread your message around to various sources.

Norman Birnbach said...

Unfortunately, some clients may be considering to reduce the size of their basket. I haven't seen that to date -- mostly it's just taking longer to start -- but the question that must be determined is what are the most effective channels, and among how many items can you spread your message before it becomes ineffective? For example, radio ads may be a great way to reach a targeted customer segment, but if you're only running one ad per month, it might not be too effective.