Every now and then you’ll have a conversation or take in a piece of information which makes you stop and think in an altogether different way.
A few days ago I caught up with a long-distance relative I’d not seen in three years.
We got on to discussing my profession and her opening remark went something along the lines of:
“It must be so easy to be doing your career now…I mean, what with social media and everything, you obviously don’t have to fight so hard to get your clients noticed. It’s so much easier to create noise…”.
It wasn’t exactly a ‘choke on my latte’ moment, and I didn’t launch into a tirade of ‘do you have any idea how hard I work to be an always-on 24-7 comms professional…?’, but I got where she was coming from.
Through the eyes of someone not immediately entrenched in the world of marketing and PR, she firmly believed that the universal acceptance of social media channels would mean those of us tasked with the professional role of brand awareness and corporate messaging would have a significantly ‘easier time’.
After all, we wouldn’t constantly have to fight to get press releases covered in the newspapers anymore, would we?
We can just tweet / post / blog and our clients will receive the same level of exposure without the effort of news placement and media sell-in.
Hmmm. It was an interesting take for sure.
In part, yes, there’s truth in the fact that there are indeed more distribution channels for PR-type material.
And, because there are more channels – ultimately, there is more of an audience.
But does it make our lives in the world of marketing and communications easier as a result?
Well, not if we want to be refined about who we target with our content, how well we match an audience to our client’s objectives, and how precisely we track the success of our distributed news.
For example, today the headlines have featured the story from NHS Blood and Transplant, reporting that there’s an urgent need to drive up donors.
If it were true that the increase in the number of communication portals automatically achieves mass PR with less effort, surely that particular organisation would have a round-the-clock ability to be drawing in potential donors via facebook, twitter and associated feeds.
For an organisation such as theirs – and I’ve worked directly with the body and know how incredibly hardworking their communications team are – it’s still just as important to be in mainstream media and to find savvy ways of collaboratively marketing.
(Watch out for their collaborations with key brands like Waterstones in the coming week in which you’ll see the O and A dropped out of store signs as they help mark the call for certain blood type groups within National Blood Week).
If anything, what we can learn from the increase in news and social content distribution channels (for want of a better catch-all) is that there is now SO much material being pumped the way of consumers and business recipients on a minute by minute basis, that it’s even more critical our messaging has a way of breaking through.
If it doesn’t stand out as relevant, informative, and of personal value, there’s a high chance that even the best intended PR efforts will merely get lost in the noise!
**I’m interested in hearing about new projects for which you or your brand may need support, so please get in touch.