So, what have you been learning about social media? I’m trying to pay close attention to the latest developments, but I’m also trying really hard to stick with the kind of tradition PR that’s still relevant. I have to say, right now I’m probably the worst when it comes to Facebook. Basically, I don’t use it right now and when I receive an alert that someone wrote on my wall I have to remind myself that it’s not really a wall. Okay, that sounds pretty pathetic, but I still think one of the most challenging aspects of PR is still worth fighting for—cultivating and then maintaining relationships with the media. So face time is practically impossible and email relationships are rampant, but it’s still essential establish some sense of trust. One of characteristics of social media is that once information is shared on Twitter, Facebook, whatever, it’s no longer private. Maybe that’s why I’m sort of a late adapter. Still, the more we know about social media and how it can help and hurt your PR efforts the better off we are.
Indeed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently reported that job applicants need to be savvy in the social media area. It sort of reminds me of the typing skills one needed many, many years ago in order to simply communicate. Now that communication means something different, something that diggs, tweets, facebooks, gets linkedin, and otherwise makes its way all over. Even if you’re job doesn’t focus on social media you need to understand how it works, its benefits, pitfalls, and everything in between.
What I’m discovering is that managing your social media skills also involves racheting up your time management skills. Usually, when we have too much to do, something has to give. Another way to improve your time management skills is to literally schedule in some learning time. It’s sort of like making a date with organizing your office (one of my least favorite activities). Instead of waiting for social media to find you, you need to figure out a way to meet it, not half-way, but face to face so that when you’re asked if you Facebook or Twitter, you respond with yes and here’s how . . .