Conversations at the Intersection of PR, Traditional & New Media

Social Media is anyone’s cup of tea

At a time when everyone has started claiming to be a social media strategist (including me), HT Mint has come up with an excellent article saying ( , forget these so called strategist simply understand what others have done in the same scenario and try to replicate to your situation.  Which is so true, social media is no rocket science; anyone with a basic IQ can do wonders. The only thing what we need to come out of is “Not my cup of tea” attitude.

Recently I had an opportunity to take a session on social media for the students of Xavier’s institute of Communications, Mumbai. I had gone well prepared with my power-point slides on what all can be discussed with social media etc. At the start of a session, I tried to understand from the class on what is their understanding on social media. What I discovered was that, every student had a fair understanding of almost all important tools that are more prevalent in India. They knew how to use facebook causes, how to make blogs, how to make groups, forums etc., which is quite expected from today’s generation as they are growing with social media. My task had become much simpler than what I had envisioned, the only thing I had to do is to solve some of their queries they had encountered while experimenting with some of the tools, some case studies and I was done with, and everybody seemed to be happy to have learned from the group learning experience.

The point I am trying to make is, today we all know what social media is and how to use different options offered by various platforms. What needs to be learnt is the creative use of these options into a sustained campaign. And what if someone thinks they are not creative enough to come out with a good creative idea to drive the social media campaign? The answer is very simple, COPY!!! Yes copy some of the visible strategies used by various brands to promote their products or services. The internet is full of such case studies on what, which brand did on social media to reach out to their target audience. Go and search. In today’s world where Google is next to God, there is nothing that you cannot find the net. Only if we have the attitude that even I can do it!!!

What’s your view on the above? Lets discuss


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2 Responses »

  1. Very Interesting!!!! :)

  2. Great – issue with traditional industry is fear of embracing social media for fear of the unknown. My client in power sector, pharma & realty are worried even to use Linkedin to generate brand visibility & have company employees on that page lest competition takes them away. FB & Twitter for them is frivolous even though half the staff use them but for an organization – it doesn’t serve our purpose as we don’t sell to customers directly, SO WHY??
    In journalists – senior are scared lest their ignorance is exposed or management doesn’t support by way of a clear social media strategy for the media house – Print or TV. Also, as a senior editor in a leading English daily said – Lack of a coherent editorial policy backed by lack of empowerment of using a smart phone with company paying charges for official use deters staff from using social media even as though they know if widens audience reach.
    WIFM (Whats in it for me) strategy is at play here since organisation are not encouraging people to leverage SM for just wider audience & devoid of a coherent editorial policy of digital media – why should I use, do I get a promotion or hike if more stories are seen. The FB like advocacy is also frivolous as there is no proper measurement of this “like” phenomenon to check if actually people read & liked the story or did the reporter ask his friends & relatives/family to like to meet the company requirement.
    In the case of PR professionals – either working as independent consultants, PR agencies or part of a corporate – use of digital media is low but for occasional posting for getting some response to a story idea or get some comments on a story/developing story like FDI debate in Parliament, cricket match, Budget etc on Twitter handles of some celebrities or politicians or sports stars that can be used as 1st person quotes. No PR agency in India today has a defined policy of use of Social Media within the organisation for their staff or clients, no training is offered to catch up with this new technology but many use for personal purposes.
    Am happy there is a small but positive change happening and is getting visible, PR conferences like PRaxis2012, International PR Fest @ Pondicherry & Jaipur and Global PR conclave in Feb 2013 @ Hyderabad are heartening developments and hope more follow.

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Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed by me in this blog are my personal views and do not represent the views of my employer or the organizations I have been associated with. I believe in the principle of sharing information. Feel free to link to any of the posts in this blog.
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