Home > PR and social media > I Now Know What I Don’t Know – I Think

I Now Know What I Don’t Know – I Think

While I find it lame to write a blog that doesn’t state a strong opinion, but I may be about to do just that.

The issue: Social media for business. Who, how, why, when?

What I thought I knew…was that the PR/communications function (internal or outsourced) should be the owners of any social media program. I was positive!

But the more I read…the more I found that early social networking adoption is being done by the HR function. And the more I read about that the more sense it made.

What I thought I knew…was that social media is still now and for the foreseeable future will remain a secondary (at best) business communications vehicle. I was positive! There was no doubt in my mind!!

But the more I read…the more I found stats like – as soon as 2014 social media service will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users. (Gartner Predicts 2010: Social Software is an Enterprise Reality report.)

What I realized…was that things are changing so quickly that I need some more opinions from people in the trenches. I turned to Twitter to ask real communications pros who they thought should run social media programs – internal folks or an outsourced agency.

I got some interesting responses. This is generalizing, but, safe to say that the independent consultants and those employeed by agencies ALL think that there should be a combo of internal and external resources involved in the process.

As is often the case lately, some of the best feedback I received came from Jules Zunich who actually just wrote a blog piece about the horror of the so-called Social Media Guru.

As Jules points out, “But, absolutely, under zero circumstances should a company hire one of those self-proclaimed SM Gurus. Just like every other aspect of the business, employee, consultant or agency expertise needs to be evaluated. And SM cannot simply be an add on. It has to be part of the strategic communications plan.”

What I thought I knew…was that Jules was right. BUT, the more I thought about it, the more I could see where an industry that doesn’t utilize much in the way of traditional PR (neighborhood restaurants and local service shops like auto repair, hair salons, pet shops or vets come to mind) could benefit from a pure social media expert. But they too should be aware of self-proclaimed gurus. I think?

NO MORE FENCE SITTING: I’ve spent most of this blog post sounding like a wishy-washy politician afraid to take a stand, well no more…

What I know for sure…is that no matter how social media for business evolves over the next couple of years I’m going to say “Yep, that is exactly what I expected would happen.” That is why this blog has been programed to self-delete in two years.

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