Every tweet, Facebook update and comment posted online is a form of communication. Whether that comment is on a blog post, news article, YouTube video or Flickr photo, it counts.

So my question is this: Why isn’t this content being held to the same high standard and given the same level of thought as traditional communications?  I don’t know what your answer is to that question, but mine is this: It should be.

In 2010, an increasing number of brands began treating Facebook like the new internet. That’s because, for the most part, it is. A Facebook page today is what a website was ten or more years ago. Facebook is a destination site. Actually, it’s THE destination site, having surpassed Google as the number one site on the internet.

People spend insane amounts of time there, and this is why businesses are also setting up shop, in droves. I know you’ve seen marketing material with the Facebook icon or have heard TV commercials and radio spots urging you to follow Brand X on Facebook. If Ford can unveil the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook, do I really need to say more?

This time last year, Nielsen reported that the average American spent 421 minutes on Facebook, each month a number that has surely risen since then and will only continue to do so. So what you put there matters.

But this isn’t a post about Facebook, it’s about social communications as a whole. It is no longer wise to pour over the content of a press release, editing draft after draft until it reaches perfection, while giving very little if any thought at all to how you are going to represent your company across social media channels.

Communications professionals have a new job description, whether they want it or not. It is that of Digital Communicator.

As social media platforms mature, evolve and become even more mainstream, clients need a presence in this space, and the smart, savvy digital communicator will make sure they have one. But it isn’t enough to simply show up, you have to actually communicate and have a plan for harnessing the power of new media and getting messages straight to a target audience.

I believe that 2011 is the year to deliver or die. PR professionals have to think more broadly and deliver more value. In the social media space, nothing is too small to matter. We are no longer solely seeking attention of reporters and journalists affiliated with traditional media organizations. It is critical to understand the needs of the new media professional, whether journalist, blogger, power tweeter forum participant or vlogger.

We have to produce the type of content that will increase exposure  and extend reach for clients.

So what does all of this entail? New-fangled communications plans with new attitudes right alongside them.

Deliver or die!

Note: This is a cross-post from my Company Blog.


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