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I was promoted at work last week.

I’ve been the Social Media Manager for just about two years and now bear the title: Vice President, Director of Social Media. To say that I’m excited about the future and the increased expectations that come with my role would be an understatement. I have a great team that’s growing, and some of the best colleagues I’ve had in my entire career.

When I shared the news in a Facebook status update, the likes and comments went through the roof.  It was amazing to see the out pour of well wishes from family and friends and people I’ve worked with dating back to 1996.

But despite this new title, I am nowhere near complacent. Nor do I feel like I’ve reached a mountaintop. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a milestone for me. But to think that there is such a thing  as “arriving” or making it to the top in an industry that changes almost overnight is a huge mistake.

If anything, I am even more challenged now to stay on top of changes and trends and make sure that I am providing the best guidance for my team, my co-workers and our clients. I have to groom others to do the same kinds of things that I’ve done and even more.

I have to provide value and work even harder on integration and proving the value of social business.

In my mind, this is the beginning. I know so many people looking to get in social media who feel like all they need is that one position with a well-known (or maybe even not-so-well-known ) brand to claim themselves an expert. But that’s not how it works. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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When you handle social media initiatives for one organization, it is easy to develop linear thinking. Even when you follow the trends, stay on top of all the latest developments and devour all the social media news you can stand, you still tend to apply it to your own company or think about how certain tactics can work for your industry.

This is certainly not the case for everyone so please don’t take offense. I know when I worked at a news organization I was very focused on how we could adopt social media or better yet incorporate social media into our products to better serve the needs of the readers and viewers. I did think about other industries, mostly because I was intrigued at what they were able to accomplish when mine couldn’t even come close. But that was the extent of it.

Now that I am social media manager at a communications agency working with a myriad of clients from very different industries, my horizons have broadened. I think much more deeply about strategies and tactics.  I am challenged in ways that sometimes make me extremely exhausted but I know I am better for it.

I think a lot more about regulated industries, because many of our clients fall into that category and their barriers to entry are real.  I am grateful for all the work the Dachis Group has compiled in that regard. Research is much more important to me than it ever was and I often dissect it into small pieces. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been an assignment manager at numerous TV stations throughout my career, and that involved making hard decisions about news coverage. There was always more than we needed and the day file was typically flooded with news releases.

Unfortunately, most of them found a home in the bottom of the recycling bin. I know that’s not what you want to hear if you are the one who poured over the document with the goal of creating a masterpiece, but it’s true. The good news is you have the power to change that.

Here is what you can do to keep your press release out of the recycling bin and the deleted items folder of Outlook.

  • Make them shorter! A press release is not a novel. Remember that.
  • Stop burying the lead. If the reader has to read through three paragraphs to find the most pertinent information, he never will.
  • Write a snappy headline. Try headlines that are five words or less, and make it descriptive. Avoid long company names. I don’t need to read the company’s name in the headline unless its a major news maker.
  • Experiment with different layouts. Are the words”for immediate release” a necessity? Think about it.
  • Stop using the phrase “for immediate release.” I know it’s customary but isn’t that assumed in most cases?
  • Ditch the history lesson and provide links. Is it necessary to provide such lengthy paragraphs about the history of each company mentioned? Try using “for more information” and providing links to additional information.

I suggest playing around with your press releases with the goal of making them mean and lean. And now for something fun. I will transform a press releases (into a mean, lean informational machine, (free of charge, of course) for the first two people who send me an e-mail with “Make me mean and lean” as the subject.

I will contact you later requesting the press release of your choice and we will go from there. All you have to do is give me permission to display the original and the new version in a future blog post.

Send it to angeladconnor-at-yahoo.com.

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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