How to Measure Social Media Relations: The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same


Most PR people envision the blogosphere as yet another new medium to address, a new way to scream more loudly at their stakeholders. In fact, PR people need to completely rethink their entire approach from pitching to engaging in "Naked Conversations." People now have access to so much content, and have so many ways to gather news and information, that the likelihood of your corporate message penetrating through the clutter is virtually nil. Instead, if you engage the audience in a conversation and learn what the social community is looking for, you might be able to persuade them to hear your message.

Within this environment, PR researchers need to rethink their approaches as well. The normal maxim for measurement is, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." The problem with measuring blogs is not how to do it, but rather that the nature of blogs renders management impossible. You simply can't manage what 100 million independent-minded, opinionated people are going to say.
That's not to say that they can't be influenced, just that it takes a new approach. The old command and control, top down message delivery is no longer an option. Dr. James Grunig's Excellence Model of two way synchronous communications is the rule of the day. Consumers can now choose to accept or reject your messages, depending on whether they find them useful, interesting or relevant. And they'll be more than happy to tell you what they like and don't like.

That's not to say that they can't be influenced, just that it takes a new approach. The old command and control, top down message delivery is no longer an option. Dr. James Grunig's Excellence Model of two way synchronous communications is the rule of the day. Consumers can now choose to accept or reject your messages, depending on whether they find them useful, interesting or relevant. And they'll be more than happy to tell you what they like and don't like.

The article was written by Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, LLC.

Source: Institute for PR

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