Who has the skills to mount a social media campaign?
Entertainment Publicist Carlette DeLeon said that the 18-34 year old market was the key audience for social media campaigns, but that not everyone had the skills and personality to use it successfully.
She was speaking at the monthly members’ meeting of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) at Jampro Trade and Invest Jamaica on May 17.
Ms DeLeon said, “If you think that you need to be constantly available as a public relations practitioner, once you enter the sphere of social media, it just gets worse. Some of the common courtesies seem to go out of the door with a number of persons within the social media sphere.
Personality has to be that you are not afraid to give away your time and be accessible in infinitely more personal ways.”
Writing impactful, concise messages was a key skill along with the ability to have fun and informed online conversations. The person must also be very accommodating of his or her time.
Ms DeLeon said, “Be prepared never to stop and be committed to it. People lose interest and move on…develop a lot of content. Have to have a willingness and readiness to be engaged and to engage. You have to be witty and charming.”
She noted that the person behind the online site is who will make the social media campaign successful. She also cautioned that truth was essential as response time on social media was very fast.
“If you are not brutally honest someone is going to call you out and be brutally honest a lot faster that if they read it in the newspaper or hear it on the radio,” she said.
Ms DeLeon also cautioned against putting heavy reliance on Facebook – a website that currently struggles with subscriber privacy issues. “If you only have contact with your audience is Facebook when they shut that down you are going to lose them.”
Despite its growing popularity, the effectiveness of social media campaigns, especially the growing Twitter, cannot be adequately measured for billing purposes.
“It may seem easy that anyone with a computer can and become a publicist and launch a social media campaign and yes, getting the word out is easier than before but the message becomes truly effective rather than potentially lost when it is in the hands of a well-trained public relations professional. We cannot be replaced by someone with a computer that just puts up a post. Everything to get to that point from crafting the message to getting to where it should be delivered and who gets that message is best determined by us as public relations professionals. In keeping with the standards that we have learned from traditional media we can apply it now to new media and make social media that much more effective for us.”