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Social Media & Thought Leadership Kelso Pr Article In Psmg Mag Nov 2011 Shortcut.Lnk

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Using social media in thought leadership programmes - a few thoughts (article by Tim Prizeman in PSMG magazine November 2011)

Using social media in thought leadership programmes - a few thoughts (article by Tim Prizeman in PSMG magazine November 2011)

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  • 1. Incorporating social media with your thought leadership strategy TIM PRIZEMAN Kelso Consulting Timp@kelsopr.com There is a lot of hype around social media, and many professionals are often sceptical. M any are over-sceptical, just as their Social media and thought- I While a few power brands may be able to predecessors were resistant in the leadership attract huge followers, the people who have 1990s to PR, advertising, branding, really made it work for them have done so client satisfaction interviews, and all the other I Don’t just think LinkedIn and Facebook. through a lot of consistent work over many things well run firms now take as normal. Look out for others with a relevant business months to build up not just a long list of focus such as Quora and Focus too. They However, let’s be clear: if you want to followers, but also engage with the most arent just distribution channels - use them make a big impact online, the sites with the influential of them through direct messages to ‘listen in’ on subjects of interest to gain biggest value include those of traditional print and commenting on their material. This insights and test hypotheses for your and broadcast media – national newspapers, makes social media is a time vacuum and research as it develops. BBC, leading trade papers, etc. particularly so for busy professionals whose I You may well want your ideas to ‘go viral’, time is money. Do factor this in. Whether you are assessing this by page but how will this be achieved? Dull but traffic, credibility with Google for SEO purposes, I Many professionals are active and worthy reports rarely go viral, while general believability or other criteria, being on accomplished users of social media already – interesting or amusing videos and FT.com or Telegraph.co.uk is 99 out of 100 times far better to get such enthusiasts to lead memorable sound bites frequently do. going to be more valuable than lots of chatter on this area rather than trying to drag a News can go viral if it is really interesting nobody.blog, or tweets from the large number of sceptic into this role. Perhaps the main or important. Creativity as well as content people with a few dozen followers on Twitter. spokesman for the print media, and an is needed here. That said if you start seeing social media as enthusiastic under-study for digital I What social media is the right platform (or vice versa in some markets now!) less of a broadcast media and more of a way of for engaging with your target audience? creating and building “relationships” (and no, I Don’t start on the social media element LinkedIn? Twitter? Facebook? Indeed, are I don’t see online-only contact as a relationship at the last minute. It needs to be grown any of them a good use of time? Yes if you ...though it may be the start) then social media organically, so have this at each stage are aiming at Generation Y, recruits and has an important and still growing role. of the programme creation, not bolted technologists, more debatable if aiming at, For thought leadership it is particularly on at the end. say, FTSE financial directors. useful – whether promoting it, engaging with I Be realistic – just because some small people to discuss it and, importantly, as a way partnership got 1 million followers for of getting the ideas and insights to investigate their half-baked survey does not mean you in the first place. automatically will for your weighty report. While aiming for the sky, set expectations around what is likely, not what is theoretically possible. I Social media is not a ‘tap’ you turn on and off. It is garden that needs consistent cultivation and love – who are the gardeners, and do they really have the necessary green-fingers required? I Are you an active user of social media? If not, how will you gain credibility with the professionals who are looking to you for advice. Tim Prizeman, Director, Kelso Consulting – public relations & thought leadership advisors to professional firms. www.kelsopr.com26 PSMG November/December 2011