Change is inevitable. Talking about change and not making it happen has been a common practice in the world of Social Media and modern communications. Change has been the talk that many talked about but, not many aimed at making it happen.
The time in which, talk the talk is key to relationship building has come to an end; and the time to walk the talk is crying out to begin. Yes this may sound strange, walk the talk?! That's my little invention, as we can't run before we walk. Hence, we first need to walk the talk, which we talked about for decades, to enable us walk the walk. This is all about a change, a change that ensures sustainability and credibility; that indeed needs a process in place as well as dedication. This is the process of change; and change in itself is a process that doesn't like to be changed but to change. Change is about choice and direction; the right choice will lead to success and the wrong one to failure.
Brands have been working with their agencies for years and invested a lot of time and money to create plans and processes. Brands always wanted to protect their reputation through very controlled environments such as press releases and very close relationships with selected journalists. Social Media and citizen journalism however brought a new spectrum to the mix, mostly in favour of consumers and customers. Brands and agency widely refer to Social Media as a challenge and also an opportunity, but they have a fear as well; hence adoption of Social Media has been rather slow amongst some major brands. It is very important to acknowledge fear from change doesn't make change go away; it just makes the adoption and implementation process lengthier and more expensive.
Brands, one after another, are realising that they need to use Social Media and they've been asking their agencies to do something with Social Media. They don't know what proportion of their budget they should allocate for Social Media; or even which department is best to be responsible for Social Media. Due to lack of resources, such as dedicated talents and appropriate technology, agencies tried to replicate the old communications techniques, which often don't work according to plans and expectations.
There are countless number of seminars and conferences about best Social Media practice and how to integrate Social Media with the rest of marketing mix and PR; most very expensive to attend though.
The truth is, there's no single simple answer; as different brands have different culture and audience. This by the way doesn't mean brands and agencies should just experiment, because there's not a unanimously agreed solution. It is important to remember, as much as experiment is good but, when it comes to reputation and brand management, one should be cautious. Brands and their agencies need a technology which can be easily integrated with websites; while allow effective content distribution and management. This will undoubtedly play a key role in driving high and relevant traffic to the brand's newsroom.
Cost efficiency and having a hub for distribution of news stories is critical to bear in mind when planning for integration of a technology to boost newsroom. Contents must be interactive and engaging, while the deployed technology be capable of driving your strategy. Making news stories more interactive and engaging will lead to higher ranking and authority. This in turn reduces advertising and marketing costs, including SEO and display; while maximises brand awareness followed by an effective monitoring and accurate measurement. This doesn't have to be expensive though, if the right technology is adopted by brand's content and press team or their agencies.