John Booth authored a story that appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business this morning about online public relations practices and social networking media. I am pretty sure I talked to John for the better part of an hour, but the essence that got through – which is accurate – would seem to imply that I am not entirely sold on social media.
To be perfectly honest, when it comes to marketing and public relations, we are (I am) never pre-sold on anything. We do our research first, then we strategize, then we implement.
If a client says "we want a blog," we ask "why?" before we say "okay." But the same is true of every tactic. If a client tells us "we want to launch a direct mail campaign," we ask "why?" before we say "okay." In other words, if we are going to do something, we are going to do it for the right reasons.
[A moment of honest reflection: clients sometimes come to us with problems/challenges and objectives... and sometimes they jump right to the tactic.]
We never want to assume that any tactic in play is necessarily the best tactic (or the worst) until we know a few things, like what are our objectives and who are our target audiences and how much time do we have and how much budget is available. You know, the kinds of things that will tell us which tactics are likely to be most successful.
Anyway, all of this is to say that we (I) approach every client situation with an open and fresh mind. We (I) never assume anything and we (I) never exclude anything. Essentially, every option is on the table – or at least under consideration to be placed on the table. And that includes online public relations practices and social networking media.
If you don't believe me, please feel free to IM, e-mail or twitter me. You can also leave a comment on my blog, call me (by landline or cell) or mail me a letter. You are even welcome to drop by our offices. It's all good.