Gini Dietrich

Social Isn’t About Advertising Or PR

By: Gini Dietrich | April 26, 2011 | 
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Mondays are my super busy days. I do all staff and client meetings on Mondays in order to get the week on the right foot and (kind of) prepare for anything unexpected. I’m in meetings or on the phone for 10 hours straight, with little time to use the bathroom or eat.

So yesterday, when Shelly Kramer tagged me on Facebook to read this article and then when Troy Claus sent it to me via email, I knew the title was going to make my blood boil, but I hadn’t read it yet.

And boy did my blood boil!

PR Agencies Are Ruining Facebook.

I love sweeping generalizations like this.

Look, I know the PR industry has a terrible perception, one we’re working daily to change. But to say

PR agencies are good at distributing messages, but they aren’t known for really producing anything

is a bunch of baloney.

The article is written by an advertising agency guy. That’s pretty apparent in his message. He begins his argument by stating that PR professionals were the first in the social media space and that fact alone has made it a very boring place.

The problem is that in social media, as in life, a conversation isn’t engaging unless there is something interesting to talk about. No one wants to listen to an endless, aimless stream of dialog about a brand or a company, which is what you get from a strategy that focuses on news, offers and the occasional contest. That’s where PR-led social strategies wind up because those are pretty much the only arrows in PR’s quiver.

I’m the first to admit there are plenty of PR professionals who are consulting companies or working inside businesses to use the social platforms solely as news filters…one more place to distribute your news releases. And I also talk a lot about the type OO (output only) person you avoid at cocktail receptions and networking events.

No one wants to hear someone talk about only themselves. No one.

The best way to add and engage fans, as the article’s author states, is to grow your existing customer base.

But it isn’t left just to the advertising guys, or the creative, to do this. And it’s not just about social. It’s about the tools that fit best into the overall strategy.

There are plenty of companies, and agencies, that are doing it wrong. We hear about them day in and day out. It’s getting exhausting.

We all agree the social tools are just that: Social.

So let’s talk about the companies that are being social. That are engaging. That are growing their fan bases and, through that, are driving sales (not just more followers or fans).

Have an example you can share or are you fond of a case study? Leave it in the comments!

As a side note: His article states, “Even the most articulate strategies, built by the best  social media gurus, tend to focus on developing a presence on Facebook or Twitter, rather than developing a brand’s purpose.” And then I noticed in his tweet stream that he’s going to be in Chicago next week and has asked David Armano to drinks. Better be careful. Armano is one of those “best social media gurus,” who works at one of the largest agencies in the world.

 

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She also has run, built, and grown an agency for the past 14 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.