Today in Writing for Digital Platforms we had a guest speaker.
Philip Ryan Johnson (@PRJohnson), an adjunct professor who had created the first social media class taught at Newhouse and is working on dissertation for his PhD.
His topic of discussion was “Thinking Strategically About Social Media Content”. This interests me because all of the research I was required to do for my undergraduate research at Curry College, I chose to do on social media, public relations and another on employee communication. Overall, I loved what he had to say on social media, but was slightly upset that we ran out of time to finish the lecture. Thank goodness we were able to receive the slides in handout form to finish the presentation myself. I hope to contact him soon about the research he is doing and where I might find professors or other student who are interested in the same field within communications.
I agreed that as the professional you really have to understand your current situation and create ways to communicate through multiple channels. After all, isn’t that what social media is all about? Dispersing the message to a mass audience? As the professional you are also responsible to monitor, implement, track, and measure how the social media is affecting the client and whether how it was implemented is effective enough for the client goals.
Though interesting material, I was surprised that he pulled a lot of his information and material from recently published books. Though wonderful sources, I would have liked to see more of his research and findings.
Since social media is such a new phenomenon, many people are beginning to believe as soon as they have a problem or need to implement a plan for social media, they immediately go to the sources who they know. We are the generation that is going to create the policies and plans for social media implementation. This excites me because it means that I can become a part of history for something that is clearly going to keep sky rocketing in importance within businesses and companies.
I think its a positive thing that publics are willing to engage and want interactive, credible information to be what their reading. I read in an article this morning that because of the internet and social media our attention span has been cut down to 9 seconds. The words you place on any site need to be straight to the point or even if it is interactive, you are definitely going to lose them.
The most important thing over all is the focus on the relationships that you are building with your publics not the technology itself. The people you create a strong relationship with will be the people who continue to read what you publish and will feel obligated to continue to be loyal, because they know what they are going to receive every time. I thought it was interesting that this point was brought up. I suppose I wouldn’t have thought about it so much. I feel recently I have been focusing on the content and the ways to disseminate it to as many people as possible. It is very true though, if you don’t have the relationships you may have a problem in getting the message out about a product or issue.
The biggest piece of advice I think I took from this seminar was to be flexible with the technology that you use to disseminate your message. Technology changes almost on a weekly basis, work with what you know. You can grow and learn the new types along the way. Most, if you think about it, use the same processors so things can be made easily compatible for many platforms.
We didn’t get much into the Search Engine Optimization, but if I have an opportunity to hear a presentation I would definitely be present.
Overall, I really enjoyed what he had to speak about and hope to possibly work or take a class from him in the future. He really knows his stuff. Myself, being in a generation of computer and technology hogs, I learned a fair amount about the background questions one must ask before they can implement any kind of social media plans.
*Until we reach the next learning challenge*