Monday, April 16, 2012

How social media hasn't changed #highered PR

There's no question that the social media revolution has radically altered the way we communicate in our professional and personal lives, particularly for those of us who work in higher ed marketing and public relations. But though technology has introduced amazing new tools for accomplishing our goals and objectives, many of the fundamental rules of how we work haven't changed:
  1. Strong communication skills still matter. Core to any professional communicator's craft is the ability to write, edit and verbalize concise, cogent messages in a way that's relevant to their target audience. Whether you're writing a news release or posting a social media update, the classic adage of BLUF ("Bottom Line Up Front") remains true regardless of the medium.
  2. Good relationships still matter. While the academic theory regarding organization-public relationships primarily developed in the 1990s, many of the core public relations principles developed by AT&T's Arthur W. Page in the 1930s–40s would make a good foundation for any communications strategy involving social or traditional media today. Social media makes it easier to establish relationships for a longer period, and the comments shared about us will have a more-lasting impact as well.
  3. High ethical standards still matter. As an extension of point #2, the ability to establish trust is key in maintaining good long-term relationships in our interpersonal interactions (on- and off-line) and in our mass communications. Organizations have always been expected to have good customer service — to be authentic, transparent and responsive in their communications — and social media only highlights the actions of those institutions who don't value the people they serve.
What other core skills and abilities do you consider to be timeless in higher ed communications?

1 comment:

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