Communicators are Vital to Social Media



I can't believe I am even saying this because it seems completely obvious to me. But some older people are misled to believe social media is the product of young kids who like to 'muck around' on the internet. Or, even worse, those who are less familiar with social media think you need to be an expert in information technology to work it out. Social media and other online tools are for anyone of any age or profession. There is nothing wrong with understanding computers. It helps a lot. I admire the computing industry because I do not understand much of it. But other professions shouldn't be shoved aside. Some people make an unfair generalisation that dismisses perfectly capable communications people. They really think the arts or marketing types don't know how to make a blog. Well here it is. I would never dismiss any profession.

Of course social media was born in the computing world, maybe close to Silicon Valley. And we needed that. But you can be from the creative communication world and do fine with the online world. Otherwise, it would be like saying you can only be a painter if you know how to make the canvas. Or you can only be a writer if you are well practiced in making paper from scratch. It sounds ridiculous and rather insulting.

Other disciplines know very different things about social media. We can only make use of the technology if we combine our skills together. There is no use in promoting one skill as superior to another.

Public Relations applies theories and techniques to social media. Page 211 of Public Relations Theory and Practice by Jane Johnston & Clara Zawawi is one example. It says blogs can be used to 'monitor public opinion' and 'exchange of ideas and opinions.' So PR uses blogging and other social media for research and conversation.

Then advertising uses social media just as much. Chris Fill, Graham Hughes, and Scott De Francesco depend on social media in many pages (including page 20) of their book Advertising: strategy, creativity, and media. They said, "Digital media enable interactivity and here both search and social media advertising have become prominent types of advertising." The interactivity, and their later ideas, are ways in which they believe advertisers should use social media.

So then why, in this day and age, could you make any choice but to include the communicators when producing social media content? Once again, it just feels obvious. We are just as important as the rest of the world. The marketers and writers have insight into a very important aspect: the readers. You could call them target market segments, audiences, publics, or something colloquial. Whatever you call them, readers are unique individuals who all want something different from sites they read. I'm sure anyone understands the audience. All professions are valuable needed skills. But many communicators decide to specialise in it. Let's put their skills to good use.

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