March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm #157125
Having skilled writers is essential for all government communication shops.
However a person that is good at composing tweets may not be best at specific verbiage for a news release. Or a staffer who is good at composing the Facebook post may not be at “selling” the event/community engagement meeting to news editors.
What do you think – is the different skills to write a news release vs composing a tweet?
March 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm #157133
Sadly, may old school media people see these as the same. You can write a release, therefore you can write a tweet. They are quite different.
Just because you’re an old school media person doesn’t mean your skills will automatically translate to new media, especially if you feel your job is being “threatened” by new media!
March 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #157131
Getting people to talk is the skill. Writing is mostly boring. Even if it is good it’s boring, because we are overloaded with input the same as if we had an endless buffet of food in front of us all the time.
It’s about conversation-finding where it’s happening, getting involved, saying something minimally interesting (mostly to show credibility), then getting others to talk.
Agencies are still stuck in the talk-at-you mode that is typical of corporations. It is rooted in fear of what might happen if you don’t control the conversation. Which as we know can’t be controlled anyway.
March 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm #157129
Well, I’d advise you need a social media savvy individual to craft the social media kit to go along with any press releases. Ford Motor company did this really well, setting up thumbs, official photos through Flickr, video elements from YouTube, and an RSS feed component for each press release. They don’t need to be two separate messages, but you should have the right breadcrumbs to lead more than just traditional media to the piece of content.
I don’t know if it’s a different skill set per se – but using social media requires a different set of tools. You need to be familiar with how to use those tools (and reach a particular audience) correctly to maximize benefit from their use.
March 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm #157127
They are not the same skill. At the same time, I think for most organizations, the same person should be responsible for both. NASA? No. The Army? No. But your local government organizations? Probably. It really depends on size, the larger the Twitter following the more appropriate to post a lot of tweets. For a smaller organization that isn’t appropriate, so a person skilled at both should handle both.
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