Twitsophrenia – Split Personality Online

23 06 2011

Split Personality Cowboy and Indian CostumeIt began with a conversation in the Blackdog Ballroom with Dom Burch.  He is about to take a six month sabbatical from his role as Head of Corporate Communications at ASDA and he has a new twitter profile to mark the occasion.  I then saw on twitter that the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg is moving to ITV and will therefore cease to be @BBCLauraK; re-emerging in the autumn as @ITVLauraK.

The border lines in social networks are commonly understood if sometimes blurry.  Facebook for friends and frivolity,  LinkedIn for work and Twitter…well for either, or a bit of both, or neither.  Twitter is nothing if not versatile but if you tie your twitter account to one aspect of your life, in this case your working life, then you may find yourself in need of multiple on-line personalities.   The other downside is that if your circumstances change you’ll lose the network of followers that you have lovingly built.

For journalists, their personal following online is becoming more and more important.  Speaking in Cannes this week Piers Morgan claimed that a single tweet added up to half a million viewers to an interview he conducted with Charlie Sheen on CNN.  The value of a personal online network is not solely the preserve of the press.   So I guess we have to decide.  We can have different accounts for the different aspects of our lives or we can have an account that reflects the varied aspects of who we are and what we do but isn’t tied to any of them.  The choice as they say, is yours.

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Time to Close your Digital Department

22 06 2011

In the last three or four years there has been a rush amongst many PR consultancies to appoint a head of social media or to build a digital team.  If there was a right time to do this (and I doubt it), that time has certainly passed.

Digital PR skills can’t be siloed.  It’s unacceptable for someone who claims to have expertise in PR not to understand the implications of digital channels and the near universal access to on-line media.

Even the terms ‘mainstream’ or ‘conventional’ media have little currency.  The Guardian is mainstream and yet open journalism is now at the heart of its strategy.  How many titles exist solely in a world where dead wood and ink are the only route to readership?

A specialist digital PR team is a cop out which allows people to believe that there are core skills that don’t include an understanding of blogs, social networks, the value of links, PR led SEO, and analytics.   If you still have a digital team get them to train the rest of your people and then merge their activities.  You won’t be asking people to cross the line.  There is no line.








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