December 10, 2009
/ by Guest Contributor
According to an article in the October 12 issue of BusinessWeek entitled, Luddites of the World, Relax!, people have always doubted the validity or need for new forms of communications. For example, Socrates “objected to writing, in part because this ‘invention’ eliminated the need to exercise the memory.” Also, worried about the rise of the telegraph in the 1840s, Henry David Thoreau scoffed: “Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.” And in the 1870s, Samuel Morse, the telegraph inventor, declined to buy the patent rights for the next new thing, the telephone, as it provided “no permanent record of a conversation.”
Today, some people still question the potential for social networking to transform the way businesses communicate. But knowing a little about our past resistance to new things, I think it is fair to say our technology revolution is charging full steam ahead and the computer revolution is continuing to impact mass communications, especially for marketers. But before you throw out your traditional media plans, consider how you can merge the old with the new.
New vs. Traditional: Why You Shouldn’t Have to Choose, and Why Balancing the Two Maximizes Key Marketing Results
With the rising power of social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I’ve seen a variety of approaches to incorporating social media into the PR mix from both clients and peers. Some want to go completely “new media” with the social route, while some still hold print publication placement as the highest prize, and there are those who have started to mix social media with traditional media.
In my opinion, you don’t have to choose between one or the other. I happen to think new media outreach needs traditional media results to help a company jumpstart its online networking endeavors.
I’m seeing some of the most successful and measurable PR campaign results from those that balance and synergistically use traditional media with social media. Here are a few case-in-point examples and easy steps you can replicate for the same results:
McDade explains, “Marketers know that a series of touches consisting of quality outbound calls, e-mail, voicemail messages and direct mail is a very effective way to reach and convert leads to revenue. What we are now seeing is that results from these more traditional touch types can be enhanced by the inclusion of integrated social media. Social media tools are invaluable in reaching prospects online and establishing a rapport long before a direct meeting takes place.”
In business, social networking is not really “new media” meant to replace everything that came before it so much as it is another route to connect, market, discuss and sell by. If you use it wisely and balance the many traditional forms of marketing with the new interactive powers of social media, you have a winning campaign that doesn’t leave any stone unturned (whether that prospect is found on LinkedIn or is a diehard print reader!).
Peter Baron is founder and principal of Carabiner Communications (www.carabinerpr.com), a marketing and PR firm serving start-up and high-growth technology companies. With two decades of technology marketing experience, Baron has directed campaigns for such well-known clients as Apple Computer, Ericsson GE, Motorola and IBM. Baron co-founded SocketPR which was acquired by Hill and Knowlton. Prior to founding SocketPR Baron was a partner and VP at Alexander Communications (now OgilvyPR Worldwide), where he oversaw accounts covering cross-platform communications, networking, databases and application development tools. His work spans the formative years of the PC industry, all the way to today’s Internet-driven, wireless and mobile device markets. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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