Tom Murphy – Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy blogging about PR and other things since 2002…

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Seriously… dump that social media stuff and get back to work

January 6th, 2010 · 6 Comments · Public Relations, Social Media

Happy New Year. I had a lovely time, thanks for asking.

I have spent far too much time over the past couple of weeks monitoring the online chatter.  My god there’s a lot of noise.

I think I am having Social Media sweats. There are just so many articles, posts, rants and links.  Now don’t get me wrong it’s great that people are sharing their views, and opinions and, in a very small number of cases even their experiences.

But really… there are only so many Social Media Top 10s, 10 things to avoid, 10 brands that…. you know… enough already.

Social Media is incredibly exciting, important etc.

We get it. 

Seriously.

Enough with the colorful* graphs, bar charts and stock photography.

Honestly. If you don’t get the importance of the whole social media thing, then you are probably still faxing and spamming people with press releases and let’s be frank there’s little hope for you is there?

The reality however is that most of us aren’t paid a princely sum just for thinking about social media or antagonizing about the global impact of a new widget or phone. At least not me, if I missed that memo can you send me an e-mail or even a letter, please.

The reality is that we’ve got a day job and that day job requires us to think about mundane things like personal and professional objectives, managing our ever growing workload, understanding how our audiences are using social and unsocial media, how we can be more creative and how we can fundamentally change the way we write and think about communications.  In summary we are focusing on how we can be more effective in communicating with people who matter to our clients or employers. People not tools, widgets or hardware.

Social media is important for all of us, but as my grandmother often said don’t forget the knitting, it’s cold out there.

At least that’s what I think she said.

*Yes I’ve migrated to US spelling full-time.  I keep getting blank stares from my colleagues when I deliver pithy and if I say so myself, witty phrases that didn’t travel over the Atlantic, so US spelling reduces other risks.


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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Richard Bailey

    Good point, well made.

    If you take away a few sporadic public relations educators, the overwhelming majority of PR bloggers are consultants. Their blogs are shop windows and they need to have something new and shiny to show.

    The motivation of the in-house PR blogger has always been harder to understand. The blog can’t do you much good (if you’re happy in your work) and it can do much harm (by injudicious words or too-independent thought).

  • Tom Murphy

    Richard,

    Happy New Year and thanks for the comment.

    I think social media gives everyone the chance to share their opinions, and we all have those. It is true that being in-house does put additional considerations into your decision process about when and what to blog about, but then isn’t that the same as a normal working day? I suppose agency folks must similarly consider their clients’ best interests as they blog.

    I think it’s great there’s so much discussion on Social Media online, I just think a lot of it is repetititive and I think that personally I’d like to see broader discussion on more topics rather than endlessly re-hashing the same old stuff.

    But that’s just my opinion, and as I wrote I much prefer seeing lots of content than none! I’m always learning….

    Hope all is well with you
    Tom

  • David Tebbutt

    Maybe people should ask themselves “Am I writing this for me, or for my reader?” And, perhaps, “Is it something that they can re-use?” If the answer to either is “no”, then they should consider whether it’s worth writing in the first place.

  • David Tebbutt

    Actually “no” didn’t work on my last post. I hope you knew what I’m getting at. Perhaps the first question should be “Am I writing this for my reader?” That straightens things out.

  • Xavier Izaguirre

    Hi Tom,

    i really liked your post because it says things that are true (and nobody else goes on and say) but, overall… I’ve taken the liberty to “counterpost”

    http://socialmedialibrary.co.uk/blog/2010/02/is-the-rest-just-noise-sorting-the-wheat-from-the-social-media-chaff/

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