Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Fallacy of Facebook: Twittering Away Our Time

So-called “social media” are getting far too much hype, time and budget.

If you want to reach people where they “think”, traditional media is the way to go, not Facebook. You want to build a social media site for a client, be my guest. But that’s not the place to make a credible impression or to change people’s minds. Facebook is ego gratification, not persuasion.

A single story placement in print… a satellite media interview on even a low rated UHF TV station… even a spot-news radio interview… any of these will get you more “eyeballs” than “friend’ing” on FB.

And as for Twitter… what a time waster! It’s the equivalent of online Kindergarten: A bunch of self-absorbed kids, each yelling louder than the next one, “I’m cool. Pay attention to me”. Who cares, or remembers?

People in PR who waste their time “tweeting” on behalf of clients could better be spending their time pitching a journalist or blogger.

Millions of self-obsessed Twitterers don’t mean squat. And PR strategies that depend on such folly need to be rethought. Show me the data that social media changes minds and I’ll change mine. But ‘til then, MSM (mainstream media) rule!

Newspapers may be shrinking, but they still have readers who turn to them and their journalists with trust. Sure, selling your story to a reporter is harder than putting it on Facebook, but which has the credibility? And when this morning’s Facebook post has scrolled off into oblivion, a print “hit” is still around for others to see and comment on forever.

Yes, I have a Facebook page and occasionally “Tweet”. They’re fun, like playing Sudoku. But they’re not my strategy for finding new business or establishing credibility with my clients. Firms that tweet and post self-serving Facebook status updates come off looking stupid or desperate.

Too many people in PR are believing their own hype when it comes to this new medium. Social media is fun, but it’s not the salvation for an industry trying to reach people with credible, thoughtful messages. Stop playing and start pitching!

Isn't it time for all of us to get back to work?



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home