My colleague, Kendra Dubyk, and I were working on a client's PR plan for the upcoming year. We laid out several strategies including a heavy focus on media relations, some in-store promotion and a creative way to connect with the local community. The external campaign was then supported by some internal communication ideas to simultaneously keep our best marketing foot soldiers, the employees, engaged and pumped about the business.
A social media strategy, however, was glaringly missing. I, the person who promotes social media strategies so often in this very blog, was chicken! Our client is quite risk adverse. As with most businesses, much of their success is dependent on positive customer opinion, word of mouth and brand image.
How would the client react to potential negative online chatter about their products? How would we then justify having suggested this strategic direction? My desire for ongoing positive client relations was taking over my campaign suggestions. Then, Kendra put it all in context.
"Whether or not we develop a social media campaign has nothing to do with whether people are, or are not, going to talk about them online. People who have negative comments are already posting them. Not having a campaign of our own in this space only means we are choosing to ignore it."
The absence of a formal social media campaign would only mean omitting the opportunity to add additional positive messaging and discussion. It made the plan.