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May 4, 2010
Plan for Social Media, Like Any Other Communications Mode

Good social media relational campaigns don't just happen. They need to be planned, like any other communications usage. Aims, tactics, and strategies are as important to the successful use of social media as they are in print or personal PR. Tweeting without a strategy may not get you very far.

In Denver, William Hauselberg makes a contribution to social media strategizing in an online article, "Strategic Social Media Campaigns & Platforms Are Important to PR." It's a short but useful introduction to the subject.

Proper planning, Hauselberg notes, can save you from playing the sort of fateful catch-up that Dominos had to practice after the infamous employee-produced YouTube prank video. Dominos was caught flat-footed then; now it has a Twitter feed with over 12,000 followers and a Facebook page with around 480,000 fans, Hauselberg adds.

"Any business can create an online presence," he writes, "but there are some critical elements to doing so. In the ever changing world of social media there isn't a standard blueprint, but there are guidelines.

"Think about what the brand wants to achieve, understand that social media is about conversation and ongoing dialogue, and balance promotional broadcasting with listening to current and potential customers."

Creating objectives and strategies that foster connection and dialogue is the heart of PR planning for social media, Hauselberg sums up. He's right. You always need to respect the tools you're using, where you want to head with them and how. Even with tools as evanescent as those in the social media realm, there's one step after another to take. 

Mainly it's a matter of posting, listening, and responding -- according to a plan. 







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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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