ECCO social media

The range of social media platforms that have emerged in this decade create wonderful new opportunities for businesses and brands to engage in relatively low cost conversation. Given that this enables one of the key objectives of effective public relations, a positive dialogue with key stakeholders, every professional communicator should be welcoming an exciting new era where our skills are needed more than ever before.

But at the same time, international communications professionals need to be aware that whilst media such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn may be the dominant global social media, there are local market players that are more popular in their own region. Obvious examples include Hyves in Holland and VZ Group in Germany, but there are many other international nuances and differences.

PR and marcoms professionals need to take note if they are to create effective social media communications programmes that deliver a return on investment.  In May 2010, ECCO International PR has launched the first global social media report which outlines the key social media in 22 countries.  The country-by-country social media reports complement ECCO International’s main social media report launched at the end of 2009.

For many PR professionals, social media is still perceived as a specialist black art requiring new technical skills. The ECCO social media guide and country reports dispel this myth. The technical skills required are minimal – you don’t have to build a platform to communicate on it! And although you do need to get into a different mindset, good communicators are able to do this relatively easily.

The principles for effective social media communications are the same as for every form of effective communications: dialogue is a two way process, good communicators speak the same language as the people they are talking to and content should be informative, engaging, memorable and clearly relevant to the target audience.

Poor quality social media engagements and content tend to be produced by poor quality communicators. So, if you are good at communications, you should see social media as an opportunity not a threat. We have written this guide to help skilled communicators get familiar, and hands on, with the ‘tools and rules’ of social media. Hopefully you will find little to fear and enjoy another platform where the skills of the public relations professional are paramount. And with the help of the new country reports, you’ll also be able to deliver international social media conversations with confidence!

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The best social media guides are online and interactive. We have created all documentation in PDF versions for those inclined to print and read, but we strongly urge you to save the paper and read online.