Getting the Word Out to the public is going to involve some form of media – be it traditional media or social media. It does not matter what you are trying to promote, you have to get people to hear, read, and/or see your messages. And your message is content. Content comes in the form of photos, words, video, and audio.
Content can also be used on a billboard or a flyer to be handed out, and content is used on the internet for the world-wide web. You can even stand on the corner with a bullhorn and yell. In all of these instances, you will need content.
The skill comes in how the content is put together so that it will be seen and heard; and that it is met with approval and taken to heart by the consumer (your audience).
I had a conversation last week with a young lady who was applying for a job in my office to handle the social media tasks that we must accomplish for our clients. We can no longer rely on traditional media; in some cases, social media will provide a wider reach – if we do it right. We talked for about an hour. I was trying to get an answer as to what she saw her job to be. “What actually are you going to do?”
The response was general, she defined her role as posting on Facebook, doing tweets, blogs, and Instagram – the most popular social media platforms. I then asked, “What are you going to write in the posts and how are you going to get folks to visit my social media sites?” The conversation begins to take shape when I asked where to do get the information to post.
The obvious was, “Where does this information come from?” And this is where the rubber meets the road. It is not enough to put “stuff” on social media, one has to place good, relevant, consistent content. And this content has to be generated almost on a daily basis – at least on a weekly basis. This is where the writing skills, creativity, and dedication to get the content comes into the forefront.
We do not consider the social media persons to necessarily be writing content. This job includes keeping up with the latest forms of social media, following up to determine who and where the posts are trending. Facebook is about a conversation with friends; and friends should be engaged. Keep the Facebook page up to date with the latest bells and whistles. In addition, read the better bloggers and be able to offer suggestions for content is also a part of the job description.
This, then, is where the two forms of media come together. The content gathered for the stories that appear in traditional media – newspapers, magazines, television, radio – is the same content that one can use on social media. Shorter snippets, however. Here at First Class, we concluded that when we write a press release, when we write talking points for clients to use for interviews, when we gather “Pitch Points” to discuss with journalists whom we are trying to convince to do a story, we are creating CONTENT. This is the same CONTENT that we use for Facebook posts and tweets; the photos that we send with our press releases are just like the photos we place on Instagram.
Make sure when you use photos for CONTENT, the photos tell a story. Of course, there is the occasional need for a “headshot.” The “staged” action photo is good when you cannot capture that great PR picture. The challenge that I often face when writing CONTENT is that blank page – that opening statement that must catch the reader and keep him/her reading and engaged.
Therefore, I have a couple of press releases to write and some stories to tell. I am about to face another blank page and try my best to fill it with great, and effective content.