Business has to Guard Against Digital Complacency
On Friday PR Week ran a feature that proclaimed ‘digital is ‘too low’ a priority’ for many organisations.
The accompanying research did show that organisations are starting to focus on online communities, but the main battle we PROs have on our hands is to convince senior management the value of social media and how it can be used effectively. In order to do this we need to become better at putting things in language that senior management will understand and be less abstract about the outcomes. The rationale for going digital is clear – 1.5 billion people are online, but all too often the benefits are fudged and not explained in a way that will have directors becoming digital evangelists.
I am not saying drop everything and put all your resources into digital activity, but we are in the digital age. It is another channel that people communicate through and for many it is the first stop to finding out information on organisations. It is too big to be ignored or given to a junior member of staff.
Another challenge we have is to shift people’s perception that digital comms should be a matter for the IT team. Whilst their technical skills are very important, it should at the least be a joint venture between comms and IT or something that comms leads on with techie support from the IT crowd.
The ‘battleground’ that Mark Adams of Next Fiftheen describes is all too common. He went on to say ‘there needs to be an IT person who is a communicator. For PR people, this poses a problem, because their technical skills are usually low.’
So for all budding PR students out there, I believe there is a real gap in the market for a PRO with strong IT and digital media skills. I for one am trying to brush up on mine. A prospective employee with these two distinct skill sets will prove to be an asset to any organisation.