Preparing for Social Media Congress in Amersterdam

I’ve been gathering my thoughts, notes, interviews and articles and compiling them into a presentation for the Social media Congress Conference in Amsterdam on February 18th.  My topic is the Value of Social Engagement for the 21st Business.  As a part of my presentation, I thought it would be interesting to pull some of the findings from the Vocus PR Planning 2010 Survey and compare results between the United States and the United Kingdom.

One part of the survey asks an interesting question: “What is the SINGLE most important thing you, as a PR professional, will do differently in 2010 than you did in 2009?” What a great question.  It did not surprise me to see a high response rate of answers pointing to Social Media.  Here are a few of the responses as they pertained to Social Media from both the US (over 1,570 responses) and the UK (over 250 responses) to this open-ended question (courtesy of Vocus):

United States:

  • Measure my social media timing against news cycles
  • More cross-marketing collaboration
  • Incorporate social networking into marketing plan
  • Develop compelling multi-media content for distribution
  • Combine the use of traditional media with social media, which we’re just starting to do.
  • Rethink social media strategies
  • The social media fire hose is too big with too much spam
  • Coordinate more efficiently with the marketing departments, in order to fully utilize the limited resources of both areas
  • Further integrate social marketing techniques and tools into our overall PR mix.
  • Sell social media marketing services in conjunction with traditional PR services in order to maximize results
  • Train others to know what I know about integrating traditional and new media.
  • Learn to leverage the social media “spread” to our advantage for increasing awareness, donations and clients
  • Focus much more on social media and experiment with ways it can help to meet our PR goals

United Kingdom:

  • Change evaluation techniques to adapt to changing PR instruments (social media, etc.)
  • Target audiences specifically (niche marketing) rather than blasting mass messages
  • Be less traditional and more innovative
  • Integrate online and social media
  • Use social media such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Increase social media awareness to clients
  • Focus on social media brand building
  • Integrate campaigns more solidly with social media
  • Expand opportunities using video and social media
  • We need to have a clear landscape of our agencies, as some practices are starting to be redundant
  • Educate the organisation on the importance of engaging new media
  • Embrace more fully the different platforms available to communicate with my public, especially social media networking

Although I agree with many of the responses, if you were to ask me the same question (of course I don’t have a single response), here are a few of my answers, with respect to social media:

  • Build more social media policies (or update what’s currently in place)
  • Continue to strengthen internal brand community with employees and engage employees in social media through recognition programs (not necessarily money or a gift, but something as simple as a “thank you” from an executive or supervisor for their social networking participation).
  • Evaluate resources on a quarterly basis to make sure infrastructure can support social media monitoring and measurement requirements (whether in-house PR or agency).
  • Review and discuss with employees how listening and engagement is a part of their job functions and assist with any challenges they may face as Research Librarians.
  • Encourage more social media learning through webinars, seminars and conferences, both on and offline.

How would you answer the question?  Would your answer(s) be similar to some of the answers provided by the respondents of the Vocus survey? Or, would they be completely different?