Tom Murphy has a great post about knowing when technologies have moved from being the domain of early adopters into mass usage.
He’s right when he says the real answer is “it depends”, and it’s the responsibility of professional communicators to know what tools are the right ones to deploy for a specific purpose.
Having a professional interest in social media, Tom’s post made me reflect about how participating in social media myself, my perception can become coloured by my personal involvement.
As a communicator I need to do my absolute best to remain objective when considering what the most appropriate tools to use. While I have no doubt that social media is rapidly becoming an important tool for the “average” PR practitioner, it’s just one tool alongside the more “traditional” tools that I use.
Your world view is always driven by your own experience and perceptions and this is only natural. A mark of our professionalism as communicators is being able to take a more external view of a communications challenge, without losing the benefits that our personal and experience bring to things.
Knowing the right time to deploy new technologies in a communications mix is just one of those professional decisions that we have to make.
But to make that decision properly as a communicator I need to have a detailed understanding of social media – you wouldn’t dream of pitching a journalist without reading their publication beforehand, so why would you consider using a blog or podcast without properly understanding them beforehand?