Making connections with social media


Social media is all about making connections. And yesterday once again I experienced this in real life.

I regularly listen to For Immediate Release – a twice weekly podcast presented by Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date on the latest developments in social media and learn from two extremely knowledgeable PR practictioners.

The show welcomes comments from listeners, and I occasionally send in an email or audio comment. Last week Shel read out one of my comments, in which I mentioned that I’m working on an exciting social media project for Medway Council which will deliver podcasts and video podcasts for niche audiences in Medway.

Shortly after the show was published I received an email from Libby Ranzetta. She’d heard my comment on the show, had found my website and was getting in touch about the public sector social media work I’m doing. Libby runs a consultancy that specialises in the impact of alcohol misuse and local alcohol strategy development. She works primarily with the public sector and is really keen to employ social media tools in this space.

We had a really interesting telephone conversation about what we’re doing at Medway Council, and shared our respective experiences of some of the obstacles to using social media effectively in the public sector. Libby has been running a professional blog for more than a year now recently started a podcast aimed at alcohol misuse professionals in the UK.

This struck me as a great example of where social media is opening up communications channels to audiences that weren’t previously viable – the niche of alcohol misuse professionals in the UK is fairly small, yet social media tools like blogs and podcasts are effective means to open up conversations with niche audiences like these.

The barriers to entry in socia media are very low and in fields where knowledge sharing is important, the two-way nature of social media can benefit everyone participating in the conversation.

It was great to make a public sector connection with Libby, and we’ve agreed to share our experiences and knowledge in the future as we both explore how social media can work effectively in the public sector.

And thanks FIR – a great example of social media in action.