I wrote previously about “old school” communication, and realize I probably sounded like a curmudgeon who misses the days of the manual typewriter and smoke-filled newsrooms. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I enjoy learning about, and using, new technologies and communication channels to support my clients' needs. We're exploring new opportunities every day to reach important audiences without once using a sheet of paper, a stamp, or a phone.
The point I was trying to make is that over-reliance on new technology and the latest-and-greatest social network is as much a failing as over-reliance on pad and pen. As communication professionals, we should think first of message, then develop the right strategy using the right tools to reach our audiences.
We represent a large organization that had introduced a new CEO, a man who had strong relationships within his industry but was largely unknown to the larger business and community leader audience.
We didn't help to build his profile and establish beneficial relationships with a Facebook contest. We went old school, arranging opportunities for him to meet with those who hold influence. And we created opportunities for him to partner with those influencers on programs that enriched the community. What better way to build a relationship than to work together toward a common good?
Call me a dinosaur if you will, but I still believe relationships are built on real human interaction. You can't read facial expressions on Facebook. You can't tell if someone is showing genuine interest on Pinterest. There is still something to be said for face-to-face conversation, especially in an age where personalized communication is so important.
We live by a mantra at our firm to always “focus on what keeps the client awake at night.” Your clients and corporate leaders don't toss and turn over which communications tool you're using. They only care that you're communicating effectively, and they rest easy when you do.
Dan Ward is VP and partner at Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management in Orlando.