The acquisition by Social Media Group (SMG) has already brought a lot of good feedback from industry friends — and, of course, some backwards comments. The interesting criticism that I hear most frequently is that “well your theory only social media doesn’t work.” “Or, you can’t do social media stand alone, it has to be integrated!”
Excuse me? Who said that (image by marek.wykowski)?
Just search the word “integrate” on this blog. If it wasn’t clear already, for the record, Social Media Cannot Stand Alone!
I thought we were done with this. As in the 90s with the whole integrated marketing communications movement. But I guess not. Or perhaps, it’s just pettiness trying to grasp at competitive positioning points.
In every outreach, SMG integrates right off the bat. We know social media represents a tool set that can be leveraged for a variety of communications strategies, whether its earned media, marketing, employee communications, workforce collaboration, investor relations, etc., etc.
Thus our first task is always to discover the business objective behind the effort, quickly followed by who are the stakeholders, and what other tools are being used to support the initiative. We then create our integrated social media strategy. This has been a hallmark of Livingston social media campaigns since our first efforts on the Huntington Flood and Godsmack Lead Singer Sully Erna’s book in 2006. It’s the same with Maggie’s teams in Toronto and Calgary.
We focus on practicing outreach using these tools because 1) they are unique and we’ve developed expertise 2) big pr firms — not individuals within those firms who are obviously savvy — but the actual organizations do not get it on a wholesale basis, and 3) as a result we keep hearing from large organizations that they cannot find an agency or consulting firm they trust for social media. Therefore, focusing on these tools as specialists provides a legitimate business opportunity.
I’m not sure why that’s so hard to understand. But whatever the reason, spare me the “you can’t practice social media alone” schtick.