Lessons from a social laggard
Our self-confessed social media dinosaur and Group Account Director Kathryn Newland shares some lessons for those of us who are also decidedly not digitally native.
It’s beginning to dawn on me that the old adage, “practice what you preach,” is easier said than done.
I say this from the perspective of a fairly seasoned professional who has been advising her clients on all aspects of PR, marketing and communication for some 15-plus years.
In most cases, what I recommend to my clients, I adhere to myself. I think and write in key messages. I know the importance of storytelling and can bring people with me. I believe in the power of personal brands and have been chipping away at my own.
But of late, I have found myself saying one thing, and doing another. And that ‘thing’ is social media.
Don’t get me wrong – I understand social media principles and platforms. I can put together content pillars and plan calendars of activity. On a good day, I can even talk to social media strategy.
However, that’s where it ends. My personal interest in social media is pretty low and my participation even lower. I’d describe myself as a ‘passive observer’ – happy to sit on the sidelines, checking in on other people’s lives, but not necessarily sharing my own.
Which would be fine – in almost any other profession.
In comms though, it’s one thing to know what to do (or say), and another to know how to do it. For me, there’s a disconnect between social media theory and practice – a gap that needs closing if I don’t want to go the way of the dinosaurs, it would seem!
So – how to reconcile what I’m personally interested in with what I need to be professionally accomplished at?
Here, I am taking inspiration from my clients. Time and again, I sit opposite business people who have little to zero interest in social media but are smart enough to know it needs to be incorporated into their marketing plan.
They just need to be convinced of the ‘why’.
And don’t we all? After all, understanding the ‘why’ is the first step in being motivated to do anything. Perhaps my lack of social media engagement simply stems from not really knowing what’s in it for me…
I need to look at this strategically.
If I’m to stay current in a socially-connected world; if I want to market myself and the place I work; and if I want to provide best-possible advice, based on experience – then there’s really only one conclusion.
It’s time to get social! Step one: write blog to be shared on LinkedIn.
Consider this missive of sorts one small step toward shaking-off my laggard ways and embracing change. My first genuine attempt at not just talking the talk but walking the walk.
It’s also a call-to-action to those of you who might be feeling hesitant about dipping your toe into the social media waters…if I can do it, so can you.
And hopefully now, I’ll be able to show you – not just tell you – how.
Kathryn is a self-confessed social media dinosaur and definitely not a digital native. But she is eager to learn and pretty good at old school communication strategy. Look her up for a coffee if you’re craving a face-to-face conversation.
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