Wednesday, November 18

Retiring A Deck: Social Media For Strategic Communication

Since my first presentation on social media in 2005, it didn't take long to appreciate that the entire communication field is a moving target. So I've made it a point to periodically retire the decks I've used at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in order to avoid having to teach the same class twice.

This version of Social Media For Strategic Communication evolved into 100 slides as the backdrop of a 3-hour open conversation. It was followed with a 3-hour live session, which allowed more flexibility in pinpointing specific applications.

Highlights From A Near Dead Deck

• Slides 1-10: Social Media. Every social media class begins with a working definition of social media, even if the participants are familiar with the term. I prefer the simplest definitions, which makes it easier to understand the complexities of what happens within this environment.

• Slides 11-14: Demographics. This year, more than any other, it seemed important to dispel the myth that Gen Y owns the Internet. The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population consists of people over the age of 50. Another conversation point that has evolved this year is understanding that while everyone is on the net, not every demographic participates in every network.

• Slides 15-41: Media History. While many participants are surprised how much time I spend on the historic context of media, I've always considered it important to dispel the myth that such a change in communication in new. It's not. The only thing new is the medium and the accelerating speed of adoption.

• Slides 42-47: Declining Media. Some people might consider it stating the obvious, but the rapid uptake of communication on the Internet and decline of traditional distribution models remains a relevant part of the conversation. The additional communication point that has surfaced this year is how increased amounts of information will likely lead to a resurgence of objective content sources.

• Slides 48-64: Applying Tactics. Since almost every class includes people with varied exposure, I do dedicate some time to sharing practical knowledge beyond the conceptual models. This section also included four very different accounts, which allowed me to illustrate how social media is largely situational to each organization.

• Slides 65-73: Social Networks. With the addition of the live session, I didn't include new content within this section, which was originally created in spring. It's important to note that the numbers have changed considerably. BlogCatalog has added 40,000 members since the original slide was created.

• Slides 74-81: Content And Discovery Again, with the ability to offer live session examples, I spent less time on this section, preferring to underscore that the social media environment allows tremendous flexibility in sharing content from the ability to condense our portfolio into a Flickr presentation (and iPhone presentation) to the success story of Does It Blend.

• Slides 82-100: Changing The World While the slides were essentially lifted from our Shaping Public Opinion presentation earlier in the year, walking participants through a Bloggers Unite campaign proves extremely useful in illustrating that communication is fluid and how to better integrate crowd-sourcing (participation input) while providing guidelines that still allow for some sense of a managed communication plan.

What Might The Next Deck Look Like?

Since every deck I develop is tailored to meet the objectives of specific audiences, there might be any number of solutions for 2010. However, it seems increasingly obvious that presentations with case studies and panels, while still important, will be breaking away toward conceptual modeling that spans multiple disciplines and multiple destinations.

I'll be sharing one of those conceptual models tomorrow as an extension of last week's Rushing The Net: Public Relations post. The model illustrates why so many companies are developing limited connections that revolve almost exclusively around their products while the online environment is much more valuable as a means to eliminate degrees of separation.

Other topics I'm especially interested in pursuing in the near future include the loss of content objectiveness in the media, the advent of portable content experiences as they apply to radio, the application of our measurement model on a specific campaign (we're waiting on numbers), and next year's pendulum swing that will place a greater emphasis on expertise over popularity.

The latter will include a comprehensive research study we commissioned with a deliverable on or around SXSW, pending my increased travel schedule that is shaping up to include London, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., among others.


Bonnie Parrish-Kell on 11/20/09, 7:58 PM said...

Thanks for sharing, Rich! Lots of important and still relevant info folks can learn from.

Social media and networking have so impacted search engine marketing, I will have to completely revamp my UNLV SEO & Online Marketing class in 2010.

IF I'm lucky, it may be good for a couple quarters :)

Rich on 11/29/09, 10:32 AM said...


So glad you enjoyed it. Social media is changing SEO at an alarming rate.

I know for a fact that you continually stay up on the trends. But specific to SEO, I've always believed there is a balance between social functions and SEO.

e unibus plurum.

All my best,


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