Here's how to mind your Q's
Tom Ciesielka from TC
The other day, I asked one of my
clients how he felt about Twitter.
"There are so many applications and
programs out there ... it gives me a very
large, never-ending headache. I don't
know what these things are, but everyone
tells me that I should be using them."
Understandable. The way we communicate
is changing at a breakneck pace –
seemingly in the "real time" of new applications.
Everyday we learn about new
tools, new programs, new recommended
applications ... and somehow we have to
know what each one is, how to use it,
which is best and where the value of each
one lies. And as soon as we determine the
nuts, bolts and value of a new tool, along
comes an improved version and we're
back to Square One.
I'm calling this the
crisis of communications.
overload can make
people feel, well, overloaded,
and often causes
a complete shutdown.
With so many different
programs to start conversations,
receive news, and react and interact with
brands and individuals, it sometimes
seems easier to just keep quiet.
Consider our suggestions below to
avoid shutting down and experiencing
your own crisis of communications. Here
are the Three Q's
You're in a quantity crisis if you want
to use every social media platform available
to communicate with the rest of the
world. The problem is that using too
many will cause your message to get
diluted or completely lost. Do you have
the time and resources to manage each
application? Sure, you've joined the current
discussion on Twitter, but you
haven't updated your blog since January.
You've started a new Facebook fan page,
but the "News" section of your Web site
is out-of-date or completely bare. Choose
a manageable number of avenues to communicate
your message and give these
your all. Streamline your process between
them, like integrating Twitter updates with
your LinkedIn profile, or uploading You-
Tube videos to share on a Facebook page.
You're in a quality crisis if you either
find yourself taking a complete absence
from the communications world or you
start sending mundane updates and news
about your favorite breakfast cereal or the
color of your dog's new collar. Yes, the
news is now delivered in "real" time, but
the news itself must still be real.
Delivering quality information that matters
to your target audience is still essential,
regardless of the applications or programs
you are using. What you can do is
adjust the message to the medium – for
example, tighten it up
for Twitter, and make it
interactive for a
Have you said to
yourself, "I don't understand
any of this, so I'm
going to stick with
what's always worked
and not change my ways"?
Unfortunately, sending updates by
"snail mail" isn't the way to deliver
breaking news, even if it has worked in
the past. If you're feeling overwhelmed,
ask questions. Social networks make it
easy to ask and answer inquiries – some
without even needing to participate.
Forums and community message boards
are a great way to test the waters and get
the answers you need before diving in.
Know that you don't have to be the expert
in every application and new program to
be a success in the Communications 2.0.
Align yourself with people and professionals
who understand your message,
know your desired end result, and have
the resources to help you. And if all else
fails, you can always tweet "HELPPP!!!!"
Hopefully the above has served as
aspirin for your headache.
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