Social Media Reading For Traditional Communicators

Confused? Social media is increasingly changing the landscape for professional communicators. Whether you work in internal communications, crisis management, strategic PR, or any number of other disciplines, it’s hard to deny the influence of social media tools on our work.

For long-time practitioners, it’s natural that these tools can be overwhelming. Some people like Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson, Terry Fallis and Joe Thornley, made the adjustment look easy. Some others, however, are still waiting for the bubble to burst. However, it appears it’s not about to happen.

As mainstream media outlets continue to downsize (Canwest, the Globe and Mail and Sun-Times Media Group are just a few examples) and TV networks fragment, we’re seeing more and more people get their news online. Traditional outlets are adding blogging functionality and bona-fide blogs to their websites, and even tools like Twitter, considered niche and cutting-edge just a few months ago, are receiving mainstream attention.

Amidst all this, what’s an old-school public relations guy to do?

Answer: Read… and learn. Get yourself a Google Reader account (here’s how to set up Google Reader), subscribe to a few sites and start reading.

These tools aren’t rocket science to learn, but there’s a change in thinking that needs to happen.

If you’re just dipping your toe into the murky new world of online communications, here are a few sites to get you started.

Big-picture thinking

Internal communications

Crisis communications

Strategic communications

This is a tiny cross-section of sites that I read on a regular basis. To those of you who are more established in this space – which categories/sites would you add to this list?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post.

Dave Fleet
Managing Director and Head of Global Digital Crisis at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.