Social Media: Part of the Larger Effort to Communicate with Stakeholders

Posted by Kassy Perry

As I take stock of what the new year will bring to the public relations and public affairs work that we provide our wonderful clients, I am reminded of my fifth grade vocabulary book “Wordly Wise” and the meaning of the word “convergence”. This is how old faithful Merrium-Webster defines the word:

1: the act of converging and especially moving toward union or uniformity; especially : coordinated movement of the two eyes so that the image of a single point is formed on corresponding retinal areas
2: the state or property of being convergent
3: independent development of similar characters (as of bodily structure of unrelated organisms or cultural traits) often associated with similarity of habits or environment
4: the merging of distinct technologies, industries, or devices into a unified whole

At PCG, we see our work in social media and media relations converging more rapidly than ever. Many complex policy discussions are simply not daily table fare for our local newspaper reporters or national news organizations. Yet the public needs to know what is occurring in the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, the reauthorization of the 340B program, funding for clinical trials for lung cancer, statewide efforts to ban deadly synthetic drugs, and more. These are not simple stories. They affect each of us daily. So as communicators what do we do? We go around the Sacramento Bee and the LA Times editors and reporters to place opinion editorials in their pages, hoping the 4 percent or so who read the Opinion pages will see our clients’ point of view. We create content for a variety of social media channels, pushing important facts and figures out through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Nearly eight out of 10 businesses are now using social media networking to further their business goals. It’s not THE solution, its a part of the solution. Convergence. Multiple efforts like rivers flowing to the Delta where they converge into one body of water. Each has its own purpose and role, but together they nourish a greater landscape.

Social media is part of the larger effort to communicate with stakeholders — regulators, policymakers, advocates, the public. It is a tool in the toolbox.

Our colleagues at Socially Stacked produce strategic infographics on a variety of topics. Here is their latest on social media: