Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charm, wit and writing skills - essential qualities for social media hosts

Who has the skills to mount a social media campaign?

Photos by Chris Benjamin from May meeting
Entertainment Publicist, Carlette Deleon, said that the social media campaigns needed to be conducted by persons with good writing skills and agreeable personalities. She said that PR practitioners were therefore highly suitable to take on this role.

She was speaking at the monthly members’ meeting of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) at Jampro Trade and Invest Jamaica on May 17.

Ms Deleon also cautioned, “If you think that you need to be constantly available as a public relations practitioner, once you enter the sphere of social media, it just gets worse. Some of the common courtesies seem to go out of the door with a number of persons within the social media sphere. Your personality has to be that you are not afraid to give away your time and be accessible in infinitely more personal ways.”

She said that these campaigns do depend on your personality as the conversations needed to be fun and insightful, not just informational.

Ms Deleon said, “Be prepared never to stop and be committed to it. People lose interest and move on…develop a lot of content. Have to have a willingness and readiness to be engaged and to engage. You have to be witty and charming.”

She noted that the person behind the online site is who will make the social media campaign successful. She also cautioned that truth was essential as response time on social media was very fast.

“If you are not totally honest someone is going to call you out and be brutally honest a lot faster that if they read it in the newspaper or hear it on the radio,” she said.

Ms Deleon also cautioned against putting heavy reliance on Facebook – a website that currently struggles with subscriber privacy issues. “If you only have contact with your audience is Facebook when they shut
that down you are going to lose them.”

Despite its growing popularity, especially in the 18-34 age group audience, the effectiveness of social media campaigns, especially the growing Twitter, cannot be adequately measured for billing purposes, Ms Deleon said. She challenged PR persons to find ways to make this media as quantitative as others are.

Carlette Deleon
“It may seem easy that anyone with a computer can become a

publicist and launch a social media campaign and yes, getting the word

out is easier than before but the message becomes truly effective rather

than potentially lost when it is in the hands of a well-trained public

relations professional. We cannot be replaced by someone with a

computer that just puts up a post. Everything to get to that point from

crafting the message to getting to where it should be delivered and who

gets that message is best determined by us as public relations

professionals. In keeping with the standards that we have learned from

traditional media we can apply it now to new media and make social

media that much more effective for us.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


News Release 

From Practitioners

Kingston: May 11, 2010

The recently elected Executive of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) has committed itself
to build capacity for development issues.

President of the Society, Delmares White, noted that most active PR practitioners are employed in the
Public Sector and so are positioned to make a difference to the successful implementation of development projects and programmes.

“The first goal of the Society is to serve the interests of the members and in these times, this dovetails with public issues such as health, employment, and media issues,” says Ms White.

Speaking from her outlook as an emergency response communications and training professional, she
says, “We can design or review Crisis Communication and Control plans for times of disasters, which dovetails with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s (ODPEM) national/regional programme. There are more than 100 public relations practitioners in the public service. Surely, their collective experiences can support not only each other, but also programmes of national importance. The PRSJ’s new arrangement is that general meetings will be used to present and discuss real live situations as case studies and provide an opportunity for consultations.”

PRSJ President White also said that the Society is actively seeking to reinforce the use of culture in a greater number of communications plans.

“We aim to reinforce Brand Jamaica in our PR designs. We will forge partnerships with Public Sector and Private Sector Organizations towards greater collaboration,” she said.

The first consultation meeting is scheduled to take place on May 19 when Information and Public Relations Officer at the Broadcasting Commission, Nicola Morrison, will present the Commission’s experiences in the training and recruitment of citizen media monitors. FAME FM producer, Carlette DeLeon will also give a hands-on presentation on social media tools and techniques.

The Public Relations Society is the indigenous association that represents professional public relations
practitioners in Jamaica.