Disclaimer: This is a theory, based on observation and conjecture. I’d love to be proved wrong because for once, only in this case, I’d hate to be right.
Successful people spend a lot on PR. Incidentally, the people who spend the most on PR aren’t present on social media. Here’s one case study looking at ColmanGetty and their most high-profile clients JK Rowling and Nigella Lawson – which is short. JK Rowling has appeared on twitter a month ago, tweeted thrice, said she had no time for it as she is writing. Nigella has no presence.
(The reason I’m using ColmanGetty as an example is that they are the UK’s prime literary agency. If they can find ways to involve their clients in Social Media, and teach them to use it properly, how much more fun would the conversation be?)
Suddenly I made the connections. Imagine you’re an old school, very successful PR agency and you watch people like Stephen Fry taking full ownership of their activities on Social Media, interacting with fans, posting their writings, creating a whole independent presence, unaided by an agency.
The first reaction would be a knee-jerk one. You’d be scared of being made redundant, superfluous. Your clients might not need you at all anymore at some point. They, on the other hand, obviously see Social Media as one of the parts of their PR strategy so trust you with that side. You tell them not to bother, it’ll be time-consuming, or that you’ll take care of it – problem sorted.
Two main reasons I have issues with this approach: It is are depriving us of real, close association with authors we love, and also, this fear is unfounded. A lot of agencies (like @wearesocial) have proven that teaching and encouraging clients to engage with fans on Social Media doesn’t mean they won’t have a need for PR services – even when everyone can talk for themselves, we still need well-thought out communication strategies.
So come on, ColmanGetty, Don’t let us down. Authors are needed on Social Media. We love JK Rowling. Show her Tweetdeck, or Seesmic, and get her introduced to Social Media properly.