Malcolm Gladwell, the famed New Yorker writer, chronicler and thought leader, recently expressed in a Globe and Mail interview that he's intentionally absent from Twitter and other social media platforms with good reason. He thinks they're not all they're cracked up to be.
Known for his ability to draw unique and counter-intuitive insights from seemingly mundane facts, he says one of the reasons he's conspicuously absent from the blogosphere is because it's too easy.
"The ease with which you can organize people means you no longer have to go to the trouble of things like building strong grassroots organizations, developing a coherent message, forming lasting ties with individuals."
Things are quick and for the short-term-- very counter-intuitive to the sustained strategic PR approach of building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders over time.
What's more, his comments bring up the notion of what engagement even means today:
"If you follow me on Twitter, I do not own your heart... I may own your attention for five seconds, but that's it."
His thoughts shed light that PR practitioners may need to make a paradigm shift in how they conceive their communications' objectives with online relationship building. Do we think of building engagement in terms of raising on or offline participation, increasing the number of followers on a page, or boosting the number of backlinks to our site? Or do we think about raising awareness and more importantly, how do we measure that?
This video from the Soshable Social Media blog shares some great ideas on the growing impact that social media is having on our daily interactions and is food for thought on how PR can strategize online. See what you think!