When our message goes viral, it’s no longer a broadcast: it’s a conversation.

4 Social PR Effects | 4

As we’ve covered in our 4-part social PR series, one of the biggest shifts that social media has wrought upon the PR function is that we are no longer in a monologue marketing model: we are now in a dialogue marketing model.

When our message becomes a social conversation, that’s another way of saying that it’s gone viral.  Engagement is the holy grail of a modern communications program, and that engagement leads to a conversation among a target social community.  This is a good thing in that it means that our reach is unlimited.

Good Conversations Require Active Listening

The thing about conversations, though, is that they’re not one-sided.  Not being able to control our message is one of those concerns that cropped up at various PR and interactive tech conferences back in the day… but the payoff of earned social media (and increasing returns) is the upside.

The goal of sparking ongoing conversation about our brand is the reason that social listening is so critical.  We marketers must do something that runs contrary to most marketing temperaments, and that is listen before we speak.  By understanding what folks are already talking about, we can find the right channels, the right tone, and the right influencers for our communications programs.

This post rounds out our 2014 blog roster… happy New Year to everyone!  See you all in 2015.