Chapter 2

The Shift to Conversation: Content, Context and Avoiding Cheap Talk

Dom Burch

In the race to be liked on Facebook or followed on Twitter, brands must focus on creating engaging content that resonates with their customers or stakeholders. Social media content should always be relevant to who you are and what you do. The most authentic brands resist the temptation to follow the buzz and always strive to look and feel the same on the outside as they do on the inside. Traditional media relations, as we know, are gradually being eclipsed by the rise in social media relations. The days of PR departments endlessly issuing press releases to generate news and capture column inches are in decline. What's more, traditional print coverage is becoming less relevant to brands, many of whom are now significant media owners in their own right (Nike, Red Bull, Audi).

With access to large groups via social networks, brands are beginning to engage significant numbers of customers or stakeholders in regular conversation and, when managed carefully, positively influence their perception. In that context, generating engaging and relevant content (or news as it was once known) continues to be one of the most important disciplines for strategic communication professionals.

While the means of communication are shifting from traditional media to social media, the need to focus on creating engaging content that resonates with a brand's publics, be they customers or stakeholders, has never been ...

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