PR Tips 101: Social media has blurred our online boundaries…. What happened to respect?
The internet is a plethora of never ending information, and virtually gives us access to almost anyone we want – which can have it’s upsides and it’s downsides as well. While it allows us to further our reach, it also can minimize relationships with vendors. Sometimes we forget there’s a real person behind the blog, behind the twitter, behind the facebook. When you’re constantly @ replying someone or sending email after email you’re running the risk of being too impersonal. Yes, the virtual world allows instant and constant access to people, but that doesn’t mean we should take advantage of it! Respect should always come first.
If you know me you know that I’m all for using social media to grow your brand, I love tweeting, blogging and updating our facebook! I think it’s a tool that, when used correctly, can help start and leverage relationships and build your wedding businesses. However, when not used correctly these tools can be harmful. Even through email and social media we all still deserve to be treated kindly and with respect – no one wants to wake up to 15 emails from a single person asking the status of their submission. No one wants to be hounded on twitter over and over by the same person asking for a RT. Try and remember that behind the screen is a human being, and just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean you can take advantage of that disconnect. Your emails and tweets are a reflection of your brand, and if you’re not putting the best you into that then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
I think the virtual world has drawn our attention to the product – the beautiful images, a gorgeous tablescape, a blog with amazing content, a stunning bouquet – and we forget about the person working hard to create it all – the photographer, designer, blogger and florist. When you forget this or treat the relationship as a relationship with a product and not a person it can be very harmful. Treat your online interactions the same as you would treat an in person interactions. Would you call them 15 times a day? No? Then you probably shouldn’t be emailing or tweeting them that often. Would you call them after 11pm and expect them to answer? No? Then it’s probably safe to say they won’t be replying to your email at that time. Be careful and discerning about what you send into cyberspace, know the boundaries and always exercise caution. People are people, whether in person or behind a computer screen. Yes, they may be a world famous photographer, planner or blogger but at the end of the day they’re still people and should be treated as such.
photo by Elizabeth Messina