Maybe it’s because I’m a public relations major; maybe it’s because I just spend way too much of my spare time online, but I adore social media and everything it has to offer. More importantly, I am passionate about raising awareness about the benefits of using social media to reach a wider audience for businesses. As I have mentioned before, I currently intern for an engineering research company filled with, you guessed it, lots of engineers. My colleagues are beyond intelligent and hold Ph.Ds in various sectors of engineering, but there is one main part of our minds where we butt heads – the entire right brain. Give them numbers and they can solve any difficult problem, but give them a blank sheet of paper and tell them to design a communications plan, and they will give you a stare like you’re crazy.
This week I found myself compiling a presentation for the executive board about the importance of social media marketing. When I presented my ideas to the new marketing and communications director, she was excited to help and saw the potential. However, when I casually pitched it to a higher up exec, I was informed I needed to be more reasonable and be able to compile a presentation that will appeal to the board of engineers that represent fortune 500 oil, gas, technology, and construction companies. No pressure, right? Twenty-seven PowerPoint slides, hours of research, and a very frustrated PR major later, I believe I have managed to compile something worth presenting. The sad part? I will be taking my first Principles of Public Relations exam during the time of the meeting; which means the marketing director will be presenting my work.
So now we have two potential problems: the board won’t care one bit about the social media campaign and the possibility of the presentation not being given in the manner than I intended when I compiled the information.
How does one make social media appear to be a tool to a room full of executives who have been taught that only data and analytics from technical research can lead to success?
- Lots of charts, graphs, and statistics
- Facts from well-known industry publications
- Literally go in and highlight the important facts, so they stand out among the black text
- Bullet points, don’t type out long paragraphs: time is money
- Screenshots of social media pages from major players within the industry; “they’re using it, why shouldn’t we?” concept
Let’s pray that everything works out when the presentation is made this Friday. May the odds be ever in my favor.